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Just ran across this by way of a search on HAR:

Da Vinci Court

They are townhouses in the 1500 block of North Main and apparently is the first project in the Hardy Railyard development. They look very nice.

Has anyone been by there lately? Are these already under construction?

Well, I just did the virtual tour on the website and it appears that some of them have already been built. Is that correct?

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The second set of apartments are called the "Exchange"   https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Mixed-income-housing-project-breaks-ground-near-14973901.php The 300-unit comp

Untitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr   Untitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr   Untitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr Untitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

They were loading out the crawler crane that built the 2 story precast parking garage.

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Guest danax
Just ran across this by way of a search on HAR:

Da Vinci Court

They are townhouses in the 1500 block of North Main and apparently is the first project in the Hardy Railyard development.  They look very nice.

Has anyone been by there lately?  Are these already under construction?

Well, I just did the virtual tour on the website and it appears that some of them have already been built.  Is that correct?

Wow. Those are quite large and elegant looking. At the low 300s, looks like they're going to bypass the entry-level market completely. That is some excellent real estate over there, with some small hills and great views. Once that area takes off it could be curtains for most of those old Victorians as they are not in the hands of active Heights types owners.

Think I'll go over there and take some pics while those old homes are still standing.

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Wow. Those are quite large and elegant looking. At the low 300s, looks like they're going to bypass the entry-level market completely. That is some excellent real estate over there, with some small hills and great views. Once that area takes off it could be curtains for most of those old Victorians as they are not in the hands of active Heights types owners.

Think I'll go over there and take some pics while those old homes are still standing.

I drove right past those last weekend. We were exploring that area (checked out Jefferson Davis Hospital Rehab, ate at Spanish Flower and looked at North and East end DT development) and noticed those. They have spectacular views and look really nice. The townhouses are built up on a hill and it looks like the view will remain unabstructed. It looks like 2 were completed and there was room for 3-4 more. There was a wall around the place and a gate. It looked very safe. The surrounding neighborhood is still pretty scary.

Check them out.

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Guest danax
I'll take a Perry any day.

I was a brave fool buying in Midtown in 1999.

But it's foolish to think N. Main is fixin to see a Renaissance.

So then you think it's gonna stay as is? The owners of Da Vinci own 45 acres which they plan to fill with condos and mixed use. The Metrorail. The proximity and views. You'll have urban yuppies and old house people checking the place out shortly.

I'd say the piles of beer bottles, the urine-stained sidewalks, the vatos in wife-beaters and front porch lazyboys will be all but gone in 10 years.

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Guest danax
I think its foolish to think that anything west of Hardy won't be revitalized. Just imagine what people said about 6th ward, 5th ward, and Midtown.

They are even trying to rename the area Near Northside Village.

Was Midtown even called Midtown in 1990?

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Will you  please enlighten us on your vision for the inner city.    Instead of making sweeping statements how about offering us something a little more substantial.

I'm not that smart, but I do think that ANY building should have integrity. These townhomes, though somewhat nice in the renderings, do little for the neighborhood and are very disappointing in person.

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If theres enough development, one day they might have to rename it "Uptown" ! :P

Yeah..then we'll have to rename Uptown to something..Montrose will become Midtown, Midtown will become Something else... :P

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Too bad we can't finish Midtown first.

OK, I can empathize with that sentiment. I would be frustrated in Midtown too. You would've thought in '99 when you bought there that by now, the place would be filled in with ultra-urban everything. It's just the same old story of any area's growth and development being watered down by other areas. But in the trendy urban vein, Midtown should be king.

I was at the city's Planning and Development meeting Thursday and some guy that owns a block in Midtown was protesting some parking variance along Main. He mentioned that several blocks adjacent to him were slated for "high rises", and he was at 3600 something Main. Is he referring to Camden and....?

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They are even trying to rename the area Near Northside Village.

Was Midtown even called Midtown in 1990?

Yes. While doing some research a few years back I found that the term Midtown in Houston goes back to the 1800's when it was an exclusive enclave where the rich people would go to get away from the hurly burly of downtown.

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I'm not that smart, but I do think that ANY building should have integrity. These townhomes, though somewhat nice in the renderings, do little for the neighborhood and are very disappointing in person.

I drove by them last weekend and I thought they were quite impressive. Maybe just not your style. I have no idea how they lack intregrity. You will have to explain that one to me.

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Well, I can understand taste varies, but you also mention that they "do little for the neighborhood". What, in your opinion, would be a better build for the neighborhood on that site?

largetexas is right. i am not a fan of this development and it does look more suburban than urban. If these were flat roofs and were not gated away from the sidewalks with the cute little apartment sign at the corner they would be great.

Post Midtown Square is the perfect urban development, eventhough it would be better if they were built with bricks instead of the temporary stucco crap.

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  • 11 months later...

Semi-pro,

You need to be careful posting such things. It risks interrupting the professional whiners from their ritual of crying about everything that's wrong with Houston.

