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Everything posted by SkylineView

  1. Thanks for posting the pic Lockmat... in fact, thanks for TAKING the pics. I'm all for density, and I love uptown, but that corner facade is hideous.
  2. Thanks for the info DevelopmentX... I have to ask though, why is this such a prime spot for a Whole Foods? There a Rice Epicurean literally across the street, and there's a Randalls Flagship one block down San Felipe. Going the other way is another Rice, a Target (full grocery store), and a Central Market. Given that Blvd place will ultimately have traffic and (if convenient) 'complicated' parking, I just don't see how this works... unless they really do put 1,000 residential units on the west side of the development, but that seems optimistic.
  3. Eh... has anyone else noticed the cladding they've put up on this guy? Right now it covers the full south east corner (maybe the bottom 3 floors)... it's visible on the webcam. Mother of God. It's maybe the least pedestrian-friendly facade I could imagine... unless they were to actually just make it a solid concrete wall right up against the road. I know this is covering a parking garage, but it looks like a prison.
  4. Out in 2018 would mean moving in 2017 would mean construction starts in 2015 which means design is done in 2014... (ish). So they have 18 months to plan their new home.
  5. I feel like this place is in a no-mans land. You won't have apartment density to drive interest in anything more than a coffee shop or maybe a bookstore within walking distance of the neighborhoods across the street. People aren't going to drive by here and stop because the traffic down Westheimer is awful, and if they want to drive through it they could just as easily go to Highland Village, the Galleria, Uptown, or even West Ave. I'd say this could be another development like what there is at Wesleyan / Richmond, but there isn't 4.2M sq feet of office space next door... I support Kinkaid, drop the retail... or at least call a spade a spade, cut it back to two smaller spaces, and drop a Starbucks logo on one of them.
  6. mfastx... are they not redoing the 610-45 debacle with the rest of the work on north 610? If not, that's a real travesty.
  7. I'm not sure this is any different than anywhere else in Houston. As stated, they already have thousands at Greenspoint, and many live north of town. If anything it will cut traffic going further south (until the buildings fill back up). I view this like another Greenway Plaza. In fact, the "trivia" page on Greenway's webpage says they have 13,000 parking spaces, so 10k employees wouldn't be too far off. It's a rush from 8-9 and 5-6, but otherwise everyone meanders in and out orderly.
  8. I agree the plans look vague... part of the issue is that it's a rainbow orgasm of an engineering diagram... my eyes can't super impose the final design over the top of the right-of-way lines, shifted lane configurations, and overlapping ramps. If I even get it half right, it looks like 610 SB gets it's own chimney rock exit (along with an improved 59 NB/SB split) that merges with a pre-exited 59 SB lane to avoid the merge while existing 610 SB to 59 SB braids over the top. It also looks like 59 NB to 610 SB will braid over exiting 610 SB at Fournace, with something similar happening going NB. For that matter, it looks like the ramps are going to be lofted about half a mile in advance of the stack, a la west 8 @ 10. Finally (hopefully) it looks like they may also braid over the 610 SB to 59 NB stuff, which would solve the cluster at Wesleyan.
  9. This project was news to me. Glad to see they are at least considering it. The 610 south to 59 exit situation is quite possibly the worst abortion in the Houston area. Did anyone happen to attend the meeting back in April? http://www.txdot.gov/project_information/projects/houston/59_610.htm
  10. /Walked into the middle of something... turns and exits through the side-door.
  11. That's awesome. A photo I always wanted to take... but was never brave enough to do so. Thanks for sharing.
  12. Wow, they are not screwing around. Lockmat - your photography as always is hugely appreciated.
  13. I drove down S Post Oak Lane tonight, and I could swear there was a new fence up around the old Pavilions including yellow "caution" tape... I only drive back there about once a month, so this could be old news. Also, does anyone know what Michael's church is doing with the back half of their property? New building?
  14. I happened to drive by earlier today.... looked like some new HVAC equipment for the building just to the west... didn't that one announce a renovation a while back? Could be part of that. Saw similar HVAC install ongoing on Friday for one of the woodway buildings, and for the new Gables Post Oak. Must be that time of year...
  15. But CK09, now you've missed the point entirely. The beauty of Houston is a high quality of living at a relatively now price. The reason that the restaurant and retail scenes are so strong here is due to high disposable income afforded by low housing costs and a robust job sector. Cramming more into a smaller space would require more mass transit to support the increase in density, but this won't be accomplished without raising the cost of living. Vancouver (Canada) has tried this for decades with the enforced green belt around the city, and the end result has been some of the highest housing costs in the country. Trying to do it here belies economics and common sense in light of where we stand today.
