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4thWardBoy

Lockwood @ Harrisburg

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Demolition and jackhammering work has picked up again considerably in the last few days. Surveyors were seen two days ago closer towards the back, middle of the empty lot. I’m not entirely sure but this may possibly be for the Lovett parking garage mentioned in a transcript of February 2017 East End Managment District meeting.  The garage would serve both transit riders and the coming Baker Ripley employees. 

 

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A crane arrived yesterday on the site. To the back, construction has started on what appears to be the parking garage.

 

I noticed there was an HBJ article on this very project a couple weeks ago. It would be nice if a subscriber could post a few details from that article. 

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10 hours ago, intencity77 said:

A crane arrived yesterday on the site. To the back, construction has started on what appears to be the parking garage.

 

I noticed there was an HBJ article on this very project a couple weeks ago. It would be nice if a subscriber could post a few details from that article. 

 

Ask and yee shall recieve:

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/03/15/exclusive-frank-liu-partnering-with-houston.html

 



Baker Ripley, a nonprofit that serves communities experiencing poverty, is partnering with Frank Liu on developing an 88,000-square-foot building that'll house the company's Houston headquarters.

 

Lovett Commercial's Frank Liu is developing Baker Ripley's new building on 1.7 acres at 4450 Harrisburg Blvd., Baker Ripley's Matt Starr told the Houston Business Journal. The Liu family gifted Baker Ripley the parcel of land, Starr said, and Baker Ripley's office building will be part of a broader, nine-acre mixed-use development that Liu's developing.

"He’s been really great to work with," Starr said. "He's been an awesome partner in so many ways."

 

The four-story office building at 4450 Harrisburg comprise 88,000 square feet. Baker Ripley will occupy 40,000 square feet on the 2nd and 3rd floors. It'll relocate from its current headquarters at 4500 Bissonnet, where it occupies around 33,000 square feet, Starr said. Around 170 Baker Ripley employees should occupy the building in June.

 

In August, Baker Ripley's Workforce Solution employment center will relocate from the East End and take 10,000 square feet on the first floor. The remaining 12,700 square feet on the first floor is earmarked for retail development.

 

Liu approached Baker Ripley several years ago to work on his development venture along Harrisburg Boulevard, Starr said. Liu couldn't be reached for comment.

 

The 4450 Harrisburg Blvd. building broke ground in June 2016, Starr said. Gensler designed the building and Houston-based LSI is the general contractor. Construction and development costs are around $8.3 million, a Baker Ripley spokesperson said.

Baker Ripley provides career services and develops community improvement strategies throughout the greater Houston region. The company has more than 1,300 employees throughout the region and an annual budget of nearly $300 million. It was founded in the East End more than 100 years ago and was formerly known as Neighborhood Centers Inc.

 

“Here, we set the foundation for who we are today – a community development organization that exists to keep the region a welcoming place of opportunity for everyone," Baker Ripley's CEO Claudia Aguirre, said in a statement to HBJ. "Finding a permanent home for Baker Ripley in the communities where we are present has always been our vision and hope for the future. Now, we have the opportunity to move our main offices to the East End – in the community where it all started more than 110 years ago and where we continue to do our work.”

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11 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

 

Thank you so much Urbannizer!

 

Based on the article, I’m happy to finally confirm that there will be retail space at the bottom.

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Based on the number of parking spots in the site plan on the Lovett website and the size of the parking garage (which seems excessive in the first place, given the proximity to light rail), I’m concerned that this is going to create a trafficalypse.

 

Harrisburg is one lane through here due to light rail, which is obviously problematic. Throw a train into the mix, crossing Lockwood and Eastwood immediately southwest of this site, blocking those streets for 8 to 10 minutes at a time, multiple times a day? 

 

Yikes.

 

And yes, I realize that the garage will possibly be used much like a “park and ride” for light rail commuters, but again, that will create peak times for vehicular traffic and contribute further to the problem. 

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"A trafficalypse"?  Clever...but, a tad hyperbolic, don't you think?  Certainly there are issues with trains in the East End.  But, it is just something that we have to deal with at times.  The entire city is faced with trafficsauruswrecks twice day anyway.  East End isn't immune. 

