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811 Main In Downtown


houstonfella

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Great! I'm assuming this is the block with the West Building and Montagu Hotel that Fernz was describing here.

Montagu Hotel topic.

I bet it is. I'm surprised they are willing to go at it without a tenant; I guess they want to beat the Discovery Tower out of the ground. The rendering I saw looked pretty slick, it's an all glass tower with slightly angled walls, and a terrace garden two-thirds up the building.

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I bet it is. I'm surprised they are willing to go at it without a tenant; I guess they want to beat the Discovery Tower out of the ground. The rendering I saw looked pretty slick, it's an all glass tower with slightly angled walls, and a terrace garden two-thirds up the building.

Post the rendering or website. PLEASE!

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Fernz, if you can't post a rendering (tall order at this stage I imagine), could you describe another existing building somewhere in the world that has a similar appearence. So we could get an idea. New skyscraper proposals for downtown always get me acting like a 8 year old on a sugar high.

Angled walls sounds intriguing!

Is the location, Main, Walker, Fannin, Rusk? (got that off the Montagu Hotel thread) On the satellite image, there looks to be several existing buildings on the lot.

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Just four blocks away from HP. To just give you an idea on how tall this building may be, One Shell Plaza is 50 stories and at 714 feet (without the antennae). One Houston Center is 48 stories, and 678 feet. So, something from maybe 670 feet to 720 feet maybe?

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47-stories won't be for some chump project either. You could get around 700 feet with that sucker.

>:)

With our sour luck, it may end up being only 40 stories. There is something about project proposals and final products in Houston where the height is either shortened or a twin tower is reduced to one.

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Let's hope Hines learns from the mistakes it made in the past and can build a building that integrates the pedestrian street level instead of destroying it. It is possible to accomplish this and still have a striking skyline presence. Every new building or element in downtown can either help make downtown a neighborhood or detract from it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because the city is actually putting their money with their mouth is to make this a reality let's hope the big developers get the picture.

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With our sour luck, it may end up being only 40 stories. There is something about project proposals and final products in Houston where the height is either shortened or a twin tower is reduced to one.

It would be better if we could delay the inevitable HAIF pessimism and doubts until we even see a rendering. Or Hines's website even mentions the project. We all are aware projects change as they go forth (or die) but it would be a much more pleasurable experience if we could learn just a little more before comments like that (true or not).

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From Fernz' description in the other topic, it sounds like this will look similar to the Houston City Centre project on the Shamrock site two blocks up. Not bad if you ask me. Both are 3/4 block projects, in this case saving wrapping around the Stowers Building. So would it be reasonable to guess parking on the quarter block on Fannin adjacent to Stowers, and the tower section on the half block along Main. This could be real nice.

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Let's hope Hines learns from the mistakes it made in the past and can build a building that integrates the pedestrian street level instead of destroying it. It is possible to accomplish this and still have a striking skyline presence. Every new building or element in downtown can either help make downtown a neighborhood or detract from it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because the city is actually putting their money with their mouth is to make this a reality let's hope the big developers get the picture.

That's what I am hoping as well. Street level retail would be awesome - it's in an area where there is already a lot going on. I can't remmeber what is in the "New West Building". Is it just empty or does it have retail? It's not the building with the dollar store, is it?

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It would be better if we could delay the inevitable HAIF pessimism and doubts until we even see a rendering. Or Hines's website even mentions the project. We all are aware projects change as they go forth (or die) but it would be a much more pleasurable experience if we could learn just a little more before comments like that (true or not).

Too many nice projects get downsized. I am still perplexed who decided to remove the residential portion from the Pavilions project. I agree, and I do hope this project stay at a grand 47 stories.

That's what I am hoping as well. Street level retail would be awesome - it's in an area where there is already a lot going on. I can't remmeber what is in the "New West Building". Is it just empty or does it have retail? It's not the building with the dollar store, is it?

The city should mandate all new building incorporate it. What to point of having sidewalks and grids if 3 of the 4 sides of the block have nothing on them.

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The city should mandate all new building incorporate it. What to point of having sidewalks and grids if 3 of the 4 sides of the block have nothing on them.

Downtown still doesn't have that much of a market for retail to make it mandatory.

making it mandatory would mean that some great lobby spaces wouldn't be possible.

