Ashby High-Rise Over as The Langley Rises

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – A lengthy NIMBY-ism battle may be turning the corner after 15 years of protest and a groundbreaking is in the offing.

For a decade or longer, the so-called Ashby High-Rise proposed residential tower on Bissonnet Street drew forceful opposition from the residents of the upscale Boulevard Oaks neighborhood, just west of the Museum of Fine Arts.

For years, the neighborhood was littered with big, yellow and black signs and banners voicing opposition to the “Tower of Traffic” that was planned for a 1.6-acre site amid a neighborhood of mature homes and mature trees. There was a lawsuit. Restrictive covenants were placed on the property in 2012.

A few days ago, a new plan for the residential tower was approved by City of Houston officials.

The developer has redesigned the tower, now called The Langley, and plans to break ground shortly.

“We look forward to beginning construction soon,” StreetLights Residential said in a statement.

The initial plan from years ago called for a 21-story tower with 228 residential units and 10,000-SF of retail.

The new plan, developed by a different development group, StreetLights Residential, has scaled back the size of the proposed building. StreetLights says the building will be 20 stories, not 21 stories as originally planned. It will have only 134 units, not 228 units.

And the new tower will have no retail component.

Buckhead Investments, the prior development firm, is no longer affiliated with the property, which is owned by the El Paso-based Hunt Cos.

Maryland Manor, a 67-unit apartment building that formerly was situated on the site, was demolished in 2013. Since then, the land has survived as a large patch of grass behind a chain-link fence.

Although Boulevard Oaks and Southhampton neighborhoods are definitely residential, the Ashby High-Rise disagreement was complicated by the fact that the property faces Bissonnet Street, which is primarily a commercial thoroughfare as it stretches for miles and miles into the southwestern suburbs.

Property near the “Ashby High-Rise” site has not been completely devoid of other new development.

Only four blocks away from The Langley site, a three-story, mixed-use development with a ground-level restaurant was recently built at 2132 Bissonnet at Shepherd Drive. The Platform Group, a Houston firm led by Steve Ybarra and Hilary Zaic Ybarra, developed the project, designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture.

April 26, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023


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