Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
lockmat

[500 Crawford] Seven Story Apartments Near the Ballpark

Recommended Posts

I dont necessarily like it, but it will fit well whithin its context. It does look better than the original drawings though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont necessarily like it, but it will fit well whithin its context. It does look better than the original drawings though.

 

Agreed.  Not overly thrilled with it and would still prefer they not close off Prairie Street.  But at the end of the day it will be a big plus for downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like they tried to use some of the same architectural features the ballpark has.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, two new blocks soon to be covered by something other than surface parking.

As to closing Prairie isnt it just getting shorter by one block? It doesn't go all the way through anyway so one less block wouldn't be too problematic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FINALLY. I drive by this nearly everyday and I keep worrying it is dead. Can't wait to drive by and at least know there's a future for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...actually, i think that this particular project is remarkable.  not only is it "grand" upon it's overall concept...   it just seems fun!   a "toast" to the future!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last time I walked through the area it felt like a forgotten part of downtown.

I'm excited to see what an increased residential population does to the impression of the area.

That part of town has also been a hole in downtown. It's like an asteroid hit, took out ten blocks, and the crater had just been sitting there. The two block length of this building should help improve the scape.

Should also improve the impression people who visit Houston for sporting events or conventions have of the city

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...actually, i think that this particular project is remarkable.  not only is it "grand" upon it's overall concept...   it just seems fun!   a "toast" to the future!

 

I agree 100%. This project (the scale, the design, and the infill potential) is EXACTLY what downtown needs. This project will add more "life" to downtown than any sparkiling office tower or even a super luxury residential project like One Park Place. We all know that place houses the wealthy or worse, is a second home, but not really an option for regular professional Houstonians.

 

For years I've been wishing that we have something like West Avenue on Kirby iin downtown and now we will have something of that scale!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, two new blocks soon to be covered by something other than surface parking.

As to closing Prairie isnt it just getting shorter by one block? It doesn't go all the way through anyway so one less block wouldn't be too problematic

 

Yes, very true.  But it previously ended at a major destination point with an attractive and welcoming arrival point.  Now it will end at a side wall of an apartment complex.  Attractive, yes, but lacking the sense of arrival.  The current view down Prairie towards MinuteMaid would have been greatly enhanced by being framed by apartment buildings and/or other mid/high rise buildings.  Now the view down Prairie will just be blocked.  Oh well. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. It would have been nicer if we got a pedestrian walkway through the complex along prairie but I don't think the blocking off will be that bad. The closed in view with a tunnel walkway would improve the urban feel of the area. But I am still thankful that the empty lots are being built on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, very true.  But it previously ended at a major destination point with an attractive and welcoming arrival point.  Now it will end at a side wall of an apartment complex.  Attractive, yes, but lacking the sense of arrival.  The current view down Prairie towards MinuteMaid would have been greatly enhanced by being framed by apartment buildings and/or other mid/high rise buildings.  Now the view down Prairie will just be blocked.  Oh well. 

 

Prairie is a one way street. If you were ending at a major destination point (Minute Maid) while traveling down Prairie, I hope you were doing it on foot. 

 

Also, the only people walking down Prairie heading to the stadium on game days were people parking in surface lots. 80% of the retail, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, etc... near Minute Maid are found on Texas St. which will not be altered by this building.

 

Having several hundred units literally across the street from the stadium will be a huge plus to the area and I could care less if one block of Prairie St. was closed in order to ensure this project happened.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone agrees that the units are a plus, which is why we all want this to happen. But something is lost with the street closure. You formerly could stand on main and look down Prairie and see the arcade of the left field wall and seats on the other side above it. It was a great vista. And long blocks are bad for urbanism bc they create dead zones and stifle circulation. This building would look great on San Felipe somewhere, but it's not ideal here.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the big picture this is a small matter.  We should all be excited to see the two parking lots actually doing something positive for that side of town. I used to live in the Wagon works building on the corner of Crawford and Franklin and I can tell you it was pretty vacant over there. Now the tipping point is about to occur with this project and the three hotels about to break ground and HSPVA over there between Minute Maid and the Convention center, and people will be walking around the area maybe some service related shops will start considering development and more units will join them, and  besides, not that many people spend time on the surface streets to even be aware that you can see the ball park from Main street. Everyone spends all of their time in the tunnels which I think sucks.

It never looks like anyone's downtown. Its a shame more downtown workers don't spend more time on the sidewalks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And long blocks are bad for urbanism bc they create dead zones and stifle circulation. This building would look great on San Felipe somewhere, but it's not ideal here.

I disagree with this part if your post.

I think you have it completely reversed.

Thinking of London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, even Philadelphia, Boston, etc... all I remember is long blocks and narrow streets.

