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POST: 401 Franklin Post Office Site Redevelopment


sevfiv

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You didn't hear it from me and deal isn't finalized, but the City has chosen Midway and Lionstone over the other groups. Details are being ironed out and some of the other groups might be included in parts of the overall development. Similar to how the Sears/Fiesta site is being handled in Midtown. 

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Right. Just like how Sears/Fiesta site is being handled.

Refresh my memory about that, if you would.

Lol, at first I was super excited but then I read this part and was bummed.. Fortunately it's midway apparently behind this deal, who has a track record of mixed use developments. Look forward to hearing more!

Edit: I wonder if they'll push for a HSR or commuter rail terminal here. IMO it would be ill advised to develop both the post office site and the hardy yards site without leaving anywhere for a station/terminal.

Edited by cloud713
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first of all.. WELCOME BACK largeTEXAS!  been keeping up with you upon the HBJ.  however, do you have any insight upon the proposed hotels (ritz carlton - w hotel - etc..)  no one, can seem to present anything thus far that is a bit concrete.  everything to date, seem speculative.  

 

any updated info, shall be appreciated. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

You didn't hear it from me and deal isn't finalized, but the City has chosen Midway and Lionstone over the other groups. Details are being ironed out and some of the other groups might be included in parts of the overall development. Similar to how the Sears/Fiesta site is being handled in Midtown. 

 

I don't understand how the city can award the property to anyone since I thought it belongs to the usps, Wouldn't they be the ones to award the property to someone?

I hope they do away with Franklin and reroute Washington to allow the bayou to come into play

with this property. Although it is on the opposite side of the bayou from sesq. park, they could always add more pedestrian bridges. What this would do is open up the hike and bike trails farther east, and create a frontlawn for that development. The views from this property are the best. Sorry about the pigeons.

 

 

post-7092-0-31936000-1406058088.jpg

Edited by bobruss
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I don't understand how the city can award the property to anyone since I thought it belongs to the usps, Wouldn't they be the ones to award the property to someone?

I hope they do away with Franklin and reroute Washington to allow the bayou to come into play

with this property. Although it is on the opposite side of the bayou from sesq. park, they could always add more pedestrian bridges. What this would do is open up the hike and bike trails farther east, and create a frontlawn for that development. The views from this property are the best. Sorry about the pigeons.

photo.JPG

Great points.. And I agree about ditching franklin ave and connecting Washington all the way through instead. Otherwise there isn't much bayou frontage that's not under Franklin.

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Dunno if this actually means anything, but I haven't seen this before.

 

http://www.munozalbin.com/62-houston-post-office.html

 

15534444318_06ccd61192_b.jpg

 

Went to the website and there doesn't seem to be anything else, but this master plan. To be perfectly honest, firms are hired to do master planning all the time without there being a project afterwards. Many times it's simply to theorize what could be done to the potential site and generate ideas for a future development. Once they get their ideas then they hire another firm to develop the full project. From their collection of projects in their portfolio it seems they have done a lot of master planning projects including one for Galveston.

 

I don't know how old this one is though because they don't really give any info. This master plan is pretty standard. Like very very very mediocre. It's not very inspiring at all and if this did become what would go at the post office site this would be quite the disappointment. I mean it does nothing with the surrounding area, it doesn't interact with the bayou, and it doesn't leave anything open for future growth especially in terms of mass transit which with the movement of TCR now full steam ahead into their environmental process I think that any plans for this site are on hold.

 

Good find though Urbannizer!

Edited by Luminare
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Dunno if this actually means anything, but I haven't seen this before.

*Edit* I see that Midway has been selected to redevelop the site, so it's 100% likely they would choose Munoz Albin as the architect lol. I guess this is our first look at the plans.

http://www.munozalbin.com/62-houston-post-office.html

15534444318_06ccd61192_b.jpg

While I'm bummed by the lack of bayou integration (can't say I'm overly surprised though), the rest of the plans seem nice. And some high rises! Heh.. I still think this site is too isolated from the rest of downtown to be much besides a stand alone development though.. Too bad. I had hoped that midway might come up with something creative.

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There have been rumors that midway will develop the post office project and Midway uses Munoz Albin for several projects including CityCentre

 

Rumors are rumors :P I don't believe anything until I see a Press Release, a statement from the city of Houston (since this is city property), or more details (renderings, etc...).

