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Market Square Tower: 40-Story High-Rise for Downtown


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Parks get reconfigured all the time. Who knows what this will look like in ten years. The building is much more permanent. And a dog park with a park around it is much better to look at than the dreary parking garage that is across from their planned café on Preston.

 

If Market Square becomes a big urban activity hub, people will not eschew a café or restaurant or whatever just because it is across the street from a dog park. The synergy of all the other restaurants and retail along the sidewalk would make it successful.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Got to take a hardhat tour of the site yesterday. Still a lot of work to be done. They're shooting for an October 26th grand opening, with about the first 15 or 16 floors complete at that time. The 39

That's a great shot.  And to give an idea of how much things have changed from this angle recently, below I have attempted to highlight everything that's new in the last 15 years:

Posted Images

Come on, Cloud. As silly as saying that retail is less viable because it is across the street from a Dog Park? For those who don't like dogs, I doubt they would even notice them across the street, across 5 lanes of traffic.

It's not so much that the people will notice the dogs. It's that there will be absolutely no interaction with the park when there is a walled off dog park in the way. People were wanting it to "interact" with the park, but I don't think that would of been possible given the orientation of the dog park.

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It's not so much that the people will notice the dogs. It's that there will be absolutely no interaction with the park when there is a walled off dog park in the way. People were wanting it to "interact" with the park, but I don't think that would of been possible given the orientation of the dog park.

 

Wouldn't you have to walk to the corner to get there anyway, or is all of the fuss about not being able to sit and drink coffee while looking at a park?

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Cloud.  It is a pretty busy, wide street on a relatively short block.  Pedestrians will likely use the crosswalks at either end of the park, where the park is very welcoming.  In fact in this case, the ends of the dog park are tapered to a point.  I see Dogs and dog parks a catalysts for social interaction.  Not impediments.  Except for bad dogs. 

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Alright, here is what patrons would see if there was retail where the port cochere is, facing the dog park:

 

post-12-0-00914500-1412619490_thumb.png

 

Here is what they will see from the proposed retail space on Preston:

 

post-12-0-77502600-1412619526_thumb.png

 

Here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Congress:

 

post-12-0-97383800-1412619570_thumb.png

 

And here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Louisiana:

 

post-12-0-58414500-1412619600_thumb.png

 

And the winner is... the dog park.

 

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No idea about the grocery store. My guess is they are trying to get whatever will take up the most space at the highest average rent with the longest leases to the most reliable tenants. If they can lease out the whole northern side of the block to smaller tenants as is depicted in the leasing brochure, they would probably prefer that, since smaller tenants generally pay a higher rent/SF.

 

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Alright, here is what patrons would see if there was retail where the port cochere is, facing the dog park:

 

attachicon.gifMilam.PNG

 

Here is what they will see from the proposed retail space on Preston:

 

attachicon.gifPreston.PNG

 

Here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Congress:

 

attachicon.gifCongress.PNG

 

And here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Louisiana:

 

attachicon.gifLouisiana.PNG

 

And the winner is... the dog park.

solid points.. i just dont see the big deal with the location. especially given what i just said above. Franks does great business and its down the block a little ways from MSP. if its a good establishment people will come. i agree, it would of been nice to have MSP lined 360* with retail, but maybe they can throw out the empty space below the Car Port thing in the future and put in retail, assuming its just a covered pull up location, and has no connectivity to the garage.

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You have a point. For this reason alone, I cannot imagine why these *#*#*#*#* dog parks are getting popular and seem to be everywhere these days. Next thing you know, they will allow dogs in restaurants. Ugh.

 

Germany works pretty well with dogs allowed in restaurants and stores

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Oh boy, all of our fears were true, there will be absolutely no new retail facing the park in an attempt to match the other two sides of Market Square. And all of the "new retail" theyve been touting is actually all the old vacant retail in the ugly ass Kim Son garage.

The only "new retail" I see is a 1,400 square foot slot facing Preston.

Looks like they have made absolutely ZERO effort to interact with the park/square on the street/pedestrian level. Such a shame.

 

It's amusing that the eateries that are tagged on the aerial photo are among the most pedestrian least representative of downtown.

