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Hardy Yards Development

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KinkaidAlum    2093

Wow. That's MASSIVE.

The scale model is kinda scary but the renderings from street level are nice.

If this thing gets up, even at half the size, it would be HUGE for the near northside.

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NewMND    0

Wow, that thing is a lot bigger than I thought it would be, I guess just looking at the empty rail yard, it was hard to visualize. Is this a serious proposal, or a dream pie in the sky type thing?

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Semi-pro,

You need to be careful posting such things. It risks interrupting the professional whiners from their ritual of crying about everything that's wrong with Houston.

Then again, they could use this as an opportunity cry about how "long" it's taking this to come about when every other city's shuttling these things out left and right. In fact, at some point, I expect a picture of some massive development in Phoenix, Fayetteville, AR or Tucumcari, NM that, as usual, puts Houston "to shame."

Tick, tick, tick...

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Subdude    1281

I don't think any final configuration has been determined for Hardy Yards, so these are just renderings rather than a plan at this point.

Bizjournal article:

December 19, 2005

Austin firm wheels into real estate action with acquisition of downtown rail yards

Jennifer Dawson

An Austin-based company has staked out a claim close to the flurry of real estate activity in transit.

Cypress Real Estate Advisors last month bought 46 acres worth of old railroad yards just north of downtown for a redevelopment project.

The company acquired the Hardy Yards property from Avi Ron for an undisclosed amount. Sources peg the sales price in the $28 million to $30 million range.

John Kiltz, a Cypress principal, says proximity to downtown and the prospect of major transit improvements nearby attracted the firm to the site across the railroad tracks from land recently purchased by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

There are no initial plans to joint venture with Metro on the site, Kiltz says, but the two parties have talked about the area's future.

"We don't have any type of agreement with them," Kiltz says. "Because (our site) is so large, we can create our own world."

The developer will likely seek out joint venture partners to develop portions of the property. Kiltz says midrise residential buildings are a possibility, but retail development probably wouldn't work.

"We have a strong bias toward doing residential there," says Kiltz.

The Hardy Yards site requires substantial environmental remediation work that will take several months before redevelopment can begin.

Kiltz says development could start in about two years following the environmental work.

Meanwhile, land planner Elkus Manfredi Architects has been hired to help determine the best use for the land. Boston-based Elkus Manfredi has done such high-end projects as Victory in Dallas and Time Warner Center in New York.

A tax increment reinvestment zone has been proposed for the area, but that designation is in limbo. The Cypress redevelopment is not contingent on the TIRZ status, Kiltz says.

"We bought our property without needing the benefit of the TIRZ," Kiltz says.

Link

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TheNiche    969

I've closely watched the plans as they've unraveled for this site. Prior renderings showed considerably less ambitious plans, but these are completely new, albeit not entirely unexpected. Given the 'Grand Central Station' concept that is planned, there really couldn't be a better spot for new office space than in this development. They will have a serious competitive advantage, and the renderings that they show appear to incorporate a central corridor through the middle of the whole development that could provide a great ease of pedestrian movement. If they work it well, they'll be in an excellent position to capture major office tenants that otherwise would have located in the CBD.

In fact, this is one case where (of all people) Plastic's ideas would be well-suited. The pedestrian transport system that he'd come up with a few months ago could easily connect the transit hub with the further-reaches of this development without the pesky issues related to its implementation in existing areas of the city.

The only downside here is that financing could be difficult to obtain if they were trying to go forward with the whole project at once. From the looks of the renderings, it can easily be segmented into phases, which would likely be built out over the course of many years. Of course, that's just my speculation. If I had a billion dollars to throw around, I'd put it all up at once, betting that I could establish a critical mass of density that would have a synergistic effect on the lease-up process.

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mrfootball    14

Wow, that looks like an impressive project.

Cypress Real Estate used to be based in Houston. They developed my neigborhood, Longwood.

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gto250us    22

Some cranes went upt last week over that way. Are they for part of this project or something else?

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mrell32    0

Is it just me or does this project look alot like victory in Dallas.

Edited by mrell32

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editor    670

Hate to make an Atlanta comparison, but this could become Houston's Bucktown, or whatever they call it. I know Houston already has Uptown to fill that role, but why not two?

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WesternGulf    7
Hate to make an Atlanta comparison, but this could become Houston's Bucktown, or whatever they call it. I know Houston already has Uptown to fill that role, but why not two?

I hate to make this a comparison too, but Houston's Buckhead is Uptown. This is way to close to downtown to be considered that. I am sure news stories from this place will still say downtown. :D

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Gary    206

This could be great if the proposal comes to fruition. With a little more high and midrise development in the area, it would just about tie into downtown.

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I'm more interested in its potential impact on the 'hoods just to the north. A lot of charming, older housing stock up there, some of it still in good condition.

I love the planned access to the intermodal, too. Of course, that's "If" it comes to fruition. It's an ambitious project and it's going to take a few years to realize it. I hope no one has a stroke while waiting, given the lack of patience displayed by a few.

Calm down (in advance).

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WesternGulf    7
Huh?

Typical comment with every new development. I think it really is him hiding his excitement. :wub: Anyway the business district down south is not exactly at full occupancy right now.

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TheNiche    969
Typical comment with every new development. I think it really is him hiding his excitement. :wub: Anyway the business district down south is not exactly at full occupancy right now.

If this is what Coog was referencing, then he needs to remember that an office project with significant competitive advantage over another competitive groups of buildings can either charge higher rents or expect to lease up quickly and stabilize at an occupancy that is higher than the other competitive buildings.

They have the locational advantage and would make for a good investment. If Coog's objective is to further development in a particular place, like the CBD, then this is bad. If you get sexually aroused, as I do :blush: , at the idea of a successful business venture (regardless of location or characteristics), then this is good.

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alright so what really matters is, is this thing a go, are those cranes in that area part of the project getting underway or something else, i would think so, why would they be doing anything to an area for no reason?

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RedScare    1636
alright so what really matters is, is this thing a go, are those cranes in that area part of the project getting underway or something else, i would think so, why would they be doing anything to an area for no reason?

The 2 cranes are for the new UH-D business college building that is being built on N. Main Street, directly south of this development.

Their IS work going on at Hardy Yards, but it is remediation, in preparation for construction. It looks to be nearly completed.

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WesternGulf    7

Although the latest article, not necessarily a new one, said environmental work will take a while and construction is suppose to start in two years.

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