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Will Houston Ever Get A Supertall Again?


marc

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Ok OK, i fudged a little by putting a tantalizing topic title without a description, BUT now that you are here, i was thinking with the slow down in construction maybe it would be fun to speculate, dream, predict WHEN, WHERE, and BY WHOM our fair city's next 50+ skyscraper will show. Perhaps somewhere in the Medical Center (thinking of that mini-boom over the last couple of years)?? Perhaps UT? Residential? Commercial? Mixed Use? Many of you are more in the know than i am when it comes to trends of construction probilities and so forth. Me, i just LOVE skyscrapers and urban development, so i follow in a sort of "coffee table book way"; i.e., drool over the pix., but don't necessarily read all the fine print, unless i am really in love with a certain scraper. SO, here is my limited take. IF a 50+ is to be built in DT, i think it would be because there was some sort of consolidation of an already existing corp. which has either grown to need the tower OR sold its smaller locations and moved into one. If that size is to be built in UT, i think it would be residential. Something full of glass and steel to contrast with all the beige, tan, brownish towers would be cool. My money would be a 50+ tower built in or near MT.(which i might say is looking spectacular; reminds me of Altanta's gorgeous UT) The only "IF" for that happening is that i am not certain if there are height restrictions due to its proximity to Hobby Airport. Anyway, give me your thoughts, with pix. if you would like.......again, not much going on, so i thought, hey, why not do some late 90's dreaming.

m B)

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Ok OK, i fudged a little by putting a tantalizing topic title without a description, BUT now that you are here, i was thinking with the slow down in construction maybe it would be fun to speculate, dream, predict WHEN, WHERE, and BY WHOM our fair city's next 50+ skyscraper will show. Perhaps somewhere in the Medical Center (thinking of that mini-boom over the last couple of years)?? Perhaps UT? Residential? Commercial? Mixed Use? Many of you are more in the know than i am when it comes to trends of construction probilities and so forth. Me, i just LOVE skyscrapers and urban development, so i follow in a sort of "coffee table book way"; i.e., drool over the pix., but don't necessarily read all the fine print, unless i am really in love with a certain scraper. SO, here is my limited take. IF a 50+ is to be built in DT, i think it would be because there was some sort of consolidation of an already existing corp. which has either grown to need the tower OR sold its smaller locations and moved into one. If that size is to be built in UT, i think it would be residential. Something full of glass and steel to contrast with all the beige, tan, brownish towers would be cool. My money would be a 50+ tower built in or near MT.(which i might say is looking spectacular; reminds me of Altanta's gorgeous UT) The only "IF" for that happening is that i am not certain if there are height restrictions due to its proximity to Hobby Airport. Anyway, give me your thoughts, with pix. if you would like.......again, not much going on, so i thought, hey, why not do some late 90's dreaming.

m B)

Very misleading thread title.

This thread is disappointing.

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OK OK, mia culpa, mia culpa. i guess my ultra success with a Sim City 4 region topping 15 million and nothing BUT skyscrapers are going up in my virtual reality world, i got a little carried away. My virtual Houston is booming.........sorry.

Back to reality. SIGH.

m. ;)

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Well let's see...

We're losing NASA.

The price of oil is going down.

ObamaCare passed.

Airlines are merging and leaving.

so....

No space-related companies will need offices.

Oil companies will downsize.

The Texas Med Center will lose doctors.

Airlines will lay off ppl.

I think it's going to be some time before we get any new buildings. UGH.

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  • 2 years later...

Every 800+ footer in the state was built when Texas *was* the developing world, like China is today. When these buildings reach the end of their design lives, will their investors see fit to reconstruct them? Now to your question. There are investors who have paid so much for their land (901-999 Louisiana, 3200 Post Oak, and so on) that the only revenue-generating thing it can be used for, besides a parking lot, under current tax codes, is a trophy property. But a trophy property need not be a very tall one. If you build something to command $40 per square foot rents, in fact, it's unlikely you would want to risk building two million square feet of it all at once: you could make a profit on your land purchase with much less construction than that.

