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McNair Plaza: Mixed-Use At Post Oak And Richmond


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Don't hold your breath. Regardless of mass transit or auto transit, people generally (almost without exception) like to live on the same side of downtown that they work on; it is not a nice prospect to have to cross the center in rush hour congestion to get to work and to get back home. Once favorite sides of downtown develop, new jobs and new housing feed outward on one another, making it all the more unlikely, over time, that residents of the region will work or live on the disfavored sides of downtown. Houston has spread so far to the west now that *downtown is on the wrong side of Uptown*. While there are still plenty of directions to get to it from, and , compared to crappy East and West Coast roads, the drive can be feasible even from the west if you happen to enjoy being behind the wheel, it simply is going to be a rarer occasion to find the tenant base for going real high-rise downtown as opposed to uptown - or the energy corridor, where costs don't need to bother going high-rise.

What?

Downtown's office market is incredibly healthy. That is why all of Brookfield, Hines, Crescent, and Trammell Crow are chomping at the bit to break ground on MAJOR buildings.

Additionally, Finger is building downtown's first new residential highrise in decades. If it turns out to be successful, others will surely follow suit.

And, I don't get where you are figuring that Houston has moved so far to the West that downtown is on the wrong side of Uptown? That is an odd statement to say the least because if you stayed solely West of Uptown you would miss out on being able to use Intercontinental and Hobby Airports...you'd miss out on Texans, Astros, Rockets, Comets, Aeros, Dyanmo, Cougar, Owl, and Tiger games...you'd miss out on the Texas Medical Center... you'd miss out on NASA... you'd miss out on Memorial and Hermann Parks...you wouldn't have a symphony, ballet, opera, or major theatre company...you wouldn't be able to find the home of 7 out of the top 10 and 13 out of the top 20 public companies...you wouldn't have Reliant Center or GRB to host large scale conventions...you'd lack access to the 2 largest hotels in the city as well as access to the city's best hotel (Four Seasons)...your kids wouldn't be able to visit the Museum of Science, Children's Museum, MFA, Holocaust Museum, etc...you'd miss out on the local headquarters to the region's 6 largest banks...you'd only be able to manage your money with 2 out of the 10 largest money management firms...

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Project Name: McNair Plaza   Architect: House & Robertson Architects   Groundbreaking: Beginning of April 2021   Completion of Construction: Decem

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What?

Downtown's office market is incredibly healthy. That is why all of Brookfield, Hines, Crescent, and Trammell Crow are chomping at the bit to break ground on MAJOR buildings.

Additionally, Finger is building downtown's first new residential highrise in decades. If it turns out to be successful, others will surely follow suit.

And, I don't get where you are figuring that Houston has moved so far to the West that downtown is on the wrong side of Uptown? That is an odd statement to say the least because if you stayed solely West of Uptown you would miss out on being able to use Intercontinental and Hobby Airports...you'd miss out on Texans, Astros, Rockets, Comets, Aeros, Dyanmo, Cougar, Owl, and Tiger games...you'd miss out on the Texas Medical Center... you'd miss out on NASA... you'd miss out on Memorial and Hermann Parks...you wouldn't have a symphony, ballet, opera, or major theatre company...you wouldn't be able to find the home of 7 out of the top 10 and 13 out of the top 20 public companies...you wouldn't have Reliant Center or GRB to host large scale conventions...you'd lack access to the 2 largest hotels in the city as well as access to the city's best hotel (Four Seasons)...your kids wouldn't be able to visit the Museum of Science, Children's Museum, MFA, Holocaust Museum, etc...you'd miss out on the local headquarters to the region's 6 largest banks...you'd only be able to manage your money with 2 out of the 10 largest money management firms...

The fact is that relative to the remainder of the Houston region, downtown's job base isn't growing as quickly, and strickn's reasons aren't too far off. And its residential base is severely constrained, especially now that land prices are once again driven by office space as a highest and best use. Even if you were to see ten new towers on the same scale as Finger's, it's a drop in the regional bucket.

