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Uptown Development Authority's Bus Rapid Transit project will be completed by spring.
Uptown Development Authority's Bus Rapid Transit project will be completed by spring.
Screengrab from Google street view

Houston By the Neighborhood: Post Oak Boulevard in Urban Uptown

It is such a strange sensation to drive along Post Oak Boulevard between Loop 610 and San Felipe; it feels like entering a canyon of steel and glass monoliths. Out of all the pockets within Houston this one seems to have changed the most dramatically. No longer home to the largest McDonald's in Texas — the fast food eatery was downsized a while back to make room for the Astoria — and shaped in large part by developer Randall Davis, Uptown has become a high traffic, high concentration urban environment.

Aspire Post Oak is under construction at 1650 Post Oak Boulevard.
Aspire Post Oak is under construction at 1650 Post Oak Boulevard.
Rendering by Gensler
Aspire Post Oak, 1650 Post Oak Boulevard

But now the boulevard is being transformed again with construction for Aspire Post Oak at the corner of San Felipe. Developed by The Dinerstein Companies and scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2022, the futuristic building will feature 383 residential units on 39 floors, 15,343 square feet of retail space, and will sport a Walk Score of 89.

There's much speculation about which high-end restaurant will go into the almost 6,000 square feet of space on the lower levels at its southern tip. Surrounded by affluent River Oaks, Tanglewood, Memorial and West University, and with nearby high-end restaurants boasting alcohol sales of as much as $6.453 million per year (Steak 48) and $14.9 million per year (The Post Oak, Mastro's, Willie G's), whomever takes the space will be best in class.

The architecture buffs at Houston Architecture Info are all atwitter over this futuristic building that was designed by Gensler. Yes, it's stunning in its sleek architecture with a planned sky lounge on the top floor, and a garden deck with swimming pool and other luxe amenities. But schadenfreude is at the heart of this discussion, because nothing irks an architecture aficionado more than bad design.

The Cosmopolitan's parking garage, with its white facade, needs some oomph.
The Cosmopolitan's parking garage, with its white facade, needs some oomph.
Screengrab from Google maps

Right next door to Aspire Post Oak (highlighted in yellow) is the Cosmpolitan, a 22-story high rise at 1600 Post Oak Boulevard. The building seems nice enough with its symmetrical design, but it's the boring white facade of the lower level parking garages that leaves much to be desired. So there were plenty of photos and shouts of hurrah on HAI's forum when the new construction finally obscured the Cosmo's parking garage. Sounds like it's time for a few muralists to enter the scene, or even a large digital billboard.

Props to Gensler's architects for its own design, however. Retail spaces are a creative way to hide the parking areas for Aspire Post Oak, while the building's own architecture is as respectful as possible to its neighbor to the north. Though we predict some of the southern-facing units at the Cosmo will soon be going on the market or available for rent.

The planned new lobby at Aspire Post Oak.
The planned new lobby at Aspire Post Oak.
Rendering by Gensler

So how much will it cost to live along this stretch of Post Oak Boulevard? Rents at Aspire Post Oak will average about $3,500 per month, with an average of about 1,200 square feet for one-, two- and three-bedroom units. For information about Aspire Post Oak at 1650 Post Oak Boulevard, visit aspirepostoak.com. Restaurateurs or retailers interested in leasing space should contact Chris Pitts, broker and partner at Streetwise Retail Advisors.

Cosmopolitan, 1600 Post Oak Boulevard

Unit 1802, a three bedroom with 3,343 square feet, is listed for sale by Gayle King of Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty for $1.995 million.
Unit 802, a two bedrooom with 2,735 square feet, is listed for sale by Ruthie Porterfield with Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty for $889,500.
Unit 1105, a three bedroom with 1,952 square feet, is listed for sale by Gigi Huang with Douglas Elliman Real Estate for $849,000.

Unit 1605, a two bedroom with 1,952 square feet, is listed for lease by John Scarborough with Community Partners for $4,500 per month.
Unit 1604, a two bedroom with 1,779 square feet, is listed for lease by Mariana Saldana with Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan for $3,900 per month.
Unit 1402, a two bedroom with 1,502 square feet, is listed for lease by Jaime Valdivieso with Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan for $3,300 per month.

For information about the Cosmopolitan, visit randalldavis.com/portfolio/single/cosmopolitan.

Astoria, 1409 Post Oak Boulevard

Penthouse 2601, a five bedroom with 10,100 square feet, is listed for sale by Patrick Ashiofu with Realm Real Estate Professionals - Sugar Land for $6.5 million.
Unit 2701, a three bedroom with 4,403 square feet, is listed for sale by Kellie Geitner with Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty for $3.9 million.
Unit 1501, a three or four bedroom with 3,136 square feet, is listed for sale by Albert Cantu with Nan and Company Properties Christie's International Real Estate for $1.59 million. It's also available for lease at $8,500 per month.

Unit 2204, a three bedroom with 2,826 square feet, is listed for lease by Mimi Tanner with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene - Champions for $8,500 per month. Or make it your own for $1.55 million.
Unit 1703, a two bedroom with 1,327 square feet, is listed for lease by Luis Esparza with LV Properties for $41,00 per month.
Unit 2003, a two bedroom with 1,327 square feet, is listed for lease by Maylis Curie with Compass RE Texas, LLC for $3,900 per month.

For information about the Astoria, visit randalldavis.com/current-developments/single/astoria.

Camden Post Oak, 1200 Post Oak Boulevard

Penthouse unit 3307, a three bedroom with 3,464 square feet, has a base rent of $12,249.
Unit 707, a two bedroom study with 1,827 square feet, has a base rent of $3,929.
Unit 605, a one bedroom study with 1,159 square feet, has a base rent of $2,369.
Unit 408, a one bedroom with 839 square feet, has a base rent of $1,639.

For information about these rentals at Camden Post Oak, visit camdenliving.com/houston-tx-apartments/camden-post-oak.

To read about the Uptown Development Authority's Bus Rapid Transit project, a dedicated busway in the median of Post Oak Boulevard from Westpark to the intersection of Post Oak and IH-610, visit ridemetro.org/Pages/UptownBRT.aspx.

For more information about Uptown Houston, visit uptown-houston.com.

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