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Mister X

215-Acres near NRG Stadium (formerly UT Research Campus Proposal)

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I would like to see Buffalo Speedway go through to Holmes Rd. Maybe the city would then finally improve/widen that road. That would take a lot of pressure off the highway 90 commute.

Edited by Fringe
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First time I've really paid attention to that part of the PDF.

If that development does go up, it would be smart for metro to get something going there.

Now, what would REALLY be cool, if metro is planning for light rail there, to just build up the line to that point once the project nears completion. That way, they don't have to wait for the rest of the route to be decided/voted upon/ridiculed/NIMBY'ed.....etc

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I would like to see Buffalo Speedway go through to Holmes Rd. Maybe the city would then finally improve/widen that road. That would take a lot of pressure off the highway 90 commute.

Buffalo Speedway will eventually go through past Holmes Road, so that it connect with a mile-long road-to-nowhere that the City has built in 2006 or 2007. Check it out on Google Earth, and then feel free to complain to City Council and the Mayor. You should also complain to to the Attorney General, since the premature construction of this road was a misappropriation of funds indicative of gross negligence on the part of Bill White and/or Andy Icken.

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More interesting is page 2 of this recently released Metro document from the opening post.

They are showing future rail expansion beyond current Phase II development.

They are showing future rail ( not distinguished between LRT or CRT ) from the Phase III plan according to CTC - Sunnyland, East End and Southeast en line extensions to Hobby..

But the biggie.. they are also showing a brand new line - prolly CRT - that leaves the downtown intermodal station, goes out Dowling past the new soccer stadium and out of town along 288.

This was not one of the possibilities last we heard from Metro concerning CRT.

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Apparently, there are some references to this project from 2010. Sheila Jackson Lee mentioned it on her website in reference to the 90A rail corridor here. Although there's no date on that posting, I reached it through a blog comment I found which was posted in August 2010.

Edit:

Similarly, Buffalo Lakes, a large undeveloped area located north of Holmes Road and west of Kirby Drive, is to be developed as a mixed-use project that includes 3,580 residential units and 1.9 million square feet of office, retail, and entertainment space.
Edited by Simbha
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Ah thanks. For some reason I thought it was out in chinatown or the like. the place looks like westchase "district".

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hope it goes up..that project looks similar to those hi-rises on the Beltway and Bellaire with noting but concrete blocks, steel wire and weeds as a reminder.

Also looks like the "Promenade" at the Beltway and 288 that never went up also. If the Astroworld land remains dead, that'll determine what's really coming.

I'm not sure if its a South Side thing but the miles of broken streets that never seem to connect has plagued that side for years. Buffalo Speedway will eventually end at Willowbend (hasn't opened yet) but there's a brand new, unused and vacant stretch that begins at Orem and leads to nowhere....it has 4 lanes and full of street lights to light the weeds at night.

Same with Airport on how that breaks up at Almeda and doesn't flow freely until Hillcroft...West Orem flows until 288 but there's a new stretch from Scott that goes to Telephone....Kirby is another one also

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The apartments shown in the NE corner of the development are almost done. I drove down Buffalo speedway to where Willowbend has tied in and noticed that they have already dug the retention canal. Maybe things are moving along?

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Is this a nail in the double helix facility's coffin?

 

Edit: It looks cool. Apart from that, this is great news for our City. A shame it couldn't have taken up the Astroworld site.

Edited by Montrose1100
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Is this a nail in the double helix facility's coffin?

Edit: It looks cool. Apart from that, this is great news for our City. A shame it couldn't have taken up the Astroworld site.

Collaborative research campus would be better. Why not just make this a full on university?

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It's like Tory Gattis's idea for a research campus on the old KBR site, only it's in the middle of nowhere. But I guess the land is cheap.

 

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They could extend the light rail there easily - I mean that is where the test track is...just saying

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This also encompasses the notorious booby trapped and guarded homeless fort in the woods.

 

wouldn't consider this site the middle of nowhere though. It is ideal for such an endeavor. Close to TMC. Close to 610. Close to 90. Close to light rail. Convenient to 288.

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There's a homeless fort in the woods?  Wouldn't that be a home...making them no longer homeless?

