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Post HTX: 401 Franklin Post Office Site Redevelopment

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You may be right about this project. But you're way out of line when you start trashing the whole city. Then it just starts to sound like you're carrying a lot of personal baggage and personal resentment. At that point, you just get thrown in with all the "Everything About Houston Sucks" crowd and nobody's listening anymore. I get it, you're 'passionate'. Good for you, but there are a lot of great looking projects in the works in Houston these days.

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As someone who has a habit of musing that parking lots should be turned into arbors or gardens or local parks, I wouldn't undersell the green roof as "buzzy"; mainly because that's a huge roof. 

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Didn't someone post saying that they would be doing a press release. Do we not have it within us to wait till then?

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I am overall excited for this project. In my opinion, I think it built major hype when they first acquired the building and began to host all these cool events (Day for Night, etc). Then, by going MIA for about a year, people automatically became curious about the project. It’s more of a marketing tactic, because now if anything, this project will draw much more attention aka more investors. It is much needed in downtown anyway, maybe it’ll push the homeless people outskirts. I don’t have a doubt they’ll pull it off with great success. People in Houston are very supportive and open to innovation, now more than ever, think about the ION per say..

 

By the way, no one has answered my question about air rights?

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7 hours ago, TheDV said:

Can I please get some information on how to buy Air Rights?

What kind of air rights are you asking about?

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Having in mind that high rises are a hot trend, if someone owns the land (surface), they also get the air rights from the ground up. Well, what if I want to buy someone’s air rights? There has to be a brokerage firm for this, but I can’t find one in htx. Do any of you?

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59 minutes ago, hindesky said:

What kind of air rights are you asking about?

 

Just now, TheDV said:

Having in mind that high rises are a hot trend, if someone owns the land (surface), they also get the air rights from the ground up. Well, what if I want to buy someone’s air rights? There has to be a brokerage firm for this, but I can’t find one in htx. Do any of you?

 

I've heard of this being done in New York, but thats only because space is getting so ridiculously expensive. You'd have to wait for another 100 years to bank on something like that in Houston. Besides thats a purchase that is being done out of need.

Not to insinuate anything, but this seems awfully predatory/unethical. Do you mean to say you simply want to buy air rights so you can make people pay to two owners in order to build skyscrapers? Thats honestly a terrible precedent to set in a town that has been low-rise forever and is looking to finally move up to mid-rises and Downtown starting to fill in.

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Bob Shapiro and Trump did it, top notch developers/moguls. Look, maybe it comes across a bit sharky but there are options in htx, just asking, ayeeeee 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, West Timer said:

You may be right about this project. But you're way out of line when you start trashing the whole city. Then it just starts to sound like you're carrying a lot of personal baggage and personal resentment. At that point, you just get thrown in with all the "Everything About Houston Sucks" crowd and nobody's listening anymore. I get it, you're 'passionate'. Good for you, but there are a lot of great looking projects in the works in Houston these days.

I’m as big of a proponent for Houston as any.  I don’t believe I trashed the town - just placed due criticism upon the firms and developers for being less cutting edge than in decades past; and less forward thinking here locally than they are in other cities.  We have a handful of really good developers in town, i can’t put Frank Liu in that mix not in a long shot.  Not yet.  Perhaps some on here can.  Good for them.

 

I’m hoping this project turns out better than is currently advertised, or at the very least is successfully interwoven into the urban fabric.

 

I have to add: I’m merely stating an opinion - my opinion.   Everyone has their own.  Many people seem A-ok with this design. Fine.  Great.  I’m a curmudgeon, and I want the very best.

Edited by arche_757
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I CAN'T WAIT for this to open, but completely understand the disappointment from some, due to the lack of high-rise development for this size of tract right in downtown.  I live in North Downtown and I will 100% be coming here on the weekends and certain evenings throughout the week.  I know its discussed in other threads, but there really is a high-level of pedestrian activity near Market Square, but IMO it is somewhat closed-in because there is nothing to the North of MSP - this totally changes that.  

 

This should really rev up interest for quality development on the recently listed Chase Bank site, half-block next to Houston Balet, and several other quarter/half-blocks on the south side of the Bayou.  It will be extremely fun to watch the surrounding area develop over the next 10 years.

 

Another fun thought is whether the Bayou and its trails serve as a connection for Post Houston and East River.  

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Posted (edited)

Post HTX Mall 

 

 

Quote

Their ideas, which were part of a national design competition, ranged from creating dense housing districts and public plazas to reusing the sprawling building to house restaurants, a produce market, sports fields and a rooftop movie theater.

One proposal combined thousands of residential units with an elevated park called the “the Hill at Houston.”

