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Camden McGowen Station + New Park (Midtown Superblock)

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I assume these are to keep people from sleeping on the picnic tables but what's to keep them from sleeping in the other direction?CZZr4GE.jpg

Edited by hindesky
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On 8/17/2019 at 6:33 PM, MidCenturyMoldy said:

 

IMO, in a neighborhood like this, the sidewalk should extend to the curb.

 

The complete streets mindset generally requires a buffer between sidewalk and traffic. In this case, traffic on main is generally very slow-moving, so it probably doesn't need to be this wide.

 

Or, in this case, since driving on Main is so pointless anyway, you could just remove all distinction between traffic lane and sidewalk, and restrict Main to deliveries only from Commerce to Wheeler.

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6 hours ago, Angostura said:

The complete streets mindset generally requires a buffer between sidewalk and traffic. In this case, traffic on main is generally very slow-moving, so it probably doesn't need to be this wide.

 

Then making the sidewalk wider like it seems to be at Mid Main might make me happier. Just feels more urban to me. 


41825156664_477f1fd84d_h.jpg

 

I wonder what the Complete-Streeters think of the new sidewalks on Post Oak Boulevard? https://theboulevardproject.com/construction/updates 

(Post Oak photo not mine) 

0SHP2909.jpg

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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7 minutes ago, Texasota said:

I like walking directly into trees.

LOL!  I was thinking the same thing.  Why, oh why, do trees and poles wind up in the middle of the sidewalk???  Here and elsewhere. First, in this case the sidewalks aren’t wide enough to justify planting a tree right in the middle of the walkway.  Second, when these trees grow larger in a few years, you won’t be able to walk in a straight line down the sidewalk.  The staggered trees will force single-file lines of people weaving back and forth.  Super smart!  

 

Edited by MarathonMan
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18 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

 

I wonder what the Complete-Streeters think of the new sidewalks on Post Oak Boulevard? https://theboulevardproject.com/construction/updates 

(Post Oak photo not mine) 

 

 

I think there's too much focus on making a few places slightly less shitty for the rare pedestrians who might find themselves there despite a complete lack of pedestrian-oriented buildings. I'd rather see us build a handful of truly great pedestrian-focused (even pedestian-only) places in areas that have the bones for it, like the Main St corridor.

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1 hour ago, Angostura said:

 

I think there's too much focus on making a few places slightly less shitty for the rare pedestrians who might find themselves there despite a complete lack of pedestrian-oriented buildings. I'd rather see us build a handful of truly great pedestrian-focused (even pedestian-only) places in areas that have the bones for it, like the Main St corridor.

 

I'm the same about the Lower Westheimer Corridor, however, I do like how we are approaching it at various levels. We need focus on the kind you are bringing up, but also the large Boulevards as well. If there was a moment to showcase what could be done with complete streets it was at Post Oak. Hopefully they learn from it and build off it.

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2 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

I think there's too much focus on making a few places slightly less shitty for the rare pedestrians who might find themselves there despite a complete lack of pedestrian-oriented buildings. I'd rather see us build a handful of truly great pedestrian-focused (even pedestian-only) places in areas that have the bones for it, like the Main St corridor.

 

No reason we can't make both places pedestrian-oriented. Uptown is not going to go away as Houston's second downtown so we need to keep improving it longterm. And it is shifting to pedestrian-oriented buildings with the new 40-story tower with GFR under construction and the planned mixed-use, zero-setback Zadok Jewelry building. (Both more pedestrian-oriented than Camden McGowen, at any rate.) Alexander Garvin, FWIW, said Post Oak would be "the greatest urban boulevard in America" a couple months ago, although I think there was some hyperbole.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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31 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

No reason we can't make both places pedestrian-oriented. Uptown is not going to go away as Houston's second downtown so we need to keep improving it longterm. And it is shifting to pedestrian-oriented buildings with the new 40-story tower with GFR under construction and the planned mixed-use, zero-setback Zadok Jewelry building. (Both more pedestrian-oriented than Camden McGowen, at any rate.) Alexander Garvin, FWIW, said Post Oak would be "the greatest urban boulevard in America" a couple months ago, although I think there was some hyperbole.

