There is not much there at the moment, just a big fence surrounding an old warehouse, some old homes and a vacant lot.
But some nearby Shady Acres residents are concerned about what could be coming.
According to a description and series of artist renderings on the website for EDI International, a Houston-based architecture, interior design and planning firm, the vision is to construct a seven-story apartment complex for Price Development Group. Beall Street Heights, the name of the project at the northwest corner of Beall Street and West 23rd Street, calls for 209 apartment units ranging in size from 416 to 1,949 square feet along with 273 parking spaces on a 1.7-acre plot of land.
“No one in the neighborhood wants it, obviously,” said Ethan Etzel, a nearby homeowner in Shady Acres. “It’s just in the middle of a residential area, not close to anything. I think that’s what makes everyone mad.”
EDI International, along with Price Development Group’s Kansas City office, did not return phone messages seeking comment. According to the Harris County Appraisal District website, much of the fenced-in property was purchased by Kansas City-based PDG Heights LLC in early October.
The fenced-in area includes 2315 Beall St., a 43,500-square foot property that housed a former business called Label Products, along with adjoining residential addresses 1125 W. 23rd St., 1129 W. 23rd St. and 1133 W. 23rd St. The total area is 74,280 square feet, and HCAD values the land at $3.15 million.
Etzel and Adam Helleberg, another nearby homeowner in Shady Acres, said they expect new development in the Heights area and understand that the neighborhood is ever-evolving. But they question the feasibility of a seven-story apartment complex in an already high-traffic area in proximity to single-family residences as well as a school.
“It’s weird to see apartments going there,” Helleberg said. “It seems like a screwy thing where they’re trying to put a round peg in a square hole.”
Homeowners such as Etzel and Helleberg might have to get used to the idea.
The City of Houston allows property owners to apply for a Special Minimum Lot Size Area, which serves as a zoning tool in a city without zoning laws by requiring undeveloped land to adhere to uniform lot-size parameters and uses, such as single-family residential. But a Houston real estate attorney said the area including the planned apartment complex might not qualify for such an ordinance, because it includes homes of varying sizes along with a lot that has long been used for industrial purposes.
“I think the intent of the Special Minimum Lot Size ordinance is to preserve the prevailing lot size character where it exists,” said Omar Izfar of Wilson Cribbs + Goren. “And fractured and transitioning block faces that are in the middle of being redeveloped are less ideal candidates for that type of protection.”