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POST: 401 Franklin Post Office Site Redevelopment


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  • 1 month later...
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Downtown post office to close after the first of the year, per the USPS. No buyer for the site yet, but it will be put back on the market next year:

 

http://abc13.com/news/what-will-closure-of-downtown-post-office-mean/441038/

 

If I'm reading the USPS data on consolidations correctly, all services will end at the current site on 5/31/2015. There's a detailed spreadsheet covering all planned USPS consolidations at http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/welcome.htm (click on "Planned 2015 consolidations" to download the spreadsheet). 

 

Also of note: the USPS is revising service standards in the new year to tack on another day to the average time for First Class Mail delivery. 

 

I expect that I'm possibly the only person here who will miss having a retail post office and distribution center at the current site. So it goes. 

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Downtown post office to close after the first of the year, per the USPS. No buyer for the site yet, but it will be put back on the market next year:

http://abc13.com/news/what-will-closure-of-downtown-post-office-mean/441038/

If I'm reading the USPS data on consolidations correctly, all services will end at the current site on 5/31/2015. There's a detailed spreadsheet covering all planned USPS consolidations at http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/welcome.htm (click on "Planned 2015 consolidations" to download the spreadsheet).

Also of note: the USPS is revising service standards in the new year to tack on another day to the average time for First Class Mail delivery.

I expect that I'm possibly the only person here who will miss having a retail post office and distribution center at the current site. So it goes.

What makes you think they are taking it off the market? Last I heard midway was in the running and wanted to buy this

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Funny thought. If Crude crashes... the USPS would have been much better off selling in 2014 then waiting until the gloom ahead. I can't help but see the USPS losing as they always do no matter what happens to Htown. I believe in this city and I don't support any doomsday theories; however, when the US Gov't is involved history tells me they never win. Literally N E V E R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

 

post my picture again1

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Funny thought. If Crude crashes... the USPS would have been much better off selling in 2014 then waiting until the gloom ahead. I can't help but see the USPS losing as they always do no matter what happens to Htown. I believe in this city and I don't support any doomsday theories; however, when the US Gov't is involved history tells me they never win. Literally N E V E R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

post my picture again1

"Literally"

I do not think it means what you think it means.

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USPS might lose out on a better price for the land, but big developments like this site have potential to offer us - take time.  Could be this thing works through all the kinks and problems over the time we're in a "down" economy (at least due to oil).  Will remain to see if the overall health of the US economy due to lower oil prices will drive other industries in Houston - it could very well do that.

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What makes you think they are taking it off the market? Last I heard midway was in the running and wanted to buy this

 

I was paraphrasing the linked article. I don't think it was taken off the market, the article was just poorly worded:

 

 

 

The current downtown Houston facility was put up for sale earlier this year. However, we have learned from the USPS that the sale was not completed. This facility is suppose to hit the real estate market again next year.
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Actually, you are not. Current site or not, having a big central retail post office location is something I will miss too.

 

It's not mentioned anywhere in the ABC13 article, but I can't believe that the USPS isn't going to have some sort of retail postal presence downtown after the current post office closes. But they're clearly not going to have a main distribution center there. 

 

That spreadsheet indicates that all incoming letter and flat mail at the current site is already being processed through the North Houston distribution center as part of the transition. 

Edited by mkultra25
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  • 2 months later...

http://swamplot.com/usps-moving-p-o-boxes-to-midtown-ahead-of-sale-and-demolition-of-downtown-post-office/2015-03-05/

 

A READER WHO maintains a post office box at the Barbara Jordan Post Officeat 401 Franklin St. Downtown has forwarded Swamplot a notice that showed up with the mail earlier this week, inviting box renters to a “town hall” meeting about the upcoming move of post office services at the facility. “Our projected move date is fast approaching,” the flyer reads — though it doesn’t identify whenit will be.

 

A note in an online for-sale listing, however, indicates that the facility will be “vacated by the USPS in the second quarter of 2015.” No buyer has been announced publicly for the 16-acre property, which was previously the site of the Southern Pacific Railway’s Grand Central Station.

The complex’s signature feature is its 1962 5-story concrete-finned main building and plaza (pictured at top) by Astrodome architects Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson. The USPS has noted that it “anticipates demolition” of the building as a result of the sale.

