May 20, 2005, 12:34AM
Towers to rise on South Padre
At 30 stories each, structures will be island's tallest
By NANCY SARNOFF
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Randall Davis, a Houston loft developer who recently started building his first condominium project in Galveston, is heading to another coastal market: South Padre Island.
The Randall Davis Co. is planning to build a pair of condominium towers and 11 beachfront bungalows in the South Texas resort town. Each tower will have 30 stories, making the project his tallest yet.
The new project is part of a wave of development sweeping the island in the Gulf of Mexico, which locals call the "tropical tip of Texas."
In the past five years, the island has changed dramatically, with new condos, hotels and businesses, said Alta Monroe of Alta Monroe Real Estate.
"We're becoming more and more of a year-round resort," the Padre Island real estate broker said.
Monroe said at least six condominium projects are in the pipeline there.
The demand, she said, is coming from buyers from all over Texas as well as from places as far away as Florida and California.
"Their real estate has been so expensive that when they come to Padre and see what they can get for half of what they sold their house for, they can't believe it," Monroe said.
That includes people from Florida who began looking at South Texas after the recent onslaught of hurricanes in their home state, she said.
This new crop of buyers, Monroe said, is willing to spend more than $400,000 for a
Padre Island condo.
Davis said the South Padre project is in keeping with his "current theme of building on the coast."
One of the buildings will be called the Sapphire, but Davis hasn't picked a name for the second. Prices will range from $375,000 and reach $1.8 million for a 4,600-square-foot penthouse.
Davis said he has already received more than 100 deposits on units, using leads generated from a mailing.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic about the response," said Davis, who will throw a party for prospective buyers Monday on South Padre.
The 182-unit project will be built next to the Sheraton on Padre Boulevard. The Sheraton's owner, Mexico-based Posadas USA, owns the land and is a partner with Davis on the development.
The hotel will provide services to condo residents, including concierge, valet and room service. Residents will have access to the Sheraton's pool.
The two towers will also have their own swimming pools, with cabanas and an outdoor bar.
Every unit will face the Gulf of Mexico and contain two balconies — one with an outdoor kitchen and grill.
Houston-based Ziegler Cooper Architects designed the project. Construction is expected to start by November.
Last year, Davis announced plans to build beachfront condominiums in Galveston at the corner of Seawall Boulevard and Broadway. The project, Emerald by the Sea, is a 15-story building with 93 units. Prices range from around $250,000 to $1 million.