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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/16/20 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    Virtual overlay and tour of the site! Gets into some good details.
  2. 9 points
  3. 8 points
    Looks to be making good progress Street by jones: they have part of the first floor up
  4. 8 points
    The first rule of water feature rules is that we don't ask about water feature rules.
  5. 7 points
    I love that the tide in Houston has shifted to master planned high-density infill. This video shows what every large parcel in the inner loop should be destined for.
  6. 6 points
  7. 5 points
    New sign by the new water feature. Is this standard language or is it in response to recent activities?
  8. 4 points
  9. 3 points
    Houston Maritime Museum, is the intention.
  10. 3 points
    LOL I don't know. I presume they will handle the street crossings in a manner similar to what they did when they lowered the portion of the Southwest Freeway just to the west of this. Some streets might have to be closed for some period of time. Oh, the horror!!! 😉 No doubt it will be a complicated project.
  11. 3 points
    Why are we beating this dead horse again?
  12. 3 points
    Don't know what board they were using, but that last rendering in the piece sent the tower to Manhattan.
  13. 2 points
    No shutdown of consequence would be necessary to add a new station between Wheeler and Museum District. Remember, Central Station Main was added without any significant shutdown (occasional shutdowns with bus bridges at off-peak times and that's it). That said, although the 1000 meter gap between Wheeler and Museum District is bigger than the typical 400-800 meter gaps in Midtown, Downtown, and the TMC, it's in line with the spacing of the rest of the MetroRail system. And having stops delays the already slow train, meaning you would need a lot of people getting on and off before a stop becomes more than just an annoyance. So I think a lot more than just this Museo Plaza development will have to be completed before another stop would be justified.
  14. 2 points
    Perhaps once it is built the contrast between the new and old won't be as stark as rendered. There's good reason to hope for this result given the renderings and reality of the renovations to One Houston Center and Two Houston Center.
  15. 2 points
    If I were Skanska, I'd try to bring back some of the spirit of the originally-proposed Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage, and get some tourism-related attractions in, there along the edge of Discovery Green: I'd put in a heavily-Texas-themed Flying Theater: https://www.super78.com/flying-theaters http://dynamicattractions.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Dynamic-Flying-Theater.pdf (See also Seattle's "Wings Over Washington:" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaMiqp3Y9kc ) And a put in a large/exploratory, adventure Mirror Maze, showcasing Houston's history: http://mirrormazesint.com/mirror-mazes-international-floor-plans/#infinit1200 (or even better, something more largely experiential like "Nat Geo's Encounter: Ocean Odyssey" in NYC: https://natgeoencounter.com/experience )
  16. 2 points
    Whatever it is, it'll have a translucent roof.
  17. 2 points
    The shuttle would probably be between Hermann Park/Rice U and Wheeler - there's no switch over on the tracks between museum district station and wheeler, and when Metro runs a shuttle bus they reverse the trains using the crossover points. Also the city might object to trains going backwards down Fannin or San Jacinto That's why when there was track work at central station, the bus bridge was from downtown TC to UH-D
  18. 2 points
    I can't imagine how they would do it, without having to shut down the line for a while. I wish someone who knows how these sort of things would be handled would elaborate. This is going to be somewhat of an issue when they take 59 below grade and under the existing rail lines at just about the southern end of the Main street Richmond station also. Not to mention all of the streets like from Milan to Almeda.
  19. 2 points
    If the first renderings are true for the scale of the high rise and the newest render is true for the quality of the entire building I think it will be a knockout.
  20. 2 points
    To light rail passengers, there are only two stops that matter; the one where they get on, and the one where they disembark. All the rest of them are merely delays. Maybe at some point there will be enough destinations near this portion of Main for another stop to be warranted. To build one solely to cater to one building, no matter how cool it may be, seems like an annoyance that many people would prefer to avoid.
  21. 2 points
    I would imagine that they will go full speed ahead and boots on the ground from now on. Thats how Hanover rolls. They don't sit on anything. They are aggressive and thats what I like about them.
