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Bank Of America Tower: Office Building For Downtown


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Yes, the first tower crane is going up and according to a rigger and some Skanska workers, 2 more tower cranes will be going up in the next couple of weeks. The office portion is going up too!!!  They

It's kind of open, at least if you wander around from Pennzoil, there's nothing/no one to stop you continuing through the tunnel level.    It looks really well done. In one mole person's opi

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Downtown’s former Houston Club building will be imploded this fall, the property owner said Thursday afternoon in an announcement that included details about plans to close a section of the tunnel underneath the structure.

In January, Skanska USA Commercial Development – the company proposing to build a 35-story office building on the site — said a portion of the tunnel will close for at least two years as it prepares to raze the structure and build the new tower. The closing date has been set for Sat., May 31.

The new building is being designed by Gensler and will contain 750,000 square feet in 35 stories. It will be called Capitol Tower and have a new address of 800 Capitol.

Downtown’s tunnel system is controlled by individual commercial landlords, who own the tunnel portion beneath their buildings. Licensing agreements with the city allow them to connect to their neighbors beneath city streets.

Through its tunnel, the former Houston Club building has direct connections to Chase Tower, 712 Main, the Esperson buildings and Pennzoil Place.

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2014/05/downtown-building-to-be-imploded/#23198101=0

Edited by Triton
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Caught my attention in the article:

 

 

The first phase of the project involves razing the existing building and garage and the construction of a new parking garage to support the future development.

The demolition process has been under way and includes asbestos abatement and the removal of all exterior brick and windows. Once that process is complete, the building’s structural frame will imploded by D.H. Griffin of Texas Inc. A date has not been set.

 

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so why are they rebuilding/renovating the garage if the building is getting imploded in the fall..?

 

We've been through this earlier in the thread, but no one really knows.  Ironclad parking deals in perpetuity is anyone's best guess, but it's hard to square how building new ramps and internal structure is worth the money. 

 

Implosion should be interesting given that they will be leaving the shorter northernmost section. 

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I might be able to provide a little more clarification on the parking situation.

As has been explained to me, the parking situation is due to a perpetual easement on the property where the Houston Club now stands. Texas Commerce Bank once owned the JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston Club Building, and 712 Main (Gulf Building). This of course then became JPMorgan Chase property when the banks became one. When JPMorgan Chase decided to sell the properties via contracts (iron clad) they placed a perpetual easement on the Houston Club property where they must always provide parking. So as it stands that property must always provide parking for the bank

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I might be able to provide a little more clarification on the parking situation.

As has been explained to me, the parking situation is due to a perpetual easement on the property where the Houston Club now stands. Texas Commerce Bank once owned the JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston Club Building, and 712 Main (Gulf Building). This of course then became JPMorgan Chase property when the banks became one. When JPMorgan Chase decided to sell the properties via contracts (iron clad) they placed a perpetual easement on the Houston Club property where they must always provide parking. So as it stands that property must always provide parking for the bank

 

There might be a kernel of truth in there somewhere, but there is enough misinformation to cast doubt on the whole story.  Texas Commerce Bank never owned JPMorgan Chase Tower and JPMorgan Chase Tower never became the property of JPMorgan Chase.

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You are correct on the ownership of the Tower. To be absolutely and technically correct it was a capitol lease.

The only thing I don't understand is couldn't they temporarily relocate those people to a different garage at their expense? Then once the new garage is done bring them back.

I just shared what was explained to me so don't quote me on it but I considered the source pretty reliable.

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There might be a kernel of truth in there somewhere, but there is enough misinformation to cast doubt on the whole story.  Texas Commerce Bank never owned JPMorgan Chase Tower and JPMorgan Chase Tower never became the property of JPMorgan Chase.

 

You have a point in that JPMorgan Chase Tower (neè Texas Commerce Tower in United Energy Plaza) was built a few decades after the Houston Club building.  

 

Howsoever, when it was built the Houston Club building also housed operations for the National Bank of Commerce, the headquarters of which was across the street in the Gulf Building.  I haven't chained out the title, but Jesse Jones was up to his eyebrows in the bank and in constructing both buildings, regardless of how many different entities were actually the nominal owners.  National Bank of Commerce merged with Texas National Bank to become the Texas National Bank of Commerce (complete with really twangy radio jingle about "all the bank you'll ever need" - thanks for the earworm, Bud), later shortened to Texas Commerce Bank, subsequently assimilated by the Borg Chase singularity.  

 

The easement idea makes sense from a legal standpoint.  It's creative, and it works. Ya gotta love the mano a mano involved in having a parking space that you simply won't sell at any price under a price where it makes sense to go ahead and literally blow up its previously attached building. 

