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editor

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  1. Got this press release in the mail the other day. LiveRoof® to Install Specialized Green Roofs as Renovation to GreenStreet Nears CompletionGreen canopies featuring weather-resistant plants will be located throughout the project’s upper levels HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 13, 2014) – GreenStreet is quite literally about to go green as the dining and entertainment destination whose tenants include House of Blues, NRG Energy and ForeverXXI, among others, prepares to install one of its most distinctive architectural features– live green roof canopies. Plant selections for the five canopies, totally 2,100 square feet were based upon research on the region’s topography and climate, and also using a special plant mix that takes into consideration the harsh, rooftop conditions. The green roof systems will be delivered fully grown by LiveRoof Texas, the regional grower for the LiveRoof system, and will be installed by J.R. Jones Roofing, June 24-25. “The roofs have a steep slope, they are narrow, and the lighting varies,” said David Scott, owner of LiveRoof Texas. “We carefully selected the plants based on the site’s needs and have been growing them in modules at our facility for months so that they are fully mature for the installation. The day they go in, they’ll be thick, lush and beautiful.” Along with the green canopies, visitors to GreenStreet will notice upgraded and new amenities to the 568,294-square-foot property, including expanded outdoor dining spaces, natural architectural and environmental details along elevators, escalators and the interior walls, as well as the addition of new pavers, benches and mid-block crossings across the property’s three-city blocks. Earlier this week, onsite crews also began prepping key areas along Main and Caroline as well as the interior block between Fannin and San Jacinto for the placement of several distinct water features. Houston-based, fully integrated real estate investment and development firm Midway, in conjunction with Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, is redeveloping GreenStreet to include the addition of several new tenants, as well as the creation of a dynamic green space dubbed “The Lawn” to support onsite event programming. The first series of events will take place in July with a month-long concert series as well as Games on the Green – a free outdoor event that encourages patrons from around the city to mingle while enjoying live music, nostalgic games and oversized Jenga pieces. “Our goal is to enhance the overall experience of our downtown visitors,” says Midway CEO Jonathan Brinsden. “With the revitalization of the property, not only is GreenStreet being elevated to a level that will better support our growing downtown community, but incorporating natural elements not normally found in an urban landscape provides locals and visitors with a peaceful and serene refuge from the bustling city streets.” GreenStreet is a Class-A mixed-use project, spanning three city blocks, connected via sky bridges and above-ground walkways. The development, located at 1201 Fannin, includes the fully occupied, 11-story regional headquarters for NRG Energy, one of the largest power generating companies in the country, along with restaurants, retailers and venues including the House of Blues, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Forever XXI, Guadalajara, McCormick & Schmick’s and Lucky Strike. Recently, the property announced the addition of two new tenants: Enertia Software and fast-casual eatery Salata as well as the coming of Hotel Alessandra – a 225-room luxury hotel, slated to open onsite in late fall 2016.
  2. I know the Bookstop, but this wasn't that. It was on the other side of the street, and was much smaller. Just one floor. For some reason I think it had an orange roof.
  3. There was a good bookstore, I think on Shepherd at Alabama. It was part of a small chain of may be three or four. I didn't buy many books there, but it had a fantastic selection of foreign newspapers and magazines. I'l load up every couple of weeks.
  4. Glad to hear Darby is getting back into the traffic game. Traffic and kolaches are two of the biggest loves in his life, and when he left KHOU I know it was hard on him.
  5. As a point of interest, for years I had a 500 area code number. It was great because I would move from state to state every 6 to 12 months, and my number could remain the same. (This was before personal cell phones.) I was 500-674-9845. AT&T discontinued 500 service in the late 90's.