Moreover, the data that I've seen indicates that strickn is correct that people really dislike having to cross through downtown during a commute. For instance, TMC employees are very heavily concentrated in Pearland, Sugar Land, and Missouri City, with relatively few from suburbs opposite downtown or the West Loop. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

And while a dot density map showing the concentration of persons with master's degrees or greater does indicate a concentration in Clear Lake, it is relatively isolated compared to the greater mass whose center is just west of the Galleria area. In that context, downtown's office market really is on the eastern periphery. I don't mean to discount the eastern part of our metro area for economic activity...but that kind of activity and those kinds of households just don't tend to play off of and support downtown as greatly as do the western sectors. In fact, just about the whole Pasadena/Deer Park/Baytown/Clear Lake sector may as well be its own economy...that's just how clearly the industries are demarcated as seperate from the rest of our region.

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Yeah if I had to make a guess it would be the Boymelgreen development. It's in the right area as described by ENGcons and we know that Boymelgreen has the financial capacity to put something like this together. I thought I had read that initially they were going to do two 30 story condo towers on that Richmond/Post Oak property. Perhaps they're reconsidering.

Here's the thread from when they bought the property... http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...lgreen&st=0

If that turns out to be the tract, hopefully they (or any high-rise developer who eventually breaks ground here) are able to line up the big 'un on center with the axis defined by Transco and its waterwall.

Edited by strickn
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If that turns out to be the tract, hopefully they (or any high-rise developer who eventually breaks ground here) are able to line up the big 'un on center with the axis defined by Transco and its waterwall.

the development will be called the San Felipe, not to be confused with the Street. Boymelgreen could added a few floors to compete with the Turnberry, and other new developments. I guess we will wait an see.

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Reading back through some of the press releases, it looks like Boymelgreen may be trying to sell part of the land they bought (specifically at Richmond and Post Oak). http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...ry2.html?page=1. Perhaps it's not Boymelgreen who is considering this big project.

Also, referencing Houston Development's post around the McCue site, I'm guessing that's Faulkner's project which was rumored to be a 40 story condo tower...

Houston Development, are you in a mood to share any info with us?

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Reading back through some of the press releases, it looks like Boymelgreen may be trying to sell part of the land they bought (specifically at Richmond and Post Oak). http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...ry2.html?page=1. Perhaps it's not Boymelgreen who is considering this big project.

Also, referencing Houston Development's post around the McCue site, I'm guessing that's Faulkner's project which was rumored to be a 40 story condo tower...

Houston Development, are you in a mood to share any info with us?

this is eng's rodeo, so you'll have to ask him.

B)

and yes, boymel did put their site at richmond and post oak under contract.

dont personally know if they closed or not but sounds like they did.

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I also originally believed that West Ward expansion was ultimately hurting Downtown Houston's chances of ever gaining a strong residential market. However, I was in a class that talked about the city of houston and the professor said something that I thought was pretty profound. He stated that you shoul dthink of Houston as not as Dowtown, Uptown and Medical Center in competition, that golden triangle should be viewed as the Manhatten of Houston. It is roughly the same size and if you look at the how Houston is shaping, up Central Houston is really within that Triangle. That does put DT Houston on the east side, but if you fast forward about 10-15 years from now, I think you will see 3rd and 5th Ward occupied by dowtown workers and Medical Center Workers. In addition, traffic will squeeze growth in the Galleria area, even though Uptown is trying to rival DT Houston, the infrastructure is not there to support 2-3 80/60 story buildings respectively. Even with the rail system, that area is already swamped with traffic today and if you clog up the arteries of Richmond it would be unrelentless gridlock.

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I think of that golden triangle, including Greenway, as "The Core," and as long as buildings are built in the core instead of way out some other direction, that I'm cool with it. If they start building really talls in Westchase or wherever, then that will be annoying. I'd prefer a supertall in downtown, but I'll be fine with it anywhere in the core, I suppose.

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Building an 80 story tower at the corner of Richmond and Post Oak does sound pretty dumb just thinking about the traffic. I'm an advocate of the rail, but until the network is really extended throughout the metro, it will just make that area even worse (assuming this thing gets built).

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Building an 80 story tower at the corner of Richmond and Post Oak does sound pretty dumb just thinking about the traffic. I'm an advocate of the rail, but until the network is really extended throughout the metro, it will just make that area even worse (assuming this thing gets built).

THAT is the key, with the major development that is occurring in uptown, as long as the Richmond/uptown rail is completed towards the middle or end of the completion of a number of these projects, then things should be fine. Someone that will eventually build a garage near a popular rail station is going to make a mint.

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THAT is the key, with the major development that is occurring in uptown, as long as the Richmond/uptown rail is completed towards the middle or end of the completion of a number of these projects, then things should be fine. Someone that will eventually build a garage near a popular rail station is going to make a mint.

