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  1. The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects, Houston passed the following Position Statement at its regular meeting on April 10, 2007. The statement will be presented to the Mayor and City Council tomorrow, April 17, by AIA Houston member Peter Boudreaux, AIA, of Curry Boudreaux Architects. AIA Houston POSITION STATEMENT April 10, 2007 RE: The Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation Site Lease / Potential Sale The American Institute of Architects, Houston does not support the sale and demolition of the buildings of the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation located at 3550 West Dallas. The Center and the City of Houston are in disagreement over the validity of the site lease, where the Center's architecturally significant facilities are located. Invalidation of the lease may result not only in the destruction of the homes of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities but also the demolition of these historically important works of Houston architecture, which anchor a visible site in heart of the city. The current buildings and prominent site comprise first-class urban design and environmentally propitious use of open land, both concepts AIA Houston supports in general. The Center buildings are important examples of the architectural trend called the New Brutalism. They occupy a significant place in the history of Houston architecture, particularly in the wake of the recent demolition of the Houston Independent School District Headquarters on Richmond Avenue. The New Brutalism was a modernist architectural movement inspired by the work of Le Corbusier that flourished internationally from the 1950s to the 1970s. New Brutalist buildings usually are formed with striking repetitive angular geometries and are often constructed of rough, unadorned poured concrete. Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry designed the Center for the Retarded (1966), as it was originally called. The Cullen Residence Hall (1978) is the work of S.I. Morris & Associates. These architects are significant in Houston's history and these particular buildings are especially important because they represent a high standard of design in service to a community that has been traditionally under served. The buildings are in good condition and will serve their function for a significantly long future. Together Barnstone & Aubry designed several brilliant Houston buildings such as Rothko Chapel (1971); Guinan Hall, Univ. of St. Thomas (1971); Media Center, Rice University (1970); and 3811 Del Monte (1969). Both architects individually are also well-known for their work. S.I. Morris headed a string of firms (including Morris*Aubry), the successor of which is Morris Architects. The full body of Morris work touches almost all of segments of Houston architecture from the Astrodome (1965) to award-winning skyscrapers, to public buildings such as the Central Library (1975) to small houses. Transactional costs for the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation to build a new facility will take away from monies and services that this special needs population urgently requires. The Center for the Retarded, a non-profit organization, invested $7 million (1960's dollars) in the buildings, which probably cannot be recouped (in today's dollars). The $26 million estimated sale price of the land would fund only a portion of the needs for a new facility of comparable size and quality. The cost of comparable new facilities would mirror the inflation rate of the land and construction cost. Loss of this site and its buildings would entail a substantial net loss to the Center and adversely affect its ability to maintain its present level of service. Therefore, because of the outstanding architectural significance of this campus, the Board of Directors of AIA Houston recommends that the City of Houston renew its lease with the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation so that the Center may remain in its current location and continue to provide essential services to the citizens of Harris County. Hanover Square
  2. Worthy of a new thread.... Construction set to begin on high-rise by summer 13-story condo to be built on site of former River Caf
  3. I am now living in Los Angeles, but on a recent trip to Houston, I saw the difference in retail outlets in the Galleria and even Highland Village. Both places have gotten pretty big chains and specialty stores, like Burberry, Dior, Bose, Jimmy Choo, and Luca Luca. Although most people don't care for this, since it is outside of most people's reach, I work in this industry, doing marketing for luxury brands, and I know that stores moving into a city at this pace signifies growth and confidence that the city is chic enough and diversified enough to open shop. In Houston, there have been 13 store openeings of a high caliber, those found in Rodeo Dr or 5th Ave. 10 years ago, that would have been impossible, I think that Houston is on the ap like never before. But those are just my thoughts. Though it is not the architecture phenomenon we all wish for, at least people visiting---for pleasure or business---will see the Gucci store or the Sony Style store and not feel that they are in a country town with big freeways. Not to up-play it, but this type of thing makes a difference when producers look for a city to host a show in, like the REAL WORLD or and awards show. It puts us on the cultural map. What do you guys think? Treader
