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2 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Which direction is more common?  If it's I45 south, than this connector will not help that much - you'd be better off going through downtown.  If there's that much traffic flow on that side of the city, than maybe they shouldn't do this relocation in the first place

 

The extension doesn't just serve Allen Parkway. It also picks up traffic coming from the southern end of downtown and midtown.  Go hang out in that area today at 5:00.  A LOT of northbound traffic flows through there (St. Joseph Parkway at I-45). 

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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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2 hours ago, samagon said:

I can see it in my mind Timoric, a less than 1 mile stretch of land with freeway removed [more than 1 miles of freeway will be removed], and purchased by developers so they can make tons of money [so what?], meanwhile, the bus terminals, and homeless outreach centers aren't going to move, so it'll be just as unfriendly as current [if it's as unfriendly as you claim, how will developers be able to make tons of money?]. Yet on the east side the freeway is going to go from spanning 220 feet wide to spanning 550 feet wide [False - the freeway will NOT be 550 feet wide; not even close to that] for ~1.5 miles, and local level access to downtown is going to be reduced by about 25% [False - at worst, local level access is reduced from 13 streets to 12 (a 7.6% reduction); and that doesn't count three overpasses over the sunken portion behind the GRB, which may end up being a park, either way providing even more local level access from the east side], 19 city blocks with existing businesses are going to be taken [a bit of an exaggeration to say 19 blocks with existing businesses are being taken; a lot of those blocks are vacant], and an entire community will be wiped out [it's obviously far too early in the process to know how Clayton will be handled; and it's equally obvious that provisions will be made]. Then on the north side the freeway, rather than being sunken into the ground as current, it will be flying through the sky at over 60 feet high right by Hardy Yards [I recommend everyone take a careful look at the plans; while it is all elevated at the very west end of Hardy Yards, where it passes between UH-D and the elevated Metro Rail station (a) I don't know that we have any reason to think it is 60 feet in the sky and (b) by the time it gets to the east end of Hardy Yards, most of it is sunken, the small elevated portion is even less elevated, and it is further removed from Hardy Yards]. And if you look at how things are currently on the west side of downtown at buffalo bayou, it's pretty much unchanged [False.  Again, I recommend everyone take a careful look at the current state of the west side freeways and ramps and compare it to the plan; Huge difference].

 

hope that helps.

 

It would be help more if you stuck to the facts. 

Edited by Houston19514
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2 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Then on the north side the freeway, rather than being sunken into the ground as current, it will be flying through the sky at over 60 feet high right by Hardy Yards [I recommend everyone take a careful look at the plans; while it is all elevated at the very west end of Hardy Yards, where it passes between UH-D and the elevated Metro Rail station (a) I don't know that we have any reason to think it is 60 feet in the sky and (b) by the time it gets to the east end of Hardy Yards, most of it is sunken, the small elevated portion is even less elevated, and it is further removed from Hardy Yards]. 

 

 

The bottom of the light rail is elevated at least 20 feet above existing grade. I don't know how thick the beams and rail surface are, but say about 5 feet or so to the top of the rail surface. Then, the top of the electric lines that power the train are another 15 feet above that. You'll need at least 10 feet of clearance (probably more) to install anything over those electrical lines, so now we've got the bottom of the new freeway at around 50 feet just to get over the light rail. The beams and slab to the top of pavement will be more than 5 feet thick, I'm sure, and may be 10 feet given that the entire thing is elevated. If you look at the Appendix G I referenced, it shows a section cut at the other end of Hardy Yards. The I-10 lanes drop to the ground, but the I-45 lanes stay elevated past Hardy Street.

 

So 60 feet is more than a reasonable expectation, and we should be hopeful that it's no more than that. I know I am, particularly, since I've been planning to build a house on Burnett that would have what I thought would be uninterrupted skyline views.  

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34 minutes ago, Kinglyam said:

 

The bottom of the light rail is elevated at least 20 feet above existing grade. I don't know how thick the beams and rail surface are, but say about 5 feet or so to the top of the rail surface. Then, the top of the electric lines that power the train are another 15 feet above that. You'll need at least 10 feet of clearance (probably more) to install anything over those electrical lines, so now we've got the bottom of the new freeway at around 50 feet just to get over the light rail. The beams and slab to the top of pavement will be more than 5 feet thick, I'm sure, and may be 10 feet given that the entire thing is elevated. If you look at the Appendix G I referenced, it shows a section cut at the other end of Hardy Yards. The I-10 lanes drop to the ground, but the I-45 lanes stay elevated past Hardy Street.

