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102 story tower planned?


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i dont think its oil money..

the Burj Khalifa was 1.5 billion dollars to build, at 2,717 feet tall and 3.3 million square feet (granted the UAE doesnt have the same codes and regulations as the US, so im sure it was cheaper to build there). now dont get me wrong, the skyscraper enthusiast in me is all for a 3,000 foot tower in Houston to take the title of worlds tallest building, but the realist in me says this would likely be a very large mixed use project (possibly with an office component anchored by a large foreign energy company). think GreenStreet or CityCentre on steroids.

when i was thinking of potential large scale mixed use developments that could possibly be comparable in size (or at least give an idea of the scale of a 2 billion dollar project), i stumbled across this...

it could be a long shot, but i was doing research into the cost of the huge Brickell City Center complex in Miami (a 1+ billion dollar development) and found that, low and behold, the investor behind the project was foreign.. now like i said, its a long shot. i realize there are lots of foreign companies in the world, but this one is known for building these huge mixed use developments in cities all across the world, and Houston isnt one of them (yet). and the Brickell City Center just so happens to be going through with an EIGHTY story building, the new tallest in Miami. sounds like a possibility to me.. Houston is booming, and if this company has taken notice (the Chinese seem to love the Rockets, so they probably know about Houston..), they likely see an incentive to bring their successful business model to our city for a new development.

now where could a development of this magnitude possibly go? (Brickell City Center looks like it takes up at least 7 blocks) the Post Office site is an obvious choice, given the size of the property. other than that it looks like it would either have to go around the west/north sides of the baseball stadium, or on the southeast corner of downtown.

Not gonna speculate who the developer is because there are a multitude of Chinese(and other Asian nationalities) investors making splashes in London, SF, NYC, Mia, etc due to lower returns at home(China is in for a hell of a real estate bubble) but I will speculate on the size.

While there are smaller buildings square foot wise(let's say the mystery development is 4 million square feet) that are incredibly tall like the Burj Khalifa, there are also larger buildings, such as the Sears(Willis) Tower at almost 4.5 million square feet and less then 1500 feet(though 1450 to the roof is nothing to sneeze at). While it would be awesome if we got a real power tower like that, I agree it seems unlikely. However, I also don't think it'll be as big land wise as Brickell(although the Post Office site makes a lot of sense) it doesn't seem too big to fit over 2 or 3 blocks/towers to fit better into downtown's current landscape. A super tall(300+ meter) and a shorter(200+ m) pair of towers seems to be like it would be the best choice in order to get a good site location. That way they could develop some blocks along Dallas(and probably make like thieves with all the tax incentives), plug into the current skyline district with a couple blocks in southern downtown but still north of Exxon's old tower(and have better access to the light rail), or snatch up some of the last few blocks along the East End line and further invigorate the convention district(although they'd probably have to squash some nice historic buildings to do so). Kind of rambled there sorry. Was just thinking out loud! Trying not to get too excited in case it falls through haha

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Talked to a Gensler architect today that mentioned working on a potential 65 story tower downtown. Sounded like they had signed an NDA though because just getting that much information was like pullin

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Not gonna speculate who the developer is because there are a multitude of Chinese(and other Asian nationalities) investors making splashes in London, SF, NYC, Mia, etc due to lower returns at home(China is in for a hell of a real estate bubble) but I will speculate on the size.

While there are smaller buildings square foot wise(let's say the mystery development is 4 million square feet) that are incredibly tall like the Burj Khalifa, there are also larger buildings, such as the Sears(Willis) Tower at almost 4.5 million square feet and less then 1500 feet(though 1450 to the roof is nothing to sneeze at). While it would be awesome if we got a real power tower like that, I agree it seems unlikely. However, I also don't think it'll be as big land wise as Brickell(although the Post Office site makes a lot of sense) it doesn't seem too big to fit over 2 or 3 blocks/towers to fit better into downtown's current landscape. A super tall(300+ meter) and a shorter(200+ m) pair of towers seems to be like it would be the best choice in order to get a good site location. That way they could develop some blocks along Dallas(and probably make like thieves with all the tax incentives), plug into the current skyline district with a couple blocks in southern downtown but still north of Exxon's old tower(and have better access to the light rail), or snatch up some of the last few blocks along the East End line and further invigorate the convention district(although they'd probably have to squash some nice historic buildings to do so). Kind of rambled there sorry. Was just thinking out loud! Trying not to get too excited in case it falls through haha

ha, most of my post was rambling.. 

for sure, too early to speculate. i just thought it was interesting that the Brickell developer matched the criteria.

