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Monster Ashby High Rise Court Loss

A monster blow: Controversial Ashby high rise loses big in court fight with neighbors — millions owed

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News_Ashby high rise_building monster
A Harris County court has awarded damages to residents opposing the controvesial Ashby High Rise. Photo by Katie Oxford
Ashby Highrise 1717 Bissonnet Urban Plaza street level
Developers have promoted the high rise as an ideal project for an increasingly-dense part of Houston. Buckhead Investment Partners Inc.
News_Ashby HighRise_Protest Sign3_May 2012
Detractors cast the building as a "tower of traffic" dead set on destroying the well-heeled surrounding neighborhoods. Photo by Karen Burd
News_Ashby high rise_building monster
Ashby Highrise 1717 Bissonnet Urban Plaza street level
News_Ashby HighRise_Protest Sign3_May 2012

After nearly a month of deliberations, a Harris County court has sided with a group of Houston residents opposing the controversial Ashby high rise at 1717 Bissonnet.

Jurors unanimously awarded more than $1.6 million in damages to 20 or 30 total litigants from the well-heeled neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed luxury tower to be built by developers Buckhead Investment Partners Tuesday afternoon.

Damages will be awarded only if district judge Randy Wilson allows the 21-story high rise to be built. A separate hearing on the tower's future likely will be held in the new year.

Experts lined-up for both parties in recent weeks, presenting findings on everything from traffic flow and architectural design to structural engineering and soil samples.

 Damages will be awarded only if the judge allows the 21-story tower to be built. 

In a suit led by Houston attorney Jean Frizzell, plaintiffs claimed that the building would alter the nearby communities of Boulevard Oaks and Southampton while substantially decreasing home values. Paperwork filed by Frizzell in May called the tower "the epitome of being the right thing in the wrong place — a proverbial 'pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard.' "

Buckhead, meanwhile, has cast the high rise as an environmentally-friendly building that will promote walkability and transit-oriented urban living in a relatively dense portion of the city. The developers plan to appeal the ruling.

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