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Holiday / Days / Heaven On Earth Inn (801 Calhoun)

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So back in the day I guess it used to be called Calhoun street and that does ring a distant bell.

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2 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

I don't understand the "Calhoun" references or issue with the name.  Please explain?

John C. Calhoun, a VP of the United States, a South Carolina Senator, and the Secretary of State who supported Texas' admission to the US, was an ardent pro-slavery figure, which makes him controversial.

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3 hours ago, bobruss said:

So back in the day I guess it used to be called Calhoun street and that does ring a distant bell.

It's still known as Calhoun by UH and where it currently ends past Yellowstone. Before I-45 was built, it ran all the way downtown. Interesting thing is old maps show the section near UH as being called Leeland. But, back to the Calhoun name. After the freeway was built, part of it became the NB feeder and it became wholly disconnected from downtown once Spur 5 was built. Around that same time period, the downtown section's name was changed to St. Joseph Parkway despite not being an access controlled, multilane facility running through a park-like setting. Roadgeeks will get that one. :lol:

Edited by JLWM8609
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Interesting. 

 

I thought that St. Joseph Pkwy was previously Calhoun Avenue, and the Calhoun by UH is Calhoun Road.

 

Kind of like Eldridge Road and Eldridge Pkwy, never was the same street.

 

In fact, this thread on here, it was Calhoun Avenue. scroll the very bottom of the first page.

 

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Geez. I didn't realize it was so covered with graffiti and becoming a real eyesore. Didn't seem that long ago when it was just a concrete building that was an eyesore but still reminded one of its grand past.

 

And in better days, courtesy of Arch-ive.org:

days1.jpg

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Time for a meeting with the wrecking ball.

 

frankly, it's time for the TV news to start chasing down the landowners, citing them by name and profession, and getting them on record with what they intend to do with this property.

 

 

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I have their names and one is a cardio vascular doctor with Methodist. The other two are probably involved. They had a hotel in Beaumont in their med center but it closed.

They own over 30 projects between the three. See my earlier post for more info. I have contacted KHOU, Channel 2, and Culture Maps.

Nothing yet but with more input from more Haifers and we might be able to get the ball rolling.

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I'm not a fan of Trump either, but this is disgusting to say the least. WTH is going on here especially in Texas. Burning Mosque, spraying swastikas everywhere. Not cool people, not cool.

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Sure keep it if want to attract  low class politically rigid people. Like those wonderful folks in Berkeley who way laid some poor sap.

 

Edited by Twinsanity02
addition
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On 2/5/2017 at 8:04 PM, bobruss said:

I have their names and one is a cardio vascular doctor with Methodist. The other two are probably involved. They had a hotel in Beaumont in their med center but it closed.

They own over 30 projects between the three. See my earlier post for more info. I have contacted KHOU, Channel 2, and Culture Maps.

Nothing yet but with more input from more Haifers and we might be able to get the ball rolling.

I know one of the guys that is a part of the ownership group. They definitely would like to get this project off the ground, but financing is almost non-existent. It's hard to get a hotel development loan in Houston, TX right now. The cost of tearing this thing down is prohibitive as well. I think you should expect to see this eyesore for the next few years.

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6 hours ago, HNathoo said:

I know one of the guys that is a part of the ownership group. They definitely would like to get this project off the ground, but financing is almost non-existent. It's hard to get a hotel development loan in Houston, TX right now. The cost of tearing this thing down is prohibitive as well. I think you should expect to see this eyesore for the next few years.

Very confusing.

 

the thing has sat there for years while other developers have secured loans to build hotels within a half mile.  JW, aloft, holiday inn, Marquis, le meridian, Hampton Inn, and the proposed new one across from Chase.  Did I miss one?  It seems that one  needs to question just how hard it is to get a "hotel loan" over the last 4 years or if it's just hard for these owners to get one. I don't know.  One must also start to question why these owners seemingly can't properly secure the property to prevent intrusion by trespassers.  I don't understand this either.  Either way, it would be terrific if the news channels decided to ask these owners why.  I would appreciate hearing their side of the story.

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The Hampton was a new build hotel that received plenty of subsidies from the COH (Hotel occupancy tax rebates)

 

The Marquis received even more subsidies than the Hampton - I believe the city donated the land in addition to occupancy tax rebates.

