The latest news from Stolz Partners.
Plans announced this week for a new condominium project would carry a 118-year-old Italian furniture maker's name and will emulate the look of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants abroad that carry the luxury brand.
Giorgetti, a renowned furniture maker that has worked on hotels, yachts and royal palaces around the world with its unique shapes and maple, oak and marble accents, is lending its century-old brand to the project by Stolz Parnters, Mirador Group and Sudhoff Companies.
"Art and architecture are coming together," said Jacob Sudhoff, of Sudhoff Co.
The 7-story mid-rise site will be in Upper Kirby's Steel Street, known for its canopy of oak trees down the quiet road, where an older apartment complex was razed. A long-time Houston family previously owned the land.
The project will have 32 residences ranges from 2,400 square feet to 4,500 square feet. Ceilings will range in height from 10 to 12 feet, with balconies from 500 to 2,000 square feet. Giorgetti touches will be apparent throughout the design from the kitchen and outdoor cabinetry to paneling, lighting, carpets, closets, woodwork and furnishings.
Pre-sales for the condominiums are scheduled to begin in September. Construction is set to begin with 50 percent of the homes are pre-sold with an expected start date in the third quarter next year.
This mid-rise condominium project is being announced at a time when the outlook is increasingly uncertain for the multimillion condos and high-end market in Houston. Several mid-rise condo projects that were announced during the real estate boom have scuttled or shelved plans.
Meanwhile, construction is ongoing for a number of high-rise condo projects around the city, also marketing a new kind of lifestyle for Houston.
Giorgetti designs have been featured in $24 million penthouse at New York's Plaza Hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Fontainebleau Chateau Suites in Miami, Four Seasons Residences in Austin, Torch Doha and The Reverie Saigon in Ho Chi Minh.
"For us, beauty is the first source of inspiration, including and above all, for the contribution it can make to improving the quality of where we live," said Giovanni del Vecchio, managing director of Giorgetti. "With our partners, we share the same passion, vision and love for the brand and for the lifestyle that we are able to create and express. The result is very special—a remarkable living space, imbued with the spirit of modern elegance."
Jerry Hooker, Principal of Mirador Group and Jacob Sudhoff of Sudhoff Co. said their idea to bring the luxury brand to Houston dovetailed with Giorgetti's expansion into an expanding lifestyle brand. They eventually flew to Italy to pitch the idea for a luxury-branded condo building in Houston.
"It was a perfect marriage," Hooker said. "What we had envisioned and where their company was going....We are bringing in Italian culture and quality in to the building."
Hooker said the project will be the first of its kind in the United States.
An Atlanta developer has partnered with a high-end Italian designer to build its second luxury condominium project in Houston.
Stolz Partners LLC, in collaboration with furniture maker Giorgetti, are planning to develop Giorgetti Houston, a luxury condo project in Upper Kirby.
The seven-story, 32-unit project will sit on a little less than an acre at the northeast corner of Steel Street and Virginia Avenue, just south of the West Ave mixed-use development. Stolz Partners is currently under contract for the land, which was the former site of the Kirby Court apartments.
Giorgetti Houston, designed by Houston architect Mirador Group, will feature a contemporary glass, stucco and masonry exterior, inspired by iconic furniture designs from Giorgetti.
The condo will offer two-bedroom units with a study and three-bedroom units averaging about 3,000 square feet of living space as well as up to 500 square feet of outdoor terrace space. The units will feature high-end kitchen and bathroom cabinets designed and manufactured by Giorgetti as well as Gaggenau appliances. Prices will average just under $2 million.
The project will have four penthouse units — boasting 5,000 square feet of living space — on the top floor with views overlooking the Upper Kirby area.
Giorgetti Houston will feature a well-appointed lobby area furnished with Giorgetti furniture. There will be some common lounges and outdoor spaces, as well as a fitness room, but the project was intentionally designed without costly amenities, like a pool or a large club room, to save on HOA fees, said Will Stolz, founder and owner of Stolz Partners.
Giorgetti Houston will likely appeal to working professionals and empty nesters who want to live within walking distance to neighborhood shops, restaurants and offices, said Stolz.
Stolz Partners plans to open a sales center at the Internum furniture store, 3303 Kirby Drive, in mid-September, and will break ground on the project after preselling half of the units. Houston-based Sudhoff Cos. is marketing the project. The general contractor and engineering teams are yet to be determined.
