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1 hour ago, pablog said:

Renderings of Jones Plaza from today’s announcement. 

 

 

 

Link us plz

 

Edit: Nvm

 

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Downtown-Houston-s-Jones-Plaza-set-to-undergo-a-12860073.php#photo-15444706

 

Quote

 


Houston First Corporation and city planners announced an ambitious project Tuesday to once again turn Jones Plaza into a destination and bring it further into the 21st century by redeveloping it with fundraising dollars.

 

Words like "underutilized" have been used to describe the plaza. There is a struggle for the large concrete outpost to be exciting, as design tastes have changed. Redesigning the plaza was a part of a 2015 Theater District Master Plan.

 

Astros team owner Jim Crane and his wife, Whitney, announced Tuesday that they are donating $1 million to efforts to revitalize the downtown plaza. Just blocks from Minute Maid Park, it could be a destination for Astros fans after games.

 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke of his support for the project. He obviously has high hopes for the 1.5 acres on the west end of downtown.

 

"I believe what Discovery Green has done for the east side of downtown with its great diversity of performances and public art, the redesign of Jones Plaza will do not only for the Theater District but for the west side of downtown. It will be a game changer," he said.

 

A projected budget of $25 million will turn it into a public green space. A $20 million fundraising campaign is underway. Rios Clementi Hale Studios has been picked to handle the redesign process.

 

Expect more shade, more food options and a private event spaces that can be rented out for events.

 

"Rios Clementi Hale Studios is thrilled to work with the Houston First Corporation, the city of Houston, and Theater District stakeholders on the redesign of Jones Plaza. For us, this is a remarkable opportunity to bring together the two things — public open space and venues for the performing arts — which have been at the heart of our most rewarding work," said Nate Cormier in a statement.

 

Jones Plaza, located at 600 Louisiana in the Theater District, was constructed in 1966 alongside Jones Hall just to its west. It opened in 1967, built over a busy theater district parking garage. For about two decades it wasn't exactly a hot spot of activity.

 

In the late 1980s and '90s the square-block plaza sprung to life. It was the place to be for free concerts and citywide parties. Then-Mayor Bob Lanier even threw a campaign bash there.

 

These days, that role as a community area is more than likely filled by the family friendly Discovery Green and Market Square Park.

 

According to Houston First, the project will get underway in 2019 with an eye for a November 2020 debut for the public, hopefully in time for Thanksgiving festivities.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Will we be able to walk to the top of the grass embankment and sing "I long for the hills with the sound of music" as we spin around with arms stretched upward?

 

 

No.  Absolutely not.  :D   (and FWIW, the words are "The hills are alive with the sound of music."  Or "The hills fill my heart with the sound of music.")

Edited by Houston19514
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I am sure that there are no plans to close Louisiana Street.  No way they ever would for normal work days.  What they are prosing here, is making streets around the plaza, ready to be closed/used for Festivals, which I am sure would only be permitted on the weekends/holidays. 

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No, they'll only close down the surrounding streets for festivals on the weekends. Louisiana is a major thoroughfare that connects to I-10 out of downtown.

 

Looks awesome and I love the fact that a restaurant is also going in. With the Bank of America building's renovation across the street, which will also include a restaurant, this will be great for the area.

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4 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

I am sure that there are no plans to close Louisiana Street.  No way they ever would for normal work days.  What they are prosing here, is making streets around the plaza, ready to be closed/used for Festivals, which I am sure would only be permitted on the weekends/holidays. 

Sort of like Crawford around Minute maid now?

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^

Except I think the idea is to have the streets rebuilt with pertinent infrastructure (I don't think that has been done on Crawford).

 

According to the Theater District Master Plan:

 

What is it?

• Street narrowing (see Livable Streets)

• New pavement treatment

• Eliminate curbs

• Bollards to delineate pedestrian and vehicle spaces

• Signage to indicate shared street

• Infrastructure for electrical and water hookups for events

Edited by Houston19514
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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

No.  Absolutely not.  :D   (and FWIW, the words are "The hills are alive with the sound of music."  Or "The hills fill my heart with the sound of music.")