  16. Maybe this has already been broached in an earlier reply, but good lord, MFastX has the geneous idea. Put an elevated line straight down Westheimer... Galleria to 6. The number of apartments on either side within a half-mile has to be incredible, which would drive ridership to all of the surrounding retail & office. I'm convinced that anything on God's earth can be purchased from a business along that stretch... so I have to believe that people would use it. Also, there always seems to be plenty of people waiting for buses and/or [attempting to] walking down Westheimer. Elevate the thing so anyone driving down the road can still make left turns every 500 feet (as it is today). Why on earth wasn't this a front-runner for early-system construction? Connect Westchase with the Galleria and who-knows-how-many people in between, I'm not even sure you'd need to tie it into the rest of the system to make it useful & profitable.
  17. If done right I think a fully reversible, mult-lane toll facility could be pretty good. I've often wished the Westpark was 4 lanes fully reversible in the mornings and evenings. Everyone go in... everyone go out. If you're going the opposite way, use the frontage roads. I'm sure the on/off ramps would be a cluster of despair and confuse the hell out of everyone, but it would significantly improve peak period flow towards town. If anyone has it, I'd be interested to know the counter-flow volumes on the Westpark, The volume outbound in the morning looks pretty paltry.
  18. When they said "immediately"... they weren't kidding. There's a new fence around the property and people on site.
  19. Before I completely lose everyone, let me start by saying that I love rail. I lived in the UK for 8 years, and trains were a key part of my formative years. That being said... Basic economics pretty well 'derail' the Houston-Dallas high speed rail debate. You can fly Hobby-Love or IAH-DFW for about the same price... ~$150 each way. Flight time is a flat hour. The sad reality is that regardless of where rail departs, most Houstonians will be driving there... much like they would to IAH or Hobby... and you'll likely have to drive on the other side. Assuming you show up 45 minutes in advance, and drive 30 minutes on each side, it's a 2:45 commute vs. about 4:30 if you drive it. There could be some downtown to downtown commutes, but given the largely decentralized nature of both cities, it is reasonable to consider that people would be adventuring outside the urban core. Consider the jobs hosted in the Woodlands, Memorial City, Greenway, Galleria, Woodlands etc... And in Dallas... Las Colinas, Fort Worth, North Dallas etc... Amtrak will get you from one side to the other, though not rapidly. Using their trip planner it looks like 10 to 16 hours and will cost $64. Greyhound will do it in ~4:30 and $44. I'm not a huge fan of riding on busses, but $44 to go 241 miles is obviously the time to beat. Driving my car would probably cost that in gas. Referencing this for #'s (it's getting late)... http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/cyfair-news/article/Fast-rail-may-link-Houston-Dallas-in-2020-RAIL-2157909.php At $6 billion, a 4% interest rate, and $100 per ticket, the route would require slightly more than three million users a year to repay the loan over a 30 year term. This seems somewhat optimistic. The benefit, though I hate flying, of what Southwest can do, is that they can easily scale capacity up or down. While they may be running flights every 30 minutes out of Hobby, they could ramp it higher or lower on demand. Rail requires such a large fixed cost that regardless of ridership, you're saddled with interest payments on the original investment. Air travel doesn't suffer this. Also, I counted about 30+ flights from Houston to Dallas each day on Expedia, which does not include Southwest, so may 50+ total? We can assume that's at least 5,000 seats. While air and rail do not necessarily overlap (you're less likely to take HSR to Dallas and then fly to Phoenix... that being said, how many people connect through Dallas from Houston?), they will compete for point to point travel. I would guess that Southwest could cut prices if competition increased. Finally, a caveat. One thing we should consider is that both Dallas and Houston are forecast to consider to grow over the next 25 years. If both cities add a million a decade, as both Houston and Dallas (ok... almost) did over the past decade, the viability of HSR will increase. A business friendly environment, job growth, and immigration all lean in favor of Texas. If the cities grow by 20%, expand local public transit, and increase high-density development, it's possible HSR will be viable... just not today.
  20. This place is distinctly under construction. Concrete and steel coming out of the ground. More than anything else that's gone on in Rice Village, I think this has a real chance of expanding the area north. If it takes hold with the 24 hour fitness, good things will be coming.
  21. At the end of the day, this could be a pretty good location. You're half a block from both the Central Market and the Rice Epicurian (God only knows how that place is still around). 35 stories with 250 units is less than 1200 Post Oak, which has 33 stories and 350 units (or more... I can't remember anymore, but it's 300-400). Wesleyan is 2 lanes each way, which should be more than sufficient to handle the traffic. This is an urban location, and while it's busy during rush hour, it's not a total fail. If you're going north on Wesleyan you may sit through 2 lights to cross Westheimer, but that shouldn't preclude additional development. The location also has excellent access to Greenway, Highland Village, and whatever you want to call that development with the Buffalo Wild Wings / Panda Express / LA Fitness etc... With the other buildings across the street (8-12 stories) and the ATT abortion down Wesleyan (cement box with a top hat) I think this will be a welcome addition.
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