Jump to content
Urbannizer

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

Recommended Posts

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.

Classic. It's come to the "T" word. Architecture is far too subjective. Why not counter my statements with some of the positive features of the building?

Edit: you know, rather than imply I lack taste.

Edited by Montrose1100
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't love the architecture but I do love the population increase it will provide. This one, along with Hines' proposal, will give that side of downtown a pretty good boost to go along with Rice Lofts, Hogg Palace, Bayou Lofts, Franklin Lofts, Hermann Lofts, etc...

 

Not every building can be a beauty. Heck, 70% of Manhattan's skyline sucks but the critical mass these filler buildings provide is what brings the streets alive.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not every building can be a beauty. Heck, 70% of Manhattan's skyline sucks but the critical mass these filler buildings provide is what brings the streets alive.

 

The message I'm getting though is that a lot of people would prefer the minimalism of most Manhattan buildings to an art-deco cream-sicle like this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

God the embassy suites is so bad.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Perhaps it is unfortunate that half of the public are dumber than the average American. And around here, half of them are from places that start with "wood" or end with "land" or contain the words "master planned". Some even think the Galleria is downtown.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the rendering they have on the front of the preliminary brochure. Haven't seen it anywhere else so far...

OPPbrochureRendering.jpg

Comparing this to the new tower proposed for market square...

I hope in the next rendering we can see a little more detail, because this pic of OPP, I can tel it is brick

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The message I'm getting though is that a lot of people would prefer the minimalism of most Manhattan buildings to an art-deco cream-sicle like this.

Even with all that said... This building needs to be brick. If it isn't.... It will look like Miami next to market square!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually surprised we don't have a picture of the finished product that is One Park Place with the Phoenicia's already opened at the bottom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was reminded by a fellow HAIFer on facebook that we're complaining about a 40-story RESIDENTIAL highrise in DOWNTOWN Houston. When has this ever happened? Let's try, NEVER.

 

Not that we can't be picky, but we've got a humongous missing plane that vanished in the most technologically advanced time in history, and we're distracted by the details of the tallest residential building in downtown...DOWNTOWN's history! ;) Just be happy :)

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Sure this could be the crown jewel of Destin.

 

:lol:  Love it.

 

 

 

To me the tower has an odd 1980s post-modern vibe going.  The semi-deco roofline, and especially the base with the arched entryways (see Bank of America, Wortham Theater and Williams Tower for comparison).

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Worst of them checking in. Hi guys. 

 

There are folks that think aesthetic perfection is worth sacrificing if it means getting the thing built or refurbished and leased out by people who do not share tastes with people on architecture boards.  Or maybe there is another architecture forum that is unanimous in its praise for this thing that the developers are reading, who knows. Still can't understand the hospital at I-10 and Gessner, that thing is weird. 

 

From my point of view, I think the worst of folks go out of their way to one-up the previous posters' hyperbole over a project for its imperfections when all any of them have at stake is their idea of personal visual pleasure that they will occasionally experience when the only actual real world alternatives were a run down dump or an empty lot. Expressing that opinion seems to do the opposite of stifle discussion, and I would not expect or hope for another result.

 

You have an opinion, good for you. Someone else had an opinion and an organization capable of building a 40 story residential skyscraper in downtown Houston. 

 

The Market Square garage is huge and full. How would a new design "respect" the park right next to a big slab of gray (to say nothing of the bank drive-thru, a surface parking lot and the Hotel Icon's parking garage that fill out the visual field from Market Square). The park has cool old stuff on two of four sides currently, I call this a net improvement. Even if something really fantastic were possible on the narrow side, it would be like wearing your finest tuxedo to your wedding while the best man wears his "I'm with stupid" tank top. The disrespect is already there and predates Market Square being anything but a bum camp. I can't really tell what the Milam or Louisiana sides would look like from what has been posted. 

 

But to your point about other cities, you can actually go on Google street view and find big chunks of architectural nothing (though not as bad as the garage) and oddly situated and stylistically dated buildings around places like Madison Square and Union Square in NY, Washington Square in Philly and Christopher Columbus Waterfront park in Boston. 

 

The disagreement between my point of view and yours is that you see the development of private property as inherently of public interest. To the extent you want to influence opinion on what the end results should be, I have no problem with that, but to the extent those efforts extend in to restrictions with the force of law, I don't like the power that gives to politicians. 

 

But by all means, get out there and argue for (or heaven forbid actually sell) your ideas and designs. It takes all kinds. 

Edited by Nate99
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was reminded by a fellow HAIFer on facebook that we're complaining about a 40-story RESIDENTIAL highrise in DOWNTOWN Houston. When has this ever happened? Let's try, NEVER.