  22. 2 points
    This project looks so good. I love the way they are integrating the development with the bayou. I'm curious though. Will they build phase 1, all at once or will they simply build one building after another. I would think they would want to build out the whole first phase at the same time so there would be a sense of community and public space right off the bat.
  23. 2 points
    It's a pretty long article: Houston's Buffalo Bayou Transformation Offers Flood-Plan Lessons to Other Cities How to Turn a Drainage Ditch Into a Regional Amenity in Era of Climate Change The growing climate change challenge facing commercial developers came into sharp focus as Hurricane Harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of rain onto Houston two years ago, wreaking $125 billion in damage and displacing almost 30,000 people. Floodwaters rose 38 feet, destroying sections of a recently renovated public park. Urban planners and onlookers watched in astonishment as new lawns, picnic tables and shelters in Buffalo Bayou Park were swept into the flood that at one point made staircases, street signs and lamps barely visible. Mountains of sand and debris littered the park's western end. Yet within a week, joggers returned to the trails and the restaurant at the park resumed serving avocado toast to customers to raise money for flood relief funds. While it took a full year for the park to be fully restored, its basic functions were intact thanks to the $58 million revitalization that shored up the bayou’s historical role as a flood control mechanism for the city. Completed in 2015, it transformed what was basically a drainage ditch into a regional outdoor amenity with features that also serve as flood storage, according to an Urban Land Institute study. The relatively fast reopening signals how urban planning mitigated the damage of one of the costliest floods in U.S. history. And planners say it now holds broader lessons as the growing challenge to plan for the effects of climate change becomes a larger part of commercial development. “This is an issue that's facing cities across America in different ways," said Anne-Marie Lubenau, a Boston architect and director of the board behind the Rudy Bruner Award, a national urban planning accolade given to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for its work along the bayou. "In Boston you've got coastal erosion and big snow storms; we’ve got fires in California; water is a challenge in [Houston] and this project addresses it in a bold way, but also in a way that, while it is unique and distinctive to the bayou, it also incorporates a number of design moves that can be adapted to other cities.” Houston, a city with no zoning codes that's not often held up as a bastion of urban planning, gained national attention from planners by showing how urban systems projects can create green spaces while planning for floods. The work included 2.3 miles of waterfront land along Buffalo Bayou, roughly the length of New York's Central Park, and it added 10 miles of walking and biking trails with four pedestrian bridges. The project spurred significant real estate building in the area. Since 2012, within a 1-mile radius of the project, nearly 6 million square feet of new multifamily and retail space was constructed, according to CoStar’s analysis. In total, about 50 new commercial properties were developed that, if sold today, could be worth about $1.4 billion, according to CoStar’s modeling. That's a significant return on investment for a project sparked by a partnership between the nonprofit Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the city and flood control district. It was kicked off by a $30 million gift from the Kinder Foundation, the nonprofit backed by Houston billionaire and oil baron Rich Kinder. Now, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the nonprofit behind that revitalization, is setting its sights on the east end of the bayou, which is much wider and less flood-prone, and it has long been an industrial area. The east end of the bayou turns into the Houston Ship Channel, home to 330 public and private terminals that are owned by more than 150 companies, and it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Plans for the east end are much larger and more ambitious than what was done successfully on the bayou's west side. Buffalo Bayou East is a 20-year master plan expected to cost $200 million to transform four miles of waterfront land on the bayou and create 263 acres of parks and 40 miles of trails and paths with seven pedestrian bridges. Some land use experts are calling the plan one of the most complex waterfront redevelopment projects in the country. It comes as real estate investors are increasingly concerned about how climate change would affect real estate markets and urban planners from New York to San Francisco are looking for more ways to creatively manage water in growing population centers. “For those of us not from Houston, we don't think of the city as being associated with a strong ethic of planning. This really shifts the paradigm," said Lubenau. Former Industrial Sites In Houston, the bayou is