 

Wow, correcting me on Sound of Music lyrics has got to be the most Houston 19514 thing ever, lol! Thanks though, I wouldn't want to embarrass myself.

 

So I guess it is just a green roof that cannot be walked on above the benches. Does seem rather open and inviting though. Another idea would be to make it a tumble-down hill like the one at Miller Outdoor Theatre, but a sudden-death version where you fall off the edge.

 

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10 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Wow, correcting me on Sound of Music lyrics has got to be the most Houston 19514 thing ever, lol! Thanks though, I wouldn't want to embarrass myself.

 

So I guess it is just a green roof that cannot be walked on above the benches. Does seem rather open and inviting though. Another idea would be to make it a tumble-down hill like the one at Miller Outdoor Theatre, but a sudden-death version where you fall off the edge.

 

 

I was just having a little fun with you.  I imagine if you want to make a fool of yourself on the grassy rooftop, it might be allowed.

 

Edited by Houston19514
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This is just one more major improvement to the city in the last 10 years that will be transformative in the cities future.

Heres my top ten list.

 

1. Discovery Green

2. The museums additions MFAH, Menil, 

3. New downtown neighborhoods- 3

4. TMC3

5. BRT ON post Oak

6. midtown

7. Buffalo bayou park

8.  Theater district overhaul

9. The zoo redesign

10.City Gardens at Glenhaven / spaceport tie

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

Right on Bob. 

But don't forget Buffalo Bayou, -Memorial Park, Hermann Park and Bayou connections. They have really changed the way Houstonians enjoy the outdoors. 

I did get Buffalo bayou park #7, but you're right, all the new parks are a great plus for the city

Memorial parks  redesign is going to be spectacular..

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10 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

Right on Bob. 

But don't forget Buffalo Bayou, -Memorial Park, Hermann Park and Bayou connections. They have really changed the way Houstonians enjoy the outdoors. 

Thanks for taking a moment for us to count our blessings, Bob. There's so many exciting new projects that it's difficult to cram them all into a Top 10 list.
I humbly submit that MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston) and Midtown Park are also worthy contenders.
(I'm especially grateful that MATCH spells it 'Theater', not the more pretentious 'Theatre'.)

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13 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

Thanks for taking a moment for us to count our blessings, Bob. There's so many exciting new projects that it's difficult to cram them all into a Top 10 list.
I humbly submit that MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston) and Midtown Park are also worthy contenders.
(I'm especially grateful that MATCH spells it 'Theater', not the more pretentious 'Theatre'.)

I agree with you on Match. I hope others will add to this list. I'm sure Ive left out others. Its a great venue for the smaller arts organizations and a nice design by Lake Flato.

Once the Camden apartments on Main are open the park will really start to play a much more important role for Midtown.

 

Edited by bobruss
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https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/mixed-use/with-jones-plaza-and-bagby-street-redevelopment-theater-district-kicks-off-major-master-plan-87783

 

The Bagby Street Corridor project is following closely behind Jones Plaza’s redevelopment, and Eury said it has the potential to make Bagby a signature street. It will make the stretch from Clay to Franklin mixed-use and mixed-transport with a bike lane and more pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. The goal is to create a vibrant people place like is happening on Avenida de las Americas, Okan said. Bagby Street, the western edge of Downtown’s grid, is unique, Eury said. There is very little through traffic, and each block can be a little different. The DRA just finished an eight-month design programming process on Bagby and will move forward with design. No timeline has been set, but Eury said mid-2019 is probably the earliest construction would begin. The project is complicated by the tunnel system underneath and will go slow to be as minimally disruptive as possible.  This is just the beginning of a West Downtown transformation, Okan said. An overhaul of Tranquility Park may follow at some point, and the city is looking at how it could reactivate or improve its public facilities in the area.

