Bluebonnet Studios Tour

Bluebonnet Studios, S. Lamar & Bluebonnet Ln. (Photo: Ray Collins)

Foundation Communities will complete yet another affordable housing project this fall. After a commercial development deal combining three properties at Bluebonnet Ln. and S. Lamar Blvd. fell through, Chapman Motors volunteered that they wished to sell their property to Foundation Communities. The South Lamar Neighborhood Association was a strong supporter of this project based on their previous positive relationship with Foundation Communities leading to the conversion of the old Ramada Inn on Ben White Blvd. to the Skyline Terrace Apartments. This was fortunate, because an adjacent property owner endangered the project’s construction timeline and thus the deadlines that are part of its funding mechanism.

Neighborhood association members were on the tour with me, so I got to hear directly what I had previously heard several times removed. When the group approved Skyline Terrace, there was one member who was adamantly opposed. When considering Bluebonnet Studios, he stood up to address the meeting and told them he had been wrong in opposing Skyline Terrace and that none of his fears about deterioration of the neighborhood had materialized. The person who testified to the Board of Adjustment about the foolishness of the objection to how trash disposal was going to be handled was present on the tour. She joked about having the concrete tower on the left in the picture above, part of the disposal mechanism, named after her.

Tour Group (Photo: Foundation Communities)

Since I knew Foundation Communities had faced even tighter deadlines with their just previous project downtown, Capital Studios, I asked Walter Moreau, Executive Director, who his goto person with the city was now that Mike Martinez is no longer in office. He replied that District 5 Councilmember Ann Kitchen and her Senior Policy Advisor, Ken Craig, had been very helpful. Former and present councilmembers were essential to move these projects through city processes on which they ran aground even when city employees desired to have them succeed.

Peachy Myers (left), Director of Community Engagement, Foundation Communities, looking very much in charge of getting us outfitted with hard hats and vests for the tour. (Photo: Ray Collins)
Walter Moreau, Executive Director, Foundation Communities, going over what we were seeing in relation to the project’s plan. (Photo: Ray Collins)
A row of 400 square foot studio apartments on the second floor. The materials cost of the steel framing is higher, but the time saved during construction makes the overall cost lower than wood framing. (Photo: Ray Collins)
The top of the concrete tower that is part of the trash disposal mechanism. (Photo: Ray Collins)
Looking north across Bluebonnet Ln. (Photo: Ray Collins)