 

Not that we can't be picky, but we've got a humongous missing plane that vanished in the most technologically advanced time in history, and we're distracted by the details of the tallest residential building in downtown...DOWNTOWN's history! ;) Just be happy :)

 

on top of the fact that these complaints are stemming from what is clearly a very BASIC and PRELIMINARY rendering that lacks any sort of detail whatsoever. people making definitve statements about the look of this building are being a little ridiculous.

 

did we learn nothing from last week's episode in Cameron's 8-story downtown thread?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worst of them checking in. Hi guys.

There are folks that think aesthetic perfection is worth sacrificing if it means getting the thing built or refurbished and leased out by people who do not share tastes with people on architecture boards. Or maybe there is another architecture forum that is unanimous in its praise for this thing that the developers are reading, who knows. Still can't understand the hospital at I-10 and Gessner, that thing is weird.

From my point of view, I think the worst of folks go out of their way to one-up the previous posters' hyperbole over a project for its imperfections when all any of them have at stake is their idea of personal visual pleasure that they will occasionally experience when the only actual real world alternatives were a run down dump or an empty lot. Expressing that opinion seems to do the opposite of stifle discussion, and I would not expect or hope for another result.

You have an opinion, good for you. Someone else had an opinion and an organization capable of building a 40 story residential skyscraper in downtown Houston.

The Market Square garage is huge and full. How would a new design "respect" the park right next to a big slab of gray (to say nothing of the bank drive-thru, a surface parking lot and the Hotel Icon's parking garage that fill out the visual field from Market Square). The park has cool old stuff on two of four sides currently, I call this a net improvement. Even if something really fantastic were possible on the narrow side, it would be like wearing your finest tuxedo to your wedding while the best man wears his "I'm with stupid" tank top. The disrespect is already there and predates Market Square being anything but a bum camp. I can't really tell what the Milam or Louisiana sides would look like from what has been posted.

But to your point about other cities, you can actually go on Google street view and find big chunks of architectural nothing (though not as bad as the garage) and oddly situated and stylistically dated buildings around places like Madison Square and Union Square in NY, Washington Square in Philly and Christopher Columbus Waterfront park in Boston.

The disagreement between my point of view and yours is that you see the development of private property as inherently of public interest. To the extent you want to influence opinion on what the end results should be, I have no problem with that, but to the extent those efforts extend in to restrictions with the force of law, I don't like the power that gives to politicians.

But by all means, get out there and argue for (or heaven forbid actually sell) your ideas and designs. It takes all kinds.

Good grief man, I wasn't talking about you. It was a poster who was on here years ago called TheNiche.

I'm not asking for "aesthetic perfection." I'm asking that the building be placed against the square rather than against Louisiana, and that it have something more than a covered driveway on that side, preferably retail. Yes, it will absolutely help the square to have this - I do not follow your logic that because the garage looks ugly, the other half of the block should also ignore the square.. And it should not make much of a difference in terms of its chances of getting built.

Can the developer defenders admit that it really wouldn't be a hassle to shift the building against the square, and only a slight hassle to put retail at the bottom on that side?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good grief man, I wasn't talking about you. It was a poster who was on here years ago called TheNiche.

I'm not asking for "aesthetic perfection." I'm asking that the building be placed against the square rather than against Louisiana, and that it have something more than a covered driveway on that side, preferably retail. Yes, it will absolutely help the square to have this - I do not follow your logic that because the garage looks ugly, the other half of the block should also ignore the square.. And it should not make much of a difference in terms of its chances of getting built.

Can the developer defenders admit that it really wouldn't be a hassle to shift the building against the square, and only a slight hassle to put retail at the bottom on that side?

 

I remember TheNiche, I liked his ideas and agree with his POV usually, so I'll argue it, probably poorly, in his absence. Adjunct professor, at best. 

 

I don't think a 40 story tower ignores anything around it, but that's just me. My point was more that there's no visual cohesion around the park and won't be unless you tear down something huge that is already far more bland and intrusive than this may or may not end up being.  I'm betting that the developers want to make it as good as they can and leverage the neighborhood around it, but their version of good might differ from yours or mine. 

 

But I really can not tell what will be placed on Milam vs. Louisiana in the pic. You can see the garage entrance off of Preston towards Milam, but that does not preclude some retail or something else actually facing Milam. Louisiana could just be windows. Maybe I missed something with more detail.  A well done covered drive that accesses the main lobby with a pool deck above it facing the park could be really nice too, I'd think. No need to design buildings in Houston to pretend that we don't need cars. 

