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  1. https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2016/10/27/175282/theatre-under-the-stars-needs-more-space-invites-public-to-help-with-funding/
  2. A dual badge hotel is planned for Crawford between Rusk and Capitol. Hampton Inn with 168 rooms and Homewood Suites with 132 rooms. 14 stories. Plan to break ground early next year and open in September 2015. https://www.google.com/search?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.houstonchronicle.com%2Fbusiness%2Freal-estate%2Farticle%2FValue-priced-hotels-planned-for-Houston-4613401.php&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
  3. Renderings finally posted in another topic. Very exciting. http://s.lnimg.com/attachments/A55B766C-A6A3-49E0-8EF2-BCB5680D4D1E.pdf
  4. Wiki says bank of the southwest tower was only planned for 82 stories. This NYT article says this would have been 500. Seems like it was more of a dream than real plan. Have we discussed this before? Sorry if we have. http://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/05/weekinreview/why-a-taller-skyscraper-because-it-s-not-there.html Quote: At a symposium on tall buildings last year, teams of architects and engineers discussed other hypothetical projects, such as a 210-story building in Chicago, a 500-story building covering nine blocks in downtown Houston and three 200- story towers in New York that would connect with and brace each other.
  5. With the recent upsurge in residential housing and interest in all things downtown, this Target concept is exactly the type of development Downtown Houston needs. http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2015/12/23/target-s-2016-store-plan-urban-urban-and-more.html
  6. Hello my friends! I'm Rudy, the one who posted about the BriarLake Plaza model that I obtained about 5 months ago. I wrote about my interest in architecture since I was around 12-years-old, and constructed model buildings since that time. I wanted to post some images of a project I've been working on for about 8 months, and that is a quick mass, study model of downtown, Houston! I've used nothing but 110 lb cardstock, and simple modeling greenery when it comes to the grass, bushes, and trees. I will be working on the northeastern section of downtown soon where Minute Maid Park resides. You will see where I detailed Sam Houston Park on the west side. Just simple small "houses" and church along the pathways. I detailed Discovery Green to a similar layout to the actual design. I have not built this to an accurate scale as far as measurement goes. I just go by skyline images showing the heights of the buildings to one another. This model started out with the Wells Fargo Plaza, so after that was done, I went from there to build the other surrounding buildings. Before I knew it, I was looking at Google/Bing maps to see aerial images of the roofs to get an idea of the overall shape of the building. Toyota Center was fun to make! I went as far as making the Capitol Tower (which hasn't even began construction) and placing it in its proper spot. That is in an individual picture so it can be seen better. I hope you like this model, and enjoy looking at the photographs. I will post more when newer additions are made. The last four images are of the model I made when I was around 19-years-old in 1988. It was made out of manila folders and I added color and "windows" to the buildings. The humidity corrupted this model in many ways lol, but was eventually destroyed when the shelf it was sitting on gave way and collapsed to the floor. The buildings were too crushed, as you can imagine, so I never attempted to reassemble it. All I have are the photos to remember it by.
  7. http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2016/05/exclusive-downtown-tower-to-be-renovated-as.html
  8. http://www.realtexdevelopment.com/portfolio-view/the-cosmopolitan-of-houston/
  9. "Alliance Residential Co. is planning to develop a five-story, 207-unit apartment complex south of downtown for the block bounded by Bell, Leeland, Main and Fannin. EDI International is the architectural firm." http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Houston-s-apartment-boom-focuses-on-urban-scene-4619878.php?t=445cfc44ffb05374ef Latest Renders:
  10. "When completed in 1961, the First City National Bank complex in Houston connected a 36-story office tower to a low-rise banking pavilion. The contrast between the two buildings is emphasized not only by their scale, but also by their careful detailing and materiality: the tower, with its recessed windows and white marble cladding, stands in deliberate opposition to the banking pavilion’s glass and steel structure. In keeping with the city’s car culture, the pavilion was designed to allow customers to complete transactions through six drive-in windows. While this portion of the complex was later demolished, the tower, now known as One City Centre, still stands as an early example of modernism in downtown Houston." http://skidmoreowingsmerrill.tumblr.com/post/142803990147/throwback-thursday-first-city-national-bank-when Sorry if these images have been posted before but searching for "One City Centre" yields hundreds of posts about Midway's CityCentre. Imagine that pavilion still fronting main... Sigh.
