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GreenStreet And The Laura Hotel, Autograph Collection


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"...Hotel Alessandra's interior design will reflect a strong vertical design and an overall minimalist approach to decor."

 

Sigh.  Possible translation: "If you love the exterior, just wait until you see our interior!"  Lol.

If they are talking about a minimalist interior I'm excited to see. If they are calling their exterior minimalist they are wrong entirely.

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Rottet Studios is designing the interiors?! Did you all miss that??

So, this WILL be a very high-end hotel indeed. Midway is putting its money where it matters (at least to the hotel customers, if not to haif posters). You can bet top dollar that this will be one of Houston's best hotels, no sexy exterior needed.

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Text herson:


 

Midway Unveils New Details to Luxury 225-Room Hotel Alessandra at GreenStreet

 
Downtown hotel to feature a contemporary and lavish design complete with aerial views, a sky-lounge bar, and opulent ballrooms and meeting spaces
 
HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 29, 2015) – A new luxury hotel brand will soon debut in downtown Houston as demolition work begins making way for Hotel Alessandra. This week, Houston-based Midway, a fully integrated real estate investment and development firm, in partnership with Valencia Group, an award-winning hospitality management and development company, released a new rendering and details on the luxury hotel. Plans reveal a sleek and contemporary exterior design, complemented with sophisticated and luxurious finishes that emphasize Hotel Alessandra’s cosmopolitan feel. 
 
“Hotel Alessandra will bring together beautiful simplicity founded in a modern interpretation of European style,” said Jonathan Brinsden, CEO for Midway. “As we continued the hotel’s design development, we felt the design should be reflective of timeless sophistication.”
 
Slated to debut in late 2016, the luxury 21-story sky-rise hotel will be housed at GreenStreet – the mixed-use shopping and entertainment development whose anchor tenants include House of Blues and III Forks Steakhouse – and conveniently located just steps to nearby downtown destinations such as the George R. Brown Convention Center, Toyota Center and Discovery Green. 
 
“Downtown Houston continues to experience a variety of successes, from the revitalization of its Historic District to the development of new residential and office towers,” said Brinsden. “As demand for high-end hotel in the downtown area remains high, Hotel Alessandra will serve as an important piece to the puzzle that will help transform downtown Houston into a vibrant and well-rounded urban environment,” Brinsden adds. 
 
Inspired by Houston’s towering skyscrapers and GreenStreet’s modernist themes, Hotel Alessandra’s interior design will reflect a strong vertical design and an overall minimalist approach to decor. An appreciation of height, space and natural light also will be apparent throughout the hotel, from the soaring ceilings in the lobby to the beautiful, luxurious decor of its suites and guest rooms. And while a traditional hotel lobby is typically found at the ground level, Hotel Alessandra has chosen to break hotel convention by allocating both its lobby, lounge and hotel restaurant above ground level on the second floor. Retail spaces will be reserved for the first level.
 
International architecture and design firm, Rottet Studio, is spearheading the interior design of Hotel Alessandra. With an extensive portfolio of corporate and hospitality projects for the world’s leading companies and brands, the firm brings excellence to the design process.
 
“Rottet Studio is pleased to personify the Hotel Alessandra brand through a luxurious experience and refined details,” said Lauren Rottet, Founder for Rottet Studio. “Alessandra transplants old world luxury to blend seamlessly with Southern charm, sophistication and a business savvy mindset.”
 
“Hotel Alessandra will be the newest brand in Valencia Group’s acclaimed portfolio,” says Valencia Group President and CEO Doyle Graham, Jr. “The hotel’s unique location in downtown Houston aligns with our specialty in creating distinct properties that are appealing to the well-seasoned traveler who is looking for comfort, sophistication and an overall elevated hospitality option. We look forward to providing a luxurious five-star experience for visitors and locals alike,” Graham continues. 
 
Additional amenities to the hotel will include meeting spaces and a ballroom on the third floor, a decadent spa, pool and fitness center on the fifth, and one of the most highly anticipated features to the property, Hotel Alessandra’s sky-deck bar on its 21st floor. With sweeping views of the Bayou City, the hotel also has designated space on its top floor for additional meeting or event space. Plans also include approximately 225 elegant rooms and suites with oversized bathrooms. 
 
“The completion of Hotel Alessandra will be a significant milestone in the longstanding relationship between Midway, the City of Houston and our distinguished business partners involved in this project,” Brinsden continues. “With the hotel’s ability to offer world-class luxury in an ideal area of downtown, the hotel will no doubt be a major attraction and complement Houston’s ability in being a best-in-class destination for national conventions and events."
 
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Modern interpretation of european style? hum... what part of europe I been to Paris and don't remember seeing anything similar to this or is Paris different then any where else in Europe? 

