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Mid Main — Mixed-Use Development for Midtown (3600 Main)

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I just attended a meeting of the Rice chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers where architecture professor William Cannady discussed the development of this project in detail. He has been working on the design of this project since its inception, so this information is definitely credible. Apparently, construction started last Monday - and the delay was due to the city taking over eight months to approve a building permit due to the high volume of construction projects around the metro.

 

Here's the notes that I took. I'm not sure how much of this information is known, but regardless:

 

  • $75 million project
  • The project began in 2006 as part of an effort by the City of Houston to encourage transit-oriented development along Main Street. The city purchased four blocks from Winbern north to Stuart on the west side of Main for the purpose of creating a mixed-use development and a new building for the city's Code Enforcement Office.
  • The development will encompass six distinct but interconnected buildings on top of a three story parking garage. In addition, two stories will be dedicated to ground-floor retail
  • There will be small studio apartments available: 500 sq. ft. for $1000/month
  • The apartments are geared towards younger demographics, including recent college graduates and inner-city workers
  • The city has reduced parking requirements for this project. In addition, there is dedicated space for bicycles, electric vehicles and Zipcars
  • Parking will cost around $100/month for residents
  • Apartments will feature exposed concrete floors and steel-framed ceilings to give a studio/warehouse atmosphere
  • The project preserves the retail building at the corner of Winburn and Main, as well as the restaurant patio adjacent to it
  • Dr. Cannady mentioned the purchase of a third block - possibly the one bounded by Travis, Berry, Millam and Holman? - for a hotel, but this was scrapped?
  • Dr. Cannady also noted that the old Alley Theatre across the street has been purchased by the same developer. The historic structure will be preserved and a new building will go on that block
  • The MATCH project next door will feature four theatres, two practice rooms, a cafe with patio and an outdoor performance plaza for street musicians
  • The developers chose to make the garage a podium instead of a wrap to increase the flexibility of the architecture. In addition, this creates more urban connectivity and allows greater access to the public courtyard on the inside. There was a really interesting discussion about the efficiency and aesthetics of podium garages vs. wraps; in summary, podium garages allow better traffic flow, more flexibility with existing city building codes, they're not nearly as ugly, they allow for better separation between retail parking and residential parking, they create more space for courtyards and better views for residents, they maximize the space available to rent
  • Part of the development may be leased to Rice University - which remains involved in the project - to provide accommodations for visitors

An imgur album of some pictures I took can be found here.

 

Well done, good and faithful forumer.

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I just attended a meeting of the Rice chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers where architecture professor William Cannady discussed the development of this project in detail. 

 

I always like hearing that my ASCE colleagues are keeping on top of things. When the T&DI Congress comes to town in two years, I'm hoping for a big turnout. B)  

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on a different note, I'm surprised that the smallest units will be 500sf @ $1000. That's totally reasonable, but it's not actually very small. I was expecting something more along the line of 350-400sf @ $700-800.

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Very impressed! Good job, sir!

 

I just attended a meeting of the Rice chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers where architecture professor William Cannady discussed the development of this project in detail. He has been working on the design of this project since its inception, so this information is definitely credible. Apparently, construction started last Monday - and the delay was due to the city taking over eight months to approve a building permit due to the high volume of construction projects around the metro.

 

Here's the notes that I took. I'm not sure how much of this information is known, but regardless:

 

  • $75 million project
  • The project began in 2006 as part of an effort by the City of Houston to encourage transit-oriented development along Main Street. The city purchased four blocks from Winbern north to Stuart on the west side of Main for the purpose of creating a mixed-use development and a new building for the city's Code Enforcement Office.
  • The development will encompass six distinct but interconnected buildings on top of a three story parking garage. In addition, two stories will be dedicated to ground-floor retail
  • There will be small studio apartments available: 500 sq. ft. for $1000/month
  • The apartments are geared towards younger demographics, including recent college graduates and inner-city workers
  • The city has reduced parking requirements for this project. In addition, there is dedicated space for bicycles, electric vehicles and Zipcars
  • Parking will cost around $100/month for residents
  • Apartments will feature exposed concrete floors and steel-framed ceilings to give a studio/warehouse atmosphere
  • The project preserves the retail building at the corner of Winburn and Main, as well as the restaurant patio adjacent to it
  • Dr. Cannady mentioned the purchase of a third block - possibly the one bounded by Travis, Berry, Millam and Holman? - for a hotel, but this was scrapped?
  • Dr. Cannady also noted that the old Alley Theatre across the street has been purchased by the same developer. The historic structure will be preserved and a new building will go on that block
  • The MATCH project next door will feature four theatres, two practice rooms, a cafe with patio and an outdoor performance plaza for street musicians
  • The developers chose to make the garage a podium instead of a wrap to increase the flexibility of the architecture. In addition, this creates more urban connectivity and allows greater access to the public courtyard on the inside. There was a really interesting discussion about the efficiency and aesthetics of podium garages vs. wraps; in summary, podium garages allow better traffic flow, more flexibility with existing city building codes, they're not nearly as ugly, they allow for better separation between retail parking and residential parking, they create more space for courtyards and better views for residents, they maximize the space available to rent
  • Part of the development may be leased to Rice University - which remains involved in the project - to provide accommodations for visitors

An imgur album of some pictures I took can be found here.

