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Ashby developers lose appeal

Given how long it took for the Ashby highrise developers to get their permit in the first place, I figured their appeal of the requirement that they cut back on some aspects of the project in order to get that permit would drag out for months as well. Not so.

The city of Houston’s General Appeals Board Thursday evening rejected a bid by the Ashby high rise developers to get mixed uses restored to their planned 23-story residential building in the Southampton neighborhood.

Matthew Morgan, one of the two principals with Buckhead Investment Partners, said the next step would likely be to appeal to the Houston City Council.

“We came here to build a better building than what was approved,” Morgan told the Examiner following the appeal. “We will reconvene and consider our next step. We are still going to build a building.”

[…]

Morgan said Tuesday, the developers had been forced to modify the design, because the city had arbitrarily applied a traffic-limiting ordinance to their project that had not been used in issuing permits to similar developments on major collector streets.

“In essence, it (the change in design) eliminated the very elements that would connect our development to the adjacent neighborhoods.”

As I said before, if you can’t stop the developers from going ahead with this misplaced building, you may as well let them do it as they originally envisioned. I do agree that what was taken out made the overall project better, and is more consistent with the desire for more mixed-use development. It just continues to be a shame that they want to do it in that particular spot, where there won’t be any network effect from transit or other similar development nearby. If only you could magically move this thing 3/4ths of a mile or so north, it would be so much more suitable.

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