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/05/08/houston-s-downtown-redevelopment-authority-picks.html

 

Quote

 

Houston’s Downtown Redevelopment Authority picks firm for Bagby Street redesign

 

By Olivia Pulsinelli  – Senior web editor, Houston Business Journal

May 8, 2018, 4:12pm CDT Updated May 9, 2018, 8:45am CDT

 

Another makeover project in downtown Houston just took a step forward.

 

The Downtown Redevelopment Authority announced in a May 8 press release that civil engineering firm Jones|Carter will lead the project to redesign the Bagby Street Corridor. 

Bagby, one of downtown Houston’s few two-way streets, connects the Theater District and key civic institutions such as City Hall, Houston Public Library’s central building and the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park. It also runs between nine parks, among other public attractions, the release notes.

 

The street currently is between four and six lanes wide, but the redesign will reduce it to between three and four vehicular lanes while adding wider pedestrian walkways, a bicycle lane, beautification elements and signature lighting, per the release. The corridor’s storm sewer system also will be updated to meet current requirements and help drainage to reduce ponding.

 

“Mayor Turner has tasked us with enhancing and bringing new energy to the west side of downtown,” Bob Eury, DRA president, said in the release. “We see great potential in transforming Bagby Street into a safe place for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles while linking the diverse offerings along the corridor.”

 

The $22 million project kicked off in July 2017 with awarding a traffic impact analysis and preliminary engineering design to Traffic Engineers Inc.; Lockwood, Andrews & Newman Inc.; SWA Group; and C.N. Joehl Urban Forest Inc., per the release. The final report was completed in April. Phase two began in March with a request for qualifications for an engineering and design consultant team. The project is expected to last through June 2021, with design taking one year and construction taking two.

 

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Yes please! As it is, it's down to only 2 effective lanes because at rush hour, when the lanes are needed the most, there's always a cop or 2 parked in front of city hall.  The traffic still flows, so if it was actually designed for 2 lanes it would definitely work.

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http://houston.culturemap.com/news/real-estate/05-09-18-bustling-downtown-houston-street-to-be-transformed-into-a-walkable-bike-friendly-corridor/?utm_source=sf_twitter

 

Quote

It’s a move that signals an approach to urban planning and walkability. Currently between four and six lanes wide, Bagby Street, one of just a few two-way streets in downtown, will be reduced to between three and four vehicular lanes to allow for wider pedestrian walkways, a bicycle lane, beautification elements, and signature lighting.

 

This is great! This may hurt traffic a bit after theater shows, but they can deal with it imho. 

 

Edit: Asked one of the planners on Twitter for a timeline, and he said 1 year for design and 2 years for construction. 

 

274680_original.jpg

Edited by wilcal
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27 minutes ago, wilcal said:

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/real-estate/05-09-18-bustling-downtown-houston-street-to-be-transformed-into-a-walkable-bike-friendly-corridor/?utm_source=sf_twitter

 

 

This is great! This may hurt traffic a bit after theater shows, but they can deal with it imho. 

 

Edit: Asked one of the planners on Twitter for a timeline, and he said 1 year for design and 2 years for construction. 

 

 

Yes, that's what the HBJ article says, as well.  Completion in 2021

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/05/08/houston-s-downtown-redevelopment-authority-picks.html

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5 hours ago, Vy65 said:

They need to either completely redevelop Bayou place or burn it to the ground and put something useful there. It's a dump, as it is. 

 

I think plans are to get rid of it and redevelop the 3 blocks it sits on.

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Saw this in the presentation. When it says "Trails in Progress" what does that mean exactly? That they have plans/funds and are waiting to start?

 

The little corner in the bottom left of the map on Holman is separated bike lane that is complete for a whole block, but none of Brazos is done to my knowledge and it's marked the same color. Are the dotted blue line projects imminent in their start?

 

UaBQgm7.jpg

 

 

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47 minutes ago, wilcal said:

Saw this in the presentation. When it says "Trails in Progress" what does that mean exactly? That they have plans/funds and are waiting to start?