I think you are confusing long blocks with long streets. Long streets like those in Houston don't create a strong urban experience but long blocks do. A 30 Mike westheimer is hard to urbanize. 500-1000 feet blocks all squeezed together gives you a more closed in and urban environment.

Houston has many no nos that mange it hard on pedestrians. It has a higher than average percentage of road to architecture. Wide streets, long streets, thin blocks.

Think of it this way, which would you think would be easier for a walker? Having 10 store fronts between each pair of streets or having to cross five lanes of traffic after every two stores? Pedestrians have a more leisurely walk when the number if streets they have to cross are less.

I am not for closing major thoroughfares in the middle of downtown, but I am not worried at all about smaller streets in the more sleepy parts of downtown. Closing Louisiana or Smith would be a nightmare. Closing Prairie one block from its end...hardly an issue with me.

 

 

London:

http://www.london-attractions.info/images/attractions/oxford-street.jpg

 

Prague:

 http://www.europeancastlestours.com/tours/imperial/gallery/Prague_Street.jpg

 

Philadelphia:

http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/broad-street-facing-philadelphia-city-hall-in-sepia-bill-cannon.jpg

 

Boston:

 http://bostoncompletestreets.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Broad-St_1.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jcviAgRYitk/Tu44JBLotuI/AAAAAAAAJbQ/_kSKFVk57u0/s1600/Ferrara1.jpg

 

Baltimore:

http://www.pps.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Baltimore_Market_Street_WEB.jpg

 

New Orleans:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Orleans.bourbon.arp.750pix.jpg

 

The area in Contrast looks like this:

http://d16wm5mxkuw2qn.cloudfront.net/images/13547.png

http://d16wm5mxkuw2qn.cloudfront.net/images/13543.png

Edited by HoustonIsHome
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with this part if your post.

I think you have it completely reversed.

Thinking of London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, even Philadelphia, Boston, etc... all I remember is long blocks and narrow streets.

I think you are confusing long blocks with long streets. Long streets like those in Houston don't create a strong urban experience but long blocks do. A 30 Mike westheimer is hard to urbanize. 500-1000 feet blocks all squeezed together gives you a more closed in and urban environment.

Houston has many no nos that mange it hard on pedestrians. It has a higher than average percentage of road to architecture. Wide streets, long streets, thin blocks.

Think of it this way, which would you think would be easier for a walker? Having 10 store fronts between each pair of streets or having to cross five lanes of traffic after every two stores? Pedestrians have a more leisurely walk when the number if streets they have to cross are less.

I am not for closing major thoroughfares in the middle of downtown, but I am not worried at all about smaller streets in the more sleepy parts of downtown. Closing Louisiana or Smith would be a nightmare. Closing Prairie one block from its end...hardly an issue with me.

London:

http://www.london-attractions.info/images/attractions/oxford-street.jpg

Prague:

http://www.europeancastlestours.com/tours/imperial/gallery/Prague_Street.jpg

Philadelphia:

http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/broad-street-facing-philadelphia-city-hall-in-sepia-bill-cannon.jpg

Boston:

http://bostoncompletestreets.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Broad-St_1.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jcviAgRYitk/Tu44JBLotuI/AAAAAAAAJbQ/_kSKFVk57u0/s1600/Ferrara1.jpg

Baltimore:

http://www.pps.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Baltimore_Market_Street_WEB.jpg

New Orleans:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Orleans.bourbon.arp.750pix.jpg

The area in Contrast looks like this:

http://d16wm5mxkuw2qn.cloudfront.net/images/13547.png

http://d16wm5mxkuw2qn.cloudfront.net/images/13543.png

In the most interesting and lively parts of Paris, Latin Quarter and Montmartre, the blocks are short. Same is true of the Leicester Square/Covent Garden areas of London, the Old Town of Prague, and French Quarter New Orleans.

Jane Jacobs talks about this in her book, and I think most urbanists since her are pretty much agreed. I've actually heard a planner from out of town say that downtown Houston has an ideal block size at 300 feet. This might have been in the old Main Street Master Plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the most interesting and lively parts of Paris, Latin Quarter and Montmartre, the blocks are short. Same is true of the Leicester Square/Covent Garden areas of London, the Old Town of Prague, and French Quarter New Orleans.

Jane Jacobs talks about this in her book, and I think most urbanists since her are pretty much agreed. I've actually heard a planner from out of town say that downtown Houston has an ideal block size at 300 feet. This might have been in the old Main Street Master Plan.

Could you post links to these more interesting areas you mentioned?

As for the modern urbanism, I think the original urbanists did a better job of creating lively spaces so I will stand by my opinion that longer blocks (not streets) make for a more urban environment.