Edited by Nate99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps it is unfortunate that half of the public are dumber than the average American. And around here, half of them are from places that start with "wood" or end with "land" or contain the words "master planned". Some even think the Galleria is downtown.

 

Actually that's the way a normal distribution works. If we assume intelligence to be measurable and plotted on a bell curve then exactly half of the population would be to the left of center (dumber, as you say) and the other half would be to the right of center or smarter.

 

However I seriously doubt there is any correlation between the name of one's neighborhood "starting with "wood" or ending with "land" or containing the words "master planned"" and the measure of one's intelligence. Particularly considering the fluidity with which many people change neighborhoods throughout their lives, i.e. I used to live in the city of Houston now I live in Cinco Ranch. Therefore I am now less intelligent than I was or was significantly below the mean when I lived in the city and this lack of intelligence caused my move to the "master planned" community.

 

But what do I know? I live in "the burbs" so I am therefore ignorant and awful and have no valid opinions. At least as far as many on this site are concerned.

 

I know I'm off track and shouldn't bother but some times I like to rant also. What can ya do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually that's the way a normal distribution works. If we assume intelligence to be measurable and plotted on a bell curve then exactly half of the population would be to the left of center (dumber, as you say) and the other half would be to the right of center or smarter.

However I seriously doubt there is any correlation between the name of one's neighborhood "starting with "wood" or ending with "land" or containing the words "master planned"" and the measure of one's intelligence. Particularly considering the fluidity with which many people change neighborhoods throughout their lives, i.e. I used to live in the city of Houston now I live in Cinco Ranch. Therefore I am now less intelligent than I was or was significantly below the mean when I lived in the city and this lack of intelligence caused my move to the "master planned" community.

But what do I know? I live in "the burbs" so I am therefore ignorant and awful and have no valid opinions. At least as far as many on this site are concerned.

I know I'm off track and shouldn't bother but some times I like to rant also. What can ya do?

Relax. I was being facetious. Mostly.

The point I was attempting to make is that those in/from the outer reaches of a metro area tend to know lesd about inner city issues, planning, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember TheNiche, I liked his ideas and agree with his POV usually, so I'll argue it, probably poorly, in his absence. Adjunct professor, at best.

I don't think a 40 story tower ignores anything around it, but that's just me. My point was more that there's no visual cohesion around the park and won't be unless you tear down something huge that is already far more bland and intrusive than this may or may not end up being. I'm betting that the developers want to make it as good as they can and leverage the neighborhood around it, but their version of good might differ from yours or mine.

But I really can not tell what will be placed on Milam vs. Louisiana in the pic. You can see the garage entrance off of Preston towards Milam, but that does not preclude some retail or something else actually facing Milam. Louisiana could just be windows. Maybe I missed something with more detail. A well done covered drive that accesses the main lobby with a pool deck above it facing the park could be really nice too, I'd think. No need to design buildings in Houston to pretend that we don't need cars.

You don't think a 40 story building ignores anything around it simply by virtue of its being 40 stories? I don't get it.

I don't know about visual cohesion, I tend to like visual diversity. But what I'm interested in more than how anything looks is having activity on as much of the square's frontage as possible. It's a general rule of thumb that the more activity you put around a square, the more successful the square will be, and the simplest way to do that is retail.

So you are saying that maybe the auto entrance in the rendering doesn't go to the garage? That would seem strange, but I guess I hope you're right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you are saying that maybe the auto entrance in the rendering doesn't go to the garage? That would seem strange, but I guess I hope you're right.

 

It looks like it would go in to the garage, but I was thinking it might have a ramp right off the street going up, and something would still fit on the ground floor closer to the garage itself. The garage is designed that way now with all of the gates, ticket machines and actual parking spots up on the second floor (or maybe higher). I'm not sure if it would even be feasible to connect in at the ground level.  They'll have to reconfigure it in any case with a tie in from Preston through the new building. 

 

Alternatively, it could go straight in to garage at street level with a well done porte cochere/lobby tie in under the deck above. Not as interactive with the square as all retail, but still pretty nice to look at and would give a cool view/atmosphere for the residents to step out in to. In any case, maybe this building would nudge someone in to putting something viable in the old Kim Son space that has been vacant for so long. 

 

Big towers change the look of neighborhoods around them, that's why I think "ignore" is the wrong word. It could certainly encourage/discourage more activity around the park depending on how you manage the street level stuff. 

Edited by Nate99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is ridiculous, the building itself is not bad. Simple design but classic look. What is bad is that most planners ignore gems like market square and the opportunity they have in a wonderful open space.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to design buildings in Houston to pretend that we don't need cars. 

