Oxberry Group looked long and hard for the perfect location for its latest project: a luxury condominium midrise called The Mondrian.
The Houston developer wanted a corner lot with an unrestricted deed and unobstructed views close to the Texas Medical Center and downtown Houston. Oxberry zeroed in on the Museum District, a booming submarket for multifamily projects. However, with all the competition, the search proved to be quite a challenge. “Even though Houston doesn’t have zoning, it was extremely difficult to find a lot for our condominium,” said Shahin "Sean" Jamea, a co-principal of Oxberry Group along with his brother PJ Jamea. “We actually looked for a location for close to a year.” Featured Jobs Advertising Consultant Houston Business Journal Audience Development Account Executive Houston Business Journal County Auditor County of Kaua'i Post a Job See More Jobs
Finally, the Jamea brothers came across a listing in December for a 13,000-square-foot plot at 5104 Caroline St., near Palm Street. The asking price was $1,450,000.
Transwestern brokers Carlos Bujosa and David Schwarz III represented the seller, Weather Research Center Inc.. The company operated a weather forecasting service for offshore oil rigs and The John C. Freeman Weather Museum inside a small, office building built in 1930 on the site.
The owner, after spending nearly a decade in the building, was moving to a new location and wanted to close out the property by the end of 2014, Bujosa said.
There was a lot of interest in the property, primarily from residential developers who wanted to replace the museum with townhomes. Several law firms and a real estate firm also expressed interest in the concrete-and-steel building, Bujosa said.
However, like many real estate deals these days, the sale went to the buyer able to make the quickest and easiest purchase, Bujosa said. Oxberry jumped on the deal in a matter of days and closed the land purchase before Christmas last year.
Oxberry Group plans to tear down the museum building — a controversial move— to pave the way for The Mondrian. The eight-story, 20-unit luxury condominium project— designed by the Houston and Washington, D.C., offices of Perkins + Will and Houston-based Mayfield and Ragni Studio — will offer one- and two-story condo units averaging 3,000 square feet.
“We wanted to build our project in a walkable neighborhood close to employment centers,” Jamea said. “This is the perfect place for this project.”