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Someone please clear something up for me.  I did biomed research for several years at UT Medical school at theTMC. There are numerous UT facilities throughout the med center, many conducting research.  It looks very impressive but what is the purpose? How would this be integrated with the core of the TMC? Is it anywhere near the rail line?

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Someone please clear something up for me.  I did biomed research for several years at UT Medical school at theTMC. There are numerous UT facilities throughout the med center, many conducting research.  It looks very impressive but what is the purpose? How would this be integrated with the core of the TMC? Is it anywhere near the rail line?

 

The edge of the property is less than a mile from the rail line. there are now buses on this part of Bellfort and as was pointed out earlier the metro rail test line runs along the southern edge of the property and could in theory be utilized for the site.

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So this is not the collaborative research facilities the TMC president calls TMC3?  This is something completely different, correct? There is so much construction and planned construction  in Houston it can make my head spin. Maybe it's the cold meds.

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They could extend the light rail there easily - I mean that is where the test track is...just saying

 

Looks like the concept calls for the light rail to enter the campus via W. Bellfort, snaking down the west side of the campus before going down Holmes Rd along the UPRR ROW. The point on the rendering where the light rail goes down Holmes is further west than where the test track is.

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Cold Meds worn off. This is what I understand to be happening.

 

The UT Research Campus is not part of the Texas Medical Center, but independent of it.  Scientific research of all types will be conducted there as in any major university. The Texas Medical Center announced in September plans for a thirty acre development near OST and the bayou called TMC3.  Then of course there is all the other projects with Texas Childrens and Hermann Memorial  etc.  

 

Tough to keep up with all this. I feel for the folks in Dubai. 

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I like the idea of a growing education/research sector, don't like that it is 3.5 miles from TMC. What I like about TMC the most is the concentration of institutions plus it's proximity to 3 universities.

So I am happy that UT is investing more in our city but would be happier if it was growing the TMC footprint.

In the last 15 years the TMC had grown phenomenally in its own footprint and outside of it. What I am scared of is distract or sites. I may be thinking too much in into this but I am scared that satellite sites like this will diminish future growth around TMC.

I know some may say that TMC will still be the it place for biomedical research in Houston and Texas, but many institutions already have little side operations across town, then UT builds this massive complex just south of TMC. Then A&M decides they want to expand but and decide that the UT project down the street is doing well, why expand in the congested TMC area when they can build a super campus in the Sharps town area? Then Baylor follows suit, and pretty much we have a still awesome TMC but most of the growth is spread out.

I used to work in the medical center and the partnerships and sharing their is wonderful. I think Baylor with a regular University component would have been wonderful and Rice with a Med school and law School would have been serious competition for Duke as the best University in the South. A UH-UT partnership would have been awesome too.

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I am thinking diversification and building any non-oil business opportunity is key since a crash grinds job creation to a halt in the this town - still in the hole for 2015 and the issue is in doubt if 2015 will see positive job growth at all, Houston is just under 3 million jobs and would be nice to make it over that big number for Christmas.

Don't get me wrong, like I said is awesome that UT is investing more in Houston.

I was just thinking it would be gravy if it was more connected to the TMC campus, then I went off on consolidation.

Looks like consolidation is all the rage because of competition for NIH funding. UT, A&M and UH flagships are the 3 largest universities in Texas. All three are seeking to boost NIH funding and all 3 are seeking to add a med school component to the flagship. A&M is already seeking to merge with the system's Medical School. UT has medical schools in various cities but seeking to add one to its flagship. And UH is seeking to do the same thing.

None of the 4 very high research universities in Texas have medical schools on their flagship.

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UT is not seeking it is currently building. The medical was approved either last year or the year before I believe. It is actually quite impressive to drive down I-35 and see the massive scope of the project. There are like 4-5 cranes in a concentrated area building what seems like a small city. Here is a link to the plans:

 

http://www.utexas.edu/campusplanning/masterplan/documents/MedicalDistrict20130509.pdf

 

As far as this project, like some have said, glad to see the UT system putting more into Houston. I would also agree on wishing it was closer into the medical center or center of town.