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A $2b downtown project?  C'mon...  Color me majorly dubious.  Not to belabor the obvious, but chat boards aren't exactly renowned as reliable intelligence on these matters.  I'm sure that developers always toss ideas about, but that is a far cry from actual planning. 

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ive heard rumors of a $2B downtown project on the drawing board, foreign investors.

 

That would rival the 3,281 ft Kingdom Tower currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom Tower is set to cost $1.23 billion. 

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I'll believe it when I see it.  How many supertalls get proposed that never get off the ground?

Perhaps we could have something like San Fran's Transbay that includes a large transit hub?  Maybe to connect in that HSR to Dallas?

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That would rival the 3,281 ft Kingdom Tower currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom Tower is set to cost $1.23 billion. 

 

This is odd....One World Trade Center cost is $3 billion+ and The Grand Wilshire is $1 billion. Why is it the Kingdom Tower's cost is less of One World Trade Center and just a little over the Grand Wilshire?

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This is odd....One World Trade Center cost is $3 billion+ and The Grand Wilshire is $1 billion. Why is it the Kingdom Tower's cost is less of One World Trade Center and just a little over the Grand Wilshire?

Cheap labor and materials. The Middle East is notorious for importing near free labor and from Vietnam to Turkey and Russia is some of the worlds largest steel manufacturers. Cost to purchase and import material is inexpensive compared to the US.
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normally, i shall concur with your thoughts as per consternation, regarding such a high dollar downtown proposition subdude.  however, before i proceed...   shall we bare in mind the "messenger".  whenever "swtsig" speaks as per any houston related proposition...   trust me, there is normally a "hint" of reality.  just saying.

 

A $2b downtown project?  C'mon...  Color me majorly dubious.  Not to belabor the obvious, but chat boards aren't exactly renowned as reliable intelligence on these matters.  I'm sure that developers always toss ideas about, but that is a far cry from actual planning. 

 

 

 

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Cheap labor and materials. The Middle East is notorious for importing near free labor and from Vietnam to Turkey and Russia is some of the worlds largest steel manufacturers. Cost to purchase and import material is inexpensive compared to the US.

 

What about in the US....is anything cheaper depending on the state?

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as an employee as per "fluor daniel corporation" i have the privilege of working inside the "theater of afghanistan".  i have been employed within the confines of this beautiful and yet extremely dangerous "war zone" as per the duration of (8+ years).  dubai, uae, is considered our company's "port of entry" in and out of afghanistan respectively.

 

i shall concur completely with "sellanious caesar" as per his post.  for i have harbored the opportunity to witness these "outside worker's" first hand during my time within the "middle east".

 

malaysia, phillipines, kuala lumpur, tibet, india, mongolia...   just to name a few of the many countries, that are sending their respective worker's to build and transform dubai, uae.  most of these "worker's" lack all sorts of mental, physical, and safety measures to add to their skill sets, as well as an overall employment well being.  in other words...  they work in extreme "hazardous" conditions, with very little and oftentimes no pay.

 

i have visited the "dubai mall" many times as they were building the "burj khalifa".  i could literally step outside of the "mall" and walk right up to the building itself.   simply amazing edifice.  however, yes!  the "middle east" is notorious as per building and transforming itself at the expense of desperate and vulnerable "outside workers".  as they save "billions" of dollars achieving this method upon their world class propositions, as well as objectives.

 

Cheap labor and materials. The Middle East is notorious for importing near free labor and from Vietnam to Turkey and Russia is some of the worlds largest steel manufacturers. Cost to purchase and import material is inexpensive compared to the US.

 


 

Edited by monarch
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What about in the US....is anything cheaper depending on the state?

 

According to Nancy's article on the amREIT property in the Galleria area, the Uptown Park redevelopment is 1.2 billion.