 

So 60 feet is more than a reasonable expectation, and we should be hopeful that it's no more than that. I know I am, particularly, since I've been planning to build a house on Burnett that would have what I thought would be uninterrupted skyline views.  

 

At that point, you may be right.  But that is by far the highest point and it is brief.

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

It would be help more if you stuck to the facts. 

 

Quote

[more than 1 miles of freeway will be removed]

 

The freeway is going to stop at Hamilton (59) and start again at Bagby. Google maps shows .9 miles? Yes, the Pierce is going to be removed, and a longer distance of pierce will be removed than just .9 miles, but except for that .9 miles, freeway is going right back in. If you want to have a semantical argument about it, then you're being silly.

 

Quote

[so what?]

 

So they're the only real benefactors of removing the pierce elevated.

 

Quote

[if it's as unfriendly as you claim, how will developers be able to make tons of money?]

 

How do businesses on Main street and Walker stay in business? Just because no one wants to walk around the area doesn't mean it isn't a profitable area for developers? Does that make sense?

 

Quote

[False - the freeway will NOT be 550 feet wide; not even close to that]

 

am I reading the schematic incorrectly? The current ROW is 220 feet. They are going to add 330 feet to the existing ROW. My math says that adds up to 550 feet. I fully admit I might be reading the schematic incorrectly, and if so, how wide will it be?

 

Quote

[False - at worst, local level access is reduced from 13 streets to 12 (a 7.6% reduction); and that doesn't count three overpasses over the sunken portion behind the GRB, which may end up being a park, either way providing even more local level access from the east side]

 

not false. there are 4 major roads that go from west of 59 all they way in to the east end. Leeland, Polk, Harrisburg and Navigation. Why these 4 and not Preston, Congress, Rusk, Capitol, Walker, Lamar, Dallas, Clay, Bell, Pease or Jefferson? Because all those other streets have been dead ended by GRB, various stadiums, or farther out in the east end, they don't cross railroad tracks. So yeah, you have 4 major roads that cross 59 currently that you can take from downtown out to at least wayside without having to do some convoluted street changes. That's 25% reduction by removing Polk from that list of 4.

Quote

[a bit of an exaggeration to say 19 blocks with existing businesses are being taken; a lot of those blocks are vacant]

 

There are 3 blocks that are only surface lots (so no big deal) every other block google maps says there are active businesses operating. So you say "a lot" and are farther from the mark than I am. maybe we can meet in the middle and agree that while all 19 blocks have some use, not all are fully used? Still 19 blocks that are part of a very quickly growing neighborhood that will be taken.

Quote

[I recommend everyone take a careful look at the plans; while it is all elevated at the very west end of Hardy Yards, where it passes between UH-D and the elevated Metro Rail station (a) I don't know that we have any reason to think it is 60 feet in the sky and (b) by the time it gets to the east end of Hardy Yards, most of it is sunken, the small elevated portion is even less elevated, and it is further removed from Hardy Yards]

 

We can probably safely assume that after the cutaway at mckee street that it begins elevating. and at least by the time it reaches San Jacinto it will be elevated enough for traffic underneath. It's impossible to really know until it's built, kind of like congress wouldn't know what was in the affordable care act until it was passed. 

 

anyway, the i45 lanes are elevated the entire time they are parallel to i10 this includes going over the elysian viaduct (or is that going away?) and all of the surface streets. true it's not 60 feet in the air the whole way, but it's at standard elevated highway height the whole way. 

 

So yeah, I may misunderstand the schematic, but that seems to be countered by you not knowing the east side of downtown, or the east end as well as I do. 

Edited by samagon
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1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

 

At that point, you may be right.  But that is by far the highest point and it is brief.

 

Perhaps the highest point will be, but without vertical scale on the drawings we have, we don't know how brief. What isn't in question is that there is a proposed elevated major interstate highway through the middle of the 4th-largest city in the USA. Whether it's 60 feet or 20 feet, it's still going to be an eyesore and loud as hell.