To me a city with streets at 1/20th a mile intervals would make for a nice human scale environment. Any closer and it seems like your encountering cars to often.

On the other side, I think of the blocks are overly long it creates a problem for crossing. But I don't think that is much of an issue with double blocks downtown.

Edited by HoustonIsHome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these residential projects are all getting off the ground at the same time, from Midtown to Downtown, its gonna be neat to see how they all kind of come together in the next couple of years. I see more foot traffic and more basic amenities such as your typical coffee shops, dry cleaners, etc. I think many of our visitors for the Super Bowl are going to have a better experience in this city.

Edited by j_cuevas713
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you post links to these more interesting areas you mentioned?

As for the modern urbanism, I think the original urbanists did a better job of creating lively spaces so I will stand by my opinion that longer blocks (not streets) make for a more urban environment.

To me a city with streets at 1/20th a mile intervals would make for a nice human scale environment. Any closer and it seems like your encountering cars to often.

On the other side, I think of the blocks are overly long it creates a problem for crossing. But I don't think that is much of an issue with double blocks downtown.

I'm not taking the time to post links, you can google earth them. Modern urbanists are trying to return to the principles that made classic urbanism so successful. If you read some of the literature on this I think you'll find they've taken a lot of the considerations we discuss into account (the short answer by the way is that while there are more streets to cross with small blocks there is more directional freedom and meeting points). Start with Jane Jacobs.

For a convenient comparison of larger and smaller block sizes, take Houston and Dallas. Downtown Dallas has larger blocks, and the feel is more deadening vs. livelier in Houston, even when no one is actually on the street.

By the way, your ideal 1/20th mile interval would be 264 feet - actually smaller than downtown Houston at 300 ft, a very small block size indeed!

Edited by H-Town Man
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you post links to these more interesting areas you mentioned?

As for the modern urbanism, I think the original urbanists did a better job of creating lively spaces so I will stand by my opinion that longer blocks (not streets) make for a more urban environment.

To me a city with streets at 1/20th a mile intervals would make for a nice human scale environment. Any closer and it seems like your encountering cars to often.

On the other side, I think of the blocks are overly long it creates a problem for crossing. But I don't think that is much of an issue with double blocks downtown.

I'm not taking the time to post links, you can google earth them. Modern urbanists are trying to return to the principles that made classic urbanism so successful. If you read some of the literature on this I think you'll find they've taken a lot of the considerations we discuss into account (the short answer by the way is that while there are more streets to cross with small blocks there is more directional freedom and meeting points). Start with Jane Jacobs.

For a convenient comparison of larger and smaller block sizes, take Houston and Dallas. Downtown Dallas has larger blocks, and the feel is more deadening vs. livelier in Houston, even when no one is actually on the street.

By the way, your ideal 1/20th mile interval would be 264 feet - actually smaller than downtown Houston at 300 ft, a very small block size indeed!

To be fair, I don't know if you can google earth, "more interesting areas."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used 1/20th on the low end. I said any closer and you would encounter road too often.

What I noticed too is that older cities have long but narrow blocks. Even Manhattan was reworked on that configuration with the average blocks there being about 900 ft long and 200 ft wide. That's equivalent to three Houston blocks long but not as wide. I noticed that Asian and Canadian older cities follow the long and narrow pattern too. The newer cities, many of which are west of the Mississippi, have the shorter but thicker blocks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used 1/20th on the low end. I said any closer and you would encounter road too often.

What I noticed too is that older cities have long but narrow blocks. Even Manhattan was reworked on that configuration with the average blocks there being about 900 ft long and 200 ft wide. That's equivalent to three Houston blocks long but not as wide. I noticed that Asian and Canadian older cities follow the long and narrow pattern too. The newer cities, many of which are west of the Mississippi, have the shorter but thicker blocks.

 

Yes. Reworked. As in, as originally laid out, New York had much smaller blocks. The Olmsteadification of Manhattan was then copied throughout the country, including in more western cities/towns like Minneapolis and Houston Heights. (Downtown Minneapolis, which was laid out a bit earlier, has square blocks.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, I don't know if you can google earth, "more interesting areas."

This was clearly in reference to the several neighborhoods I had named in the post he quoted. Gotta read more than one post back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. Reworked. As in, as originally laid out, New York had much smaller blocks. The Olmsteadification of Manhattan was then copied throughout the country, including in more western cities/towns like Minneapolis and Houston Heights. (Downtown Minneapolis, which was laid out a bit earlier, has square blocks.)

I wasn't aware that Frederick Law Olmsted had anything to do with lengthening blocks?? Thought he hated rectangular street grids, hence his plan for Riverside, Illinois...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the area has been quiet for months post-demolition and electrical/utilities until around last week.  Finally glad to see something going on, even if it blocks my walk to/from work

 

 

Photographic proof... it's begun.

