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Exxon Giving Building To The City?


ricco67

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It doesn't say that they are considering it, just that the possibility of it is a rumor, and this journo has been off-base in the past. I would maintain a healthy skepticism.

Agreed. Also, it seems pretty unlikely that the city would be interested in it for city offices. Personally, I hope they turn it residential.

Edited by Houston19514
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Long-term vacancy and neglect seem unlikely. Those other abandoned highrises got that way through a combination of the oil bust, the S&L crisis, and/or subsequent absentee owners that picked up the buildings for a song and a dream during that period and that otherwise had no business owning real estate. None of these factors are going to be at play with the Exxon building.

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Agreed. Also, it seems pretty unlikely that the city would be interested in it for city offices. Personally, I hope they turn it residential.

If possible, I think HPD could use it. Their downtown offices (not the station) are waaaay old and pretty sad. Not sure about the current lease on it though and how that would work out. But if HPD left their current building, it would probably go the way of the Holiday Inn or those other buildings. It's gotta be a Class C building at best.

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If possible, I think HPD could use it. Their downtown offices (not the station) are waaaay old and pretty sad. Not sure about the current lease on it though and how that would work out. But if HPD left their current building, it would probably go the way of the Holiday Inn or those other buildings. It's gotta be a Class C building at best.

?? The city owns the HPD HQ building downtown. The HQ just moved there 15 years ago, after the city completed a full renovation of the building. I don't know why you would categorize it as "pretty sad". Anyway, HPD HQ is VERY unlikely to be moving in the foreseeable future.

Edited by Houston19514
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?? The city owns the HPD HQ building downtown. The HQ just moved there 15 years ago, after the city completed a full renovation of the building. I don't know why you would categorize it as "pretty sad". Anyway, HPD HQ is VERY unlikely to be moving in the foreseeable future.

I say it's sad b/c I've been in there and it's very Class Cish. I mean, it's a city building so I guess it's not a big deal. The Exxon building I'm sure would be a huge upgrade if it was given to them.

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?? The city owns the HPD HQ building downtown. The HQ just moved there 15 years ago, after the city completed a full renovation of the building. I don't know why you would categorize it as "pretty sad". Anyway, HPD HQ is VERY unlikely to be moving in the foreseeable future.

All of HPDs facilities can be categorized as "pretty sad," but I think that it mostly just has to do with a dearth of attractive women on-site. Most office buildings house a great deal more eye candy.

It'd be great if the HPD facilities and municipal courts fronting Houston Ave. were to move into the Exxon Building...or pretty much anywhere else, actually. That'd free up a lot of prime land for redevelopment and take the bail bondsmen out of Old 6th Ward.

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The other end of downtown is all county offices, so the city would have a hard time finding space to put their courts and offices. It would be pretty impressive to move the municipal courts into Exxon, but that is a lot of space just for the courts and staff.

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The idea that Exxon would consider donating the building to the city makes me think that they realize that the resale value of the property is so low that the tax write-off from donation would be better for them economically. Does the city even need this much space, especially in an expensive-to-maintain skyscraper? Not to mention the costs taxpayers would have to bear of moving and retrofit. My spidey sense tells me that Exxon may be thinking that the best way to get rid of a white elephant would be to unload it on taxpayers.

Again, I can easily see this building sitting vacant for decades, like the nearby Holiday Inn. There just doesn't seem to be any strong market demand for skyscrapers in that part of downtown.

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My spidey sense tells me that this is little more than a silly rumor. There may of course be a kernel of truth buried in there from which the rumor spun out. Best guess: Exxon has talked to the city about possibilities for dealing with the old building. My hope, as I have partially expressed before, is that Exxon will be generous and arrange for/cooperate with the building being converted to residential or perhaps residential/hotel.

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Both previous posters admittedly have spidey senses. Wonder if one of them was the spiderman dressed villain in the woodlands that made the news?

How likely is it that it will become residential? And what would the conversion costs be? What would potential profit be?

i hope a residential conversion is what happens.

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I think it is either 47 or 49 floors. I'm sure someone has the stats handy, but if that were all converted to residential, I'd think you would be adding a significant percentage to the square footage downtown.