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Rumors are rumors :P I don't believe anything until I see a Press Release, a statement from the city of Houston (since this is city property), or more details (renderings, etc...).

 

This is not city property.  It's US Postal Service property.   So I guess you'll be needing a statement from the USPS.  ;-)

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while I don't know the reason these were drawn -- could be a simple "what if" exercise and nothing real -- this strikes me as underwhelming. There is no connection to the water. Open space exists but it also feels disconnected. The three northern buildings fell like something out of midtown.

I am thrilled that this site has redevelopment potential and I am hoping like heck that the city and the developers make it a signature development. A statement. Only going by what I have here, This feels bland to me. Hopefully it will evolve and morph and become something that other cities tey to emulate.

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It even has pretty much the same internal traffic circulation as the current post office, save for one extra block of east-west across where the post office plaza is now.  Looks like three buildings about the same height as the Tennyson (which barely pokes above I45), one about 2x taller, and then the center building on Franklin coming in at about 3x.  

 

giphy.gif

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While I'm bummed by the lack of bayou integration (can't say I'm overly surprised though), the rest of the plans seem nice. And some high rises! Heh.. I still think this site is too isolated from the rest of downtown to be much besides a stand alone development though.. Too bad. I had hoped that midway might come up with something creative.

It does not look like they're going to modify the existing streets.

 

Highrises on the site might be nice, especially residential, but we need to avoid the Jersey-City-across-the-Hudson-from-Manhattan look and feel.

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·        Low-rise Wrap building type

·        Podium Mid-rise building type and High-Rise towers.

·        The plan proposes a restaurant destination plaza next to downtown with rental and for sale residential units.

 

 

 

1,867 Residential Units

 

Edited by Sky-guy
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I think it would be pretty cool if they could build something like the Canton Tower in Guangzhou on top of a high speed rail station, along with some hotels and high rise residential. I think the views from an observation tower would be amazing from this area.

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It does not look like they're going to modify the existing streets.

 

Highrises on the site might be nice, especially residential, but we need to avoid the Jersey-City-across-the-Hudson-from-Manhattan look and feel.

yeah.. bummer. i had hoped they would get creative and/or copy the plans below to reroute Washington through the site and eliminate Franklin along the bayou. with Franklin running across the south side of the development it kills any connectivity with the bayou. oh and the Smith(?) St bridge offshoot.. turning that into a pedestrian promenade/bridge to connect the post office site to the rest of downtown was a great idea.

i wish they could dredge out a little inlet under Franklin, jutting into the Post Office site for direct bayou/trail access from the site without having to cross any streets. 

 

looks like Hines and ULI were doing some studies/trying to get some ideas on what to do with the site last year.. is the site for sale/projected to be for sale in the near future or why have there been so many proposals for what to do with the site?

dki52jzf2ig0nady.jpg

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the more i look at the site plan the more disappointed i am. its cool we are finally/possibly getting a first look at the Post Office redevelopment plans, and its awesome there seems to be a couple buildings with some height. but its completely disjointed from the rest of downtown. it even has little trails that run through the site, forming a big loop around the development, when there are miles of bayou trails right across the street.. they didnt even bother putting linkages into the bayou trails/park.. they could at least throw a few pedestrian bridges up over Franklin and Smith/Louisiana/Washington. im a little disappointed in midway. hopefully this is in its infancy and more detailed renderings prove they have done more to integrate with the bayou and the rest of downtown.

Edited by cloud713
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that info is straight from Munozalbin's site..

almost 2,000 more residential units for downtown..

the risk with this is that the developer needs to consider if this nook will feel like a vibrant PART OF downtown, connected to trails and designations or, is it going to feel like a little island ghetto surrounded by freeways and DISCONNECTED FROM the "real" downtown.

This property has incredible potential. The right developer with help from the City (likely needed) will be able to find a way to get all those terrific new residences to be able to connect to downtown seemlessly.

If all they do is bulldoze the lot flat, dig some holes, pop up some fancy buildings from those holes, and install some landscaping, this project will not fulfill its promise. If they do all of that AND solve connectivity issues, this project may become known globally as something to emulate.

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At least Hines team got it right. Is anyone sure who won this project. Hopefully with some prodding something closer to Hines plan could be developed. It does all the right things to make this project feel part of downtown. We need to have an email campaign to whoever is awarded this site and help them see the potential with images like Hines plan. I already sent one to Munoz Albins.
It's times like these that our voices should be heard. Not after they start digging. The sqeaky wheel gets the grease.
I know the city does not own the property but it wouldn't hurt letting them know how important this site is and it's potential to buffalo bayou.
Along those lines it wouldn't hurt getting the powers that be at the Bayou Conservancy, Guy Hagstette, an email also.