not known for its pristine beauty – the brown, opaque waters of the river are home to bass, catfish, alligator gars, a fish native to Texas with razor sharp teeth, and alligator snapping turtles, as well as the occasional alligator. The bayou often has high levels of bacteria that make it unsafe for swimming and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recommends not to eat any fish caught in the bayou. Nevertheless, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership aims to transform a patchwork of public and private land, including several abandoned industrial sites, into an area focused on the water with seven boat landings. It aims to connect the African American and Hispanic communities of the Fifth Ward and Great East neighborhoods to one another and give the historically working class neighborhoods new access to nature and 200 acres of open space. “In some ways, what’s different about it is the scale and complexity of it all,” said Cary Hirschstein, a partner at HR&A Advisors, a real estate, economic development and public policy firm. It co-led the master planning process of the proposed east project along with landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburg Associates. The project represents a unique infusion of investment into historically working class communities that typically don’t see investments of this scale, Hirschtein said in an interview. The restored industrial structures harken to other similar projects across the country, from Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx in New York City, Gas Works Park in Seattle or Steel Stacks Park near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, which all turned industrial properties into nationally recognized community spaces. But this project would affect a much larger area than those parks in terms of acreage. “There are really incredible industrial elements that we want to celebrate. It’s going to be unlike any other place in Houston, if not the country,” Hirschtein said. The revitalization efforts focus first on 70 acres of land, including 50 acres owned by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, running along a four-mile stretch of the river. But the plan envisions a much wider area of influence and aims to give developers and investors design guidelines and a vision for renovating the eastern side of downtown. The project is expected to be a game changer for commercial real estate in the area. “The Buffalo Bayou East revitalization plans are almost certain to lead to a rise in property values, which could drive a new vision for reimagining best-and-highest-use along the eastern portion of the bayou,” said Justin Boyar, director of market analytics in Houston for CoStar, in an email. Boyar notes two Houston neighborhoods, the Second and Fifth Ward, bordering the Buffalo Bayou East project are located in opportunity zones with tax incentives likely to attract investors. “If done smartly and inclusively, this could also be an opportunity to serve and unite historically neglected working class communities,” he added. Redevelopment Interest On the east side of the bayou, private developers are already making massive changes that could further speed growth and gentrification in the hip, former industrial district called EaDo, short for East Downtown, which is similar to Deep Ellum in Dallas or East Austin, Texas, which were both noted as "Cool Streets" on Cushman & Wakefield's 2019 report on hipness. “It’s definitely growing very quickly, we have quite a few developers looking into the district trying to see which properties are available and how they can start to redevelop,” said Jessica Bacorn, executive of the East Downtown Management District, the local economic development group for the area, in an interview. Bacorn said the district has seen an “influx of development” in recent years from new restaurants to coworking spaces. “The vibe that’s in EaDo, with all the arts and culture that’s already there, I think we’re seeing a lot of developers coming in who aren’t looking to change the culture, which is one thing I love about the district and the area. They’re looking at what’s already there,” Bacorn said. Midway, the developer behind the CityCentre mixed-use project in west Houston, is preparing to break ground on a 150-acre project along the eastern end of the bayou spanning 60 city blocks in Houston’s Fifth Ward neighborhood, which also is located in an opportunity zone. The project, called East River, is being touted as walkable where urban-meets-nature oasis that “celebrates local cultures, cuisines, arts and history” with 8.9 million square feet of office, 1,440 apartments, 500,000 square feet of retail space and 390 hotel rooms, according to Midway's website. Midway’s East River site, which was pitched as a potential location to Amazon during its second headquarters search, is one of the largest contiguous blocks of land in the nation located within a mile of several major employment centers: downtown, the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas Medical Center, said Boyar, the CoStar analyst. “Given the Buffalo Bayou East and East River plans, combined