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South Main Innovation District In Midtown


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56 minutes ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

suits are dumb in Texas where it's 100° and 100% humidity at midnight. In places like NYC and London where a hot summer day is 70°, they're ok.

Not that facts matter, but Houston doesn't actually hit 100 degrees that often and it safe to say it has NEVER been 100 degrees at midnight and it has certainly  NEVER been 100 degrees with 100% humidity.  That does not happen.  Nor do we have 90 degrees  with 90 % humidity as is often (falsely) claimed.

And anyone who thinks 70 degrees is a hot day in NYC has apparently not spent much time in the summer in NYC.  It can be every bit as miserably hot and uncomfortable as Houston (worse actually, because there is little escape from it... they don't do A/C nearly as well as we do.)

Edited by Houston19514
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54 minutes ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

suits are dumb in Texas where it's 100° and 100% humidity at midnight. In places like NYC and London where a hot summer day is 70°, they're ok.

The majority of people prior to the 1960's lived in the northern parts of the US where wearing suits is fine. Here in Houston prior to AC I can't imagine how people survived in suits during our 6 month summers. With AC its no big problem anymore as long as your indoors. 

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1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

And anyone who thinks 70 degrees is a hot day in NYC has apparently not spent much time in the summer in NYC.  It can be every bit as miserably hot and uncomfortable as Houston (worse actually, because there is little escape from it... they don't do A/C nearly as well as we do.)

NYC in summer is gross.  Hot garbage piled as high as they can, subway funk that will take your breath away, and no place has proper AC.  

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On 1/17/2021 at 2:12 PM, BeerNut said:

NYC in summer is gross.  Hot garbage piled as high as they can, subway funk that will take your breath away, and no place has proper AC.  

Especially during an inversion (when warm air gets trapped under a dome of cooler air, and circulation stops).
I've literally seen the filthy smog swirling behind city buses.  Every breath is unpleasant, and suddenly a realization: so this is why New York women are so fond of wearing lots of perfume.
Anything to distract from that horrid stench.

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On 1/17/2021 at 1:11 PM, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

suits are dumb in Texas where it's 100° and 100% humidity at midnight. In places like NYC and London where a hot summer day is 70°, they're ok.

linen is light and breathable.

you can find linen suits usually in spring/summer, as most of the world except us experiences a season where a wool blend is appropriate suit material.

even in fall/winter, you can typically order a linen suit, if you don't need one by this weekend.

only negative is that they wrinkle very easily, and are going to be considered more casual suit among people who like to distinguish between when to wear a specific type of suit.

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43 minutes ago, samagon said:

linen is light and breathable.

you can find linen suits usually in spring/summer, as most of the world except us experiences a season where a wool blend is appropriate suit material.

even in fall/winter, you can typically order a linen suit, if you don't need one by this weekend.

only negative is that they wrinkle very easily, and are going to be considered more casual suit among people who like to distinguish between when to wear a specific type of suit.

Also, linen-wool blends, tropical wool, seersucker.  There are plenty of suit options for hot weather.  And as others have mentioned, it's not as if one hangs around outside on a summer' mid-afternoon, wearing a suit.  

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On 1/17/2021 at 2:08 PM, Twinsanity02 said:

The majority of people prior to the 1960's lived in the northern parts of the US where wearing suits is fine. Here in Houston prior to AC I can't imagine how people survived in suits during our 6 month summers. With AC its no big problem anymore as long as your indoors. 

And yet, somehow they did it. I don't think the 8F club met wearing sleeveless undershirts and cotton britches. 

 

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to South Main Innovation District In Midtown
6 minutes ago, hindesky said:

Workers are cutting up the old giant Sears sign. I always thought they might save it but I guess not.

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Trenching on the street across from the main building.

 

Prepping for the future crosswalks.

 

 

 

I never would have thought that the Sears sign would be destroyed.  Kitschy stuff like that surely would have ended up in some restaurant like Joe's Crabshack or Twin Peaks...

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1 hour ago, mls1202 said:

I never would have thought that the Sears sign would be destroyed.  Kitschy stuff like that surely would have ended up in some restaurant like Joe's Crabshack or Twin Peaks...

I would have bought it and stuck it on my roof. History...

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On 1/29/2021 at 4:03 PM, mls1202 said:

I never would have thought that the Sears sign would be destroyed.  Kitschy stuff like that surely would have ended up in some restaurant like Joe's Crabshack or Twin Peaks...

I'm pretty sure they had said they were trying to find a place/use for it.  In the process, I believe it blew over (or was vandalized), so it may have been seriously damaged.

