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Geoff8201

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Everything posted by Geoff8201

  1. Heard through the grapevine not to expect anything happening here all through 2021. A big scale back may happen cutting the building heights in half, or potentially combining their functions and cutting the number of buildings down. But in the age of Covid, for a giant site that was going to house restaurants, a hotel and an office building, is anyone surprised. I personally hope the wait and see method pays off, and post covid the demand for everything comes roaring back.
  2. Correction, the groundwater cleanup online meeting I was referring to is for 3509 Texas Street. The digging goes and is progressing slowly. I’ll post a photo from atop the Lamar Tower when it looks more progressed. Feel like I’ve posted enough pics of an empty lot for now. Highrises’s photos nailed it.
  3. So there is some activity, but I believe it has to do with groundwater cleanup.... They are digging towards the south end of the property. A notice went out to residents nearby indicating a Microsoft Teams meeting in the near future concerning groundwater contamination.
  4. For a project that was originally “Coming in 2019” and hasn’t even shown signs of breaking ground now at the end of 2020, no it doesn’t look good. But.... it is 2020, which has not been the best year for anyone. It’s disappointing to hear about the office listings being pulled and the trailers being used for the sewer project... oh which btw I observed the very first trailer on the west end of the lot was actually being used for the Christian Community Service Center construction a block over. Saw people going back and forth and then the light bulb went off that this trailer has nothing to do with the RO either. I still feel this project would do very well, with exception to the office building portion, based on how things are right now. I hope this doesn’t go the way of River Oaks District which had three towers in the first rendering and got built as a midrise, granted it was a huge improvement form what existed before. Hopefully whatever gets value re-engineered, or changed, or whatever is a huge improvement from what was there before and currently. Right now it’s a big dark lot at night, and it’s attracting homeless people.
  5. All the land to the north of The RO lot up to The River Oaks Condo Building belongs to St. John’s. There is a giant multi use field, parking garage, and temporary buildings with a parking lot the Urban Harvest Farmers Market currently uses on Saturday mornings. It is my understanding that eventually this will become new buildings and athletic facilities for the school.
  6. After taking some time to observe the area, it looks like the two trailers and equipment are for the Buffalo Speedway sanitary sewer project I mentioned a few posts back, and has little to do with the RO.
  7. Aside from small activity (utility work, generators getting fueled up, desks and furniture moving into the trailers) not much has happened (Yet). Re-examining the groundwater impacts a few posts back; the areas marked would be the Phase 2 section of the project. The old gas station sat on where Phase 1 is going. If this was the cause of contamination it migrated south. I'm unsure if they would address this first, or go ahead and begin removing trees, busting up the old Exxon Training Center and parking lot concrete and begin setting footings for the new buildings. Also Buffalo Speedway from West Alabama going North is undergoing the start of a Capital Project to replace wastewater facilities. Crews have been out this past week setting up, and big machinery is out ready to dig. The plan I heard, is to tunnel under the street to do the work without disturbing the esplanades and most of the trees that sit on them. The project will take 16 months to complete. https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/sites/default/files/assets/001-project_Information_notice_r-000035-0012-4.pdf https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/sites/default/files/assets/construction_phasing_map.pdf Source with more informative PDFs: https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/node/342 Furthermore, The project to improve West Alabama is still alive. The Upper Kirby info I've found for Buffalo Speedway - Shepherd is outdated, but hopefully there will be a new timeline. Eventually this Alabama Street improvement will go all the way east to Almeda. Source: https://communityimpact.com/houston/heights-river-oaks-montrose/transportation/2020/07/07/improvements-are-coming-to-west-alabama-street-in-river-oaks-area-in-2021/ This intersection is going to look very different in just a few years. Edit: I rechecked the Upper Kirby District site and the West Alabama reconstruction from Buffalo Speedway to Shepherd is listed to happen in 2021/2022 for $22 Million. http://www.upperkirbydistrict.org/index.php/the-district-at-work/district-projects/coming-soon
  8. Question/Theory: With this new location coming, what happens to the San Felipe/610 location? Does it remain to serve the Galleria area as is... or does it become so valuable with the multiple high rises on one side of it and River Oaks District to the South, that it gets snatched up for more future development? At the very least I could see the large surface lot trading up for a multistory parking garage. Look at it on the map, that parking lot is the same size as the Arabella and Sky House combined.
  9. I posted this last year, it’s a virtual tour of the new portion of the school. The gym and pool are shown towards the end of the video.
  10. Two more construction trailers are arriving as we speak! And worth noting on the new rendering compared to the one Luminare posted back in early November; the building heights and designs have stayed the same. The biggest and only Design change I can see seems to be in Parcel 3 with the restaurant and retail section.
  11. I’m surprised and also not surprised this popped up. Through the 90s and prior, before they built the Exxon Training Center, this corner was a Full Service Gas Station with Service Center and Convenience Store. The Exxon Gas Station had Underground Storage Tanks that leaked. Next door it was apparent because the storm water coming into the storm sewer sump at the second sub basement, would smell like gas. A system was installed to filter this out and the water was directed to the sanitation sewer. This system was removed several years ago, but you could still smell the gas odor. Apparently it was under the threshold of being a hazard after the last inspection by Environmental Services. After Harvey, there was so much water that almost all the lingering smells were washed away and seems like this wasn’t going to be an issue anymore, presuming this is what was found. The next issue I think they may encounter is an underground spring below the property. We get groundwater coming in non-stop into our sump. It can be 6 months of drought and the water still continues. Being that it picked up the gasoline concentration it is theory that it runs under the former Exxon property before us. It will be interesting to see if underground water causes issues when they dig out the foundation, and if the stream coming in our sump diminishes after construction. Kudos to them for the voluntary clean up of what remains.