I think the fact that it will be even more congested than it is now will force people to use the rail after a transfer from a P&R, so if anything I guess it will encourage more people to be vocal about commuter rail to Cypress, Sugarland, Galveston, etc., which is something the city desperately needs.

I know that if in 2011 we have all of this stuff in Uptown, I will avoid driving there at all costs.

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Many locals go there only if they have to or have alternate means of transportation (Taxi, bus, Limo, Hotel Shuttle). What has surprised me over the past few years is how much of a destination the galleria is. I get asked about the galleria more and more over the past few years. If I had the foresight to be able to find a way to document it, a graph would show how much I get asked and the traffic (from my experience) has increased accordingly.

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Well, the company could be from Dubai, but the designer could be American. I'm not saying American architects don't have as much imagination or whatever, but I'm saying just because the company is from Dubai doesn't mean you should expect something fancy.

For example, my father works in a Dubai/Saudi Arabian company called MMI, but the building is simply a large stucco 14-story box near the Galleria.

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Well, the company could be from Dubai, but the designer could be American. I'm not saying American architects don't have as much imagination or whatever, but I'm saying just because the company is from Dubai doesn't mean you should expect something fancy.

For example, my father works in a Dubai/Saudi Arabian company called MMI, but the building is simply a large stucco 14-story box near the Galleria.

many of the cool buildings in dubai are designed by american firms. the fact is, those holding the purse strings in dubai do not have a problem paying for an interesting/cutting edge design.

unfortunately, the cost of building here will be exponentially more than building in dubai. you're looking at workers in dubai getting $5 a day versus $6 an hour for our least paid workers.

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If the group is out of Dubai, then this rumored project has a good chance of happening, I would think. They seem to build whatever they want over in Dubai, without worrying about cost or if they even have a tenant. Hopefully they decide they also want to invest in building a supertall in downtown. It's a good time for them to buy property in the states.

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I haven't read the article. Does it mention anything about 80 and/or 50 floor towers? Anyway, it sounds like this 'rumor' has legs now. Sounds like at least part of the rumor (the Dubai part) has now been established as fact. I'm hoping the rest will be - in the near future. And then we can start the crane spotting on Post Oak/Richmond.

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The article doesn't mention floor counts or anything like that, but it does say that considering how much they paid for the land, their only real option is to build tall.

Cool, thanks for that.

Any mention of a time table?

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Part of Uptown's line will be in a subway, so maybe METRO extends it south past San Felipe and towards the Galleria.

worried about traffic w/ a 80-story building...........but having the rail right there wont help either unless they build it elevated or below ground. otherwise, the intersection is already extremely busy...then you make all directions stop for the rail and it will be just as bad.....actually worse!!!

(i'd like to see the renderings of the uptown line running through the intersection at westheimer)

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Cool, thanks for that.

Any mention of a time table?

Nope. A representative from the Dubai firm said that unfortunately, they are not able to reveal any of their plans for Houston at this time. It's tippity top secret.

The article then goes on to speculate that considering how much was paid for the land, I think around $200 per square foot, the project will likely be "very tall."

Oh yeah, and Boymelgreen no longer owns the land. There was a flipping frenzy of that land over the last few months, driving the price way up, and resulting in the Dubai firm now owning it.

Edited by NewMND
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Oh yeah, and Boymelgreen no longer owns the land. There was a flipping frenzy of that land over the last few months, driving the price way up, and resulting in the Dubai firm now owning it.

Are you sure they no longer own any of the land they bought there? I believe that when Boymelgreen bought the land, they bought 9 acres and said their planned project would be built on one-third of the land. Then they put the other portions back on the market. That matches perfectly with this new Dubai development being 6 acres. I think Boymelgreen probably still owns the 3 acres site.

Edited by Houston19514
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I don't know anything about that, but according to the article, Boymelgreen bought the 9.4 acres from Hines for about $86 per square foot, with plans to develop about 3 acres, and sell the other 6. Boymelgreen then opted out of building on the site, and decided to sell all 9.4 acres. They flipped the land and some company called Lasco/Hicks bought it for about $140 psf, they then sold 6 acres to Elegant Development Group, who flipped the 6 acres to this Dubai group, for I think about $230 psf. And that's where we are at now.

