While everyone in Preston Hollow has been busy saying “No” to Transwestern over their plans to build a luxury apartment complex on five or so acres Behind the Pink Wall, developer Luke Crosland has been quietly gearing up for a 29 story luxury apartment tower in the heart of Preston Center to be called The Highland House. Specifically, the site proposal is for 8215 Westchester Drive, currently a two-story medical office building. An application for re-zoning has been filed with the city and the Plan Commission will hear the case on April 17th.
Current zoning in Preston Center allows for 9 stories max.
A meeting was held Thursday at The Athena with City Councilwoman Jennifer Gates and her plan commission representative, Margot Murphy, Laura Miller, former Texas State Representative Steven D. Wolens (Laura Miller’s husband) and about 30 interested homeowners to discuss the proposed building. Residents who attended the meeting tell me it is likely the April 17 date will be postponed.
Many of the Preston Hollow homeowners who have been following the Transwestern deal just found out about this new structure last week. Apparently, University Park residents are not too thrilled because this complex could feed additional students into University Park’s already bursting-at-the-seams school system.
One concerned UP resident wrote her concerns to Luke Crosland in a letter:
“increased enrollment (in UP) has been a huge factor. There are lots of things contributing to this and the last thing we need is a new high rise in our district. I understand that families with children are not your target market; however, there likely will be some families with children living there. The district is already going to need to use portable buildings to accommodate current growth, and this will only add to the problem.”
Other concerns are parking, traffic and congestion, but I have been told the first five floors of the complex will be for parking. The developer, who I have not yet contacted (but will) maintains that this complex will be for high income, retired residents who live a “lock and leave” lifestyle, will likely not have children and therefore will minimally impact the school district:
“The Highland House project is not only going to be marketed to empty nesters, the entire concept and amenity package is designed primarily to appeal to older, active individuals and couples, primarily those downsizing from large homes in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow that wish to remain in the neighborhood they have known for many years. The large units, very high rents, fewer bedrooms and high levels of personal service included in the project make it more attractive to those wishing to escape the issues and cost of maintaining a large, underutilized home. The apartment concept is also ideal for those looking for a “lock and leave” lifestyle, spending several months a year at other homes in other locations, which is generally a childless demographic.”
Photos and more information forthcoming, stay tuned!