with its opportunity zone status, the area is solidly located in the path of growth for urban infill development,” Boyar said. The plans are creating some jitters about gentrification and concerns about pushing low-income communities out. At a public panel to reveal the master plan in October, three protesters disrupted the meeting shouting anti-gentrification slogans for 10 tense minutes before an audience member convinced them to leave after police were called. The protesters, who were not arrested but refused to speak to media or provide their names, argued that east end development would raise land values and price out working class communities. Anne Olson, president of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, told CoStar News it was the first time the nonprofit had heard vocal opposition to their plans in more than two years of community engagement discussions. Reclaiming Waterfront Proponents of the plan say it was drawn up in a way that aims to maintain the character and people of the community. A handful of other low-income residents at the meeting expressed support for the proposal. The issue of equity was important to the nonprofit’s master planning as the consultants for Buffalo Bayou Partnership engaged in conversations with more than a 1,000 people, said Hirschtein, the partner with HR&A who has worked on the project for four years. “There’s been a tremendous amount of investment in open space across the city and it’s tended to skew toward affluent places. This allows communities to reclaim their waterfront. These are communities that have been disconnected from their water space,” Hirschtein said in an Oct. 28 panel discussion about the partnership’s master plan. Concern about pricing residents out drove the nonprofit to think more broadly than just planning a beautiful park, he noted. “The plan has a real focus on inclusive economic development. There are elements that you don't see in a normal park master plan like providing affordable housing on-site as part of this project,” Hirschtein said. As part of the proposal, Buffalo Bayou Partnership wants to build a mixed-income residential community called Lockwood South, which would provide a combination of multifamily, single-family homes and workforce housing near Lockwood Drive. It would be next to other mixed-income communities proposed by other nonprofits with the help of disaster relief funding, said Olson, president of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, in an interview. The nonprofit is also redeveloping a 50,000-square-foot former barge terminal, warehouse and wastewater treatment facility along Navigation Boulevard into a community event center and possible incubator space for neighborhood businesses and food service at a site called Turkey Bend. Olson added that the partnership would aim to work with local entrepreneurs and small businesses with ties to the neighborhood in finding any retail tenants or assisting with event programming. “We could sell that property in a minute to some developer who could turn it into a shi-shi bar, but it is something that but we want to make into an community space for the neighborhood,” Olson said. Awaiting 500-Year Floods Beyond economic and cultural resiliency, the proposal also aims to bolster the environmental strength of the eastern side of Buffalo Bayou. Parts of the bayou are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, when the region was devastated by flooding over four days in August 2017. That’s sparked an effort to this day to determine how to make Houston’s waterfront more resilient. And planners with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership are trying to take lessons from the historic flood. To combat the impact of possible flooding, the nonprofit’s plan calls for stabilizing eroding banks, designing structures that can withstand 500-year floods and creating spaces that are easier to clean after major flooding. Those types of storms are an increasing concern, with executives naming climate change the top risk to organizational growth this year, according to KPMG’s 2019 Global CEO Outlook report. And the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges elected leaders to make sweeping changes to combat climate change and sea level rise, such as creating dikes or seawalls, maintaining mangroves or coral reefs and raising buildings along shorelines. Scott McCready, principal of SWA Group, a key planner in the western end of the Buffalo Bayou Park, agrees that preparing for flooding is an increasingly good investment. "While we never anticipated a Hurricane Harvey scale, we did anticipate [flooding]. We had serious discussions about where to place trails, how to design docks, all that kind of thing. So we had an incredibly responsive plan and responsible design to help minimize issues," he said in the panel discussion. But the park also owes its resiliency to the public-private partnerships the Buffalo Bayou has formed with the city, the Downtown Development Authority and the Harris County Flood Control District, he said. “We have this partnership in place and that is how I define resilience,” McCready said.
