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

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I think it's a classy and formal building. Nothing extraordinary, and certainly not an architectural marvel. But it will add to the menagerie of styles that is our downtown.

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Although this sits on the southern part of the block in order, I'm assuming, to utilize the parking garage, it allows the entire building to be dedicated to units.

But it not being oriented towards the park stinks pretty bad.

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The building looks nice.

 

What is the use of the top floor? Tenant amenities or bar/restaurant space? The latter would be really cool.

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Wow - honestly beautiful, somewhat art deco meets One Park Place design! A very high end feel to this. I really can't wait for this one to start. I will be able to get a great view of this from my house! I really hope they plan to use brick and real stone.

 

How tall is OPP?

Edited by Avossos
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I realize the International Tower is a long shot, but if it were built along with this and the Hines residential project on the Cabo's/El Big Bad block, Market Square park would have the feel of one of those parks in Manhattan mostly surrounded by tall buildings. A pretty neat neighborhood. 

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I hope the color sceme is a just a placer... I hope they follow suit from hines and try to match the area... other than that I love it  and thinks it fits with the area

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Are you sure this isn't a design for San Francisco? Look at that elevation change! :D

Exactly what I was thinking!

Wow - honestly beautiful, somewhat art deco meets One Park Place design! A very high end feel to this. I really can't wait for this one to start. I will be able to get a great view of this from my house! I really hope they plan to use brick and real stone.

How tall is OPP?

501'

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Exactly what I was thinking!

501'

Are u sure? I thought Huntingdon was still tallest.

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I still don't like it, but I hate OPP too so no surprise there.  However, what I really hate is that massive parking garage in the back.  If you get rid of that and build one that is at the same height where the tower elevation changes, then what would make for a huge improvement; you have it blend in, it looks like it's not part of the tower now.  That big, ugly garage is very noticeable when you view downtown from the northeast side.  Just my thoughts.

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Hate to be a stick in the mud, but there's really no excuse for using the Market Square/Milam Street frontage as nothing other than a cloistered driveway for cars to get to the Kim Son garage. Put the building on Milam Street and put some ground floor retail facing the square. There are other ways to access that garage.

 

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From the renderings currently, the design is awful. It's lipstick on skyhouse. I hope I'm wrong in my current judgement when more realistic renderings show up... oh who am I kidding? This stucco tower will be a stain on the I-45 southbound skyline. 

 

Before everyone jumps my case, seriously, this tower is fresh out of the time machine from 2003. Same color scheme as the Ventana.

 

I'll take back my comment if it comes to fruition and looks more sophisticated.

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The design is terrific. This will be a great addition to the skyline. It will make the view from I-45 be even better and make downtown look even wider from the west. Love that the northern end of downtown is getting some serious height. 

Edited by Hugh Stone
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From the renderings currently, the design is awful. It's lipstick on skyhouse. I hope I'm wrong in my current judgement when more realistic renderings show up... oh who am I kidding? This stucco tower will be a stain on the I-45 southbound skyline.

Before everyone jumps my case, seriously, this tower is fresh out of the time machine from 2003. Same color scheme as the Ventana.

I'll take back my comment if it comes to fruition and looks more sophisticated.

Is there a possibility it's something other than stucco? I'm not a materials guru.

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I agree 100% with montrose1100. This will stick out like a sore thumb when coming into town on 45s. Couldnt be a worse location. Hate the building. it's going to look awkward as hell.

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Is there a possibility it's something other than stucco? I'm not a materials guru.

 

Yes, of course. This is likely brick, but I am not sure because no one has listed out the materials... Only an insider will be able to give us this information. If it is not brick, the entire feeling of this building changes, and by my measure, would not be appropriate for market square. Only brick will look good here.

 

People who think the design are bad are entitled to their own opinion. It is refreshing to get some different stylings on residential buildings.It will have extremely similar proportions to OPP. So you can expect that.

 

My only issue with the comments are the skyline comments: A skyline is not planned out and forced into certain shapes. and the skyline is only the same in the exact same position. Our city is thriving and tall buildings are going up - sorry they are not where you want them? From my view, it will look great... If you dont like the angle you see downtown now - look from a different one.

