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Posts posted by Urbannizer

  1. Developments in the Texas Medical Center are not really mentioned here on HAIF, I wonder why...



    Pending approval by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, funding for the UT Dental Branch's new building will be increased to $155 million in what is believed to be the largest single-project capital outlay ever for the UT Health Science Center at Houston.

    "After discussions with Dean Flaitz, faculty and students, as well as my own first-hand impressions of the current building, I wholeheartedly endorse moving ahead with the new building to house the Dental Branch, and I will devote my full effort to secure the additional funding," said UTHSC-H President Larry R. Kaiser, M.D.

    Catherine Flaitz, D.D.S, dean of the UT Dental Branch, said the increased funding "shows the health science center's strong commitment to having the best dental school possible. We are most grateful to Dr. Kaiser for actively listening to our vision, visiting the present facility and responding in such a supportive way by allocating these new funds to the building project. "

    When the Board of Regents and the Texas Legislature give final approval for the proposed increase, support for the new building will include $71 million in tuition revenue bonds, $63 million in Permanent University Funds, and $21 million in local funding. The increased commitment will allow the project to proceed in one continuous phase that will be less disruptive of day-to-day operations of the school, Flaitz said. UTDB's Executive Associate Dean John A. Valenza, D.D.S., said the increased funding is a tremendous boost for the project, but to realize the full vision for the new school, the Dental Branch will need help from philanthropy. "Alumni, foundations and other fund-raising sources will have a huge impact in helping us

    To help complete the building as proposed, the Dental Branch has established an estimated philanthropic goal of $20 million, with approval from UTHSC-H. John Greer, development director at the Dental Branch, said the school already has raised $5.25 million for the building through the Open to Health fundraising initiative, which also seeks financial support for new scholarships, professorial endowments, community outreach efforts and dental research. The building plans are still undergoing revision, but some highlights include:

    • Dental Branch researchers will occupy the fourth floor in the Biomedical Research and Education Facility (BREF), and more research space is being negotiated. The BREF will connect to the Dental Branch Replacement Building (DBRB) via hallways. Current plans call for the Houston Biomaterials Research Center and UTDB's oral pathology labs to be in the BREF.
    • Approximately 32,000 square feet in the DBRB may be designated as shell space for future use as clinical operatories, faculty alcoves with computer stations in the clinic, a small clinical lab, clinical conference rooms, one patient waiting area and a preclinical lab. Valenza noted, however, that as fundraising progresses, these shelled spaces may be completely built out by the time the building opens.
    • Under the current plan, all satellite clinics (Advanced Education in General Dentistry/General Practice Residency, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry) will remain off site.
    • In the new building, UTDB admissions will increase from 84 to 100 DDS students per year, and modest increases are planned in the size of the post-graduate dental programs.
    • Surface parking will be provided initially.

    Flaitz said the new building will be a core facility to build on, and the Dental Branch will have a list of high priority projects ready to go as additional funding becomes available.

    The new building will be located in the UT Research Park currently under construction in the southern part of the Texas Medical Center south of Old Spanish Trail near Cambridge Street. Other facilities in the Research Park will include the BREF, the Neuroscience Building and the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research (CABIR), which is a joint project of the UTHSC and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in cooperation with GE Healthcare and the Texas Enterprise Fund.


    • Like 2
  2. Honestly, the other two photos I see are the only ones that make since for rail in Houston (they are off the streets). The one in The Galleria area I think is a stupid Idea. You don't put rail on a crowded street like that. It will be difficult to turn, uturn, etc. I think that they should at least consider above ground or below ground stations for this area.

    They are being so Cheap with METRO Rail that I hear that it will have the first ever (world or nation???) rail line crossing that is not separated. Meaning that trains going east and west will have to stop and wait for trains going north and south to pass by and the other way around. You guys can criticize me if you want, but I think Houston is getting the crappiest passenger rail system ever built. When rail was first approved for Houston, I expected a World-Class rail system on par with other major cities, not a 2 car street train scooting along streets and not in its own right of way. I just watched a video of one of the new lines going right down the middle of a street in a suburban style neighborhood with ranch style housing, WTF! That doesn't even look right. I don't blame the people for the NIMBY stuff. It seems as if the people that work for METRO have never been outside of Houston and have never seen an actual passenger rail system work. With all hope completely lost of Houston being a true urban city (You can't be truly urban without the proper rail infrastructure), I can still have hope for other Texas cities like Austin and San Antonio to build world class rail systems in the future. Dallas' has done in right. The only thing I can say about DART Rail is that it is light rail and not a Heavy Rail System, but other than that, its perfect.