 

It also looks like they're doing zero, zip, nada to the Market Square Garage beyond joining it on the ground level and taking up a bunch of its spaces.

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Alright, here is what patrons would see if there was retail where the port cochere is, facing the dog park:

Milam.PNG

Here is what they will see from the proposed retail space on Preston:

Preston.PNG

Here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Congress:

Congress.PNG

And here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Louisiana:

Louisiana.PNG

And the winner is... the dog park.

Thanks H-Town; that just illustrates how beautiful Downton is.

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It also looks like they're doing zero, zip, nada to the Market Square Garage beyond joining it on the ground level and taking up a bunch of its spaces.

 

If you are basing this on the rendering in the leasing brochure, I would not put much stock in that. It looks like somebody had about two minutes to put that image together. The building is actually dwarfed by the Lyric Center across the street. Then again, based on the quality of renderings and marketing materials we've seen, I'm not expecting a whole lot from this project other than more residents.

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If you are basing this on the rendering in the leasing brochure, I would not put much stock in that. It looks like somebody had about two minutes to put that image together. The building is actually dwarfed by the Lyric Center across the street. Then again, based on the quality of renderings and marketing materials we've seen, I'm not expecting a whole lot from this project other than more residents.

 

The renderings and marketing materials seem to be heavy on the Soft Corinthian Leather.  I just hope the building itself ages better than the Chrysler Cordoba did.

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Alright, here is what patrons would see if there was retail where the port cochere is, facing the dog park:

attachicon.gifMilam.PNG

Here is what they will see from the proposed retail space on Preston:

attachicon.gifPreston.PNG

Here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Congress:

attachicon.gifCongress.PNG

And here is what they will see from the existing retail space on Louisiana:

attachicon.gifLouisiana.PNG

And the winner is... the dog park.

Thanks H-townMan, somebody gets me. You saved me from having to post all this.

Cloud, you're missing the point. Its not the what people sitting at Milam retail would see.....its what people in the park see.

Do you remember what was on Milam before the Kim Son garage?

Market_Square.jpg

It looked just like across the street at Treebeards, Warrens, Charbar. And the northern side with La Carafe, barnabys etc.

Now imagine the other two sides like this, completely surrounding the park. Could you imagine?

Too bad it cant happen now.

I should have worded my original "they made no attempt to interact with the square" statement differently.

What I meant was, they are making no attempt to fit in with the historic market square look on the ground level.

Better?

I think even Hines made an attempt to do this, and they're not even facing the park.

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Thanks H-townMan, somebody gets me. You saved me from having to post all this.

Cloud, you're missing the point. Its not the what people sitting at Milam retail would see.....its what people in the park see.

Do you remember what was on Milam before the Kim Son garage?

Market_Square.jpg

It looked just like across the street at Treebeards, Warrens, Charbar. And the northern side with La Carafe, barnabys etc.

Now imagine the other two sides like this, completely surrounding the park. Could you imagine?

Too bad it cant happen now.

I should have worded my original "they made no attempt to interact with the square" statement differently.

What I meant was, they are making no attempt to fit in with the historic market square look on the ground level.

Better?

I think even Hines made an attempt to do this, and they're not even facing the park.

 

yes, i remember.. its a shame what happened, but the past is the past. yes.. i can imagine. i mentioned the idea in this very post below.. heh.

well that makes much more sense.. i agree they arent interacting as much as i would prefer with the square. yes Hines made a great attempt, but i would argue Hines is actually on the corner, facing the square, where as this one is clearly facing south, across Preston, not at all towards the park.

. i agree, it would of been nice to have MSP lined 360* with retail, but maybe they can throw out the empty space below the Car Port thing in the future and put in retail, assuming its just a covered pull up location, and has no connectivity to the garage.

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I know, bummer huh?

Im just sayin, if I had any say so in it, I would've placed the retail in the lower right corner of the apartments, facing the park, I dont see why they are putting it front and center facing Preston, no one walks over there.

Same with the existing Kim Son retail space facing the chase bank drive thru on Congress, who is going to see that over there? No one walks over there either.

Unless they put like a small grocery store in there, alá One Park Place/Phoenecia, I dont see any other retail there succeeding.

