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Houston19514    2157
2 minutes ago, Vy65 said:

 

Not that I can see, but they've had DMN and others doing their work for them, so I don't think they have to. 

 

It does not strike me as something a developer is likely to put on their website (unless and until they are chosen).  And as much as I would love to see all of the Houston proposals and possible proposals, I doubt if a proposal is likely to benefit from publicity in the local paper.  I'm surprised at how much "information" is pouring out in Dallas about the different possible proposals, but that's kind of the way Dallas is.  If I were working on a proposal for a project such as this, I would want to keep my proposal as confidential as possible. We know a LOT about various Dallas proposals, and they, it would seem, know very little about our proposals.  That is to our benefit.

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H-Town Man    1925
Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

Natural bodies of water ARE liabilities, because they're more liable to flooding (especially after Harvey) and a "waterfront view" is not a selling point like it is for residential (and I hate to admit this, but the bayous aren't much to look at). Old warehouses are also a problem, like it or not. Houston's zoning has been pretty lax, but if you look at actual land use, everything has more or less settled out. Commercial has clustered along major roads. Industrial areas have forced out houses. Like clusters around like.

 

It's unrealistic to think that Amazon is going to settle into a "fixer-upper" space without major taxpayer-funded investment, and even the KBR site was a possibility, it doesn't have access to light rail despite being close to downtown, and I thought light rail was half the reason for its justification as being inner loop.

 

Personally, I find Gattis and Slotboom the most keen into the way of how Houston actually works. They don't (not to my knowledge anyway) have these New Urbanist delusions that everything contrary to their idealistic "urbanism" view must be exterminated (the Pierce Elevated and the tunnels come to mind) that so many others do, and they know that Houston is just largely misunderstood rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. To me, that seems like a greater love of the city rather than "Houston needs X to be more like Y" I've seen on this forum sometimes.

 

 

"nothing more than liabilities"

 

The words "nothing more than" in what I stated affect the meaning of the sentence.

 

Edited by H-Town Man

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H-Town Man    1925
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Timoric said:

If they did something near downtown, we would see a downtown Houston rebirth that makes Urban Living Initiative look like a Northline Mall travelling carnival vs Astroworld in its prime and all those shiny emptyish 10,000 units would fill up faster than a North Dakota apartment during the boom.

 

It's hard to imagine a downtown rebirth more startling than the one we've had, but Amazon would take it to another level.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Houston19514    2157
1 hour ago, IronTiger said:

Personally, I find Gattis and Slotboom the most keen into the way of how Houston actually works. They don't (not to my knowledge anyway) have these New Urbanist delusions that everything contrary to their idealistic "urbanism" view must be exterminated (the Pierce Elevated and the tunnels come to mind) that so many others do, and they know that Houston is just largely misunderstood rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. To me, that seems like a greater love of the city rather than "Houston needs X to be more like Y" I've seen on this forum sometimes.

 

 

With respect, anyone who thinks the Astrodome is a legitimate candidate for the Amazon site does not have a clue into how Houston actually works.

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HOUTEX    31

Amen to that. It fundamentally no sense as anything other than an entertainment venue (stadium, park or otherwise).  

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HOUTEX    31
2 hours ago, IronTiger said:

Natural bodies of water ARE liabilities, because they're more liable to flooding (especially after Harvey) and a "waterfront view" is not a selling point like it is for residential (and I hate to admit this, but the bayous aren't much to look at). Old warehouses are also a problem, like it or not. Houston's zoning has been pretty lax, but if you look at actual land use, everything has more or less settled out. Commercial has clustered along major roads. Industrial areas have forced out houses. Like clusters around like.

 

It's unrealistic to think that Amazon is going to settle into a "fixer-upper" space without major taxpayer-funded investment, and even the KBR site was a possibility, it doesn't have access to light rail despite being close to downtown, and I thought light rail was half the reason for its justification as being inner loop.

Au contraire.... (from the Midway East River materials on their website)

 

3yPpcQT.jpg

VAMkSAN.jpg

ckVej2Z.jpg

 

I've been in lots of re-purposed warehouses. They've got their own issues no doubt, but make for a much more interesting building that throwing something brand new up (usually in beige stucco it seems...)