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Regardless of what’s built on this site it is going to create more traffic around it. It’s just inevitable in the big city and the East End is not immune to that. Whether it be a parking garage or a parking lot, either is going to create more traffic. The garage is larger than necessary because it will also likely facilitate whatever the rest of the future development will be on the site. What other development alternatives would Lovett have to choose from for this site that wouldn’t create traffic?? A low slung, tacky suburban style strip mall?  No thanks!  I for one personally want something dense and think this development is heading in the right direction so far. 

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5 minutes ago, intencity77 said:

Regardless of what’s built on this site it is going to create more traffic around it. It’s just inevitable in the big city and the East End is not immune to that. Whether it be a parking garage or a parking lot, either is going to create more traffic. The garage is larger than necessary because it will also likely facilitate whatever the rest of the future development will be on the site. What other development alternatives would Lovett have to choose from for this site that wouldn’t create traffic?? A low slung, tacky suburban style strip mall?  No thanks!  I for one personally want something dense and think this development is heading in the right direction so far. 

 

I agree with you completely regarding a "suburban style strip mall." Definitely do not want that (although if the Ross is still part of the plan, we're partially there already). The renderings I have seen here and elsewhere do look good, and the prospect of a nice restaurant and other retail here is very welcoming. I too am both a supporter of higher density developments and a big proponent of walkability, and this development seems to check those boxes. And, I'm one light rail stop away from this anyway, so an increase in vehicular traffic won't even directly affect me. 

 

My only point was that this is an intersection that is already problematic due to a confluence of factors: (1) the train crossings at Lockwood and Eastwood; (2) light rail on Harrisburg; and (3) Harrisburg being one lane due to light rail. The train brings traffic to a standstill. Traffic lights near light rail can be buggy and take forever to cycle. Have you ever tried to turn left onto Lockwood from Harrisburg there? I have, and sometimes it takes more than five minutes for the light to cycle when there is virtually no traffic. An exponential increase in traffic at this intersection could create a perfect traffic storm (a trafficane, if you will) under the right conditions. That's my concern. 

 

What else can be done with a lot that size that wouldn't bring the amount of traffic this likely will? Probably nothing. Unfortunately I don't have a solution, and even if I did, no one should listen to me anyway. I'm just making an observation about a potential issue that the developers have (hopefully) taken into account. 

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1 hour ago, thedistrict84 said:

My only point was that this is an intersection that is already problematic due to a confluence of factors: (1) the train crossings at Lockwood and Eastwood; (2) light rail on Harrisburg; and (3) Harrisburg being one lane due to light rail. The train brings traffic to a standstill. Traffic lights near light rail can be buggy and take forever to cycle. Have you ever tried to turn left onto Lockwood from Harrisburg there? I have, and sometimes it takes more than five minutes for the light to cycle when there is virtually no traffic. An exponential increase in traffic at this intersection could create a perfect traffic storm (a trafficane, if you will) under the right conditions. That's my concern. 

Sounds like you need to contact the city and propose they conduct a traffic study. If their findings agree with you, they could alter the light cycle or redesign the intersection... which would make traffic much worse during construction.

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Traffic will indeed increase in the area, but to call it anything other than a normal increase in traffic is kind of a stretch.

 

Absolutely, there will be more traffic than you're currently used to. 

 

20 years ago traffic in Montrose was similar to the East End. People currently living in Montrose would do unspeakable things to baby seals to have the level of traffic we have in their neighborhood right now. Gentrification brings more cars. As the area gets more desirable and dense, so too will traffic increase.

 

Regardless of what traffic at this intersection does in the future, luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to avoid this intersection.

 

For what it's worth, my mom grew up on Lawndale and Dismuke, she used to tell me how packed with cars Lawndale and Telephone used to be back when she was growing up. So traffic, according to my mom at least, is way down from where it was when she grew up out here.

 

Basically, just because there might be more cars on the road than you are used to, that does not make for traffic Armageddon.

Edited by samagon

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