On 1/29/2021 at 5:32 PM, JBTX said:

I would have bought it and stuck it on my roof. History...

LOL  I'm not sure you appreciate just how large that sign was.

 

Edited by Houston19514
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5 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

LOL  I'm not sure you appreciate just how large that sign was.

 

Oh, I know. I'm in a condo unit of 8 "townhomes" in a row. Mount it in the middle. Send a message to the world. Purchase aerial rights. Fight the NIMBYers.

Dream the dream.

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12 hours ago, JBTX said:

Oh, I know. I'm in a condo unit of 8 "townhomes" in a row. Mount it in the middle. Send a message to the world. Purchase aerial rights. Fight the NIMBYers.

Dream the dream.

If you are in a row of vertical single-family homes, with no part of any other home above yours, you are in a townhome development, not condos.

Condos typically feature units above each other and common areas, similar to multi-family apartments.

(Have to draw the line somewhere lol)

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49 minutes ago, thedistrict84 said:

If you are in a row of vertical single-family homes, with no part of any other home above yours, you are in a townhome development, not condos.

Condos typically feature units above each other and common areas, similar to multi-family apartments.

(Have to draw the line somewhere lol)

Condo is not an architectural term. It's an ownership term. A condo can be a single family house, a row house or an apartment. Or even a commercial structure or a multistory parking garage. It is routinely misused and misunderstood.

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1 hour ago, Brooklyn173 said:

Condo is not an architectural term. It's an ownership term. A condo can be a single family house, a row house or an apartment. Or even a commercial structure or a multistory parking garage. It is routinely misused and misunderstood.

Thanks Brooklyn, I was going to explain it, but glad someone else got me first. 

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1 hour ago, Brooklyn173 said:

Condo is not an architectural term. It's an ownership term. A condo can be a single family house, a row house or an apartment. Or even a commercial structure or a multistory parking garage. It is routinely misused and misunderstood.

Then townhome would be the better term in that context, correct? I was just confused as to why @JBTX put townhome in quotes but said it was a condo unit (which may be true since it refers more to the ownership arrangement; I only said that condos are typically arranged as multi-family developments, which is true in Houston). 

Regarding misuse of the term, I’ve heard many people refer to single-family townhomes as “condos” in a dismissive and degrading manner, as if they aren’t up to par with other single-family homes. 

But, I’m going off on a tangent, so please feel free to ignore this townhome owner’s defensiveness. 

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Does anyone else have the feeling we are about to see another big tenant announcement soon or released plans of the next phase and a projected start date?

With the Ion opening and tenant build-outs for Common Desk, Chevron, and Microsoft commencing, then Greentown Labs opening in April with several clean tech startups and a growing list of big corporate partners, I get the sense something substantial is around the corner. Whether it's a lead tenant building or Rice considering spec start considering the amount of interest/tenant demand they expect to receive in the district over a ~24 month construction period.

Total conjecture, but there's too much momentum in this area to believe it will be quiet after everything is delivered later this Spring.

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On 2/3/2021 at 6:23 PM, H-Town Man said:

Looks like the old logo for Adorama, the NY camera shop.

Probably just a coincidence. At least until B&H Photo announces a hostile takeover of the Ion, setting in motion a close-quarters throwdown between NYC retail giants in the mean streets of Houston. 

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Greentown Labs gains support in guiding Houston to cleaner future

 
L.M. SixelStaff writer
Feb. 4, 2021Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 6 a.m.

As Houston, the world’s longtime energy capital, tries to maintain its crown during the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy, Greentown Labs is offering an increasingly stronger push.

The Houston home of the Massachusetts-based clean-energy incubator gained more corporate support last week and now has lined up more than 20 partners and 16 inaugural startups working to make the city a clean-energy hub.

Five corporate partners, CenterPoint Energy, Gexa Energy, EIV Capital, Wells Fargo and Williams, joined Greentown Labs Houston on Tuesday.

The incubator, plans to open this spring in a former Midtown Fiesta store with about 40,000 square feet, large enough for 50 early-stage companies. For local entrepreneurs, Greentown Labs will provide fundraising and networking connections, and office and lab space. For corporate partners, it’s a chance to get in on the ground floor of green energy innovations as the world shifts from fossil fuels to renewables.

The lab, which will focus on climate-related technology on the road to commercialization, including carbon capture, hydrogen fuel technology and battery storage, shows that Houston isn’t just an oil and gas town anymore but a city eyeing the next big thing in clean energy. The lab is the first big tenant in the city’s Innovation District, the Rice University-designed zone expected serve as a gathering place for entrepreneurs, large companies looking for new technologies, financiers and academics.