 

Do you really think this is a danger in Houston - pretending that we don't need cars?  Do you consider it a threat to the reign of the car in Houston if Market Square is developed as a real public square, oriented towards people rather than cars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is ridiculous, the building itself is not bad. Simple design but classic look. What is bad is that most planners ignore gems like market square and the opportunity they have in a wonderful open space.

 

They may be taking more of the square's positive attributes for themselves, but I don't think they are ignoring it. That pool/party deck overlooking the square would be a really nice amenity for residents that takes advantage of the park/square.

 

They'll be (literally) a crapload more users of the dog park, that's for sure.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They may be taking more of the square's positive attributes for themselves, but I don't think they are ignoring it. That pool/party deck overlooking the square would be a really nice amenity for residents that takes advantage of the park/square.

 

They'll be (literally) a crapload more users of the dog park, that's for sure.  

 

Usually the term "ignore" in planning discussions means it doesn't make any attempt to add to or enhance the public space. Hines Market Square enhances the public space by putting lively retail on its corner. In the case of this building, having a pool where residents can look down and enjoy the square that their building otherwise deadens does not enhance the space. It ignores it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you really think this is a danger in Houston - pretending that we don't need cars?  Do you consider it a threat to the reign of the car in Houston if Market Square is developed as a real public square, oriented towards people rather than cars?

 

No, I just think it would be much harder to find tenants for the building and therefore a harder sell. An unnecessary design risk for those with money on the line.  

 

I don't think you can jump to a more purely pedestrian oriented place prior to filling in with options that are more in line with what most people are used to dealing with right now. Maybe after this and the Hines residential building are successful, someone can build up something more in line with what you are describing on the block between the square and the Chronicle building. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually the term "ignore" in planning discussions means it doesn't make any attempt to add to or enhance the public space. Hines Market Square enhances the public space by putting lively retail on its corner. In the case of this building, having a pool where residents can look down and enjoy the square that their building otherwise deadens does not enhance the space. It ignores it.

 

Fair enough, I guess I see the buildings as being there to look at without much other interaction, so whether there is a bank or a coffee shop there it doesn't change what the area would do for me personally. I don't see any obligation for private property owners to enhance public space except to the extent they want to make it enticing for people to visit their retail tenants, and if they don't want retail tenants for whatever reason, that's their call to make. If that was their intention, I would think that they could find a cheaper spot to build it, presuming the market actually thinks that the square could be best utilized in the manner you envision. 

 

It cuts both ways though, there could be retail tenants there that made the park worse from any number of perspectives. Not that they'd want to put a methadone clinic down there, but they might if the market tanked. 

 

OPP has space for street level retail facing Discovery Green sitting empty. 

Edited by Nate99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Htown man beat me too it. I meant exactly what he explained.

As to building things and then after all is constructed, going in with amenities is kinda why downtown is not as lively ass we want it.

You absolutely do not build and alter with ever single development. You build with amenities as you go along.

No one is talking about flooding the area with stores, but sheesh, they could build with convertible designs. The design doesn't have to support stores right now, but at least it could look like it.

Why not save money and build more easily convertible designs? I doubt that all these buildings will poke hoes in their facade once the activity picks up. That's why there are still blank walls around discovery green even thought the area is more active than 10-15 years ago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You absolutely do not build and alter with ever single development. You build with amenities as you go along.

No one is talking about flooding the area with stores, but sheesh, they could build with convertible designs. The design doesn't have to support stores right now, but at least it could look like it.

Why not save money and build more easily convertible designs? I doubt that all these buildings will poke hoes in their facade once the activity picks up. That's why there are still blank walls around discovery green even thought the area is more active than 10-15 years ago

 

You lay out a good vision for what you hope to see, and I don't have a problem with that, but it seems like the people with the money don't agree with you. They view the trade offs in their designs and make choices. If you want to raise possibilities in the discourse of such things, that's all well and good, I just doubt that you're bringing up anything that the developers have not already considered thoroughly in their process. 

 

We just made the same point about OPP and empty space around DG. Finger is losing money because he planned for more street level retail than needed on that one and it still hasn't attracted anyone. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough, I guess I see the buildings as being there to look at without much other interaction, so whether there is a bank or a coffee shop there it doesn't change what the area would do for me personally.

OPP has space for street level retail facing Discovery Green sitting empty.

I see you are mute interested in architecture than public planning. That is fine. This is more of an architecture forum anyway.

But some of us here are interested in architecture and how it fits in and enhances the area.