  4. New Orleans developer buys downtown Opportunity Zone property for mixed-use remodel New Orleans-based NORF Cos. paid an undisclosed amount to acquire a three-story building located at 1014 Prairie St. from Houston-based Friedman Prairie Associates. COURTESY OF NORF COS. By Jeff Jeffrey – Reporter, Houston Business Journal 3 hours ago One of downtown Houston’s oldest buildings has been sold to a New Orleans-based company that plans to convert it into a mixed-use multifamily property. NORF Cos. — which stands for New Orleans Redevelopment Fund — paid an undisclosed amount to acquire the building located at 1014 Prairie St. from Houston-based Friedman Prairie Associates, according to a news release. The three-story structure was built around 1895 and features a Romanesque Revival building facade. The building is located near the intersection of Prairie Street and Main Street in the city's central business district. NORF paid for the property out of an Opportunity Zone fund, which makes the makes the property eligible for tax breaks if it is held for a certain period of time and significant improvements are made to the building. NORF plans to restore the building, turning the interior space into roughly 20 residential units. The ground floor will be available for retail leasing. NORF expects to break ground on the renovation project in early 2021. The 13,500-square-foot property was valued at $856,207 as of Jan. 1, according to Harris County Appraisal District records. “We had a strong investor fundraise in the low eight figures that will enable NORF to continue its strategy of impactful investments in blighted properties that are transformative to neighborhoods,” said Cullan Maumus, development director of NORF. “In partnering with our investors, we are fulfilling our vision in providing positive returns for our partners and our community. We were very impressed with the considerable interest we had from potential OZ investors that we are already in the works for a new NORF 4 Opportunity Zone Fund.” Click here to read a Houston Business Journal cover story on the federal Opportunity Zone program. The acquisition of 1014 Prairie St. marks NORF’s latest purchase of a property located in an Opportunity Zone. The company said it plans to target Opportunity Zone properties across the southeast United States, with a particular focus on Houston and San Antonio. The company’s Opportunity Zone funds already own several properties in New Orleans.
  5. Look what they plan to build across the street. Its pretty ugly and cheap compared Boulevard Place, it will be called Post Oak Plaza. Post Oak Blvd. @ San Felipe Houston, Texas Located In The Heart of Uptown Houston PROPERTY DATA Size: 129,315 Sq.Ft. Tenats: Pinto Ranch, Luby
  6. https://retailtxok.cbre.us/property/former-sams-club-1615-s-loop-w/ https://retailtxok.cbre.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/1615-S-Loop-W-Former-Sams-Club-property-flyer-061418.pdf https://www.loopnet.com/xNet/Looplink/TmplEngine/ListingProfilePage.aspx?LID=15272430&siteid=3349&LL=true
  7. The one along Holly Hall crosses freight tracks owned by UP or Houston Belt & Terminal, but the frequency of trains is very low and almost never during the daytime. At night, small trains drop off and pick up cars at the Grocers Supply Co. distribution center on Holcombe, which is where the line currently ends, but that is the only user of the tracks of which I'm aware.
  8. Someone please tell me more about this project. This would be for the Texas Medical Center at the corner of Main & Holcombe, where the Bank of America building sits. http://www.slideshare.net/QingjingZuo/smilodon-rendering-collection-20154-47319504
  9. This corner used to have Cornbreads, (as nice as it was to have a sports bar down the street from me some of the folks that went there where kinda thuggish), Schlotzkiz (spelling?), CiCi's Pizza, and the Asian Supermarket. It's all gone now! There is a sign up for "Cherry Companies", who I guess is either the Demo company or the General Contractor. I'm wondering if anyone has a clue as to what will be constructed here?
  10. Prime 131, 2505 W. 11th St. Architect - https://www.ipreminger.com https://preview.houstonchronicle.com/dining/berg-hospitality-to-open-two-new-restaurant-15973066 https://www.ancorian.com/the-docks-at-timbergrove
  11. This thread was originally created January 8, 2016. I'm reposting / reupping this because this post and other content from me are no longer available on the forum. An archive link to this thread is coming soon. Last summer Braun Enterperises announced plans to redevelop 1919 North Shepherd with Mellow Mushroom as an anchor. According to The Leader: ...People were excited at the announcement last August that Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers signed a contract to open shop at Braun’s forthcoming development at 1919 North Shepherd. At the time Braun, also responsible for Ella Plaza and Harold’s in the Heights, said that there will be space for a few more retailers. The Leader reports Moody Ice will move in: ....Moody Ice, a shaved ice shop with an entrepreneur spirit, will be opening at the site this summer. According to the proprietor, “the possibilities are endless with these fresh ingredients and an assorted cultural influences.”
