HBJ | Groundbreaking planned for luxury condo in Museum District

Houston Business Journal


Oxberry Group is planning to break ground in mid-February on The Mondrian at the Museums, a luxury condominium project in the Museum District.

The Houston developer has secured construction financing from Galveston-based Moody National Bank and is awaiting final city permitting to begin construction next month, said PJ Jamea, a co-founder of Oxberry Group.

The eight-story, 20-unit condo project is set to rise on the former site of the John C. Freeman Weather Museum at 5104 Caroline St., near the Asia Society Texas Center. The former Weather Museum was demolished in September.

The Mondrian, designed by architects Perkins + Will and EDI International, features a modern Tetris-like steel and glass facade inspired by Piet Mondrian, a Dutch artist who is known for his modern geometric paintings.

The condo building features three- and four-bedroom units — boasting expansive, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and two-story art gallery walls — that average about 3,000 square feet and start from $1.25 million. Two 4,400-square-foot penthouse units at the top of the building will feature a small infinity lap pool on the patio and an interior courtyard with a Japanese-style Zen garden. A 24-hour concierge service will help residents pick up dry cleaning and packages.

Since announcing the project in August 2015, Oxberry Group has pre-sold 11 units, which is a little more than half of the units in The Mondrian. The pre-sales paved the way for Oxberry Group’s construction loan from Moody National Bank, which will help finance 75 percent of the project.

Despite concerns about low oil prices, the energy downturn didn’t affect sales or foot traffic to The Mondrian, Jamea said.

“Of course, we were worried a little bit, but the majority of our buyers are empty nesters who are downsizing,” Jamea said. “We didn’t see any slowdown in traffic.”

Oxberry Group expects to finish construction on The Mondrian in the summer of 2018. The developer said it is confident it will sell the remaining nine units in the building.

“We wanted this to be our signature building and a work of art,” Jamea said. “Even though we have good renderings and animations, we just don’t feel like it does it justice. That’s why we just wanted to start building this building. I think people will come as soon as we start construction. I’m not worried about sales at all.”

Oxberry Group, led by brothers Sean and PJ Jamea, has 14 years of experience in residential, retail, office, industrial and mixed-use development. The company’s residential portfolio includes Midtown Grove apartments, Chenevert condominiums, and Sanaz townhomes, according to its website.

Project Partners:

Developer pioneers “resilient design” in Houston

PJ Jamea envisioned a “signature” building in The Mondrian, one that would elicit critical acclaim for its modern design and high-end features.

But the Houston developer also wanted the luxury condominium project to be resilient, one that could withstand flooding that has become all too common in the low-lying Bayou City.

That’s why Jamea, a co-principal of Oxberry Group, decided to add a back-up power generator on the roof of The Mondrian, which would power the building’s critical infrastructure, such as elevators, during an emergency.

“In Houston, we do get hurricanes and flooding,” Jamea said. “If the power goes out, we have eight floors you have to go down. Having a backup generator makes our building much safer.”

In recent years, developers across the country have begun embracing an emerging architectural philosophy called “resilient design,” which aims to fortify buildings from rising sea levels, hurricane surges and severe rainstorms.

In Houston, several residential high-rise and midrise developers are adding backup power generators to their condominium projects that would power the building in the event of an outage. Houston building codes require backup generators in high-rise buildings over 75 feet tall, but do not require them in midrise buildings.

In addition to Oxberry Group’s The Mondrian, Houston-based Pelican Builders Inc. is adding a backup power generator to The Wilshire, a 17-story, 96-unit Class A condo tower in the Uptown/Galleria area.

Jamea, who initially planned to break ground on The Mondrian in early 2016, spent an extra half year and about $400,000 to add a natural gas-powered backup generator to the eight-story, 20-unit condo building.

Oxberry Group’s team of architects and engineers worked with Centerpoint Energy to add a special 300-square-foot “vault” on the ground floor for an on-site transformer. The team redesigned the first level of parking and the ground floor to fit all of the electrical equipment. Architects and engineers also left a spot on roof of The Mondrian that would support a 9,400-pound Kohler backup generator.

“There’s a lot that goes into this,” Jamea said. “In our case, this triggered a lot of changes with our consultants and architects, which easily added five months to the development process. It was an extra cost and time, but I’m glad we’re doing this.”

Swamplot | The Mondrian at the Museums


Houston’s Oxberry Group began presales for the Mondrian in September. The 8-story, 20-unit midrise is being designed by the Houston and Washington DC offices of Perkins+Will, with interiors by Houston’s Mayfield and Ragni Studio (MaRS). Residences average 3,000 sq. ft. and encompass large entertaining areas — some with 20-ft. ceilings — art walls, and outdoor terraces configured to accommodate fireplaces, TVs, and summer kitchens. The open layouts attempt to merge the indoors with the outdoors, and aim for downtown, Medical Center, and treetop views.

The project’s sales center, which features a selection of furniture and accessories from Cassina, Cappellini, B & B Italia, Zanotta, and Tonelli curated by Upper Kirby’s Internum, is now open in a gallery space inside the Asia Society Texas Center, a short block away from the Mondrian’s building site at the southwest corner of Caroline and Palm streets. Other nearby attractions within walking distance include the city’s top cultural institutions, the light rail, restaurants, and Hermann Park.

Renderings, floor plans, a walk-through video, and more details are also available at the Mondrian website.

Palaces in the Sky: Houston’s High-Rise Revolution


This sense of pride in still having the power to transform Houston, and the weight of responsibility that comes with it, seems to be the common thread running through these new projects, big and smaller. Shahin “Sean” Jamea — one half of the brothers behind the Oxberry Group, a homegrown Houston-based development company — feels it with his firm’s new eight-story luxury condominium project, The Mondrian, in the Museum District.