  6. it's even more complicated than just geography. A lot of it has to do with legacy billing systems, state-by-state regulations, and even legacy hardware in remote areas. - When I moved from Cincinnati (513) to Houston (713), I had Cincinnati Bell as my cell phone provider. Cintybell was a VERY modern phone company, even back in the 90's when this happened, and didn't care that I lived in Houston because it has a roaming agreement with AT&T, so I was just considered a customer who did a lot of roaming. So I kept my 513 number for years before ending up with an 832 when I switched to VoiceStream/PrimeCo/T-Mobile. (Note that Cincinnati Bell was never part of the original AT&T and wasn't affected by the breakup of the Bell System in the 80's. It continues to be one of America's few regional independent phone companies.) - When I moved from Chicago (312) to Seattle (206), I wasn't allowed to keep my Chicago cell phone number, even though I didn't change phone companies. That's because AT&T in Chicago is legacy Ameritech, and AT&T in Seattle is legacy Pacific Bell, and the two have COMPLETELY different billing systems that can't handle out-of-region area codes. - When I moved from Chicago (312) to Las Vegas (702), I was able to keep my Chicago cell phone number because Las Vegas was never part of Pacific Bell (Nevada Bell was the rest of the state outside of Las Vegas) and so when AT&T came to town only very recently, its customers end up with the mainline SBC billing system that apparently can handle lots of different area codes. (Las Vegas phone service wasn't Bell System, either. It was Nevada Power and Telephone, which became Centel, which became Sprint, which became Embarq, which became CenturyLink). - Only just last week did Nevada have to start dialing an area code for local phone numbers (June 1, 2014). One of just a handful of states left to do so. - When I lived in rural New Jersey, the phone company spanned the New York State border, and you could call phone numbers in either 201 or 914 without the area code (1980's). Even shorter, you could dial phones within your own prefix by just using 5 numbers. For example, my phone number was 201/764-9845. Someone living in 201/764 could reach me by just dialing "4-9845." - Cincinnati Bell serves southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana, and northern Kentucky. So when I lived in Cincinnati, you could call Cincinnati Bell numbers in 513 (OH) or 606 (KY) without dialing the area code. - There are still lots of places in the western United States, even in California, that you can only reach by HF telephone. So, you dial someone's phone number and instead of connecting to their house, you reach a radio operator who tries to reach their house/ranch/farm/compound by long-range HF radio. If they answer the radio, the call is patched through over the radio link. If not, you have to call back. They don't take messages, which is annoying if you're trying to book a quiet week away from civilization at a dude ranch in the Sierras. This is becoming less common, though, as satellite phone rates have come down a lot in the last few years. But even sat phones don't work in dense woods, ravines, or near military installations.
  7. TJI: METRO Moving Forward with Hughes Street OverpassMETRO's is taking the Green Line over Hughes Street to connect the line to the Magnolia Transit Center. After several meetings with East End residents, civic leaders, elected officials and extensive discussions with environmental professionals on the subject of the Huges Street overpass/underpass, the METRO Board of Directors voted today in favor of an overpass. "I think it’s important that we never lose sight of our fiduciary duty, and we represent everyone and everything within the service area," said METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia. "We’ve got to complete the line. That is the best thing we can do for this community - complete the line and get out of the way.” Eight board members voted in favor with Christof Spieler absent. Spieler did however send an email in support of an overpass. The METRO Board will move forward with the option that will take light rail and vehicular traffic, plus sidewalks over Hughes Street. The option also provides a lane for vehicular traffic and pedestrian sidewalks at street level. Preliminary costs are estimated between $35-$43 million. The overpass is projected to take31 months to complete. The underpass option would have cost $52-$68 million and take approximately 42 months to complete. That does not include costs of remediation of environmental clean up outside of the project specific area. The Board approved motion states: I MOVE THAT METRO RESCIND ITS PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION FOR AN UNDERPASS, AND CONSTRUCT A LIGHT RAIL OVERPASS WITH A LIMITED NOTICE TO PROCEED WITH THIS DESIGN. METRO WILL WORK WITH THE CITY OF HOUSTON TO SECURE FUNDING AND AGREEMENTS BY JUNE 30TH, TO ALSO HAVE TRAFFIC LANES OVER AND PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS AND TRAFFIC LANES AND PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS AT GRADE AND PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS. IF AN AGREEMENT IS NOT ENTERED INTO BY JUNE 30TH, METRO WILL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCT AN OVERPASS WITH LIGHT RAIL ONLY. The light rail only option would cost $27-$37 million and take approximately 28 months to complete. Next steps include working with the city of Houston to try to expedite the construction process. "We want to work to move this forward as fast as possible," said Garcia. The Green Line's tracks have been undergoing testing. The majority of the line - from downtown to Altic - is expected to open this fall.
