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Phase I is underway, here's our first look:       More renderings can be found in the brochure below:   https://images1.loopnet.com/d2/2hO8ds_6cesMWwAvCHKLz8FOD

Houston’s New Waterfront Destination Takes Shape — An Inside Look at East River, Midway’s City Changing Mega Project A 150 Acre, 65 City Block New District is Coming — Here's Everything You Need

One of the buildings at KBR that faces downtown. Really visible from afar.   

Posted Images

2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Would something like this be better?

 

I can't speak for Triton but will echo his sentiment. A more water-centric design is preferable to the back side of buildings and a pedestrian path. Ideally it would be developed more like the Riverwalk in San Antonio (pictured below). Having said that, I'll trust Midway and take this over the current field or allowing someone like Randall Davis to develop it...

5bdd8ed3c8183682a6411d85bd0859b4.jpg

san_antonio_river_walk.jpg

Edited by 79ta
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6 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Would something like this be better?

image.png.fb7b26928442febfadae7fa00a968b6b.png

Do we really think that's enough? So a single sidewalk. I see an orange brick sidewalk coming down, ok. I see some tables and chairs on one of the buildings on the right. Maybe I am just envisioning way too much of a riverwalk area, since I don't think this portion of Buffalo Bayou floods that much. 

Yes, we can all agree this is better than townhomes. But I seriously think there's a missed opportunity here where there should be a very central focus to the water and I'm just not seeing that.

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15 hours ago, jmitch94 said:

Has this actually started or are they still just adding drainage and shoring up the banks?

Something leaked earlier this year that they'll break ground in ~Q3 of this year, not sure how official that is, but as now there has been no new work on the property.

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9 hours ago, Triton said:

Do we really think that's enough? So a single sidewalk. I see an orange brick sidewalk coming down, ok. I see some tables and chairs on one of the buildings on the right. Maybe I am just envisioning way too much of a riverwalk area, since I don't think this portion of Buffalo Bayou floods that much. 

Yes, we can all agree this is better than townhomes. But I seriously think there's a missed opportunity here where there should be a very central focus to the water and I'm just not seeing that.

The good thing is East River is broken out into 4-5 phases, so there will be more opportunity.  My only thought on the central focus to the water is that this Buffalo Bayou East extension is meant to be largely recreational. In the above render, it appears they'll have 4 retail sites that face the bayou, but are set back and not right on the water.  Maybe this is party due to the fact they want the trails to cater more to runners, walkers, and bikers?  It's also very possible there are engineering considerations that we are not aware of, similar to the initial outcry many of us had on Barbara Jordan not being torn down to be multiple towers.  

Having said all that, I'm still very excited and bullish on this project and the companies it will attract.  I think later phases could be dramatically different if the bull case/opportunity becomes more clear after Phase 1.  But I certainly agree that this project is one of the few areas of Houston to truly engage water frontage - need to capitalize on this!

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A T-pole with power meter (presumably for a construction trailer) has been installed off Clinton, near Jensen.  Hoping we see that construction trailer soon.   Also, there has been some wining and dining taking place at the swanky little container/lounge set-up that Midway seems to be using to entertain prospective clients.   This little set-up is powered by solar panels, so the T-pole is not for this.  

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3 hours ago, CREguy13 said:

Having said all that, I'm still very excited and bullish on this project and the companies it will attract.

Totally agreed. With all the things I've said, I'm still really excited for this project.

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6 hours ago, CREguy13 said:

The good thing is East River is broken out into 4-5 phases, so there will be more opportunity.  My only thought on the central focus to the water is that this Buffalo Bayou East extension is meant to be largely recreational. In the above render, it appears they'll have 4 retail sites that face the bayou, but are set back and not right on the water.  Maybe this is party due to the fact they want the trails to cater more to runners, walkers, and bikers?  

