Major development put on hold

November 14, 2008 5:19:16 PM PST
An area that was billed to be a new retail center is now falling flat. The developer is postponing work after a long battle to secure the property in Rice Village. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

City council had even approved the closing of a street for the development But it's all in limbo.

When Joe Ledvina saw the building across from his home torn down, he was hopeful it would soon be replaced by a high end mixed use development.

"We were disappointed because we thought it would bring some nice things in the area, like a grocery store," he said.

But the stores and condos were never built and just this week, developers for the project called 'Sonoma' put it on indefinite hold, telling us over the phone they couldn't get the financing and there's no timeline as to when they'll restart the project.

"I'm just very sad for what this means to both the neighborhood as well as for our economy, both locally and nationally," said Houston Council Member Ann Clutterbuck.

Clutterbuck is especially disappointed because the city agreed to sell a portion of Bolsover Street to the developers. The proposal was controversial last year. Now, that street is closed off. The building that housed several local businesses have been torn down. Yet, with no immediate improvement plan, their hope for a thriving neighbor is dashed.

"It's going to be quite a contrast looking at that vacant lot and I hope someone can do something to develop it because it is an eyesore now," said homeowner Woody Densen.

The developers didn't want to go on camera, but did tell us they're trying to come up with some type of timeline, but it's likely to take at least several years. But Clutterbuck says she's working with the developers to somehow improve the vacant lot so it's not such an eyesore

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