New Redevelopment Project Planned for East Montrose

By | November 17, 2015

site plan, courtesy Gensler

Most people are familiar with Gratifi, Cuchara and Max’s Wine Dive. Now the owner of those venues, Fred Sharifi, founder of SFT Investments, is planning an impressive new project, redeveloping a number of nearby commercial properties with new retail, office parking space. He is hoping to bring in some daytime activities to balance out the area’s evening crowd. The preliminary site plan (above) and three-dimensional concept (below) show the existing restaurant/bar buildings (A and B) and the prospective new structures in the early stages of the new concept. Fairview runs east and west through the center with north/south streets Morgan, Taft, Mason and Genesee depicted from left to right.

Among the proposed buildings are three mixed-use structures. One will be located at 2302-2308 Genesee (E), currently the location of some older apartments and Meteor Lounge. 10,000 square feet of office and retail space on the ground floor are planned, with a 5-6 story parking garage above, which Sharifi hopes will alleviate some of the parking pressures in the area. The second construction project will be situated on the southwest corner of Mason and Fairview (F). The structure will include 7,450 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and 10,500 square feet of office space on the second floor, which will overhang the retail space at the rear of the building and provide a covered drive off Mason leading to surface parking, and an outlet on Hyde Park.

3-D concept, courtesy Gensler

The other two buildings (C & D) being planned are as follows. Building D on the northeast corner of Mason and Fairview will be a 2-3 story, 10,000 – 15,000 square foot mixed use retail, showroom, and event facility.  Building C will be a small 1-story 1,000 square foot structure in the corner of the parking lot next to Cuchara and Max’s Wine Dive, envisioned as a dessert spot, flower shop, or ice-cream parlor. Sharifi is contracting with the well-known Houston architectural firm Gensler to undertake the designs of all four buildings, with engineering and design work expected to take close to four months, and a planned start date in late August or September 2016.

Sharif is no stranger to developing restaurant and retail space. Born and raised in Tehran, he came to the U.S. in 1969 to attend the University of Texas in Austin, where he did his undergraduate and graduate studies in Petroleum Engineering.  After graduation, the Iranian revolution derailed his plans to return to his native country. Instead, Sharifi went into the restaurant and real estate business, opening the first Hungry’s in Montrose in 1975.

Since then, Hungry’s Bistro served diners for over 40 years in the Rice and Memorial neighborhoods. His real estate portfolio includes over 30 inner loop commercial and residential properties. One of his most recent developments houses Common Bond, the award-winning cafe at Dunlavy and Westheimer. On the residential side, he is currently developing a plan for four-story luxury town homes on Portland Blvd behind Museum Tower on Montrose.

5 responses to “New Redevelopment Project Planned for East Montrose”

  1. Jennifer Gangeri

    This is great news!!! I’ve had some great times at Meteor, but this development is great for the neighborhood. I own property near by and couldn’t be more excited about this. When is completion slated?

  2. Devin Robinson

    Our office did the work for Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar and the street/driveway improvements. It is our hope to work with a City of Houston office (P&D / PW&E) to get better road conditions and amenities.

    Houston has a great pool of architectural talent, some of the smaller offices doing great work are underutilized. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our future plans with Mr. Sharifi and the Team at Gensler, to build a more cohesive and entertaining environment at this bustling intersection.

  3. david Guerrero

    Hello my name is David Chef/ownerof Andes cafe located on Eado (East Downtown) and my lese about to exp[ire in december 2016 i would like to know what kind of spaces do you have available an also please let me know when this project its going to be redayto operate.

    Thank you so much

  4. Matthew Montes

    Great news for east montrose, but that area desperately needs some infrastructure upgrades to the road and sidewalks, landscaping, etc. hopefully this will spur the city and the montrose triz to allocate some funds to this neglected stretch of fairview.

  5. Tristan Durham

    seems great, love it all except for that parking lot around building c. I wish that could go away and maybe be replaced with some green space or another building. We need to get rid of all these front facing parking lots they’re making montrose ugly.

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District provided services such as safety patrols by off-duty HPD officers, graffiti abatement, trash pick-up, maintenance of esplanades, among other services outlined in the Districts’ Assessment Plan, that are supplemental to services provided by the City of Houston, had been reduced in Mid-November and ceased completely as of December 11. The District had to cease the services due to unpaid assessments from some of the commercial property owners within the District. Please direct questions regarding the cessation of services to Executive Director, Ben Brewer at BBrewer@MontroseDistrict.org. We are committed to helping our neighborhood remain the safe, vibrant and attractive place to live and do business and would like to hear from you on how we can continue to work together in this effort.