I think the hike/bike trail along the water's edge is one of the keys.  That is in keeping with the Buffalo Bayou plan. No one has in mind trying to recreate or mimic San Antonio's riverwalk, especially in this part of the bayou. A careful look through the retail leasing website shows they have indeed not turned their back on the bayou but have quite a lot of retail and other spaces that embrace the water front.  The Trailhead 1 Building has a minimum of two good-sized retail (restaurant) spaces with waterfront exposure, including outdoors spaces overlooking the water, all on the ground floor. Plus, that building shows rooftop retail space available, also overlooking the bayou.  To the west of the Trailhead 1 Building is the "River Pavilion", with at least two more good-sized retail spaces on the ground floor, both with waterfront exposure and outdoor spaces overlooking the water.  From the description of the River Pavilion: "The jewel box of Phase I, this restaurant space provides guests with unparalleled views of the Houston skyline, Buffalo Bayou, and the activated hike and bike trails."

I'm not sure what more people were hoping to see here.

Edited by Houston19514
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35 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

I think the hike/bike trail along the water's edge is one of the keys.  That is in keeping with the Buffalo Bayou plan. No one has in mind trying to recreate or mimic San Antonio's riverwalk, especially in this part of the bayou.

Wanted to quote this because it is one of the truer things written on this thread in awhile.

 

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It's good enough. It doesn't need to be the riverwalk. It's a great development. I'm totally excited for this. Ok.. Now that we can get past those same points.

 

I agree with others about the future phases. My hope is that Midway sees how popular this development is and starts actually placing restaurants on the water. 

Hell, they could even add an amphitheater carved out going towards the water for movie night and other events similar to what Pearl in San Antonio does. Pearl has a central square kinda sorta like what East River is doing here but Pearl is much better at integrating with the nearby river, albeit it is a different sort of river (different flow, control, water level, etc.)

I'll finish my point with this and then I'll just move on because the arguments becoming circular. Yes, you guys are right. This could look like any other segment of Buffalo Bayou. It can sync up perfectly with a sidewalk. But it can be so much more.

Screenshot_20210311-221619_Maps.jpg

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10 hours ago, Triton said:

It's good enough. It doesn't need to be the riverwalk. It's a great development. I'm totally excited for this. Ok.. Now that we can get past those same points.

 

I agree with others about the future phases. My hope is that Midway sees how popular this development is and starts actually placing restaurants on the water. 

Hell, they could even add an amphitheater carved out going towards the water for movie night and other events similar to what Pearl in San Antonio does. Pearl has a central square kinda sorta like what East River is doing here but Pearl is much better at integrating with the nearby river, albeit it is a different sort of river (different flow, control, water level, etc.)

I'll finish my point with this and then I'll just move on because the arguments becoming circular. Yes, you guys are right. This could look like any other segment of Buffalo Bayou. It can sync up perfectly with a sidewalk. But it can be so much more.

Sorry to belabor this, but I'm really not understanding what you want from this development. As we've been describing to you, it does provide a number of spaces for restaurants on the water, unless by "on the water" you mean literally "ON the water".  You give us the Pearl as your model of integrating with the river... how many restaurants in the Pearl are on the water? I can find one (and it is "on the water" in exactly the same sense that the restaurant spaces in East River's plan are on the water). The vast majority of the Pearl's restaurants and retail are in coutyards and plazas separated from the river, except for walkways leading down to the river (in that sense quite similar to the plan for the East River.

So, they don't have a plan for an amphitheater like the Pearl's (which, last I knew was still situated next to a riverfront surface parking lot). In Phase 1.  This kind of complaint is one of the things that drives me crazy about HAIFers (and Houstonians in general). No matter what the plan or design, we can ALWAYS find something somewhere that would have been nice to include, meanwhile ignoring all of the ways in which our plans include things not included elsewhere (such as, in this case, multiple restaurants on the water, and no surface parking lots on the water). The ONLY sense in which I can see the Pearl as being more integrated with its river is that the buildings (and surface parking lots) are somewhat closer to the water's edge... but as you acknowledged, it's a different kind of river.

Edited by Houston19514
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On 3/10/2021 at 1:34 PM, Triton said:

I know I kind of stated it earlier in this thread but my main issue that remains with this development is that it currently looks like any other mixed-use development I've seen in other cities.