 

The KBR thread linked above points out that the Greater East End Management District has already got a FTA-approve street car loop proposed for the area, connecting the site with the light rail stations. Seems like that would cut down the time to implement a "mass transit" system without the detractors of light rail. 

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Tumbleweed_Tx    1231

hmm.

 

side bar. I need to have a chat with someone tomorrow to do a back-scratching thing for a certain property development company to curry favor so mebbe we can borrow a certain piece of equipment from them occasionally.

yeah, it's semi related to this thread... LOL

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IronTiger    721
5 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

With respect, anyone who thinks the Astrodome is a legitimate candidate for the Amazon site does not have a clue into how Houston actually works.

Mention of the Astrodome and the others came from another blog post. From re-reading it, I don't really think that Slotboom thinks that the Astrodome is a realistic choice. It's a fun thought and the light rail is there, but it's not going to be able to co-exist with the NRG facilities (after all, the shared parking was one of the alleged factors that put the screws to Astroworld)

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H-Town Man    1925
4 hours ago, HOUTEX said:

Au contraire.... (from the Midway East River materials on their website)

 

3yPpcQT.jpg

VAMkSAN.jpg

ckVej2Z.jpg

 

I've been in lots of re-purposed warehouses. They've got their own issues no doubt, but make for a much more interesting building that throwing something brand new up (usually in beige stucco it seems...)

 

The KBR thread linked above points out that the Greater East End Management District has already got a FTA-approve street car loop proposed for the area, connecting the site with the light rail stations. Seems like that would cut down the time to implement a "mass transit" system without the detractors of light rail. 

 

Shield your eyes, folks! A natural body of water! It doesn't even have a decorative fountain feature!

 

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11 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Shield your eyes, folks! A natural body of water! It doesn't even have a decorative fountain feature!

 

 

Buffalo bayou is ugly. However, that's not the issue. Chicago is also pitching Amazon HQ2 on its own ugly river:

 

ct-amazon-related-midwest-2-20170907.thumb.jpg.2e9bc56fd8cf14cb8334bd7c9da47998.jpg

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ori/ct-biz-freedom-center-ryan-ori-20170929-story.html

 

The problem for the old KBR site, is that it too undeveloped when compared to other potential river sites in the US. 

 

The astrodome idea is looking more and more like the best option. 

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H-Town Man    1925

The ugliness in the Chicago River photo above is the broken concrete on the bank, not the river itself. If you go a mile or so northward, you'll see the river and its surroundings look quite nice.

 

The East End of the bayou in Houtex's photos actually looks better than the south branch of the Chicago River, and better than the proposed locations in Dallas (next to Fair Park and next to I-35).

 

 

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Mr.Clean19    76
On 10/3/2017 at 11:28 AM, HOUTEX said:

Sorry in advance HOUTEX but i cant figure out how to delete this reference box in my chat box and it wont let me type anywhere else. So the the liability argument is out the window with the flooding. This property didnt take on water over the last 5 years. Its probably the least risky property in Houston from flooding. The Warehouses and amount of adjacent open land will be re-developed and is essentially an open floor plan for the developers to buy and create what they want. Chicago can compare at a price, technical resource, or ability to expand like Houston can.

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IronTiger    721
18 hours ago, HOUTEX said:

Au contraire.... (from the Midway East River materials on their website)

 

3yPpcQT.jpg

VAMkSAN.jpg

ckVej2Z.jpg

 

 

The first photo shows Buffalo Bayou at the KBR site looking west toward downtown (I was able to determine this via Google Earth), but at a very specific angle. I don't know where the camera is. It has to be off the ground to allow for a vantage point like that, and any buildings are going to be far back enough to see the whole of Houston downtown (including Minute Maid Park, hidden behind the trees) would be visible. And it is too underdeveloped. If Houston wants Amazon to take the KBR site, they would have to (at minimum) have to finish the north side bayou trail. At present, it doesn't connect to the Heights trail, starts just east of McKee Street, went under the Elysian Viaduct (though that section is demolished due to Elysian Viaduct demolition), goes under I-69, and there's another gap just before it goes under the railroad...make that two gaps since about 60 yards of sidewalk were washed out due to Harvey...goes under the railroad and suddenly stops just east of Jensen.

