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GreenStreet And The Laura Hotel, Autograph Collection


JLWM8609

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"When asked if cost was a factor in the redesign, Kifer referred HBJ to Midway. Midway didn't respond to multiple requests for comment"

I wonder why :lol:

 

The best indicator of cost cutting value engineering is the statement that the hotel will lose 4 floors but still have the same number of rooms. Smaller rooms, obviously; the customer experience is going to suffer. <_<

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The best indicator of cost cutting value engineering is the statement that the hotel will lose 4 floors but still have the same number of rooms. Smaller rooms, obviously; the customer experience is going to suffer. <_<

 

What are the chances that Midway caught wind of info that some other very high end hotel--as of yet unannounced but in the development pipeline--will build Downtown, and decided to aim just a bit lower than before because they know they won't be the most luxurious anyway? Speculating, but cutting your losses makes sense when you know you can't compete.

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What are the chances that Midway caught wind of info that some other very high end hotel--as of yet unannounced but in the development pipeline--will build Downtown, and decided to aim just a bit lower than before because they know they won't be the most luxurious anyway? Speculating, but cutting your losses makes sense when you know you can't compete.

 

No disrespect to you at all, but I have never heard of this scenario ever play out. I mean never. If you have the chance to build it then you build it. If they were actually worried about their competition they would build it better because that's their competition.

 

I know people are really pissed off at Midway, but it's not like someone goes into something and says, "you know what? I want to aim for mediocre!" Bullcrap. They didn't agree with the initial design and so they changed to what THEY thought would look best. You know what? They didn't have to release the new renderings, but they did so I think they are confident in their product, and were thinking about all of greenstreet instead of just one building. Like I have said before, I wish they had done the other building, but the context argument is genuine. Site and context are just as important as the building itself. If that was more important to them than having the building be all crazy looking and standout from it's neighbors then I will say they chose the better design for their purposes. One fits into it's surroundings while the other one is more bold and attention seeking.

 

Sparrow, I actually want you to ask yourself that same question that if you were in that same situation would actually DOWNGRADE your building because of competition? That makes no logical sense even in a speculative manner, but I point this out because this has become the prevailing theme in the thread as a whole in that this building is a downgrade when no one has really taken into account what Midway wanted from the very beginning. Clearly Gensler went in a different direction than what Midway wanted initially and until the pricing for the project came in they were probably ok with it, but when it came down too it they probably were at odds with the project from the beginning. They are two completely different style of buildings and should be treated as such and if the client got exactly what they wanted (which looks like they did) then this building is a success because that is the most important thing an architect is suppose to do. I champion all the time on here about architecture as an art form, but an architect is suppose to navigate the clients needs with their own desires for the project.

Edited by Luminare
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Like I have said before, I wish they had done the other building, but the context argument is genuine. Site and context are just as important as the building itself. If that was more important to them than having the building be all crazy looking and standout from it's neighbors then I will say they chose the better design for their purposes. One fits into it's surroundings while the other one is more bold and attention seeking

Uhhhh, so, since when does the original design standing out from its surroundings because its so freakin sleek and badass make it a BAD thing?

Im not buying the logic here, "Its surroundings are alot shorter and uglier so we decided to make our product shorter and uglier to match the surroundings."

Yea, no. :rolleyes:

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For me, a bold and attention seeking 25 story hotel with a sky lobby, sky pool, LED outline, and a retractable roof would have been better than the 20 story generic pile of crap we were left with.

 

I actually agree with you, but that's only because my sensibilities are more towards architecture that is very sensationalist, bold, and visually complex. However, there are times when the design calls for something more understated. If done in the right way its very elegant and seamless with the larger fabric and framework of the greater whole. Additions to existing complexes, restorations, simply building something within an already established system all call for architecture which complements whats already there to some degree. Of course sometimes those very same things can go in a completely opposite direction (or in other words a departure from the original). It all depends on the situation.

 

There have been a couple times in Architecture schoool where this was the case and it happens in actual industry. Am I happy the direction Midway took it, no. I think the property that they inherited was not very well conceived in the beginning and so they should take the complex in a new direction aesthetically. With that being said, I completely understand why they went in this direction and I think the design is rather good for the choice that they made and from a few comments before where someone actually saw the valued engineered version of the design we want, it's probably better that they took this direction.