  12. There was a huge moving truck outside today--What's going on?
  13. I'm very curious what will come of this site. Not sure how dense or high end it will be. It's in a good but strange and changing location. https://www.hfflp.com/GetDocument.aspx?ID=101113&FN=Flyer+-+NW+Mall-HR.pdf&DT=1
  14. Sign up for future development of retail. Didn't have my phone to take a picture. https://capitalretailproperties.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/1102-Delano-EADO-Flier-11.4.19.pdf
  15. For years I have been wondering if Sears will ever do something with this eyesore located in midtown. It has so much potential, I guess at one point it was actually considered a beautiful building. Sears really needs to think about bringing it back to its original form. Something needs to be done. I would prefer to preserve the building, instead of razing it . What do you all think? Article found in the Chronicle today. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/5924010.html ''It's hideous!" fumes my friend V., warming up to one of his favorite rants: the unbearable ugliness of the Sears on Main Street. "It's right there on the light-rail line! At the entrance to the Museum District! At one of the few places where Houston can look good to visitors!" V., I have to admit, has a point. Sears' tan metal siding, blotched with graffiti cover-up, gives the building's upper floors the beaten-down air of an aging ministorage unit. But even that beats the urban battle fortifications at ground level. Someone, it appears, worked hard to make the department store defensible, able to repel invading hordes of shoppers intoxicated by Vanessa Hudgens' back-to-school ads. At the Wheeler side of the building, two sets of glass double doors, blacked out and locked during business hours, present an ominous face to the street. Opaque gray film makes the official entrance's glass doors, facing Main, only a little less scary. Bricks fill almost all the former display windows; burglar bars and more of that gray film cover the plate glass that survived. Only the most intrepid seekers of Kenmore appliances would dare breach such a bulwark. What's the deal, V. wonders. Does Sears think that the urban shoppers that store serves deserve less than, say, the suburbanites at the Memorial City Mall? And for that matter, hasn't someone at Sears noticed that Midtown has gentrified around the store? Isn't there a retail audience yearning to be better served? "Don't just return," exhorts the Hudgens back-to-school ad for Sears. "Arrive." V. would like that Sears to do just that. ...
  16. I was just wondering, how far apart are these two developments and do you all thing these two sites could change the perception of Houston as a urban walkable city? Which development do you think has the greatest potential for development? Some say that the KBR site should become a park, but I believe that there could be a much better use for the site. KBR Site Regent Square
  17. This thread was originally created February 4, 2016. I'm reposting / reupping this because this post and other content from me are no longer available on the forum. An archive link will be posted soon. 1719 Westheimer Rd in Montrose Houston From Google Maps Street view October 2018:
  18. Didn't know where to put this, but I saw a gentleman measuring off the building today. He had measuring tape and was jotting everything down on his notepad. He also had what looked like a sketched/diagram kind of figure on his paper.
  19. Drove by today and finally noticed it's closed- Any idea what happened?
  20. Houston-based AmReit has bought Uptown Park, a Galleria-area retail center developed by Giorgio Borlenghi's Interfin, for $68.8 million. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3208551
  21. Anyone know what's going on next to the Federal Reserve on Allen Pkway?
  22. Plat filed for the eastern half of lot that currently has the office building containing the Maritime museum and Andes Cafe on 2311 Canal St., so only the portion currently empty is covered. This entire property along with the one across the street bounded by Canal, Navigation, Runnels and the RR are owned by Midway (listed as KBRN on HCAD, same as East River). Both are highlighted in the attached picture. Judging by the shape I am thinking mid rise apartments, hopefully with some mixed use fronting Navigation. Anyone have additional info? Could this be the start of a larger "Gateway to the East End" project comprising both properties.
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