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Bank of America Tower Formerly Capitol Tower

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I'm glad it's going up, I think, but it's pretty drab. Shouldn't give too much praise for this bore. If the reason is the cost well then I think that has been proven that it doesn't take a lot of money to snazz things up a bit. It's just a lack of creativity both financially and design-wise. Shame be upon them. BAAHH, I say!

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I'll be curious if this tower's light-up feature will be visible at night.  609 Main's is faded and doesn't light up the whole crown--which is strange given that the bend in the crown is not really visible at night.

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2 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

I'll be curious if this tower's light-up feature will be visible at night.  609 Main's is faded and doesn't light up the whole crown--which is strange given that the bend in the crown is not really visible at night.

If what we have saw of the 609 crown is the finale product then I would just prefer they have no lighting at all.  Looks tacky and unfinished.   

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There will be another great view from Almeda just south of Axelrad.

By the way after spending much time looking at Downtown from the south, 288 and third ward areas, I have noticed that the skyline is broken up into three distinct clusters. Theres the Continental/Enron Allen Center cluster, the Wells Fargo, Shell Houston energy cluster, and then the Chase 609 Houston Center cluster. Right in the  center is Pennzoil and nothing else. I think somewhere on the SE side of central downtown would be the perfect spot for a supertall. I really like the skyline form the south and southeast. You see all of the old and it looks so much more dense.

Density is the secret.

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Can't wait for this sucker to rise! It should rise fairly rapidly being the foundation and garage are long complete.

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13 hours ago, wxman said:

Can't wait for this sucker to rise! It should rise fairly rapidly being the foundation and garage are long complete.

 

It is a little tough to tell from my picture above, but the tan walls you see in the middle are actually the forms for pouring elevator shaft walls. They are picking up right where they left off, it should go quickly.

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15 hours ago, wxman said:

Can't wait for this sucker to rise! It should rise fairly rapidly being the foundation and garage are long complete.

This was really smart by Skanska to get a head start on this while they waited on a tenant.

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3 minutes ago, tangledwoods said:

those are some nice FEMA tarps they have going there.  Really ties the design aesthetic together!

"The old man apologized. He said to take any rug in the house."

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2 hours ago, samagon said:

I am assuming things will move faster once they are in a rhythm, but I just watched a crew trying to put the first forms around the rebar for the columns. I'm unsure if they were successful or not, I ran out of lunch, but I watched them try to thread that needle for almost 30 minutes.

 

Here's the corresponding image to help with my unarticulate description of events:

 

 

 

"AY we got a first timah ovah here!"

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It troubled me to lose the Houston club building for a garage. It also troubled me to lose the chronicle building for a garage. But if a tower follows the garage on the chronicle site as quickly as this one followed then I'm glad they did not hold off demolition of the chronicle buildings.

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29 minutes ago, HoustonIsHome said:

It troubled me to lose the Houston club building for a garage. It also troubled me to lose the chronicle building for a garage. But if a tower follows the garage on the chronicle site as quickly as this one followed then I'm glad they did not hold off demolition of the chronicle buildings.

 

This project is such an odd story, it does seem to have a good ending though.

 

Has there been any specific mention of a garage on the Chronicle block?   The demolition work is now almost all below grade, and there is the interplay with the tunnel deal/lawsuit and the adjacent block that complicates things, but if they were going to just lay asphalt over the block it seems like they would have stopped digging.

 

Hines could make a bit of a semi-contiguous development among the Chronicle building block, Aris, and the Chronicle garage half block if they were so inclined. If that happened and the International tower went ahead, how cool would that be?

 

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it would make for an amazing confluence of the historic district with the theater district but my source  says they are more than likely going with some kind of parking situation for a few years before they build the tower. They just opened a new 50 story tower they need to fill and the BOA tower that is losing its namesake tenant to Skanska will need a replacement of 430,000 sq. ft.

Thats a he heck of a lot of space not to mention the Exxon building sitting empty, and the Smith building which lost United.