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  • 2 months later...

As of yesterday, one of the employees told me they will all be moving to the 1500 Hadley location in Midtown in two weeks.

Yea, it's coming up soon. Had a notice in my mail box a while back about the move.

 

Edit: According to my notice, it was supposed to be May 2nd but it clearly got pushed back again.

Edited by Triton
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Any word on who they sold it to?

Apparently, Lionstone dropped it because of some very expensive infrastructural work that needs to be done to the site (freeway wall or something like that). I hear the new groups are trying to find ways to deal with it in a cost effective manner.

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Yea, it's coming up soon. Had a notice in my mail box a while back about the move.

 

Edit: According to my notice, it was supposed to be May 2nd but it clearly got pushed back again.

 

I was wondering about that. The lobby was closed over the weekend with a sign indicating it would be open again at 7AM on Monday morning, but there was no mention of completing the move of all services to the Hadley St. facility that had been scheduled for May 2. 

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http://swamplot.com/downtown-barbara-jordan-post-office-on-franklin-st-will-close-forever-on-may-15th/2015-05-06/

 

- THE U.S. POSTAL Service plans to end all retail operations at its flagship Downtown Houston post office next Friday, May 15th.

 

- P.O. box service has already been relocated to the Sam Houston Station in Midtown, at 1500 Hadley St.

 

- The USPS has placed the entire 16-acre property surrounding the building up for sale, but has not yet announced a buyer. The postal service has also indicated that it “anticipates demolition” of the structure.

Edited by DrLan34
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Not really. The "downtown connectors" will remain, restricting the site. Now all the areas north of UHD and the warehouses will be opened up a TON and be prime for redevelopment.

I left a comment that advised TxDOT to have those connectors 'hug' the freeway more in that area so that way the site north of the tracks could be sold and developed or turned into a park.

Not to get too much off track but......

As TxDOT said, this illistration isn't final. I just hope they keep the footprint of this area and the 59/10 (and now 45) intersection to as much as a 'minimum' as possible so as to either develop or turn areas by the bayou into parks.

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs4/15_20150417_Seg3_PM4_Exhibit_01_Overall.pdf

Edited by DNAguy
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I left a comment that advised TxDOT to have those connectors 'hug' the freeway more in that area so that way the site north of the tracks could be sold and developed or turned into a park.

Not to get too much off track but......

As TxDOT said, this illistration isn't final. I just hope they keep the footprint of this area and the 59/10 (and now 45) intersection to as much as a 'minimum' as possible so as to either develop or turn areas by the bayou into parks.

http://www.ih45northandmore.com/docs4/15_20150417_Seg3_PM4_Exhibit_01_Overall.pdf

 

The reason they're so wide is because it allows for a faster speed limit and they have to make it at least 45 mph. Anything tighter wouldn't meet standards.

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I heard some disheartening news about this.. One of the big name companies looking to develop this site took soil samples and found either contamination, or it just wasn't stable. Couldn't find out for sure other than site remediation will need to happen.

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I heard some disheartening news about this.. One of the big name companies looking to develop this site took soil samples and found either contamination, or it just wasn't stable. Couldn't find out for sure other than site remediation will need to happen.

That's costly... Will likely come off the sale price. Justice complex would be better there than where it is currently, but I trust they can find an even better spot for JC... Cough downtown cough east end cough near northside.

Anyway, I hope we have a good developer follow through...

Midway bought the large property off Washington avenue... I don't see them buying this too.

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I heard some disheartening news about this.. One of the big name companies looking to develop this site took soil samples and found either contamination, or it just wasn't stable. Couldn't find out for sure other than site remediation will need to happen.

 

Contamination would be understandable considering that it was a railway station, followed by a post office with daily fleets of diesel trucks and an adjacent railway platform. Might be unstable because of the bayou and shifting clays, but I would be surprised then that the post office held up so well over time.

 

If it is unstable, make it a park!

 

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yeah doubt its unstable, the source (used to work for one of the major firms who bid on the site) only said there was a problem with the soil, but that they couldnt remember exactly the issue. i assumed contamination, but didnt want to mislead yall in case that were wrong. hopefully its not too costly and the city is willing to accept much lower bids due to soil remediation.

