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Post HTX: 401 Franklin Post Office Site Redevelopment

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58 minutes ago, skooljunkie said:

I'd like to see a rendering of this with the bayou flooded. :unsure:

I was thinking the same thing. For this to be a serious proposal, there would HAVE to be some type of contingency plan in the design phase that considers flooding. 

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8 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

If it didn't flood in Harvey (did it?) it's a moot point.

 

As it turns out, it did not flood during Harvey. Not even close. All the naysayers on Swamplot will be disappointed, I'm afraid.

 

downtown_flood.jpg

City of Houston, buy it, offer it to Amazon, include the bullet train hub there to get workers from North Texas as well.

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24 minutes ago, skooljunkie said:

Yup.

v9nMGsy.jpg

 

 

 

Does not appear to have reached first floor level, unless this does not represent the peak.

 

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Per a Lovett Commercial request, the info and renderings have been removed from public viewing.

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8 minutes ago, Triton said:

Per a Lovett Commercial request, the info and renderings have been removed from public viewing.

Did they agree to give HAIF final design approval as part of the rendering removal negotiations????

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20 minutes ago, Triton said:

Per a Lovett Commercial request, the info and renderings have been removed from public viewing.

 

Why? They're still available on swamplot. If they're public, they're public.

 

http://swamplot.com/rem-koolhaas-and-omas-big-plans-to-remake-houstons-central-post-office-into-a-major-downtown-farming-shopping-eating-and-3-d-printing-hub/2017-10-04/

 

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21 minutes ago, Triton said:

Per a Lovett Commercial request, the info and renderings have been removed from public viewing.

 

Why? They're still available on swamplot. If they're public, they're public.

 

http://swamplot.com/rem-koolhaas-and-omas-big-plans-to-remake-houstons-central-post-office-into-a-major-downtown-farming-shopping-eating-and-3-d-printing-hub/2017-10-04/

 

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8 minutes ago, downtownian said:

 

Did you actually go through that post? Swamplot removed them as well.

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Because according to a message sent to me they want to be the ones to share the details. But the video showing the renovations has been on a public video host and made public for 8 months. The site where the information was obtained was a public site and public through Google. The message also said they're still developing the site (no duh) and sharing details and images compromises the project. I call BS. Frank Lui of Lovett liked Swamplot's post on Facebook about the project.

Then in a nice nasty way Lovett said the images were their intellectual property. They said no legal action would be taken, but they could pursue it because the images and other content shared are their intellectual property. Then in a follow up "non-request" threatened legal action as another scare tactic if I didn't make the right decision to remove the content and information. I used right decision because the decision they wanted me to choose was the removal of the content. They've never asked Swamplot or HAIF to remove renderings and information pertaining to their other projects.

Edited by CrockpotandGravel
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Maybe they saw how we hammered Midway relentlessly for replacing a great design for the Hotel Alessandra with something run-of-the-mill and don't want to get similar treatment when they downgrade this one.

 

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Obviously the guy doesn't understand the internet. Once something is posted on the internet. Its on there forever. Want to get it off? Good Luck....with that.

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On 10/5/2017 at 11:56 AM, skooljunkie said:

Yup.

v9nMGsy.jpg

 

 

 

On 10/5/2017 at 0:22 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

Does not appear to have reached first floor level, unless this does not represent the peak.

 

 

Not quite sure, but that looks pretty close to peak based on what I've been told by Market Square area folks.

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The information that was published here first (and deleted yesterday as part of Lovett Commercial's aggressive push to remove all details and renderings removed online, details but bot renderings are up still on Swamplot) is archived on Wayback and on another popular architecture forum. They're also available for a limited time through Google images.

Here are more details on Post HTX from Frank and Kirby Liu of Lovett Commercial. The two spoke at a luncheon earlier this year and provided details on the project, which was published publicly here: (link here, archived link here)

 

Frank Liu and his son Kirby made a fascinating presentation of their plans to re-concept the old downtown Houston Central Post Office, located walking distance from the theatre district, and between I-10 and Buffalo Bayou.
 

To be implemented in several phases, this ambitious project will become a hub binding together several Houston neighborhoods and centers of activity, including the Central Business District (CBD), the theatre district, Buffalo Bayou Park, and the Washington Corridor, to name a few. Instead of the University Line, the first east west METRO connection may well continue west from in front of POST HOUSTON out to the NW Transit center, connecting to the proposed high speed rail line to Dallas. This connection would link Uptown’s Bus Rapid Transit now under construction to Houston’s existing light rail network.
 

