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609 Main at Texas: Hines Next Downtown Tower

3061 posts in this topic

Here's a picture of the Texas Tower, which is the only building on that block. Phone pics were taken from a 3rd floor Magnolia Hotel restroom. B)

Oh well, I don't know how to attach the files.

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Ignoring tops, and ignoring interiors - which I can't speak about any more than capnmc can - just compare something as simple as its windows to what you see of Chase Center across the street. Besides rising on vertical folds, the openings in the older building are individually upright, but in Chase Center they're black oblong (horizontal) slabs. Could be futuristic mausolea for all we are able to relate to them. Mirroring the face entirely (MainPlace, etc) or stretching a facile grid up the thing like pantyhose (1000 Main, the rest of downtown Houston) are no more suited for acknowledging their function as places where people are spending millions of hours a year in close working proximity... All [of the recent strategies] are unsuited except maybe for being a bleak commentary on how forgettable and overstreamlined we have made the time we spend in such places. To inhabit a place is the most we can do for it, can say for it (since additive personal modification is NOT allowed, the more the place is supposedly "worth", and it seems all the world's an investment property). These new places ought to make that process dignified, but they don't.

OK, so you're critical of abstraction which is not inherently meaningful as well as repetition and oversimplicity.

It's easy to be critical. But what do you want (bearing in mind that crazy ____ tends to cost lots of money)?

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From today's Chron...

Another Main parcel

When Hines announced plans last year to build MainPlace, its 46-story glass tower under construction downtown, it also said the company was looking to buy another block nearby for possibly a second new building.

Though the Houston-based real estate firm isn't discussing plans, it has finalized the acquisition of the parcel on Main Street between Texas and Capitol.

It's the site where developer Tracy Suttles was for years floating a high-rise condo building called the Shamrock Tower.

The project was supposed to have been completed in 2006 as downtown's first new residential high-rise in more than 20 years.

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I kind of like the blue glass... Discovery Tower, MainPlace, the Secret Tower. Altogether they should change up the look of DT a little bit, viewed from the East at least.

It can be like Picasso's Blue Period.

Edited by wernicke

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I kind of like the blue glass... Discovery Tower, MainPlace, the Secret Tower. Altogether they should change up the look of DT a little bit, viewed from the East at least.

It can be like Picasso's Blue Period.

I suppose your right. They are all surrounded by Historic tan colored Buildings, might as well try and keep the new ones the same.

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I suppose your right. They are all surrounded by Historic tan colored Buildings, might as well try and keep the new ones the same.

I think that this is related to the LEEDS certification that all the new buildings are gaining. Blue is very efficient for the amount of light it allows vs. the amount of heat that it allows.

Edited by livincinco

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I think that this is related to the LEEDS certification that all the new buildings are gaining. Blue is very efficient for the amount of light it allows vs. the amount of heat that it allows.

I have been told the same.

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I think that this is related to the LEEDS certification that all the new buildings are gaining. Blue is very efficient for the amount of light it allows vs. the amount of heat that it allows.
I have been told the same.

Soooo.....Blue is the new Green?

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I think that this is related to the LEEDS certification that all the new buildings are gaining. Blue is very efficient for the amount of light it allows vs. the amount of heat that it allows.

Is that true? I really just thought it was current fashion, nothing more. I would imagine the energy efficiency of glass would be more related to the thickness and reflexivity than the color.

Soooo.....Blue is the new Green?

So they've been saying...

Blue is the new green from Autoblog

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Is that true? I really just thought it was current fashion, nothing more. I would imagine the energy efficiency of glass would be more related to the thickness and reflexivity than the color.

So they've been saying...

Blue is the new green from Autoblog

I'm sure that fashion is a big part of it. Anyway, I attached a link on window glazing from the dept. of energy website that references color tinting. This is what I checked before I posted the original comment. Curious to hear from industry insiders...

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_h...m/mytopic=13410

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Another parking garage at a critical downtown intersection. Exciting.

Is it possible they're only talking about the garage below the office tower portion since the garage entrances is what would affect the LRT, not the office building itself and it's occupants? That's what I'd be thinking/hoping.

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Is it possible they're only talking about the garage below the office tower portion since the garage entrances is what would affect the LRT, not the office building itself and it's occupants? That's what I'd be thinking/hoping.

From the sound of it they appear to be talking about the use of an entire block, which I can't imagine would be all garage -- especially across the street from the Chase garage.

This tidbit was interesting...

"The LRT track will most likely be constructed prior to the construction of the

proposed building and thus it will be incumbent upon the proposed building

contractor to coordinate with METRO

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From the sound of it they appear to be talking about the use of an entire block, which I can't imagine would be all garage -- especially across the street from the Chase garage.

This tidbit was interesting...

"The LRT track will most likely be constructed prior to the construction of the

proposed building and thus it will be incumbent upon the proposed building

contractor to coordinate with METRO's System Safety Department during

the building's construction. Additionally, pedestrian circulation may have to

be diverted to the opposite side of the street."

I did not realize all comments from 249-256 were regarding that one Hines project. This at the very least cements the idea that something was brewing.

gallery_723_64_99325.jpg

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anyone got a sniff on what's goin on with this?