Will there come a time when enough large tenants want into a submarket for long enough without smaller buildings being built to absorb them (that a supertall makes sense for years to set in motion)? Well, the one time it happened before, it was a bubble. You know what the conditions would have to be for it to happen again. Either a second speculative property bubble, a proud homegrown corporation, a giant relocation, a mixed-use investment with residences on top, HAIF starts a wildly successful lottery ticket pool, or editor repatriates his advertising profits.

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To give this thread new life, and the chance of learning something:

Block 142, downtown, the first site I mentioned, is valued by the county at $15.6 million. 40ksf floorplates would be feasible (although the trend is not toward such large floors); it's a 62500sf site -- $250/sf. What kind of rents over what kind of size range would one need to get, being into the dirt for that much? Anyone care to show their calculations for our benefit, please?

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To give this thread new life, and the chance of learning something:

Block 142, downtown, the first site I mentioned, is valued by the county at $15.6 million. 40ksf floorplates would be feasible (although the trend is not toward such large floors); it's a 62500sf site -- $250/sf. What kind of rents over what kind of size range would one need to get, being into the dirt for that much? Anyone care to show their calculations for our benefit, please?

And I believe the current owners paid $20 Million for it.

Edited by Houston19514
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  • 1 month later...

As long as there is space for people to build a few 10-20 story buildings they will do that over a supertall. Unless there is some massive amount of hubris that drives a developer to build it, the space limitations that necessitate something of that size just don't exist in Houston at the moment. New York keeps getting more and more because they have literally zero land available. Their only option is to demolish something and build something taller where it was. Until downtown gets so dense that that becomes necessary, I don't see anything in the 800-1000+ foot range for a while. I think the most we'll be seeing is 500-600 or so until we fill in at least most of the surface lots downtown.

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  • 1 month later...

Is there a height/load limit on concrete structures?  It seems that all of our newer construction uses concrete.  The tall buildings built here during the '80's were constructed using steel.  Isn't the cost of steel crazy right now?

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300 Meters or 1,000 feet. 

 

Houston wont ever get anything of that height (or greater) ever again. 

 

That's what credibility challenged people said about real estate booms in Houston after the oil bust in the 80's. That's also what credibility challenged people said about Houston EVER getting a new football team after the Oilers moved away. People who sound so certain about 'what's EVER going to happen in the future' don't have credibility. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

we have a supertall whose height was limited by the FAA because of Hobby's runways.

 

Yes.  (At least that's what urban mythology tells us.  I have never been satisfied as to whether it is reallty true or not.)

 

Nevertheless, the fact that we have a supertall tells us that we could have another without Hobby having to rearrange its flight paths.

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Wasn't it the oil boom crash of the 1980's that killed the 80 story 1404 ft Southwest Tower - not Hobby? More urban legend, but I thought I read somewhere that Southwest Tower was literally ready to break ground within days when the investors got scared after the oil market crashed. If that's true, I don't think Hobby wouldn't stop another one on that scale.

Edited by Mister X
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LaGuardia Airport is 8 miles from midtown Manhattan.

Midway Airport is 8 miles from Chicago's Loop.

Hobby Airport is 7 miles from Downtown.

 

Those airports are so close to central business districts, why not Houston?

Edited by Reaper88
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  • 3 weeks later...

I would also argue that Houston has done what only two other cities in the United States have done---have more 600, 700, 800, 900 and 1,000' tall structures than just about anybody in the world. I read somewhere one time (Forbes?) that Houston had the 8th tallest skyline in the WORLD. In a given city, even one like Dallas, a 500, 600' tower or bigger would be an incredible transformation of their skyline. Not Houston tho. Look at the buildings constructed or about to be constructed? BP: Hardly a blip on the skyline (except from the east maybe). Hines new property on Main: 41-stories-ish. Hardly a blip and will cover BP. If Chevron builds them a new 50-story tower, it'll be masked by the Enron buildings. So I think that alone says something.

