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Real Estate / High-Rises

New Mini Condos to Rise in EaDo

Smaller Living Trend Finally Reaches Houston in a Big Way

BY Faith Nguyen // 11.17.15

We’ve all heard the phrase “bigger is better”, an adage that many Texans embrace. Yet with the future bringing us thinner phones, compact cars and lighter computers, we can’t help but wonder how the mini-trend explosion is affecting our homes.

Enter The Ivy Lofts, a 24-story micro-condo high-rise making its way into the Bayou City, and the first of its kind in Texas.

A micro-unit isn’t just a tiny home. Typically under 500 square feet, every inch of the space is maximized to accommodate a homeowner’s needs. With the help of technology, furniture can convert into different pieces for better utilization, and the storage space is surprising. This compact idea has already spread to cities such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle, and it was just a matter of time until it made its way into Houston.

The Ivy Lofts will sit on a 1.4-acre block in East Downtown acquired by developers Novel Creative Development LLC., a group of investors and doctors from New York City. Powers Brown Architecture is overseeing the design and development, while RE/MAX Inner Loop is involved with the marketing.

It’s “affordable, efficient [and] smart living,” says Lisa Dinh, the public relations director of The Ivy Lofts and a realtor from RE/MAX Inner Loop. “This area has so much potential for growth … it will be convenient to those working in downtown, students in the University area and those needing to travel to the Medical Center … it will help transform EaDo and give it more life.”

With places in the loop slowly rising in price, the option of a micro-condo lets people have an affordable home in a trendy, urban location. People will basically trade location for space. It’s a concept geared toward single millennials.

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The building will have 550 units with floor plans ranging from 300 to 450 square-foot lofts and 600 to 700 square-foot condos. It will also feature eight penthouse-style units that range from 820 to 942 square feet. Prices will start from $119,000, and units that are 700 square feet and larger will start at $375,000.

“There’s no product on the market that can get you into town at the mid $100k price point,” Dinh says. “It would be more affordable to buy a micro condo than to rent an apartment in town. Your mortgage payment is even less than half of your monthly rent.”

Amenities will include a resort style pool, multiple green courtyard spaces, an air lounge (which includes a party room and conference room), a dog park on the ninth floor, a glass walled fitness center with a yoga room and a downtown view, and first-floor retail and restaurants for residents.

The lofts also plans to maximize space with “unique transformable furniture such as convertible Murphy beds that become couches, desk or even dining tables.” Dinh says. There will also be sliding walls to utilize for different purposes. “Your bedroom can transform into a large loft living area for a small party… the possibilities are endless.”

A groundbreaking on the new mini-condos building is scheduled for June with a projected 2018 completion date.

If the micro-unit concept works, Dinh says, the developer plans to build two larger projects in Houston, “building more than 1,200 condo units with even more ‘affordable’ price.”

Some proceeds from each sale at the Ivy Lofts will be donated to the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Charitable Fund and the Assist the Officer Foundation. One unit will also be donated to the Texas Sentinels Foundation.

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