Then again, they could use this as an opportunity cry about how "long" it's taking this to come about when every other city's shuttling these things out left and right. In fact, at some point, I expect a picture of some massive development in Phoenix, Fayetteville, AR or Tucumcari, NM that, as usual, puts Houston "to shame."

Tick, tick, tick...

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I don't think any final configuration has been determined for Hardy Yards, so these are just renderings rather than a plan at this point.

Bizjournal article:

December 19, 2005

Austin firm wheels into real estate action with acquisition of downtown rail yards

Jennifer Dawson

An Austin-based company has staked out a claim close to the flurry of real estate activity in transit.

Cypress Real Estate Advisors last month bought 46 acres worth of old railroad yards just north of downtown for a redevelopment project.

The company acquired the Hardy Yards property from Avi Ron for an undisclosed amount. Sources peg the sales price in the $28 million to $30 million range.

John Kiltz, a Cypress principal, says proximity to downtown and the prospect of major transit improvements nearby attracted the firm to the site across the railroad tracks from land recently purchased by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

There are no initial plans to joint venture with Metro on the site, Kiltz says, but the two parties have talked about the area's future.

"We don't have any type of agreement with them," Kiltz says. "Because (our site) is so large, we can create our own world."

The developer will likely seek out joint venture partners to develop portions of the property. Kiltz says midrise residential buildings are a possibility, but retail development probably wouldn't work.

"We have a strong bias toward doing residential there," says Kiltz.

The Hardy Yards site requires substantial environmental remediation work that will take several months before redevelopment can begin.

Kiltz says development could start in about two years following the environmental work.

Meanwhile, land planner Elkus Manfredi Architects has been hired to help determine the best use for the land. Boston-based Elkus Manfredi has done such high-end projects as Victory in Dallas and Time Warner Center in New York.

A tax increment reinvestment zone has been proposed for the area, but that designation is in limbo. The Cypress redevelopment is not contingent on the TIRZ status, Kiltz says.

"We bought our property without needing the benefit of the TIRZ," Kiltz says.

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I've closely watched the plans as they've unraveled for this site. Prior renderings showed considerably less ambitious plans, but these are completely new, albeit not entirely unexpected. Given the 'Grand Central Station' concept that is planned, there really couldn't be a better spot for new office space than in this development. They will have a serious competitive advantage, and the renderings that they show appear to incorporate a central corridor through the middle of the whole development that could provide a great ease of pedestrian movement. If they work it well, they'll be in an excellent position to capture major office tenants that otherwise would have located in the CBD.

In fact, this is one case where (of all people) Plastic's ideas would be well-suited. The pedestrian transport system that he'd come up with a few months ago could easily connect the transit hub with the further-reaches of this development without the pesky issues related to its implementation in existing areas of the city.

The only downside here is that financing could be difficult to obtain if they were trying to go forward with the whole project at once. From the looks of the renderings, it can easily be segmented into phases, which would likely be built out over the course of many years. Of course, that's just my speculation. If I had a billion dollars to throw around, I'd put it all up at once, betting that I could establish a critical mass of density that would have a synergistic effect on the lease-up process.

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Hate to make an Atlanta comparison, but this could become Houston's Bucktown, or whatever they call it. I know Houston already has Uptown to fill that role, but why not two?

I hate to make this a comparison too, but Houston's Buckhead is Uptown. This is way to close to downtown to be considered that. I am sure news stories from this place will still say downtown. :D

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I'm more interested in its potential impact on the 'hoods just to the north. A lot of charming, older housing stock up there, some of it still in good condition.

I love the planned access to the intermodal, too. Of course, that's "If" it comes to fruition. It's an ambitious project and it's going to take a few years to realize it. I hope no one has a stroke while waiting, given the lack of patience displayed by a few.

Calm down (in advance).

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Typical comment with every new development. I think it really is him hiding his excitement. :wub: Anyway the business district down south is not exactly at full occupancy right now.

If this is what Coog was referencing, then he needs to remember that an office project with significant competitive advantage over another competitive groups of buildings can either charge higher rents or expect to lease up quickly and stabilize at an occupancy that is higher than the other competitive buildings.

They have the locational advantage and would make for a good investment. If Coog's objective is to further development in a particular place, like the CBD, then this is bad. If you get sexually aroused, as I do :blush: , at the idea of a successful business venture (regardless of location or characteristics), then this is good.

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alright so what really matters is, is this thing a go, are those cranes in that area part of the project getting underway or something else, i would think so, why would they be doing anything to an area for no reason?

The 2 cranes are for the new UH-D business college building that is being built on N. Main Street, directly south of this development.

Their IS work going on at Hardy Yards, but it is remediation, in preparation for construction. It looks to be nearly completed.

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oh yea i forgot about UHD doing their lil thing, im happy bout that, i like that UHD is expanding, thanx redscare for the update, but western gulf, 2 years? when was the article written? i pray 2004, lol

December 2005

from the article:

The Hardy Yards site requires substantial environmental remediation work that will take several months before redevelopment can begin.

Kiltz says development could start in about two years following the environmental work.

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/sto...ry2.html?page=1

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