 

This development could be very influential in terms of how these blocks could be designed in the future. This will most certainly up the game for every developer and certainly ups the expectations of peoples perceptions on what new developments can do and should up the expectations by the city. I'm also glad that they are lower the parking requirement because its in close proximity to rail. That is how you lower car use in a city and get more diversity. Parking shouldn't be a right, it should be a privilage and if you are willing to pay then by all means enjoy driving your car. I fully see in the next 10 to 15 years once more light rail is implemented along with other rail systems that they might grant zero parking to those developments within maybe a 10-15min walk from a rail station. Very excited by this development and is now at the top of my list. 

Edited by Luminare
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Road is blocked off but cars are still allowed to park from two other entrances.

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The lot is completely closed off now, with a construction office trailer now on the property. Oct. 6 appears to be a go.

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FINALLY! I also like how they are going to keep the buildings on Main and Winburn. Very excited about this development.

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Is Natachee's losing their outdoor space for this? If so, it will never be the same. The main attraction of their restaurant was the sandbox and outdoor area for kids to run around while bands played to the patio. I'm excited about this dev but hope they'll keep some sort of outdoor area.

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Is Natachee's losing their outdoor space for this? If so, it will never be the same. The main attraction of their restaurant was the sandbox and outdoor area for kids to run around while bands played to the patio. I'm excited about this dev but hope they'll keep some sort of outdoor area.

The patio is still there but the sandbox is gone. Most of what the lost was the grass, which I never saw people occupy. If they rebuild the sandbox, I think the new shade from the neighboring building makes up for the lost grass.

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What Super Bowls? There are rumors SxSW is getting too big for Austin and is looking for additional space...not necessarily in Austin.

Edited by toxtethogrady
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If SXSW leaves Austin it would lose all the appeal it has left.

 

SXSW would or Austin would?

 

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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If SXSW leaves Austin and takes with it the hills, lakes, fresh contemporary skyline, downtown full of pedestrians, and overall cleanliness it would lose all the appeal it has left.

 

Fixed it for ya   ;)

 

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http://www.mid-main.com/new-construction.html

 

"Since 1999 we have been in the Mid Main area preserving and renovating the historic buildings located in the 3600 and 3700 blocks Main Street.  Preservation has always been our priority and this will continue going forward.  Congruent with the new project, we are restoring the buildings on the east side of Main Street, one of which was the original home of the Alley Theater."

Edited by DrLan34
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That groundbreaking picture is awesome.  Not many of those with wall clouds in the background I'm sure.

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That groundbreaking picture is awesome.  Not many of those with wall clouds in the background I'm sure.

 

It is awesome, and that's the tallest leprechaun I've ever seen.

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10678531_850037911681095_651125803120779

oh my urbannizer, judging from that ferociously dark and yet quite ominous cloud above, as well as that shocking GREEN SUIT that the gentleman is donning... was everyone entirely safe?  WOW!

Edited by monarch
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oh my urbannizer, judging from that ferociously dark and yet quite ominous cloud above, as well as that shocking GREEN SUIT that the gentleman is donning... was everyone entirely safe?  WOW!

I don't know...but if but Calvin Murphy sees that pic, he may have a heart attack.

Edited by por favor gracias
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The green suit is just tacky....

 

Plus, it isn't saint Patrick's day.

 

He isn't going to a dance to or something to be flashy and upstage someone.

 

Finally, it kinda reflects to me that he really really likes money?? or Lucky charms....I don't know which one. 

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Just passed by and dang they mean business. Crazy/ awesome to see MATCH and Mid Main playing construction wars now.

Though I feel for Trinity Episcopal church congregants... They suddenly have nowhere to park. It's like living in New York!!

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Though I feel for Trinity Episcopal church congregants... They suddenly have nowhere to park. It's like living in New York!!

They can help boost Houston's rail numbers by parking and riding the train

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I believe that's part of what the office tower/ parking garage going in across the street will be for. Of course that hasn't broken ground yet.

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