Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hanover Apartment Update on Apt Construction in the Village Area (12/23/12)

On December 21, a Board Member of SHX POA attended a briefing on the existing and new Hanover Projects on Morningside.  The report was circulated to the members of the POA's Yahoo Groups email and I received permission to post the contents here.

In attendance were representatives of Hanover (3), Kathy Easterly (University Place Super Neighborhood), Mary Lou Henry (planner working with Hanover), Ellen Cohen’s representative (Ellen Cohen has been briefed and she views the project favorably), Christ The King Lutheran Church, Rice University, Southampton Place and a couple of other people.

Phase One is the current project and Phase Two is a new 12 story high-rise. Phase II is located between Dunstan and Tangley on Morningside. It will include the Garden Gate nursery property and the small apartment complex behind that. It will use approximately half that block on the west side of Morningside.

The presentation confirmed publicly what we have been told. Here are some details:

Phase One:  23,000 square feet of retail and 379, mostly one bedroom, apartment units averaging 970 square feet each.  As of today, 15 signed leases with 130 units ready for February 2013 occupancy.  Rentals average $2.25 per square foot per month. The garage will have 150 spaces for retailer customers and 650 spaces for residents.  This phase of the project will be finished by the coming summer.   On-street 2-hour metered parking will be available.  The development is pet friendly. There will be on-site security, tree plantings (live oak, olive and palms), and sufficient city water and sewage capacity.  Traffic is anticipated to be 30 percent less than the original Sonoma proposal which was approved by the City.  Retail space will be primarily food oriented with Zoe’s opening in February.  Others include Cyclone Anaya, Coppa and Cloud 10 Ice Cream, opening in April or May along Morningside.  There will also be a day spa.  Retail space has not yet been fully leased.

Phase II:  Closing on the Garden Gate property takes place next week and the Lamesa apartments early next year.  The 12 story building will be primarily 2 and 3 bedroom apartments (rental) with completion in spring 2016.  There will be 200-210 units with an average size of 1400 to 1500 square feet each. Parking will be accessed off Dunstan and Tangley and there will be a loading dock off Tangley.  On street parallel parking will be available as well as guest parking in the garage. There will be no retail space. Wide sidewalks will tie to the Village. Construction will start at the end of 2013.  A grand staircase to an elevated plaza with water features will be on the Morningside side to break up the fa├žade.  An architectural feature will be significant amount of floor-to-ceiling glass on the buildings north and south corners.
In discussions with the Hanover representive our Board Member reiterated our Association’s concern about construction truck traffic cutting through our Subdivision, utility capacity and ultimate traffic flows.  We were assured that these are recognized.  Please let me know if you have further questions or concerns.


If any reader has questions about the POA or the Board, please contact any member of the Board of Directors of the POA.  The members are:

Ann Hightower (also President of the POA), Ann Stamp Mengwasser, Marty Reiner, Justin Strother, and Jack Townsend.

Remember also that the POA maintains a YahooGroups site (this email is from that site).  On that site we also keep various documents (such as the deed restrictions, POA documents, financial statements and other matters of interest).  The site is

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rice Quarterly Community Lunch (6/4/12)

This information is somewhat belated, but here is a summary of the information from a Rice Quarterly Community Lunch attended by Marty Reiner on May 10, 2012:

Attendance was pretty good, a few more than they expected.  Councilmember Ellen Cohen attended with one of her aides. - University Place, South Main, First Church, Emanuel and Christ the King were all represented, as were most of the neighborhoods.

The Agenda focused on
Rice Happenings (e.g., graduation, the new Skyspace Installation (a large addition to the area's public art) which opens June 14 and the new Tennis Center [14 courts] east of the stadium off Rice Blvd.)
Houston city Capital Improvement Program requests:  looks like redoing University Blvd (starting May 17 thru Aug), Rice/Sunset, Greenbriar, and Morningside from Holcombe to Rice will move forward, beginning as early as this summer.  The city will not participate in a program to illuminate the Rice perimeter walk.
There was considerable discussion of the redesign of the intersection at Rice and Sunset and of pedestrian safety issues related to crossing Rice Blvd.  All still in discussion stage.
A project to improve the median on Main Street and address pedestrian crossing needs is set to begin this year.
Ashby high rise - nothing more than what has been on the paper during the past week or so - Southampton is not giving up the fight

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More on the Ashby High Rise Settlement (3/13/12)

The Houston Chronicle provides an update, Nancy Samoff, City reaches deal on Ashby high-rise project (3/12/12), here.  The key paragraph in the article is:
The settlement allows for Buckhead to build 228 apartments in a 21-story building at 1717 Bissonnet. The settlement requires the developer to mitigate light and noise from the building and garage. Vehicles leaving the building from Ashby would be allowed to turn only right toward Bissonnet, keeping traffic away from the neighborhood.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Update on Ashley High Rise (3/2/12)

The Houston Chronicle reports here that the City of Houston is near a settlement on the Ashley High Rise issue that will permit the construction to go forward.

The Mayor's letter with a summary of the details is here.  The copy of the letter I received at home had two graphics with it.  I will try to post them later.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Houston District C "CIP" Meeting Report (2/16/12)

SHX POA Board representative to the Houston City Council member, Ellen Cohen, reports:

Just a quick note to let you know I attended the District C ‘CIP’ meeting Monday evening.  It was well attended (a couple of hundred people) and presentations were made by Councilmember Cohen, Mayor Parker and a half dozen city officials.  They reviewed the five year capital improvement program and took questions from the audience ranging from very specific or localized concerns, Richmond Ave (METRO’S issue), Fourth Ward paving with bricks to flooding.

Of concern to us were the following comments by the City during their presentations:

•         Morningside is due for completion today and was 93% done as of last Friday
•         Kirby, between Bissonnet and SW Freeway will be resurfaced and restriped this Spring
•         Buffalo Speedway north of Bissonnet will be finished by Spring
•         Greenbriar south of University will be looked at again, but that stretch of Street is not up for reconstruction for another 5 or 6 years

CIP inquiries and requests can be made by calling 311 or through the City’s website