Jump to content
barracuda

Bank of America Tower | 800 Capitol St. | Formerly Capitol Tower

Recommended Posts

Quote

Downtown's Houston Club Building may be facing the wrecking ball. The 63-year-old building, which fell into foreclosure last fall, is under contract to be sold to Swedish construction giant Skanska.

According to the Chronicle, several tenants are already clearing out of the building even though Skanska has not confirmed anything.

Latest renderings & info:

 

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2015/06/developer-to-pour-foundation-for-downtown-office-tower/#23198101=0

 

14116254629_9dc8280e0d_o.jpg

 

14301018622_094ccd2932_o.jpg

 

14116400857_a54046277d_o.jpg

 

lobby-capitol.jpg

 

14302940405_b514a842ec_b.jpg

 

14116313010_32bac523b3_b.jpg

 

14279808226_8bbc6bd4b5_o.jpg

 

14301017242_f02c4a0f9b_o.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't this the same Skanska that claimed that they didn't need financing or a pre-lease figure in order to break ground on their Galleria area tower? That one hasn't broken ground yet and the rumors are that it wont.

I'd absolutely HATE to see another historic, even if it isn't that great, building come down with the promise of something going up in its place only for nothing to be built. Downtown already has enough scars.

If this is true, we'll be adding vacant/surface lots at the old YMCA, the old Sheraton, and now the Houston Club all in just one year. Ughhh.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it hasn't come down yet, and the YMCA took away a parking lot before giving one back. Additionally, downtown has given up far more parking lots than it gained in the last few years...including 2 blocks east of this building...so, I wouldn't go committing hari kari over this one, if it happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's kinda the point. Few find this particular building 'nice', simply old. And, while better than a parking lot, no one has promised a lot. At least, not yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this is true, we'll be adding vacant/surface lots at the old YMCA, the old Sheraton, and now the Houston Club all in just one year. Ughhh.

Relax.

The Former YMCA will be a green space.

The former Sheraton will be a park and main entry way for Total Plaza w/ parking underground.

This is just an article saying they are doing feasibility studies. We do them all the time at my firm and most of the time nothing substantial happens except more studies are exacted.

Edited by infinite_jim
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I don't remember seeing this building in person but in the picture it looks nice. At the very least, it looks from the outside to be a perfect building to do a renovation for a hotel or apartments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relax.

The Former YMCA will be a green space.

The former Sheraton will be a park and main entry way for Total Plaza w/ parking underground.

This is just an article saying they are doing feasibility studies. We do them all the time at my firm and most of the time nothing substantial happens except more studies are exacted.

The former Y will be a temporary green space, but Chevron plans to build another building there, still better than a parking lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The former Y will be a temporary green space, but Chevron plans to build another building there, still better than a parking lot.

Is there information on Chevron's plans for this lot that is publicly available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brown Bag Deli does steady business every day, hopefully they would open up a shop somewhere close by.

Wasn't this the building that had a fire earlier in the year (or late 2010)?

Edited by Nate99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you thinking of the fire in the Chase building (old Gulf Oil building)?

I think you're right, it's a block up from the Houston Club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't this the same Skanska that claimed that they didn't need financing or a pre-lease figure in order to break ground on their Galleria area tower? That one hasn't broken ground yet and the rumors are that it wont.

I'd absolutely HATE to see another historic, even if it isn't that great, building come down with the promise of something going up in its place only for nothing to be built. Downtown already has enough scars.

If this is true, we'll be adding vacant/surface lots at the old YMCA, the old Sheraton, and now the Houston Club all in just one year. Ughhh.

same skanska and i've heard they've ditched their plans for their galleria building in favor of this one.

i had an engineering firm tell me they bid out on two downtown towers recently, both in the 600-700K SF range. i'd assume one was hines and the other skanksa.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they do knock it down, that would cut the Chase Tower (and others) off from the tunnels unless they got really creative. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are like 8-10 people crawling all over the roof of the Houston Club building at this moment. It's too far to tell exactly what they are doing, but hopefully it means that things are moving along

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are like 8-10 people crawling all over the roof of the Houston Club building at this moment. It's too far to tell exactly what they are doing, but hopefully it means that things are moving along

I wish/hope that they are looking at rehabbing the building rather than tearing it down. Looks to me like it could be converted into a nice apartment building, maybe? It's great that Skanska plans a new building, but it drives me crazy that they apparently plan to tear this decent, substantial building down for it, rather than fill in one of the still-far-too-numerous surface lots.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really happy to hear they are remodeling instead of demolishing. Now just curious what they are remodeling for? Will it still be offices? Maybe residential? (this building could make great condos or apartments. GREAT windows!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to move to a downtown condo, except for the outrageous $/sf cost and maintenance fees compared to a townhouse a mile away. I'd probably have to downsize by about 50%. Also, I'd have to sell my current house and unlikely that is going to happen in this shitty market.

