HOUSTON (February 22, 2019) – Urban developer Oxberry Group, with a passion for historical preservation, has taken on an objectively, significant slice of Houston real estate at 1110 West Gray, gleaned the building’s past and is transforming it into Rêve at Montrose for the city’s future. Unless you lived in Houston prior to 1958, you most likely know this slice at the intersection of Montrose Boulevard and West Gray as Gibbs Boat Company. Nevertheless, it was originally Quality Laundry built 1932.
Oxberry Group has an affection for venerable inner loop buildings, specifically in high-density urban settings, and recently received approval by the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission for the building to be designated a Houston Landmark. “We are restoring the exterior of this building to its original Art Deco design,” Pejman “PJ” Jamea, principal of Oxberry Group said.
The building will be a two-story structure with a clock tower dividing the old and the new structures with 17,000 square feet on the ground level and 6,500 square feet on the second. The 1932 Quality Laundry marquee will be replicated to look like it has always been there at the original building’s entrance facing West Gray.
Quality Laundry’s original footprint was an 11,700-square-foot brick Art Deco-style building, enveloped in stucco cladding and skillfully demonstrated the architectural shift from pre-war to post-war design styles and trends. After the Gibbs family bought the building in 1958 for a burgeoning boat business, they adapted the building for their needs and to an architectural style which was common in Houston in the 1960s. But many of the extensive 1960s renovations removed or hid nearly all of the original stylistic details during the conversion process. Once the largest Grady-White dealer in the country, Gibbs Boat Showroom sold its last boat in 2012 and the showroom closed in 2014.
Oxberry Group purchased the building in 2017. “Our first approach when it comes to redeveloping historic, inner-city structures is figuring out how to resurrect the building.” PJ said. To figure this out, they removed a section of the 1968 slipcover revealing the original fan above the front entry as well as the flanking fluted pilasters and remnants of the original stucco finish. “When we saw this on the south elevation facing West Gray, we knew we needed to bring this back to life.”
This project is not for the faint of heart. “We are partnering with a team who has a passion for quality and timeless design and development and welcome the challenges that this time-honored building brings.”
Those partners are Tipps Architecture and general contractor Arch-Con® Corporation. Tipps Architecture recently designed the restoration of 1000 West Gray, the retail building across the street from the Rêve at Montrose and Arch-Con has restored the nationally registered Stowers Furniture building into the Aloft Houston Downtown and is currently revitalizing the storied Palace Bowling Lanes into Southside Commons.
The first floor is fully leased with the second floor available for medical or professional, service-oriented tenants. Josh Jacobs and Brooks Shanklin with Edge Realty are the leasing agents. Wallis State Bank did the financing for the building and the building shell is expected to be complete early summer 2019.