 

Quote

“When people ask us why we saved the building, it’s because no one in their right mind would ever build a 5.5-acre rooftop that’s cast-in-place concrete,” Kirby Liu said. “This to us was an opportunity to create something like Central Park meets The High Line.”

 

OK 😳

Edited by invisibletrees
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It’s something new and I appreciate that. I will definitely attend and support Houston’s version of a Grand Central Market.

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59 minutes ago, invisibletrees said:

Post HTX Mall 

 

Exactly. This is a mall.

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I can echo the disappointments of everyone above. 

 

It's not an awful design, it's just boring and that parking lot surrounding it doesn't help the look.  

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Posted (edited)

theres a "new kind of department store" thats opened in dallas and about to open in NYC.    If this was announced as the anchor, I'd feel a lot more confident in this project: https://neighborhoodgoods.com/ 

 

 

The biggest Issue I haven't seen brought up yet is that this will be essentially the groundzero of the i45 apocalypse.   There will be months/years/decades(?) where there will be major highway/parkway construction that will make this impossible to get to on weekends/weeknights.  

Edited by crock
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Most of the project is office besides the first floor which is retail/food. They aren't separate as the article mentions but integrated into those large atriums since other way they would not get any natural light.  I know two major tenants are both related to entertainment, one just opened in Dallas.

 

Now that Eataly is opening at NorthPark I'm thinking this would be a great spot for them lol.

 

The parking I know is reserved for future high rises. Rendering I saw has like at least 5

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I think it is important to appreciate the daunting financial challenge that this represents. They are moving into uncharted waters; keeping the parking lots (at least in the short term) greatly increases their chances of being successful. If this is easy for all the people who live in Midtown or along Washington Avenue to get to, it will be much easier to make it work than if you are just depending on the people living around or visiting Market Square to walk over. They have hired the right people and are doing this with the right mindset, there's just a limit to what can be done at once.

 

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Posted (edited)

I have mixed feelings about it.  Can they have this completed by 2023 for Final Four which comes back here.

Edited by htownbro
grammar
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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, crock said:

theres a "new kind of department store" thats opened in dallas and about to open in NYC.    If this was announced as the anchor, I'd feel a lot more confident in this project: https://neighborhoodgoods.com/ 

 

 

The biggest Issue I haven't seen brought up yet is that this will be essentially the groundzero of the i45 apocalypse.   There will be months/years/decades(?) where there will be major highway/parkway construction that will make this impossible to get to on weekends/weeknights.  

 

This is why I think they are focusing on the assets they have right now, and not ones which are dependent on other changes surrounding it. Its the best possible scenario moving forward.

 

2 hours ago, DrLan34 said:

It’s something new and I appreciate that. I will definitely attend and support Houston’s version of a Grand Central Market.

 

Nearly every big time city has a grand central market of some kind. Downtown greatly needs something like this. I like how its blending the best aspects of the warehouse, with current office/coworking trends, and the best aspects of Malls. Everyone has been wondering when we would get big time retail into downtown, and this will be it. Its definitely a lot more approachable for retail since there isn't enough foot traffic on the streets yet, but getting people either by walking or car to one place is a way safer bet for retail in this growing market. The dynamics look great. We can't always rely on The Galleria to be that only big time market/mall. The biggest and best cities have multiple in major hubs.

 

13 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

I think it is important to appreciate the daunting financial challenge that this represents. They are moving into uncharted waters; keeping the parking lots (at least in the short term) greatly increases their chances of being successful. If this is easy for all the people who live in Midtown or along Washington Avenue to get to, it will be much easier to make it work than if you are just depending on the people living around or visiting Market Square to walk over. They have hired the right people and are doing this with the right mindset, there's just a limit to what can be done at once.

 

 

Exactly what I was thinking. I think I saw one comment as well that said that they expected better of OMA, and I'm just sitting here wondering, "Does that person know OMA's work?" This is type of reuse and adaptation is staple OMA. The staircase are staple Rem Koolhaas. I also look at all the parking and see nothing, but pure potential. We've been digging up most of our surface lots and redeveloping them and I don't see any reason to think that these parking lots will last long. You're also right, in that they have the right people working on it.

 

The biggest problem for Lovett is that they vastly over-promised the project. If this were the very first image then I think we would all be cheering. Their marketing f.u.c.ked up one key aspect of create any product 'under promise, and over sell' or 'set low expectations, and then over deliver'. They flopped that big time. Now they need to buckle down and just build. Play time is over.

Edited by Luminare
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I know one or two posters here work for Lovett... So I want to be sensitive to them.

 

I love the idea and the reuse. I do think this lacks residential. Could you not fit a midrise anywhere on those parking lots? 10 story building would be perfect here with a parking garage...

 

Also - Hotel is cool. Perhaps we can finally get an ACE hotel - super boutique / fun / right vibe for the area.

