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HIVE Houston Sustainable Village

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The HIVE MISSION is to design and build an affordable, inhabitable work of art as a community. By recycling the humble and strong steel shipping container, we propose to create a beautiful, green, sustainable, safe and secure village for thriving cultural exchange and enterprise. Inspired by artists, creative professionals and environmentalists, we will work in partnerships with individuals and organizations to experiment and discover the next generation of responsible building and living practices. We plan to offer an increasing variety of tenant uses, including office, studio, retail, restaurant, entertainment and residential opportunities. We hope to replicate or adapt HIVE in other locations around the world. HIVE is a 501©(3) non-profit organization.

http://www.hivehouston.org/

Project Design Completion: Fall 2010

Purchase of Land: Spring 2011

Phase I begins: Fall 2011

Phase I complete: Mid 2012

Phase II complete: Fall 2013

Phase III complete: Fall 2014

Phase IV complete: Fall 2015

Phase V (all phases) complete: Fall 2016

Culture Map article:

http://www.culturema...e-than-a-dream/

 

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This year our goal is to acquire the land on which to build HIVE and break ground. We have identified a six-acre plot in a less-than desirable area in town we think we can use, and our efforts will make that part of Houston a better place to be. Someone should do it, and we’re willing to be the ones.

 

Our restaurants and shops will be different, no chains, and they will be special.

I think this woman has the right idea. The people who need a walkable area the most are not the rich, it's people with less money, who have a harder time purchasing and maintaining a vehicle. If we start there, I think it will spread more rapidly to the nicer parts of town.

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The idea is noble for sure, but the execution is a bit wacky. Maybe it's just the rendering, which looks like it fell from the heavens and landed in the piney woods of east Texas. Will this be what the new slums of the 21st and 22nd centuries look like? Put "those people" all together, away from jobs, instead of finding a way to integrate into society at large? It's pretty, but more a product of architecture students. Shipping containers are cool, though.

And Kowloon, wow...I had no idea that place existed.

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Reminds me of a sci-fi novel I read a few years ago where aliens invaded Earth and forced the remaining earthlings to live in a concentration camp built out of shipping containers.

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The rendering is not to code. There aren't enough parking spaces to accommodate the three or four amphitheaters, much less all that (presumably) retail. The five-story structure does not provide for the possibility of an elevator (an ADA violation, IIRC) and features no stairwells.

Subtle rhetorical cues indicate that they (are probably students with limited experience and poor social skills and that they) are dismissive of the indigenous population. Their only aspiration is to eventually be permitted to build something like it that can be observed by affluent white people on a regular basis and that will achieve glory in the pages of an architecture magazine.

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Subtle rhetorical cues indicate that they (are probably students with limited experience and poor social skills and that they) are dismissive of the indigenous population. Their only aspiration is to eventually be permitted to build something like it that can be observed by affluent white people on a regular basis and that will achieve glory in the pages of an architecture magazine.

Yes,they might assume the poor black folks would welcome such a hip and progressive scene amid their neighborhood, but the reality is more likely that resentment would proliferate if this project succeeds in drawing masses of artists as the surrounding area would likely spawn higher priced land and businesses that cater to the same, and not the indigenous population. Doubtful they have done any studies along those lines but it probably does give all involved a sense of undefined social responsibility and a vague hint of hip cultural awareness.

Or, maybe it's just the cheapest large land mass available in the near-loop area.

I like the vision and it's very Houston.

Edited by Lotus

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The rendering is not to code. There aren't enough parking spaces to accommodate the three or four amphitheaters, much less all that (presumably) retail. The five-story structure does not provide for the possibility of an elevator (an ADA violation, IIRC) and features no stairwells.