 

Sure, that sounds great but it's name is East River and it's placing literally zero emphasis on the water. It's placing all of it on two streets that run down the center of it. It needs to shift the focus more towards Buffalo Bayou. All I see is a single sidewalk going down the water... where's the patios, where's the docks, where's the steps that take you all the way down to the water... where's anything indicating this is a RIVER development. It should, at the very least, have some of these characteristics:

 

Early 2020 start eyed for River North project | Nashville Post

 

Edit: 

I can already hear some people saying that at least East River is providing some natural landscaping, some trees and what not along the river. Again, that's great. I'm not saying the river needs to be lined with wood for patios and concrete. 

Here's what I'm saying. Here, look at these 2 pictures for East River

East-River-Phase-1_view5_6-20_2680x1400_

^ In this photo above, nothing is pointing towards the water. It's just a sidewalk.

All the restaurant and bar activity is on the street in this next photo:

EastRiver_Exterior_%D0%A1am3_HD3500_1220

 

Tell me I'm not the only one seeing a huge missed opportunity here for East RIVER.

from the PDF linked by @Naviguessor (thanks!) it appears there are 2 building segments of the first phase that have GFR that are on the 'water edge' I would find it hard to believe if the GFR doesn't offer patio space to any restaurant/bar that faces the Bayou. sure, it isn't riverwalk close to the Bayou, but do you really want to be that close to the bayou when eating? flood mitigation as well is a good reason to not be right next to it.

additionally, building F is designated as having a rooftop section. page 11 shows that rooftop section pictured, which has the bayou in the foreground, indicating that the building rooftop access will be facing south, and west, giving premium views of the downtown skyline, and a bayou look (without showing off the industrial part to the east).

if you've been to the new potato, you'll agree that the skyline view from here is pretty awesome.

FVn4VC7.jpg

anyway, it looks like they aren't ignoring their prime asset, which is the bayou, and the skyline, even if they are not building right up on the edge of the bayou, which is ok.

edit: and here's building E as well, one of the mockup images shows patio space facing the bayou and downtown as well as the summary of the building...

wSgC33I.jpg

not really sure what more is wanted here...

Edited by samagon
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2 hours ago, samagon said:

from the PDF linked by @Naviguessor (thanks!) it appears there are 2 building segments of the first phase that have GFR that are on the 'water edge' I would find it hard to believe if the GFR doesn't offer patio space to any restaurant/bar that faces the Bayou. sure, it isn't riverwalk close to the Bayou, but do you really want to be that close to the bayou when eating? flood mitigation as well is a good reason to not be right next to it.

additionally, building F is designated as having a rooftop section. page 11 shows that rooftop section pictured, which has the bayou in the foreground, indicating that the building rooftop access will be facing south, and west, giving premium views of the downtown skyline, and a bayou look (without showing off the industrial part to the east).

if you've been to the new potato, you'll agree that the skyline view from here is pretty awesome.

FVn4VC7.jpg

anyway, it looks like they aren't ignoring their prime asset, which is the bayou, and the skyline, even if they are not building right up on the edge of the bayou, which is ok.

edit: and here's building E as well, one of the mockup images shows patio space facing the bayou and downtown as well as the summary of the building...

wSgC33I.jpg

not really sure what more is wanted here...

I want floating buildings on the water with water level retail and underwater basements

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1 hour ago, pablog said:

I want floating buildings on the water with water level retail and underwater basements

You joke, but after visiting Belgrade I wondered how we could get our own Splav District going in Houston. They have old shipping barges which are converted to cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, and we even stayed in a floating hostel. I think it works by securing a docking lease for the section of riverbank you tie up to.

88937472-splav-river-barge-night-clubs-o

Edited by phillip_white
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25 minutes ago, phillip_white said:

You joke, but after visiting Belgrade I wondered how we could get our own Splav District going in Houston. They have old shipping barges which are converted to cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, and we even stayed in a floating hostel. I think it works by securing a docking lease for the section of riverbank you tie up to.

