Hundreds of multi-family units planned for site of defunct Houston mall

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

A new development is underway where an old mid-century mall once stood in southwest Houston.

Barvin, a Houston-based investment and development firm, has begun demolishing part of the old mall 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 dining options to a long-neglected corner of the Braes Heights and Linkwood area.

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

Development plans include a 310-unit apartment property in the first phase, approximately 25,000 square feet of restaurant and retail tenants in multiple buildings in the second phase, and another 350 apartments 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.

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

Barvin began demolishing part of the mall last week and plans to open the apartments this fall with an expected opening date of summer 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 at the southern edge of the Texas Medical Center.

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

[Houston Chronicle] -Maddy Sperling

Edwin S. Wolfe