 

 

Not to mention all the older buildings that are getting revamps. The Boulevard project is already looking like its going to have a positive effect on the surrounding environment, so while its not pedestrian friendly, yet, this definitely will start the process.

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I mean, it's on the light rail. It's easy to bike to. There's plenty of street parking within a few blocks.

 

But if developers use it as a reason *not* to provide dedicated parking at their own projects? That would be pretty fantastic, and a good prototype for public and quasi-public garages in other neighborhoods.

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4 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:



I wholeheartedly agree the underground parking garage at Midtown Park is not at optimal capacity. Not factoring in residents living within walking distance, others travel to the park or places nearby in their vehicles and don't park here. Is it because they want to park closer somewhere else? Afraid to leave their vehicles? Aren't aware of the parking garage?

 

 

 

Because pretty much every place you would park in this garage to go already has their own parking. And street parking is plentiful 20 hours per day, and free after 6PM.

 

There are 12 blocks surrounding Midtown Park, and 10 of them are at least 50% surface parking. An 11th is pretty close to 50%, and the 12th is an apartment building wrapped around a parking garage. The area is not under-parked.

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1 hour ago, Angostura said:

Because pretty much every place you would park in this garage to go already has their own parking. And street parking is plentiful 20 hours per day, and free after 6PM.

 

There are 12 blocks surrounding Midtown Park, and 10 of them are at least 50% surface parking. An 11th is pretty close to 50%, and the 12th is an apartment building wrapped around a parking garage. The area is not under-parked.

The area is not lacking parking now. . . But it will be lacking parking not too far down the road, especially with the parking requirements placed on developers being lifted in Midtown. 

Edited by MarathonMan
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Midtown has a very long way to go before it's "lacking" parking. All of the new and new-ish development has plentiful, if not excessive, parking. There is plenty of street parking and, since all of the new townhouses have off-street parking, it's pretty widely available. 

 

Even if every new development had zero parking moving forward (which is implausible to say the least), it would take a while to tilt that balance.

 

Of course, MarathonMan and I may very well also disagree on what constitutes enough parking. 

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On 9/13/2019 at 11:46 AM, MarathonMan said:

The area is not lacking parking now. . . But it will be lacking parking not too far down the road, especially with the parking requirements placed on developers being lifted in Midtown. 

 

Let's say you own a block in Midtown with (considering 5-ft setbacks) about 57,000 of buildable area that currently has a 20,000 s.f. strip center and 90 surface parking spaces. At triple net retail lease rates of $2/month, those 90 parking spaces are costing you over $800/month each in opportunity costs. So yes, I'd expect the number of parking spaces to decline over time.

 

Since it's not very efficient to charge for parking in small lots in front of strip centers, I'd expect parking to be concentrated in places like this garage. I'd also expect parking to be more efficiently allocated once it's priced at a level above zero. 

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1 hour ago, Angostura said:

 

Let's say you own a block in Midtown with (considering 5-ft setbacks) about 57,000 of buildable area that currently has a 20,000 s.f. strip center and 90 surface parking spaces. At triple net retail lease rates of $2/month, those 90 parking spaces are costing you over $800/month each in opportunity costs. So yes, I'd expect the number of parking spaces to decline over time.

 

Since it's not very efficient to charge for parking in small lots in front of strip centers, I'd expect parking to be concentrated in places like this garage. I'd also expect parking to be more efficiently allocated once it's priced at a level above zero. 

 

Good points, but you are assuming that the market for retail space without parking or with nearby/shared structured parking will be the same as the market for retail space with storefront parking.  Currently, at least, that is probably not the case.

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1 hour ago, phillip_white said:

The fencing is down around the northern plaza park.


The sidewalks are finally open, too.
Hallelujah, saints be praised, and about @#$@*ing time!

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5 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Good points, but you are assuming that the market for retail space without parking or with nearby/shared structured parking will be the same as the market for retail space with storefront parking.  Currently, at least, that is probably not the case.