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With all due respect, I assume the reason Houston does not have a Grand Central Market is because we are blessed to have H.E.B? I've been to NYC and they're best market can't hold a candle to my neighborhood H.E.B. I stand to be corrected. As for this project, I'm on the fence.

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6 minutes ago, HOUCAJUN said:

With all due respect, I assume the reason Houston does not have a Grand Central Market is because we are blessed to have H.E.B? I've been to NYC and they're best market can't hold a candle to my neighborhood H.E.B. I stand to be corrected. As for this project, I'm on the fence.

 

Which market in NYC do you have in mind? A touristy market like Reading Terminal in Philadelphia or Pike Place Market in Seattle offers a different experience from a grocery store. Can't really compare the two.

 

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Website is open now:

 

https://posthtx.com/

 

1 hour ago, htownbro said:

Can they have this completed by 2023 for Final Four comes back here.

 

From the Chronicle article:  "The redevelopment of the warehouse is expected to be completed by next summer."

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Yes it is something new and hopefully it succeeds but this is terribly underwhelming. 

 

I say this for 3 reasons. 

1. Hanover Buffalo Bayou

2. The Allen

3. Regent Square for god sake!

 

Like the three projects above, this fronts the bayou/park and is actually in downtown. In my humble opinion, I would prefer for Lovett to sell (at a profit) and for a developer with a bigger vision(and pockets) to come along. Even if it sits vacant for a couple more years. 

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If they go with this concept but build a couple of residential high-rises in the surface lots, this could be amazing.  Unfortunately I think that the residential would need to come online at the same time or before for this to truly be successful.

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I think the saying is "retail follows rooftops."  There is more residential Downtown and additional units might go up near here (looking at you Chase Motor Bank site at Milam), but this projects looks like it would require a very substantial amount of foot traffic to be viable.   Could it be more of a touristy market a la Pike Place Market in Seattle as @H-Town Man alluded?  With the Theater District nearby, it's a possibility. 

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1 minute ago, jermh said:

I'm not sure if the construction fencing is new, but I've never noticed it before. Also, they're  now flying a flag that matches the logo on the website.

PANO_20190627_122404_vr.jpg

IMG_20190627_122139.jpg

That's 100% new. Just parked there the other day for Pride and none of that was there. 

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1 hour ago, Timoric said:

Could some large indoor entertainment rooms work? - laser tag, a movie theater, indoor skydiving, Lifetime Fitness, a rock climbing place, a trampoline or blow up birthday party joint, and an ice skating rink to name a few - you do see those places in business parks, this ain't that different

 

I was thinking if there was a mattress store they could rent them out to slide down all those cool stairs.... 😮💡‼️

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Don't forget that this was listed on the National Register of Historic Places when ownership was transferred.


My guess is that this first phase will take full advantage of state and federal tax credits.

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If they don't make this look more interesting from the front it will be El Mercado del Sol 2.0. I wonder if a walkway from the bayou that goes under Franklin could be built?

 

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2 hours ago, urbanize713 said:

Yes it is something new and hopefully it succeeds but this is terribly underwhelming. 

 

I say this for 3 reasons. 

1. Hanover Buffalo Bayou

2. The Allen

3. Regent Square for god sake!

 

Like the three projects above, this fronts the bayou/park and is actually in downtown. In my humble opinion, I would prefer for Lovett to sell (at a profit) and for a developer with a bigger vision(and pockets) to come along. Even if it sits vacant for a couple more years. 

I would like to think residential may come after this is completed.  I hope...

 

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Looks like some of the office space is already leased... Perhaps Lovett is moving their HQ here? Would be a smart move IMO...

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I wish they could generate some kind of architectural change with the roof maybe create a different silhouette. A small pocket may open up after the highway realignment? For residential maybe? I wish they could augment this development to include residential and better access. Someone mentioned a Franklin Street reroute or something, that would be interesting.

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1 minute ago, ZRFkris said:

If they took the railroad out they could put residential behind it 

 

Another good reason to wait on other phases. The reroute needs to get finalized. The possible realignment of the railroad needs to get finalized. Lots of moving pieces beyond this projects control, but could affect it later. No doubt they pursue whatever surrounding land will be available after theses move pieces settle down.

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So no planned interaction with the bayou or bike path? As is,  I have a hard time seeing a casual visitor to Market Square making the (short) walk to this site.........not a very pedestrian friendly environment.  

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I have faith, some people knocked the idea of discovery green at first, this could be another jewel for downtown. I wonder how long this development will take.

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I have a hard time believing this got funding.  Something like this could work in the middle of downtown or midtown, but this location is an island without any foot traffic.  This will be less successful than Greenstreet.  

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I like it aside from the parking lots. The one in downtown Dallas is always packed but has better access to residential and no massive parking lots.

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