Main Street high-rise gets big tax incentives: The $67 million SkyHouse is set to rise BY WHITNEY RADLEY Culture Map 11.15.12 | 10:14 am News broke last week that Novare Group, an Atlanta-based developer, was partnering with two other firms on plans to build a 24-story, 336-unit high-rise apartment at 1625 Main Street — but only if the City of Houston gave it a significant tax incentive to do so. Well, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority board voted to approve a residential incentive plan for the developer Tuesday afternoon, despite the fact that the project lies outside of boundaries for the Downtown Living Initiative Chapter 380 passed by Houston City Council in August. That program was meant to entice developers to the area with a $15,000 per unit rebate in hopes of doubling the number of downtown residences by 2016, with an incentive for the first 2,500 residential units under contract. Downtown Living Initiative director TataLease Derby tells CultureMap that the project qualifies, instead, under the TIRZ #3 Downtown Living Chapter 380 Program, a similar initiative that also allows for a $15,000 per unit rebate. “Everybody’s very excited about the project,” Bob Eury, executive director of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, says. “It’s the first project of the Downtown Living Initiative, and exactly what we hope to see more of.” The $67 million SkyHouse Houston is anticipated to appeal to young singles who want to live in the city, with mostly one-bedroom and studio floor plans priced around $1,600 per month. Amenities would include a fitness center and a pool, plus parking in an adjacent garage. Novare was given the go-ahead to proceed with a similar SkyHouse project on Rainey Street in Austin this September. The Downtown Living Initiative Chapter 380 incentive isn’t retroactive, so it won’t be available to Marvy Finger and his luxury apartments in the shadow of Minute Maid Park (and on the site of the Ben Milam Hotel, which is slated for implosion on Dec. 9). It will include, though, the buyer of a “premier downtown block” offered up by Houston First Corporation on Wednesday. The 110,000-square-foot tract is bounded by Capitol, Rusk and Crawford Street and Avenida de las Americas, across from the future site of a forthcoming convention center hotel. Prospective buyers, queue up. If you would like to pre-lease a unit call Margie Kaplan at 281-463-6365 for more information.