 

Some properties for lease (w/o parking) on LoopNet:

 

$2.60/sf/mo

$2.25/sf/mo (2nd floor)

$2.25/sf/mo

$2.50/sf/mo

$2.92/sf/mo

 

Making a place denser and more walkable tends to increase, not decrease rents, though the tenant mix will probably be different.

 

 

 

 

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I thought they wanted to people to park here.  I wasn't aware of any event today.

sJrUJYu.jpg

Skaters seem to enjoy the area on the north side.

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So much concrete... Hopefully this was necessary for the future restaurant build

9powbOD.jpg

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10 hours ago, BeerNut said:

I thought they wanted to people to park here.  I wasn't aware of any event today


There was a sold-out game at Minute Maid Park (Western Champs!)
Isn't this is about half the going rate (maybe less) than the lots adjacent to the ball park? Covered parking, adjacent to McGowen Station, perception of better security...for some people, $25 might look like a good deal.

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On ‎9‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 1:54 PM, Angostura said:

 

Some properties for lease (w/o parking) on LoopNet:

 

$2.60/sf/mo

$2.25/sf/mo (2nd floor)

$2.25/sf/mo

$2.50/sf/mo

$2.92/sf/mo

 

Making a place denser and more walkable tends to increase, not decrease rents, though the tenant mix will probably be different.

 

 

 

 

 

This is highly sensitive to location and age of the building. If you are getting those rates from ground floor spaces in new multi-family buildings along Main Street, you cannot compare that to a 10-year old strip center on Smith or Milam.

 

On Main Street I think we are there in terms of the parking lot hurting more than it helps. On the streets that lead to/from the Spur, I think the parking lot still adds positive value because of the high traffic counts and the nature of commuters wanting to make a quick stop on the way home. On Travis I am not so sure, would be interesting to analyze the numbers.

 

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

This is highly sensitive to location and age of the building. If you are getting those rates from ground floor spaces in new multi-family buildings along Main Street, you cannot compare that to a 10-year old strip center on Smith or Milam.

 

On Main Street I think we are there in terms of the parking lot hurting more than it helps. On the streets that lead to/from the Spur, I think the parking lot still adds positive value because of the high traffic counts and the nature of commuters wanting to make a quick stop on the way home. On Travis I am not so sure, would be interesting to analyze the numbers.

 

 

Upcoming developments such as The Mix and that Oxburry tower will be very telling what the next stage is going to be here. Now with the exemptions to parking minimums and the fact that there is already so much over-saturation in parking already, it will be interesting to see how developers rethink their approach here.

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3 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

Upcoming developments such as The Mix and that Oxburry tower will be very telling what the next stage is going to be here. Now with the exemptions to parking minimums and the fact that there is already so much over-saturation in parking already, it will be interesting to see how developers rethink their approach here.

 

Right, and in my post above, I was thinking in terms of strip center vs. storefront retail (single story). Obviously in the portions of Travis near Elgin, the highest and best use is high-rise with ground-floor retail and garage parking.

 

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The apartments, the parks, parking garage, and sidewalks are all pretty much complete.
Can we agree that this project has finally gone from "Going Up!" to "Gone Up", and move it to the 'Midtown' section?

(If, and when, the promised restaurant(s) on McGowen materialize, a thread can be started to cover that development.)

Edited by dbigtex56
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On 9/23/2019 at 7:20 AM, dbigtex56 said:


There was a sold-out game at Minute Maid Park (Western Champs!)
Isn't this is about half the going rate (maybe less) than the lots adjacent to the ball park? Covered parking, adjacent to McGowen Station, perception of better security...for some people, $25 might look like a good deal.

 

Some of the lots across the street are like $20. I park in a grange 3-4 blocks from the park for $10. This is way too far from the park for people to use it for the game, just simple price gouging. 

Edited by jmitch94
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22 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

This is highly sensitive to location and age of the building. If you are getting those rates from ground floor spaces in new multi-family buildings along Main Street, you cannot compare that to a 10-year old strip center on Smith or Milam.