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The easement idea makes sense from a legal standpoint.  It's creative, and it works. Ya gotta love the mano a mano involved in having a parking space that you simply won't sell at any price under a price where it makes sense to go ahead and literally blow up its previously attached building. 

 

Really makes me want to go in to real estate development if one can jump through all of these hoops and still make a profit. 

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The article states implosion of the existing building and garage.

 

The 6 story at Capitol is staying for now. Skanska is paying big $$$ to convert that into a stand alone structure. The ramps for the garage are in the 12 story that is coming down. That's the reason for the steel ramps at Milam. The Demo Contractor is taking a two bay section of the 18 & 12 story out next to the 6 story, this will create space to drop the building in.

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The 6 story at Capitol is staying for now. Skanska is paying big $$$ to convert that into a stand alone structure. The ramps for the garage are in the 12 story that is coming down. That's the reason for the steel ramps at Milam. The Demo Contractor is taking a two bay section of the 18 & 12 story out next to the 6 story, this will create space to drop the building in.

 

This will be fun to watch. 

 

They have already constructed internal walls between the 6 story section and the rest that you can see when they have the big doors open on Travis. Making it ready for implosion will be a neat trick. 

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Really makes me want to go in to real estate development if one can jump through all of these hoops and still make a profit. 

 

That would be a part of the challenge, wouldn't it?  I kinda like figuring out how to make the hoops work, personally (though I realize that ain't for everyone)>

 

This will be fun to watch. 

 

They have already constructed internal walls between the 6 story section and the rest that you can see when they have the big doors open on Travis. Making it ready for implosion will be a neat trick. 

 

aye, Cap'n.

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You are correct on the ownership of the Tower. To be absolutely and technically correct it was a capitol lease.

The only thing I don't understand is couldn't they temporarily relocate those people to a different garage at their expense? Then once the new garage is done bring them back.

I just shared what was explained to me so don't quote me on it but I considered the source pretty reliable.

 

No sir.  To be absolutely and technically correct, neither JP Morgan Chase nor any of its predecessors either owns or has ever owned any part of JPMorgan Chase Tower (nee Texas Commerce Tower), either by fee simple title, capital lease or otherwise.  They are and have always been nothing more than a tenant with naming rights.

 

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I am not going nine rounds on this. Say that you won or digress I don't care. I enjoy these forums and only post information when I believe it comes from a credible source. The main part of my post was about the parking situation that has puzzled most so let's just stay on that.

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^ And I think that the main point - that they accomplished it by granting an easement - was some pretty darned clever work on the part of whoever thunk it up, elegant in its simplicity.

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Better (well, different anyway) shot of the stripped out part. Looks like they have two floors worth of frame exposed already on the Capitol side. 

 

Sorry about the glare, would have been a better shot a few hours later. 

 

317k5j7.jpg

Edited by Nate99
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  • 2 weeks later...

lovely illustrations.  here's hoping that this state of the art edifice, shall change into a myriad of LED colors rather than just stay with a "white glow" throughout the evening / night time.  WELCOME TO DOWNTOWN HOUSTON SKANSKA!

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It manages to do the crown (which will be pretty much the only part visible from outside downtown) pretty well as crowns go, and the first floor is going to be a game changer for us Mole People by opening up what was the dankest, most non-ADA part of the tunnel system.  All in all, I'd say it's a +.  

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When the most exciting part of a skyscraper is its first floor, it is not an exciting skyscraper.

I do admit we need more of that though. Houston sky scrapers often look standoffish. Kinda like you need 5 ids and clearance from the Secretary of defense to use the coffee shop in their lobby.
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I'd like it a lot more if it were rising on a formerly vacant lot. IMHO, it doesn't wow me enough to justify tearing down a type of building downtown Houston doesn't have enough of.

 

Extremely nondescript tan brick moo-plex that had no style even when new?  I'll grant, we don't have a whole lot of those downtown.  Thankfully.

 

There is a reason that building couldn't draw tenants for love or money.  I toured the joint when looking for office space a few years ago.  We spent less time there than in any of the other prospects.

 

Edit:  I tried m-e-h again, and got autocorrected to a lowing cow.  Dangit.

Edited by mollusk
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It had outlived its life span as an office tower but it would have made a great apartment building. The operable windows alone would have won me over as a prospective tenant. 

 

NY is full of nondescript brick buildings but when they are full of life, they add so much to the streetscape.

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The renderings seem to have an unusually large amount of Asians. Anyways, it's a nice building, doesn't have the wow factor, but still respectable. However, if this getting built means one of the more ambitious building proposals doesn't get built, then I don't like it

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It's actually quiet a humorous observation xD. It's something you don't notice until you really look at it and he is right. While it doesn't really matter it's still funny that whoever did the renderings probably had a generic asian people set in his photoshop and just only used that lol.

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