Because you are more visual, I guess when you travel you don't feel the life that other squares have. For me when I visit the squares are both the open space and the life and continuity that the buildings around gives to the park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see you are mute interested in architecture than public planning. That is fine. This is more of an architecture forum anyway.

But some of us here are interested in architecture and how it fits in and enhances the area.

Because you are more visual, I guess when you travel you don't feel the life that other squares have. For me when I visit the squares are both the open space and the life and continuity that the buildings around gives to the park.

 

There's a balance there between the things and what goes on around them, everyone takes different things away from the same experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just made the same point about OPP and empty space around DG. Finger is losing money because he planned for more street level retail than needed on that one and it still hasn't attracted anyone.

Again a smart planner can plan for retail in the future but it doesn't necessarily have to be used as such from the get go. They can be used for leasing offices, gyms or other amenities and as retail grows they can juggle things around.

Luje I have been saying they don't have to make it but they can fake it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a balance between the things and what goes on around them, everyone takes different things away from the same experience.

That is exactly what im saying.

But I would say that most visitors have more positive opinions of a place, if it has more.

Seeing market square by itself people would probably say, oh yeah its a nice little park.

Market square +Warrens + La Carafe etc they would probably say oh yeah its a nice little area surprisingly unique from the rest of downtown.

Market square + Warrens/La Carafe + other amenities all around and it takes a bigger step and becomes more of an experience.

Market Square has the appeal of something that is pure perfection if you squint your eye, but if you open them and take it all in you see that the meat isn't all that thick.

I WANT MORE THICK MEAT, DRIPPING JUICE ON ALL SIDES. I could give a crap about buildings on all sides if its just walls.

Might as well just put me in a box

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I just think it would be much harder to find tenants for the building and therefore a harder sell. An unnecessary design risk for those with money on the line.  

 

I don't think you can jump to a more purely pedestrian oriented place prior to filling in with options that are more in line with what most people are used to dealing with right now. Maybe after this and the Hines residential building are successful, someone can build up something more in line with what you are describing on the block between the square and the Chronicle building. 

 

 

Fair enough, I guess I see the buildings as being there to look at without much other interaction, so whether there is a bank or a coffee shop there it doesn't change what the area would do for me personally. I don't see any obligation for private property owners to enhance public space except to the extent they want to make it enticing for people to visit their retail tenants, and if they don't want retail tenants for whatever reason, that's their call to make. If that was their intention, I would think that they could find a cheaper spot to build it, presuming the market actually thinks that the square could be best utilized in the manner you envision. 

 

It cuts both ways though, there could be retail tenants there that made the park worse from any number of perspectives. Not that they'd want to put a methadone clinic down there, but they might if the market tanked. 

 

OPP has space for street level retail facing Discovery Green sitting empty. 

 

It would not be "much harder" for them to find tenants if they didn't put a driveway on the side fronting the square.  This is developer brown-nosing at its worst. You're assuming so much thought went into this, it was laid out so carefully, and that the consequences of changing it any little bit would be dire. I think not much thought at all went into which side of the building that driveway was on, and the developer couldn't care less about the square, even though it wouldn't cost hardly anything to change it.

 

You assume that anything a developer does is what "the market actually thinks" is best. Funny how the market thinks it's best to have ground floor retail on the corner of Market Square where Hines is building, and the market doesn't think it's best to have it here.  I think it's just a matter of one developer giving a damn about improving the pedestrian experience around this area and the other developer not giving a damn, but for you, every developer has this crystal ball that he gazes into to tell him exactly what the market thinks is necessary, and the consequences are dire if he doesn't follow it.

 

Finger's retail space will most likely attract tenants as more buildings come on line in that area, and in the meantime, I doubt he's hurting too much by having an empty space in his building.  But how retail is faring on Discovery Green is less relevant than how it's currently faring on Market Square, and most of that space seems to be occupied.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is exactly what im saying.

But I would say that most visitors have more positive opinions of a place, if it has more.

Seeing market square by itself people would probably say, oh yeah its a nice little park.

Market square +Warrens + La Carafe etc they would probably say oh yeah its a nice little area surprisingly unique from the rest of downtown.

Market square + Warrens/La Carafe + other amenities all around and it takes a bigger step and becomes more of an experience.

Market Square has the appeal of something that is pure perfection if you squint your eye, but if you open them and take it all in you see that the meat isn't all that thick.

I WANT MORE THICK MEAT, DRIPPING JUICE ON ALL SIDES. I could give a crap about buildings on all sides if its just walls.