“People think it’s easy to build anything in Houston because of the (lack of) zoning situation,” Jamea tells PaperCity. “But finding the right piece of land to build condos like this on is actually very difficult. We looked for a year and a half, in spots like Rice Village, before we found this perfect piece of land in the Museum District. We’re looking at this as a rare, real chance to hopefully build something of an iconic building for the neighborhood.”

Jamea views the striking and distinct, nearby Asia Society Texas Center as the high bar that The Mondrian must try and approach — that’s the way of this high-life push, everyone is reaching for something.

Brothers Focus on Improving Life within Loop


For brothers Shahin "Sean" and Pejman "PJ" Jamea starting a business together simply made sense.

PJ worked for some of the best architectural firms in Houston and Sean had a career as a tax attorney, specializing in real estate. 

"It was only natural," PJ said. "We were doing a lot of collaborations on both ends. We decided we should start our own business."

The two joined forces to create the Oxberry Group, and their combined talents have resulted in the establishment of a successful development company, handing residential, retail, office, industrial and mixed-use development

Now, 13 years later, the brothers are honing their vision and starting to make a mark on the city, focusing on creating walkable neighborhoods inside densely populated, urban areas.

Sneak Peek: Inside Art-inspired Condominium Proposed for Houston's Museum District

Sneak Peek: Inside Art-inspired Condominium Proposed for Houston's Museum District

Houston Business Journal

The architects had a tall order when they set about designing Oxberry Group’s new luxury condominium project in the Museum District.

The Mondrian at the Museums is set to rise in one of Houston’s most storied neighborhoods, one steeped in art and culture. When finished, the eight-story, 20-unit condominium project will stand amid Hermann Park, Rice University and no fewer than 19 museums, including the nearby Asia Society Texas Center.

Nicole Calderon Named Sales Associate at The Mondrian at the Museums

Houston Business Journal

In this capacity, the multi-family real estate veteran will oversee day-to-day sales and marketing functions for the Perkins+Will and MaRS designed mid-rise project being developed by Houston-based Oxberry Group at 5104 Caroline just steps from Hermann Park.

Behind the Deal: New Midrise Condo Project in the Museum District

Houston Business Journal

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.

More Details Revealed for Proposed Luxury Condominium in Houston's Museum District

Houston Business Journal

A proposed condominium midrise in Houston’s Museum District will feature a Japanese-style Zen garden.

Oxberry Group is planning to build The Mondrian at the Museums, an eight-story, 20-unit condominium project at 5104 Caroline St., on site of the former The John C. Freeman Weather Museum. The 13,000-square-foot plot — located on the southwest corner of Caroline and Palm streets — is near the Asia Society Texas Center on Southmore Boulevard.

Oxberry Announces Museum District Condo


Oxberry Group, led by brothers Sean and PJ Jamea, is starting pre-sales of The Mondrian, an eight-story, 20-unit condo project in the Museum District. It sits next to the Asia Society, and Oxberry aims to follow the neighborhood trend of landmark architecture. The Mondrian features a unique exterior of interlocking boxes, designed by Perkins+Will. The interiors, which average 3k SF, were designed by Mayfield and Ragni Studio. The Museum District/Montrose area has been one of Houston's most active multifamily markets, both on the rental and condo side.

A Mondrian in the Museum District


Oxberry Group Plans To Build 8-Story Luxury Condo The Mondrian on Site of the Former Weather Museum in the Museum District

Luxe condo to replace former museum in Houston’s Museum District

Houston Business Journal

A Houston developer plans to replace a former museum in the Museum District with a luxury condominium.

Oxberry Group is planning to build The Mondrian, an eight-story, 20-unit condominium project at 5104 Caroline St., on the former site of The John C. Freeman Weather Museum. The 13,000-square-foot plot — located on the southwest corner of Caroline and Palm streets — is near the Asia Society Texas Center on Southmore Boulevard.

Oxberry Developing Residential Tower in Houston's Museum District

Realty News Report

HOUSTON Oxberry Group has announced plans to develop The Mondrian, an eight-story, 20-unit condominium in the Museum District in Houston’s Inner Loop.

The Mondrian will be located at 5104 Caroline on the corner of Palm Street, just north of Hermann Park and the Texas Medical Center.

Museum District Condo Tower to Replace Weather Museum

Houston Chronicle

Local developers plan to build an eight-story luxury condominium tower in the Museum District, replacing a shuttered weather museum on a block that has transformed rapidly in recent years from a boulevard lined with historic mansions to one dense with townhomes, mid-rises and high-rises.

Museum District Condo Project to Replace Shuttered Weather Museum


A condominium mid-rise tower by a local developer will replace the John C. Freeman Weather Museum on a plot at the corner of Caroline Street in the Museum District.

Oxberry Group said it will build The Mondrian, an eight-story, 20-unit condominium at 5104 Caroline Street. The museum, near the Asia Society, has been closed and on the market.  The sales center for the new building will open in September.

Longtime Houston Museum to be Torn Down for Luxury Condos


Progress waits for no one in Houston. Especially if one happens to be resting on prime real estate. The shuttered Weather Museum, housed in a building that dates back to 1930, is set to become the latest obstacle removed in the race for stylish upscale housing in a still-booming Houston. The building will be demolished to clear the way for The Mondrian, an eight-story, 20-unit luxury condominium building.

The new condos jump right into an artsy neighborhood near the striking Asia Society Texas Center building. The Mondrian’s developers vow that their condos will complement that arresting architecture.