Citing that Houston is the # 4 luxury shopping city in the U.S., POST HOUSTON will have a significant retail component. It will boast 1300 parking spaces on grade,
making it easy to park and access POST HOUSTON and Buffalo Bayou Park through a to-be-built pedestrian / bicycle tunnel.

 

The Lius (Lovett Homes) have engaged OMA Architecture (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), which has a reputation for striking projects which transform cities. The Liu family sees a need to bring back to Houston the world recognition and focus it enjoyed during and following NASA’s moon landing.

 

Today we have the second largest concentration of engineers in the U.S. after Silicon Valley, and this has gone unrecognized. So this grand project will include live-work units with high ceilings, and tenants in this “incubator” setting will have access to 30,000 SF of basement space for assembly and testing and sales of finished products.


Also to be included will be the world’s largest rooftop garden.

 

A Houston version of Rome’s Spanish Steps – a world meeting place – will be included in POST HOUSTON, as will be a theatre facility tuned to younger audiences. Although our theatre district sports the second largest number of seats after Broadway, the current offerings by our theatres, with their more classical fare- are having trouble attracting Millenials.

 

A skybridge and elevator will allow Buffalo Bayou Park users to mount to the rooftop garden.

 

Also included will be a mammoth food court, offering foods from a wide variety of cultures, all under one roof.

 


 

Edited by CrockpotandGravel
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This project along with the KBR site, the redevelopment of Caninos famers market, and Hardy Yards is going to really push Houston as a destination city. It's amazing just how neglected Houston was for so long. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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After further conversation with Lovett Commercial and working together with Swamplot, we have removed the renderings but have allowed the posts to remain public here and the article will remain on Swamplot as well. 

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I can see why they asked to have it removed. there was one picture of a woman in a bathrobe, and a man in a dress shirt. the second to last episode of game of thrones was on the TV.

 

Obviously, they wanted to be considerate to anyone that hadn't already seen that episode.

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11 minutes ago, samagon said:

I can see why they asked to have it removed. there was one picture of a woman in a bathrobe, and a man in a dress shirt. the second to last episode of game of thrones was on the TV.

 

Obviously, they wanted to be considerate to anyone that hadn't already seen that episode.

 

:lol:

 

Yes, you found the true reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 10/3/2017 at 7:40 PM, CrockpotandGravel said:

Part 5
(Part I here ,Part II here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here)

More renderings of Post HTX, the defunct downtown Houston post office turned mixed-use at 401 Franklin with redesign spearheaded by OMA, and Frank Lui's Canvas HTX (a venue rental service for events of various sizes).


Lo-res (screenshots) renderings of the food hall Post Market and the shopping area at Post HTX.

 

Renderings removed per Lovett


Post Market - Food Hall


Renderings removed per Lovett





Not-yet-named shopping area:


Renderings removed per Lovett


Before Lovett Commercial requested the renderings to be removed, there was a rendering of the Post Market food hall and another food and market area at Post HTX (411 Franklin). The other food area in the rendering replaced what was the the loading dock at the Barbara Jordan Post Office. If you go to the Skyscraper Houston forum, you can see it there, but here's a before photo of how it looks now:

6cguNnF.jpg

S3WaKOZ.jpg

zBNDcgb.jpg
(Photos from Post HTX's website)

 

 

On the rendering the loading dock area had a sign: Dock Street Market, where part of the food and market area will go in.

 

There is a parked website for Dock Street Market registered five months ago.

http://dockstreetmarket.com

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On 10/6/2017 at 4:49 PM, H-Town Man said:

This is really exciting, stuffy internet-policing notwithstanding. Fine work on this Crockpot.


It is exciting. What I'm most excited about is this part:
 

On 10/6/2017 at 2:22 PM, CrockpotandGravel said:

Instead of the University Line, the first east west METRO connection may well continue west from in front of POST HOUSTON out to the NW Transit center, connecting to the proposed high speed rail line to Dallas. This connection would link Uptown’s Bus Rapid Transit now under construction to Houston’s existing light rail network.

 

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They might mean a new line, as opposed to an extension of the purple/green lines

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

They might mean a new line, as opposed to an extension of the purple/green lines

 

Yes, I considered that.  But, the plan all along for western extension of light rail has been for it to be an extension of the purple or green line,  and that seems like the obvious best choice.

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On 10/31/2017 at 3:13 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

But, the plan all along for western extension of light rail has been for it to be an extension of the purple or green line....

 

I think you may be confusing metro's master plan with discussions in the transportation sub forum about how to continue building the system.

 

Can you provide a link?