Might as well just put me in a box

 

Well stated.  All this relativism about "everyone likes different things" is nonsense; people all over the world prefer lively squares that are lined with restaurants and shops and full of people to squares that are on life-support because of careless, indifferent development.  Whether or not we end up getting a great, lively square in Houston depends largely on whether we have people with the vision to develop it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well stated. All this relativism about "everyone likes different things" is nonsense; people all over the world prefer lively squares that are lined with restaurants and shops and full of people to squares that are on life-support because of careless, indifferent development. Whether or not we end up getting a great, lively square in Houston depends largely on whether we have people with the vision to develop it.

See prior don't understand that Houston can be walkable without the entire 60,000,000 sq miles being walkable. Its development concentrated with amenities and connected with some sort of public transportation that make an area walkable.

We don't need stores in every building from the aquarium to GRB. But if there are clusters around MS, MSQ, GS and DG then that right there would make downtown loads more liveable.

Right now the retail is a building here, one down the street, another around tge corner. Its so spread out or hidden under ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You assume that anything a developer does is what "the market actually thinks" is best. Funny how the market thinks it's best to have ground floor retail on the corner of Market Square where Hines is building, and the market doesn't think it's best to have it here.  I think it's just a matter of one developer giving a damn about improving the pedestrian experience around this area and the other developer not giving a damn, but for you, every developer has this crystal ball that he gazes into to tell him exactly what the market thinks is necessary, and the consequences are dire if he doesn't follow it.

 

 

I think it's more of a question of one developer thinking that ground floor retail is going to be profitable in a particular location and another thinking that it won't.  I don't think any developer is interested in "improving the pedestrian experience" unless it's ultimately profitable for them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's more of a question of one developer thinking that ground floor retail is going to be profitable in a particular location and another thinking that it won't. I don't think any developer is interested in "improving the pedestrian experience" unless it's ultimately profitable for them.

But increasing the pedestrian experience for tenants has been shown to be profitable though.

People want to live in these areas. How much is it going to cost to put something other than a blank wall fronting the park?

I can understand not putting anything if you are building low income housing in crappytown or out in the boonies, but this area is a destination. It is the historical district. People are going to pay top dollar for this area, why not make minor improvements to make the area more inviting?

Edited by HoustonIsHome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But increasing the pedestrian experience for tenants has been shown to be profitable though.

People want to live in these areas. How much is it going to cost to put something other than a blank wall fronting the park?

I can understand not putting anything if you are building low income housing in crappytown or out in the boonies, but this area is a destination. It is the historical district. People are going to pay top dollar for this area, why not make minor improvements to make the area more inviting?

 

My point is that it's still a matter of judgement from the individual developer.  Each developer makes a decision regarding the profitability of "increasing the pedestrian experience" and whether it's worth making additional investment to do so.  Additionally, making an investment towards increasing foot traffic is one thing, actually realizing increased foot traffic from that investment is another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well stated.  All this relativism about "everyone likes different things" is nonsense; people all over the world prefer lively squares that are lined with restaurants and shops and full of people to squares that are on life-support because of careless, indifferent development.  Whether or not we end up getting a great, lively square in Houston depends largely on whether we have people with the vision to develop it.

 

Dense cities in countries with minimal private transportation ability or infrastructure lend themselves to "lively" parks and squares because there's nowhere else to go. Houston had the option to build up around downtown and did not. Ditto Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Calgary or anywhere else where more land was available to move away from the density, tell me about their preferences.  We have thousands of people coming from countries full of lively squares that pay thousands in airfare and lodging to get to the Galleria to shop and go to restaurants. Tell me about their preferences.  

 

A  vision that no one agrees with enough to actually fund probably isn't that great of an idea.  To be a bit snarkily to the point to match your needlessly defensive tone, no one is buying it, literally.  If you think that people throw crap together for projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars without thinking, seems to me you could approach them with your fantastic ideas and take some of that free flowing cash for yourself and implement your vision at the same time. 

 

If you want to call that "developer brown nosing", so be it, I don't think much of your motivations either. 

Edited by Nate99
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's more of a question of one developer thinking that ground floor retail is going to be profitable in a particular location and another thinking that it won't.  I don't think any developer is interested in "improving the pedestrian experience" unless it's ultimately profitable for them.

 

Sure. But the fact that two developers came to two different conclusions just a block away from each other shows that "the market" does not dictate either way; it's more subject to the opinion and interest of the developer.

 

I can't control what each developer does, but I can applaud a developer who is willing to take a risk that improves the city. And this may come as a shock to post-80's America, but there are developers in this world and even in this country who care quite a lot about the public environment, and are willing to take risks to better it. It's called "civic spirit."