Edited by bobruss
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This master plan is pretty standard. Like very very very mediocre. It's not very inspiring at all and if this did become what would go at the post office site this would be quite the disappointment. I mean it does nothing with the surrounding area, it doesn't interact with the bayou, and it doesn't leave anything open for future growth especially in terms of mass transit which with the movement of TCR now full steam ahead into their environmental process I think that any plans for this site are on hold.

 

 

It seems like it would be smart thinking for Midway or whoever controls the site to wait about 5 years to develop until all the other residential projects downtown are built and stabilized, and something of a walking and shopping culture starts to develop. That would allow the development here to be a lot more ambitious, and lenders would be less worried about something with no precedent downtown. Of course no one likes to wait, but a piece of land like this comes along once in a generation and you want it done to its fullest potential.

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It seems like it would be smart thinking for Midway or whoever controls the site to wait about 5 years to develop until all the other residential projects downtown are built and stabilized, and something of a walking and shopping culture starts to develop. That would allow the development here to be a lot more ambitious, and lenders would be less worried about something with no precedent downtown. Of course no one likes to wait, but a piece of land like this comes along once in a generation and you want it done to its fullest potential.

 

Of course. I just don't understand why EVERYONE is all the sudden jumping on this one master plan that was found by a very curious Urbannizer. Urbannizer was simply curious because he hadn't seen it before, but I mean this is Urbannizer. He usually idicates if its a present plan or one that is going to get moving. He simply stated that he had not seen it before and now everyone is freaking out about it -.- I honestly don't see any development on this site or anything near or around the Pierce Elevated and that area of Washington Ave until more is known about TCR and their plans and future plans of the city. That means that all of this is simply speculation because this site won't be developed for YEARS! I guarantee that. This also accounts for exactly what you stated. The market is crammed full of projects right now. This area isn't even officially part of Downtown I believe, meaning it wouldn't be eligible for TIRZ funding or residential incentive programs. All in all I think everyone needs to just calm down about what Urbannizer posted.

Edited by Luminare
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It seems like it would be smart thinking for Midway or whoever controls the site to wait about 5 years to develop until all the other residential projects downtown are built and stabilized, and something of a walking and shopping culture starts to develop. That would allow the development here to be a lot more ambitious, and lenders would be less worried about something with no precedent downtown. Of course no one likes to wait, but a piece of land like this comes along once in a generation and you want it done to its fullest potential.

Does it? From the master plan so far it seems Midway is just trying to build a slightly more urban version of a citycentre esque development, in "downtown". Citycentre is meant to be driven to (or lived at). I guess they have the same vision for the post office site. Unfortunate, but I'm sure it will be successful either way..

Edited by cloud713
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yeah.. bummer. i had hoped they would get creative and/or copy the plans below to reroute Washington through the site and eliminate Franklin along the bayou. with Franklin running across the south side of the development it kills any connectivity with the bayou. 

 

The issue with rerouting Washington would be how to deal with the I-10 HOV entrance/exit. Obviously with a little funding you could realign it, but where to?

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The issue with rerouting Washington would be how to deal with the I-10 HOV entrance/exit. Obviously with a little funding you could realign it, but where to?

 

You would reroute the I-10 HOV to Bagby. Ideally if the Pierce Elevated were to be demolished someday then Bagby St. would be the ideal entrance into and from I-10

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It seems  the shadows indicate that 2 of the buildings on Franklin are much taller than the rest of the buildings.

 

Dunno if this actually means anything, but I haven't seen this before.

*Edit* I see that Midway has been selected to redevelop the site, so it's 100% likely they would choose Munoz Albin as the architect lol. I guess this is our first look at the plans.

http://www.munozalbin.com/62-houston-post-office.html

15534444318_06ccd61192_b.jpg

 


 

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Official in that this site plan is an official Master Plan done by this firm for this site, but that's it. The person wanted to know if it was official that this was the plan that was going to be used, which isn't official! Just saying yes and posting a link to something that we already have doesn't mean that this project is officially happening!

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  • The title was changed to POST: 401 Franklin Post Office Site Redevelopment

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