Monday, August 3, 2015

Hi-end Hi-rise living, but what about dining at street level, ground-floor retail, at the posh 2929 Weslayan Tower?


Houston's newest landmark residential tower on Weslayan at W. Alabama is nearing completion, with transparent numbers signage ("2929") now in place and an unremarkable water fountain up and running, surrounded by arid-climate landscaping.

2929 Weslayan - New residential tower with curves framed by foliage


But it still has not found any takers for the retail/restaurant space at street level on the side fronting West Alabama. Potential operators are probably waiting for a critical mass of residents (and would-be on-site customers).

The unclear parking situation does not make things any rosier as far as catering to would-be clientele in the vicinity. There is no street parking anywhere nearby. Nor is 2929 reachable on foot. West Alabama does not even have a paved sidewalk on some stretches, and the closest residential project with high density is the Lamar Tower at 2929 Buffalo Speedway. The 3333 Weslayan apartments are only a block to the South, but they already have their own on-site restaurant: Pizzeria Solario


Weslayan is a bit better for pedestrians than W. Alabama (not much, with intermittent obstructions caused by digging activities), but even with no roadwork ongoing to make matters worse, there is no parking within walking distance either North or South. The biggest nearby parking lots are at the intersection of Westheimer and Weslayan / Willowick, but that's neither close enough for a leisurely stroll to a restaurant at 2929 -- at least not in mid-summer heat -- and poaching parking space from Central Market or the shopping center with the DEUTSCH & DEUTSCH jewelry store in the corner space wouldn't be a good idea in any event.

Central Market parking lot with Williams Tower in the distance
(View from sidewalk at Weslayan) 
Current lineup of tenants in SE corner of Westheimer and Weslayan 
Not to mention that the latter has a security guard patrolling the parking lot at all times (and presumably enforcing customer-only parking, or at least deterring use by eaters or shoppers with other destinations in mind). Parking is even scarcer now that Walgreens has relocated its Highland Village store there, not to mention that a new emergency room, and a mattress store have joined the tenants with a longer on-site presence: a Wells Fargo branch in addition to DEUTSCH.


Wells Fargo Bank and ATM and new Emergency Room (ambulance entrance) 
And to the South, the parking situation isn't any better at Richmond and Weslayan. True, there is a huge parking lot North of Richmond, but there are also plenty of shops and eateries, not to mention Costco's and a health club. And that area - Greenway Commons -- sees a lot of traffic.

Restaurants on corner of Weslayan and Richmond Ave.: Panda Express - Salata - Buffalo Wings - Bullritos
Restaurants on corner of Weslayan and Richmond Ave.:
Panda Express - Salata - Buffalo Wings - Bullritos 
In any event, as is true of Westheimer, it would be too far to reach Weslayan at W. Alabama on foot from Richmond. So, unless the 2929 has enough space in its own parking garage for nonresident customers, or the lot on W. Alabama that currently serves as an operations center for the construction company and subcontractors, the only solution would seem to be valet parking with an arrangement for after-hours use of one of the existing garages of nearby office buildings. They all currently sport warning signs promising nonconsent tows for all those that do not qualify as tenants or visitors. Or perhaps an agreement with AT&T for use of its sizeable parking lot in the SE corner which seems underutilized.

Construction Trailers: CF JORDAN Construction - PMRG - Leasing Staff Parking Only
Projects 2800 and 2929 Weslayan - You have to work here, to park here 
NEARBY OFFICE BUILDINGS 
WITH PARKING GARAGES 

3100 Weslayan - BERKELEY EYE CENTER with underground parking
 Underground Garage at 
3100 Weslayan - For tenants and visitors only 
Will-tow warning sign at entrance 
3000 Weslayan Parking Only
 3000 Weslayan Parking Only 

Weslayan Cafe 2900 Weslayan St Houston, TX 77027
Weslayan Cafe has parking garage privileges
2900 Weslayan St Houston, TX 77027
Parking garage on Essex Lane 
AT&T BUILDING SOUTH OF LARGE PARKING LOT IN SE CORNER 
OF W. ALABAMA AND WESLAYAN 

at&t logo on windowless face of building
Signalized intersection of Weslayan and West Alabama Street - Pedestrian crossing
Sidewalk and pedestrian crossing on West side
of Weslayan at W. Alabama with at&t building in the distance
(looking South) 
 HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOS OF 
2929 WESLAYAN LUXURY RESIDENTIAL TOWER BELOW 



2929 Tower seen from Westheimer
2929 High-End Apartment Tower seen from Westheimer





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