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No... it seems to have dropped off the radar... since it looks like things are looking up again, perhaps this is back in the works.

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As I was reading the following article I was thinking about this project. Does anyone have any updates on it? Hopefully this is the project that Hines is referring to as he talks about a vibrant downtown. Hines really needs to tackle a mix use project and do it well to validate these sentiments. His key points are in bold.

Beacon of Inspiration

For more than 50 years, Gerald Hines has been a leading light in

real estate development

Growing up during the Great Depression in Gary, Ind., where his father worked in what was then one of the world's largest steel plants, Gerald Hines could see the skyline of Chicago, just two dozen miles up the curving shoreline of Lake Michigan. Once, on a family trip into the Windy City, the young Hines saw the famous Wrigley Building, its top lit with a great beacon visible from miles around. "I said to myself, some day I'd like to build one of those," he recalls.

And build he did. His Houston-based holding company, known as Hines, has developed skyscrapers and mixed-use projects across the United States and throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Hines still serves as chairman of the 53-year-old company he founded, which controls real estate assets — including publicly traded investment vehicles called REITs — valued at more than $25 billion.

Even with his Texas-sized success, however, Hines is self-effacing, the opposite of a flamboyant mogul like Donald Trump. Trained as an engineer, Hines is more at home with a slide rule than a microphone. He has commissioned some of the world's top architects, most notably Philip Johnson — himself a flashy architectural provocateur — as well as Cesar Pelli, I. M. Pei, Robert A. M. Stern, and William Pedersen, among others.

"Hines recognizes both the civic and monetary value of great architecture," says Stephen Fox, a Houston architectural historian. "And his training as an engineer means he understands the details of building."

After serving in the Army during World War II and then graduating from Purdue University, Hines accepted a job in Houston in the late 1940s — just as a postwar boom, driven by oil, was gathering speed in the city. "It was the frontier, the place where things were happening," he says.

Hines' idea for conquering this frontier was to develop real estate. He opened a small office in 1957, but his breakout moment came in the mid-1960s when land about seven miles southwest of downtown Houston became available for a shopping mall. Architect Gyo Obata, of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, was already working with retailing legend Stanley Marcus on a new department store for the site. Hines convinced Marcus to make the new Neiman-Marcus store an anchor tenant for what would become The Galleria Houston, a development that had a profound impact on American retailing.

"We used the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II as the model," Obata recalls, referring to the legendary 19th-century glass-covered shopping and commercial arcade in Milan, Italy, widely considered one of the world's great interior spaces.

Opened in 1970, The Galleria Houston was an instant hit, not only with shoppers, but also with aficionados of great architecture. It featured a skylight that spanned the entire central space, just like its namesake in Milan, as well as cafés, restaurants, elegant shops, and a central skating rink. To this day it forms the hub of the Galleria/Post Oak area, often called Houston's second downtown.

Beginning in the 1970s, Hines collaborated with the some of world's top skyscraper architects. Philip Johnson designed the twin-towered trapezoidal Pennzoil Place, hailed by the New York Times as a "dramatic and beautiful and important building." By the mid-1980s, Hines was commissioning buildings in Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami. In the 1990s, his company began expanding into Europe and Asia.

Hines turned over the reins to his son, Jeffrey C. Hines, who became president in 1990 and took on the additional title of CEO in 2008. While maintaining Houston as his home base, these days the senior Hines also spends time in homes in London and Cap d'Antibes, in the south of France. He remains passionately involved in Houston life. He endowed the Gerald Hines School of Architecture at the University of Houston and a professorship in real estate development at Rice University. He also uses his substantial local influence to promote a more urban and sustainable downtown for the Bayou City.

"Houston is going to be more of a 24-hour place," he predicts. "A downtown that closes at 6 p.m. is awful."

Hines is proud that most of the buildings he's developed remain in the company's portfolio. He expresses a special fondness for Williams Tower, part of the Galleria complex and the tallest building in Houston outside downtown. When conceiving the tower, Hines and architect Johnson chose to place a shining beacon at the apex — similar to the one on the Wrigley Building beacon in Chicago, which had inspired Hines decades before.

"Our beacon is visible from miles around," Hines says proudly.

— James McCown

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This is not the right time to be starting another large project downtown, that's for sure.

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That's going to be a hot corner, the intersection of the Red Line and the East End line. (Capitol @ Main)

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Maybe it's nothing, but I did see a surveyor at Main and Texas with the equipment pointed at this lot. My hope is that it had something to do with this project! Otherwise it may just have to do with the East End/Main Street LRT connection (which seems more likely).

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This is not the right time to be starting another large project downtown, that's for sure.

Why not? By the time a large project is completed, the economy will potentially be in a completely different place. If you can obtain the financing, this could be a great time to start a project.

Edited by livincinco
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Why not? By the time a large project is completed, the economy will potentially be in a completely different place. If you can obtain the financing, this could be a great time to start a project.

If you can obtain financing, which is the problem these days. Developers have lists of projects down to the floor, but insurance companies, sovereign funds, pensions, etc., aren't forking much of anything over to pay for them, and developers rarely pay cash.

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