 

The Le Meridian, Aloft, and JW Marriott all got historical tax credits that made the projects feasible. I believe there was some additional occupancy tax rebates as well.

 

The Holiday Inn was probably the only project that got built in downtown without heavy subsidies, but the project was about half the size as the Sheraton project, making it a bit easier to find a lender willing to stick their neck out. The Sharaton guys want to put up a new glass curtain wall on the building, which will probably add about $5M-$10M in cost to the project. Without significant credits or subsidies, I don't think this project will pencil out for any lender, especially in the current Houston economy.

 

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I wouldn't lend for a big hotel in that location. It's not close enough to the downtown office buildings to fill enough week night rooms unless the rooms are cheap, cheap, cheap and even then it's risky.

 

I think the best thing for that building is to turn it into a more affordable downtown apartment tower similar to Houston House. Or partner with UHD and HCC and turn it into a dorm. There are rumors that UHD and HCC Central want housing. Both are serviceable by the light rail. Metro might like to boost ridership numbers as well.

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Turn it into a vertical public park with working elevators. Allow for graffiti, Glass mosaics, sculptures, etc. Have a slowly progressing theme as you travel up. Have some floors that are triple in height to plant a sky garden. Have restaurants, bars, clubs. 

 

I don't know...

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I'd say renovate it and turn it into affordable living. Convert it from an eyesore to just another building and add some residents at the same time.

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I don't want them to tear it down. I just want them to clean it up. Get rid of the graffiti and the damn curtains that have been in there for 30 years.

It looks like .... .

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They should have put those huge Super Bowl covers on both sides of it and just left them there until they do something with it...

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Removed in the topic about redevelopment into a Sheraton, since there isn't any appreciable progress or news about that.  

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On ‎2‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 1:26 PM, corbs315 said:

Because it didn't look bad enough...(apologies if this needed to be censored)

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 2.24.17 PM.png

well, that's at least a better use of the visible space, despite how ugly the building already is, to make some great statements !

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This story about the building showed up on Reddit a few days ago, supposedly the guys went in and ended up being held hostage.

 

 

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Geez. Hopefully this was reported to the HPD. I wish they would just blow this thing up.  It is beyond an eyesore and dangerous to the public.

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2 hours ago, Nole23 said:

Geez. Hopefully this was reported to the HPD. I wish they would just blow this thing up.  It is beyond an eyesore and dangerous to the public.

 

Of course not. After you've been held up, are you going to go report, just to get popped for trespassing? You've had a bad enough day already.

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Check out swamplot for my latest image of the building and my continuing effort to keep this ugly edifice in the news.

Add a comment to their comment page.

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The economics of this thing entered a death spiral a long time ago. I can't imagine any current or prospective owner sees any value in it.  Unfortunately, blowing it up isn't free either. 

 

What is possible in terms of condemnation for blight these days?

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No your right there is no free ride anymore, but something should be done to force the owners into gutting and cleaning up the property

and securing it so that no one can get inside and create more of an eyesore.

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SFK Develpment Inc. has owned it since 10/30/2012. They have paid $390,357.44 in property taxes over the last four years (2013 -2016 taxes), which is peanuts for a $4.3 mil assessed property (land @ $3.2 mil & the improvement @ $1.1 mil). That's why the bldg is still standing. 

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So increased taxes once the Pierce is gone is the only that will likely cause something to be done with this property.

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A little more history on holding finances of this property reveals that it was bought by New Era Hospitality from the Maharishi in 2008. This purchase was financed in the amount of a $5.95 mil. loan. They then incurred several transfer tax liens (superior to the loan) for 2008-2010 taxes to management district and 2010 property taxes in 2011. The bank then subsequently paid off the entity that advanced New Era the delinquent taxes and then foreclosed on them on 10/04/2011 with the winning bid of $4.4 mil + 1.00 dollar to Beaumont Medical Center Hotel which is actually also owned by SFK Development who then conveyed vested title out Beaumont to SFK (see above post) in 2012.

 

So the current owner has taken control of the bldg since 10/4/2011 and paid out $490,180.08 in property taxes. Subtracted from the bid total and you can see that the owner still has $3.9 mil in value. If taxes were frozen at 2016 levels it would take the taxing authorities about 35 more years to amortize the rest of the invested value, that's the year 2052. Of course I'm not including any upkeep costs or when they had laborers stripping the tower of fixtures, drywall, etc. 