88937472-splav-river-barge-night-clubs-o

For starters, you'd need to find a much wider river than we currently have...  ;-)

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It does seem like this is something that can be put together very quickly, given the limited construction needed and the inherent small scale of a par 3 course. 

I guess I need to hit the range, since I haven't swung a club in over a year. . . 

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5 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

For starters, you'd need to find a much wider river than we currently have...  ;-)

Not necessarily. Splavs hug the bank. The bayou east of downtown could accommodate barges on both sides and still have room for traffic in between.

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:11 PM, CREguy13 said:

Midway noting preliminary negotiations being underway for build-to-suit opportunities is interesting, even if only preliminary.  This development takes off quickly, if a company decides to relocate its headquarters here... 

Preferably a company from outside Houston and most preferable is 'companies' with interests in space exploration, EVs, clean/battery tech 😎

This is not an update, but a quick observation.  I've long felt that if SpaceX moved its headquarters to Houston (which I honestly believe may happen) that outside of the new Houston spaceport, East River presents the most attractive location. 

SpaceX posted 30-35 new job postings a few days ago in Houston, largely engineering positions. I'm genuinely curious on what this news means and where they are looking for offices - I'd be shocked if all these positions work from home...

Totally separate, but I find it funny Austin received so much press a few weeks ago on just a few job postings and barely any concrete news from the company ha.  Meanwhile we have almost 40 open jobs and not a peep 😂

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3 hours ago, CREguy13 said:

This is not an update, but a quick observation.  I've long felt that if SpaceX moved its headquarters to Houston (which I honestly believe may happen) that outside of the new Houston spaceport, East River presents the most attractive location. 

SpaceX posted 30-35 new job postings a few days ago in Houston, largely engineering positions. I'm genuinely curious on what this news means and where they are looking for offices - I'd be shocked if all these positions work from home...

Totally separate, but I find it funny Austin received so much press a few weeks ago on just a few job postings and barely any concrete news from the company ha.  Meanwhile we have almost 40 open jobs and not a peep 😂

They already have an office here in Houston (Near Bay Area Blvd and Saturn Ln intersection). It's a liaison and integration office for their Cargo and Crew Dragons since the planning groups at NASA Johnson are telling them who and what to put on the Dragons. Northrop Grumman also has a facility for this purpose for Cygnus as does Boeing for Starliner and Sierra Nevada for the Dream Chaser.

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3 hours ago, texan said:

They already have an office here in Houston (Near Bay Area Blvd and Saturn Ln intersection). It's a liaison and integration office for their Cargo and Crew Dragons since the planning groups at NASA Johnson are telling them who and what to put on the Dragons. Northrop Grumman also has a facility for this purpose for Cygnus as does Boeing for Starliner and Sierra Nevada for the Dream Chaser.

Understand they have an office in Clear Lake, but to my knowledge it is very small. Certainly not large enough to accommodate the number of jobs they are now hiring for.  I could be wrong which is often the case!

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14 hours ago, CREguy13 said:

Understand they have an office in Clear Lake, but to my knowledge it is very small. Certainly not large enough to accommodate the number of jobs they are now hiring for.  I could be wrong which is often the case!

Didn't mean to shoot you down! Was just sharing the info I had. While East River would definitely make for a great office environment for them, I'd love to see them grow in Clear Lake. I think it would be really awesome to have a major cluster of spaceflight companies down there and see how that area grows over the next 10-20 years. Any SpaceX presence is welcome anywhere in the city by me though, especially in a development as exciting as East River!

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The aerospace companies in Clear Lake have fairly small offices because the majority of contractors support onsite at JSC. I wouldn't get your hopes up quite yet on those extra job postings. I worked 5+ years under multiple contractors and all of my offices were onsite at NASA. That's almost guaranteed that they'll spend the majority of their time on site if those roles are supporting the integration office.

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On 3/19/2021 at 9:46 AM, CREguy13 said:

This is not an update, but a quick observation.  I've long felt that if SpaceX moved its headquarters to Houston (which I honestly believe may happen) that outside of the new Houston spaceport, East River presents the most attractive location. 