The assumption is that parking is based on a suburban model. The residents are more likely to walk or use public transportation. ADA accommodations could easily be made.
Subtle rhetorical cues indicate that they (are probably students with limited experience and poor social skills and that they) are dismissive of the indigenous population. Their only aspiration is to eventually be permitted to build something like it that can be observed by affluent white people on a regular basis and that will achieve glory in the pages of an architecture magazine.

phfft! What subtle social skills, experience and sensitivity to the 'indigenous population' do you possess that they lack?

I'm unabashedly envious of these students. I should have accomplished as much. I hope their aspirations are rewarded.

Yes,they might assume the poor black folks would welcome such a hip and progressive scene amid their neighborhood, but the reality is more likely that resentment would proliferate if this project succeeds in drawing masses of artists as the surrounding area would likely spawn higher priced land and businesses that cater to the same, and not the indigenous population. Doubtful they have done any studies along those lines but it probably does give all involved a sense of undefined social responsibility and a vague hint of hip cultural awareness.

Or, maybe it's just the cheapest large land mass available in the near-loop area.

I like the vision and it's very Houston.

An interesting point.

When I moved to the Montrose, thirty years ago, it was a neighborhood in transition. There were still a few of the original residents; widows, mostly. There were still Haight-Asbury hippie types, and a burgeoning gay population. What made it work was that these changes came about organically. Economics isn't the only factor which shaped the neighborhood. There's nothing sweeter than seeing a passing drag queen saying "Good morning, ma'am." to an elderly lady sitting on her front porch, and hearing "Good morning, dear" in reply. We didn't necessarily understand one another, but we were neighborly.

Neighborhoods aren't Monopoly boards, and erecting Houses or Hotels doesn't guarantee higher rents - or happier residents. Still, if Montrose can survive an influx of townhomes and retain its character, I have faith that this modest development could integrate and enhance an existing neighborhood.

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Its an apartment complex. Peel away all the layers of urban sophistication and you're left with your typical Houston apartment complex. Just what Acres Homes need too. Maybe they can secure the land on DeSoto where apartments have recently burned to the ground and/or been demolished by the city.

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When I looked at the rendering, I thought it was a redevelopment idea for the Astrodome.

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The assumption is that parking is based on a suburban model. The residents are more likely to walk or use public transportation. ADA accommodations could easily be made.

Acres homes skirts the definition of suburban. It's actually somewhat rural in charcter (hence the name, which is as it was intended) and pedestrian infrastructure is abysmal (also by design). But whatever you want to call it, Acres Homes is within the City of Houston and the United States, and therefore must comply with codes and requirements perscribed by those entities.

phfft! What subtle social skills, experience and sensitivity to the 'indigenous population' do you possess that they lack?

I'm unabashedly envious of these students. I should have accomplished as much. I hope their aspirations are rewarded.

Irrelevant. I do not to elevate myself upon such a pedestal, as they do.

For instance: when I drop an assload of money into a neighborhood chock full of poor brown people, I do not pretend to care what they think of me or my enterprise if they are not interacting with my business model. My indifference is honest and straightforward, not a lie to make the stupid feel complacent or that would make the more discerning feel tentative.

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A friend referred me to the site, of which I was previously unaware. As executive director of HIVE, I thought I would tell you a little about our project and clear up some things. HIVE is being built as a living work of art, a self-sustaining village, and an environmental action. It is intended as affordable live and work space for the Houston artistic community.You may be aware that artists came to the Montrose area and made it very nice. Now most artists can't afford to live there. We believe a great society requires great art, and we want to support art. One of the places we are looking at to build our project is the Acres Homes area. We also are looking near University of Houston and other places within the city of Houston. Our project requires access to public transportation. We are working with people in a position to make sure that happens. Regarding our architect, Si Dang, AIA, he was with Morris Architects for many years and is the principal of his own firm, Andria Design, in Houston. The image of HIVE that we use is an architectural rendering with the standard dropped in trees, etc., common to architectural renderings. HIVE will have organic landscaping and gardens (that will serve its restaurants and residents and the community at large). It will be in an urban setting, not a forest, but we intend to plant many trees outside it. The parking lot shown is smaller that what HIVE will eventually need. The design itself exceeds code. Our builder, Juan Walker, principal of Moduluxe, works exclusively with recycled steel shipping containers, which have a multitude of wonderful uses. We also intend to use the latest, most efficient environmental practices. We are lucky that in Houston there are so many companies now experimenting with alternative energy and practices. If you are interested in learning more, please check out our website, www.hivehouston.org. Join our Facebook group, and come to our special events!

