• Adaptive reuse not a reality outside of downtown Houston due to land prices.
  • Caspian Enterprises is eyeing a second possible reuse project in EaDo.
  • Volume of adaptive reuse projects in Houston is minimal compared to other metros.

Developers with a desire to build rental units in Houston’s transitional neighborhoods of East downtown (EaDo), downtown and Midtown are eyeing adaptive reuse or historic renovation opportunities.

Caspian Enterprises is slated to start the reconstruction of a former Waddell’s Housefurnishing Co. building in February, with plans to convert the more than 100-year-old building into a roughly 100-unit apartment property.

On the heels of these plans, the developer recently put another site under contract in EaDo, a Star of Hope homeless shelter, according to Tim Dosch, executive managing director of ARA Newmark’s Houston office. While the developer has remained quiet regarding its’ intentions for the building, Dosch thinks a similar repurposing could be in the works.

In downtown, Dallas-based Todd Interests will convert a 21-story office tower to apartment units.

Outside of EaDo, downtown and Midtown, developers that purchase existing buildings will rarely take on an adaptive reuse project.

“For what people are paying for land it makes more sense to teardown the existing building,” Dosch said, adding in order to justify the land price developers have to build larger developments on sites that previously housed lower density product.

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