 

Europe is a lot more diverse than Paris.

 

Visually, Paris is like Vienna and Prague and Rome and parts of Berlin.

 

But none of them are anything like Stockholm or Copenhagen.

 

And none of those are like Frankfurt or Manchester or Rotterdam.

 

And none of the above are like Istanbul, Greece, and Malta.

 

That hotel would fit in well in Hamburg or Rotterdam or some of the second-tier British or French cities.

 

Also, once you get past the touristy zones of Paris this happens:

 

PARIS1480.jpg

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It really isn't as bad as people are saying!  Yes, it isn't as interesting as the previous design (though really did any of you expect a retractable roof HOTEL to be built?)  That said - people saying "Austin or Dallas get better hotels..." - wrong!  This thing looks just like buildings in both of those cities (similar design features and architectural styles).

 

Decry the loss of the Glassell School (even though we are getting a nice replacement for it) but don't cry over some spilled milk about having this hotel rather than that thin little blue-glass building.  And like someone said above "the interior of this hotel is what is important."

 

I wonder if the uproar would be so loud if it had a ......... "W" on it?  Doubtful.

 

We should be glad someone who knows what the heck they are doing is investing in this soon to otherwise be dead development.

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Ugh. Just dont build it. The empty Yaos restaurant that stands as a stark reminder of the Pavilions failure is better looking.

 

Really?  I mean really?  This coming from a guy who drives a porsche.  :P 

 

No.  Yao's serves as a reminder that most of us couldn't care less about eating at some athletes dinner.  We want to see them play, not eat some food a mediocre chef creates for a mediocre restaurant.  The Pavillions was poorly designed, and on the wrong side of Downtown.  Blame the original developer for that.

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Ugh. Just dont build it. The empty Yaos restaurant that stands as a stark reminder of the Pavilions failure is better looking.

No. Build it. Sure we're all disappointed about the design changes. But let's not lose sight of the goal, to change our city center into a vibrant active destination it should be. This hotel will still contribute to that, just as a slightly scaled back JW Marriott currently is.

Edited by tigereye
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No. Build it. Sure we're all disappointed about the design changes. But let's not lose sight of the goal, to change our city center into a vibrant active destination it should be. This hotel will still contribute to that, just as a slightly scaled back JW Marriott currently is.

Yeaaaaa, I know, I wasn't being serious.
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unnamed.png


ok look, every since the unveiling of the newest rendering / concept as per hotel alessandra, i have been trying earnest to come to terms.. and learn to find this design appealing to some degree.


however, as the truth be told.. this newest design often reminds me of a tall stick figure.  straight as an arrow.. foreboding.. dark and with a slight hint of desperation.


and yet, the longer that you continue to gaze at it... you just know that there is a warm beating heart glowing upon the inside.


please midway cos., keep the spin machine spinning.  at some point i shall get it!


trust me, i am trying....


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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Design-for-planned-downtown-hotel-gets-a-revision-6048121.php#/0 

 

- "As part of the design changes, the hotel's entrance is also moving from the interior of GreenStreet onto Dallas. The hotel's lobby will be moved to the second level, as compared to the initial plan that put it on the top floor. The ground floor will contain retail space."

 

- Stephen "Jamie" Bryant, executive vice president of Midway, said the company is working with a "well-known tenant" and a restaurant to take much of the retail space that formerly housed Books-A-Million.

 

- The company is also marketing some of GreenStreet's second-floor space to office tenants who want to be downtown but not in a traditional skyscraper.

Edited by DrLan34
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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Design-for-planned-downtown-hotel-gets-a-revision-6048121.php#/0 

 

- "As part of the design changes, the hotel's entrance is also moving from the interior of GreenStreet onto Dallas. The hotel's lobby will be moved to the second level, as compared to the initial plan that put it on the top floor. The ground floor will contain retail space."

 

- Stephen "Jamie" Bryant, executive vice president of Midway, said the company is working with a "well-known tenant" and a restaurant to take much of the retail space that formerly housed Books-A-Million.

 

- The company is also marketing some of GreenStreet's second-floor space to office tenants who want to be downtown but not in a traditional skyscraper.

 

they need to aggressively market tech/software companies for the second floor office space. most traditional office users wouldn't touch it but you could really help create a nice vibe and a lot of millenials if they geared their efforts towards that end of the office using spectrum.

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they need to aggressively market tech/software companies for the second floor office space. most traditional office users wouldn't touch it but you could really help create a nice vibe and a lot of millenials if they geared their efforts towards that end of the office using spectrum.

Or, they could focus on renters in the art space. They already rented to an art gallery. They could market to artists or an art coop. Folks needing non- traditional space also close to rail.