  8. As a follow-up to my post above, the Federal Trade Commission sent the city of Chicago a letter telling it to back off of the car-sharing services.
  9. Got this press release the other day. METRO GETS ‘REAL’ WITH GOOGLE METRO’s partnership with Google is getting real – as in offering real-time bus info. To sweeten the ‘real’ deal, METRO will also be providing Google with detour alerts as well. “We are focused on improving the customer experience,” said METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia. “Not only will our customers know when their bus will arrive, but if there’s a detour in place on their route, that information will pop up and they can factor this in their plans, too.” If for any reason a bus loses connectivity – as the GPS information is transmitted via cellular communications – trips posted will revert to the bus’ scheduled times. About 77 percent of METRO’s bus fleet is currently equipped with the hardware to provide real-time bus information. The agency is working to bring the remainder of the fleet online. As a reminder – the agency offers other rider toolssuch as the METRO T.R.I.P. app which helps customers on-the-go plan their trip using scheduled and real-time information, among other features. “METRO is the first major transit agency, that we’re aware of, to develop its own stand-alone transit app,” said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. “We are trying to make it easier for our customers to navigate our system by bringing these types of tools to their fingertips.” METRO first teamed up with Google in 2008 by sharing its schedules which were loaded into Google Maps for quick, easy trip planning. Of the two trip plannersMETRO offers on its website, about 50 percent use Google Maps. The agency’s trip planner will continue to be available to customers but will be phased out in the future. METRO's real-time data on Google Maps rolls out Friday, April 25.
  10. When I first moved to Houston in 1999, Metro was talking about revolutionary new software for timing the traffic lights that would make everything all better. Repeat the same promise at three-year intervals. Somehow it either never gets done, or it simply doesn't work.
  11. I have deleted seven messages from this thread. If you cannot keep it on topic, this thread will be closed and certain posters sanctioned. Please re-read the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up for HAIF. If you can't be civil, feel free to surf elsewhere.
  12. until
    Bellaire New Home Showcase Hosts Four Homes Benefiting Evelyn's Park Conservancy BELLAIRE, TX (April 10, 2014) - The Bellaire New Home Showcase will open the doors of four new homes in Bellaire to the public on May 10&11 and May 17&18, 2014. This is the 26th annual showcase celebrating current trends in classic homebuilding. Proceeds from the event will benefit Evelyn's Park Conservancy, a new five-acre Bellaire recreational development at 4400 Bellaire Blvd. Tour this year's entries at the following locations: Bentley Custom Homes, 5220 Valerie Cason Graye Homes, 4601 Pine Covington Custom Builders, 4623 Pine Tommy Cashiola Construction Company, 403 Mulberry For more information on The Bellaire New Home Showcase:visit www.BellaireHomeShow.com. For more information on Evelyn's Park Conservancy, to volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation: visitwww.EvelynsPark.org or mail to Evelyn's Park Conservancy, PO Box 459, Bellaire, TX 77402. WHEN: May 10-11 & 17-18 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. COST: $10 About Evelyn's Park: When the historic Teas Nursery decided to close their business in December 2009, Bellaire residents, Jerry and Maury Rubenstein, through the Jerry and Maury Rubenstein Foundation, seized the opportunity to save a piece of Bellaire and Houston history by acquiring the 5-acre site with the vision of maintaining a green space in the heart of the city, and to honor their mother Evelyn. The land was donated by the Rubenstein Foundation to the City of Bellaire on the condition that it would be developed as a park, a beautiful, safe and quiet respite for its surrounding communities. Evelyn's Park is about honoring the past, when people walked or biked to the park and kicked a ball or had a picnic. Evelyn's park is also about recapturing community by having a central gathering place with state of the art facilities for recreation and events, where neighbor meets neighbor. It looks to the future by restoring green space, improving the environment, and planting native trees and flora. Evelyn's Park open space design will provide a rich outdoor experience for all Houston citizens with connectivity to existing bike and pedestrian trails within a 5-mile radius. Research has shown