Stolz Partners is doubling down on Houston’s luxury condo market despite the oil slump. The developer is also developing The Sophie, a seven-story, 42-unit luxury condo project near Memorial Park. The developer has sold nearly a fifth of the units inside The Sophie since presales began less than a month ago.
Paul Takahashi covers residential and multifamily commercial real estate for the Houston Business Journal.
With high-rise projects across the city going on ice until the local economy revives, Will Stolz, founder of Stolz Partners, is moving fast forward on his luxury mid-rise condo projects, The Sophie, on Memorial Drive, and the Giorgetti Houston on Steel Street in the Upper Kirby District.
In May, the Atlanta-based real estate development and investment venture unveiled The Sophie, a seven-story, 42-unit project with condos starting at $1.3 million. The site was originally destined to become an Italian-inspired development of 17 townhomes. But with the oil downturn, Houston-based residential builders Butler Brothers axed that project, even after improvements had been made to the property.
"With several high profile projects being shelved, it’s a natural question for a city that’s experiencing some economic setbacks and still in its condo infancy to ask why the timing is right for another building," Stolz tells CultureMap. "As an outsider, I see a large, diverse and vibrant market that’s stabilizing and will soon be on the upswing – just the place where I want to be as a developer."
Further he views the reports of gloom and doom on market as an over-simplification of what is happening in a complex real estate market. "That view doesn’t take into account the differentiators of each property, ranging from price per square foot and amenities to the location and floorplans," he says. "Also, a great deal of emphasis is also being placed on concepts not coming to fruition, rather than the many successes, which are at least 50% spoken for before the first brick is laid."
At a promotion event last week, Stolz announced that 20 percent of the units in The Sophie had already been spoken for with little if any work yet to begin.
"We’ve done a lot of research to match The Sophie with our target buyers, and through initial traffic, input and pre-sales, we believe that it is the right building, in the right place at the right time," he said.
Residences in The Sophie will range in size from approximately 2,400 to nearly 5,000 square feet. Private terraces will average more than 400 square feet and depending on location in the building, capturing views of downtown, Memorial Park, Buffalo Bayou and River Oaks Country Club, while creating outdoor living rooms equipped with summer kitchens and fireplaces.
The Mirador Group has designed the project with a classical facade fashioned from stone and plaster on the, two-acre site which is just steps from the Bayou Bend Visitors Center. Mirador also designed the contemporary seven-story, 32-unit Giorgetti Houston. Both properties are being marketed by the Sudhoff Companies.
Residential palaces continue to rise against Houston’s skyline, and the activity shows no signs of ceasing. In its April issue, PaperCity explored this progressive building boom, comparing the posh specs of nearly 50 luxury high-rise and mid-rise towers in progress across the city.
Now another high-end residence is adding itself to the mix: Sudhoff Companies has teamed up with Atlanta-based property developer Stolz Partners for The Sophie at Bayou Bend, a six floor, 42-unit mid-rise at 6017 Memorial Drive.
“We are extremely excited for this endeavor,” says Jacob Sudhoff, CEO of Sudhoff Companies. “Not only does it formally introduce Stolz Partners — a company with a proven track record of more than $1 billion of residential and mixed-use real estate successes in five states — to Houston, but it also responds to strong Inner Loop demand for upscale, single-floor residences with functional outdoor space, low maintenance fees plus 24-hour attended lobby and convenience.”
The Sophie’s design embraces its foliage-filled ambience: The building borders Memorial Park and MFAH’s Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens (hence the mid-rise’s moniker).
Houston-based design firm Mirador Group brings The Sophie’s garden feel to the forefront in more ways than one. The residences, which range from 2,400 to nearly 5,000 square feet in size, are each fashioned with a 400-square-foot terrace, each of which includes a summer kitchen and a fireplace. Of course, the view isn’t too shabby, either, overlooking Memorial Park, Buffalo Bayou and River Oaks Country Club.
In addition to the standard luxury touches, like 10-foot ceilings and state-of-the-art appliances, the complex will include a 24-hour concierge, private garages, an ultramodern fitness center complete with a virtual yoga studio, expansive green spaces (including a dog park), water features, private sitting quarters and art installations.
The Sophie at Bayou Bend is currently in pre-sales; prices range from $1.2 to around $3 million. An official opening date has not been revealed.
BY JAILYN MARCEL, Papercity