 

Midway with this decision is clearly looking at Greenstreet as a single entity and not a collection of stuff. This means that they are more concerned with the aesthetics of the whole rather than the look of a few standout buildings. I mean think about what happens when they do build the original design. It would be such a stark contrast between the new building and the older complex that it make mean that the whole thing might need to be adjusted to flow with the hotel design.

 

What I'm saying is that most in this thread fail to see the greater implications of these decisions. Midway owns the whole thing not just the small piece of land which the building will raise from. Design is way more complicated than simply whether something looks cool/not cool, or like/not like.

Edited by Luminare
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I think the property that they inherited was not very well conceived in the beginning and so they should take the complex in a new direction aesthetically....

It would be such a stark contrast between the new building and the older complex that it make mean that the whole thing might need to be adjusted to flow with the hotel design.

Which do you think would be more prudent in the long term (keeping cost in mind) upgrading the surroundings to keep up with the hotel or downgrade plans for the hotel to keep in line with the surroundings?

Didn't GSM just get some touch up?

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sure but really when you look at it, it was just a bunch of finish changes, new paint, and pavers. Not much.

Correct.

Take a look at the original renderings for greenstreet that midway put out a couple of years ago. Look at it now. To me, they are not even close. One was a terrific vision of the future. The other is some grass and pavers.

Now midway publishes the first hotel. Then publishes a much revised hotel that is much less lofty. Then they suggest that the first hotel "did not fit the surroundings"..... Well, I agree. And, the reason I agree is because they haven't done much to greenstreet to fulfil their original vision.

Midway has only owned the property for a couple of years. That is not much time to make the changes needed to fulfill the original vision. Perhaps over the next 3 years that vision will be realized. I hope so.

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Here's one thing that gives me some support for being optimistic:  despite being unimpressed with the renderings for City Center (Centre?), as well as how it looks as realized ... it seems to be very successful and conveys a sense of energy that draws people to it.  To me, the little public plaza area is great.  I love to watch the little kids play there, whose parents come from all around the world.

 

If they can replicate that success at Greenstreet -- even with boring architecture -- I will be happy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A Lil birdie just told me they're going to implode the hotel area soon... no timetable yet.

They're still doing electrical work to move the power for Forever 21

Id presume by Spring Break as construction is supposed to start in April. As soon as I get deets on demo work, will pass along.

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I'll happily defer to someone with more knowledge on the subject, and I certainly loves me some mayhem :ph34r: , but isn't implosion a bit of overkill, as well as a pretty fair amount of risk for a two story structure that's at least somewhat attached to adjacent things that will remain?

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I'll happily defer to someone with more knowledge on the subject, and I certainly loves me some mayhem :ph34r: , but isn't implosion a bit of overkill, as well as a pretty fair amount of risk for a two story structure that's at least somewhat attached to adjacent things that will remain?

 

I think what was more overkill was Tumbleweed actually using the word "implode". I don't think they will do any "implosion". They will most likely do a very careful demolition. It's not only the stores around it they have to worry about, but also the bridge on the second floor!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Eventually, the majority will be retail.  I would bet that most of these leases are no longer than 5 years.. retail follows residents.  It makes sense for Midway to have restaurants now, because there are thousands of workers for lunch/dinner crowds throughout the week.  It also makes sense for Midway to keep these leases short-term, so in a few years they can swap in new tenants if demand is created from the influx of hotel rooms and downtown residents; barring any renewal rights from existing tenants of course.  My guess is they will start being selective for new tenants in the next 12 months as a number of units start to deliver.

 

My long-term prediction is that existing galleria-area tenants will either open second locations or close their doors and relocate downtown/midtown.  So many people (outside of millenials) are wanting to move inside the loop and be closer to the core.  The market should follow.

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Eventually, the majority will be retail.  I would bet that most of these leases are no longer than 5 years.. retail follows residents.  It makes sense for Midway to have restaurants now, because there are thousands of workers for lunch/dinner crowds throughout the week.  It also makes sense for Midway to keep these leases short-term, so in a few years they can swap in new tenants if demand is created from the influx of hotel rooms and downtown residents; barring any renewal rights from existing tenants of course.  My guess is they will start being selective for new tenants in the next 12 months as a number of units start to deliver.

 

My long-term prediction is that existing galleria-area tenants will either open second locations or close their doors and relocate downtown/midtown.  So many people (outside of millenials) are wanting to move inside the loop and be closer to the core.  The market should follow.

 

Maybe, but I just don't see retailers choosing downtown over the galleria.  The galleria is clearly the location of choice, and growing stronger.  What's wrong with a coffee shop by the way?  