that city parks and open space improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. The park represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reclaim a 5 acre tract of land inside the loop for public use which will benefit current and future visitors. About Evelyn's Park Conservancy: Evelyn's Park Conservancy is a Texas nonprofit 501© 3 corporation organized exclusively to enhance the health, safety, and educational well-being of the citizens of Bellaire, Texas and surrounding communities through the establishment of Evelyn's Park and the park programs it will offer. The Officers of Board of Directors of Evelyn's Park Conservancy include: President Keith Rubenstein, 25-year resident of Bellaire and Maury Rubenstein's oldest son; Vice President Lou Waters, who has over 20 years of experience in starting and growing commercial and non-profit companies; Treasurer Former City of Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel; and Secretary Rusty Rubenstein. Additional Board members include Marybeth Flaherty, Conservancy Immediate Past President and past President of Patrons for Bellaire Parks and The Nature Discovery Center, Linda Rubenstein, Peta Rubenstein and Kim Padgett. With the help of area residents, Evelyn's Park will become an iconic park that all citizens will love and enjoy for many generations. Please visit the web page for updates, to contact us or donate to support the park at www.EvelynsPark.org. For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation: visitwww.EvelynsPark.org or by mail to Evelyn's Park Conservancy, PO Box 459, Bellaire, TX 77402. Find us on Twitter @EvelynsPark and Facebook.
  13. until
    Bellaire New Home Showcase Hosts Four Homes Benefiting Evelyn's Park Conservancy BELLAIRE, TX (April 10, 2014) - The Bellaire New Home Showcase will open the doors of four new homes in Bellaire to the public on May 10&11 and May 17&18, 2014. This is the 26th annual showcase celebrating current trends in classic homebuilding. Proceeds from the event will benefit Evelyn's Park Conservancy, a new five-acre Bellaire recreational development at 4400 Bellaire Blvd. Tour this year's entries at the following locations: Bentley Custom Homes, 5220 Valerie Cason Graye Homes, 4601 Pine Covington Custom Builders, 4623 Pine Tommy Cashiola Construction Company, 403 Mulberry For more information on The Bellaire New Home Showcase:visit www.BellaireHomeShow.com. For more information on Evelyn's Park Conservancy, to volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation: visitwww.EvelynsPark.org or mail to Evelyn's Park Conservancy, PO Box 459, Bellaire, TX 77402. WHEN: May 10-11 & 17-18 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. COST: $10 About Evelyn's Park: When the historic Teas Nursery decided to close their business in December 2009, Bellaire residents, Jerry and Maury Rubenstein, through the Jerry and Maury Rubenstein Foundation, seized the opportunity to save a piece of Bellaire and Houston history by acquiring the 5-acre site with the vision of maintaining a green space in the heart of the city, and to honor their mother Evelyn. The land was donated by the Rubenstein Foundation to the City of Bellaire on the condition that it would be developed as a park, a beautiful, safe and quiet respite for its surrounding communities. Evelyn's Park is about honoring the past, when people walked or biked to the park and kicked a ball or had a picnic. Evelyn's park is also about recapturing community by having a central gathering place with state of the art facilities for recreation and events, where neighbor meets neighbor. It looks to the future by restoring green space, improving the environment, and planting native trees and flora. Evelyn's Park open space design will provide a rich outdoor experience for all Houston citizens with connectivity to existing bike and pedestrian trails within a 5-mile radius. Research has shown that city parks and open space improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. The park represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reclaim a 5 acre tract of land inside the loop for public use which will benefit current and future visitors. About Evelyn's Park Conservancy: Evelyn's Park Conservancy is a Texas nonprofit 501© 3 corporation organized exclusively to enhance the health, safety, and educational well-being of the citizens of Bellaire, Texas and surrounding communities through the establishment of Evelyn's Park and the park programs it will offer. The Officers of Board of Directors of Evelyn's Park Conservancy include: President Keith Rubenstein, 25-year resident of Bellaire and Maury Rubenstein's oldest son; Vice President Lou Waters, who has over 20 years of experience in starting and growing