 

Besides, retail on Market Square frankly isn't that much of a risk, not with 700 residential units coming online and maybe an office building in the pipeline. You think a coffee shop on Milam @ Preston isn't going to be successful, with 40 stories of residential above it and a busy park across the street? Come on.

 

Edited by H-Town Man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dense cities in countries with minimal private transportation ability or infrastructure lend themselves to "lively" parks and squares because there's nowhere else to go. Houston had the option to build up around downtown and did not. Ditto Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Calgary or anywhere else where more land was available to move away from the density, tell me about their preferences.  We have thousands of people coming from countries full of lively squares that pay thousands in airfare and lodging to get to the Galleria to shop and go to restaurants. Tell me about their preferences.  

 

A  vision that no one agrees with enough to actually fund probably isn't that great of an idea.  To be a bit snarkily to the point to match your needlessly defensive tone, no one is buying it, literally.  If you think that people throw crap together for projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars without thinking, seems to me you could approach them with your fantastic ideas and take some of that free flowing cash for yourself and implement your vision at the same time. 

 

If you want to call that "developer brown nosing", so be it, I don't think much of your motivations either. 

 

This would have been a great post in 1970. The fact is Houston is building up around downtown, and younger people are choosing density and well-planned spaces, in Houston, Dallas, LA, Denver, Atlanta, etc. Market Square already has way more use and interest now than it did ten years ago; my only point is that minimal planning would keep this side of it viable for future use as that interest continues to swell.

 

No one agrees with my vision enough to fund it? That's funny, Hines is funding just such a vision a block away. I just can't get over the fact that you get so riled up when someone on an architecture forum thinks that a building should better address a public square. As I've stated before, if you never want to criticize anything any developer does and get upset when other people do, start the Houston Developer Cheerleading Forum. An architecture forum is going to voice criticisms.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dense cities in countries with minimal private transportation ability or infrastructure lend themselves to "lively" parks and squares because there's nowhere else to go. Houston had the option to build up around downtown and did not. Ditto Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Calgary or anywhere else where more land was available to move away from the density, tell me about their preferences. We have thousands of people coming from countries full of lively squares that pay thousands in airfare and lodging to get to the Galleria to shop and go to restaurants. Tell me about their preferences.

A vision that no one agrees with enough to actually fund probably isn't that great of an idea. To be a bit snarkily to the point to match your needlessly defensive tone, no one is buying it, literally. If you think that people throw crap together for projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars without thinking, seems to me you could approach them with your fantastic ideas and take some of that free flowing cash for yourself and implement your vision at the same time.

If you want to call that "developer brown nosing", so be it, I don't think much of your motivations either.

Market Square is already lively. Kinda small but I see people in and around that area all the time. My two biggest problems with it are that the preston and milam sides are not like the travis and congress sides, and the lower pedestrian feel.

I think people would use the area more if there was more to do

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would have been a great post in 1970. The fact is Houston is building up around downtown, and younger people are choosing density and well-planned spaces, in Houston, Dallas, LA, Denver, Atlanta, etc. Market Square already has way more use and interest now than it did ten years ago; my only point is that minimal planning would keep this side of it viable for future use as that interest continues to swell.

 

No one agrees with my vision enough to fund it? That's funny, Hines is funding just such a vision a block away. I just can't get over the fact that you get so riled up when someone on an architecture forum thinks that a building should better address a public square. As I've stated before, if you never want to criticize anything any developer does and get upset when other people do, start the Houston Developer Cheerleading Forum. An architecture forum is going to voice criticisms.

 

They are building up now (with subsidies), but they did not in 1970 (or pretty much any time before now), that disproves the universal and timeless appeal of urban density and parks and squares. It depends on many factors that make it more or less attractive given other options that are now becoming less attractive.  Houston is growing, so everyone has to go somewhere. Making a public space nicer is the city's job, and good for them in making Market Square an attractive place again, but I don't see why that obligates anyone else to do anything a certain way. 

 

I'm not trying to shout you down, nor am I the one using terms like "sunshine pumping" and "brown nosing" to belittle your opinion; getting over your perception of my point of view or not is your choice. 

 

There is no "vision" being built. There is a park/square with different landowners all around it. Hines is funding a building a block away that they want to make money with, not developing a lively district. Street level retail goes along with that, just like it did for 1001 Main, BG place and the little deli in Houston House. I have more faith in investors than you. If it were highly likely that an approach to this building such as what you propose made everything better, I believe they would do it. There may be many permutations that they have to deal with that may make it not worth their while; or it could be in the plan yet, we don't even know.

