The aging Skylane Central apartments, perched near the entrance of the Woodland Heights neighborhood, are headed for demolition as a developer makes plans to replace the building with an upscale rental complex.
Charleston, S.C.-based Greystar is under contract to purchase the property, a low-rise complex built in 1960. Less than two acres, the site is just north of Interstate 10, off the Taylor Street bridge and across from White Oak Bayou.
The sale is expected to close in September, said Trent Conner, managing director of Greystar in Houston. The project is the latest example of the rapid redevelopment of old apartment sites in highly desirable areas close to downtown.
The Greystar project, called Elan Heights, is still in the planning stages, but one of the scenarios being considered is an eight-story building with around 250 apartments and attached parking. The building would have a contemporary design encompassing an array of materials, including wood, metal panels, glass and stucco. Houston-based architecture firm Meeks & Partners is designing it.
“We’re hoping to improve the site and improve the curb appeal as you enter the Woodland Heights,” Conner said.
The new property will be an upgrade from what’s there now.
The existing apartments at 2222 White Oak have 76 units.
“I think there are some in the community that look forward to a change with the property the Skylane apartments are on,” said David Jordan, president of the Woodland Heights Civic Association.
Some believe the property has been a source of crime and that it hasn’t been well maintained, he said.
Just northwest of downtown, the Heights area has been one of the city’s strongest real estate markets. As the local economy strengthens, more young professionals are moving into the area to be close to bars, restaurants and their jobs.
Other close-in areas are seeing similar growth.
Off the top of his head, multifamily analyst Bruce McClenny listed about 10 older apartment complexes inside or near the 610 Loop that have been or are scheduled for demolition. Most of them will be replaced with high-end multifamily developments, and there are more to come, he said.
“Job growth, economic conditions and the ability to get more rents have just accelerated this activity,” said McClenny, president of Houston-based Apartment Data Services.
Written by Nancy Sarnoff