  24. 1 point
    https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2020/01/16/rather-than-open-several-new-hotels-houston.html?ana=TRUEANTHEMTWT_HO&taid=5e213159ceb08f00012a0789&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter Rather than open several new hotels, Houston welcomes guests to updated buildings By Jeff Jeffrey – Reporter, Houston Business Journal Jan 16, 2020, 5:10pm CST After years of white-knuckle volatility, Houston’s hotel market is preparing for a strong, if relatively calm, year in 2020. That’s good news for the city’s hotel managers. With construction appearing to slow — and convention activity outpacing many of the city’s competitors — room rates might be on track to increase for the first time in nearly 18 months, according to analysts. To stay competitive, many of Houston’s most high-profile hotels have embarked on major remodeling efforts to bring their facilities in line with changing customer demands. “The Houston market has gone through some crazy times in the past five years,” said Randy McCaslin, founder and CEO of Houston-based McCaslin Hotel Consulting. “But 2020 appears to be the year when demand will outstrip the supply of rooms on the market.” Data collected by STR, a Hendersonville, Tennessee-based global hospitality research firm, found that the city’s 93,677 hotel rooms maintained a 63.9 percent occupancy rate through November 2019, down nearly 10 percent from five years ago. The decline in occupancy rates has also put downward pressure on average room rates. STR reported that room rates in November were down 3.2 percent from 2018, with the average room costing $102.83 per night. That’s nearly $8 per night less than the average daily room rate in 2015. Over supplied Houston hotels underwent a construction boom in the years leading up to the 2017 Super Bowl. STR reported that hotel developers in greater Houston added nearly 8,500 new rooms to the market between 2014 and 2016. Perhaps the most notable hotel to open during that time was the Marriott Marquis Houston Downtown, a $370 million, 1,000-room luxury hotel that opened in December 2016. The surge in construction continued through 2017, with the opening of luxury properties like Hotel Alessandra at the GreenStreet mixed-use development Le Méridien Houston Downtown in the renovated Melrose Building at 1121 Walker St. The number of available hotel rooms came in handy in late 2017 when Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, forcing many of the city’s residents to evacuate their homes. McCaslin said Harvey was responsible for an additional 2.4 million room nights being booked at Houston’s hotels. “While no one wishes for those kinds of events, when people are out of their homes, hotel occupancy goes up,” McCaslin said. But after 2017, occupancy rates started to slide, setting off a decline in room prices. As of November, the average cost of a hotel room in Houston was $102.83, according to STR, which is about $4 per night less than 2018 and $24 per night less than the high of $124.74 in May 2014. Some of the more recent additions to the Houston market have come in the form of new hotels opening in some of the city’s oldest buildings, driven in part by state and federal tax breaks. In late 2019, Houston saw the opening of Cambria Hotel Houston Downtown Convention Center at 1314 Texas Ave., the historic building formerly known as the Great Southwest Building and the Petroleum Building; and AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown, the 105-year-old building at 723 Main St., which most recently served as The Houston Bar Center. And more hotels are on the way. Houston-based Pearl Hospitality is working to convert the original Medical Towers at 1709 Dryden into the Westin Houston Medical Center. Another hotel will form a key facet of DC Partners’ The Allen project, which is under construction along Allen Parkway. The development is anchored by a 34-story tower, the first 14 floors of which will operate as a hotel overseen by Hyatt Corp.’s boutique subsidiary, Thompson Hotels. The remaining floors will be reserved for condos. “Investors and developers love Houston, so you’ve seen a lot of properties being built recently. It will be interesting to see how the new hotels are accepted in the market and how they keep their rates up with supply slightly outpacing demand,” said Jan Freitag, senior vice president of lodging insights at STR. Sprucing up With so many new hotels opening, many of Houston’s older establishments have moved to update their properties. Many of the upgrades include new amenities like fitness centers and spa areas. Near the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel is moving ahead with a $37 million project, $31,000 of which is expected to be spent on each of the roughly 1,200 guest rooms. Not far away, the Four Seasons Hotel Houston has been approved for its own $16.6 million renovation project — just three years after it invested millions of dollars in upgrades leading up to the Super Bowl. The next month, Florida-based Driftwood Hospitality Management announced it was planning its own $35 million overhaul on nearly every aspect of the Hilton Houston North, which is located at 12400 Greenspoint Drive. The pressure to compete is even more intense for hotels located outside of the Central Business District. Because so many new hotels are located near downtown, out-of-town convention-goers have less need to book a room in other parts of the city. “An event effectively needs to have 3,000 attendees to push people out of downtown,” McCaslin said. “Some of the other markets have been forced to drop their rates to get occupancy.” And with labor costs only going up, reducing room prices can severely impact a hotel’s bottom line, STR’s Freitag said. Even with the challenges facing Houston’s hotel market, industry experts say the Bayou City is still a good place to be in the hotel business. STR’s Freitag noted that the number of rooms sold in Houston in 2018 was up 3.5 percent, nearly double the national average and slightly higher than Texas as a whole. Much of that can be attributed to Houston’s booming convention business. John Solis, senior vice president of sales and client services at Visit Houston, said the city’s convention business set records in 2018 and 2019, and expects similar success this year. “Having accommodations in the vicinity of the convention center has made it much more walkable for visitors. That saves associations the expense and hassle of booking shuttles,” Solis said. Industry experts say hotels across greater Houston are doing so well that the market for trading ownership has all but dried up. Ray Hankamer, founder of Houston’s Hankamer & Associates Brokers, has owned and managed dozens of hotels over the past four decades. But he said few owners are looking to sell, especially at smaller or mid-sized hotels with between 70 and 120 rooms. “Many are owned by second- or third-generation families,” Hankamer said. “They’re making money, so why would they want to sell?”
