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40-story High-Rise for Block 98, Behind Hess Tower

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It was a joke and yes, I do find it funny that development of a 39 story residential high rise in downtown has turned into "that's nice, but we would rather have"...

 

I don't think it's turned into that. I think we're all pretty excited about this building. And... I don't think you're reading the posts very well.

 

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Why would two 20's and a 10 produce more people walking around on the street than one 50? I guess it might disperse the same number of people over an additional two blocks, so to that extent a minor +, but still the same number of people walking around on the street, no?

 

This is a theory - like I said, can't prove it. But, I think in shorter buildings you tend to have clients who are more sold on the neighborhood and more interested in walking around it. Whereas in taller buildings, at least on the upper floors, you tend to have clients who want the view, want to sort of be aloof from the world, and aren't so interested in the neighborhood.

 

Also, I said before that I think the difference is greater the less existing buildings there are around. So, if three short buildings are built in an area where there's no buildings already (like southeast downtown), the people are more likely to walk around because there's other buildings. The place feels more settled and there's more to look at on a walk. Whereas if it's just one tall building standing alone in a concrete moonscape, people are less likely to venture out into no-man's land.

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I don't care how tall they are. I just hate the thought of having residential areas downtown with nowhere for people to walk to, without retail on the first floor. I just think about places like Manhattan where every block are shops and restaurants bookstores cleaners. I know everyone gets tired of hearing about ground floor retail, but if it is not planned in the design in the first place they wont be able to put it in later and then everyone will still go to the garage and drive somewhere for conveniences that should be located within walking distance. Thats how you build up a sense of community. If we really want downtown to work were going top have to get people who live and work on the sidewalks. Now I'll get off my soapbox.

One last question who owns the parking lot right across from bank of the Southwest (the Block)?  Why isn't someone planning a tower there. Its the logical spot for a super tall and it would be the icing on the cake.

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In regards to a Supertall... I really think the best place for one would be where 2-3 additional blocks are empty, and not one surrounded by other buildings.  So that would mean some place over near 800 Bell or the "Chevron Campus" - In my opinion.

 

I do agree, these residential buildings need to have some idea for even a small bit of retail.  That will help to drive additional development.

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I agree with bobruss that the Bank of the Southwest lot would be perfect for a Supertall in my opinion. It's right in the middle of our skyline. A Supertall around 800 Bell would skew our skyline a little. But you're right arche, if a developer wants to build multiple buildings along with a Supertall, then the three open lots around 800 Bell would probably be the best spot.

 

Also, do we know yet if this 39-story building will have any ground floor retail?

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I don't care what height any new residential towers are in Downtown. I just want the critical mass. I want vibrant streets. That means more residential.

Greatest soon-to-be retail need? A grocery store has to find its way near a cluster of all these new developments.

Unless momentum grows for a residential district that purposely rejects subterranean activity, the popularity & usage of the tunnel system might always limit how vibrant the street scene becomes.

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Greatest soon-to-be retail need? A grocery store has to find its way near a cluster of all these new developments.

Unless momentum grows for a residential district that purposely rejects subterranean activity, the popularity & usage of the tunnel system might always limit how vibrant the street scene becomes.

 

I agree. At some point, it would be very nice to see a 1-2 story H-E-B in the base of one of these new residential developments. I'd like to see the City put up some tax incentives to help that along (mainly just because I want to see it sooner). Call it the "Downtown Market" or something along those lines to be branded with the Buffalo and Montrose Markets.

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Greatest soon-to-be retail need? A grocery store has to find its way near a cluster of all these new developments.

Unless momentum grows for a residential district that purposely rejects subterranean activity, the popularity & usage of the tunnel system might always limit how vibrant the street scene becomes.

 

By and large, these new residential developments will not be connected to the tunnel system.  The 39 story tower that is the subject of this thread may be a rare exception (I say it may be a rare exception because it is not certain that this building will be connected to the tunnel system.)  Of the other residential developments in the works, the only one I can think of that might be connected to the tunnels is the old Texaco building.

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Greatest soon-to-be retail need? A grocery store has to find its way near a cluster of all these new developments.

Unless momentum grows for a residential district that purposely rejects subterranean activity, the popularity & usage of the tunnel system might always limit how vibrant the street scene becomes.

The tunnel system essentially closes at 5pm and serves one main purpose - to service daytime office workers. In addition, tunnel connections are extremely costly - like $30-$40M to install. No multifamily developer will incur that sort of cost.

Retail follows rooftops. Easy as that. As more people move into downtown retail will follow.

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^ It's only linked to the tunnel because it has a sky bridge to Hess so it's not technically part of the tunnel system. The only residential project that I recall having tunnel connection is the Texaco renovation at 1111 Rusk. I believe the only reason that one has a connection is for 609 Main to have better tunnel access(I think the plan is to connect to BG Group and 601 Travis).

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Commerce Tower has a tunnel connection, but it also started out as a commercial building.

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The tunnel system essentially closes at 5pm and serves one main purpose - to service daytime office workers. In addition, tunnel connections are extremely costly - like $30-$40M to install. No multifamily developer will incur that sort of cost.

Retail follows rooftops. Easy as that. As more people move into downtown retail will follow.

Just for clarity: the tunnels are generally open (on week days) until 7pm-ish. They also open at about 6am-ish. They are generally closed on weekends.

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No multifamily developer will incur that sort of cost. 

Retail follows rooftops. Easy as that. As more people move into downtown retail will follow.

