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

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^^^ illustrations at night?  true dedication indeed hindesky!

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That's different - will it have a longer lifespan than the wood?  Or is it just a choice?

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That's different - will it have a longer lifespan than the wood? Or is it just a choice?

I take it as they are investing in a higher quality structure.

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That's why I don't think the new residential on Leeland is meant to stay longer than 15 to 20 yrs. Metal almost always means a long term investment.

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I'm not sure that the owners of block 334 are looking further than the exact number of months that the rent will pay off the note.  

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I'm not sure that the owners of block 334 are looking further than the exact number of months that the rent will pay off the note.  

 

Why would they go through all the trouble of building the complex just to break even?

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Good point.  Still don't think they are concerned with its longevity though - just that it makes them a good ROI

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Right now, 5 residential floors can be done with wood as long as there are metal i-beams throughout the structure providing core support.

Typically, 6 residential floors or more require steel frames.

Edited by DrLan34
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Does anyone happen to know what's going on with the remodel across the street from this?

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7402937,-95.3794147,3a,37.5y,259.17h,90.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIMkz9PIRoTSNIBZDfe_8XQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Looks like they're doing a pretty substantial reno.

They ruined that building. Shame on them

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Yeah, I agree. Can't believe they're putting stucco over the brick.  I actually like(d) the way the facade looked before and think all it needed was new windows, power wash, and landscaping.  That's kind of why I was interested in the next use for the building.

 

They ruined that building. Shame on them

 

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Is the southernmost apartments on the 3600 block of Main? I know the HCC building is the 3100 block. Once the apartments are finished on Main it should make approximately 36 blocks of almost uninterrupted urban development on Main street.  Make some nice viewing on the light rail line.

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Once the apartments are finished on Main it should make approximately 36 blocks of almost uninterrupted urban development on Main street.

That's not true. There are still two empty blocks north and south of Bell. And an almost empty block on the other side of main on Bell. There is that block on main And Jefferson that is slated for apartments but we don't know if that will ever come through. The McDonald's is nothing but suburban. There is an empty Blok across the street on Main and gray, well almost empty, enterprise takes up a small pinch. Amegy on St Joseph takes up less than half the lot, the garage across the street on St Joseph takes up half the lot. The Mexican bus station across from Greyhound takes up half the lot, Savoy is on half a lot, the 4 or so blocks across from the super block all have partial surface parking, the block south of the super block also has surface parking. In fact the 25 or so blocks between Sear and McDonald's on the east side of main are all partial blocks/surface parking/suburban looking. From Pierce to Clay it is more mixed, and from Clay to about Commerce that's where the more urban block to block style is.

Main in Midtown and Southern Downtown still has a long way to go. Bell Station had improved but there are still two full lots and two half lots open, Downtown transit center still has one full lot and two half lots, it may seem more developed from the rail, but on foot the open lots are still very noticeable. You feel like you are in a crater when you are on that lot on Main and St Joseph and the ones on Bell.

Edited by HoustonIsHome

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That's not true. There are still two empty blocks north and south of Bell. And an almost empty block on the other side of main on Bell. There is that block on main And Jefferson that is slated for apartments but we don't know if that will ever come through. The McDonald's is nothing but suburban. There is an empty Blok across the street on Main and gray, well almost empty, enterprise takes up a small pinch. Amegy on St Joseph takes up less than half the lot, the garage across the street on St Joseph takes up half the lot. The Mexican bus station across from Greyhound takes up half the lot, Savoy is on half a lot, the 4 or so blocks across from the super block all have partial surface parking, the block south of the super block also has surface parking. In fact the 25 or so blocks between Sear and McDonald's on the east side of main are all partial blocks/surface parking/suburban looking. From Pierce to Clay it is more mixed, and from Clay to about Commerce that's where the more urban block to block style is.

Main in Midtown and Southern Downtown still has a long way to go. Bell Station had improved but there are still two full lots and two half lots open, Downtown transit center still has one full lot and two half lots, it may seem more developed from the rail, but on foot the open lots are still very noticeable. You feel like you are in a crater when you are on that lot on Main and St Joseph and the ones on Bell.

 Good analysis on Main Street lots. It would be interesting to add up the empty lots and see what percentage of lots they make up on Main St.up to the 3700 block ( I do not  know what block is I-69 crosses Main)  It must be a dwindling percentage.  Maybe when the children are asleep I will do this.  The greatest irritant in my opinion are the empty lots around Bell and Main. Mercifully three lots in the area have been filled in the last few years. Hopefully more lots will fill soon, specifically the 10 story Fairview apts.  It has greatly improved. Years ago I walked from the Med Center to the DT.  It was a desolation after leaving the museum district until one reached the Methodist church DT.

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Well the west side of main is more highly developed than the east side.

From Commerce to Alabama there are only about 6 blocks that are not developed. On the east side it is more like 20 totally empty or partial blocks.

It is amazing how much space there is still.

The inner loop still has not caught up to its 1960s population. In fact if the percentage of people who lived in the loop in the 60s relative to the city population as a whole was still the same, the inner loop would be about 1.8M people. That is hella crowded

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Well the west side of main is more highly developed than the east side.