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You are mostly likely correct if the numbers mentioned in this form are accurate. Downtown Houston will have approximately 9 million square feet of vacant office space if the vacancy rate reaches 20%. I imagine the downtown movers and shakers are busy trying to stop and reverse this situation. Downtown Houston has much to offer so hopefully this situation will not last long and more towers will go up.

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The COH and surrounding areas are growing at an astounding rate -- adding between 130,000 to as much as 150,000 thousand people PER YEAR! While some smaller cities are growing at a higher precentage, nobody, except DFW, is adding the people we are per year. The demand will be there. By the time this tower is done, there will be an additional ~300,000 people here. I'm not worried. I'm implying that as the city continues to grow these companies will as well or draw in relocations from other smaller, perhaps more remote areas. I'm just sad for the older towers like BOA that are so iconic to the skyline but are becoming the red headed step child. 

Edited by wxman
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I think we (or at least some of us) might be surprised at how quickly Hines develops this site.  I say that for a number of reasons.  (1) Hines has not typically been in the business of banking land for some theoretical future use. (2) The overall vacancy rate of downtown office buildings is almost irrelevant to whether a new office building gets built.  All it takes is one big or several mid-size leases; see, e.g., Capitol Tower now under construction. And that assumes the new building will be offices, which leads me to...  (3) I don't think Hines has ever given any indication that they necessarily plan an office building on this site. They could very well have residential, hotel or mixed-use in mind.

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Hopefully with downtown becoming more of a neighborhood and destination we can see some smaller more niche companies move into downtown. Companies that many only take up 10-30,000 sft with a good number of their employees living in or very close to downtown. 

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5 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

I think we (or at least some of us) might be surprised at how quickly Hines develops this site.  I say that for a number of reasons.  (1) Hines has not typically been in the business of banking land for some theoretical future use. (2) The overall vacancy rate of downtown office buildings is almost irrelevant to whether a new office building gets built.  All it takes is one big or several mid-size leases; see, e.g., Capitol Tower now under construction. And that assumes the new building will be offices, which leads me to...  (3) I don't think Hines has ever given any indication that they necessarily plan an office building on this site. They could very well have residential, hotel or mixed-use in mind.

 

It seems like it's about time to start having some mixed use.  We are now getting to enough people already living downtown that the old "downtown after 6 is such a great place to get mugged / marvel at empty streets / vandalize empty buildings / publicly urinate with no consequences" schtick seems to be going away.  

 

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Im not sure because I haven't been downtown in a while, but I heard my buddy is going downtown in the 500 ton with luffer this weekend to tear down a Bellows tower crane. Does anyone know where this might be?

 

Don't know if I'll be there on the job or not, but if I go I'll take some pictures or ask him to take a few.

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There is a concept in real estate called "highest and best use," which is a fancy way of saying that land will be developed into whatever brings the greatest financial return. Office highrises bring a greater return than any other use (or they do in downtown Houston at any rate, given what the relative rents are). Given that the block Hines purchased is the highest price ever paid for land in Houston, that it's on the tunnel system, and that it is in close proximity to the highest rent office buildings in the city, I think we can say that the HBU here is office.

 

That does not guarantee that it won't be developed as something else, such as residential. Basically, the office market would have to plummet so far that the carrying costs over the projected holding period until the market returns outweigh the comparative advantage of office, and something else becomes the highest and best use.

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How do y'all think their market square resi tower next door plays into their plans for their chron tower?

 

Would they view including condos/apts on their Chron site competition to their Market Square tower or a compliment to it? Adding mixed-use and/or resi to the Chron site could make the entire area, including the market square tower, more attractive.

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On 4/27/2017 at 9:23 PM, H-Town Man said:

There is a concept in real estate called "highest and best use," which is a fancy way of saying that land will be developed into whatever brings the greatest financial return. Office highrises bring a greater return than any other use (or they do in downtown Houston at any rate, given what the relative rents are). Given that the block Hines purchased is the highest price ever paid for land in Houston, that it's on the tunnel system, and that it is in close proximity to the highest rent office buildings in the city, I think we can say that the HBU here is office.