 

In terms of the garage and the placement of the building: my thoughts are - the more they push this from the edge of the street (away from market square), the more visiable it will be from the building. By renovating the garage, they are saving money. The garage currently has ground floor retail which would be nice if they kept. Now ideally they would redo the garage completely, but the plus side is another building can make use of the visual volume left open by not building directly above the garage.

 

There are pluses and minuses, but overall this is a huge upgrade and a beautiful and upscale urban development! I have high hopes for this. More info will come available in time.

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ya i'm pretty shocked (not really) that this is being met with so much disdain. the site by itself makes orienting the building much more difficult since it is long and narrow. the design - assuming this is brick - is exactly what many here have clamored for which is a much more cohesive form to the historic distrcit below. they don't own the garage so what can they do there?

 

the cries over the skyline are pretty ridiculous IMO - this is organic growth, just like Avossos above me stated. you don't like the view coming from the north? just keep driving b/c it will change drastically.

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I'm not following the bad location argument, unless you mean the orientation.

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ya i'm pretty shocked (not really) that this is being met with so much disdain. the site by itself makes orienting the building much more difficult since it is long and narrow. the design - assuming this is brick - is exactly what many here have clamored for which is a much more cohesive form to the historic distrcit below. they don't own the garage so what can they do there?

 

the cries over the skyline are pretty ridiculous IMO - this is organic growth, just like Avossos above me stated. you don't like the view coming from the north? just keep driving b/c it will change drastically.

 

Well said.  Except I thought they did own the garage, but plan to incorporate it into the development (a cost-savings that may make the building feasible, where it otherwise might not have been).

 

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Well said.  Except I thought they did own the garage, but plan to incorporate it into the development (a cost-savings that may make the building feasible, where it otherwise might not have been).

 

 

I thought I read this before - that they had purchased the garage / planned to rennovate it. I am not sure, but you are right. They didn't plan to take it down for a reason, whatever that may be. It might not be a stretch to think it could be re-faced with similar material to the building.

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I'm guessing the portion on the right in the shadows of the garage is where the pool will go?

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Okay...before any of you fire back at me and tell me what a crazy prick I am, here is a shot of the coveted north facing skyline. I understand that skylines are not planned out. They just develop certain ways and it just so happens, our skyline is kickass.

 

I really have no idea where this building is going to sit but I guestimated. After my very elementary drawing, it MIGHT not look all that terrible afterall given the orientation of the grid in a NE to SW configuration. Is my drawing below even close to reality?

 

IF IT IS NOT, then you don't have to rip me a new one. Just correct me. Thanks

 

1909394_10104557332002014_973646020_o.jp

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Looks like a pretty good addition to me :)

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Okay...before any of you fire back at me and tell me what a crazy prick I am, here is a shot of the coveted north facing skyline. I understand that skylines are not planned out. They just develop certain ways and it just so happens, our skyline is kickass.

I really have no idea where this building is going to sit but I guestimated. After my very elementary drawing, it MIGHT not look all that terrible afterall given the orientation of the grid in a NE to SW configuration. Is my drawing below even close to reality?

IF IT IS NOT, then you don't have to rip me a new one. Just correct me. Thanks

1909394_10104557332002014_973646020_o.jp

I thought it looked like it'd be on the other side of the Lyric Center, making it extend the skyline north. Don't understand how it covers up Pennzoil.

Edited by ClutchCity

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My bad. Like I said, I was just randomly drawing it in. If it is to the east of the Lyric Center then that would be even better!!

 

I guess I'm all for this tower now. All it took was a visual. I'm good.

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My bad. Like I said, I was just randomly drawing it in. If it is to the east of the Lyric Center then that would be even better!!

 

I guess I'm all for this tower now. All it took was a visual. I'm good.

 

Thank goodness...

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I agree 100% with montrose1100. This will stick out like a sore thumb when coming into town on 45s. Couldnt be a worse location. Hate the building. it's going to look awkward as hell.

Agree as well. Looks as bad as Hanover's Post Oak tower did when it was built over 10 years ago.

I agree 100% with montrose1100. This will stick out like a sore thumb when coming into town on 45s. Couldnt be a worse location. Hate the building. it's going to look awkward as hell.