commercial and non-profit companies; Treasurer Former City of Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel; and Secretary Rusty Rubenstein. Additional Board members include Marybeth Flaherty, Conservancy Immediate Past President and past President of Patrons for Bellaire Parks and The Nature Discovery Center, Linda Rubenstein, Peta Rubenstein and Kim Padgett. With the help of area residents, Evelyn's Park will become an iconic park that all citizens will love and enjoy for many generations. Please visit the web page for updates, to contact us or donate to support the park at www.EvelynsPark.org. For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation: visitwww.EvelynsPark.org or by mail to Evelyn's Park Conservancy, PO Box 459, Bellaire, TX 77402. Find us on Twitter @EvelynsPark and Facebook.
  14. Just got this press release Bellaire New Home Showcase Hosts Four Homes Benefiting Evelyn's Park Conservancy BELLAIRE, TX (April 10, 2014) - The Bellaire New Home Showcase will open the doors of four new homes in Bellaire to the public on May 10&11 and May 17&18, 2014. This is the 26th annual showcase celebrating current trends in classic homebuilding. Proceeds from the event will benefit Evelyn's Park Conservancy, a new five-acre Bellaire recreational development at 4400 Bellaire Blvd. Tour this year's entries at the following locations: Bentley Custom Homes, 5220 Valerie Cason Graye Homes, 4601 Pine Covington Custom Builders, 4623 Pine Tommy Cashiola Construction Company, 403 Mulberry For more information on The Bellaire New Home Showcase:visit www.BellaireHomeShow.com. For more information on Evelyn's Park Conservancy, to volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation: visitwww.EvelynsPark.org or mail to Evelyn's Park Conservancy, PO Box 459, Bellaire, TX 77402. WHEN: May 10-11 & 17-18 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. COST: $10 About Evelyn's Park: When the historic Teas Nursery decided to close their business in December 2009, Bellaire residents, Jerry and Maury Rubenstein, through the Jerry and Maury Rubenstein Foundation, seized the opportunity to save a piece of Bellaire and Houston history by acquiring the 5-acre site with the vision of maintaining a green space in the heart of the city, and to honor their mother Evelyn. The land was donated by the Rubenstein Foundation to the City of Bellaire on the condition that it would be developed as a park, a beautiful, safe and quiet respite for its surrounding communities. Evelyn's Park is about honoring the past, when people walked or biked to the park and kicked a ball or had a picnic. Evelyn's park is also about recapturing community by having a central gathering place with state of the art facilities for recreation and events, where neighbor meets neighbor. It looks to the future by restoring green space, improving the environment, and planting native trees and flora. Evelyn's Park open space design will provide a rich outdoor experience for all Houston citizens with connectivity to existing bike and pedestrian trails within a 5-mile radius. Research has shown that city parks and open space improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. The park represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reclaim a 5 acre tract of land inside the loop for public use which will benefit current and future visitors. About Evelyn's Park Conservancy: Evelyn's Park Conservancy is a Texas nonprofit 501© 3 corporation organized exclusively to enhance the health, safety, and educational well-being of the citizens of Bellaire, Texas and surrounding communities through the establishment of Evelyn's Park and the park programs it will offer. The Officers of Board of Directors of Evelyn's Park Conservancy include: President Keith Rubenstein, 25-year resident of Bellaire and Maury Rubenstein's oldest son; Vice President Lou Waters, who has over 20 years of experience in starting and growing commercial and non-profit companies; Treasurer Former City of Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel; and Secretary Rusty Rubenstein. Additional Board members include Marybeth Flaherty, Conservancy Immediate Past President and past President of Patrons for Bellaire Parks and The Nature Discovery Center, Linda Rubenstein, Peta Rubenstein and Kim Padgett. With the help of area residents, Evelyn's Park will become an iconic park that all citizens will love and enjoy for many generations. Please visit the web page for updates, to contact us or donate to support the park at www.EvelynsPark.org. For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation: visitwww.EvelynsPark.org or by mail to Evelyn's Park Conservancy, PO Box 459, Bellaire, TX 77402. Find us on Twitter @EvelynsPark and Facebook.