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  • 1 month later...

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2015/07/lovett-commercial-set-to-buy-downtown-post-office/

 

The downtown post office has a buyer who may turn the site into a mixed-use development with shops, office, housing and perhaps a boutique hotel.

Houston-based commercial real estate developer Lovett Commercial is under contract to buy the property at 401 Franklin from the United States Postal Service. Closing is scheduled for late summer or early fall.

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Lovett Commercial is the buyer.

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2015/07/lovett-commercial-set-to-buy-downtown-post-office/

"The downtown post office has a buyer who may turn the site into a mixed-use development with shops, office, housing and perhaps a boutique hotel.

Houston-based commercial real estate developer Lovett Commercial is under contract to buy the property at 401 Franklin from the United States Postal Service. Closing is scheduled for late summer or early fall.

“It’s extremely rare to find a 16+ acre parcel in any major U.S. downtown,” Burdette Huffman vice president of Lovett Commercial said in an email to the Chronicle.

The property, he added, offers an “incredible location with direct connectivity to Buffalo Bayou and the Theater District,” as well as “fantastic access to I-10, I-45, downtown and the Washington corridor.”

Huffman said the company is still working on conceptual plans for the site and is exploring ways to reuse portions of the existing buildings."

Edited by Fortune
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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Lovett-Commercial-under-contract-on-downtown-post-6369359.php

 

 

 

Conceptual plans are still being devised, but the company said it expects "to attract multiple uses such as retail, creative office, residential and/or a boutique hotel. Tenants that we have visited with are extremely excited about the project, its location and the possibilities."

 

Lovett is also exploring ways to reuse portions of the site's existing buildings, which sit on the northwestern edge of downtown, just north of Buffalo Bayou and across from the Theater District.

 

She said the plans are in line with the type of mixed-use development the partnership recommended more than a decade ago in a comprehensive master plan for the bayou.

 

One proposal called for converting the building to an artist and boutique office space known as "The Post." It had some 2,500 people living around the redeveloped building in new housing for all income levels.

 

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The fact they are even thinking about keeping that building just means they have no idea what on earth they just bought.

I may be alone but I secretly hoped whoever bought the property would some how incorporate the existing building into the project. Although that wish may be a double edged sword.
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I may be alone but I secretly hoped whoever bought the property would some how incorporate the existing building into the project. Although that wish may be a double edged sword.

 

Why though? That building utilizes the land in the worst possible way. Its a symbol of an era of mistakes and missed opportunities. Its not only a poor use of the land, but its a planning mistake from the word go! Keeping the building or reusing it severely limits the potential of the site by instantly making anything that gets built having to revolve around it. Its not even a very good building to begin with. Average at best. It isn't even unique to its own time. It interrupts what would be the best possible correction in the street grid which is to kill Franklin before the bayou and restore Washington as the primary link into the city. The site itself has a chance to be a gateway into downtown. As of right now its nothing but an afterthought.

 

Just watch the only thing they will do is keep the entire building as is and then place a few wraps around it and a few strip centers and call it a day! The city should have been more responsible and not give it to the highest bid (if it even was the highest) and instead give it to a group who would utilize it create something truly unique, a group who was giving the best value.

 

Maybe I'm the crazy one here...idk. I thought that this was a site that could hold the key to a new Houston with a new vision/mentality, but I guess not. Its nothing but business as usual. We been thinking that the city was moving forward when really (lets admit it) is only chasing the latest trend instead of being trendsetters. Whatever....In about 10-15 years they are going to start ripping up that elevated piece of highway junk and maybe that will also reveal just what they missed out on and maybe a real difference can be made. Why settle for mediocre? Why settle for just average?

 

Is this really how its all going to go down? Seriously? Is there nothing to persuade someone like a Hines or hell even Midway would at least make something decent out of it. These guys have nothing in their portfolio except for typical suburban bs. They have nothing in their portfolio that says they even know what they really have on their hands! Its like some kid got the keys to the car, but has no idea how to drive. All the kid can do is marvel at how awesome it is, but doesn't even know how to even start the dang car!

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

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