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To put into new perspective, $2 billion is the price for the Chicago Spire at 2,000 feet in a state where everything costs more (imports, labor, contract, land value, etc). That's an example of a project for one tower in this price range. $2 billion is also the price for Metropolis in LA (costs about the same as Chicago, cheaper import material and labor but more expensive land value), a project with multiple high density towers.

From the way I see it $2 billion will buy you a winner for DT, supertall or not.

Edited by Sellanious Caesar
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To put into new perspective, $2 billion is the price for the Chicago Spire at 2,000 feet in a state where everything costs more (imports, labor, contract, land value, etc). That's an example of a project for one tower in this price range. $2 billion is also the price for Metropolis in LA (costs about the same as Chicago, cheaper import material and labor but more expensive land value), a project with multiple high density towers.

From the way I see it $2 billion will buy you a winner for DT, supertall or not.

 

Thats a good way to put things...Supertall or something like metropolis is a win win, heck anything is...I'm sure this one, if true, won't disappoint.

 

According to Nancy's article on the amREIT property in the Galleria area, the Uptown Park redevelopment is 1.2 billion.

 

This has to be the most costly development in the city right now huh??? 

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as an employee as per "fluor daniel corporation" i have the privilege of working inside the "theater of afghanistan". i have been employed within the confines of this beautiful and yet extremely dangerous "war zone" as per the duration of (8+ years). dubai, uae, is considered our company's "port of entry" in and out of afghanistan respectively.

i shall concur completely with "sellanious caesar" as per his post. for i have harbored the opportunity to witness these "outside worker's" first hand during my time within the "middle east".

malaysia, phillipines, kuala lumpur, tibet, india, mongolia... just to name a few of the many countries, that are sending their respective worker's to build and transform dubai, uae. most of these "worker's" lack all sorts of mental, physical, and safety measures to add to their skill sets, as well as an overall employment well being. in other words... they work in extreme "hazardous" conditions, with very little and oftentimes no pay.

i have visited the "dubai mall" many times as they were building the "burj khalifa". i could literally step outside of the "mall" and walk right up to the building itself. simply amazing edifice. however, yes! the "middle east" is notorious as per building and transforming itself at the expense of desperate and vulnerable "outside workers". as they save "billions" of dollars achieving this method upon their world class propositions, as well as objectives.

I'm from Australia and visited Dubai a few years ago. I hate that city with a passion. I was nearly charged for being a little tipsy from what I drank on the plane at the airport there. They kept asking me what drugs I have, what drugs I possess, if I'm willing to do a test. I showed them I made a few purchases of the beverages on the plane and that because I'm not a frequent drinker I reacted to it in a dizzying daze when it mixed with my allergy medicine (Dytan). They told me the rules in the Emirate and wished me an enjoyable trip but the experience scared me.

In Dubai i saw plenty of expats mostly from India, many families living together in lowly slums, crammed into an apartment with each other since that's all their labor wages could afford.

UAE is a country where you have to be very careful who you say things to and what you do. It can land you in deep trouble but back to skyscrapers. The supertalls are cheaper to build in the Middle East than anywhere else, due to exploited labor laws and wages. It's why they're able to successfully build so many supertalls and tall towers every year.

Edited by Sellanious Caesar
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To put into new perspective, $2 billion is the price for the Chicago Spire at 2,000 feet in a state where everything costs more (imports, labor, contract, land value, etc). That's an example of a project for one tower in this price range. $2 billion is also the price for Metropolis in LA (costs about the same as Chicago, cheaper import material and labor but more expensive land value), a project with multiple high density towers.

From the way I see it $2 billion will buy you a winner for DT, supertall or not.

Probably the best example we have here. If we truly have a $2 billion project, it could certainly make it the tallest in the United States. Unless it is a multiple block project of multiple buildings...

WTC is a special case at $3 billion especially because of security and not to mention it's been in the works for over a decade.

 

Either way, we're just tossing around ideas and won't know until something more comes out.

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a rumored 2 billion dollar project does not mean a single building.  i realize we wish for a super tall but a "development" could be any number of things.  (in my mind i'm hearing "a renzo piano shard, a renzo piano shard")

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a rumored 2 billion dollar project does not mean a single building.  i realize we wish for a super tall but a "development" could be any number of things.  (in my mind i'm hearing "a renzo piano shard, a renzo piano shard")

woah. i never realized Piano designed the Shard.. very cool! you are right, it doesnt necessarily mean a single building. but considering the costs of other supertalls, if its really a 2 billion dollar development, there would likely be a supertall anchor building (or i dont think its too far out of the question at least). we are naming insanely expensive buildings with very technical designs (Burj Khalifa, The Shard, WTC [thats so expensive more because of the extreme over engineering involved in the buildings and security]) that are some of the most expensive buildings in the world..