  11. "Downtown soon will see a spiffed up hotel and a new Texas-inspired restaurant to boot. The Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown will be rebranded as The Whitehall when it emerges from a $5 million renovation on April 14. At the same time the hotel's restaurant, Brazos, will open as Edgar's Hermano with executive chef Sylvia Covarrubias at the helm." http://www.chron.com/entertainment/restaurants-bars/article/The-Whitehall-hotel-to-debut-with-new-6884699.php?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#item-38488 http://www.thewhitehallhouston.com/
  12. The Next City Big Idea Challenge is in Houston this year: The event is Wednesday, May 13 at 6:30 pm at Discovery Green.
  13. Somebody over at SSP is claiming that he has a credible source telling him this building is confirmed and going up. Rendering looks to be 40-50 stories and says Q1 2013 completion....so I would expect a 2009 groundbreaking.
  14. 87-Story mixed-use tower http://archinect.com/firms/project/54172102/houston-tower/125435577
  15. This has probably been mentioned, but ran across this the otha' day: I don't know much about the project, just saw it. Looks like they're trying to expand the world's finest under-freeway amusement park!
  16. Recently, CNP Tower's floodlight lit crown went dark, replaced with red lighting on the edges. Today, I spotted work ongoing on the crown itself. Anyone know if it's going LED? I'd imagine that's the move since they're more energy efficient than floodlights. If true, this could produce some interesting nighttime lighting. https://twitter.com/thachadwick/status/568201083752824832
  17. The Downtown Houston Tunnels create an efficient asset to the city by providing pedestrian walkways for safety and additional commercial space for the working class. In the past, the tunnel system functioned as a connection between large scale commercial buildings, today, the tunnel system continues to serve its function efficiently by spreading a span of 6 miles. Since the areas are mostly used for commercial purposes such as food franchises and newsstands the design inside the tunnels becomes a unnoticed second tier characteristic to the users of the Tunnels. the Downtown Houston Tunnel System blends multiple architectural design styles ranging from modernism to a grid design reminiscent of the ideals of Le Corbusier and Rudolph’s Manhattan city grid proposals. The downtown tunnel system is a testament of architectural styles as well showcasing different levels of revivalism in some of the more dated system areas. Overall the tunnel system showcases itself as a timeline of monumental architecture styles, specifically, the time of modernism and post-modernism. The beginning of the tunnel is frequently credited to William Horwitz and his “innovative” method of connecting his two large scale cinemas in the city of Houston. However, the beginnings of the tunnel had already begin but remained undeveloped and uninhabited. The original creator, Ross Sterling created the beginnings in the 1930’s when he interlinked two properties, much like Horwitz did. Sterling’s idea was fruition from a trip to New York City where the Tunnel system there was beginning to gain momentum. During this time period the modernistic principles dominated design of many designs of the era. The beginning parts of the tunnel system show characteristics of this through plain white walls, little decorative elements, structuralism through the use of concrete and steel, and the use of formalism through the hard lines and geometric shapes. The characteristics give off a modern and cold feel to the project reminiscent of works by Le Corbusier, I M Pei and other famous modernists. As we move farther along the tunnel systems parts of the décor and structure start showing elements resembling Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum. The lights inside the tunnel with their conical shapes and bright strip lighting remind viewers of the gentle curves of Wright’s museum. Additionally the creation of the tunnel system brings back ideals from Le Corbusier and his vision for a connected Manhattan. After a visit from New York, Horwitz used the idea to connect his two theaters that soon brought about the start of the current Houston tunnel system. The layout of the tunnel system looks eerily similar to the carefully gridded and square tunnel system in the Big Apple. Although Houston does not have a subway system the interlocking pedestrian walkways create a similar idea. During the expansion and revolutionizing of the Tunnel system ending in the 1970’s the aftereffects of the Arab Oil Embargo Act caused flocks of people all over the country to migrate to Houston and create a renewed thriving economy. This era was a time of thriving expansion for Downtown Houston mainly due to this urban development. Schools, businesses and retail sprang up at every corner creating a city similar to the one that we see today. In the decades that followed, an increase of oil and banking buildings that make up the Houston