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What are we to make of David Crossley's recent pronouncement that there almost certainly will not be any more light rail built in Houston? Of course he is not exactly an authority, but he is also the last person to give up on something like this if it had a chance.

 

 

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On 10/31/2017 at 10:38 AM, EllenOlenska said:

Washington to Hempstead makes sense. 

 Oh hell no. That's one of the stupidest ideas ever. It would ruin Washington as a route to downtown from the West.

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Well, no, it would increase its capacity substantially. It would make it harder for people in cars to speed down Washington to get Downtown, but that seems like a good thing to me. You people have I-10, Memorial, AND Allen Parkway. You're fine.

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6 hours ago, EllenOlenska said:

People use Washington as a go-to car route to downtown? 

That's my main route from the Greater Heights area to downtown. It

 

14 hours ago, Texasota said:

Well, no, it would increase its capacity substantially. It would make it harder for people in cars to speed down Washington to get Downtown, but that seems like a good thing to me. You people have I-10, Memorial, AND Allen Parkway. You're fine.

Rail might be good for the 400 people who live along Washington, but without parking bearby, rail is useless for the rest of us. I use Washington all the time to get to Downtown and to businesses along the way. Rail would make it far more difficult to do that, as well as making safe turns nearly impossible.

 

Memorial and Allen Parkway are frequently closed for one event or another, so they aren't always available.

6 hours ago, EllenOlenska said:

People use Washington as a go-to car route to downtown? 

Yes

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There are 400 unit apartment complexes along Washington, yes.  The amount of new apartments/townhomes and development within a 6 block walking distance of Washington is a fair amount of people, specifically young people that would use this transit.  I think it would be very successful.

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How can you say he is not an authority. He has spent many years working on rail related projects and has worked with many highly enlightened authorities in transportation and urban matters. He has devoted his life to making Houston a better place for all of us and he definitely has researched this issue as much as anyone around. I had the opportunity to work with him on the Richmond Rail line and found him educated on all of the issues, and connected to all of the transportation experts and knew his stuff. I recently attended a Houston Tomorrow talk where transportation was the discussion., and it was a topic that came up. If he has come to the conclusion that we will not see any more rail in the near future he has good reasons to say that. I don't think he is giving up on it completely but as long as John Culbertson is in office it is dead on arrival.

 

As for the Washington corridor to Hempstead. I think that would be great. Only connect it to the bus hub at old Katy, for connectivity to the rest of the lines,  where the Post Oak Metro redevelopment in Uptown is now being built. This would allow people who live and work in either downtown or Uptown a way to get to the other on a mass transit system. Washington Ave. corridor is a  densely populated area and the younger developing demographics will support rail. It would be a great way for people to get to a game or just about anywhere the rails now run and that includes just about every major destination in Houston. There are plenty of routes into downtown that could be used to get from the Heights avoiding Washington that connect to Houston Avenue. I prefer to favor a more useful mass transit use for this corridor. Maybe not for some of our lifetimes, but for Houston of the future which is something some don't seem to have the ability to see or care or think about. This city is going to continue to get denser and it will be a great alternative to sitting in cars stuck in traffic jams burning hydrocarbons. 

21 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

What are we to make of David Crossley's recent pronouncement that there almost certainly will not be any more light rail built in Houston? Of course he is not exactly an authority, but he is also the last person to give up on something like this if it had a chance.

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, bobruss said:

How can you say he is not an authority. He has spent many years working on rail related projects and has worked with many highly enlightened authorities in transportation and urban matters. He has devoted his life to making Houston a better place for all of us and he definitely has researched this issue as much as anyone around. I had the opportunity to work with him on the Richmond Rail line and found him educated on all of the issues, and connected to all of the transportation experts and knew his stuff. I recently attended a Houston Tomorrow talk where transportation was the discussion., and it was a topic that came up. If he has come to the conclusion that we will not see any more rail in the near future he has good reasons to say that. I don't think he is giving up on it completely but as long as John Culbertson is in office it is dead on arrival.

 

Ummm, I didn't say he wasn't intelligent, but he is not a public official with control over Metro and hence not in an authoritative position to say that rail will never be built. But the fact that I referenced him suggests that I think he must have "good reasons to say that" and that his opinion is worth our attention.

 

If this is going to turn into another impassioned, emotional argument on transportation modes, let's take it to the Transportation board.

 

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On 11/3/2017 at 9:24 AM, Ross said:

Rail might be good for the 400 people who live along Washington, but without parking bearby, rail is useless for the rest of us. I use Washington all the time to get to Downtown and to businesses along the way. Rail would make it far more difficult to do that, as well as making safe turns nearly impossible.