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9 minutes ago, Kinglyam said:

 

Perhaps the highest point will be, but without vertical scale on the drawings we have, we don't know how brief. What isn't in question is that there is a proposed elevated major interstate highway through the middle of the 4th-largest city in the USA. Whether it's 60 feet or 20 feet, it's still going to be an eyesore and loud as hell.

 

We actually have a pretty good idea how brief, because it is mostly below grade at the other end of Hardy Yards, and the I-45 portions that remain elevated are much less so.  Another thing that isn't in question is that the proposed elevated major interstate highway through the middle of the 4th-largest city in the USA is just a slight relocation of a current elevated major interstate highway.  The suggestion earlier in the thread that this elevated stretch will be replacing a currently-submerged stretch was, as is so much that gets posted about this project, not exactly correct.

Edited by Houston19514
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13 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

We actually have a pretty good idea how brief, because it is mostly below grade at the other end of Hardy Yards, and the I-45 portions that remain elevated are much less so.  Another thing that isn't in question is that the proposed elevated major interstate highway through the middle of the 4th-largest city in the USA is just a slight relocation of a current elevated major interstate highway.  The suggestion earlier in the thread that this elevated stretch will be replacing a currently-submerged stretch was, as is so much that gets posted about this project, not exactly correct.

 

True, some of it is currently elevated. This proposal basically doubles the elevated portion through downtown, which currently ends at Providence Street.

 

And UHD is probably having a crapfest right now, since this just wiped out their entire expansion plan.

 

https://www.uhd.edu/about/news/Pages/University-of-Houston-Downtown-Receives-Approval-for-Expansion.aspx

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27 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

We actually have a pretty good idea how brief, because it is mostly below grade at the other end of Hardy Yards, and the I-45 portions that remain elevated are much less so.  Another thing that isn't in question is that the proposed elevated major interstate highway through the middle of the 4th-largest city in the USA is just a slight relocation of a current elevated major interstate highway.  The suggestion earlier in the thread that this elevated stretch will be replacing a currently-submerged stretch was, as is so much that gets posted about this project, not exactly correct.

 

45 will be elevated the entire length of its alignment with i10. It still has to fly over the elysian viaduct, and a railroad track.

 

So basically, the areas of i10 that are currently below grade will have a freeway that is elevated right next to it. and areas of i10 that are currently elevated will have that same new freeway even more elevated right next to it.

 

but hey, they're all poor people and minorities that live north of there, and there's trains and bayous anyway, so no worries, right, at least we're removing the elevated freeway from the affluent predominantly white area so they will feel safer walking around.

Edited by samagon
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6 minutes ago, Kinglyam said:

 

True, some of it is currently elevated. This proposal basically doubles the elevated portion through downtown, which currently ends at Providence Street.

 

And UHD is probably having a crapfest right now, since this just wiped out their entire expansion plan.

 

https://www.uhd.edu/about/news/Pages/University-of-Houston-Downtown-Receives-Approval-for-Expansion.aspx

 

Not sure why moving the elevated highway from the absolute middle of their property to the northern edge would wipe out their expansion plans.  (I suspect they've been keeping up on TXDoT's plans and are planning accordingly.)

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2 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

45 will be elevated the entire length of its alignment with i10. It still has to fly over the elysian viaduct, and a railroad track.

 

Yes, we know, and I alluded to that fact, but it will be well below 60 feet in the sky for the vast majority of the alignment.

Edited by Houston19514
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Finally got around to taking the drone around the site.  Sorry the video is so short.  I know the developers transferred ownership of the streets to the city, but security guy said I was trespassing on private property. :ph34r:  Didn't want to piss him off because this is a fun place to fly.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, HoustonMidtown said:

LOL about the security guard - he (may have been a different one) told me to quit taking pictures last time I rode my bike by - I was taking pictures from the street

That's his maroon car parked across from our cars in the video.

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I was wondering that myself. Looks like a retention pond going in. Apparently the owner (Kurtz Properties) got the city to sell him right-of-way for most of the streets around there back in March. The limited information on the sale ordinance says:

 

"Kurtz Properties, Ltd. (Kurtz Properties GP, LLC [Robert Kurtz, President], General Partner), the abutting property owner, requested the abandonment and sale of: 1) Burnett Street, from Maffitt Street east to Southern Pacific right-of-way line; 2) Semmes Street, from Burnett Street south to Southern Pacific right-of-way line; 3) Maffitt Street, from Burnett Street south to Southern Pacific right-of-way; 4) Brooks Street, from Maffitt Street east ±417 feet to Chase Street; and 5) Semmes Street, from Brooks Street north to Harrington Street, all located within the S.F. Noble’s Addition, out of the S.M. Harris Survey, Abstract 327. The applicant plans to incorporate the subject streets into the abutting tracts to expand its office space and parking areas."

