Here's an update on the destruction of the Central Ford dealarship on Westheimer. It's now completely gone!
Now you can see what a great location it is: notice the uptown skyline in the background. You can also see part of the Westcreek apartments, which will eventually be torn down as well.
Sorry if this is a re-posting, but here's an article about the development in case you missed it.
Mixed-use project flows to Westcreek
Aging Galleria-area complex to be razed to make way for potpourri of
Houston Business Journal - April 28, 2006
by Jennifer Dawson
Houston Business Journal
Developers are planning to tear down more than 1,000 inner Loop apartments
near the Galleria and replace them with a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use
development containing specialty retail space, a boutique hotel and residential
units in midrise and high-rise buildings.
The redevelopment is planned for 29 acres just inside the 610 Loop between
Westheimer and San Felipe where the Westcreek Apartments are located.
Westcreek is adjacent to the old six-acre Central Ford dealership site on
Westheimer, which is earmarked for a mixed-use redevelopment as well.
The parties that control the Westcreek and Central Ford sites are considering
doing a joint development, according to sources.
Officials at the controlling companies would not confirm a possible partnering
effort, saying that an announcement could be forthcoming within a few days.
The Westcreek complex, which dates back to the 1960s, is owned by a Cypress
Real Estate Advisors partnership. Redevelopment plans for the 1,229-unit
multifamily complex are described on the Web site of the Austin firm, which
made local headlines last November with its purchase of the 46-acre Hardy Yards
property north of downtown for a proposed redevelopment.
John Kiltz, a principal with Cypress Real Estate Advisors, says it's too soon to
comment on the plans for Westcreek.
"We're kind of right in the middle of trying to structure a deal with somebody,"
Those talks, say sources, are ongoing between Cypress and Fort Worth-based
Trademark Property Co., which secured a ground lease on the nearby Central
Ford site at 4410 Westheimer last August. Trademark, which also built the
Market Street retail center in The Woodlands, announced plans to redevelop the
six-acre Central Ford tract into retail, residential and possibly office space. (See
"Car dealership gives way to urban infill," Aug. 12, 2005.)
Trademark has not yet taken possession of that property due to complicated lease
arrangements, which are expected to be worked out soon.
Trademark Principal Tommy Miller says via e-mail that he does not have an
update on the Central Ford project, but might have news within a few days.
Whether the Central Ford and Westcreek projects are done jointly or separately,
a large amount of new residential and retail space seems destined for the Galleria
The developers are considering adding 300,000 square feet to 400,000 square
feet of retail space at the Westcreek site, which is located between the Galleria
and Highland Village. Despite its proximity to those retail powerhouses, at least
one real estate expert believes the area can support more stores.
Retail broker Nick Hernandez of Page Realty Partners Ltd. says there are a
number of retail concepts -- such as soft goods clothing stores, couture fashion
boutiques and restaurants -- that have not yet made their way to Houston that
would be likely tenant candidates for a new project.
Hernandez, whose leasing team represents Trademark on Market Street and the
Central Ford site, says existing retailers interested in changing the look of their
stores may also consider new developments. And retailers in nearby shopping
meccas may want to switch to a new location, or open a second site in the same
general area, Hernandez says.
"They may want to come out and do a store on the street," he says. "You could
attract other retailers in the area to relocate."
Although the Westcreek Apartments occupy some of the most high-profile real
estate in Houston, some portions of the mammoth complex are almost 40 years
old. The 1,229-unit project was developed in two phases -- one in the 1960s, and
one the following decade.
The original section containing 814 units is called Westcreek at River Oaks. Built
in 1967, that phase is located at 2049 Westcreek Lane. The second phase,
constructed in 1971, is called Westcreek at Highland Village. Those 415 units
carry a 4444 Westheimer address.
Now considered to be one large multi-family complex, Westcreek is 93 percent
occupied, according to statistics from O'Connor & Associates. Units in the
complex rent for an average of 98 cents per square foot per month.
The Westcreek complex last changed hands in November 2005 when it was sold
by Houston-based M. Kaplan Cos. LLC. The complex was sold into a partnership
with Cypress Real Estate Advisors as the general partner and Kaplan as a limited
Richard Zigler, president of Kaplan Acquisitions, says redevelopment plans are
preliminary, but the project is envisioned to be similar to the upscale Victory Park
development in Dallas that encompasses retail shops, residences, a hotel and
Kaplan originally purchased the Westcreek complex in 2002 from the
predecessor of JP Morgan Chase for roughly $68 million. Kaplan did a
renovation of the property in 2002 and 2003.
Jeff Hollinden, managing director of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which
represented JP Morgan in the 2002 sales transaction, says the property is prime
"It's a great chunk of land," he says. "It's always had the potential to be