But yeah. At least, for others, it would make great residential rentals :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol, I was hoping for a new tower

(disclaimer: I can see the Houston Club Bldg from my balcony). ^_^

Edited by infinite_jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol, I was hoping for a new tower

(disclaimer: I can see the Houston Club Bldg from my balcony). ^_^

I'm all for new towers too, but they need to replace surface parking lots, not nice-looking buildings that contribute nicely to downtown.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an architectural standpoint, it would be nice if the skyline were not so lopsided by the height/shape/color of the Chase tower, a high rise in this location would address it's context in a way that could "smooth" out the height and material discrepancies (see for example the Chevron bldg by Pelli in it's synthesis of 1400 Smith and the Exxon tower).

But your right in the sense that the Houston Club bldg does provide an urban pedestrian scaled bldg, but that alone can be replicated and improved upon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an architectural standpoint, it would be nice if the skyline were not so lopsided by the height/shape/color of the Chase tower, a high rise in this location would address it's context in a way that could "smooth" out the height and material discrepancies (see for example the Chevron bldg by Pelli in it's synthesis of 1400 Smith and the Exxon tower).

Sometimes a little asymmetry can be a good thing. Remember Manhattan before 2001. After the Twin Towers came down it took a while for me to be able to recognize the New York skyline at a glance because I was used to looking for one out-of-scale landmark.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skanska has put up nifty wallpaper down in the tunnels with pictures of a bunch of their projects and other trade-showy looking graphics.

I also noticed guys with surveying equipment taking measurements down there earlier this week and there are cross hatches with number markings on the floor that are new. Are there any tenants in there other than the Skyline deli in the tunnels and Brown Bag at street level? Hunan, BK, a salon and a shoe repair shop all left. They must have some plan for a major renovation going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Houston Club will be moving out:

The Houston Club and the Plaza Club, which is part of ClubCorp, have signed an agreement to combine operations. The Houston Club will relocate to the 49th floor of One Shell Plaza from 811 Rusk.

Plans for the merger at the Plaza Club location include a $3.5 million renovation and expansion, "preserving the rich traditions and prominence of both clubs in a spectacular venue that is planned to have a fresh, new look with expanded dining and social features," according to a statement from the Houston Club. It said more details about membership and the renovations should be completed and announced in August.

The combined group will take the Houston Club name, which dates to 1894.

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Houston-Club-and-Plaza-club-are-merging-3674861.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the building will be coming down. Very sorry to read this from Sarnoff.

Downtown's Houston Club Building could be gone by the end of this year as the new owner moves forward with plans to redevelop the property.

Skanska USA Commercial Development has hired the Gensler architecture firm to design something new for the site.

Spokeswoman Jessica Murray confirmed plans to raze the 18-story tower and said the company will release more details in about a month. The demolition could happen this year, Murray said, but that timing was not final.

In the meantime, Skanska is doing more to get its name out to the downtown market.

The company, a unit of Swedish construction conglomerate Skanska, has covered the walls in the tunnel beneath the Houston Club Building with images of its other real estate projects.

Last fall, the company purchased the 64-year-old Houston Club Building, which had previously been in foreclosure.

At that time, Skanska USA executive Michael Mair said it would be difficult to keep the property

http://www.chron.com/business/sarnoff/article/Sarnoff-Wrecking-ball-will-come-for-downtown-3674764.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet another historic and perfectly salvagable Houston building bites the dust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst part, there's a very real chance that they take the building down and then don't land financing or a tenant and we end up with another empty parcel downtown.

How many things have we lost in this city only to watch as NOTHING replaces it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Far fewer things than the number of things that were built where nothing was there before. See the Galleria for an example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst part, there's a very real chance that they take the building down and then don't land financing or a tenant and we end up with another empty parcel downtown.

I don't think financing is an issue for these guys. They use their own money and are perfectly happy building completely spec.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'm curious if they are going to ruffle any feathers by what I would presume would be a mandatory closure of the tunnels during demolition and reconstruction. Chase Tower and others will be severed from the tunnel system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet another historic and perfectly salvagable Houston building bites the dust.

What do you see that is historic about it? It may be perfectly usable/salvageable, but from the outside it is a plain brown box. I'm guessing Skanska thinks that they can get more money out of something new and shiny and/or a teardown/rebuild is cheaper than a meaningful refurb.

With the Esperson buildings and others in the immediate vicinity not hurting for available space to sell, but new stuff filling quickly, their move makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you see that is historic about it? It may be perfectly usable/salvageable, but from the outside it is a plain brown box. I'm guessing Skanska thinks that they can get more money out of something new and shiny and/or a teardown/rebuild is cheaper than a meaningful refurb.

With the Esperson buildings and others in the immediate vicinity not hurting for available space to sell, but new stuff filling quickly, their move makes sense.

It's age makes it historic.

I would definitely not be opposed to them building something new on the site that is better. That would be optimal.

I would be a little pissed off if they just sat on the land and put a parking lot there for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's age makes it historic.

I would definitely not be opposed to them building something new on the site that is better. That would be optimal.