Williams Tower recently sold for 412 million. and its 901'.. like someone else mentioned, we could easily get a 1000 footer, along with something in the 200 meter range, or even more (or taller) towers.. it just depends on how large the mixed use component is at the base of the tower and what else is incorporated into the development.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_buildings_in_the_world

 

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When I saw swtsig add some credibility to these rumors my heart jumped.

He has given us the inside scoop on many projects and has never lied or been wrong, so there HAS to be something to the rumor of a $2B project, I trust him.

Now whether or not it is a $2B TOWER or just a cluster of development, either way that is one gigantic project, something that puts itself on the map.

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Look at the Heung Kong Tower: 987 feet (7th rendering from the top). That project would look perfect in Downtown Houston. That China Cheung Tower looks perfect for Uptown Houston.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=210563

Thoughts?

I like it, but it reminds me a lot of the new Chevron Tower. I'd prefer something else on that list for downtown. I do agree though that the China Cheung Tower would be perfect Uptown.

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I just don't see the Shard as anything great.  Besides that something here with that size floorplates would be a waste.

I think the Shard works perfectly with London. It is surrounded by not-so attractive buildings (guy's hospital). So this soaring shard of bright blue glass stands out literally like a shard of beautiful glass in a pile of dirt. It works well being solely the tallest structure around. If it was surrounded by buildings with a similar facade/height, it would immediately lose it's dominating beauty.

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A shard type building would be perfect for Houston as a bookend (like the post office site), or bordering Hermann Park, Allen Pkwy, Memorial Park.......I agree it would lose its effectiveness in the middle of other towers; on the othet hand, there are many places on Houston an iconic structure like the shard would make a huge impact.

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A shard type building would be perfect for Houston as a bookend (like the post office site), or bordering Hermann Park, Allen Pkwy, Memorial Park.......I agree it would lose its effectiveness in the middle of other towers; on the othet hand, there are many places on Houston an iconic structure like the shard would make a huge impact.

If I could teleport the Shard to Houston, it would be in Midtown, very close to 59.

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If the 102-story is true, I wonder if they're relying on the incentives? Maybe that's part of the reason it was increased???

Also, did all the ones he listed below come true? And did he reveal any of them before we knew about them? That would further his credibility.

Red john:

You can add a few more on your list. Block 52 in Downtown (28 stories), a 35 story residential highrise in Downtown, another 28 story residential highrise in Downtown by a Chicago developer, another 25 story residential highrise in Downtown by Hines, 28 story residential tower by ZC near the convention district in Downtown, the 38 story tower next to the Texaco building downtown, which that building is also being converted into residential lofts. The 42 story Helix tower in the Museum District (south of Midtown and also on the light rail line). The Southmore in the Museum District by Hines, also 35 stories and along the light rail line. All of these being confirmed projects, already locked on finances and nearly all doing site work, all along the light rail line. Being a skyscraper enthusiast, I'm not going to bother listing the midrises but you've got the big ones on your list already.

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/city-vs-city/2010443-houston-lightrail-vs-phoenix-lightrail-rail-2.html#ixzz2xptSAtch

Apparently Red John knows about the supertall in Uptown too. From a post in April 2013:

Edit: I think he maybe talking about the Deyaar though.

For the longterm there's the supertall in downtown and the other supertall in uptown (both above 1,000 feet) that have been silently flying under the radar. The one in downtown is making some under the radar splashes but both of them are still looking for a scheduled date to get stuff going. Also midtown's entertainment square like development, street level will look like this. Also the slowly progressing Malik development too.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/urban-planning/1827254-tall-buildings-under-construction-your-city-3.html#post28924932

Edited by TowerSpotter
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Apparently Red John knows about the supertall in Uptown too. From a post in April 2013:

Edit: I think he maybe talking about the Deyaar though.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/urban-planning/1827254-tall-buildings-under-construction-your-city-3.html#post28924932

 

Most of what he says is true / on point. The only issue is, he maybe had all the info a year ago. It seems like either the process of taking an idea to making it happen is a long one - and many of his insight has evolved since... I just wonder if months ago the super talls in uptown and downtown were being planned, why we havent had any more detail at all about it. I hope these both come true!

