Feature Photo (above): A black canvass canopy covers the entrance to the leasing office of the former Tree Tops at Post Oaks Apartments this 2016 pre-Harvey image. Courtesy: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Houston (Harris County) — While most of us were recovering from the New Year’s four-day bash, BGE Inc. was quietly passing a re-plat through the Houston Planning Commission for a Briar Hollow Place Apartments subdivision.
The Jan. 3 consideration of this re-plat application was the latest step in the next chapter of a 2.3-acre tract of land that was once the Tree Tops at Post Oak, a complex of garden-style two- and three-story apartment buildings constructed in 1960.
The land is between the Uptown Houston and River Oaks districts, two gentrified neighborhoods that have seen many a luxury residential mid-rise and tower structure go up since the recession. It’s just the kind of dated, undervalued residential property that an investor would have snatched up for demolition and reconstruction, anyway. But Hurricane Harvey hastened its demise.
The abandoned Tree Tops at Post Oak is between Post Oak Park Drive and Briar Hollow Lane, facing Briar Hollow Place. Image: Google Maps.
According to Swamplot, Tree Tops at Post Oak was abandoned in August 2017. “First floor units at the complex sit below street level, and had water ‘up to the ceilings’ during Harvey.” The apartments, unfortunately, are just three blocks south of Buffalo Bayou and prone to flooding.
Harris County Appraisal District records show that an affiliate holding of the Finger Companies, Finger Epco Briar Hollow LLC, was created in June to act as landowner for whatever comes next. Finger Companies bought Tree Tops at Post Oak in 1987.
The appraised property value took a big hit after the flood, dropping from $9.8 million in 2017 to $6.4 million last year.
Swamplot subsequently reported in November that neighbors have heard that Finger Cos. wants to construct a 10-story apartment tower. The developer, however, has made no official statement on its plans.
Finger Companies manages 24 market rate multifamily properties in the Houston area. These include The Museum Tower in Montrose, the One Park Place tower downtown, and the luxury mid-rise 500 Crawford across from Minute Maid Park.
The Tree Tops at Post Oak was flooded during Hurricane Harvey and was abandoned in August 2017. Image: Google Streets.