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^ Putting this near University of Houston may be a very beneficial location, its artistic and can attract more younger people, and it might become a "hot spot" sorts for the young college kids and others nearby that may be interested in it.

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^ Putting this near University of Houston may be a very beneficial location, its artistic and can attract more younger people, and it might become a "hot spot" sorts for the young college kids and others nearby that may be interested in it.

Bingo. Not much happening as far out as Acres Homes to successfully draw in the starving artist community, besides easy access to drugs.

Edited by Jeebus
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A friend referred me to the site, of which I was previously unaware. As executive director of HIVE, I thought I would tell you a little about our project and clear up some things. HIVE is being built as a living work of art, a self-sustaining village, and an environmental action. It is intended as affordable live and work space for the Houston artistic community.You may be aware that artists came to the Montrose area and made it very nice. Now most artists can't afford to live there. We believe a great society requires great art, and we want to support art. One of the places we are looking at to build our project is the Acres Homes area. We also are looking near University of Houston and other places within the city of Houston. Our project requires access to public transportation. We are working with people in a position to make sure that happens. Regarding our architect, Si Dang, AIA, he was with Morris Architects for many years and is the principal of his own firm, Andria Design, in Houston. The image of HIVE that we use is an architectural rendering with the standard dropped in trees, etc., common to architectural renderings. HIVE will have organic landscaping and gardens (that will serve its restaurants and residents and the community at large). It will be in an urban setting, not a forest, but we intend to plant many trees outside it. The parking lot shown is smaller that what HIVE will eventually need. The design itself exceeds code. Our builder, Juan Walker, principal of Moduluxe, works exclusively with recycled steel shipping containers, which have a multitude of wonderful uses. We also intend to use the latest, most efficient environmental practices. We are lucky that in Houston there are so many companies now experimenting with alternative energy and practices. If you are interested in learning more, please check out our website, www.hivehouston.org. Join our Facebook group, and come to our special events!

You characterized Acres Homes as "less-than-desirable". Would you have characterized Montrose similarly 40 years ago? It was rough (and still is, in some respects), but it was a desirable neighborhood for artists to be in on its own merits. Granted, the Art Guys compound is out there in Acres Homes and it is indeed very nice; but when do you think was the last time that one of them took public transportation to visit a gallery owner in Montrose?

The reason that land values in a place like Acres Homes are so low is that it makes little sense for anyone to attempt to put the land to productive use at any point in the forseeable future. If your budget is constrained such that you are relegated to constructing new buildings from scratch in communities that already have extraordinarily high commercial vacancies and low rents, then that's a sign that you need to reevaluate how you might best accomplish your mission. Perhaps instead, you should reposition inexpensive but otherwise well-located and already-existing vacant buildings as artists studios and housing. Is your mission to benefit the end user, after all, or is it really just to build something from scratch for its own sake (and yours, via publicity)?

I suggest looking East. You've got high industrial vacancy rates in big facilities where the walls are more than eight feet apart, the lowest rents in town and commensurately low real estate prices, its close-in, there are plenty of sidewalks, bike trails, bus routes every few blocks, it has light rail on the way, there are universities nearby, and there are urban neighborhoods that might actually be described as "urban". If you use shipping containers at all, plop them down on a warehouse floor to contain things that might burn, explode, leak, or corrode, and attach staircases to turn the tops into lofted open-air bedrooms.