  15. Red herring. The notion that Houston can't have a subway because of its topography or water table was disproven last century. At least two tunnels have been put under the Ship Channel with no problems. But, to answer your question: Singapore, Hong Kong, Rio, São Paulo, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Dalian, Panama City, Taipei, Bangkok, Caracas, Los Teques, Maracaibo, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Busan, Fukuoka, Kolkata, Chennai, Santo Domingo. Google is your friend.
  16. If this thread isn't kept on topic and returned to civility, it will be closed.
  17. Another big difference between Houston and Chicago is that Houston gets all excited about a 45-story building downtown. In Chicago, if it's under 75 stories it won't even make the paper. The two cities simply operate at different scales.
  18. When I was in Houston, I lived in the apartment complex on Oak Court in Midtown, and later in the Dakota Lofts downtown.
  19. The forum software has a function for just this kind of thing. When posting, click the third icon, which looks kind of like a blue window. From the drop-down, select "Acronym" and fill in the blanks. The result is something like this: "I wish B6 would fly into HHH" Then civilians can mouseover the term with the dashed underline and find out what it means. Works for all kinds of nerd talk, and lets everyone in on the discussion. "When I was a kid, I piggybacked a pair of SIDs to make my Commodore 64 play music in stereo"
  20. I flew SAS from FRA to CPH. No complaints. And I love to complain about air service.
  21. When I was at 11, we had several similar incidents. For some reason people fell like it's OK to shoot at/up TV stations. 11 has the unfortunate disadvantage of being right on Allen Parkway, so people would shoot at us driving by. They didn't have to make the commitment of finding a parking space and walking all the way over to the station to take a shot. In my time there (1999-2003), there were three shooting incidents that I knew about. I suspect there were others that I didn't know about, because for some reason people didn't talk about them a lot. Or at least didn't talk about them to me. I remember during one newsroom reconstruction after yet another Buffalo Bayou flooding, the talent complained about having their offices moved to the outer wall where they could get shot more easily. Previously there were only conference rooms on the outer wall. When I was in Cincinnati, the receptionist had a bulletproof desk she could duck behind because it got shot up once. Though, statistically you were more likely to get mauled by a tiger than to get shot by a thug at that station. In my time there, four people were injured by tigers, but there was only the one shooting. I've seen stations in Detroit and other cities where the lobby is like a prison sally port, and the receptionist sits in a booth surrounded by bulletproof glass with a mechanical drawer. Like at a ghetto bank or pawn shop. Remarkably, when I was in Chicago TV (five years), nobody ever shot up the TV stations. But the anchors got police escorts home from work at night, and we had off-duty police officers for security guards.