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  • 3 months later...

I don't think that's true.  After all, we already have a supertall. 

 

Houston has 2 supertalls... Wells Fargo is 302 meters.

but to answer your question. i really hope so. we discussed it in the Hines thread when we were speculating the new height, and determined that if we do get a supertall it is likely to be due to a major corporate headquarters relocation or a foreign company statement tower.

Edited by cloud713
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Houston has 2 supertalls... Wells Fargo is 302 meters.

but to answer your question. i really hope so. we discussed it in the Hines thread when we were speculating the new height, and determined that if we do get a supertall it is likely to be due to a major corporate headquarters relocation or a foreign company statement tower.

 

I agree and I wouldn't be surprised if the next supertall gets built in Uptown for that very reason.  Assuming that the reason for building it would be to make a statement, you could argue that it would be a bigger statement by building it there.

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  • 5 months later...

Hello fellow HAIF-ers I have recently noticed (I know extremely late and ridiculous) that a few places in good ol' U.S of A are getting a supertall (aside from New York and Chicago) places like L.A., San Francisco, Philadelphia, and even Miami so with all these supertalls being built in dreadful places like those (Forgive me if I offend, I naturally hate any city other than Houston and Paris)... where is Houston's new supertall? I mean a city with above average prosperity or so they say should certainly have a piece of the supertall pie!

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As in other threads by several people, I think this fun topic has been addressed. Another supertall in Houston may be way down the road. Think about it. Any oil based energy company is not going to flout their colossal profits by erecting an iconic tower until attitudes change regarding said companies gouging the US consumer per gallon. Alternative energy companies, as was pointed out to me in other posts, wouldn't necessarily be headquartered in HTown. More than likely Austin or even SA. Banks? Ummmm, who? So what are we left with? Technology companies and medical based companies. Well, the trend for both seems to not transcend 40 or 50 storeys, and actually most corporate expansion seems to point to mid rise buildings in a giant complex of sorts. So, much to my disappointment, I don't see anything over 60 storeys in DT for at least a decade. Then we could talk about residential towers, hotel or otherwise. Again, a 30 something storey tower for that purpose seems feasible, but not so much a 50 or more storey tower. Don't mean to be a negative Nancy, just others have pointed out certain facts to me, and I tend to believe them. Having said that, I will most assuredly eat every word when a 1000+ footer is announced in a year or so. ;)

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  • 2 months later...

Ok. You all win. Chicago doesn't have only 70 plus story buildings going up. It just seemed like it when I was there last. Certainly NYC's new builds seem taller than 50. My point is that we used to have the tallest building west of the Mississippi and I believe LA has that now. We need to grab that title back. If we can't do it now, in this economy, it isn't ever likely.

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Ok. You all win. Chicago doesn't have only 70 plus story buildings going up. It just seemed like it when I was there last. Certainly NYC's new builds seem taller than 50. My point is that we used to have the tallest building west of the Mississippi and I believe LA has that now. We need to grab that title back. If we can't do it now, in this economy, it isn't ever likely.

Well we've heard rumors about a couple a super talls, one for Uptown and one for downtown. There's also Chevron's Tower 3, and the height for that one is in flux so with just another 100 feet or so that one could also be a super tall. Then finally there's the rumored $2B project downtown which may contain a super tall but we don't have that much info on it. Either way that's 4 big projects we've been hearing about for a little while now. I'm optimistic that we will hear more details about at least one of them pretty soon!

Edited by ClutchCity
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Is it me or is Downtown Houston's number of blocks pretty darn small, something like 200 blocks.  Where Manhattan might have like 5,000. In addition, if a bunch of cheapish 5 story buildings that age badly get built and we only have 20 blocks left, then what?

 

Then you tear down a badly-built 5 story building.  Or tear down an obsolete 20 story building.  Or build in Eado or Midtown or Hardy Yards.  All the same things they do in Manhattan.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Will Houston Ever Get A Supertall Again?

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