 

The whole HQ2 thing would all demand on what Amazon is looking for. If they just want a sprawling space in a large MSA with a growing area, then The Woodlands or Hockley would be a better choice if the Houston area is chosen. If they're looking for a redevelopment plat that would put them in the inner city, KBR is a viable choice. Based on what Amazon seems to want (and the general corporation preference these days), they want campuses, not tall buildings, which would put Houston at an advantage, over, say, NYC.

 

Putting HQ2 in the Astrodome is probably on par with locating it in College Station-Bryan, that is, a nice thought that you imagine is fantastic and can make a few arguments for before reality hits and you realize how impractical the location is, with that only happening of very powerful people moved heaven and earth to make that happen.

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44 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

 

Putting HQ2 in the Astrodome is probably on par with locating it in College Station-Bryan, that is, a nice thought that you imagine is fantastic and can make a few arguments for before reality hits and you realize how impractical the location is, with that only happening of very powerful people moved heaven and earth to make that happen.

 

The astrodome is the best option from a free incentive point of view for Amazon in Houston. I would prefer downtown, but what free incentives could anyone, private or public, offer to Amazon in downtown Houston that Amazon can't get from another city? The astrodome already has 105 million approved for renovations. That's a great incentive for the corporate welfare sweepstakes of the century. 

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IronTiger    721
6 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

The astrodome is the best option from a free incentive point of view for Amazon in Houston. I would prefer downtown, but what free incentives could anyone, private or public, offer to Amazon in downtown Houston that Amazon can't get from another city? The astrodome already has 105 million approved for renovations. That's a great incentive for the corporate welfare sweepstakes of the century. 

I have a hard time believing $100M will do much for a conversion anywhere close to what Amazon wants. Yeah, I know Rackspace was able to convert Windsor Park Mall into something they could use for about the same price (same size too) but they were able to use the main mall corridors and general layout, whereas the Astrodome would be completely gutted and totally rebuilt, and they're probably going to want their own parking and land as well. The worst outcome would be for the Astrodome to actually be chosen but have it break down because Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation doesn't want to part with the parking lot between NRG Arena and NRG Center. Could you believe if that happened? They'll talk about that one for years.

 

Realistically, the only thing the Astrodome has going for it is light rail access and a fairly centralized (non-suburban) location. Gosh, if only there was some large vacant tract of land near the Astrodome with light rail access.

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HOUTEX    31

Not to be disrespectful here, but the Astrodome site is a non-starter unless you're talking about razing the structure. It's totally inappropriate for an office building and has nothing of note for around it for the population that would inhabit it. 

 

800 Bell/Post HTX and East River are far more conducive candidates. You could say nothing is around East River, but that's as much a positive as a detraction, since everything can be built new and to suite Amazon without the imposition of building around existing improvements. 

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9 minutes ago, HOUTEX said:

Not to be disrespectful here, but the Astrodome site is a non-starter unless you're talking about razing the structure. It's totally inappropriate for an office building...

 

Amazon's first corporate headquarters was in an old government hospital (Pacific Tower) in Seattle. Is an old hospital totally inappropriate for an office building? I'm sure some thought so back then, but Amazon made it work. 

 

 

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HOUTEX    31

No, because it at least has habitable floor plates and windows. 

 

What are you going to do with a 700-foot wide building? Have corridor upon corridor upon corridor of cubicles without windows, or facing into a vacant expanse under a roof? I couldn't begin to imagine the heating and cooling costs for that volume of air. Even Apple's circular building is just a big donut with another bay of windows facing into a green field. 

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43 minutes ago, HOUTEX said:

No, because it at least has habitable floor plates and windows. 

 

What are you going to do with a 700-foot wide building? Have corridor upon corridor upon corridor of cubicles without windows, or facing into a vacant expanse under a roof? 

 

No.  But, If you have 105 million of free money the sky is the limit. The astrodome is 42 million cubic feet of indoor space.  So, I would just build structures inside the dome: kind of like this

 

melbourne-central-shopping.jpg.85059845b747941aa3e09ff3fc7af75b.jpguntitled.png.fac389850410bdbb37afdc65ca35fc7a.png

 

Then, surround the indoor astrodome campus with parks, trails, rock walls, or whatever else millennials deem desirable. Outside the dome you have more free space with the astrodome parking lots which could also be given away for free. 

