Lifestyle Hounds’ Ultimate Amenity – HEB at Your Doorstep

Densification of the Urban Core

With the rapid growth of Houston and further densification of its urban core, let’s take a closer look at some recently completed high-rise mixed-use apartment projects to see what role they may be playing in our city’s urbanization. This new development provides the hustle and bustle of urban life that comes with the ability to walk where you need to go. Density allows you to also enjoy a high concentration of culture and convenience. However, it is still a pretty new concept to Houston. With it, lifestyle hounds are reexamining the suburban sprawl model and flocking to our inner-city neighborhoods.

A Catalyst for Future Beautification

At the corner of Washington Avenue and Waugh Drive sits a staple neighborhood amenity – the local grocery store – in this case, HEB, Texas’ most popular grocery store. A first for HEB, is a built-in community of customers conveniently co-located on floors above, with private elevator access to the store below. Owner, BKR Memorial, and developer Midway decided to create a completely unique community that honors the rich, historic nature of its surroundings while providing walkable access to much needed grocery shopping to the area. Buffalo Heights is a catalyst for future beautification of the neighborhood, while pointing the way for future construction of a multi-phase mixed-use development to the east.

Heights Warehouse Charm

St. Andrie is a beautifully designed 232-unit apartment complex that sits comfortably atop the 90,000-square-foot grocer and anchored on the northern façade with a glass-clad three-story office component, One Buffalo Heights. The design expression relates to the surrounding historic character of the neighborhood – including the use of patinaed reclaimed brick that speaks to the old Heights warehouse buildings – while reflecting the modern nature of urban living with the use of a crisp mixture of glass and brick on its elevations. Upscale amenities include private grotto for outdoor entertaining, fitness center, and resort-style pool. St. Andrie has consistently outperformed in its market. The mixed-use building also houses dedicated parking spaces for residents, shoppers, and its high-tech office workers.

Providing the Eclectic Experience

St. Andrie’s location in the Washington Corridor places it at the southern edge of The Heights, which boasts nightlife that is truly an eclectic mix of casual eateries, bars, and nightclubs. The area attracts local folk and draws in the fashionable set who come to see and be seen, and to enjoy world class live music. Located mid-way along the Washington Corridor, Buffalo Heights is perfectly located to become the new heart of a historic and colorful, regenerating neighborhood connected to Houston’s walkable green space treasure that is Buffalo Bayou.

Large Scale Urban Districts

This development is playing the key role of reinforcing the importance of neighborhoods to those searching for a more cultured, simplified, and convenient urban lifestyle. With Houston at an early stage of urbanization and densification, the design of mixed-use neighborhoods will continue to reshape our city’s skyline for years to come. This neighborhood becomes a part of larger scale urban districts that reinforce mankind’s fundamental need for social interaction and a sense of belonging. Our twenty-first century challenge is to create more walkable urban districts for a less auto dependent and more sustainable future.

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About the Author

Scott Ziegler, AIA

As Founding Principal of the firm and leader of the Urban Architecture Studio, Scott’s design experience reflects his belief that inspirational architecture enriches people’s lives, uplifts the human spirit, and provides a constant vision of excellence. As Residential Senior Practice Area Leader, Scott plays an active role in shaping the urban landscape through the firm’s built works and his published writing in professional journals on the subjects of sustainable urban growth strategies and high-density mixed-use developments.

Scott Ziegler, AIA

Senior Principal

Senior Principal

Scott Ziegler