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Actually, it would be a PERFECT place for a dog/cat store. More and more people will be moving to downtown and you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a lot of dogs. Unless I am wrong, there's no place to buy pet food, get your pet groomed, have access to a vet, leave your pet at a pet hotel, etc... in downtown. 

 

Hmmm.....

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There's an article somewhere when it was first announced saying they were hoping to land a grocer. I guess they wanted the building set back from the park so the 40 story tower wasn't as imposing, and also wanted the lower pool to overlook the park. Though they still could of put retail below the carportish thing and had the drive way on the other side or the front entrance, a la JW Marriott.

Edited by cloud713
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Incidentally, that post card is from before Warren's... IIRC, it was in the white building in the middle.  He did not move across the square until forced.

 

FWIW, I was very, very young at the time.  My parents brought my pre-adolescent self to Market Square in its heyday, as well as the Quarter in NOLA.  No, they weren't giving me and my brothers gin intravenously, they were teaching us responsible fun.  Thanks, publicly, Mom and Dad, who I've never been scared of as long as there was no blood or broken bones (actually, they could handle cops... prolly better than was necessary).

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33 months is the estimated completion for this thing.  By my count we're down roughly 2 of those, so 31 months remaining.

 

Good to see someone get started on a proposal.  This developer wanted to get a jump on some of the other high-rise residential proposed for DT.

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According to the Houston Business Journal, a grocery store is indeed what is desired:

http://m.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2014/07/16/new-details-revealed-in-market-square-tower.html?page=all&r=full

 

Wait, I'm confused. In the article Burney says they hope to add a grocery store in 3 to 5 years, implying that would be separate from the 22k retail space they are building now. Perhaps they want to repurpose the existing parking garage in the future?

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I'm going to make the presumption that the repurposing for the garage will be done over the course of a few years. They have stated that they were going to incorporate the existing garage to the new building, but were going to downsize it. That might mean that whatever other additions to the garage (maybe this market) will be done then. Just pure speculation!

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One can never tell.

For those that don't know what they are looking at, that grey wall is the side of the Houston Ballet building. Probably 2 -3 years old.

I know.

I took it as sarcasm that we already know they are building a 40 story high rise there that will cover up that wall?

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One can never tell.

For those that don't know what they are looking at, that grey wall is the side of the Houston Ballet building. Probably 2 -3 years old.

Woah, that wall is the Houston Ballet building? It looks great from the other 3 sides.. What happened here?

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I know.

I took it as sarcasm that we already know they are building a 40 story high rise there that will cover up that wall?

The 40 story highrise that's going up across the street from the grey wall of the Houston ballet building will only block the view of the wall from the east. I am talking about a residential building being built directly next to the Houston ballet building on the vacant parking lot surrounded by Preston St., Lousiana St., and Congress St. No Sarcasm.

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Woah, that wall is the Houston Ballet building? It looks great from the other 3 sides.. What happened here?

Oh, I just realized the ballet center just sits on half a block. do they not own the other half of that block, or have future plans for an expansion or something? I guess that would explain the bare wall facing the parking lot if they can't control what will eventually be built there, or have future plans for that plot themselves..

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The ballet originally owned the entire block.  I believe they sold the eastern half to help fund the construction of the Ballet Center.  I know there was talk of a residential high-rise on the eastern half, but I think that plan died in the recession.  IIRC it was sold to an Atlanta residential developer.

 

Did a little more digging.  It turns out that the parcel was indeed sold to an Atlanta residential developer.  The Novare Group, developers of the SkyHouses...   But it appears that it is now again owned by the Houston Ballet Foundation.  Looks like Novare let it go back to the bank from whom they had a mortgage loan.  The bank then sold it back to Houston Ballet Foundation.  Maybe they'll sell it again and make even more money this time.

Edited by Houston19514
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The 40 story highrise that's going up across the street from the grey wall of the Houston ballet building will only block the view of the wall from the east. I am talking about a residential building being built directly next to the Houston ballet building on the vacant parking lot surrounded by Preston St., Lousiana St., and Congress St. No Sarcasm.

Well then. Thats awesome news!
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