Once that big new H-E-B opened we all knew it was just a matter of time before market forces came in and Montrose Fiesta went out. We tried to prevent it from happening, but it was all for naught. And when we heard that current owner Suzanne Levin was seeking variances seemingly designed solely to make the property more attractive to potential buyers, well we put two and two together and came up depressed. But it wasn’t real. It was an abstraction, like nuclear war, something that might happen but probably wouldn’t. Who would want to buy that property? Who would want to own a grocery store across the street from another grocery store? It didn’t make sense.
But then word came out that the deal was done. The Chronicle took time off from writing about gun crimes and Rick Perry’s quixotic quest to get beaten in a third state to file a report that Lancaster Square, the strip center housing Fiesta, has been purchased by Houston developer Marvy Finger. It didn’t take long for the story to get picked up by the rest of Houston’s media, and with each subsequent report fewer and fewer details emerged. No one knows how much the property was sold for or even when development will start.
The lack of information has led to endless speculation which has led to rumors that because Fiesta knew the property was about to be sold they didn’t even try to renew their lease, a rumor that is demonstrably false because Fiesta’s lease doesn’t run out until 2015. All that’s known about the deal is that Finger wants to take the nearly four acre site back to dirt and then put in a six to eight story Mediterranean inspired mid-rise that will house up to 390 units. Another rumor that has been circulating for the last few weeks is that the proposed development will be multi-use, with first floor commercial space, as of now that remains unconfirmed.
Levin and Finger both told the Chron that they are going to keep mum on the details until the February closing; the reluctance to talk about the nature of the deal means that community members are hard pressed to find out exactly how much was paid for the property and who put together the financing. All Finger has said is that he wants to make “something really beautiful” on the site and until plans and renderings of the proposed building become available Montrose will just have to wait to see if we’re getting a signature building or just another eyesore.