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I don't know anything about that, but according to the article, Boymelgreen bought the 9.4 acres from Hines for about $86 per square foot, with plans to develop about 3 acres, and sell the other 6. Boymelgreen then opted out of building on the site, and decided to sell all 9.4 acres. They flipped the land and some company called Lasco/Hicks bought it for about $140 psf, they then sold 6 acres to Elegant Development Group, who flipped the 6 acres to this Dubai group, for I think about $230 psf. And that's where we are at now.

I saw that too, after my post. Thanks for the update.

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Wasn't there a rumor awhile back about Dubai business men wanting to invest in a project in Houston? Maybe this could be related to that? You know how they like to do in Dubai....tall!

Oh yeah, and he said it could be larger than the Oaks District project, if so, then I hope the site is either where the Old Navy is, or the strip center where Linens & Things is. Like someone else said, Uptown doesn't really need strip centers anymore.

HBJ is reporting that Dubai-based Deyaar Devlopment has acquired property for development at Post Oak and Richmond. It is 6 acres of the 9.4 that Boymelgreen purchased last year. They're not giving much deatil at this time.

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HBJ is reporting that Dubai-based Deyaar Devlopment has acquired property for development at Post Oak and Richmond. It is 6 acres of the 9.4 that Boymelgreen purchased last year. They're not giving much deatil at this time.

Well, I couldn't find anything on the website about the building. Was looking forward to adding it to the great Houston construction list on towrs.com.

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I also originally believed that West Ward expansion was ultimately hurting Downtown Houston's chances of ever gaining a strong residential market. However, I was in a class that talked about the city of houston and the professor said something that I thought was pretty profound. He stated that you shoul dthink of Houston as not as Dowtown, Uptown and Medical Center in competition, that golden triangle should be viewed as the Manhatten of Houston. It is roughly the same size and if you look at the how Houston is shaping, up Central Houston is really within that Triangle. That does put DT Houston on the east side, but if you fast forward about 10-15 years from now, I think you will see 3rd and 5th Ward occupied by dowtown workers and Medical Center Workers. In addition, traffic will squeeze growth in the Galleria area, even though Uptown is trying to rival DT Houston, the infrastructure is not there to support 2-3 80/60 story buildings respectively. Even with the rail system, that area is already swamped with traffic today and if you clog up the arteries of Richmond it would be unrelentless gridlock.

Sounds just like Prof Longoria.

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BTW: Can someone rename this thread?

Renaming this thread to "Deyaar Post Oak" until a real name emerges.

I think all developers should consult HAIF before naming their towers. "Hines 47" was much better than Main Place or whatever they went with.

I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised about a developer from the Middle East wanting to build on Post Oak. Last time I was in the Galleria you couldn't swing a hookah without clanging into an Emirates ad. They should rename it Emirates Mall or West Dubai Mall or something.

(Not being critical. My last trip to Houston was a gas to see how very different in an international sense it is from what I remembered and what I'm used to.)

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Last time I was in the Galleria you couldn't swing a hookah without clanging into an Emirates ad. They should rename it Emirates Mall or West Dubai Mall or something.

Well, if you need to find one, just go on sage or hillcroft, depending on your budget. :)

Next time you're in town, even for a short time, you need to let us know so we can HAIF for a coffee.

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I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised about a developer from the Middle East wanting to build on Post Oak. Last time I was in the Galleria you couldn't swing a hookah without clanging into an Emirates ad. They should rename it Emirates Mall or West Dubai Mall or something.

Yeah, then they'd have ads with the slogan "What do you buy at West Dubai?" (gag). They could just rename the whole district the "Uptown Area of Enterprise" or "UAE".

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If new owner Deyaar does decide to develop the property, it's likely the project will be very tall.

Says Jaggi: "The only way you can pay those types of prices is to go vertical. Our market has done flips. In 12 months, prices have doubled."

This is most fascinating, and gives a head's up as to not only what Deyaar may be doing but development plans in Uptown overall. Aside from the lack of infrastructure, the Uptown versus downtown rivalry seems to have teeth right now--and even with that Uptown is poised for rail expansion.

Meanwhile, the Med Center goes about its business quietly and constructively.

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Thanks for that.

So three acres is plenty of room to build a tower, right?

I'd imagine you could do a whole lot w/ 6 acres, but does that mean it'd be less tall?

