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HOUSTON-A local investment fund is selling one of the largest land blocks in some time to come to market inside the loop. The 8.6-acre tract, assessed at $15 million, now holds warehouses with tenants on short-term leases and long-term promise of a creative redevelopment.

“This is in a corridor that’s been industrial forever and has just been filling in over the past few years with townhomes,” says Jeff Lindenberger with McDade, Smith, Gould, Johnston, Mason & Co. in Houston. The infill tract takes up the corner of Studemont Street and Interstate 10.

“We figured we’d let the market determine the best use and the highest price for it,” Lindenberger tells GlobeSt.com. “There are not, that I can think of, a whole bunch of large, developable tracts in Houston, especially inside the loop. It’s a real scarcity these days to see a one- or two-acre tract on the market–8.6 acres is a significant size.” He and colleague Todd Mason are marketing the site, with the call for offers set to sound Aug. 15.

Lindenberger says the acreage could support up to 400 units of high-density residential and about 50,000 sf of retail. And, he adds, the seller already has fielded inquiries from retail and multifamily developers.

Other experts tell GlobeSt.com that the land play is worth watching because the Washington Avenue and Heights submarkets are undergoing a significant complexion change. In the neighboring Heights, many historic homes are being renovated plus there has been a steady increase in the number of high-density residential developments. One of the newest openings is a Target store, the anchor to Property Commerce’s 24-acre Sawyer Heights Village.

George Cushing, senior vice president in Houston for Grubb & Ellis Co., says any development on the parcel, especially retail, will be wildly successful. “The Heights is a historic neighborhood that’s been resurgent in the several years, but it’s been underserved in terms of retail,” he says.

Mark Fowler, vice president for locally based Transwestern Commercial Services, agrees. “This larger parcel seems to be coming to the market in time to meet the demand of the residents there,” he says, citing the area’s demographical shift. “As soon as Target started scraping dirt there, it became a popular kind of mainstream submarket for your institutional players.”

Fowler says the land sale and its future development will be interesting to watch on several levels. “Whoever gets that will have a good time with the redevelopment, as there are so many creative ways to use it, for private needs and maybe even some public use as well,” he says.

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