There are so many better ways to make your concept a large-scale reality without breaking the bank (either yours, your tenants, your donors). Don't squander your efforts, and don't lose sight of your goal (if you're sincere in that goal).

-----------

Also. There's something else about your reply that I thought was disingenuous. You say that you are still looking at various parts of town, however unless you have already identified a particular site, then your rendering is merely a concept suitable to a square-shaped parcel perhaps close to ten acres in size...which it won't be. If this is merely a concept (and is inherently "fuzzy") then you cannot advance the claim that the design conforms to code. There is no design as of yet, and what we have seen thus, we almost certainly won't get. Please don't insult our intelligence. You didn't even depict the requisite detention pond for something with so much impervious cover!

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A friend referred me to the site, of which I was previously unaware. As executive director of HIVE, I thought I would tell you a little about our project and clear up some things. HIVE is being built as a living work of art, a self-sustaining village, and an environmental action. It is intended as affordable live and work space for the Houston artistic community.You may be aware that artists came to the Montrose area and made it very nice. Now most artists can't afford to live there. We believe a great society requires great art, and we want to support art. One of the places we are looking at to build our project is the Acres Homes area. We also are looking near University of Houston and other places within the city of Houston. Our project requires access to public transportation. We are working with people in a position to make sure that happens. Regarding our architect, Si Dang, AIA, he was with Morris Architects for many years and is the principal of his own firm, Andria Design, in Houston. The image of HIVE that we use is an architectural rendering with the standard dropped in trees, etc., common to architectural renderings. HIVE will have organic landscaping and gardens (that will serve its restaurants and residents and the community at large). It will be in an urban setting, not a forest, but we intend to plant many trees outside it. The parking lot shown is smaller that what HIVE will eventually need. The design itself exceeds code. Our builder, Juan Walker, principal of Moduluxe, works exclusively with recycled steel shipping containers, which have a multitude of wonderful uses. We also intend to use the latest, most efficient environmental practices. We are lucky that in Houston there are so many companies now experimenting with alternative energy and practices. If you are interested in learning more, please check out our website, www.hivehouston.org. Join our Facebook group, and come to our special events!

Welcome to HAIF, and thank you for a thoughtful and informative post.

What a creative solution! I admire your goals.

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Apparently they're in the process of securing a six acre property between Harrisburg and Buffalo Bayou...does anybody have any additional information on this? What are your thoughts on the project itself, and what impacts do you anticipate it having on the East End?

organ-arial-rendering.jpg

HIVE is the first project of its kind planned for Houston, intended to meet the needs of the growing population of the city with sustainable, affordable, and walkable living, working, and entertainment spaces. HIVE will bring together a multi-cultural community from various creative professional backgrounds, including artists, environmentalists, and business people. It is a response to a real need in Houston for a safe, urban experience, near public transportation, with great aesthetic value, low cost, and convenience.

The success of HIVE will require proximity to excellent public transportation, and our intention is to be near a light rail line. We are currently investigating six-acre properties in the area known as EaDo, in the East End District just east of downtown Houston, and along Buffalo Bayou. We are particularly interested in areas near the Harrisburg light rail line, due to be completed in late 2013.

HIVE Houston Website

Edited by rene

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There is a thread on this already for when they were proposing this for up in the Acres Homes area.

Their website has been up for a few years now with that same rendering. Since a more realistic rendering that address, for starters, their mega parking issues hasn't materialized, this tells me they're not closer to ever getting this project off the ground.

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I'm not sure if I would go to a restaurant that was located in a shipping container though.

Maybe I'm not as uber hipster as I thought.

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I'm not sure if I would go to a restaurant that was located in a shipping container though.

Maybe I'm not as uber hipster as I thought.

I can see it working for a small cafe with outdoor seating - like here. or a bigger restaurant ...like here... but only if they use the containers as building blocks for bigger areas or volumes. But that rendering is showing mostly stand-alone containers and nothing more than 2 deep configurations. 15-16' of depth doesn't give you lots of design room for a sit down restaurant. ..or retail.

