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Not sure when it started back up but it's definitely up and running again.  Hard to tell since this is a long exposure but you can clearly see it lit up here (shameless plug):   Williams Tower by Br

Vlog with drone footage at end    

Plug away. At least you don't make us click on the link to view the image like some people make us click their twitters. You know who you are.

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I don't think there will be any traumatic changes. It's not like it's some out-of-towners buying it. Hines REIT has been in the Williams Tower for years. Also, it's a REIT -- doesn't that mean it buys properties, instead of developing them?

I've been in the Hines REIT offices in the Williams Tower. In the middle of lobby is the five-foot-tall model of the Bank of America Center.

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Hopefully the Hines "family" won't continue to follow in the destructive footsteps of Weingarten (of which the family has been in Houston since the 1880s) - recently: Montagu Hotel, Bond Store, Beatty-West building, San Jacinto/Bender property...

As far as REITs developing:

Following its restructuring as a real estate investment trust (REIT), Weingarten became a publicly-held company in August 1985 and was listed as “WRI” on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company is one of the largest equity REITs listed on the Exchange and has consistently been ranked as one of the nation’s leading developers/owners of community shopping centers.

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Williams Tower is a jewel in Gerald Hines's crown. The REIT may not be 100% Hines family-owned, but it is managed by Hines, and that management style is what has made it so successful. I think it is safe to say that it is in better hands with Hines than with many of the other REITs out there!

Edited by travelguy_73
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Williams Tower is a jewel in Gerald Hines's crown. The REIT may not be 100% Hines family-owned, but it is managed by Hines, and that management style is what has made it so successful. I think it is safe to say that it is in better hands with Hines than with many of the other REITs out there!

What do REITs normally do with their new properties?

also...

What do yall make of this chron comment? Does it hold any water?

Somethings not right. I heard the rumors around Jan. that they were selling the building but I Hines still owned it. Who is Fosterlane Holdings of Atlanta? The tax records still have Gearld D Hines Int. as the owner of record. And you're telling me that a Class AAA property like Transco traded for $271.5 million!!???!!?!?! Bank of America traded for like $350 million and its 500,000 sf smaller. And cap rates are between 5 and 7 percent right now, that would put the price of the building much closer to $400 million. Something smells fishy.
Edited by lockmat
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All the REIT is doing is holding it. At this point it looks like a strategic purchase, by someone's measure, and not a lot else. To me anyway.

You are exactly right. The only rumor I had heard (and this was during Fosterlane's ownership, not Hines) was that the empty lot across Post Oak would make a nice spot for a parking garage. The economics might not be there to support such a move, but parking is tight now that the building is full.

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Lock, I can't believe you've sullied HAIF with a quote from those Chron board trogs!! ;)

Hey, sorry! :) I figured if it was a worthy comment then it'd be worth discussing.

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  • 1 month later...

Any and All..... please inform us with any inside information about the seller (a holding company perhaps since 'Transco' has not existed since '95 or '99)'s reasoning for selling in a market like Houston's, currently...especially around 180$/ft (forgot the exact sq ftg for the building much less the land in the deal). I'd love to hear the story why (and when) Hines sold the building in the first place (and continued to have the management contract).

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It's not the second tallest building in Texas. It's not even the second tallest in Houston, it's the third. 1. Chase, 2. Wells Fargo 3. Transco/Williams. You would think that Hines would know their buildings better.

Edited by rsb320
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  • 3 months later...

Can anyone tell me if they have shut the beacon off? The last couple of times that I have seen the Galleria area at night, it hasn't been on. I tried to do some research to see if any of the news stations had any reports on it but I couldn't find anything. I just had this huge fear that because of high gas prices they might have shut it down for a while or something.

Thanks!

Edited by Karick42
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Can anyone tell me if they have shut the beacon off? The last couple of times that I have seen the Galleria area at night, it hasn't been on. I tried to do some research to see if any of the news stations had any reports on it but I couldn't find anything. I just had this huge fear that because of high gas prices they might have shut it down for a while or something.

Thanks!

I asked the same question here.

I got no answer, but I have seen the beacon turned on and rotating at night since that post. So it is hit or miss, but it is still on at random times.

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I worked for a company in Transco/Williams for about two and a half years. Was in an office area on the 56th floor close to the northeast corner.

The elevators on 1 will take you to 51, then switch to access 52-64. The ones on 2 take 3-50. Taking 1 to 51 took around 45-50 seconds.

Being that high up was great, you wouldn't believe all the people who had binoculars or, in a few cases, telescopes. If there was a wreck on 610, you could walk down the east hallway and see everyone standing at the windows looking through their binoculars down onto the accident. :) They were also good for bikini watches at the half dozen or so hotel swimming pools that you could see from there. :wub:

When I started, 51 was still open to the west side, but by the time I left the company, Hines had installed a conference room that took up 98% of the window area facing towards the west. The east side was office space...some financial consulting firm I believe.