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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Text herson:


 

Midway Unveils New Details to Luxury 225-Room Hotel Alessandra at GreenStreet

 
 
Slated to debut in late 2016, the luxury 21-story sky-rise hotel will be housed at GreenStreet – the mixed-use shopping and entertainment development whose anchor tenants include House of Blues and III Forks Steakhouse – and conveniently located just steps to nearby downtown destinations such as the George R. Brown Convention Center, Toyota Center and Discovery Green. 
 

 

 

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but I find it strange that the press release highlighted anchor tenants House of Blues and III Forks Steakhouse rather than "House of Blues and Forever 21".

 

Is Forever 21 going away or something? I'm always afraid of it failing because I never see it as busy as other locations such as the Galleria and Memorial City. 

Edited by 'Stonian
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Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but I find it strange that the press release highlighted anchor tenants House of Blues and III Forks Steakhouse rather than "House of Blues and Forever 21".

Is Forever 21 going away or something? I'm always afraid of it failing because I never see it as busy as other locations such as the Galleria and Memorial City.

Ya, me too.

With the construction that will take place next door, I am uncertain what the impact will be on F21. But, if they leave, it will really suck. My wife shops there routine on the weekends. It is never mobbed but has a good flow. I buy the occasion tee there (upstairs has a small men's area).....I hope they make it.

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Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but I find it strange that the press release highlighted anchor tenants House of Blues and III Forks Steakhouse rather than "House of Blues and Forever 21".

 

Is Forever 21 going away or something? I'm always afraid of it failing because I never see it as busy as other locations such as the Galleria and Memorial City. 

 

They didnt name NRG, Lucky Strike, Mia Bella, Andalucia, BCBG, McCormmick's, or Guadlajara ...are they leaving too? Nahhh ...I think they just picked names that would be most appealing to business clientele whom are most likely to fill their reservations. A Steakhouse and Entertainment sounds about the right mix to highlight in a press release about a new hotel in the middle of a city center. IMO, Forever XXI is likely safe as it always seems to have a steady stream of customers now. Imagine when Hotel Alessandra, Spring Hill Inn Humble Tower renovation, and 1111 Travis all are complete....

 

What will be interesting is to see what becomes of the Books-A-Million space... depending on who leases the space and with all the surrounding development ongoing, it could really help transform the Main St Gateway into GreenStreet. Cant wait to see how this all turns out.

 

 Stephen "Jamie" Bryant, executive vice president of Midway, said the company is working with a "well-known tenant" and a restaurant to take much of the retail space that formerly housed Books-A-Million.
Edited by tigereye
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Compare West Avenue with the wildly successful Hanover Rice Village.

 

One embraces the street. Built extra wide sidewalks. Built a plaza that is open to the street. Put in restaurants that also "got it" and put patios out front to draw in people passing by. It also is adjacent to an area that people walk around (Rice Village) so it expands the footprint of where people perceive it to be safe to walk.

 

The other turned its back on the street. There are no wide sidewalks along Kirby or Westheimer. There are no bustling patios filled with happy people eating long weekend brunches. To the person whizzing by in a car, unless you knew, you wouldn't know that there are some great places to go because the whole thing seems private. The neighbors are also hostile to pedestrians in their built form. 

 

Same could be said about Post Midtown Square vs. Green Street.

 

The model of how to build a successful mixed use project in this city exists. It just seems developers here are a bit slow to take it all in...

 

For the record, while the reference to "developers here" suggests it is Houston developers who are a bit slow to take it all in, neither Green Street (nee Pavilions) nor West Ave. were developed by Houston developers.  On the other hand, the wildly successful Hanover Rice Village was developed by a Houston developer.

 

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For the record, while the reference to "developers here" suggests it is Houston developers who are a bit slow to take it all in, neither Green Street (nee Pavilions) nor West Ave. were developed by Houston developers. On the other hand, the wildly successful Hanover Rice Village was developed by a Houston developer.

Great reply! But we do like new ideas. Like the Regent Square (if it gets built in our lifetime)

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Compare West Avenue with the wildly successful Hanover Rice Village.

 

One embraces the street. Built extra wide sidewalks. Built a plaza that is open to the street. Put in restaurants that also "got it" and put patios out front to draw in people passing by. It also is adjacent to an area that people walk around (Rice Village) so it expands the footprint of where people perceive it to be safe to walk.

 

The other turned its back on the street. There are no wide sidewalks along Kirby or Westheimer. There are no bustling patios filled with happy people eating long weekend brunches. To the person whizzing by in a car, unless you knew, you wouldn't know that there are some great places to go because the whole thing seems private. The neighbors are also hostile to pedestrians in their built form. 