skyline built interlinking tunnels that further connected the bustling of the city’s center. The renovation and expansion of the tunnel system brought us many new art styles including revivalism of old styles. This post modernistic characteristic is notable in parts of the system made to match the buildings that it connects. The old styles range including Neo-Greek architecture and space age architecture. Today, the city has expanded the tunnel system to create a system of intricate building relations. Some connections include Philip Johnson’s Pennzoil Place to the Civic Center Parking Garage, Two Shell Plaza to Pennzoil, Commerce Building to Southern National Bank. Buildings of different time eras and architectural styles are connected as well, notable buildings being BG Group Place, Wells Fargo Plaza and the Bank of America. The tunnel system also includes connections in the form of sky bridges between buildings. Most of the underground space is now occupied by food courts, gifts stores, and banking centers. During the height of morning and lunch commutes, pedestrians, mainly workers from the connected buildings occupy the spaces and use it to move from place to place. The use of the tunnels allows traffic on the ground floor of the city to continue and decreases the amount of unnecessary congestion on the streets of Houston. Although the Tunnel System has been identified to have certain design problems such as the lack of accessibility and the spaces being owned privately by the building owners directly above them, the tunnel system continues to provide a necessary aid to what could be an overpopulation problem. Although in its original creation date the tunnels met modernistic ideals of form following function the ever-growing boom of the city has deployed it of this feature. Much needed renovation to accommodate the cities’ working class are to be implemented soon into the tunnels. Throughout the passing of times, the Tunnel system, although changing in connection areas, size and shape have continued to represent an important transportation asset to the city of Houston. Although there may be changes to the characteristics of this Houston system the Tunnels are a testament to the expansion of the city of Houston. The Houston tunnel system as a metaphorical timeline showcases the design principles prominent in modernism, and post modernism.
  18. HBJ has a story about the building at 806 Main being emptied in preparation for a gutting and conversion to a hotel. HBJ Story
  19. Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't waste a perfect bayou location on our jails? Moving them would also help alleviate the transient and homeless population in downtown. If we're going to turn downtown into a vibrant and livable area, something has to be done. What do you think?
  20. New residential development coming to northeast downtown, Solero at the Park. Block bound by Crawford, Commerce, Jackson, and Ruiz. Block 107.
  21. ...must be destroyed! LOL But, I hear they can't do that because it has asbestos in it... It's fuh-gly though.
  22. More on the JPMorgan Chase Center here: http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/Building/2757/JPMorgan_Chase_Center.php TEXAS TOWER LIMITED ACQUIRES JPMORGAN CHASE CENTER IN DOWNTOWN HOUSTON Hines Chosen to Manage and Lease Property (HOUSTON) – Texas Tower Limited, owner of the 75-story JPMorgan Chase Tower, announced today the acquisition of the adjacent JPMorgan Chase Center in downtown Houston from JPMorgan Chase. The 20-story building is located at 601 Travis on the block bounded by Capitol, Travis, Texas and Main streets. The purchase price was not disclosed. Hines and Clifford Chance US LLP of New York represented Texas Tower Limited in the transaction, while Mark Russell at Studley represented JPMorgan Chase. It was also announced that Hines has been hired to manage and lease the 1.1 million-square-foot property, which includes approximately 450,000 square feet of office and retail space. Paula Bruns and Liz Shaw of Hines will handle leasing. The Center, which was completed in 1982, was designed by I.M. Pei & Partners and developed by Hines. Over the years, JPMorgan Chase has used the location as a data processing and operations center. The bank is consolidating to 712 Main and 1111 Fannin, retaining just 26,000 square feet at the Center. Upon Chase’s departure, 250,000 square feet will be available for lease. In addition to JPMorgan Chase, The Bank of New York Mellon leases office space in the Center. Connected to the extensive downtown Houston tunnel system, JPMorgan Chase Center contains 12 levels of parking, six levels of office space, and on the ground level, an auditorium and retail space. An exercise facility is planned for the top floor of the building. The parking garage, which is leased by JPMorgan Chase Tower, is utilized by the tower’s tenants and by people visiting downtown Houston for various daytime, evening and weekend events. In Houston, Hines manages 26 properties totaling approximately 13 million square feet.
