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GreenStreet Redevelopment + 21-Story Hotel Alessandra


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Hotel Alessandra by Marc longoria, on Flickr

From yesterday...    

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16335152901_b035d4e9d5_b.jpg

My goodness. Such a huge letdown, I don't even wanna visit the site anymore... GreenStreet Skybridge depicted on lower left confirms its legitimacy (as if there was any question). Also you can see Forever 21 and the Spring Hill Inn & Suites on the lower right.

On the brightside, at least a hotel component is still being added to GreenStreet/Dallas St Shopping corridor. Despite redesign, if it performs well, it will be a welcome addition to the area.

Edited by tigereye
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Isnt someone redeveloping an old building into a hotel right across Main, from GreenStreet?

I'd rather just stay at the JW on Main and take the train a couple stops down to Dallas Ave then stay at this place. Prices better be reduced a good bit from what they were originally planning.

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I'll be the first one to say the re-design is a huge letdown, and more than anything a missed opportunity - it's a terrible thing to know what we are missing out on.

 

However, from the developer and operator's point of view, it makes sense 100%. Look at the two designs side by side, and think about the huge cost savings from eliminating all those sexy curves. I bet they are saving a few million dollars. And the reality is that no, they don't need to reduce the price per room one cent as a result; these savings are all in the bank - and most importantly, reduce the risk of default in case the economy slows down so much that the revenue drops more than expected.

 

The Valencia Group (operators) knows very well that the exterior design has a minuscule impact, if not zero, on the success of the hotel. Service, rooms, amenities, location, are all much more important.

 

Imagine the conversation, you are looking at both designs, and pondering if the redesign is worth the millions you are saving, and someone says that the hotel won't be as successful if you go with the redesign... Then, you compare the redesign with the hotel Sorella, which you also own and operate. The hotel Sorella which has been wildly successful, made Conde Nast magazine list of best hotels in the world, this hotel Sorella:

 

HotelSorellaExteriorNightweb.jpg

 

And you think...If that building, way out in the West Houston, in the corner of I-10 and the Beltway can be so successful, then this building, in Downtown Houston, with everything happening there right now, with the same service, amenities, quality, rooms as the Hotel Sorella, will do just fine. Hell yes, I'll take the millions in dollars in savings, too bad if we don't the make cover of Architectural Record!

 

16335152901_b035d4e9d5_b.jpg

 

So as I said, huge disappointment in design, but it is the right thing to do.....and for the record, no, I don't work for Midway.

 

 

Edited by fernz
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Alright I'm going to have to be the adult in the thread and just say to stop whining. I had my suspicions for awhile that something was up when they kept delaying the project and everyone that is involved in this project is at fault here. They simply waited to long and too many people got their hands onto it and changed it. I was also curious as to why it wasn't on Genslers website at all. My guess is that Gensler and Midway had some sort of argument over the design and Midway instead went with it's own vision for the project.

 

Is it a disappointment that the other one isn't going to be built, absolutely. Lets look on the positive side. They are still building a hotel for greenstreet which will help that area greatly and create lots of foot traffic. This also might make the hotel a little more moderately priced than the one before. The other design while distinctive might have put the price range out of a lot of peoples wallets who might want to stay there. I'm simply playing devils advocate because once again I really liked the original design.

 

Now while everyone wants to whine and throw out the baby with the bath water I'm going to ask if everyone simply jumps out of that frame of mind and adjust to the new reality that this is whats going to get built. I'm sorry, but it's very rare that a project gets pushed back so far and still holds the same design...its very hard. I think a lot of people are going to like the hotel (those that aren't associated with this forum of course) for the fact that ignorance is bliss and the building will fit nicely in the current Houston aesthetic. I stress what I said, in the Steven Holl art buliding in contrast to the revealed Morphosis design, that Houston is slowly moving into a more bolder aesthetic, but just isn't there yet. When you have a very conservative industry designing for a very conservative clientele the result is going to be very conservative architecture. I even work with people who often complain about designers incorporating curves into designs because all they can see is a jump in price and more time spent to work those designs out instead of understanding the aesthetic impact and importance to the design.