 

It's some major areas...looks like four nearly full blocks. So I don't think we're talking his personal office space.

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It means they're selling off part of Hardy Yards. "No Restrictions" means no limits on the use, so the Hardy Yards as a full development like City Center or the Woodlands is likely dead.

 

If we're really lucky, maybe they're just looking for investors to kick off phase 1, but I'm pretty sure CBRE doesn't facilitate those, it just sells.

Edited by Kinglyam
Update after more reading
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10 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

I think the clock tower killed any hopes of a full scale multi-use development. Best we can hope for are more wraps/townhomes and no big box/strip centers.

 

I can't imagine that was the culprit, being shoved to the back corner. I'd say moving I-10 into their backyard is a more probable culprit.

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1 minute ago, Kinglyam said:

 

I can't imagine that was the culprit, being shoved to the back corner. I'd say moving I-10 into their backyard is a more probable culprit.

 

Because you can't have a full scale multi-use development near a freeway???  Reality suggests otherwise.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Because you can't have a full scale multi-use development near a freeway???  Reality suggests otherwise.

 

 

 

Depends what they had planned, and whether they thought it was cost-effective to change it. I'm currently looking out of my office from City Center directly to the Beltway, so I know that it can work if they planned on offices there. But if they planned residences there, I'm not so sure it would work.

 

We don't know for certain this will mean the end of mixed use, just well-integrated mixed-use. You can still get some decent development done on 10+ acres.

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1 hour ago, Kinglyam said:

 

Depends what they had planned, and whether they thought it was cost-effective to change it. I'm currently looking out of my office from City Center directly to the Beltway, so I know that it can work if they planned on offices there. But if they planned residences there, I'm not so sure it would work.

 

We don't know for certain this will mean the end of mixed use, just well-integrated mixed-use. You can still get some decent development done on 10+ acres.

 

FWIW, there are also apartments next to the Beltway in City Centre. 

 

Not only do we not know for certain this will mean the end of mixed use, we don't know for certain it will mean the end of well-integrated mixed use.  We really don't know anything other than that the property is being marketed.  It could end up being just about anything, including, well-integrated mixed use.

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This development was a joke from the beginning. It's in the hood and frankly fairly removed from anything desirable. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live on that side of town. Then again I'm a Woodlands snob lol

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10 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

Near Northside is an up and comer, wxman.  You'll be sorry you didn't get in on the ground floor, when you had the chance.  Aside from being walking distance from the LR and just a couple stops from downtown, you'll soon have expanded and enormous St Arnold's Beer Garden, within a short walk and White Oak Music Hall/Raven Tower/Etc., just up Main. If you haven't yet been to The Edison (just about 1.5 mile or a few LR stops north) you're in for a real treat.  But, I guess if you've got the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, and all the Olive Garden breadsticks you can eat, I could see your point of view. 

However...I do agree that this development was lacking from the start, and I agree with Montrose...The Clock tower was the beginning of the problem. 

 

Don't forget about Walter's...

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46 minutes ago, wxman said:

This development was a joke from the beginning. It's in the hood and frankly fairly removed from anything desirable. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live on that side of town. Then again I'm a Woodlands snob lol

 

By your reckoning, is "the hood" anything inside 610? I'd bet dollars to donuts Near Northside has less crime than about any area of The Woodlands. If they can address the flop houses that popped up with all the mental cases there, it's probably one of the safest places to be. The neighbors are primarily long-term working-class families that have owned the houses for generations, with younger professionals who couldn't afford the Heights taking over the abandoned properties and empty lots. There's a sense of community there that is sorely lacking in any of our suburban disaster areas, or even many of our supposedly higher-quality downtown neighborhoods.

 

@Triton - Could be worse things to go in there, but it's still such a waste for JUST that to go in. Though if the Washington Avenue HEB plans are any indication, they could do it right. They definitely need something other than just that old Fiesta. Hopefully it's close enough to the Katyville Walmart that we don't have to worry about another one of those showing up.

