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Developer to convert River Oaks high-rise into condos

January 18, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

 

A 1960s-era high-rise apartment building on Westheimer near River Oaks is the latest slated for renovation as developers court affluent empty-nesters and wealthy business people looking to downsize and live closer in.

The River Oaks Luxury Apartments, 3435 Westheimer, were sold to New York-based Arel Capital in September. The company lists the project on its website, where it envisions the 17-story building as a 92-unit condominium building to be completed in two to three years.

The project is part of a trend in the River Oaks and Galleria areas to either tear down and replace or revamp residential developments.

The building has gone through several owners since it was built in 1962. The latest was Boston-based Metropolitan Properties of America. Arel has two existing projects in the Houston area, one near the West Oaks Mall off Texas 6 and another in Timbergrove Manor.

An Arel representative declined comment Monday.

Christopher Curry, a director with Houston-based brokerage firm HFF, who is familiar with the deal, said the project seeks to renew instead of tear down. He said 3,500 multifamily units across Houston have been knocked down during the real estate boom.

“We have seen this market explode,” he said. “The remaining structures in the area are very popular because they are still somewhat affordable and allow people to remain close to their jobs and the action, but they can’t afford the new rents.”

Curry said he believes Arel will spend money to turn the older building into a top-notch facility.

“It’s obviously a fantastic area,” Curry said. “I imagine they will be expensive and look like an almost-brand-new project.”

Curry cited demand for condominium projects, including two promising ones in the Galleria area. One, a 26-story development called Belfiore, is being built on a 2-acre site at the southeast corner of Post Oak Lane and South Wynden Drive, between San Felipe and Woodway.

It will include 46 residences, including two penthouses.

And developer Randall Davis plans to build a 28-story condominium tower, called Astoria, on Post Oak Boulevard.

The 8-story Memorial Towers, an 1960s-era apartment building on Memorial and Detering, also is on the market, Curry said. He said one option under consideration is converting it into a condominium project.

“Anywhere between the Galleria and downtown, there is a need,” Curry said. “We have already seen the demand.”

By Erin Mulvaney,   Real Estate Reporter, Houston Chronicle

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