 

fvnrTxv.jpg?1

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The Finger Companies development of 500 Crawford was delayed due to abandonment of street light infrastructure along Prairie;

Ahh haa. I wondered why there was such a long delay...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you being serious or sarcastic?

 

He is being serious and I tend to agree. This project, and the Hines Residential, will do MORE for downtown than 609 Main (or even BP Place) ever could. You can go ahead and print that and come back in 5-10 years

 

A vibrant residential component will bring synergy to downtown....a pedestal office tower that empties out at 5PM and is closed on the weekend is limited on what it can bring to downtown.

 

Of course a true downtown should have a mix of both but YES this project is definitely a game changer. it symbolizes downtown as a residential neighborhood...a title downtown started to lose in the 1920s/30s.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that residential is the area that will help strengthen downtown, but I think the residential initiative rather than one complex is the game changer. I think the south part of downtown is going to clean up and improve greatly once all those apartments gets going

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we are seeing is the tipping point for downtown. This is what the central core has needed to sustain growth and bring in more retail, and service oriented businesses. Its kind of a chicken and egg situation and in this case without the density no need for retail.

I also think that for Midtown even though it has seen an incredible amount of infill over the last ten years, that once the MId Main and the MATCH centers both get built this will take Midtown to a new level. We will the start to see mid rises and hi rises being developed in the area. It won't be long before there is no gap between downtown and the Med center.

I happened to be at Reliant for a cougars game a few weeks ago and when I reached the top ramp looking North through the med center from Reliant up to Downtown, and noticed what a truly remarkable view it has become and you really can see how it is starting to fill in .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He is being serious and I tend to agree. This project, and the Hines Residential, will do MORE for downtown than 609 Main (or even BP Place) ever could. You can go ahead and print that and come back in 5-10 years

A vibrant residential component will bring synergy to downtown....a pedestal office tower that empties out at 5PM and is closed on the weekend is limited on what it can bring to downtown.

Of course a true downtown should have a mix of both but YES this project is definitely a game changer. it symbolizes downtown as a residential neighborhood...a title downtown started to lose in the 1920s/30s.

^ Gets it.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He is being serious and I tend to agree. This project, and the Hines Residential, will do MORE for downtown than 609 Main (or even BP Place) ever could. You can go ahead and print that and come back in 5-10 years

 

A vibrant residential component will bring synergy to downtown....a pedestal office tower that empties out at 5PM and is closed on the weekend is limited on what it can bring to downtown.

 

Of course a true downtown should have a mix of both but YES this project is definitely a game changer. it symbolizes downtown as a residential neighborhood...a title downtown started to lose in the 1920s/30s.

 

He was actually trolling like he always does, but other than that I agree.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we are seeing is the tipping point for downtown. This is what the central core has needed to sustain growth and bring in more retail, and service oriented businesses.

I agree.

The 500 Crawford complex isn't going to be a game changer, the game has already changed. This complex is just one player in the game.

I am anxious to see what the two near Market Square does to activity there. Park Place was an immediate upgrade to the convention district. Market Square already has some nice activity in terms of restaurants, bars and of course the park, so it will interesting to see what new potential will be realized.

As for the 6 complexes joining Houston House in SE downtown, the change that can happen there is just too much for me to imagine.

Edited by HoustonIsHome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm as excited as the next guy for this thing to get started so what's the deal? It looks like very little has happened since they announced ground breaking. I may just be impatient, but they keep yanking our chain!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's been a lot of work actually. They've been making the entire property level after they had to break up the foundations of the earlier buildings on the northern portion and I noticed they added in a "rock road" this week near the center. Trust me, I drive by this thing everyday and they are definitely moving at a good pace. Maybe I can take pics tomorrow... maybe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's been a lot of work actually. They've been making the entire property level after they had to break up the foundations of the earlier buildings on the northern portion and I noticed they added in a "rock road" this week near the center. Trust me, I drive by this thing everyday and they are definitely moving at a good pace. Maybe I can take pics tomorrow... maybe.

Awesome news! Sorry for jumping the gun, I've just passed by the site 5 or 6 times since the ground breaking ceremony and couldn't tell that any real progress had been made! Good to hear things are preceding, just can't wait for the crane to go up and this thing to start going vertical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. They had it level... guess not anymore.

In the picture on the right, you can see the rock pathway in the upper-right corner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is going to be incredible to see residential butting up to MMP. Not that it would be the same but I just love how in places like Boston/ Chicago, etc where the stadiums cozy up with the community around them. I hope this is the beginning of the same for MMP.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...