 

The little corner in the bottom left of the map on Holman is separated bike lane that is complete for a whole block, but none of Brazos is done to my knowledge and it's marked the same color. Are the dotted blue line projects imminent in their start?

 

UaBQgm7.jpg

 

 

There is also the proposal making Main from MidMain to Downtown a pedestrian through fare with bike lanes. Aren't they also planning to make a dedicated bike lane when they redo Alabama?  

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4 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

There is also the proposal making Main from MidMain to Downtown a pedestrian through fare with bike lanes. Aren't they also planning to make a dedicated bike lane when they redo Alabama?  

 

That was a Midtown TIRZ rendering. I contacted them to ask if there was a timeline, funding, etc and they said no timeline and no funding at this point. Just something they would like to see. I specifically asked if it was something we could see with the new Harris County funds for this year and they said no. 

 

Edit: Also, Alabama reconstruction has been pushed to like '21 or '22 based on rebuild Houston funding website :(

Edited by wilcal
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I just wish the recently replaced bridge on W Dallas over I-45 had been built just a few feet wider, and with higher guardrails. Although the new bridge is an improvement over what it replaced, it's still daunting for cyclists and pedestrians (especially those who suffer from acrophobia).

It would have made the downtown improvements more accessible to the growing number of people who live in that area.

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25 minutes ago, cspwal said:

There's work going on Alabama underneath 527 and I thought it meant they had started on the W Alabama reconstruction 

 

That's just sewer work from my understanding. No road reconfiguration is happening. 

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2 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

That was a Midtown TIRZ rendering. I contacted them to ask if there was a timeline, funding, etc and they said no timeline and no funding at this point. Just something they would like to see. I specifically asked if it was something we could see with the new Harris County funds for this year and they said no. 

 

Edit: Also, Alabama reconstruction has been pushed to like '21 or '22 based on rebuild Houston funding website :(

Wow that's bs on their part. From what I gathered all this time is that most of these roads are funded and just needed to go through the right channels before construction. West Alabama was supposed to start late last yr. Where the hell is all this money going from 2017 till 2022?

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1 hour ago, dbigtex56 said:

I just wish the recently replaced bridge on W Dallas over I-45 had been built just a few feet wider, and with higher guardrails. Although the new bridge is an improvement over what it replaced, it's still daunting for cyclists and pedestrians (especially those who suffer from acrophobia).

It would have made the downtown improvements more accessible to the growing number of people who live in that area.

 

I think that's a temporary bridge.  I believe West Dallas will be an underpass rather than an overpass once the downtown freeway loop is replaced (so figure 10 years or so?).

 

Unfortunately since it will have 5 freeway lanes above it, it will be wide enough that it may become the new homeless encampment.  But maybe if we get the pretty signature bridge for the new downtown spur with the red towers as was rendered elsewhere (can't find it now, but I swear I saw it here the other day), it won't be a problem.

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On 5/11/2018 at 2:38 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

Wow that's bs on their part. From what I gathered all this time is that most of these roads are funded and just needed to go through the right channels before construction. West Alabama was supposed to start late last yr. Where the hell is all this money going from 2017 till 2022?

 

"Harvey stuff" from what I understand.

 

The Rebuild Houston interactive map is down right now, so I can't tell you exactly what year. 

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Has anyone seen any more information on Tranquility Park being renovated?  In my opinion, it needs more help than Jones Plaza.  I walked through this park and around City Hall over the weekend on my way to The Hobby Center.  The sidewalks are narrow and in extremely bad shape.  It seems like City Hall is used enough to justify improving this area.  This website says the fountains have been closed since 2013.  Maybe something will happen after the Bagby redo.  

 

Tranquillity Park Fountain - September 9, 2013 - Until Further Notice
Due to mechanical repairs, the Tranquillity Park fountain basin has been drained and the tall "stacks" will not be operational for the duration of the project.

 

http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/closedrepair.html

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