  22. Because the Hotel Alessandra is its own tower, I've split it off into its own thread. http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/30012-hotel-alessandra-25-stories-part-of-greenstreet/
  23. Got this press release this afternoon. Plus big renderings, which are always nice. Midway in Partnership with Houston-Based Valencia Group to Debut a New Luxury Hotel Brand at Downtown Houston’s GreenStreetContemporary, 25-story hotel tower to include sleek finishes, a lavish outdoor terrace and sweeping views of the downtown skyline HOUSTON, TEXAS (March 26, 2014) – Houston-based Midway, a fully integrated real estate investment and development firm, in partnership with Valencia Group, an award-winning hospitality management and development company, announced plans today for Hotel Alessandra. The luxury property will anchor downtown Houston’s GreenStreet, a mixed-use destination located just steps from key downtown destinations such as the George R. Brown Convention Center, Toyota Center and Discovery Green park. Slated to debut in late 2016, Hotel Alessandra will be the newest brand in Valencia Group’s acclaimed portfolio. This venture will be the second time Midway and Valencia Group have teamed up to introduce a hotel concept in the greater Houston area. In 2009, the companies unveiled Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE, a Condé Nast Gold List hotel located in the heart of the CITYCENTRE district on Houston’s west side, which also is in close proximity to the Energy Corridor. “As Houston continues to see an influx of business and leisure travel, we recognized an opportunity to provide the downtown area with a more sophisticated, best-of-class hospitality option,” said Midway CEO Jonathan Brinsden. “Through our partnership with Valencia Group, Hotel Alessandra will deliver the ultimate experience for guests and set a new standard for luxury in the city,” he adds. While Hotel Alessandra helps fill the growing need for more hotel accommodations in the area, the hotel also provides an important anchor in the city’s plan for a vibrant, mixed-use retail district in downtown Houston. Additionally, the placement of Hotel Alessandra instills a sense of connectivity for visitors and residents, thanks to its convenient location to popular destinations, sporting complexes, the Texas Medical Center and mass transportation such as the Houston METRO rail. “Midway would also like to thank Houston First and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ) for its financial support of Hotel Alessandra,” adds Brinsden. “Both partners took the time to seriously consider the proposal, ask the right questions and ultimately act in the interest of what is best needed to serve the downtown community. With their contributions, projects such as this will help give convention and leisure travelers luxurious accommodations while resulting in jobs, new tax revenue, and other economic benefits for the city of Houston.” Although Hotel Alessandra’s design is still evolving, the contemporary-designed property is expected to feature approximately 225 elegant rooms and suites with oversized bathrooms, as well as premier meeting and event spaces equipped with the latest technological amenities. Plans also include architectural details that will allow for sweeping views of the city and lavish indoor-outdoor spaces. “Our team is proud to partner with Midway in creating what will be one of the most impactful new additions to the Houston hospitality scene,” said Valencia Group President and CEO Doyle Graham, Jr. “As with all Valencia Group properties, Hotel Alessandra will serve as a bustling destination and gathering place within the community for dining, entertainment, as well as corporate and social events.” GreenStreet is a Class-A mixed-use project, spanning four city blocks, connected via sky bridges and above-ground walkways. The development, located at 1201 Fannin, includes the fully occupied, 11-story regional headquarters for NRG Energy, one of the largest power generating companies in the country, along with restaurants, retailers and venues including the House of Blues, Forever XXI,McCormick & Schmick’s and Lucky Strike. Earlier this year, re-development construction commenced on the 568,294 square foot development, which will include a three block urban linear park, mid-block pedestrian crossings, water features, a central courtyard in the project block between Fannin and San Jacinto, outdoor patios, updated wayfinding signage and lighting – leading to an overall enhanced visitor experience.
  24. Statement from HFD: HFD responded to the fire and quickly upgraded the response to a 3-alarm at about 12:50 and to a 4-alarm at 1:04 p.m. The fire was upgraded to a 5-alarm fire at 1:25 p.m. One individual was rescued from the scene, however they were not injured. In total, more than 90 units responded to the scene with more than 400 personnel. Statement by the Chief: "Yesterday was a perfect example of how a calculated and deliberate aggressive fire attack based on sound risk management, coupled with rapid response by available units can greatly influence the outcome of a structure fire. Not only did the HFD execute a dramatic rescue of a construction worker, they also orchestrated one of the largest fire attacks in a decade without a single injury. To execute a campaign of this magnitude and manage to contain the fire to the structure of origin without a single firefighter or citizen injury, meets the specific goals of providing the highest level of customer service while proving for firefighter safety. Our firefighters absolutely met our customers’ expectations. Finally, I would like to thank the community for all their support and positive comments during and after the incident."
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