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H-Town Man

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H-Town Man last won the day on November 2 2017

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  1. I'd trust that over Costar.
  2. Costar shows them having only 348k SF at 1111 Fannin, expiring September 2021. The silver lining in 1111 Fannin getting vacated is that it could inspire a renovation, one which would help tie it in to what is going on across the street with GreenStreet.
  3. I had a feeling this was going to be a relocation from another downtown building. Will be interesting to see if their footprint is increasing or contracting; my guess would be the latter.
  4. Yes, Assumption Catholic Church was founded by Italian immigrants and was the church of the "Little York" community, so called because it was like a "little New York" with all the Italians and Sicilians. Really more Sicilian than Italian. Lots of truck farms and dairies. St. Joseph's was their cemetery and still is. There were never enough of them to build up the concentration of commercial buildings that would have made a visible "neighborhood"; Assumption church is really the enduring site and monument to their memory, with a nice apse mural in the Italian style. The church is more Hispanic now than Sicilian but they still get priests from Italy and have a big St. Joseph's Day meal, along with some other traditions. Another Italian church on the north side of town was St. Joseph Catholic Church on Kane Street off Houston Avenue in Sixth Ward. Some connections I believe between this community and the Little York/Assumption community.
  5. Great news, but... "Finally, the former Sky Lobby on the 60th floor will be redesigned as an exclusive “Sky Lounge” for tenants to enjoy. With comfortable, elegant furnishings and seating vignettes, tenants will be welcome to use this space as a “third place” for meetings and collaboration." Looks like Houston's favorite sky lobby is closed to the public for good. Any hopes that Hines would bring back the civic sense that brought us that lobby in the first place are dashed.
  6. It is pretty unique within Texas, maybe some stuff in San Antonio comes closest. But we can't advocate that a canal be built for flood improvement and then when there's a building constricting the channel say "Oh, this has some character, we'll leave it." And if it's crumbling, that pretty much resolves the issue. There used to be a lot of buildings built against and even over the bayou. Most of them were either destroyed in the two big early 1930's floods or cleared away soon after. I think Spaw Glass has done plenty of demolition downtown over the years. They were involved in some of the middle-of-the-night demos if I'm not mistaken.
  7. It looks like the new building is designed to keep the kids inside pretty much throughout the day except for athletics/P.E. Whereas before they walked between a few different buildings. I guess this is typical of new school designs in our era of security concerns. I'm also guessing that the windows in the old buildings were operable, but the new ones aren't. This is the type of reconstruction project that you only see in America, where "the kids deserve something new" is reason enough to tear down good buildings. Someone mentioned rats but that sounds more like the usual myths that accompany most teardowns. If they could save and renovate the oldest building, I imagine they could have saved any of the more recent buildings.
  8. This article contains slightly more info, along with a nice old photo from before a neutron bomb wiped out half the buildings in the neighborhood. Or maybe they were just torn down voluntarily by their owners. Anyway, it is not clear yet what they plan to do for parking, since all they own is the footprint of the building itself, from what I can tell. https://realtynewsreport.com/2020/07/01/from-kabul-to-historic-downtown-houston-another-construction-job-and-another-corporate-headquarters-for-space-city/ Sprucing up this building should make this block more attractive for a new high rise in the current parking lot. It is one of the best two sites remaining downtown, along with the lot facing Market Square across Prairie.
  9. Just think, if Randall Davis were building this we could look forward to a checkerboard of stucco panels in the final product.
  10. Good news! The long vacant Republic Building (originally the Paul Building) at the corner of Fannin and Preston has been purchased and will be renovated and occupied by a division of MVL Group, a contractor that does government work worldwide. It sounds like they are doing this the right way: “We will be immediately implementing a series of beautification projects such as replacing the missing cornice, artwork on the walled up exterior sides of the building, and removing the entrance, as well as a complete overhaul of the HVAC system and elevator,” said Abie Musa, founder of MVL Group, a global defense contractor and construction management firm. This is in contrast to other nearby renovation projects, such as the State National building (412 Main) a few years ago where the developer ran out of money for the cornice and just took it off instead of repairing it, severely compromising the architecture. The Scanlan Building (405 Main) next door also lost a cornice at some point. Just think, a renovation project that restores a cornice instead of taking it off - we're almost starting to get civilized around here! They are also adding murals to the blank walls on the south and west sides, which will be visible from a wide area along Main and Prairie. Here is hoping that the new cornice will be made from quality materials, and that the GFR, currently housing the Fannin Corner Store, will get some love. https://realtynewsreport.com/2020/06/26/the-historic-republic-building-in-downtown-houston-has-been-sold/
  11. They have to provide ground floor retail which the garage next to it does not. Also their garage will be much narrower in width, which makes everything tighter.
  12. I'm impressed with it. If the inside is still something that people don't really want to visit, good. The more people on the street, the better. The combination of this, the renovation across the street, and the narrowing of McKinney to two lanes, is better than we could have ever dreamed 5 years ago, and provides an attractive visual gateway to bring visitors from Discovery Green to the rest of downtown.
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