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South Main Innovation District in Midtown (Former Sears)


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Found some recent photos of inside with the floors cut out and skylight/tarp installed.       

Fiesta to become "Greentown Labs" a green energy incubator.    

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59 minutes ago, clutchcity94 said:

They have really started to clean this area up. No homeless congregating around the PPS agency. I know the tents are gone from the 59 south ramp on Montrose side, but how about from the 59 north offramp just west of the Shipley Donuts?

 

When the money flows in, the homeless must flow out. Wonder where they will migrate to next?

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:54 AM, dbigtex56 said:

Really? 

 

Yes.  The side facing Wheeler used to be set back a bit with a loading dock, and during this project they extended the building to the property line like on the other sides.

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3 hours ago, rechlin said:

 

Yes.  The side facing Wheeler used to be set back a bit with a loading dock, and during this project they extended the building to the property line like on the other sides.

True 
That leave three other sides, and a significant amount of the original facade has been covered on them. 

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20 hours ago, mls1202 said:

The shots from this angle remind me that this project was, in fact, built off an historic building whose art-deco facade was concealed for decades under an ugly cladding.  Who could have imagined that this is what it would grow in to!

I'm hoping more art deco that had their original facades hidden in the 60s, 70s, and 80s get this type of restoration again. Art deco is truly one of my favorite periods of architecture. So clean and "futuristic" looking.

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Most of the adjacent property is actually owned by Rice, the guys developing this, so I don't think we've seen any values fluctuate just yet. Especially with how unstable the housing/renting market is right now, I think it'll be a little while before we can accurately say what the effects on property value will be, but it's a safe bet that it'll increase someone's rent . . . 

Edited by HouTXRanger
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15 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:

How has this development affected property values nearby?

Well, it looks like the rent to park a shopping cart and set up a sleeping bag have gone up well above market value now...

 

 

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Retrofit vs. tear down and build new...

 

Unlike Sears, I don't see the Fiesta as an historically or architecturally significant structure.  I hope it is more than just a paint job and build-out of the interior.  Also, that parking lot?

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6 minutes ago, mls1202 said:

Retrofit vs. tear down and build new...

 

Unlike Sears, I don't see the Fiesta as an historically or architecturally significant structure.  I hope it is more than just a paint job and build-out of the interior.  Also, that parking lot?

 

With a $10M budget (including 3 years opex), I wouldn't bet on much more than just interior build out.

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4 minutes ago, clutchcity94 said:


So in other words, Boston gets fancy and hip. We get industrial and boring.

haha. I don't think keeping current fiesta building is part of the long term plans.  Also with all this "innovation" happening they're going to need a place to build prototypes and run small scale test.

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17 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

Yeah, agree with second point. They need the space to actually do testing. 40k sq feet of green energy startups is a coup to me cause its so far out of my expectations for startups in Houston, I almost can't believe it. We went from thought and opinion pieces in local papers and publications asking "can this even work, it should have been more organic/what about Post Oak?!?" to "we have THE established green incubator opening up a space next to the Ion." Thats an impressive jump.

 

They probably saw the work being done on Sears and those renderings for future phases and said, "Ok." Having Rice behind this and located down the road is huge. Tells them this is serious. Universities care about what's around them.

 

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3 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:


So in other words, Boston gets fancy and hip. We get industrial and boring.

 

To be fair, what function does the Boston office, as a physical brick-and-mortar place, actually have given the present trend towards remote work nowadays? A lot of the administrative stuff this organization does is probably not anchored to a specific city. After all, if you wanted access to the best experts you'd by necessity have a team scattered around the country and perhaps worldwide. And the floor space dedicated to startup work that needs physical presence is probably pretty plain.

 

The room or building in that picture looks like a glorified event venue for startups to pitch things to investors. It probably remains empty most of the time.

 

A legit science lab full of prototypes and instruments and test benches would probably employ far more people who might be inclined to live nearby in the city. And it would be an opportunity for creative new startups to take off, some of which may remain in the city and create networks that benefit Houston as a whole for decades to come.

Edited by zaphod
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6 hours ago, X.R. said:

 

Yeah, agree with second point. They need the space to actually do testing. 40k sq feet of green energy startups is a coup to me cause its so far out of my expectations for startups in Houston, I almost can't believe it. We went from thought and opinion pieces in local papers and publications asking "can this even work, it should have been more organic/what about Post Oak?!?" to "we have THE established green incubator opening up a space next to the Ion." Thats an impressive jump.

It’s an enormous jump. I don’t think it’s fully sunk in for me. Similar to Google opening offices here. 

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15 hours ago, zaphod said:

 

To be fair, what function does the Boston office, as a physical brick-and-mortar place, actually have given the present trend towards remote work nowadays? A lot of the administrative stuff this organization does is probably not anchored to a specific city. After all, if you wanted access to the best experts you'd by necessity have a team scattered around the country and perhaps worldwide. And the floor space dedicated to startup work that needs physical presence is probably pretty plain.

 

The room or building in that picture looks like a glorified event venue for startups to pitch things to investors. It probably remains empty most of the time.

 

A legit science lab full of prototypes and instruments and test benches would probably employ far more people who might be inclined to live nearby in the city. And it would be an opportunity for creative new startups to take off, some of which may remain in the city and create networks that benefit Houston as a whole for decades to come.

 

I am a huge fan of WFH. it makes so much sense for so many jobs. 

 

when you are working a job that involves innovation though, it comes so much faster through collaboration. in person collaboration. it doesn't mean you have to sit in the office 5 days a week though. 1 or 2 days a week in the office, lunch as a team kind of thing. you can get so much done by way of bouncing ideas off your peers in a person to person environment. you then take those ideas back to your home office and work on them, then a week later you do the collaboration thing all over again.

 

even for jobs like a MOP, getting in front of other people face to face counts for so much, but to suggest that there's no other solution than to do it 5 days a week, or never, that's silly. I know you weren't suggesting this at all.

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A little off topic, and I couldn't find a thread for this but, does anyone know whats going on at the lot that used to hold a Goodyear tire shop, next to Fiesta, on the block just south of the Ventana apartments? I only got a quick glance driving by but it looked like a huge pit was being excavated, maybe for a building foundation??

 

Edit: Nevermind, looks like this will be the parking garage

Edited by Howard Huge
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3 hours ago, Howard Huge said:

A little off topic, and I couldn't find a thread for this but, does anyone know whats going on at the lot that used to hold a Goodyear tire shop, next to Fiesta, on the block just south of the Ventana apartments? I only got a quick glance driving by but it looked like a huge pit was being excavated, maybe for a building foundation??

 

Edit: Nevermind, looks like this will be the parking garage

Parking garage with GFR

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