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Apparently they're in the process of securing a six acre property between Harrisburg and Buffalo Bayou...does anybody have any additional information on this? What are your thoughts on the project itself, and what impacts do you anticipate it having on the East End?

Substantively, I think it's BS.

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It would be great if they did indeed build this... but chances are it's not going to happen.

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I've seen restaurants in shipping containers before. Starbucks has at least one in the Seattle area. I've seen a few in the Vancouver metro.

Subway built a restaurant in a stack of three shipping containers that was lifted onto One World Trade Center for the construction workers to get lunch without having to go all the way down to the ground and then slog off-site to the nearest place. It was placed between the cranes and rose as the building got taller. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/nyregion/17subshop.html?_r=0

SUBSHOP2-articleInline.jpg

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I didn't notice that the Chronicle had run a story about it, too.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/gray/article/There-s-buzz-around-proposed-HIVE-4062367.php?t=735625668a2b1a0ac9%3Ft%3D735625668adb21ddf9

There'd also be a water connection to Buffalo Bayou itself: A moat surrounding the inner hive would connect to the bayou; inhabitants could commute by canoe.

In October, the HIVE crew made a formal presentation to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Essentially, the crew proposed a lease-to-purchase deal in which the Partnership would eventually sell them the site they covet: 10 scruffy acres on the bayou, at 501 N. York, in the East End. Ann Olson, the partnership's president, says she plans to present it to the partnership's board soon. Though it's far from a done deal, she's taking it seriously - as seriously, for instance, as a similar deal proposed by the Houston Botanic Garden, which hopes to secure a different plot of Buffalo Bayou Partnership land.

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The last time I remember shipping containers being used for an alternative purpose was for a sign for a bulk soil, landscaping business on the Gulf Freeway. They stacked several containers on top of each other, with the top one having a former reference to Jesus Saves still visible. The stack of containers are still there, although the business signage was never painted or affixed to the containers. Another bit of freeway blight that seemd like a good idea to someone at the time, is now just a curious eyesore.

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I wanna see this happen... It fits the area because of the ship channel... And it this gets built next to the KBR site that whole area is gonna change for the better.

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I'm glad to see that they propose sailing 3 masted schooners in Buffalo Bayou, as well. That's the kind of thing that will make this idea take off.

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I'm glad to see that they propose sailing 3 masted schooners in Buffalo Bayou, as well. That's the kind of thing that will make this idea take off.

Maybe that was the HMS Bounty replica that was supposed to winter down here, but so strangely, and tragically, sank when the captain elected to try to go around the huge storm.

Anyway, this was a useful thread, as that "Kowloon" video has given me something else to fear and loathe, namely the idea of housing people in stacked shipping containers. I find in it the complement of an idea floated maybe fifteen years ago, before people had grown accustomed to abandoned big-box stores (and their attendant parking lots) in their midst. To stanch the purely momentary tide of bad publicity, Wal-mart (the very big, final shipping container) built a store somewhere that was expressly designed to be "re-purposed" into housing. I felt a chill when I heard that.

To offset the charge of insensitivity to those with different "lifestyles" who may be at the point in life where inhabiting a Kowloon-type cage "makes sense for them," I'll add that I regard the thought of living in an upscale pedestrian-oriented-mall-with-housing with the same contempt. It's the commercial outdoor lighting. I have to sleep in total darkness, so I think I would find it hard to live somewhere so well klieg-lit that you could read a miniature Bible at midnight. I also couldn't live in a car lot for that reason. I know -- high maintenance.

Before I'm absolved of insensitivity, though, I should admit that I used to read wikipedia in Pitcairnese sometimes ("en etom as ah unit o metuh") because I found a kind of poetry in it just to amuse myself. I think it was because of people like me that they took it down.

