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More apartments in the Heights: Industrial hub makes way for mixed-use mecca

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More apartments coming to town:
Grocers Supply, located in the Sixth Ward, has sold its parcel of land to Capcor Partners and Kaplan Management. Courtesy of Google Maps
More apartments coming to town:
The 15-acre mixed-used development will accommodate an estimated 400 luxury apartments plus grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants and large chain retailers. Courtesy of Google Maps
More apartments coming to town:
More apartments coming to town:
Grocers Supply Produce Co.
Get Directions - 3000 Hicks St. Houston

A produce warehouse is winding down operations to make room for a 15-acre mixed-use development that will accommodate an estimated 400 luxury apartments plus grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants and large chain retailers.

Grocers Supply, located just south of I-10, west of Studemont Street and adjacent to the Olivewood Cemetery in the Sixth Ward, has sold its parcel of land to Capcor Partners and Kaplan Management for an undisclosed amount. Capcor, whose portfolio includes many suburban retail complexes, continues the area's transition from an industrial hub to residential with lifestyle amenities.

Grocers Supply, which has owned the land for 42 years, will have two years to cease operations and clear the premises.

Capcor principal Avi Ron told the Houston Business Journal that the location no longer meets the needs of the existing business, citing increasing traffic along Studemont as a growing concern for Grocers Supply's some 200 tractors and more than 850 trailers. What used to be a network of industrial parks as recent as the 1990s, according to Swamplot, today the area is home to retail developments anchored by Target, Walmart and Kroger in the company of restaurants, coffee houses and shopping.

Among those adding to Houston's apartment building boom are projects such as Pearl Woodlake in the Westchase District, scheduled to open in the summer of 2015; a mid-rise luxury complex to replace The Place Apartment Homes in Montrose; 21 Eleven, a multifamily development with 215 units on Westheimer, the site of the former Café Adobe; and the River Oaks District mixed-use development that includes high-end boutiques. 

The swell in demand is driven by strong economic factors. Rent costs for an average apartment have increased 5.2 percent from last year, according to research by Apartment Data Services. Rent for luxury dwellings has increased 7.6 percent.

Unlike neighborhoods that change slowly and over time, the issue that arises from the sale of large tracts of land is the possibility of something generic — the kind of project that's void of character, the kind that could be built in any suburb. Although inner loopers kvetch at the prospect of urban neighborhoods adopting 'burb-like qualities, city dwellers secretly love the conveniences of big box stores.

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