 

 

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IronTiger    721

I predict that what Amazon wants is a campus, not an office building. That would rule out 800 Bell, and put the advantage of what other cities are offering, basically rehabbed greenfield space. Now, can the Astrodome make a great flagship to a campus? Probably. It would certainly be an interesting (if somewhat impractical) re-use of the building but expecting them to share parking with, say, the Rodeo and other NRG events is wishful thinking.

 

Basically, what is Amazon looking for?

 

If that thing about diversity and mass transit is just to keep small cities out of the running and not actually conducive to the actual in-city location, then they'll probably go for the suburbs. Hockley, Katy, The Woodlands...somewhere like that.

 

If they're looking for a place near the city's core and a redevelopment opportunity, then KBR is a decent site.

 

If they're explicitly looking for downtown, then 800 Bell but also adjacent blocks to make more of a campus, similar to their current Seattle HQ. This would also making parking challenging, but its doable.

 

If they're looking for a place in the city but not suburbs, then Astroworld's site is better. It still has light rail access, and it's right next to the highway.

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ToryGattis    121
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

No.  But, If you have 105 million of free money the sky is the limit. The astrodome is 42 million cubic feet of indoor space.  So, I would just build structures inside the dome: kind of like this

 

melbourne-central-shopping.jpg.85059845b747941aa3e09ff3fc7af75b.jpguntitled.png.fac389850410bdbb37afdc65ca35fc7a.png

 

Then, surround the indoor astrodome campus with parks, trails, rock walls, or whatever else millennials deem desirable. Outside the dome you have more free space with the astrodome parking lots which could also be given away for free. 

 

 

This is really interesting.  Facebook's main HQ building is a massive single-floor open concept building with 430k sq.ft and 2800 employees (and a park on top!).  Can somebody do the sq. footage math on concentric circular floorplates rising inside the Astrodome? (so each higher level has a wider hole in the middle allowing light to the lower floors, and no internal roofs are necessary like in the pics above)  I'll bet it could easily be the 500+k they need to start, with room for new buildings expansion to the south and east towards the old Astroworld site (which might need to become parking for NRG if the parking next to the Astrodome gets converted into a campus).  It could be integrated into a growing TMC expansion to the south to revamp the whole area.  Their urban employees could live along the LRT, and their suburban family employees could have a short commute up 90a/Main St. and 288 (or even a southern rail expansion) from very nice yet affordable southern suburbs - best of both worlds.  They'd have easy access to the convention center for events and even NRG stadium if they want to have a corporate event with all 50,000 employees at once!

 

It is a real advantage that the only signoffs on the whole plan would be the county, the rodeo, and the Texans.  Relatively speaking, that's a pretty small group to get on board.  As long as their parking and space needs are met with offsetting space elsewhere (including potentially the old Astroworld site), I don't think it would be a hard sell.

Edited by ToryGattis

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HOUTEX    31

As if there needed to be more evidence that people in Houston have no clue how to do urban development...

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Houston19514    2157
Posted (edited)

I can't recall a post I've ever made about which I feel as confident as this one:

 

The Astrodome will not become Amazon's headquarters.  Will. Not. Happen.

 

Rodeo

Texans

Offshore Technology Conference

Future Super Bowls

Future NCAA Final Fours and Regional tournaments

Future World Cups 

Texas Bowl

Other events at NRG Stadium and NRG Center

 

All the above make the idea of plopping thousands of Amazon employees in the Astrodome unworkable.  When you talk about plopping additional buildings on the grounds to house all 50,000 employees it becomes a complete laugh-fest. It will not happen. (Or even be seriously proposed by anyone with the least bit of real knowledge about the Astrodome, NRG Park and their operations.)

 

The Astroworld property could be a possibility and I hope it is included in Houston's proposals.  If they want to go for a greenfield site, the Astroworld site would check a lot of boxes.

Edited by Houston19514
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Houston19514    2157
20 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

No.  But, If you have 105 million of free money the sky is the limit. The astrodome is 42 million cubic feet of indoor space.  So, I would just build structures inside the dome:

 

LOL  105 million doesn't go as far as you seem to think it does. 

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