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With all the development going in just south of Greenstreet (2 sky houses of residential, the existing Houston house residential, and the block 334 construction workers) a good coffee shop is a must for the area.  That being said, sometimes I do want to buy pants without driving somewhere.

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My long-term prediction is that existing galleria-area tenants will either open second locations or close their doors and relocate downtown/midtown.  So many people (outside of millenials) are wanting to move inside the loop and be closer to the core.  The market should follow.

I seriously doubt the high-end luxury retailers would give up their west side locations for Downtown. I mean, a city like New York only has 2 Chanel locations (and we are light years away).

 

I can see affordable middle class options opening up Downtown, the kind of stores you see in suburban shopping malls. It's already happened with just a hand full at Green Street. I don't see why the stores would necessarily have to close shop to open Downtown. While Downtown has a few multi-million dollar condos,  it has no where near the money power of the Galleria. 

 

Certain stores can it make it that close. All they need is the demographics and the population. Look at Memorial City and the Galleria. Downtown +/- that close.

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I didn't suggest that high-end luxury retailers would leave - I think ROD and Uptown Park will flourish and be the luxury niche that part of town needs.  I'm just watching the trend and predict that many retailers will open up new stores downtown. 

 

The New York conversation is moot, because no city will ever be a New York.

 

I'm simply following where the money and investment is headed, along with increased foot traffic. 

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I didn't suggest that high-end luxury retailers would leave - I think ROD and Uptown Park will flourish and be the luxury niche that part of town needs.  I'm just watching the trend and predict that many retailers will open up new stores downtown. 

 

The New York conversation is moot, because no city will ever be a New York.

 

I'm simply following where the money and investment is headed, along with increased foot traffic. 

I was agreeing with you about other retailers opening up (eventually) Downtown. Just not the high-end stuff. Just threw in NYC for anyone who read what I said for a comparison. While Downtown has certainly come around (and continues to), the surrounding areas south, east, and north have a little ways to go before we can see shopping on a mall sized scale there. XXI & BCBG are trail blazers for the rebirth of Street Level Retail.

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With all the development going in just south of Greenstreet (2 sky houses of residential, the existing Houston house residential, and the block 334 construction workers) a good coffee shop is a must for the area. That being said, sometimes I do want to buy pants without driving somewhere.

Ben's Beans, locally owned and a really cool place, is a block away. If you haven't been there, you should try it. With all of the construction on Dallas, he could probably use some new customers willing to dance around the construction.

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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^^^ actually, this particular model / render, is much more attractive than the prison like  / forbidding structure, that later took the place of the original alessandra concept.  this illustration, is a bit softer in scale, much more classic / modern and aesthetically appealing.  the front entry is softer / beautiful, and much more inviting.  oh, and did i mention the gorgeous palm trees that present a bit of an exotic feel.  well done gensler.... 

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Maybe, but I just don't see retailers choosing downtown over the galleria.  The galleria is clearly the location of choice, and growing stronger.  What's wrong with a coffee shop by the way?  

 

No way... the way downtown is structuring itself, currently restaurants and bars are the most stable. In about 2 years that whole dynamic will change because there will be more foot traffic which will entice businesses to move downtown. The reason it is so difficult for some businesses to move downtown is because it's so damn expensive. Which is actually a good thing, because based on how much Houston depends on the economy to show what direction development will occur, if we begin to see some stable retail downtown, then that will cause a ripple effect to surrounding neighborhoods. One great sign is the first wave of bars that came downtown during the initial phases of downtown redevelopment. Most of us knew that they were only there to capitalize on the idea of downtown being the next big thing. As more infrastructure and incentive programs have been put in place, we are seeing more stable retail downtown. I went downtown just the other night, and the overall quality of the bars and restaurants was very impressive, very well put together establishments. The next phase will be more downtown residents and retail stores will follow. The main difference with Uptown is that it's centered around a grand mall. So retail was put in place first, then residential, and finally better infrastructure. Houston is on the right path, and it's very exciting.

Edited by j_cuevas713
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I'm just going to have to disagree.  Mom and Pop stores won't survive if you have to park several blocks away or pay $10 - $15 to go shopping.  The only way I see downtown becoming anything close to a retail destination is if a large retailer leads the way with ample parking to serve other retailers.  Until then, downtown will be a restaurant-centric destination IMO.  Maybe not, but that's the way I see it.

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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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