I would be a little pissed off if they just sat on the land and put a parking lot there for now.

It would be a shame if a parking lot was more commercially viable than a building that seemed to be perfectly serviceable, but I can't say I heard of any tenants, other than the club themselves and the few retail shops.

Seems not worth the bother and possibly unlikely given that they have disclosed that they already hired Gensler.

Hoping for the best, but it's not my money.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That building could have made a nice condo/apartment/hotel conversion. It's location is excellent, which is why it's likely biting the dust.

That said, there is absolutely NO guarantee that something will replace it. Skanska is building their Galleria area tower but their energy corridor tower needs a lead tenant first. That's the hottest office market in town. While downtown's market is strong, Skanska will likely be fighting other, more established developers (Hines, Brookfield, Crescent) in a race to get out of the ground.

Again, I would hate to see a building that still has life left and could potentially make an excellent apartment or hotel conversion bite the dust for a speculative office tower that may or may not happen.

How long have we been waiting for the West side of market square to be rebuilt or for things to fill in around Minute Maid Park?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you see that is historic about it? It may be perfectly usable/salvageable, but from the outside it is a plain brown box. I'm guessing Skanska thinks that they can get more money out of something new and shiny and/or a teardown/rebuild is cheaper than a meaningful refurb.

Well, not every building can - or should - be a shiny glass tower. Plain brown box or not, I've always thought that it is a pretty elegant structure. That corner of Travis with the Houston Club on one side and the Gulf Building on the other is one of the more urbane stretches of downtown.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That building could have made a nice condo/apartment/hotel conversion. It's location is excellent, which is why it's likely biting the dust.

That said, there is absolutely NO guarantee that something will replace it. Skanska is building their Galleria area tower but their energy corridor tower needs a lead tenant first. That's the hottest office market in town. While downtown's market is strong, Skanska will likely be fighting other, more established developers (Hines, Brookfield, Crescent) in a race to get out of the ground.

Again, I would hate to see a building that still has life left and could potentially make an excellent apartment or hotel conversion bite the dust for a speculative office tower that may or may not happen.

How long have we been waiting for the West side of market square to be rebuilt or for things to fill in around Minute Maid Park?

Your wait is over.

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Apartments-by-ballpark-could-be-grand-slam-3703726.php

Real estate developer Marvy Finger is buying two prime downtown blocks for a seven-story apartment project to be built across from Minute Maid Park.

...

Finger is planning 380 apartments on adjacent blocks bounded by Preston, Crawford, Texas and La Branch. His contract to buy the property is expected to close next month. Trammell Crow and Texas Avenue Properties LP each own one block.

...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, not every building can - or should - be a shiny glass tower. Plain brown box or not, I've always thought that it is a pretty elegant structure. That corner of Travis with the Houston Club on one side and the Gulf Building on the other is one of the more urbane stretches of downtown.

There was nothing at all wrong with it, that I could see. I'm just trying to guess Skanska's motives. An interesting thing to me is how it occupies virtually the entire block with its footprint. That's actually pretty rare downtown.

How are the Gulf and Esperson buildings doing for tenants? I agree that that block of Travis looks very clean and classic.

Edited by Nate99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our business just rented a full floor in the Gulf Building (712 Main) a few months ago. The building was sold by Chase to a REIT a few years ago, and the new ownership is pumping money into amenities, elevators, etc. I would say it was a Class "B+" office building when we first looked at it, and they're working to get it to "A-". Working with our architect, we went with a modern, bright, clean look to counterbalance the lower ceiling heights and smaller windows, and I think we succeeded. I love the beginning and end of work days getting to walk through the grand bank lobby -- 30 seconds of beauty to start and end my day. Building management is constantly parading potential tenants through our space, so I'm guessing it's starting to lease up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The parking garage, like many built during that era, has (or had) an employee lift. This single person device is an open air shaft between floors that has a step for the parking attendant to step onto as it takes them to an upper or lower floor. Think of it as a giant rubber band stretched from bottom floor to top that runs continuosly. Stepping on and off at each floor required little effort, but I'm sure became a safety nightmare as OSHA and lawsuit happy lawyers came along.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walked through the building in the tunnels today. They already took down the descriptive plaques for the pictures of the various Skanska projects that are on the wallpaper in the tunnel.

They were only up for maybe a month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really believe this developer is going to build something nice in place of this historic structure. Skanska I think is trying build a bit of a good reputation with the community by develpoing that new day care center. This is such a prime lot, it wouldn't suprise me if he built something big enough to add to the skyline.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walked through the building in the tunnels today. They already took down the descriptive plaques for the pictures of the various Skanska projects that are on the wallpaper in the tunnel.

They were only up for maybe a month.

Never mind. The plaques were back up this morning.

For a minute there I thought this was the fastest track to demolition ever envisioned. It will be interesting to see if they do anything to accomodate the tunnels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My inner voices are saying "parking garage...parking garage!"

Hey, at least that's better than a parking LOT!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...