Panoramic views and a unique design mark the 35-story tower transforming the skyline near Buffalo Bayou

Many Houstonians walked the trails of Buffalo Bayou Park, weaving under the city’s bridges. They took their fur babies frolicking in her huge dog park and posed for countless family photos on the manicured lawns. But few have seen the park from the vantage point of the new 35-story skyscraper towering over its southern edge.

Looking down at the park from hundreds of feet above, the oaks and sycamores look like tiny dots of green, and the vast bayou looks like a thin strip of cappuccino-colored waters pouring toward the downtown skyline at night. ‘is. On a clear, clear day, the towers of the Texas Medical Center are visible to the south and to the west, the towers of the Galleria pierce the blue sky.

DC Partners, the developers of the skyscraper under construction, hope its 360-degree views of one of the city’s most popular parks will help them sell the remaining condominium and retail space at The Allen.

Although the skyscraper won’t be finished until next year, the first phase of the 6-acre mixed-use project is already transforming the area around it. Although it’s not the tallest tower in Houston, the skyscraper dwarfs the cyclists and joggers below. Passers-by on Allen Parkway can already see the adjacent mid-rise retail pavilion, featuring a unique curved exterior resembling a futuristic silver mushroom.

DC Partners has developed chic high-rise condos all over the city, but The Allen marks the biggest undertaking yet for the Houston real estate development company.

“When you start something like this, you have a dream and you don’t know if you’re going to be able to get funding (and get it together),” Roberto Contreras, CEO of DC Partners, said at an event. Thursday commemorating a construction milestone. GT Leach contractors recently topped the project’s skyscraper, signaling that the structure has reached its highest level.

Despite supply chain constraints and the headwinds of the pandemic, construction of the $290 million first phase of the mixed-use project is progressing. Slated to open in 2023, the HOK Architecture-designed tower features 99 condominiums and a 107-key Thompson Hotel. Next to the skyscraper, a 62,000 square foot lifestyle pavilion is slated to open next quarter. The pavilion includes a rooftop bar and fitness center, with 11,800 square feet of retail remaining for lease.

DC Partners declined to name retail tenants, but state clearance documents suggest that New Evolution Fitness, a company created by two former 24 Hour Fitness executives, plans to open under the project. The permits outline the opening of an approximately 37,000 square foot fitness center in the spring of 2022.

To make the commercial building stand out, the exterior is wrapped in a carbon fiber skin typically used for sailboat manufacturing, Contreras, CEO of DC Partners, said in an interview. That material proved difficult to obtain when an overseas factory temporarily halted production due to the coronavirus, but the product eventually made it to Houston in time.

“It was scary, but we dodged a bullet,” Contreras said. Throughout the pandemic, developers have replaced foreign materials with products made in the United States to try to avoid shipping delays – such as porcelain coming from Tennessee instead of Italy, he said. added.

Inflation and rising building material costs added about $12 million to the first phase of the project, but that was partially offset by a strong real estate market that boosted condo sales, Contreras said.

So far, the project has sold approximately 55% of its 99 condominium residences. Sam Katz, director of sales at Argent Realty Advisors, which markets the properties, said the remaining units range in the high price range of $800,000 to $8 million. A 12,000 square foot penthouse has sold for between $10 million and $11 million, according to DC Partners.

After temporarily slowing at the start of the pandemic, Katz said sales picked up momentum about a year ago as the condo market rode on the tailwinds of a strong single-family home market. Buyers leaving single-family homes can afford more as the value of their homes has rapidly increased. The virtual tours extend the marketing of the project beyond Houston.

“We’ve invested heavily in the virtual platform that works just as well for teleporting to someone’s home office in Tanglewood as it does for talking with someone in Dubai,” Katz said. “Now in 2022 we have a great pipeline for the project.”

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