 

:rolleyes:

 

24 eleven

Washington Courtyard

Memorial Heights @ Washington

The Core

Elan Memorial

Memorial Club

 

Those are all apartment complexes that frontage on Washington. There are at least twice as many apartments within 1/4 mile of Washington. Add in all the townhomes. It would stop at the NW transit center, so add all those.

 

It's a few more than just 400 people. 

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This is way off topic but isn't 400 the number of people that fit into Astor's ballroom? I'm no mobility expert but surely a rail line in Houston could out do that.

Edited by Twinsanity02
error
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4 hours ago, EllenOlenska said:

I guess, then, Washington would be only figuratively ruined, but literally the Washington rail-route would be a boon for the city? 

No, it would be literally ruined. Much like Fulton is now useless as a North/South route because rail makes turns impossible for most streets. 

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Grade separation came up several times as part of the "how would Houson get high speed rail to downtown" question.  I can't find the links, but one of the options was a plan to put two lines each of freight and high speed rail deep in a trench.  

 

I also recall there is (or was) a long-term vision to build underpasses for Shepherd and Durham under Washington.  

Edited by SkylineView
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22 hours ago, samagon said:

 

:rolleyes:

 

24 eleven

Washington Courtyard

Memorial Heights @ Washington

The Core

Elan Memorial

Memorial Club

 

Those are all apartment complexes that frontage on Washington. There are at least twice as many apartments within 1/4 mile of Washington. Add in all the townhomes. It would stop at the NW transit center, so add all those.

 

It's a few more than just 400 people. 

 

There's a census tract covering around 1 sq mile, roughly centered on the intersection of Wash and Studemont with 4616 people (probably more now). Population density is similar throughout the Washington corridor: mid-4-figures. Call it an average of 5000 /sq mile across the corridor. This is largely a residential corridor, but let's assume that for every resident, there's 0.5 jobs in the area as well. That's an activity level of 7500/sq mile, or about 12/acre.

 

A UC Berkeley study estimates that, for a light rail project to be cost-effective at capital costs of $50M/mile (the green/purple lines cost about 3X this much), you'd need an activity level of 60/acre. So we'd need to not only reduce the cost per mile by 2/3, but also increase activity density by of a factor of 5 as compared to 2010 levels.

 

Most of the corridor is still single-family residential, albeit now with 3000-sf townhouses instead of 1200-sf bungalows. It's possible for neighborhoods made up of single family houses to get to 30,000+/sq mile, but not with our current development rules, with wide right-of-ways, mandatory setbacks, and off-street parking minimums, all of which limit density to levels well below those needed for workable transit.

 

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I think any Washington corridor surface street rail line would have to run down Center St 

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4 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Have we ever even tried to pass a grade separated rail plan?  

 

Yes, and it was passed, then Houston elected a mayor that intended to kill it, and he did. 

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I have always been extremely enthusiastic about rail and think its great, but I don't see how expansion of light rail as currently implemented in Houston can possibly be considered without a real rethink of how transport has already changed and will change in the future. The rise of app driven ride sharing and the possibility of self-driving transport on the horizon we live in a much different world than we did in 2003.  The type of rail we built seems less cost and time effective now than it did then, IMO.

Edited by JJxvi
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1 hour ago, JJxvi said:

I have always been extremely enthusiastic about rail and think its great, but I don't see how expansion of light rail as currently implemented in Houston can possibly be considered without a real rethink of how transport has already changed and will change in the future. The rise of app driven ride sharing and the possibility of self-driving transport on the horizon we live in a much different world than we did in 2003.  The type of rail we built seems less cost and time effective now than it did then, IMO.

 

currently, with ride sharing, I'm more likely to take mass transit, at least to get to a destination. Who knows when I need to bolt when I'm out, relying on trains is okay, but in a city where the transit doesn't run 24/7 I can't rely on it to get home after a night out. Also, buses are pretty horrible as far as being on time. so with ride sharing options guaranteed to get me home when I'm ready to get home, I'll take mass transit to where I'm going and get an uber to go home.

 

a fun trick when you're dealing with surge pricing after a football game (or similar) take mass transit towards your next destination, set up for an uber to pick you up at a starbucks along the route. you're closer to home and out of surge pricing.

 

Looking to the future, I think mass transit will thrive in a world where humans don't operate the vehicles. I'm talking all the vehicles, including the mass transit vehicles, buses and trains.

 

they would all talk together to give appropriate priority, left and right turn lanes could easily be re-introduced onto the rail lines where they were removed.

Edited by samagon
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