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The Royalton At River Oaks: 33-Story High-Rise At 3333 Allen Parkway


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Well, I'm undercontract, again!!

Does anyone know the real status of The Royalton (aka "3333 The View") conversion from apartments to condominiums?

We've been under contract for 2 months now waiting for a closing date. Our first contract was at the Shamrock Towers. We refuse to the Galleria area to buy into a high-rise condo!

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  • 3 years later...
  • 6 years later...
  • The title was changed to The Royalton At River Oaks: 33-Story High-Rise At 3333 Allen Parkway
  • 1 month later...
2 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

No way this stays standing. Time to start thinking about new development for the site. 

If the building is in bad enough shape to need replacement, I'm guessing it will take about 347 years to work through the legal issues, but I may be pessimistic.

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It’s a question whether the broken pipe caused the structural issues or the structural issues caused the broken pipe.

I had a colleague work here during construction back in 2002 time frame (we are stationary engineers, whom work in high rise buildings performing & supervising maintenance). He had told me during construction a large water pipe burst and flooded down to the lowest floor, but the building was still being built and no finishes we’re even close to going in. I recall he said they used schedule 40 pvc pipe for the water risers. Interesting it happened again with much more dire effects. Again which caused which. Structural failures for a 20 year old building are very alarming.

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This is just awful. :( 
 

But I am so, so glad that they were able to evacuate everyone out safely and this didn’t turn into another Surfside situation. I feel absolutely awful for the people whose belongings are in there, but they are alive and safe and that is what is so important. 
 

Does anyone here live there/know people who do? 


It’s frightening, though- this building is barely 20 years old, isn’t it? I wonder if there’s going to be a structural review of buildings in Houston like what happened in FL? 
 

Edit- there are videos from inside and they are nuts. They’re on Instagram (which I don’t have an account on, but I’m trying to see if I can archive them?)

Edited by BEES?!
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1 hour ago, BEES?! said:

KHOU11 has at least 1 video from the lobby, showing some of the buckling of the floor and the water coming up.

Youtube Link

You can also see huge cracks on the walls. Not good at all.

Yeah that doesn't look good at all. I'm no inspector or engineer but I don't know how you can not only salvage the building but the reputation of the place as well. 

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I wonder if it's nothing more than a water main busted under a basic slab floor due to subsidence outside the building (this drought has been wreaking havoc on the city's roads and pipes). If there was no easy way for the water pressure to be relieved, it could exert several thousand pounds of upward pressure on that floor slab. All of the sand in the video would seem to indicate that the slab is just sitting on a supporting graded sand base and is not likely designed to support multiple tons of unsupported pressure.

Hopefully they got the water main shut off quickly. If they did, I wonder if the damage is minimal- limited to an interior floating floor slab and interior partition walls. 

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On 8/12/2022 at 9:01 PM, BEES?! said:

Edit- there are videos from inside and they are nuts. They’re on Instagram (which I don’t have an account on, but I’m trying to see if I can archive them?)

Picuki is a pretty handy tool to browse Instagram profiles with if you don't have an account.

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The Royalton at River Oaks high-rise, where its residents have been kept out of since last August 11, fired back at reports that the City of Houston pulled its occupancy permit, stressing that "at no time was the building's structural integrity compromised."

https://houston.culturemap.com/news/city-life/08-17-22-river-oaks-luxury-high-rise-representatives-fire-back-at-inaccurate-reporting-of-structural-integrity-concerns/

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On 8/15/2022 at 2:32 PM, hindesky said:

WCy9C04.jpg

 

 

When there's a truck with a 20-foot-long "DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM" outside your home, it kind of makes all of the "Everything is fine!" claims look like the Iraqi Minister of Information.

Iraqi-Information-Minister.jpg

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From Wednesday:
 

Quote

The Royalton released the following statement:

Early evening on Thursday, August 11th, one of Houston’s premier residential buildings, The Royalton at River Oaks, located at 3333 Allen Parkway, sustained a water damage event that started under the floor of the back lobby. From what we have been able to ascertain from engineering experts, a burst underground fire standpipe caused damage to the fire safety system.