Greentown Labs set a fundraising goal of $7.5 million — later increased to $10 million — to renovate the former grocery store and to cover three years of operations.

“I’d say the response has been overwhelming,” said Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert.

Several companies have signed on as partners, contributing money and expertise, including Chevron, Shell and BHP. Others, such as the law firm Vinson & Elkins, have agreed to provide free or reduced-cost services. Greentown Labs, a private company that relies on membership fees and corporate partnerships for revenue, wouldn’t say how much each partner is contributing.

The lab grew from a small group of startups a decade ago near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. The Massachusetts lab helped launch 280 companies.

In Houston, one of the latest young companies to sign on is Black Mountain Metals, a Fort Worth-based owner of a nickel and copper mine in Australia. The company, which spent $15 million to buy the once-shuttered mine and invested $60 million into operations, is scheduled to produce its first batch of nickel concentrate this spring for use in lithium batteries, President and COO Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes said.

Zumwalt-Forbes, a petroleum engineer who worked for Exxon Mobil in Houston until 2015, said she became familiar with Greentown Labs when she was a graduate business student at Harvard. She is drawn to the social promise of the lab in Houston and networking with other entrepreneurs engaged in disruption and innovation.

“I want to be surrounded by people who see like I do,” she said.

Ennuity Holdings, which sells long-term solar energy contracts, also has signed on with the Houston lab. The retail electricity provider got its initial financial backing from angel investors, typically wealthy individuals who provide funding for startups in exchange for an ownership stake. Now it wants to raise more funds so it can launch its service in Texas.

Ennuity gets its power from solar farms and is aimed at customers who can’t install panels where they live, CEO Nisha Desai said. Desai said she was drawn to Greentown Labs for the help it provides with raising funds from investors.

Another company, Quantum New Energy, signed on to Greentown Labs Houston to develop an electricity shopping site. The service will provide smart meter data to help consumers determine if they’re wasting electricity or if it’s time for them to buy more efficient water heater or update an air conditioning system. Quantum would receive commissions from retail electric providers selling plans on the site.

The company initially planned to market its services through presentations at libraries and to community groups, CEO Patricia Vega said. As the coronavirus pandemic spread, however, Greentown Labs suggested alternative sales channels, including through employers who have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint. The service then becomes an employee benefit, said Vega, an energy veteran who spent her career with oil and gas companies.

Greentown Labs Houston is the highest profile tenant in the 16-acre Innovation District under development by the Rice Management Co. which manages the university’s $6.5 billion endowment and $957 million of debt.

The center of the project is the Ion, an office and collaboration hub in the former Midtown Sears store that will offer shared workspaces, prototyping and maker resources, classrooms and event space. Microsoft and Chevron have announced they’ll open offices in the 288,000-square-foot building that is expected to open during the second half of the year, said Sam Dike, manager of strategic initiatives for Rice Management Co.

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On 1/29/2021 at 4:55 PM, hindesky said:

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I haven't been keeping up with this project closely, but didn't they say early on that they were going to restore/preserve some of its art deco details? Maybe I'm remembering wrong because there's not much art deco left...

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12 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

Probably just a coincidence. At least until B&H Photo announces a hostile takeover of the Ion, setting in motion a close-quarters throwdown between NYC retail giants in the mean streets of Houston. 

That would be... awesome.

 

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On 2/4/2021 at 10:50 PM, htine said:

I haven't been keeping up with this project closely, but didn't they say early on that they were going to restore/preserve some of its art deco details? Maybe I'm remembering wrong because there's not much art deco left...

Which art deco details did they fail to preserve/restore?  As far as I can tell, they are all there.  Keep in mind, they are "details".

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10 minutes ago, HOUCAJUN said:

After the Ion is finished and the former Fiesta is finished then what's next? Are these the only 2 buildings associated with this campus?

Parking garage. I talked with some laborers and they said January start but all they've done so far was run some electrical conduit so far.

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3 hours ago, HOUCAJUN said:

After the Ion is finished and the former Fiesta is finished then what's next? Are these the only 2 buildings associated with this campus?

If you go to page 11 of this thread and scroll down close to the bottom where Luminaire posted an overall map of the completed campus with roughly  6 - 8 buildings. It also shows the new below grade section of the freeway that will be partially capped at certain locations.

 

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3 hours ago, JBTX said:

Choices look good!

1 hour ago, thatguysly said:

Wait, they are just putting a new paint job on the Fiesta and that is it? It is like when BP had their offices in the old grocery store in Texas City outside of the refinery.

Pretty sure it is more than that. I think we saw a permit construction amount around $17 million.

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