 

Now for the building itself. If this is what will go there, I will take it. For anyone posting that one disgrace of a hotel that is near Discovery Green please take that crap down as it's an over-exaggeration. That building is tacky and ugly. Now contrast it with this building. While redesigned it still is very sleek and contemporary in it's aesthetic. If it were a design for any other building then everyone on this forum would be losing their minds over it! Get real everyone. Lets stop comparing the two different designs for this building and just focus on this new one, because its probably from a different designer and company altogether which wouldn't make it fair to this one at all. It's a very nice looking building. Again for the record of course I'm disappointed, but lets move forward because this is a well designed building just not of a radical nature in regards to Houston's current aesthetic which this new design fits in very well.

Edited by Luminare
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All garment rending aside, the only really clear view of this from outside downtown is from the 288/Gulf Freeway quadrant, and all the really cool stuff was on the lower floors, facing north.  

 

Yeah, it's a disappointment, but we'll live.

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I'll be the first one to say the re-design is a huge letdown, and more than anything a missed opportunity - it's a terrible thing to know what we are missing out on.

However, from the developer and operator's point of view, it makes sense 100%. Look at the two designs side by side, and think about the huge cost savings from eliminating all those sexy curves. I bet they are saving a few million dollars. And the reality is that no, they don't need to reduce the price per room one cent as a result; these savings are all in the bank - and most importantly, reduce the risk of default in case the economy slows down so much that the revenue drops more than expected.

The Valencia Group (operators) knows very well that the exterior design has a minuscule impact, if not zero, on the success of the hotel. Service, rooms, amenities, location, are all much more important.

Imagine the conversation, you are looking at both designs, and pondering if the redesign is worth the millions you are saving, and someone says that the hotel won't be as successful if you go with the redesign... Then, you compare the redesign with the hotel Sorella, which you also own and operate. The hotel Sorella which has been wildly successful, made Conde Nast magazine list of best hotels in the world, this hotel Sorella:

HotelSorellaExteriorNightweb.jpg

And you think...If that building, way out in the West Houston, in the corner of I-10 and the Beltway can be so successful, then this building, in Downtown Houston, with everything happening there right now, with the same service, amenities, quality, rooms as the Hotel Sorella, will do just fine. Hell yes, I'll take the millions in dollars in savings, too bad if we don't the make cover of Architectural Record!

16335152901_b035d4e9d5_b.jpg

So as I said, huge disappointment in design, but it is the right thing to do.....and for the record, no, I don't work for Midway.

Great points to put some perspective on things..

Though why wouldn't they need to reduce the rates? It looks like a lot of those fancy amenities like a retractable roof over the pool, the 24th floor check in, ect have been abandoned.

Edit. Thanks again for that perspective. The Hotel Alessandra redesign actually looks pretty damn good compared to Hotel Sorella.

Edited by cloud713
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Hell yes, I'll take the millions in dollars in savings, too bad if we don't the make cover of Architectural Record!

The original design was dazzling and completely unexpected in this city. That being said, I seriously doubt this would have won any awards. The original rendering is on-par with what has been going up in ultra modern architecture recently. A shame we have missed it, but the newer rendering isn't half bad. It still has modern features and HOPEFULLY that bar on the top floor.

 

Honestly i'm glad we didn't end up with a stucco nightmare... knock on wood

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Because most people booking a room in downtown Houston aren't looking for a retractable roof or a sky lobby. They want a good quality hotel with great service, good food, and close to the business they are attending.

But dammit Houston needs a hotel with a retractable roof and sky lobby! Lol

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This is very embarrassing for Midway, but if you lop off that top floor & the roof, the rest of the building looks okay.  Granted, it looks like it belongs in CityCentre instead of in the...city's...center...but it could still be a positive addition if quality materials are used.  Brinsden, if you're reading this, PLEASE redesign that roof.  Give it some character, man.

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That's another thing some of these buildings and their roof have no character nothing to say wow different, i love my city and everything but our buildings specially at night have no character in my opinion nothing that at least pops out just white lines of light (for crowns) if those other older buildings like 712 main were just taller to stand out to make it a bit more unique but i am no expert.

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A huge letdown, it feels criminal! But not surprising as this bait and switch crap has become all to rampant nowadays with the larger developments in Houston. It's not bad, just screams mediocre. This new design looks like it could belong anywhere from the Energy Corridor to The Woodlands. My perspective is this is the heart of downtown, go big (either in size or design) or get out. I can't believe we've gone through a booming period without any true iconic pieces of architecture like we pushed out in the 80's.