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Near Northside is definitely going to be the next hot spot and in some ways it's already beginning as Naviguessor has pointed out.

 

It's the Houston market that had the fourth largest increase in home prices at a 112.1% increase from 2010 to 2016. It's not really what I would consider the hood.. just because there are many low income families here doesn't mean it's the hood. More middle class families are beginning to move in considering I now know architects, engineers (even one that works for NASA that I met here at HAIF), and many office workers that work in downtown/Galleria area/Memorial City, including myself.  I've lived here for 5 years now and the transformation has been fast. There are plenty of new homes being built left and right since many people feel priced out of the Heights and Woodland Heights area. And the big thing is that I know for a fact many people are looking to buy property in the Near Northside because they see the potential here. I myself am hoping to purchase more land on this side as well. I seriously believe N Main will be a hot destination even if the homeless situation is not figured out over at Salvation Army. I don't think it will ever be the Woodlands... in my opinion, that's a high standard, but I do very well see it becoming more like Montrose or the Heights area, but with it's own unique style and culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It's roughly a third of the total land area, but it's the third that's closest to the rail stop, and potentially creates a barrier between the rest of the development and the rail line.

 

It also means they can't connect Leona St all the way to Chestnut St. It's the street grid that makes this a potential extension of the neighborhood instead of East Katyville, which is what it runs the risk of becoming.

 

Counterpoint: If you look at this image of the Fulton St cross section, and this map of a potential future connection to San Jacinto, they may just see (potentially widened to 6 lanes) Fulton St as being too difficult to bridge, making it difficult to integrate the eastern third of the site with the rest.

 

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16 minutes ago, Angostura said:

It's roughly a third of the total land area, but it's the third that's closest to the rail stop, and potentially creates a barrier between the rest of the development and the rail line.

 

It also means they can't connect Leona St all the way to Chestnut St. It's the street grid that makes this a potential extension of the neighborhood instead of East Katyville, which is what it runs the risk of becoming.

 

 

If you look at how they built Leona, it looks like they never had any intention of connecting it all the way to Chestnut Street, nor completing the Fulton extension. Had they intended to do so, they would have probably built in a dead-end tee rather than the landscaped curb that is there now. The Fulton extension being nixed may (again) go back to the redo of I-45/I-10. If you see the proposed new layout of San Jacinto in the Draft EIS, they turn it farther east. That looks like it would be tough to match Fulton to the new alignment.

 

Not having a public street through the middle of the property increases the value of the property as pedestrian-oriented mixed use development, in my mind. The buyer would have the potential to build in perimeter parking off of Leona/Fulton for drivers, while focusing on mass-transit oriented pedestrians from the BTC and downtown/UHD. This portion is the prime development spot, and the one I figured would be the first phase developed.

 

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12 minutes ago, Kinglyam said:

 

If you look at how they built Leona, it looks like they never had any intention of connecting it all the way to Chestnut Street, nor completing the Fulton extension. Had they intended to do so, they would have probably built in a dead-end tee rather than the landscaped curb that is there now. The Fulton extension being nixed may (again) go back to the redo of I-45/I-10. If you see the proposed new layout of San Jacinto in the Draft EIS, they turn it farther east. That looks like it would be tough to match Fulton to the new alignment.

 

Not having a public street through the middle of the property increases the value of the property as pedestrian-oriented mixed use development, in my mind. The buyer would have the potential to build in perimeter parking off of Leona/Fulton for drivers, while focusing on mass-transit oriented pedestrians from the BTC and downtown/UHD. This portion is the prime development spot, and the one I figured would be the first phase developed.

 

 

 

There is no reason to think the Fulton extension has been nixed.  It is still in the City's plans.  The proposed new layout of San Jacinto shown in the I45 project EIS actually makes it a good deal easier to connect with Fulton.

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

 

There is no reason to think the Fulton extension has been nixed.  It is still in the City's plans.  The proposed new layout of San Jacinto shown in the I45 project EIS actually makes it a good deal easier to connect with Fulton.

Yea you and I had discussed this before. Still find it somewhat strange that they never built at least a dead end but I suppose it isn't that difficult to just tear down a curb and extend the road. I seriously think this Fulton extension would be huge and would lead to greater connectivity to downtown. IMHO, light rail really brings traffic to a crawl right at I-10 and N Main.

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