Agree as well. Looks as bad as Hanover's Post Oak tower did when it was built over 10 years ago.

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In terms of the garage and the placement of the building: my thoughts are - the more they push this from the edge of the street (away from market square), the more visiable it will be from the building. By renovating the garage, they are saving money. The garage currently has ground floor retail which would be nice if they kept. Now ideally they would redo the garage completely, but the plus side is another building can make use of the visual volume left open by not building directly above the garage.

 

 

If it is my criticism of the garage you're responding to, it doesn't seem like you read it carefully.  I have no problem with them reusing the existing garage. What I have a problem with is them devoting the frontage along Milam Street that isn't already taken up by the garage to what appears to be a long entrance to the garage from Preston Street. The building itself should be in that space, and it should have ground floor retail on the side fronting Milam Street/Market Square. There are many other ways for cars to get into the garage. I understand that the main façade will have to face Preston since the site is too narrow otherwise, but at least part of the building itself - not a covered driveway - should be on Market Square.

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My bad. Like I said, I was just randomly drawing it in. If it is to the east of the Lyric Center then that would be even better!!

 

I guess I'm all for this tower now. All it took was a visual. I'm good.

 

 

Thank goodness...

 

I get so tired of this attitude people have on here that people's opinions are worthless just because they're not a real estate developer with the financial power to affect things. Someone needs to start a Houston Development Cheerleading Forum so that all the sunshine pumpers have a place of their own, and the people who want to sometimes voice criticism and disagreement can stay on HAIF.

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If it is my criticism of the garage you're responding to, it doesn't seem like you read it carefully.  I have no problem with them reusing the existing garage. What I have a problem with is them devoting the frontage along Milam Street that isn't already taken up by the garage to what appears to be a long entrance to the garage from Preston Street. The building itself should be in that space, and it should have ground floor retail on the side fronting Milam Street/Market Square. There are many other ways for cars to get into the garage. I understand that the main façade will have to face Preston since the site is too narrow otherwise, but at least part of the building itself - not a covered driveway - should be on Market Square.

 

That does seem like a missed opportunity and a rather inefficient use of space in the structure, if it's merely a passageway to the existing garage.  Perhaps the lower floors of the tower are also parking, so that those doors are not just entrances to a long covered driveway.  Either way, it would seem to make more sense to put them on the western end, rather than using up the parkside space.

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If it is my criticism of the garage you're responding to, it doesn't seem like you read it carefully.  I have no problem with them reusing the existing garage. What I have a problem with is them devoting the frontage along Milam Street that isn't already taken up by the garage to what appears to be a long entrance to the garage from Preston Street. The building itself should be in that space, and it should have ground floor retail on the side fronting Milam Street/Market Square. There are many other ways for cars to get into the garage. I understand that the main façade will have to face Preston since the site is too narrow otherwise, but at least part of the building itself - not a covered driveway - should be on Market Square.

 

No I wasn't responding to your criticism specifically.

 

I hate half the stuff on here dude... I want the best for the city, and I get really excited about things in general that look promising. I am supportive of this effort but realize my criticisms mean nothing to the developer. There may be a reason I don't know about... My only complaint is the skyline argument, which i described fully. But the comment you specifically made about my "thank goodness"... that's my personality shinning through - and I debated putting a winky face. At the end of the day, you can't control what anyone types. I just don't know why you let yourself get so worked up about it - who cares?. Eat a brownie and watch the cityscape rise!

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Allow me to play mister grinch.

Houston's architecture (post recession), is a joke and this building is the punch line.

Let's pretend it's actually a great design. The colors will make this building stick out like a sore thumb (I don't care for 1200 Post Oak, or any other tower along uptown park boulevard. Don't get me started on the hotel).

Those colors work next to picturesque oceans with white sandy beaches. Not in Downtown Houston, not even in any American city outside of Florida. Sure this could be te crown jewel of Destin.

I am well aware of how organic skylines are. I apologize for being dramatic and channeling LTAWACS, but when I see something like this it kind of upsets me. I feel like they don't see the bigger picture, or even how it would work with the surrounding structures.

So anyways I'm just upset that this city is experiencing some good growth and all we get are these low quality designs and very rarely something special.

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Allow me to play mister grinch.