  23. One Shell Plaza: Two Shell Plaza: ---------------- HINES’ ONE SHELL PLAZA AND TWO SHELL PLAZA RECEIVE LEED® GOLD CERTIFICATION (HOUSTON) – The Houston office of Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that One Shell Plaza and Two Shell Plaza have each received LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council under the Existing Buildings (EB) Rating System. Shell Plaza is a two million-square-foot, two-building Class A office property in downtown Houston that is owned, managed and was originally developed by Hines. Designed by renowned architect Bruce Graham with the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and completed in 1971, the 50-story One Shell Plaza was the first major high-rise project by Hines. It was developed as the North American headquarters for the Royal Dutch Shell Company when they relocated to Houston from New York City in 1971, and led to development of another 50-story sister project in New Orleans, One Shell Square. Clad in Roman travertine marble, it remains the tallest lightweight concrete structure in the world. The 26-story Two Shell Plaza consists of office, retail and parking. Both properties were acquired by the Hines U.S. Core Office Fund in 2004. The property was Hines’ first significant achievement in sustainability and marked the beginning of the firm’s long-time dominance in engineering excellence and energy efficiency. By raising the floor-to-floor height above market standards, Hines was able to install flexible, low-pressure ductwork that resulted in reduced operating expenses and occupancy costs, as well as greater operating efficiency for the buildings’ tenants. The property was also the first major high-rise project in Houston to install dual-pane windows, which contributed significantly to the high energy efficiency of the buildings. One and Two Shell Plaza are ENERGY STAR® qualified and together hold a total of 15 labels. With a weighted-average rating of 90, the buildings perform 43 percent better and save $1.63 in energy costs per square foot per year when compared to the national average building. This translates to estimated greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing approximately 3,350 passenger vehicles from the road—roughly one for every building occupant. As a testament to its design quality and operational excellence, Shell Plaza achieved LEED Gold certification with only modest upgrades, which included: the replacement and installation of low-flow restroom fixtures; the installation of energy efficient lighting with reduced mercury content; the installation of MERV-13 air filters to provide the cleanest indoor air; the use of green cleaning materials and equipment; and a comprehensive building recycling program, among other things. Hines worked closely with Kirksey’s EcoServices group, which played an instrumental role in managing the administrative aspects of the LEED certification process. Vice President of Strategy and Portfolio for Shell Real Estate Jerri Ballard said, “We are excited for Hines on the achievement of LEED Gold for One Shell and Two Shell Plaza. Shell has been pleased to support Hines on this journey in any way we could, and we are delighted that our companies share common goals of sustainability, energy efficiency and commitment to the U.S. Green Building Council standard.” Executive Vice President and CEO of Hines’ Southwest Region Mark Cover said, “The tenants in Shell Plaza are progressive and committed to providing their employees with the healthiest and most productive workplace possible. In turn, our property and engineering managers must constantly ensure that tenant space meets those rising expectations.” Shell Plaza is primarily leased to Shell, Baker Botts and Comerica Bank. Hines has secured LEED certifications for eight Houston properties, totaling approximately eight million square feet. Globally Hines is responsible for 145 projects, representing more than 89 million square feet that have been certified, pre-certified or registered under the various LEED rating systems. Hines was a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council, and is active in the BRE Environmental Assessment Method program in the United Kingdom and the Haute Qualité Environnementale program in France. In 2009 Hines was recognized by the EPA, for the second time, with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award; Hines has 138 buildings, representing approximately 77 million square feet that have earned the ENERGY STAR label. Twelve Hines development or redevelopment projects, representing more than six million square feet, have been designated as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. The firm’s historical and current portfolio of projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties includes 1,111 properties representing more than 449 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments. Hines has offices in more than 100 cities in 17 countries and controls assets valued at approximately $22.9 billion. Visit www.hines.com for more information. To learn more about sustainability at Hines, visit www.hines.com/sustainability.
  24. This seems like it could be an old/outdated/or dead project since it still mentions mayor Brown, but it has renderings of Discovery Tower and OPP and mentions a May 2009 purchase. Anyone know anything else about this? http://www.globalcenturydev.com/files/HoustonHB5.pdf (this file is separate and does not include the images below...it's for marketing)
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