Hundreds of multifamily units planned for site of defunct Houston shopping center

Local developer Barvin bringing a high-end mixed-use project to long-neglected corner in the Braes Heights area

Eric Barvin in front of the defunct shopping center in the Braes Heights and Linkwood area (Barvin, iStock, Google Maps)
Eric Barvin in front of the defunct shopping center in the Braes Heights and Linkwood area (Barvin, iStock, Google Maps)

A new development is underway where a defunct mid-century shopping center once stood in southwest Houston.

Barvin, a Houston-based investment and development firm, has begun demolishing part of the old shopping center that it acquired from Weingarten Realty in 2019, according to the Houston Chronicle. The developer is making way for Stella & Braes, a mixed-use project that will bring apartments and food and beverage options to a long-neglected corner in the Braes Heights and Linkwood area.

Located at the southwest corner of Stella Link Road and South Braeswood Boulevard, the site spans 10 acres in a 1950s-era neighborhood across from the Brays Bayou trail network. The mixed-use development will fill a void of new high-end apartments and retail in the Braes Heights community — with a nod to its mid-century roots, the company says.

Plans for the development include a 310-unit apartment property in the first phase, approximately 25,000 square-feet of dining and retail tenants across several buildings in the second phase, and another 350 apartment units in the third phase. The five-story apartment buildings will have units ranging from 600 to 1,500 square feet and up to three bedrooms.

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Founded by Eric Barvin in 2009, the Houston-based investment and development firm primarily deals in multifamily projects. The Stella & Braes project is the company’s first mixed-use development.

Barvin began tearing down a portion of the shopping center last week and expects to break ground on the apartments this fall with a projected opening date in the summer of 2024, the company said.

Stella & Braes will be funded by private investors, including a significant co-investment from Eric Barvin himself. Barvin’s $950 million portfolio includes 6,500 units across six markets. The company is also developing a 281-unit apartment community on Knight Road, on the southern edge of the Texas Medical Center.

The project is the latest addition to the 50 apartment communities underway across the Houston region totaling more than 13,000 units, according to Houston-based research firm ApartmentData.com.

[Houston Chronicle] — Maddy Sperling