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I've thought it would be rather creative to use taxation to incentivize greater use for underutilized properties such as abandoned buildings and parking lots.

 

Perhaps the tax code can be rewritten so that you pay the same tax per acre as all other acreage in the same district no matter the improved value of the land. If you operate downtown as a parking lot on an entire city block you pay X dollars in tax per year. If you operate downtown as a 100 story skyscraper on an entire city block downtown you still only pay X dollars per year. Determine what X dollars is due based upon the mean property value of the entire district. If the owner of a parking lot or abandoned building is paying the same opportunity tax as a skyscraper the owner of the lot would either be incentivized to increase his property's income with a more appropriate use or sell the land to someone who would be inclined to do so.

 

If the owner of this eyesore wants to pay their fair share of X dollars in taxes to "operate" an abandoned building all the more to them. 

  

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Let's see if I understand this right.

 

Currently, the way property is taxed in downtown is at a percentage (I'm going to use k) of the property value.  The property value is land value + improvements value (p).

 

So that means that

Tax = k * p 

Total Revenue = sum(k * pi)

 

Under your idea, the total tax would be the same

Total Revenue = k * sum(pi)

 

but the tax would be different

Tax = Total Revenue / n 

 

So say under the current system there are 5 blocks.

  • Block 1 is a skyscraper worth $100 million
  • Block 2 & 4 are midrises each worth $1 million
  • Block 3 & 5 are  parking lots each worth only the land ($100,000)

Under the current system at a tax rate of 5%,

  • Block 1 pays $5 million
  • Blocks 2 & 4 pay $50,000
  • Blocks 3 & 5 pay $5,000
The total revenue is $5.11 million.

 

Under the new system, the tax would be on the total value, and then evenly split up for each block.

Total value is $102.2 million, and the tax is still $5.11 million.

Divide that tax by 5, and each block has to pay $1,022,000

This is a nice tax cut for the towers, but a huge increase for the other blocks.  So this might encourage more intensive land use to pay off the tax bill, but more likely it would encourage investors to flee to midtown, east downtown, the galleria, the energy corridor - pretty much anywhere else for new investment.  The only way this works is if you have a higher than average land value - and I have a feeling the average is actually quite high for downtown.

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The best way to spur new development is with tax incentives and a good economy. Ha. What is the best way to ensure Houston has a viable long term economy?

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On 5/9/2017 at 4:08 PM, Sanjorade said:

The best way to spur new development is with tax incentives and a good economy. Ha. What is the best way to ensure Houston has a viable long term economy?

 

"Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown" has some lessons you might appreciate on that front.

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On 2/5/2017 at 2:26 PM, corbs315 said:

Because it didn't look bad enough...(apologies if this needed to be censored)

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 2.24.17 PM.png

 

Looking more like a shell. Or has it been this way? 

 

 

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I would tag this place everyday on 311 app if I knew they would do something about it.

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Heres a note I just received in response to one of my emails I sent to all of the city council and mayors office.

Just thought I'd pass this along

 

 

 

 

Mr. Russell, good afternoon.

In reviewing our database, it appears that a response was not sent to your request below. Our office received two emails regarding this topic around the same time, and while we requested a response for one, we neglected to get a response to you.

 

Deputy Assistant Director Bob Oakes with the Public Works & Engineering Department provided the following response:

 

The City Attorney’s Office has been in touch with the owners of the building, they have required the owners to increase security efforts and to perform daily diligence to review securing efforts. We have no information concerning the Demo of this building.

 

Thanks again for your feedback. I apologize one again for our delay in responding to your concern.

 

Veronica E. Weatherspoon

Division Manager

Correspondence & Constituent Services

Office of Mayor Sylvester Turner | City of Houston

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The gates to the garage had been taken off for days. But it read secured again Friday. I saw some teenagers walking up the ramp into the garage one morning but as soon as they turned the corner into the garage they ran out

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On 6/24/2017 at 10:52 PM, HoustonIsHome said:

The gates to the garage had been taken off for days. But it read secured again Friday. I saw some teenagers walking up the ramp into the garage one morning but as soon as they turned the corner into the garage they ran out

 

I'm imagining the teenagers looked like this:

B4YIeDD.jpg

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