After the Houston Fire Department initially assessed the situation and decided to evacuate the building, within hours the Royalton had engaged a globally respected engineering and architectural firm, Wiss, Janney Elstner Associates (WJE). By Friday morning on August 12th, WJE had completed a preliminary assessment and declared the building to be structurally sound.


A burst standpipe on its own is plenty reason to evacuate the building. Likely their fire suppression and alarm system will have to be recertified before the building can be occupied. 

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2022/08/12/suspected-pipe-burst-prompts-evacuation-at-high-rise-condo-in-river-oaks-officials-say/

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On 8/22/2022 at 2:54 PM, aachor said:

A burst standpipe on its own is plenty reason to evacuate the building. Likely their fire suppression and alarm system will have to be recertified before the building can be occupied. 

It's no wonder that there was a busted floor.

Given the design requirements for standpipe systems, it's easy to imagine that standpipe would exert well over 14,000 pounds per square foot of hydraulic pressure (assuming no other easy outlet for that pressure) on the underside of the floor. It's also easy to imagine pressures multiple times higher than that. Nothing that is not already designed as a pressure vessel is going to provide the least amount of resistance. The main limiting factor is going to be flow rate. But, looking through NFPA requirements, I don't think that's going to be a factor in any confined space.

I still think that maybe this could have been caused by soil subsidence on the exterior of the building. 

Shr.Technical.Rar.110.pdf

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On 8/22/2022 at 2:54 PM, aachor said:

From Wednesday:
 


A burst standpipe on its own is plenty reason to evacuate the building. Likely their fire suppression and alarm system will have to be recertified before the building can be occupied. 

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2022/08/12/suspected-pipe-burst-prompts-evacuation-at-high-rise-condo-in-river-oaks-officials-say/

Thanks for the info!

Does the Royalton have no basement so the standpipe runs under the slab of the first floor (which I presume sits on deep footings) off the fire pump? If so, I wonder why the builder elected to run the pipe under the floor and not through the ceiling of the first level?

Last time I was in this building was 2005 so it’s been a while, I thought they did have a basement for mechanical.

The break in that standpipe should have triggered the fire pump to turn on, along with flow switches indicating to the front desk and fire department water flow and a potential fire. The pump run would have increased the pressure under the floor even more. This should have occurred just prior or simultaneously to the break in the floor and the water flooding.

I would assume while their wet pipe fire suppression system is crippled, that their alarm system would be working fine. Typically a building would implement a fire watch consisting of multiple people walking the building on shifts with 24/7 coverage. This is critical during an alarm outage. The loss of sprinklers and fire hose connections do not seem like reason enough to evacuate the entire building for a month or more, so what’s missing? Sprinklers in a condo with privately owned units are required in common area only. Lease properties are different where they do have to be in each unit.

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4 hours ago, Geoff8201 said:

Does the Royalton have no basement so the standpipe runs under the slab of the first floor (which I presume sits on deep footings) off the fire pump? If so, I wonder why the builder elected to run the pipe under the floor and not through the ceiling of the first level?

It does seem odd to me. Though, it is the only thing that I can think of to explain the ridiculous amount of sand that came up with the water in the video that's going around.

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rOndDk0.png

"A water leak that prompted the evacuation of a 33-story high-rise in Houston was caused by an underground utility line break. The subsequent damage from flooding, including a heaved area of slab, did not appear to compromise the 18-year-old building’s structural capacity, according to an independent engineer’s report. Still, the 253-unit building will remain empty of residents until repairs are made."

https://www.enr.com/articles/54671-after-houston-high-rise-evacuation-engineers-find-structure-intact

 

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I hope they’ll be able to fix it and people will be able to go home. It sucks having to be forced out of your home- I know it all too well. 
 

I’m so glad it doesn’t sound like there’s structural integrity concerns here. I was scared for a Surfside, FL collapse situation unfolding. (When it happened I was really spooked by it) I’m glad that everyone was promptly evacuated and it wasn’t worse. 

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