Edited by urbanize713
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I agree with HoustonIsHome.  As much as I love living in the suburbs , I hope the TMC  does not suburbanize. Have all those research institutes and medical facilities within walking distance is truly great. It creates an academic electricity to the area. I hope it stays that way. I have a feeling that this UT research facility will only be partially biomed so I do not see it as causing suburbanization of TMC. It is most likely going to be a sore spot for UH ambitions to become a top tier research university. Academic waters tend to be shark infested.

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So I am happy that UT is investing more in our city but would be happier if it was growing the TMC footprint.

 

 

Is there a piece of land this size closer to TMC? I doubt UT was able to get what they wanted at a price they were willing to pay.

 

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Is there a piece of land this size closer to TMC? I doubt UT was able to get what they wanted at a price they were willing to pay.

For the price, probably not. But many would of rather seen this proposed for the Astroworld site..

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I hate to sound negative but I do feel like U.of H.,is going to end up the loser again. Despite having a rough go getting funding from the state yet still managing to reach tier one status is now having to deal with UT and all their money and power they

wield.

We're already fighting an uphill battle to build a med school here which would work to help the third ward which is underserved.

Legislators say U.of H., is going to face problems since they're spending so much on U. T.s new Med school and other regional med schools.

Now UT is going to come in and poach professors, take research funds and students away from a University which has worked hard

and stretched its meager hand outs from the state over the last 40 years to build a University that has always been here in

Houston to serve this city. Like I've said here before we have to fight tooth and nail for every dollar we're given by

the state and even though we don't receive a penny from the Permian basin fund like Texas and A&M we've built this University

into a Tier One status with very little help from our state leaders. I understand the financial possibilities and everyone

drooling about this new growth and opportunity but it sure doesn't help U of H. I know that UT alums could care less about what happens to U of H., but I don't like it.

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Is there a piece of land this size closer to TMC? I doubt UT was able to get what they wanted at a price they were willing to pay.

 

 

Nothing even close to this size any closer to the TMC.  Sheesh, people are acting like they're proposing this in Fulshear.  It is just outside the loop and less than 2.5 miles from the southern point of the current TMC footprint.  It does expand the TMC footprint, by 2.5-3 miles! 

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Yeah seems like a huge threat to UHs expansion ambitions. Kind of a bummer for UH but the UT plan seems good for the city.. Makes you wonder though why UT doesn't want in on the TMCi3 research collaborative campus right across the bayou from the TMC. Maybe they just need more space? This development is 300 acres.. I don't even think the double helix plot is that large, and would be shared with multiple other institutions to boot.

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Don't get me wrong, like I said is awesome that UT is investing more in Houston.

I was just thinking it would be gravy if it was more connected to the TMC campus, then I went off on consolidation.

Looks like consolidation is all the rage because of competition for NIH funding. UT, A&M and UH flagships are the 3 largest universities in Texas. All three are seeking to boost NIH funding and all 3 are seeking to add a med school component to the flagship. A&M is already seeking to merge with the system's Medical School. UT has medical schools in various cities but seeking to add one to its flagship. And UH is seeking to do the same thing.

None of the 4 very high research universities in Texas have medical schools on their flagship.

 

you're clinically insane if you think anyone can piece together anything close to 332 acres in the immediate vicinity of TMC. even at astronomical prices that would be hard to achieve.

 

3.5 miles away and within a stones throw of 610 ain't exactly the "suburbs"

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Yeah I just looked at that first image and it really gives perspective on how large this site is.. In retrospect to one of my previous comments, the Astroworld site was only around 100 acres before the rodeo bought half of it.. Props to UT for being able to get this large of a parcel so close to the inner city/so close to the TMC and hopefully with light rail access.

For comparison, some other well know "large" parcels of land in the city..

Hardy Yards - 45 acres

KBR site - 135 acres

This site is over 3/4ths the size of Hermann Park..

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I wonder how much impact this will have on future advanced technology business locating in Houston over other Texas cities.

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What I don't quite get is UT is already in Houston. There's a medical school. A dental school. A school of public health. A nursing school. Some night/weekend MBA classes. How will a huge research campus affect these places? I imagine lots of shuttle busses running back and forth. 

 

As for UT and UH, the two have been working well together as of late on the academic side of things. I am assuming there will be a lot of collaboration between UT, UH, Rice, Baylor Med, TSU, UST, and UT Health. Just keep the damn aggies at bay...

