Skanska Adding Montrose Kroger Site to Westheimer Project? – ‘No Comment’

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Skanska, which recently acquired the prime southwest corner of Westheimer and Montrose for mixed-use development, may be considering the acquisition of the adjacent “Disco Kroger” property on Montrose Boulevard.

Last summer, Skanska paid $27 million – for the 2.86-acre tract at the southwest corner of Westheimer and Montrose Boulevard. Skanska USA Commercial Development is expected to construct high-rise residential, retail and restaurants.

Just south of the Skanska site, a boarded-up Kroger store property awaits redevelopment. A public street, Lovett Boulevard, separates the Skanska and Kroger properties. In recent years, there has been discussion about closing that block of the street, which could yield a tract of about eight contiguous acres.

With ownership of the Kroger property and a total of eight acres, Skanska’s Montrose development could be a substantial development with retail, residential, office, restaurants and boutique hotel.

“No Comment at this Time”

Asked if Skanska has discussed the acquisition of the Kroger property, a Skanska spokeswoman said on Tuesday the firm had “no comment at this time.”

The ownership of Kroger property is controlled by the Southeastern Real Estate Group, which is based in Augusta, Ga.The Kroger site covers about 2 acres, is bordered by Lovett, Yoakum, Hawthorne and Montrose Boulevard.

The Georgia developer is expected to demolish the old Kroger store for new development. The Kroger, a key retail outlet in the heart of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood, the store operated 24 hours a day at one time and the community nicknamed it the “Disco Kroger.”

Bulldozing for Progress

Meanwhile, Skanska, an arm of a giant Stockholm-based development and construction firm, is taking a beginning step in transforming its Westheimer at Montrose property. A 44,000-sf shopping center there, anchored by Spec’s liquor store, is being demolished. Demolition equipment is doing the final number on the old shopping center this week.

“Right now, we are focusing on demolition so that we can clear the site for the upcoming activation we have planned that will provide the community with a place to engage and socialize prior to the start of construction,” the Skanska spokeswoman said in an email.

Outdoor Movie or Farmers Market? Or Both?

The interim use is expected to include an outdoor movie theater, according to speculation in the community. On the weekends, the Skanska property could be used as a farmer’s market.

Skanska has not announced the details of their interim attractions, which the company calls “temporary activation.”

The temporary consumer-focused activities occupy the property, Skanska could be working to complete its assemblage of property with Kroger and Lovett street right-of-way, in addition to completing design and planning.

A consumer-focused company, possibly an expert in outdoor movie operations, is working with Skanska for the pop-up attractions.

“We are working with a partner on a community activation that we will be hosting on site as an interim use before we start construction. The partner is helping us execute the temporary activation, which is separate from the future development that will be built upon the site,” the Skanska spokeswoman said.

The intersection of Westheimer and Montrose is teeming with new development. Within 1,000 feet of the Skanska site, new projects include the Montrose Collective mixed-use project under construction by Radom Capital, new high-rise apartment towers by Hines and Hanover and the historic La Columbe d’Or hotel redo by the Zimmerman family.

Last year when Skanska acquired the Montrose retail center from Madison Marquette, Skaska’s local leader issue this statement:

“Montrose is the cultural heart and soul of the city. It illustrates Houston’s changing urban landscape and signals our ongoing commitment to the market,” said Matt Damborsky, Executive Vice President at Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston. “Skanska is continuously looking for opportunities to diversify our Houston offerings while developing projects that reflect the strong culture and sense of community in this city.”

March 31, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

File: Skanska Adding Montrose Kroger

Caption: The Disco Kroger, 3300 Montrose Blvd., is boarded-up. Photo by Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report. Copyright 2021 (Hanover residential tower in background)

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