 

Same could be said about Post Midtown Square vs. Green Street.

 

The model of how to build a successful mixed use project in this city exists. It just seems developers here are a bit slow to take it all in...

 

Excellent analysis. One correction is there there are sidewalks next to West Ave on the Kirby side, but of course the main entrances aren't along Kirby so they might as well have just landscaped right up to the building. I think West Ave is fixable and all it needs a nudge in the right direction where you begin to punch holes into the facade to open up both ends. Same could be said for Greenstreet as well. While it was a nice effort to try and replicate condensed corridors like you see in Europe it just comes off as forced or in our context it feels like an outlet mall. It's actually a great idea to create these interior spaces, but if they aren't connected in some fashion to the street or where people would naturally enter from then it's going to look as if the building isn't very inviting.

 

The same could be said for that new development on Richmond and Dunlavy (which I just took pics of the other day) Once again a textbook case where the building completely ignores the street in favor of being it's own secluded thing. You want to talk about a place where GFR would have been very successful would have been on that corner. People walk in Montrose a lot and it was a golden opportunity to spark a new pedestrian culture in that area and instead it wastes it on a 2 story garage set back 25' from the street. I will give it some points for making the sidewalks nice, but other than that a missed opportunity.

 

The Midtown midrises on Gray street are still my fav development that interacts well with the street and it's surrounding context.

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Is Forever 21 going away or something? I'm always afraid of it failing because I never see it as busy as other locations such as the Galleria and Memorial City. 

 

Forever 21 does not strike me as the kind of marquee retail destination that III Forks represents. It's like having Charming Charlie's as a signature tenant.

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Delia's is going out of business. The 'tween market is a cutthroat place to be.

 

Probably because one of the most glare demographic that isn't seen in downtown are families especially those families with younger children or teens. Downtown has singles, or couples, or newly married, or older professionals, but not a lot of families. Only the younger crowd shops at Forever XXI, but there is the biggest problem. There are very few people that live in downtown that are part of that younger demographic.

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Probably because one of the most glare demographic that isn't seen in downtown are families especially those families with younger children or teens. Downtown has singles, or couples, or newly married, or older professionals, but not a lot of families. Only the younger crowd shops at Forever XXI, but there is the biggest problem. There are very few people that live in downtown that are part of that younger demographic.

And unfortunately the XXL Downtown isn't anything spectacular. I went there once to check it out. Actually none of the Houston area stores are anything compared to the selection at Willowbrook (surprisingly). Even the H&M is better there than the Galleria.

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Only the younger crowd shops at Forever XXI, but there is the biggest problem.

And here is where I call bullshit.

Have you shopped there?

Me (fifty something) and my wife (fifty something) BOTH shop there. And while I would agree that the demographic is geared toward a younger crowd, MANY of the folks in the store are OVER 35 if not over 40. Older buyers need to focus on "age appropriate clothing" and hunt for it in the store. It is not always easy to find but to say that "only" a younger crowd shops there is flat wrong and speaks to someone who is more prone to write about experiences that he (or she) has never actually experienced in person (hearsay) over multiple visits over many months (or more) than someone who has actually been three dozen times.

Have you been to F21 downtown 30 times over the last 2 years? and, have you personally looked at the age of the shoppers at the downtown store? Or, are you just repeating what you have been "told"?

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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From the article:

 

"In terms of architecture, we think about context," Kifer said. "You look at the surrounding areas and look at the scale, and how the other windows and rooftops and details line up, so yours is compatible. That is what we did in the new design."

 

Hmmmmmm.  I was unaware that the scale and details of nearby buildings was of much aesthetic concern in the middle of a central business district.  

 

 

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I won't comment anymore on the actual building, since some ppl on this forum seem to bemoan criticism.  I will objectively state that this is turning into a PR nightmare for Midway.  They (and their agents/cohorts) need to just stop talking.  No more press releases and interviews.  Start building the thing and move on.

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I won't comment anymore on the actual building, since some ppl on this forum seem to bemoan criticism. I will objectively state that this is turning into a PR nightmare for Midway. They (and their agents/cohorts) need to just stop talking. No more press releases and interviews. Start building the thing and move on.

I wouldn't call it a nightmare. The average person doesn't even know it's going to be built, much less what the original design called for.

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I wouldn't call it a nightmare. The average person doesn't even know it's going to be built, much less what the original design called for.

That is sort of correct. But people living in the loop catch wind of such things on social media. I assume they didn't expect this much backlash, but the townsfolk won't be burning down CityCentre and rioting down Greenstreet.

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  • The title was changed to Scott Gertner's New Downtown Venue
  • The title was changed to GreenStreet And The Laura Hotel, Autograph Collection

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