    I think all construction that has started on the new lines should stop and there should be a complete redesign of the entire system. If I had it my way, the Main street line would be completely removed and moved underground, where a rail system should be in a city the size of Houston.

    Okay, where are my critics?

    Great post, The City of Houston nor METRO are'nt thinking clearly at all, I think these new above-ground rail lines will cause more traffic, havoc and make everything worse on the streets, intersections etc. than making things better. Its pretty sad. :(

  3. Well, I noticed several weeks ago that the signs and coverings have been removed. So, I don't really know what to make of this.
    Drove by earlier; there is a fence that is up across the street from the existing structure covered in banners/renderings/etc. Might be on hold due to the economy, but this doesn't look too far off, consider how many other properties they managed to get done lately.

    :huh: So the renderings of The Mix are still up? Yes? No?

  4. It is taking shape... the shape of the base was throwing me off before, but now I can see it. Should be rising pretty fast soon compared to before. Be great when this becomes part of the skyline.

    Looks like MainPlace is rising faster now.


  5. Austin was the perfect city for that.

    Yeah but unfortunaetly, Austin City Council rejected the proposal. It would of been a mixed-use development with a 1.5million sq. ft. studio at the cost of 1.5 billion.


    My hope in the Astrodome Studios concept is fading, due to the numerous proposals planned for the Astrodome. Astrodome Studios would diversify Houston's economy. Having a large studio would attract artistic type of professionals, directors, actors, set- designers, film makers, producers, writers, etc. plus it would open the door for Houstonians who may want to enter that field and possibly create thousand of Jobs. More money for Harris County and possibly surronding counties. New opportunities for UH, Rice and TSU to teach these trades. It would also possibly bring more developmnt to the Houston metro area. Last but not least, this movie studio would not only help Houston, but the state of Texas as well. Too bad Judge Ed Emmet is not thinking clearly of the pros a movie studio would bring to Houston, Haris Couny and Texas.

    Well..... Houston is Houston. :( Lets see what happens.

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  6. This needs to happen. Houston is currently missing out on movie productions to other cities. Even movies that are set in Houston for the most part aren't taped in the city. With this place, it will allow lots of productions to be taped in the city.

    I think this concept has a high potential of happening. The movie incetive bill was just passed so that defianetly helps and cities within the state like Houston begging for Movies to be taped here, is also a plus. I think the Houston City Council wll have alot of interest in this.

    • Like 1
  7. More info has been added on the website about each floor level.

    Sound Stage

    Over 90,000 square feet of sound stage space will be available for major film and video productions, whether to accommodate one gigantic set construction or divided into smaller, multiple sets.

    The sound stage area allows for easy access to production offices, dressing rooms, post-production studios, secure storage, equipment rental, and vendors of every description that surround the production area. Props, lighting, sound equipment, and set personnel can be easily moved to any set location on the sound stage.

    Offices and Studios

    Three levels of the Astrodome will be built out and leased as office and vendor space, equivalent to approximately 600,000 sq. ft. Tenants can include production companies, radio and television stations, post-production studios, sound labs, digital animation studios, film processing, props manufacturing, talent agencies, camera and equipment rental, wardrobe and makeup studios, and virtually any support service associated with the industry.

    Space options can be standard or customized. Any type of business associated with film, broadcast media, or production will find Astrodome Studios as the best option to support their professional trade. Along with the amenities that will be included, the tenants of Astrodome Studios will be pioneers

    • Like 1
  8. Interesting..

    It's been reported in the last week that there are rumors that GMC and Pontiac will be terminated like Saab, Hummer and Saturn. Makes sense, doesn't it? Isn't GMC just clones of Chevy trucks?

    Its not in their immediate plans, GM is only considering killing those two brands to prevent filing for bankruptcy.

    More upcoming vehicles

    Cadillac CTS coupe

  9. Thanks for posting the photos.

    The Acura is a pretty blatant attempt to copy the BMW X6, although why they would want to copy one of the most grotesque cars on the road is beyond me.

    To me the Terrain looks like just another overdone SUV to cruise mall parking lots. What's with the jumbo fenders?

    The Outlook is a bit of a disappointment imo.

    I like it.

    Something I found today, the 2011 Chrysler 300. A very popular car.



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