 

On Main Street I think we are there in terms of the parking lot hurting more than it helps. On the streets that lead to/from the Spur, I think the parking lot still adds positive value because of the high traffic counts and the nature of commuters wanting to make a quick stop on the way home. On Travis I am not so sure, would be interesting to analyze the numbers.

 

 

The question isn't current rents for aging strip centers. It's the opportunity cost of keeping a parking lot a parking lot. And at typical rents, that opportunity cost is about $800/month per space (assuming you're just building single-story retail, which you're probably not).

 

With CoH parking minimums and assuming surface parking, parking takes up 55-75% of land area. So unless parked rents are much, much higher than unparked rents, we're going to see less parking in the area over time, and more of what remains priced at a level above zero.

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27 minutes ago, Angostura said:

 

The question isn't current rents for aging strip centers. It's the opportunity cost of keeping a parking lot a parking lot. And at typical rents, that opportunity cost is about $800/month per space (assuming you're just building single-story retail, which you're probably not).

 

With CoH parking minimums and assuming surface parking, parking takes up 55-75% of land area. So unless parked rents are much, much higher than unparked rents, we're going to see less parking in the area over time, and more of what remains priced at a level above zero.

 

The opportunity cost is based on the market rent at a given location. You cannot pick out the highest asking rental rates in Midtown and pretend that these would be the rents at every location. As I mentioned before, Main Street is probably at a point where surface parking is not justified, Travis might be as well, but on Smith or Milam Streets, the numbers change and I don't think they're there yet. Of course we are going to see less parking in the area over time, but we are still a long way from the point where it does not make sense to provide surface parking anywhere in Midtown.

 

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On 7/21/2019 at 1:41 PM, Luminare said:
  On 7/21/2019 at 1:32 PM, CrockpotandGravel said:


I thought I something about the below post in the forum a few months ago. I searched and scanned the Midtown threads but saw nothing. So if this is a repost, please let me know so\ it can be removed.

From an April meeting the board of directors of the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, there was this update on the Midtown Park, part of the Midtown Superblock in the posted minutes:


Mr. (Bob) Sellingsloh reported that the Midtown Staff and consultants were exploring the possibility of constructing a food hall with multiple smaller food vendors in the area designated for a restaurant on the Front 90 portion of Midtown Park. He outlined the benefits of a food hall and stated that several of the top 7 potential tenants for the Bagby Park Kiosk also expressed interest in leasing space in the food hall.

https://midtownhouston.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/MRA-Minutes-4.30.2019.pdf (archive link)

 

 

 

Additional Intel on the Midtown Park food Hall from Eater Houston:

 

 

It looks like Houston’s food hall boom will never slow down. On the heels of Bravery Chef Hall, Politan Row, Finn Hall, Understory, and more projects either open now in the works, it looks as if another food hall is headed to Midtown Houston. This news comes just days after Eater Houston reported that the neighborhood would get its first food hall via Miami’s 1-800-Lucky.

 

A tipster pointed Eater in the direction of meeting notes from the Midtown Houston Management District’s monthly board of directors’ meetings, and the organization has been working since September on an as-yet-unnamed food hall that will open in Midtown Park. Per those notes, the organization has already approved a preliminary design for the food hall, and is currently anticipating a final design from the architects.

 

https://houston.eater.com/2019/12/11/21010974/midtown-food-hall-international-smoke-closed-common-bond-expansion

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Food halls are the new food truck parks.

 

 

They give aspiring restaurateurs a chance to test a concept before committing time and capital to a full build-out, and are a vastly more pleasant experience for the diner than a food truck park, which (in Houston at least) are generally in un-shaded parking lots with little to no seating, no bathrooms and lots of generator noise.

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The synergy between this food hall (if it materializes) and the Hawker food hall across main will be incredible for foot traffic. Not to mention, once the hotel, condos, and additional rental units at Laneways come on line AND with the AMCAL highrise going up... this section of McGowen will be unrecognizable in 5 years.

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New sign by the new water feature. Is this standard language or is it in response to recent activities?

 

20200116_092504.thumb.jpg.1f5e37869f80e3fc784723ec02d891be.jpg

Edited by Brooklyn173
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