 

If you are expecting anyone to give up value for the sake of the neighborhood, I disagree with that. If you think they are missing an opportunity to create more overall value, that's a fair opinion to have. I just doubt that you see something that they haven't thought about.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are building up now (with subsidies), but they did not in 1970 (or pretty much any time before now), that disproves the universal and timeless appeal of urban density and parks and squares. It depends on many factors that make it more or less attractive given other options that are now becoming less attractive.  Houston is growing, so everyone has to go somewhere. Making a public space nicer is the city's job, and good for them in making Market Square an attractive place again, but I don't see why that obligates anyone else to do anything a certain way. 

 

I'm not trying to shout you down, nor am I the one using terms like "sunshine pumping" and "brown nosing" to belittle your opinion; getting over your perception of my point of view or not is your choice. 

 

There is no "vision" being built. There is a park/square with different landowners all around it. Hines is funding a building a block away that they want to make money with, not developing a lively district. Street level retail goes along with that, just like it did for 1001 Main, BG place and the little deli in Houston House. I have more faith in investors than you. If it were highly likely that an approach to this building such as what you propose made everything better, I believe they would do it. There may be many permutations that they have to deal with that may make it not worth their while; or it could be in the plan yet, we don't even know.

 

If you are expecting anyone to give up value for the sake of the neighborhood, I disagree with that. If you think they are missing an opportunity to create more overall value, that's a fair opinion to have. I just doubt that you see something that they haven't thought about.  

 

I actually think I am seeing something they haven't thought about, but you can defend them all you want, I think they'd be impressed at your perseverance on their behalf. One wonders if, in your world, a developer ever does anything that isn't totally rational and as good as it could possibly have been. In my world, developers are human and sometimes miss things; some have more vision than others, and some build things that are inconsiderate and detrimental to the area around them.

 

Making a public space successful is not just the "city's job," success of a public space depends on how development around it is oriented. And quit your hangup with people being "obligated," no one is obligating anyone to do anything, just voicing criticism.

 

Sorry to belittle your opinions but you jumped headlong into this thing this morning with your mini-essay. I still can't see why my criticism of a minor aspect of this building bothers you so much. We've had this conversation before, and I thought we had made peace and agreed to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fact of the matter is that developers ignore street presence because they don't feel obliged to and they feel that way because we do not press the issue.

We just settle for whatever we get.

Even worse we stiffle efforts of those who do want more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually think I am seeing something they haven't thought about, but you can defend them all you want, I think they'd be impressed at your perseverance on their behalf. One wonders if, in your world, a developer ever does anything that isn't totally rational and as good as it could possibly have been. In my world, developers are human and sometimes miss things; some have more vision than others, and some build things that are inconsiderate and detrimental to the area around them.

 

Making a public space successful is not just the "city's job," success of a public space depends on how development around it is oriented. And quit your hangup with people being "obligated," no one is obligating anyone to do anything, just voicing criticism.

 

Sorry to belittle your opinions but you jumped headlong into this thing this morning with your mini-essay. I still can't see why my criticism of a minor aspect of this building bothers you so much. We've had this conversation before, and I thought we had made peace and agreed to disagree.

 

I don't intend to be anything but peaceable about it, but we are just continuing to disagree at length. Writing "essays" tests my understanding about how I think through stuff and finding a contrary opinion gives me a chance to walk through my logic. Sometimes I change my mind as a result, so far I haven't here. 

 

Allowing people to do what they want with their property is really important to me, as is our right to criticize.

 

If someone wasted as much space talking about a project as we have here, I'd probably read what they have to say, so maybe you'll clue them in. At the end of the day, you're idea probably would make the area better even in my opinion; if changing it would be worth it to them, only they can say.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't intend to be anything but peaceable about it, but we are just continuing to disagree at length. Writing "essays" tests my understanding about how I think through stuff and finding a contrary opinion gives me a chance to walk through my logic. Sometimes I change my mind as a result, so far I haven't here. 

 

Allowing people to do what they want with their property is really important to me, as is our right to criticize.

 

If someone wasted as much space talking about a project as we have here, I'd probably read what they have to say, so maybe you'll clue them in. At the end of the day, you're idea probably would make the area better even in my opinion; if changing it would be worth it to them, only they can say.  

 

Allowing people to do what they want with their property is really important to me, as is our right to criticize. +++

 

This is much more important than having "public spaces".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allowing people to do what they want with their property is really important to me, as is our right to criticize.

 

Well cool, I'll take that as a green light to criticize. I suppose if the issue of zoning ever comes up, we can have a lively discussion then about property rights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...