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Posted 05/24/2017

Luxury condo project in Upper Kirby approaches presale finish line

Atlanta developer is nearing its presale requirement for its second Houston project: The Giorgetti.

Paul Takahashi, Reporter, Houston Business Journal

Stolz Partners recently broke ground on its first Houston project, The Sophie at Bayou Bend, which met its presale requirement in less than a year. 

Now, the Atlanta developer is nearing its presale requirement for its second Houston project: The Giorgetti. 

Named after the high-end Italian furniture maker, The Giorgetti is set to rise at the northeast corner of Steel Street and Virginia Avenue, just south of the West Ave mixed-use development, in Upper Kirby. 

The seven-story, 32-unit luxury condo project is about 45 percent presold, and is expected to start construction by the end of the year, said Jacob Sudhoff, founder and CEO of Houston-based Sudhoff Cos., which is marketing the building. 

Developers must meet a high threshold before breaking ground on condominium projects. Unlike apartment or single-family home developments where speculation is rampant, condos require presales before construction can begin. Most lenders require condo developers to collect a 10 percent nonrefundable deposit on at least half of their units before extending construction financing.

The Giorgetti offers two- to three-bedroom units averaging about 3,000 square feet of living space as well as between 500 to 2,000 square feet of terrace space. The building will also have four penthouse units boasting 4,500 square feet of living space. Prices average just under $2 million per unit. 

Buyers in The Giorgetti have ranged from working professionals to empty nesters and retirees, looking for an easy-to-maintain, lock-and-leave lifestyle near restaurants and amenities in Upper Kirby, Sudhoff said. 

Buyers were attracted to The Giorgetti because of its collaboration with the 118-year-old Italian furniture maker, Sudhoff said. The Giorgetti is the first luxury-branded condo planned in Houston. 

Developers nationally have partnered with luxury designer labels in recent years to lure wealthy and international buyers to their condos. Miami boasts several luxury-branded condo projects with names like Fendi Chateau Residences, Residences by Armani/Casa and Porsche Design Tower. 

Will Stolz, the founder and owner of Stolz Partners, admits he was initially skeptical of the concept of luxury-branded condo projects. The Giorgetti is the furniture company’s first condo project as well. 

“I wasn’t a fan at first, but once I understood what Giorgetti would bring to the project, I was sold,” Stolz said. “It’s a real collaboration.” 

The Giorgetti, designed by Houston architect Mirador Group and Giorgetti, will feature a contemporary glass, stucco and masonry exterior, inspired by Giorgetti’s origami-style buffet table. 

Stolz Partners and Sudhoff Cos. also plan to incorporate Giorgetti-designed furniture in the lobby and common areas, as well as Giorgetti’s special line of kitchen and bathroom cabinets inside the units. 

“It’s a completely curated space,” Sudhoff said. 

To attract buyers to the luxury-branded project, Stolz Partners and Sudhoff Cos. flew condo buyers to tour Giorgetti’s 100-year-old factory in Milan, where they build high-end furniture, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops. 

The trip helped buyers understand the collaboration and the uniqueness of the project, Sudhoff said. Giorgetti could have designed its first condo project in fashion hubs like New York City, London or Paris, but decided to build in Houston — a real coup for the Bayou City, he added. 

“Houston is a city coming on the world stage,” Sudhoff said. “This partnership proves it.”