The JPMorgan Chase building downtown is the tallest building in Texas, at 75 stories, and it sits on a 1.44-acre parcel. Provided sufficient sewer capacity, there really aren't a whole lot of limits on six acres that we stand any chance of running into.

As for what might actually be built, I really have no idea. The most accurate (if not precise) answer is "lots of stuff".

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The fact is that relative to the remainder of the Houston region, downtown's job base isn't growing as quickly, and strickn's reasons aren't too far off. And its residential base is severely constrained, especially now that land prices are once again driven by office space as a highest and best use. Even if you were to see ten new towers on the same scale as Finger's, it's a drop in the regional bucket.

Moreover, the data that I've seen indicates that strickn is correct that people really dislike having to cross through downtown during a commute. For instance, TMC employees are very heavily concentrated in Pearland, Sugar Land, and Missouri City, with relatively few from suburbs opposite downtown or the West Loop. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

And while a dot density map showing the concentration of persons with master's degrees or greater does indicate a concentration in Clear Lake, it is relatively isolated compared to the greater mass whose center is just west of the Galleria area. In that context, downtown's office market really is on the eastern periphery. I don't mean to discount the eastern part of our metro area for economic activity...but that kind of activity and those kinds of households just don't tend to play off of and support downtown as greatly as do the western sectors. In fact, just about the whole Pasadena/Deer Park/Baytown/Clear Lake sector may as well be its own economy...that's just how clearly the industries are demarcated as seperate from the rest of our region.

Man I am so thankful for comments like these. Houston is not Dallas. Why? b/c of the economy/heavy industry of Pasadena/Deer Park/Baytown. Houston is not Pittsburgh/Detroit/Buffalo. Why? b/c of the financial/glitzy sectors of the the Galleria/Downtown/ and THE Medical Center. That line of demarcation is what allows this city to be the "economic sore thumb" of the United States... we don't play by the rules well. This is a good thing though, b/c it means that we have enough diversity to put up a long-hard fight with the Recession economy.

I am fortunate enough to have been very nomadic in my time here... started out living on UH campus (I was like the only person that lived there lol), then moved to the Meyerland/Galleria area. Now I live on the east side just inside the Beltway at I-10. I've worked in Pasadena, Katy, and Sugar Land. Currently, I work at UH Main Campus during the day, and Downtown at night. Oh yeah, and March first I'm moving to the Eastwood neighborhood (goodbye car choking commute,, hello METRO!!!)

I'll agree that the west and east can be very separate worlds, but they are re-establishing big connections. METRO, for as crappy as they can be about some things, Just started up the commuter route to Baytown. That's right, Baytown. I ride that bus in the mornings, and have met at least 10 people who are eternally thankful for the opportunity to work downtown without killing themselves with gas and wear and tear on the car. It came at an awesome time too, because Baytown, NorthShore, and southern Pasadena are all booming right now, and not just with students from San Jac.

In reference to trying to figure out where the "center of Houston" is, I'm proud to say that there is enough construction in this city that it changes everyday. Not only is Midtown booming, but the east side/warehouse district will have to be labelled "midtown #2".

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 weeks later...

It looks like Deyaar's CEO was arrested for a "financial irregularity", and they're in the process of finding another CEO and shuffling around board members. I wonder if that will have any impact on this project in Houston or not. They don't talk like it will impact their profitability and there's no mention of how it would change their strategy going forward.

anyone heard anything new about this development?

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle...siness&col=

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Where did ENGcons go? Any new info on this? Are they really going to make it taller and turn it into a supertall?

Fellas these projects don't happen overnight. There have to be meetings, and then there has to be meetings about the meetings. Then we can start talking about setting up the next meeting to discuss the action items of the first meeting.

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Fellas these projects don't happen overnight. There have to be meetings, and then there has to be meetings about the meetings. Then we can start talking about setting up the next meeting to discuss the action items of the first meeting.

You would think people will have learned from the Pavillions ordeal. Then again, there's the Shamrock debacle as a counterpoint.

I guess my real point is don't obsess over it. I try to focus on the numerous project underway to get a feel for how they may help shape the areas in which they're located. It's great to speculate about potential projects but they don't really add anything tangible to the current landscape until they actually break grown.

Take the new tower on Studemont under construction along Memorial Parkway. I think that tower is really going to change the visual landscape of that portion of Buffalo Bayou, and I'm anxious to see what impact it may have on future development in the area.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to McNair Plaza: Mixed-Use At Post Oak And Richmond

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