From Commerce to Alabama there are only about 6 blocks that are not developed. On the east side it is more like 20 totally empty or partial blocks.

It is amazing how much space there is still.

The inner loop still has not caught up to its 1960s population. In fact if the percentage of people who lived in the loop in the 60s relative to the city population as a whole was still the same, the inner loop would be about 1.8M people. That is hella crowded

 

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Demographics/Loop%20610%20Website/population.html

 

  • According to the 2010 Census, at 443,949 persons, Loop 610’s population would make it the 38th largest city in the United States. Its population exceeds other southern cities of Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans.
  • Loop 610’s population has remained a relatively constant 400,000 people, reaching its zenith of 493,377 measured by the 1960 Census.
Edited by DrLan34

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<p>

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Demographics/Loop%20610%20Website/population.html

  • According to the 2010 Census, at 443,949 persons, Loop 610’s population would make it the 38th largest city in the United States. Its population exceeds other southern cities of Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans.
  • Loop 610’s population has remained a relatively constant 400,000 people, reaching its zenith of 493,377 measured by the 1960 Census.

Yep, that's what I was referring to. At 493k, i think that was about 85% of Houstons population at the time living in the loop. If 85% of the current city population still lived in the loop I think the calculation was about 1.8M people. Can you image the loop being 4 times as dense?

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I believe it would have about 1/2 the density of Paris. The area of Paris is slightly less than one half that of the 610 loop (41 vs 96 square miles) with a population of 2.2 million. Without the equivalent of  a Paris metro, getting around would be a bit tough. Sidewalk scene would be much more interesting. Land values would be through the roof.

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Yep, that's what I was referring to. At 493k, i think that was about 85% of Houstons population at the time living in the loop. If 85% of the current city population still lived in the loop I think the calculation was about 1.8M people. Can you image the loop being 4 times as dense?

 

With our public transportation that would be awful. 

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<p>

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Demographics/Loop%20610%20Website/population.html

  • According to the 2010 Census, at 443,949 persons, Loop 610’s population would make it the 38th largest city in the United States. Its population exceeds other southern cities of Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans.
  • Loop 610’s population has remained a relatively constant 400,000 people, reaching its zenith of 493,377 measured by the 1960 Census.

That's crazy. I want Houston to develop the dense urban core it never had, and it's not even as dense yet as it was in 1960!

It's interesting that the 1960's inner loop population could support a vibrant shopping scene downtown and the current population can't. Also interesting that inner loop infrastructure is more massive and traffic much worse than back then.

I would bet the current inner loop daytime population is much bigger now than then, considering you now have 150,000 jobs downtown, plus huge job centers in the Med Center, Greenway, larger Rice U, vastly larger inner loop retail market, etc.

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That's crazy. I want Houston to develop the dense urban core it never had, and it's not even as dense yet as it was in 1960!

It's interesting that the 1960's inner loop population could support a vibrant shopping scene downtown and the current population can't. Also interesting that inner loop infrastructure is more massive and traffic much worse than back then.

I would bet the current inner loop daytime population is much bigger now than then, considering you now have 150,000 jobs downtown, plus huge job centers in the Med Center, Greenway, larger Rice U, vastly larger inner loop retail market, etc.

It's not that the current population can't support a vibrant shopping scene, its that the current population has more options. Back then the focus was downtown, what is hindering downtown down is the 25 other options available to city residents.

The inner loop residents back then lived in much denser situations back then. The inner loop pretty much was built to surround the city but the city want built out to the inner loop like it is today. Yes there were parts outside the loop, but the loop want even built put back then so not as much of the 94 sq miles was used back then as is used now and yet it supported more people.

Also remember, Houston did have those street rails before. Had it kept it's public transportation it would have been easier to add on than start from scratch.

As for daytime population by numbers yes, the inner loop has a massive population but as a percentage I would think it would be actually less than 1960. Think of it. Almost every job back then would have been in the loop, but today we have uptown with about 100K jobs, the EC, greenspoint, the Woodlands, sugarland, the port, IAH, plus the hundreds of thousands of retail and other service jobs outside the loop.

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That's crazy. I want Houston to develop the dense urban core it never had, and it's not even as dense yet as it was in 1960!

It's interesting that the 1960's inner loop population could support a vibrant shopping scene downtown and the current population can't. Also interesting that inner loop infrastructure is more massive and traffic much worse than back then.

I would bet the current inner loop daytime population is much bigger now than then, considering you now have 150,000 jobs downtown, plus huge job centers in the Med Center, Greenway, larger Rice U, vastly larger inner loop retail market, etc.

 

But did it really?  Is it really accurate to say that 1960s "vibrant shopping scene" was supported [solely, or even primarily] by the inner loop population?  We (and every other metro area) did not have nearly the suburban shopping options we have now.  In 1960, the vibrant downtown shopping scene was supported by the entire metro population (about 1.1 million). 