  25. 1 point
    This would make me shit a literal brick. Would be IDEAL.
  26. 1 point
    The way the structure is designed, it looks like it could be a retractable roof. That is an interesting twist to this development.
  27. 1 point
  28. 1 point
    It would be interesting to see a modern, street level friendly approach in the style of the original buildings. I agree, as I'm not fond of erasing history, regardless if anyone thinks it's ugly nor not. However, given the upper portions of the towers remain intact, I approve of this. So long as they don't completely erase the identity...
  29. 1 point
    We proposed this to USGC Rail District and Union Pacific. Union Pacific told us that they dont have money in their budget to help communities.... Since 2010, their stock has gone from $35 per share to $183/share
  30. 1 point
    That lot across from the Navigation development is so perfect for HEB. I'm just waiting for the day that Midway convinces them it's where they need to be.
  31. 1 point
    The video is a perfect showcase of Phase I. Thanks @Mr.Clean19 for sharing!
  32. 1 point
    And, remember...with Prime, shipping is free!
  33. 1 point
    Ok, that makes sense. Now answer the other part of my comment, since you seem to have all of the answers. How about the streets from Milan to Almeda where the 59 is proposed to go under.
  34. 1 point
    Adding a station without shutting down the line doesn't strike me as terribly difficult. The station structure is all beside the tracks, not over or under.
  35. 1 point
    By November? What in the what? That is fast. Also, Gensler and Harvey just lining up job after job and grinding these ambitious timeframes to try and get this work done. Its great that such a worthy cause and organization is getting the space it deserves.
  36. 1 point
    Now that there are two Med center projects occurring on the East side of 288 along south MacGregor, it seems that this will make the huge piece of property once owned by Grocers Supply on 288 and Holcombe more appealing. I noticed that Grocers Supply who actually sold to another supplier a few years ago has completely evacuated the northern warehouses and moved their fleet across the street to their other lots and warehouses. Is there something imminent with the real estate that is going to be announced. I know it has been on the market for a while. It is probably one of the largest tracts of land inside the loop that would make a great mixed use Citi Centre type project with all of the incredible amenities available and the access to the freeway. You have great parks, museums of every variety, golf course. Did I mention they have some hospitals? Close proximity to downtown either via Almeda or 288. Midway are you listening?
  37. 1 point
    I guess because it will be affected by the new Skanska project, and vice versa. It's relevant to its overall look and appeal of Skanska's new development.
  38. 1 point
    Video looks good! Really gives scale for the different sections.
  39. 1 point
    Building permit in the window says the refurbishments are to change it into a bar.
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    Baptist hipsters. God help us all.
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    I hear tell all them books are on teh interwebz now. Bulldoze it!
  47. 1 point
    From the Museum of Natural Science Weiss Energy Hall.
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    From reddit u/rayc2k
  50. 1 point
    It's not NOT like a horror movie trailer
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