Unfortunately I never tried to go higher to the other floors. Once, when a buddy and I were bored, we tried to race all the way down the stairwell. Being out of shape, I was ready to collapse before we gave up around the 20th floor. Had to keep going down to another floor before we could exit the stairwell without using a cardkey. We never had to evacuate during a fire drill, only had to wait by a stairwell. I just couldn't imagine the chaos that would ensue if they tried to evacuate the building that way.

Edited by jaskerr
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Unfortunately I never tried to go higher to the other floors. Once, when a buddy and I were bored, we tried to race all the way down the stairwell. Being out of shape, I was ready to collapse before we gave up around the 20th floor. Had to keep going down to another floor before we could exit the stairwell without using a cardkey. We never had to evacuate during a fire drill, only had to wait by a stairwell. I just couldn't imagine the chaos that would ensue if they tried to evacuate the building that way.

That was pretty funny! I busted out laughing in my office. It must have been really cool to go there every day to work.

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Can anyone tell me if they have shut the beacon off? The last couple of times that I have seen the Galleria area at night, it hasn't been on. I tried to do some research to see if any of the news stations had any reports on it but I couldn't find anything. I just had this huge fear that because of high gas prices they might have shut it down for a while or something.

Thanks!

Hmm

Was it after midnight when you saw it?

The beacon usually comes on right at dusk & shuts off exactly at midnight.

Maintenance maybe?

Edited by Metro Matt
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Hmm

Was it after midnight when you saw it?

The beacon usually comes on right at dusk & shuts off exactly at midnight.

Maintenance maybe?

No, this was at around 9 or 10. I don't know if it's maintenance because this will be about each week or so. It could be but I'm not sure. I haven't seen it on in a while though. I tried to see if it was on the other night 9/17 and it wasn't on.

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  • 5 years later...

Although I drive by the Williams Tower at least once a week, I never truly appreciate it until I see aerial views of the Post Oak Galleria area. What a behemoth, especially when compared to the other towers around it. Can you all give me a not so textbook (I have read it's history) reason as to the awesome tower's purpose? What I mean is; was it supposed to be iconic and unrivaled (tallest building outside of a CBD)?, was it built to attract other businesses to create supertalls in the area?, what if any is its vacancy rate?, was it one of several similar, smaller towers to be built in the immediate area?, will any developer break the Post Oak glass ceiling in height so to speak with a future tower? Hope my questions make some sense. I have just always wondered about this iconic (one of my favorites after the BoA tower) building which seems to embody Htown's notoriety to erect monoliths amid cow pastures; which I think is one thing that makes this city unique and cool BTW. Any and all thoughts welcome.

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 "The 64-foot high water wall corresponds to the 64-story height of the tower and ... to the all-time high on the stock market for Transco stock."  -  Jack Bowen, then-Transco CEO

 

"Due to the cost of the land, which was substantially more expensive than most suburban sites because it was assembled by Hines from small pieces over five years, Hines knew he had to 'intensify the use' of the proposed mall, which led to three key new ideas...  

When the original Galleria opened [in 1970], Hines revealed his larger aspirations by declaring, 'A shopping center it is not.  It will be a new downtown.'"  (de Jong, The New SubUrbanisms, 152-3)

 

Not quite in a pasture, Philip Johnson had already been building slick glass towers in the neighborhood at Post Oak Central (1975-), but you are right that it skipped several stages of successional growth and went straight to climax condition.

 

Hines had learned - in Houston - that an advertising image was more important to a building's leasing rates than builders of International-Style oblongs had realized.  So accounts that chalk it up to ego (1 or 2) are not quite all-perceptive.  It is more about being imageable than about personal image per se.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I wish they would do something with the nigh time lighting of the tower. Its such an amazing  building and it would be really cool if it were lit up at night. The rotating beacon on top has not been on for several months either. Anybody know why that has not been working for a while now? 

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I wish they would do something with the nigh time lighting of the tower. Its such an amazing  building and it would be really cool if it were lit up at night. The rotating beacon on top has not been on for several months either. Anybody know why that has not been working for a while now? 

It hasn't been on for a couple weeks. Maybe a week before Christmas? There was also NO Christmas lighting on it this year. Maybe maintenance? You can tell the brown paint on the top has begun to fade and weather quite badly. It's extremely noticeable from the west side looking east.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Does anyone else ever wish this had been built downtown? Could you guys imagine how it would look in the skyline?

It would be an attractive addition to the downtown skyline but it would also be partially obscured by other tall buildings. I like it where it is. For this Houston native and resident for 50+ years, it is awe inspiring to see it from say, the Sidney Sherman Bridge over the ship channel, and recall Houston's remarkable ascent as a major urban presence in my lifetime. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone else ever wish this had been built downtown? Could you guys imagine how it would look in the skyline?

 

No, because its location is unique and makes Houston different than other cities. I also say that about other tall Houston buildings that are in unexpected places. What other US city has a crazy tall building that far away from downtown? None.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Hines Reit Purchases Williams Tower

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