Edited by intencity77
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A huge letdown, it feels criminal! But not surprising as this bait and switch crap has become all to rampant nowadays with the larger developments in Houston. It's not bad, just screams mediocre. This new design looks like it could belong anywhere from the Energy Corridor to The Woodlands. My perspective is this is downtown, go big (either in size or design) or get out. I can't believe we've gone through a booming period without any true iconic pieces of architecture like we pushed out in the 80's.

609 Main, 2929 Weslayan..?

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Spin-Master-Logo_3.png


to all of the gracious spin masters above... nice try!


....but you are not selling me upon this prospective hotel design disaster...


for every moment that i force myself to actually glance at the new concept, it brings to mind the downtown jail complex.  anyone up for a mugshot?


if i have stated it once, i shall state it again... why oh why is dallas so damn lucky when it comes to all of the beautiful luxury hotels that they seem to acquire?


their newest downtown addition OMNI.. is simply spectacular!  (especially at night)


just what in the hell is wrong with the city of houston?  when will we ever acquire anything decent... hospitality wise?


where did we go wrong.....


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I can't believe we've gone through a booming period without any true iconic pieces of architecture like we pushed out in the 80's.

Doing things differently than in the 80's is a good thing, unless you want investors to run away from Houston real estate again

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Spin-Master-Logo_3.png

to all of the gracious spin masters above... nice try!

....but you are not selling me upon this prospective hotel design disaster...

for every moment that i force myself to actually glance at the new concept, it brings to mind the downtown jail complex. anyone up for a mugshot?

if i have stated it once, i shall state it again... why oh why is dallas so damn lucky when it comes to all of the beautiful luxury hotels that they seem to acquire?

their newest downtown addition OMNI.. is simply spectacular! (especially at night)

just what in the hell is wrong with the city of houston? when will we ever acquire anything decent... hospitality wise?

where did we go wrong.....

Dallas is a top 5 convention city.. Houston is not.

What's so great about the Omni besides the lights slapped on the side?

Although the design of the Marquis isn't groundbreaking, were only the 6th city to get one...

Edited by cloud713
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I hate to say this does Dallas downtown does pop out more specially at night it looks more alive and we at night look like ehh.. our medical center looks more like it should be our downtown. We are the 4th largest city, the energy capital of the world, space city, we have have a unique history and multi cultural city but we come up with this, sorry it's my opinion. 

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No offense but I don't think Dallas could ever compete with this...

Power-of-Houston-3.jpg

Maybe they can get the Power of Houston people back out to design permanent light displays for some of our buildings since the light installations seem to be the only thing making downtown Dallas "better".

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Just remember TMC is larger then Downtown Dallas.  They have the LED lights on there buildings which looks good.  It's just a showcase since 30% of Downtown Dallas is empty.  The next census I would not be surprised when San Jose,CA, and Austin pass up Dallas in population.  Back to the subject.  I'm do not like the new design but a least it is getting built.   

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Yep. The new design is much better than the 2 stories of Yaos(?)/SkyHouse leasing office that used to be in its place.. At least we can be thankful were getting another new tower downtown. We're getting spoiled with development when we can complain and wish nothing was built instead of this version. That would of been blasphemous just a few years ago..

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I'm disappointed in the redesign, but understand why Midway had to do it.

 

That being said, the new design looks nice and I expect that most here would be happy with it had they never seen the original proposal. 

 

Quite frankly, with the collapse in oil prices, we should be pleased that this is happening at all.

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Did anyone reeeeaaaaallllllyyyy think a retractable roof hotel w/ check-in at the top of the building was going to happen?  Redesign is not as interesting as the original proposal, but in the interests of them moving forward this is a good step.  We need more hotels - not necessarily gimmicky ones.

 

And does this thing really look as bad as some are letting on?  Nope.  Its just like most of the other designs during this latest boom cycle:  Its decent.  Nothing great.  Not really bad.  Certainly not inspirational architecture.

Edited by arche_757
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leaves the opportunity in the future for someone to make a big splash

It won't matter. If Alessandra is as successful as Sorelia, it will make the splash itself. A splash that regardless of design, could transform not only GreenStreet, but the city center itself.