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If this is true and they still own it, they must be trying to improve that area, especially between BBVA and MMP, helping to connect the two. I can't imagine it taking two years for hcad to update their database.

Yeah, MMP incorporates a train station in its design and the parking lot is on an old railyard.

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If a supertall were to be built downtown, where would should it be built?  

 

I was thinking that the Louisiana-Walker-Milam-McKinney block that was intended for the Bank of the Southwest Tower would be an obvious choice, although for something of this scope I could see the developers wanting to utilize two blocks for parking or retail. 

 

 

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Subdude I'm thinking that that block would be too small although that would be where it would fit in best in downtown.

I am thinking north of MMP or on those lots next to Exxon on Bell would be good.

Doubt a developer would find the SE attractive since it would be around all those apartments.

North of MMP would be new territory and choose to the hotel district.

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The Louisiana-Walker-Milam-McKinney block is a standard size block, so it's certainly entirely plausible to put it there.

 

That being said, using one block for the tower and one for garage with ground floor retail has its appeal...

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When I say the block is small, I didn't mean it is smaller than the rest. I have just noticed that a lot of these new super tall building's come with clusters of smaller buildings plus plaza/ courtyard.

Was just thinking that a new supertall would do something similar and take up a couple of blocks.

As for parking, jesus how many spots would be needed for that behemoth?

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I think it should go where everyone's favorite building is located, the Days Inn.  Or it can be placed one block west of the Days Inn, and then replace the Days Inn with the garage.  Either way, the Days Inn is getting pulverized!   :D

 

This along with the new Chevron tower can put a lot of pressure on the landlords of the towers nearby to renovate (2016 Main, Houston House Apartments, Savoy/Holiday Inn if it still looks bad after its renovation) because everything around this area is just ugly, and the people living here deserve better.  Perhaps there will be a greater incentive to submerge the Pierce elevated freeway and widen it too.

 

The views would be clear in all directions from this location, and you have the view of downtown on one side, and Midtown & the TMC on the other.  If the FAA raises a concern, you first ignore them, and second you place a big, tall stylish antenna (paying respect to One Shell Plaza) with alternating blinking red lights.

 

Anyways, that would be the spot I'll pick.

 

 

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I like the idea of having it on the east side somewhere between MMP and Toyota Center. It would be cool to see highrises fill in between it and the tall towers on the west side. Plus it would help spur development on that side faster. The central/west side already has Main to cause growth.

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If a supertall were to be built downtown, where would should it be built?

I was thinking that the Louisiana-Walker-Milam-McKinney block that was intended for the Bank of the Southwest Tower would be an obvious choice, although for something of this scope I could see the developers wanting to utilize two blocks for parking or retail.

That's the exact block I would want a supertall on. That block would have the tower in the middle of both the northern skyline viewpoint from 45 and the western skyline view from Buffalo Bayou.

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I'd have a supertall at the block bound by

La Branch/Dallas/Austin/Lamar.

That doesn't make sense to me.

The city seems to be trying to develop residential in that area given the sporting and green space attractions nearby. But, if you can find the, oh, I don't know, $400m, I guess you could build what you wanted where you wanted!

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Would $400 million be enough for a supertall anymore?  People elsewhere have been tossing around numbers like $2 billion.  Amazing what inflation can do ...

 

I think 2 Bill would make a super-DUPERtall. 

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From a skyline viewpoint the BotSW block would be great.  Also because that block has great unutilized connections to the tunnel system.  

 

I was wondering though if downtown's relatively narrow blocks presented any constraints architecturally.  First, would the foundation and structure for an economically viable supertall require more than a downtown block?  Second, would such a tall building on a too-narrow site look unwieldy, like a giant popsicle stick?  

 

Although I realize that it isn't slated for this, another site that I could see making sense is the 5 Allen Center block.  It would allow a larger footprint and have great visibility from the west.  On the downside tunnel connectivity wouldn't be as good.  

 

 

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