H-Town Man

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H-Town Man last won the day on May 12 2015

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  1. Root Park has some amazing trees. Too bad it doesn't have any sidewalks around its edge, at least on this side. Wonder if they got taken away when La Branch St was expanded to a freewayesque 5 lanes. I think I-45 downtown is only 4 lanes per side.
  2. This looks good. Pretty much all they do there at UST is just kick ass, architecturally speaking. Of course, the gardens that are currently on that lot (at least as of the latest google streetview) are also quite pleasant. Hopefully we don't get too much more development around the Menil, and they can keep the traffic on West Alabama/Graustark and off Sul Ross. Less is more over there, in general.
  3. All very good points, and I would also point out that on-street parking reduces the amount of paving and thus reduces flooding over the long term.
  4. I guess when you put a bunch of soil on top of a garage, it settles and shifts a bit more than if you just built a pond on ground that had been there a long time. Hopefully they can hire an engineer and get this right.
  5. I'm sure Shorenstein still has those plans officially on the books, but I don't think it's going to happen.
  6. Flipping the Exxon building will help the overall vacancy rate but not the Class A vacancy rate, which is what developers look at. And converting it to residential might slow the pipeline of new residential construction, although it would let people live downtown at a lower price point. Might be popular among Rice students and Med Center residents. One of the few great things about the downturn though is that it saved that building from having its style and history erased.
  7. I hope they get a tenant and build, but I don't think we should read too much into their decision to build a parking garage. The demand for parking is incredible and it makes oodles of sense to build a garage there. Freestanding garages are sprouting all over downtown Houston, as well as downtown Dallas. Also helps them deal with holding costs over a long hold.
  8. Holy smokes, that could have cut a person in half. How the hell does that happen, unless somebody drives a forklift into the window?
  9. I thought their new construction was more in the Uptown submarket? We've seen Skanska go ahead with a building with just a quarter of the space leased, but that was a unique situation where they had invested so much in demo, and already had a foundation poured. I am skeptical that we will see a procession of buildings going up with only a fraction of space leased in each.
  10. Costar's mid-year report is out... downtown Houston has had almost 600,000 SF of Class A negative absorption this year, with a vacancy rate at 17%. Houston as a whole has its highest office vacancy since 1999. Would be a miracle if this building happened. That being said, for some reason Chicago has been able to build a steady stream of Class A+ office towers over the past 15 years despite vacancy hovering around 14% the whole time. I'd guess that is the result of the Class A+ market being a bit unique and hard to measure, as well as Chicago being a destination for foreign investment. Not sure if Houston could pull off something like that. I wonder if at some point this block could be considered for hotel/residential, with maybe a small office component, and of course retail. As the neighborhood takes off with the influx of new residents, this could start to look attractive.
  11. Swamplot says this is a rendering of the "imagined hotel" from 2015, long before Equinox got involved. Although the small first floor plan shown on Swamplot (that's actually from Equinox) argues that the building should be quite slender, and thus tall. Fingers crossed.
  12. Should be pretty clear from my previous comments that my interest in this goes well beyond just wanting to impress guests. Although image to outsiders is an area where Houston can certainly improve, and benefit itself in the process.
  13. Who said "exactly like"?
  14. Since this thread is moving in the direction of self-sharing, I will say that my idea of a walkable neighborhood is something like I had living in Budapest. If we were cooking dinner and my wife said, "We should have wine," I could run downstairs, go a block down the street, grab a bottle of wine at the little grocery, and be back in 5 minutes. Or if we woke up Saturday morning and there was nothing for breakfast, we could cross the street in our sweatpants, get some stuff at the little bakery, and be back inside before the water for the coffee had boiled. I guess you can somewhat approximate this downtown, in Rice Village, maybe a few other places to some degree. It is definitely brewing in Midtown. Cue the "This is Houston, not Budapest" responses....