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People keep on bringing up TMC and TMC3, this project is not only limited to medical that is probably why they are not concerned with being closer to TMC or a part of TMC3

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you're clinically insane if you think anyone can piece together anything close to 332 acres in the immediate vicinity of TMC. even at astronomical prices that would be hard to achieve.

3.5 miles away and within a stones throw of 610 ain't exactly the "suburbs"

There is no need to get nasty.

First off, I never said it was suburban. All I said was that It would be gravy if it would be clustered in the Rice-TMC-TSU-UH concentration of Reseach.

Furthermore, I never hinted at them finding a gargantuan property close to TMC, so why would I be insane? UT claims they are not building a regular campus (which I don't believe), according to them it's just research facilities so why would they need a campus. You do not need a track and field plot and other sports plots as pictured to build a research facilities, you do not need an Exxon style compound. You can easily go vertical as TMC and build research facilities that way closer in.

I am not fooled by UT. For the 3rd time I am happy for the growth and investment but UT is being disingenuous. They have a huge presence in Houston but unlike every other major metropolitan area in Texas UT lacks a 4 year university here and that is what UT is building. Mark my words. UT sees the potential research $$$ they could be awarded by having a school in the largest city in the state with huge deficits in individuals skilled in the major economic sectors (medical, chemical engineering, structural engineering, and other O&G engineering).

Nope, UT is building UTH!

UTHSC, UTMB, and UTMDA are not really full fledged UT presences. UT has full campuses in Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, The Valley, multiple in DFW, but none here. Makes sense to build one in the fastest growing metro in the country.

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Actually I kind of agree with HIH about them possibly building a 4 year university.. I've always wondered why there is no full fledged "UT Houston" like practically every other large city in the state has. Yeah we have the UT med/health stuff, but doesn't DFW have a UT Southwestern med school, on top of UT Dallas and UT Arlington?

The only thing I don't get is why not come out and just say it'll be UT Houston if that is the case? Outcry from UH? Harder to secure financing?

Edited by cloud713
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Actually I kind of agree with HIH about them possibly building a 4 year university.. I've always wondered why there is no full fledged "UT Houston" like practically every other large city in the state has. Yeah we have the UT med/health stuff, but doesn't DFW have a UT Southwestern med school, on top of UT Dallas and UT Arlington?

The only thing I don't get is why not come out and just say it'll be UT Houston if that is the case? Outcry from UH? Harder to secure financing?

They are saying that they have been wanting a presence in Houston for decades, yet they have had a medical presence for 100 years. It doesn't follow.

Plus that is a hell of a lot of land to start out with. The entire Rice Campus is 295 acres. Some of UT 4 yrs campuses are that size. UT Austin, Dallas, SA, etc are huge but they all started smaller and acquired more land. UTD started out as 1 building, UT Austin started out as 40 acres, UT Arlington was less than 10 Acres in its early days before expansion.

Comparing it to other universities, SMU is exactly the same size as Rice at 295 acres, Houston Baptist is 100 acres, Texas state has 38,000 students on 450 acres, lamar is like 270 acres, trinity in SA is 117 acres.

Looking at the medical Reseach fascilities, UT HSC Houston had a tiny foot print. UT HSC San Antonio has 8 campuses and all together they are smaller than this. UT Southwestern is in a Medical district that contain 3 campuses and 4 hospitals and and only take up 230 acres.

So I can only think that the reason UT needs so much land is they are planning a full fledged 4 year stand alone college Campus in Houston.

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I know we are long past the era when universities were in it for the education and betterment of society but dose UT not make enough money as it is?  I just find it disconcerting that all, not just UT, are in education solely for the money. 

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I know we are long past the era when universities were in it for the education and betterment of society but dose UT not make enough money as it is?  I just find it disconcerting that all, not just UT, are in education solely for the money. 

 

This is worth a serious discussion, maybe in another thread: 

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/32822-modern-education/

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Agreed. This is the catalyst the city needs for major high rise and mixed-use residential/office/retail development in the South Loop/NRG Stadium area.

 

Why do I have a feeling that whatever development is to be sparked by this will be fought tooth and nail by the rodeo?

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