  12. If the building had a chiller system they would have to have a staff to operate and maintain such system. I am a stationary engineer and this is what I do. Some buildings meter their chilled water and this is ideal for billing for cooling and paying for a plant and operators, chiller mechanics etc. also handy for identifying leaks that can affect the entire system. Heat pumps are just reversible split systems where you can swap the refrigerant flow and make the inside coil the condenser (hot) and the outdoor coil the evaporator (cold). Each unit would still have its own compressor and electrical expenses. This is an ideal system for Houston, however when the outdoor temp goes lower than 40 or so a supplement Boiler has to be added. In cases like 2727 Kirby and the River Oaks, both coils are inside and a water condenser system is used with a cooling tower outside to make it work building wide without a hundred plus outdoor coils. Personally I think residents will start demanding a chilled water central system after they start racking up repair costs for heat pumps but we will see what happens many years from now. I’m more surprised one plant was not built for the Hanover building and they didn’t just sell chilled water to the Giorgetti. Not sure what system they use but if I had to guess it would be a heat pump with a cooling tower as well. 🤔
  13. I don’t remember it being anything like that. The buildings at times felt their age (20, 30 years) with the Natatorium being the newest, but not run down. The school was in pretty decent shape at the turn of the millennium, but I was just a student then, with no idea what was going on behind the scenes, or the eye for details that I have now. Certainly weren't any rats running around the halls. I remember someone did do a bad senior prank and lured a bunch of pigeons into the North building either in 2000 or 01. The blocked North building door from the courtyard with dozens of Christmas trees in 1999 was way better. Today the East building is almost gone. Guess the cafeteria canopy will get pulled down last. They are adding drainage to the new open space and the baseball field, as well as pouring concrete in some dividing wall off the north building.
  14. So the RO is still in design phase? Thought designs were just being finalized? Makes sense I guess as to why the groundbreaking hasn’t begun. The grass was starting to get a little tall, but yesterday groundskeepers were there with riding mowers keeping it from being an eyesore. Mid 2020 was the scoop I heard before, but that’s 7 month old information. It is just days from March so seems like a more realistic time frame now. Will see.
  15. Almost time for the outside cafeteria awning to come down. Man, I went here starting in the fall of 1997 and graduated 2001 and was very active in the Drafting Department when Mr. Sheppard taught it. That classroom will soon fall. Lot of memories.
  16. They just started tearing into the old East building today. It’ll be the last to come down. I’ll post pics tomorrow.
  17. I’ve been wondering because a January ground breaking did not happen. However there hasn’t been a day when there wasn’t at least one vehicle at the trailer. And there have been people walking the site several days this past month. Plus a another fence has gone up separating the trailer section. Nothing earth shattering, but it’s something. Attached is a shot of what will be the main first two parcels taken on January 30th.
  18. Having brunch at FM Kitchen and looked this one up. There is activity. Cat is out there digging for foundation in the light rain.
  19. Yes, you are correct, but that’s why I used the term *considered*, and used it loosely. Not by any city planning entity, but just by people whom may or may not occupy the area. Makes this area complicated to classify, (hence our posts on the subject) but like you said they will probably be referred to by all three. Upper Kirby does have a defined boundary you can physically see in the signage, Greenway and River Oaks not so much (at least none I have ever noticed). This is a gray area, where if you walk one block north, you’re in River Oaks, one block south, Greenway, and just cross the street east, boom you’re in UK. I’ve been in this area a long time and have heard places not in the boundaries use “A River Oaks Address” and the always popular hyphenated “River Oaks - Greenway“. Upper Kirby is the newest and physically the closest but still catching on. Upper Kirby Plans to redo West Alabama from Buffalo Speedway on eastward and make the area more walkable, which will be some benefit to the RO. Speaking of which, All one has to do is look at the project name to know which neighborhood they plan to say they are in. I don’t foresee that changing.
  20. If you really want to get technical, it is *considered* Greenway and River Oaks, but those are just lose terms since they really aren’t in either one proper. It’s not Upper Kirby because a representative with UK giving a talk was clear this project was outside their vision for UK. The border runs on the west edge of Buffalo speedway. As soon as you walk off of Buffalo onto the sidewalk by the RO site you just left Upper Kirby. Added a photo just because these man made borders are interesting.... UK red sign on traffic lights, regular COH green sign on sidewalk intersection (far left in photo) On an unrelated note, saw a yellow crane (also in photo) getting set up in that direction and got excited. But it was on a small property just west of the RO site. Need to look up what that is. Lots going up in this area.
  21. I noticed one very minor change to the site.... a construction trailer.... hopefully means something might happen soon. 2020 is right upon us.
  22. Are they putting that much wear and tear on the new building or is it straight up vandalism??
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