 

In 1960, if you wanted to shop at Foley's, you had to go downtown (I think the first suburban Foley's was opened in 1961 at Sharpstown); If you wanted to shop at Neiman Marcus, you had to go downtown;  If you wanted to shop at Sakowitz, you had to go downtown; etc., etc., etc.  Basically, if you wanted to do any serious shopping, you had to go downtown.

 

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But did it really?  Is it really accurate to say that 1960s "vibrant shopping scene" was supported [solely, or even primarily] by the inner loop population?  We (and every other metro area) did not have nearly the suburban shopping options we have now.  In 1960, the vibrant downtown shopping scene was supported by the entire metro population (about 1.1 million). 

 

In 1960, if you wanted to shop at Foley's, you had to go downtown (I think the first suburban Foley's was opened in 1961 at Sharpstown); If you wanted to shop at Neiman Marcus, you had to go downtown;  If you wanted to shop at Sakowitz, you had to go downtown; etc., etc., etc.  Basically, if you wanted to do any serious shopping, you had to go downtown.

 

 

Ok, I guess about half of the metro at that time was the inner loop population?  At least in the early 60's (I think Harris County hit 1 million in 1962). And you had some suburban shopping centers, albeit relatively small ones. So I wouldn't say it was solely support by the inner loop, but I would say primarily. I would guess that, on a typical day, if you stopped and interviewed downtown shoppers, most of them came from inside Loop 610. If I had to guess a number - 70%. The metro included of course Baytown, Pasadena, Humble, Aldine, etc., but I would think that inner loopers visited downtown more frequently than people in the outer burbs. So yes, primarily.

 

Edited by H-Town Man

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That's crazy. I want Houston to develop the dense urban core it never had, and it's not even as dense yet as it was in 1960!

 

 

 

There is almost certainly a lot more residential square footage inside the loop today than there was in 1960, if that makes you feel any better.

 

A lot of population was driven outside the loop in the 70's and 80's as a result of the 1974 construction moratorium (due to inadequate sewage system and lifted in the 80's) and the 5000 s.f. minimum lot size (not lifted until 1998).

 

It will take decades to undo the damage done by these policies. And the even more damaging minimum setbacks and minimum parking requirements still haven't been repealed.

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There was a construction moratorium during the huge boom in the Houston economy? No wonder so many people are outside the loop!  

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True to a point, but you don't get laws like this without tacit approval from the community. Call it the "zeitgeist." It's sort of like the argument that Hollywood movies of mid-century would have had much juicier content if it weren't for the Hays Code. Yes, but how did you get the Hays Code? It didn't come out of a vacuum. It's what people wanted.

 

 

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True to a point, but you don't get laws like this without tacit approval from the community. Call it the "zeitgeist." It's sort of like the argument that Hollywood movies of mid-century would have had much juicier content if it weren't for the Hays Code. Yes, but how did you get the Hays Code? It didn't come out of a vacuum. It's what people wanted.

 

Yes. 

 

Parking minimums are especially beloved by those people that are concerned that, at some point, a stranger might park on the street in front of their house.

 

Inadequate sewage is certainly as good a reason as any for a building moratorium.  And, while I can't find a source, I've heard that the 25-ft setback requirement was a result of the distaste that many people had of the "canyon" formed along Woodway by the various office buildings set relatively close to the street. (I, for one, quite like driving through the Woodway canyon.)

 

Further, property developers tend don't tend to be all that popular with the public, so depriving them of the use of a 25-ft strip of land where their property abuts the right-of-way is unlikely to engender a lot of sympathy.

 

All that said, the law of unintended consequences is why, given the choice between doing something and doing nothing, I generally prefer our lawmakers and regulators opt for the latter. Too frequently, calls by the public for more regulation and planning assume infallible benevolence, competence and clairvoyance on the part of the regulators and planners. In this case, it's pretty clear that assumption is unwarranted.

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Why did they have a construction moratorium instead of making more sewage capacity?

 

 

 

Oh wait I can answer that it would cost money

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Too frequently, calls by the public for more regulation and planning assume infallible benevolence, competence and clairvoyance on the part of the regulators and planners. In this case, it's pretty clear that assumption is unwarranted.

 

 

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

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Yes. 

 

Parking minimums are especially beloved by those people that are concerned that, at some point, a stranger might park on the street in front of their house.

 

Inadequate sewage is certainly as good a reason as any for a building moratorium.  And, while I can't find a source, I've heard that the 25-ft setback requirement was a result of the distaste that many people had of the "canyon" formed along Woodway by the various office buildings set relatively close to the street. (I, for one, quite like driving through the Woodway canyon.)

 

Further, property developers tend don't tend to be all that popular with the public, so depriving them of the use of a 25-ft strip of land where their property abuts the right-of-way is unlikely to engender a lot of sympathy.

 

All that said, the law of unintended consequences is why, given the choice between doing something and doing nothing, I generally prefer our lawmakers and regulators opt for the latter. Too frequently, calls by the public for more regulation and planning assume infallible benevolence, competence and clairvoyance on the part of the regulators and planners. In this case, it's pretty clear that assumption is unwarranted.

 

Some good points. I think that in general, people were just in love with a suburban model of development, and parking lots and easy-to-widen roads fit that paradigm.

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