 

That does not guarantee that it won't be developed as something else, such as residential. Basically, the office market would have to plummet so far that the carrying costs over the projected holding period until the market returns outweigh the comparative advantage of office, and something else becomes the highest and best use.

 

Good points.  But the recent comments from Brookfield suggest the ground may be shifting.

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On 4/27/2017 at 11:53 AM, Timoric said:

Whole world is moving towards Urbanization including Houston - except the Oil companies who all built large suburban campuses, robbing HAIFers of so many great towers that could have kept Houston competitive with Philly and San Francisco for nice towers - like Comcast and Salesforce - am I wrong?

Those companies aren't in business to slake your architecture appetites. Want awesome towers? Move to the Middle East, where they have the money to build something with a different design, and don't really care about how bad or unusable the floor layouts are.

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13 minutes ago, Ross said:

Those companies aren't in business to slake your architecture appetites. Want awesome towers? Move to the Middle East, where they have the money to build something with a different design, and don't really care about how bad or unusable the floor layouts are.

 

I think he said it tongue-in-cheek.

 

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On 4/27/2017 at 7:09 PM, Howard Huge said:

Im not sure because I haven't been downtown in a while, but I heard my buddy is going downtown in the 500 ton with luffer this weekend to tear down a Bellows tower crane. Does anyone know where this might be?

 

Don't know if I'll be there on the job or not, but if I go I'll take some pictures or ask him to take a few.

Might be the Maxim crane that attempted to take the Camden McGowen midtown tower crane but got cancelled due to the high winds.

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23 minutes ago, hindesky said:

Might be the Maxim crane that attempted to take the Camden McGowen midtown tower crane but got cancelled due to the high winds.

I guess that is why Travis was sealed off today

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Capitol Tower  is  sited  with the garage on the southern half of the block, leaving the tower on the north end creating a nice new view of Pennzoil. From the second to last photo in the images above, illustrating the Pennzoil and Chase's relationship to the site.  If this is the last floor of the garage it's going to leave a great view of the Pennzoil from this angle. Something we didn't have with the old Houston Club. So although we lose a longtime downtown standard of the old guard, we're gaining a new photo op. I think you'll still have a nice view of the top of Chase, just peeking over Capitol Tower's glass curtain wall.  

Maybe taking a curtain call.

 

.

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I cant wait to see how the lobby enlivens this block and interacts w the surrounding neighbors.

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On 4/29/2017 at 10:54 PM, hindesky said:

Might be the Maxim crane that attempted to take the Camden McGowen midtown tower crane but got cancelled due to the high winds.

Yes in fact, that was us. I got to help out on that job, it was lots of fun!

 

 

YTeGS9N.jpg

 

Jgptz46.jpg

Edited by Howard Huge
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Drove around downtown this evening, before  dusk, and have some progress reports. This is moving right along. I think I counted ten floors.

They were still working as I went by at 8:00. I cant  wait to see this top out. 

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On 4/12/2017 at 1:54 PM, Triton said:

 

Oh, CBRE wouldn't centralize. We have several locations throughout Houston and I highly doubt they would leave Willis Tower. I could see them taking a floor or two at Capitol Tower and that was the rumor. Either way, this project is moving forward.

 

On 4/12/2017 at 11:52 PM, Triton said:

Hmmm... wonder why I was thinking of Chicago. Yea, Williams Tower. Upper management could surprise me and move us into one place but I am just saying I haven't heard anyone saying that. But I believe the consolidation in Dallas had to do with our IT Services falling under one roof as Digital Technology Services... I don't know, CBRE has over 30K employees so I am not sure what happens in every city. You have an article for that?

 

CBRE consolidating into Williams Tower offices.

Edited by Houston19514
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