Edited by luciaphile

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Oh wait, it's back up! I'll put the link in "Anything You Want" before some handwringing wikipedia editor removes it again.

Frankly, I wish you and Niche wouldn't ruin the 'Anything You Want' thread, either. Can't you two just start a mental masturbation thread that only you two know about?

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Frankly, I wish you and Niche wouldn't ruin the 'Anything You Want' thread, either. Can't you two just start a mental masturbation thread that only you two know about?

Perhaps there could be a 2nd thread 'Anything Niche and Luciaphile Want' to compliment the 'Anything You Want' thread.

anyway, somewhat related to the topic at hand (and I could swear there was a thread somewhere on haif about shipping container houses), Amsterdam built student housing out of them:

Amsterdam student Rose Mandungu stands in front of a colorful apartment complex constructed of a rather unusual material—discarded shipping containers. The crowded Dutch city has been meeting a pressing need for student and other low-income housing by using ubiquitous steel shipping containers. After years at sea, the containers were rusted and dented but ready for reuse to house people instead of products.

pictures and more words:

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/sustainable-earth/pictures-amsterdam-shipping-container-homes/

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This is still a thing-this page says Phase I is under construction.

 

https://www.hivehouston.org/timeline

 



MUC -Multiversal Utility Construct

•First HIVE Operatioal prototype, 12 Containers

•Under Construction, Private

 

https://www.hivehouston.org/more-information

 



IV. How HIVE will be Built – It Takes a Village to Raise a Village

 

HIVE is projected to be developed and constructed from 2020 through 2025.Three HIVE building phases will occur during the time period. Each will be a successful autonomous part of a subsequent progression ensuring a gradual and evolving process of succession. We remain open to input from members of the community, especially including educational and thought leaders, as we finalize our project. The means are as important as the finished or completed construction.

The final project will comprise 44 buildings and gardens surrounding the inner HIVE structure. Each building will have a square footprint and be made of 11 40-foot steel shipping containers raising three and four floors. The outer perimeter buildings will be four stories tall, and interior buildings will be three stories. Ground-floor commercial spaces will each be 2,500 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. Above them will be 320-square-foot studios, and 800-square-foot two-bedroom apartments.

The architecture of the inner HIVE studios will be made from 20-foot shipping containers arrayed in a hemispheric geometry along a structurally integral ramp that reaches a height of 72 feet. The 198-foot-long ramp is sloped to the maximum critical angle of two degrees, creating an element of universal design, a gently spiraled floor conveying both handicapped and able-bodied individuals to the 148 studio spaces.

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Nestor Topchy, whose wife owns Avant Garden, is one of the main players in this project. He  is an artist, who went to the University of Houston for his MFA. He and I were in the 87 graduate program together. He's good friends with another artist entrepreneur named Jim Pirtle who owns Notsuoh on Main. Late night after hours, at Notsuoh, was always interesting. It was his initial concept that started this whole project.

He also has a beautiful studio space he built out of old windows from a church that he rescued in the near north side. It was featured in a fashion  photo shoot for Paper City, a few months ago. I saw him a few weeks ago and he is still promoting this project and it sounds like they are getting closer.

 

 

Edited by bobruss
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33 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Where is this? 

 

From the initial render from 2011 it looks like the Turkey Bend area on Navigation Blvd.

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Actually, it was to be on N York St/Hirsch Rd, just North of Navigation...right where the newly constructed Seafarers International Union Build now sits. 

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MUC -Multiversal Utility Construct

•First HIVE Operatioal[sic] prototype, 12 Containers

•Under Construction, Private

 

From the website - looks like phase 1 doesn't want their address published

 

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4 minutes ago, cspwal said:

 

From the website - looks like phase 1 doesn't want their address published

 

 

I don't think you understand. You have to be part of the HIVE "Mind" to make community input, and apparently know where its located. You can't choose the HIVE life, the HIVE life chooses you!

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