From my uninformed armchair, that seems like it would cost way more than it would ever be worth, unless Exxon gave it to the city and the city gave it to a developer. Even then, good luck.

Edited by Nate99
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I think it is either 47 or 49 floors.

Isn't the Petroleum Club on the top floors? They occupy the 43rd and 44th floors. Wonder what's going to become of the Club once Exxon vacates the building. If it's converted to residential, that space could make one hell of a penthouse.

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44 floors. The top two are the Petroleum Club. I attended a fund raiser there one evening and there was a marvelous storm to the east, probably Anahuac or even further, but the lightening show was fantastic. This was in about 2000 but it felt like the mid-1960s. I don't think the decor had ever been changed since it opened. Kinda cool really.

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Give it to the Houston Coalition for the Homeless/US VETS. They are doing wonderful things. When Allen Rosen wins the Precint 1 constables race he can add even more to the plan with his deep connections with Metro and US VETS. Think of it as penitence for carbon-based fuels.

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44 floors. The top two are the Petroleum Club. I attended a fund raiser there one evening and there was a marvelous storm to the east, probably Anahuac or even further, but the lightening show was fantastic. This was in about 2000 but it felt like the mid-1960s. I don't think the decor had ever been changed since it opened. Kinda cool really.

Agreed. I hope it could be saved.

I still have a hard time believing that retrofit to residential would be more economic than new build. Presumably a residential conversion would require more parking, a swimming pool, balconies etc for what would be an enormously risky project.

I was thinking the same thing about asbestos abatement. A lot of buildings from that era used asbestos, and since abatement means stripping it down to the frame the cost is astronomical.

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They already do rent it out. I went to a wedding reception there. The 60s big cigar vibe was awesome.

I posted to short.

Meant to say - "Assuming Exxon gives building to city. City should rent the club out to a proprietor as is. It would be a great bar/cigar club."

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Give it to the Houston Coalition for the Homeless/US VETS. They are doing wonderful things. When Allen Rosen wins the Precint 1 constables race he can add even more to the plan with his deep connections with Metro and US VETS. Think of it as penitence for carbon-based fuels.

The entire building? What would they do with it? Are you meaning convert into living quarters?

The city could give a smaller building to the USVETS and then move those offices into a larger facility.

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  • 6 months later...

http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/11-05-12-11-38-developer-of-twitter-headquarters-eyes-purchase-of-exxon-mobil-tower-for-extreme-makeover/

Shorenstein Properties, a prominent San Francisco-based developer, is negotiating to buy the 44-story Exxon Mobil building in downtown Houston in what could become a catalyst for redevelopment in the southern end of downtown.

...

Shorenstein’s investment programs are typically focused on “Class A” office properties – the prime buildings that get the highest rents. So buying the less-than-prime Exxon building offers a clue that Shorenstein envisions a major redevelopment of the tower.

Could his speculation be correct?

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  • 2 weeks later...

his speculation is probably on point assuming Shoernstein is actually considering it. how close is the SkyHouse Houston high rise site to the exxon building? IIRC they're fairly close. if so the combination of both projects could really spur redevelopment in this part of the cbd.

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his speculation is probably on point assuming Shoernstein is actually considering it. how close is the SkyHouse Houston high rise site to the exxon building? IIRC they're fairly close. if so the combination of both projects could really spur redevelopment in this part of the cbd.

That's nice to think about, but a de-tenanting, gutting, remodeling, and/or re-skinning, and eventually re-tenanting of the Exxon Building will still only replace a Class A office tenant with a Class A office tenant (or tenants). Its not as though the building is painful to look at; it's just isolated is all, and seems out of place. SkyHouse is going to look sorta out of place, too.

But all I see that really will add to this part of downtown is a few hundred extra residents. That's all. That is not a catalyst.

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The site is across from the proposed residential tower at 1625 Main. It is close to Midtown, so the amenitis of both the CBD and Midtown are right there.

Also, the 24 story residential on Main will be next to the 30 story Houston House. There is also what seems to be like an 8 story residential building on the corner. Good start for a concentration of residents.

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