- Jon Anderson, Candy's Dirt

Even sitting on a beach chair in North Africa, I felt this. A few days ago (hey, I’m on vacation), a 53,000-square-foot McKinney Avenue parcel lifted its skirt to the market.  I phrase it that way because 2523 McKinney has an asking price of $34 million … for 1.216712 acres.

Good lord, you could buy Walnut Place for that.

We’re talking about four lots owned by OR Asset Holdings that are being marketed as one development plot. OR Holdings is Oscar Renda, who purchased three of the lots in May 2010, picking up the final one in November 2013. The lots are:

  • 2523 McKinney; home to Nickel & Rye
  • 2533 McKinney; home to Fat Rabbit
  • 2609 Routh; Parking
  • 2615 Routh; home to Pilates Methodology (last acquired)

The parcel is already somewhat enclosed with an office building to the south, the Gables and Whole Foods across the street and the (unloved by me) One Uptown apartments. Call it the McKinney McCanyon that’s far from complete.

The guy who brought it together and is marketing it is Mike Wells of Wells Realty and Wells Asset Management. If it’s multi-family, Wells and crew have been buying it, selling it and managing it for a few decades now. I reached out to Wells and for some added background on what seems to be the hottest of trial balloons — call it $28 million per acre or $641.50 per square foot — for DIRT.

I’m going to go out on a limb and figure the coming high-rise will have ground-floor restaurants. After all, removing hipster-y restaurants isn’t what Uptowners want anymore than they (OK, me) want a Fogo de Chao (but Circo, pencil me in). But I fear the likes of Nickel and Rye, even if they became Dollar and Rye, couldn’t afford the rents that’ll be charged.

Uptown is replacing grassroots vibe with canned, corporate vibe. Will residents start noticing?