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making it mandatory would mean that some great lobby spaces wouldn't be possible.

Do we even have any buildings downtown with "great lobby space"? Many (like Wells Fargo) hardly have any, and what they have is not even worth looking at.

Edit: The old Chase bank lobby is lovely.

Edited by MidtownCoog
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I am sure they could disguise the lobby elevation with some staircase action up a floor and leave the entire first floor to retail.

...which results in a poor lobby. IMO adding retail on classic/classy buildings would be tacky in most instances.

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Does the "New West Building" have any historical significance?

well, that's relative :P

it was built in 1912 as the Beatty Building (David R. Beatty - oil business) and designed by Henry C. Cooke (Magnolia Brewery).

the original James Coney Island location was there, too

here's a thread about a restoration that never happened:

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...?showtopic=1114

and a postcard from that thread:

ph115.jpg

Edited by sevfiv
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...which results in a poor lobby. IMO adding retail on classic/classy buildings would be tacky in most instances.

That's assuming the lobby is on the ground floor. Allen Center's lobby is technically on the second floor, with (gasp) retail on the first. OK, the retail is a Fantastic Sams, Banc of America, etc. But still.

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...which results in a poor lobby. IMO adding retail on classic/classy buildings would be tacky in most instances.

The Empire State Building is both classic and classy and it has retail on the ground floor.

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at the risk of sounding silly, how is the demand determined? :blush:

silly? nope. there are numerous empty business spaces currently along main. if there was that much demand those business spaces would be taken up and i would believe that the hrs of the ones that are there currently would be extended beyond typical business hrs.

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at the risk of sounding silly, how is the demand determined? :blush:

These fellows take a crack at it in a report comissioned for the Downtown Management District, but their conclusions are limited to the neighborhood level. It is a little off, I think, because there are a lot of different kinds of consumers represented in downtown Houston, the only one that really has a critical mass is office-oriented convenience retail. Dining has done fairly well because they can work the office crowd, hotel crowd, and some residents, but bars and entertainment establishments are in a state of flux right now, and it's hard to pin down that market. Destination retail, such as apparel stores, has always floundered in downtown. The Park Shops at Houston Center are doing terribly. Houston Pavilions could really make or break this segment in my estimation, and there is no foregone conclusion one way or the other.

The folks that did this study do not attempt to figure out the suitability of individual parcels for retail. Your question becomes more difficult when applied to a specific site within downtown Houston because of traffic (both public and private) and pedestrian volume and patterns, visibility, adjacency to various types of property, the levels of occupancy and upside opportunities for population and employment growth in adjacent and nearby properties, and of course physical suitability--the Wells Fargo Building is never going to have outdoor storefront retail, for instance, in spite of the density of the skyline district. To try and tackle all these issues, a broker/appraiser/developer looks at retail offerings that are most comparable to what is on his site and can observe how rapidly retail space has absorbed and the frequency of tenant turnover given the rents that those similar properties are charging.

Edited by TheNiche
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It's true, there does seem to be a lot of empty space on main that needs to be filled in. I guess what I worry about is if they build this tower with absolutely no room for retail, and downtown really takes off in the next few years, that area will always be empty. It's more of an investment in the future, but I guess business people don't like that sort of uncertainty.

With HP being so near by, and Macy's and American Apparel (?), it seems like downtown will become more busy in the next few years and it might be a good investment in that case. But I guess it's still a risk.

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I can't imagine that ground floor retail would be considered "tacky," or that a classic skyscraper couldn't have it. Ultimately they are buildings that should be useful to people, not just sculpture.

As of yet this block does not have a tunnel connection. I'm guessing that a connection will be made to the tunnel system through the 806 Main building. A project of this scope wouldn't be built without a connection. What I can see is a combination of tunnel and street retail, as in 1000 Main. That's not tacky, is it?

Also, according to the HBJ print edition, Hines intends that the new tower be LEED-certified. Good for them!

It is really amazing to see this kind of skyscraper activity going on - serious proposals from Hines, Brookwoods, and Trammel-Crow. This must be the first time since the 1980s when downtown has been booming like this. The HBJ article mentions that Trammel has an advantage with Disco Tower because they already own the land and it is surface parking so no demo necessary. The article has a quote that at least three of the proposed downtown projects will be built.

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