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Angostura last won the day on July 7 2010

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  1. Unfortunately, every concept is now a take out concept. IIRC, since the acquisition CB's baked goods are now done from a central commissary, so this should be a relatively easy concept to replicate, especially if they can lock in attractive lease terms.
  2. Commercial MBS markets are completely frozen. Commercial leaseholders will struggle to make lease payments, which means property owners and developers will struggle to make loan payments, which impairs the associated commercial MBS assets. For the most part, banks and other holders have foregone margin calls, and Fed is backstopping, but don't hold your breath for new funding.
  3. Saw a rumor that MF Sushi will move into the spot on White Oak being vacated by Barnaby's.
  4. To the extent Houston is still an industry town, I would expect phases 2 thru whatever to slow down. The energy industry is going to get absolutely hammered. Have a look at oil and gas stocks over the last month to see what the consensus outlook seems to be. Predictions are that global oil demand could be 10% lower, and prices below $20, which will decimate free cash flow at operators, who will need to slash capital spending to keep paying their dividends (oil majors are very reluctant to cut dividends), which will have a trickle down effect on the supplier base, much of which is still recovering from the 2015-6 slump. There will be bankruptcies.
  5. I'm very wary of words like “landmark” or “game changer”. The bigger a project is, the longer it will take to improve when it turns out to be terrible. I'd much rather see a 250-ft blockface divided into 10 pieces of 25-ft frontage than one single huge building. I mean, how much nicer is this: .... than this:
  6. Masson replied to a facebook post about this. Turns out... ...though there were issues besides rent (and parking):
  7. To be fair, building an actual mountain may be easier than eliminating parking minimums.
  8. You could plat it out with (mostly) narrow streets (30-ft RoW), small-ish blocks (~200-ft), small plots (mostly 25-ft frontage, with some 50 and 100-ft lots), require zero front setbacks, allow zero-ft side setbacks, institute a height limit (say, 50 ft), and exempt the area from parking minimums. Within a generation it'd be one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Houston.
  9. The lots ARE deed-restricted, but the restrictions allow for multi-family on these lots, with design approval. The two buildings have a total of 8 apartments, at an average of around 1000 sf each, and apparently not in great shape. Property taxes alone are $400+ per month per unit. Owners are probably facing either a renovation or a teardown. The two lots combined have an appraised value of around $1.5M. If they renovated the structures to a value of $200/sf, they'd need $1000/mo per unit just to pay the taxes, and probably $2500-3000/month to cover the debt service on the land + reno cost. Almost certainly doesn't pencil. It would also be an improvement to land value ratio of about 1:1, which is way underbuilt.
  10. Yes, there are wide streets in these places, and one would expect streets like Westheimer and Montrose to be relatively wide, but if you take a few steps off of one of the grand avenues in Paris, and you'll find yourself on streets that are 30 feet or less between facades. There are no such streets in most American cities. Take rapidly-densifying EaDo: all the streets are 70-ft ROW, plus a 5-ft building line (mininum), which means the distance between facades is never much less than 80 feet, almost 3X that of a typical pre-19th century side street. So the ONLY place you can put this kind of space is internal to a development.
  11. Convenient, I guess. The firm's Houston office is only a few blocks from the site.
  12. I think pretty much the exact opposite. Like most American cities, Houston suffers from overly wide rights of way. Distance between facades near this project on both Westheimer and Montrose is 90 feet or more. It's very difficult to create a low-stress pedestrian-focused environment when the RoW is so wide. One of the very few ways to create human-scale pedestrian areas, therefore, is within large blocks. (See the Laneways development in Midtown, for example.) The other thing you see with this layout is that the central courtyard is much more like a traditional European square than it is an American park, since it's surrounded on all sides with buildings, not streets. This gives it a much more intimate, quiet feel. And the grade separation from the two busy roadways should help. Finally, all of this doesn't come at the expense of a hostile streetscape. The outside-facing facades appear to be transparent and activated, and the setbacks are right up against the pedestrian realm. And at this address, they should be able to find tenants for the retail. Even the parking is underground or otherwise hidden from view. Some of the materials and massing might not be entirely to my taste, but from an urbanism standpoint, it's pretty outstanding.
  13. Here's a better shot of the SF totals: This is probably something like 700+ total residential units, between MF and condo, plus maybe 150-200 hotel rooms The 3D diagram would also seem to indicate 3 levels of underground parking 😲 Very ambitious. Probably something like a quarter-billion dollar build, on top of the land cost (which is prob worth low-8-figures).
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