Houston's architecture (post recession), is a joke and this building is the punch line.

Let's pretend it's actually a great design. The colors will make this building stick out like a sore thumb (I don't care for 1200 Post Oak, or any other tower along uptown park boulevard. Don't get me started on the hotel).

Those colors work next to picturesque oceans with white sandy beaches. Not in Downtown Houston, not even in any American city outside of Florida. Sure this could be te crown jewel of Destin.

I am well aware of how organic skylines are. I apologize for being dramatic and channeling LTAWACS, but when I see something like this it kind of upsets me. I feel like they don't see the bigger picture, or even how it would work with the surrounding structures.

So anyways I'm just upset that this city is experiencing some good growth and all we get are these low quality designs and very rarely something special.

 

This is valid. Maybe we are only seeing preliminary stuff here. If this was stucco and yellow, I see your point. Maybe the brick will be earth tan/brown and match some of the existing older buildings? Maybe there is some stone detail.

 

I will be honest, if this tower looks cheap, and is of poor materials (stucco / too much wood / etc) I will feel robbed of what could have been. I am happy with OPP, I cant remember if you said you didn't like it. If you didn't - why?

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No I wasn't responding to your criticism specifically.

 

I hate half the stuff on here dude... I want the best for the city, and I get really excited about things in general that look promising. I am supportive of this effort but realize my criticisms mean nothing to the developer. There may be a reason I don't know about... My only complaint is the skyline argument, which i described fully. But the comment you specifically made about my "thank goodness"... that's my personality shinning through - and I debated putting a winky face. At the end of the day, you can't control what anyone types. I just don't know why you let yourself get so worked up about it - who cares?. Eat a brownie and watch the cityscape rise!

 

I'm probably less worked up about it than you think, but you're just the latest in a long parade of people on here who have tried to stifle conversation with this "What're ya gonna do about it?" line. The worst of them answered every opinion with a professorial lecture on neo-liberal market economics, and you aren't nearly as bad as that. But I do think that a vigorous and healthy climate of architectural discussion and opinion ultimately does affect what developers do, otherwise they wouldn't keep doing things here that would never fly in cities that care more about the interaction between public spaces (like Market Square) and the built environment. 

 

The way this building is site planned, you'd think Market Square was on the Louisiana Street side rather than the Milam side. No developer in his right mind would try disrespecting an important square like that in Boston or New York or even Philadelphia; the public outcry would make his life miserable. And for good reason. Quality spaces are important to the public, and the public needs to guard them carefully.

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Yes, it is preliminary. But preliminary, conceptual designs should be aspirational. When they get developed, reality kicks in and takes the magic away. This one doesn't have any magic to begin with.

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Yes, it is preliminary. But preliminary, conceptual designs should be aspirational. When they get developed, reality kicks in and takes the magic away. This one doesn't have any magic to begin with.

 

Yup... Reality didn't so much kick in for Embassy Suites, it slapped each and every one of us across the face  :mellow:

 

HoustonRenderingDowntownEmbassySuites200Embassy_Houston_zps029d7b6e.jpg

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This new tower is beautiful. Most people are going to love it. Just like most people love Christmas and can't really relate to grinches or their personal issues.

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This new tower is beautiful. Most people are going to love it. Just like most people love Christmas and can't really relate to grinches or their personal issues.

Having a passion for quality architecture is not a personal issue. I didn't make fun of anyone who opposed my opinion, and neither should you.
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Your taste (or lack of it) is absolutely a personal issue. If you are entitled to reiterate your opinion, then so am I. I have a passion for quality architecture, I say this tower is very nice. You called yourself a grinch. I'm not making fun of you, I'm only agreeing with you.

Edited by Hugh Stone
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Yup... Reality didn't so much kick in for Embassy Suites, it slapped each and every one of us across the face :mellow:

HoustonRenderingDowntownEmbassySuites200Embassy_Houston_zps029d7b6e.jpg

Great example. Also, I don't have pictures, but remember the renderings for the cosmopolitan?

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Great example. Also, I don't have pictures, but remember the renderings for the cosmopolitan?

post-12513-0-32452500-1394766292_thumb.j

post-12513-0-30703600-1394766300.jpg

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