SpaceX posted 30-35 new job postings a few days ago in Houston, largely engineering positions. I'm genuinely curious on what this news means and where they are looking for offices - I'd be shocked if all these positions work from home...

Totally separate, but I find it funny Austin received so much press a few weeks ago on just a few job postings and barely any concrete news from the company ha.  Meanwhile we have almost 40 open jobs and not a peep 😂

Not questioning, just curious, but do you have a source for the job posting? I don't see anything on their website last I checked.

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On 3/10/2021 at 2:27 PM, strickn said:

It is surprisingly hard to get an urban atmosphere without financing it the way urban atmospheres were actually financed.  These building blocks are never going to add up to that feel.  

Houston Heights was promoted by a central player with an 1890s financing stack, yes, and so were denser parts of many cities all over the country that now have lofts and offices and workshops -- but the pieces were small enough that many could add to them and modify them personally over time.  Look at these plans and ask yourself where that would ever happen here.

 

This is an under-appreciated fact that often goes overlooked by "new urbanists". The long-term quality/walkability of an area is to a very large extent determined by two factors: effective street width (distance between opposite façades, not just roadway width), and average parcel width. The former provides human scale and a sense of enclosure, the latter provides granularity and variety as you walk along it.

 

This development is better than most with respect to street width, (it's probably about the minimum the city will allow), but each blockface is a single building in most cases.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So...there was a big event held here today, but it wasn't a ground breaking.   Appeared to be an inhouse Midway function.  Award ceremony or something.  Tons of cars and people is suits.    

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1 hour ago, 77011transplant said:

The first time we passed that sign, my partner said, "Wouldn't pancakes taste better?" 

It's actually a pretty fun event that has been held at Market Square Park for years. It usually draws pretty big crowds but I'm not sure how well it's gonna do at this new venue. Hope it does so good that they do it here every year though.

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15 hours ago, hindesky said:

 

 

QKsH2nj.jpg

 

 

looking at this picture again, and not to beat a dead horse (too late I guess), not sure how anyone can say they aren't designing this to take full advantage of their assets: aka downtown skyline and bayou frontage.

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On 3/12/2021 at 3:38 PM, Paco Jones said:

Project:

Riverhouse Restaurant and Golf Course

 

Location:

65 Hirsch Road

Houston, TX 77020

(Previously 4100 Clinton Drive)

 

Owner:

East River Lead Ventures, LLC (Midway Companies)

 

Architect:

Phil Schawe Architect

 

Information:

Renovations and additions of an existing warehouse facility in East End Houston into a full restaurant and bar named “Riverhouse” (approximately 14,370 SF). It will anchor a public, 9-hole, par 3 golf course in Midway’s East River. This will be moving forward soon.

The red dashed line on the floorplan denotes the new addition.

 

ajCR6Bl.png

 

ksHWCLb.png

 

8VjJUiN.png

Is this going to be purely virtual golf or is there going to be a physical pitch and putt?

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10 hours ago, BuffaloBayouBred said:

Is this going to be purely virtual golf or is there going to be a physical pitch and putt?

East9 will be an actual 9 hole course with driving range and restaurant/bar

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12 hours ago, BuffaloBayouBred said:

Do you have a link to the project info?

The work is supposed to start this week and a press release should be mid June.  No link, just getting from someone involved in the golf/restaurant part of the project

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Puppies for Breakfast is going on today until 3 pm at East River.

Midway has an East River tent set up with a few reps present, if anyone has any questions they want to ask point blank.

12A36E4B-DC78-4472-B732-81B077F9DFA9.jpeg

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On 4/18/2021 at 8:33 PM, 77011transplant said:

The first time we passed that sign, my partner said, "Wouldn't pancakes taste better?" 

I feel like Pancakes with Puppies sounds a little better lol

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But "Puppies for Breakfast" got your attention and you remember it.

Hope those events do well and it doesn't turn into Coffee with Cars. I guess the equivalent would be trashy people with aggressive dogs coming and ruining it for everyone.

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