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I'm disappointed in the redesign, but understand why Midway had to do it.

 

That being said, the new design looks nice and I expect that most here would be happy with it had they never seen the original proposal. 

 

Quite frankly, with the collapse in oil prices, we should be pleased that this is happening at all.

 

You're absolutely right. 

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If I had never seen the original design, I would be ecstatic about this.  The new design isn't bad; in fact, it's better than a lot of buildings being built now.  It's only because the original design was so wild that I'm disappointed, because the new design is certainly far less interesting that the original.

 

It's times like this that I just wish they'd never shared the original rendering.  I think we'd all be a lot happier right now if it had been kept under wraps.

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I think the new convention hotel will have a bigger splash and the probably that other new hotel planned next to it as well. I think what would make this one a splash is just the fact that greenstreet will be attach to it.

This is what I've been hoping since last night.. The convention center hotel has all the key elements to a mixed use tower. Hopefully they implement some neat features and a nice design.

Edit: I cant think of a single hotel going up/that's gone up during this boom anywhere in the city that's as nice as the finalized Hotel Alessandra. We're just obviously bummed that it's not the most groundbreaking design in Houston since Pennzoil Place. Or whatever building from the 70s-80s that you think was the most significant architectural marvel of its time.

Edited by cloud713
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This is what I've been hoping since last night.. The convention center hotel has all the key elements to a mixed use tower. Hopefully they implement some neat features and a nice design.

Edit: I cant think of a single hotel going up/that's gone up during this boom anywhere in the city that's as nice as the finalized Hotel Alessandra. We're just obviously bummed that it's not the most groundbreaking design in Houston since Pennzoil Place. Or whatever building from the 70s-80s that you think was the most significant architectural marvel of its time.

 

You have a point. I think we're also just a little upset that this boom cycle did not produce anything downtown that could cause someone to drive off the road looking at it, like Pennzoil or Tenneco did for their eras, or arguably the Gulf Building for its. The person who said this is like going from a Midtown Manhattan to a downtown Austin design was spot on. Austin isn't shabby at all, but the first design was in another realm.

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You have a point. I think we're also just a little upset that this boom cycle did not produce anything downtown that could cause someone to drive off the road looking at it, like Pennzoil or Tenneco did for their eras, or arguably the Gulf Building for its. The person who said this is like going from a Midtown Manhattan to a downtown Austin design was spot on. Austin isn't shabby at all, but the first design was in another realm.

 

Back in those days companies wanted to stand out from the crowd and it was more common for entire companies to be housed in one building exclusively. We are seeing more and more spec buildings than built to suit in this market specially because the current market/corporate culture in America doesn't allow for built to suit to flourish and we live in the hyper extreme of this case, Houston. Companies in the 70's and 80's were willing to take those risks because it was another way to market their company and stand out from their competitors. We live in a period of American architecture, and corporatism where instead of trying to be bold and brash, it's all about conformity, blending in, don't offend, why go for one thing when you can aim to please all.

 

You see this with everything from cable TV channels changing programming to reach everyone making them more bland in the process, or technology which tries to be the all-in-one which actually makes it less distinctive than if they were singular devices. The age of Exclusivity is gone and we have entered the era of Homogeneity. If there is anything to blame for this, blame those in charge because it really does reflect the mentality of this current generation of those in power all around. They are completely content with not advancing anything and are instead either rehashing old themes, preying on nostalgia, or flying on auto pilot. It's why I don't understand why we keep using the term "Modern" when, at least in Western culture (especially here in America), we are entirely in the Post-Modern. Everything is relative and you see it architecture today, and in every industry in general. Modern is the advancement of culture in one continuous direction where as in Post-Modern there isn't a one true path, but an infinite number which instead of leading us forward keeps us at a standstill due to either to many forces going in different directions or the inability even choose one.

 

EDIT: If I did so happen to offend anyone in that age bracket.....I don't care.

Edited by Luminare
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Well, at least there will be no doubt that this design emerged from the building boom of the first half of the 2010's. Losing the original design is a bit said (it would have looked very neat), but at least the project is still moving forward. 

 

Some of these elements may hopefully get utilized in the crest of the next cycle.

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