 

I do hope that's the case.  Just as in lively city centers all over the world, street-level vibrancy seems crucial in helping neighborhoods thrive and not just exist as places people choose to reside for merely pragmatic reasons.  Ironically, most all the historic images of downtown Houston I've seen show that:  people of all different types, in different sartorial tastes, going in different directions with different urgencies and purposes all making their impressions upon others, themselves, and weaving a collective fabric to the setting.  Perhaps we ought to attribute many kudos to the city incentive program that seems to have really initiated a groundswell of projects and, hopefully, re-acquaint Houstonians with a socially healthier era long since forgotten.  

 

The chances of impromptu interactions and obervations-of-the-mind are part of what attracts people to live in close environments.  People in cars and tunnels, as useful as they'll always be, just can't offer this.  I hope the tunnel costs indeed stay prohibitive, grocery, street vendor, and retail options grow, and Houstonians of all different ages & backgrounds share a desire or need to cross paths downtown - on foot (or bike) & above surface.

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I hope the tunnel costs indeed stay prohibitive, grocery, street vendor, and retail options grow, and Houstonians of all different ages & backgrounds share a desire or need to cross paths downtown - on foot (or bike) & above surface.

When they do cross paths, they'll ll be staring down at their smartphones anyway, trying to connect with people on social media. Edited by fernz
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Uh oh.. Looks like a bunch of contractors trailers moved into this site recently.. Id imagine for the Marriott.. Will this project not happen anytime soon? :/

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Uh oh.. Looks like a bunch of contractors trailers moved into this site recently.. Id imagine for the Marriott.. Will this project not happen anytime soon? :/

 

Well, the May Development Map said construction is to start 1st Quarter 2015...  I think you can come in off the ledge.  ;-)

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Are all those offices really necessary for the Marriot construction? Legit question

 

They are. Many companies are contracted by a developer and the office space is needed. They probably do onsite orientation too for new workers who need to be badged. 

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This shows how tight downtown space is getting.  JW Marriott, HRT, Skanska, et al have all been using conventional office space (well, converted GFR) for their site offices.

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I just assumed that most of that kind of work like drawings etc happened in the various engineering offices. I've just never seen this many temporary offices set up before. Seems slightly overkill but makes sense

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My interpretation of this that I posted in the convention center hotel thread a few weeks ago is that this shows me that the Hess folks are "coordinating construction" with the Marriott folks. The two projects are to be linked by a sky bridge. It seems to me that the schedules will be coordinated in such a way as to make this connection installed at the least overall cost.

I would expect the trailers to move at some point (again, coordinated) when the Hess project starts. The "combined headquarters" will likely be moved onto the lot that will hold the convention center parking garage.

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My interpretation of this that I posted in the convention center hotel thread a few weeks ago is that this shows me that the Hess folks are "coordinating construction" with the Marriott folks. The two projects are to be linked by a sky bridge. It seems to me that the schedules will be coordinated in such a way as to make this connection installed at the least overall cost.

I would expect the trailers to move at some point (again, coordinated) when the Hess project starts. The "combined headquarters" will likely be moved onto the lot that will hold the convention center parking garage.

 

agree with all that... except that it's unlikely to move to the convention center parking garage site...  that is slated to   start construction 4th Q 2014 (before the residential tower).  Perhaps they'll move it to the fenced-off parking lot at Capitol, Rusk and Avenida de las Americas.  But then one wonders why they didn't put it there to begin with ...  kinda odd.

Edited by Houston19514

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My interpretation of this that I posted in the convention center hotel thread a few weeks ago is that this shows me that the Hess folks are "coordinating construction" with the Marriott folks. The two projects are to be linked by a sky bridge. It seems to me that the schedules will be coordinated in such a way as to make this connection installed at the least overall cost.

I would expect the trailers to move at some point (again, coordinated) when the Hess project starts. The "combined headquarters" will likely be moved onto the lot that will hold the convention center parking garage.

They will probably move into one of the lower floors of the marriott building. It's common to build temporary offices once the structure comes out of the ground.

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As of about 6pm this evening, they were moving several of the trailers off of the Hess lot to a destination unseen. There was three or four remaining as of 6pm-ish.

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As of about 6pm this evening, they were moving several of the trailers off of the Hess lot to a destination unseen. There was three or four remaining as of 6pm-ish.

OHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I was right!!!!!!!!  :D

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OHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I was right!!!!!!!! :D

Right about what?

I'm glad the trailers are moving, but what was the point of putting them there to begin with?

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Right about what?

I'm glad the trailers are moving, but what was the point of putting them there to begin with?

Right about the trailers being overkill and that something was odd about this situation. Also I've decided to change my opinion on the whole "team-up" opinion between the Marriot and this. This is Htown, land of the parking lot. If they really wanted to put their equipment somewhere they could've been put it in any of the hundreds of empty lots around downtown. 

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Are all those offices really necessary for the Marriot construction? Legit question[/

. First off, how funny that you had to post Legit Question after your question. Man, so many of mine on this and other forums are probably dufus status, but I ask them anyway, LoL. Anyway, I understand the question and certainly the response. BUT my goodness, have you seen how many are actually stacked, STACKED up for European or Asian projects? Talk about bureaucracy .

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tin foil hat here - i think the unannounced 102 story tower is going up - que godzilla music - soooooooooooooooon

 

What do you mean?

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Walked by today. I noted that they have installed chain link fencing and protective tarps on the garage thinking perhaps that they might be doing this in preparation for starting work on this tower.

 

2chv15h.jpg

 

But then I saw a guy building a ramp for the construction trailers, so they must be there for a while.

 

dxz4t3.jpg

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I think you are right. I noticed them tonight too and hadn't realized you posted this. It looks like preparation for the tower.

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Wait, how can they start if the tower itself will take up the whole parking surface? Wouldn't they have to move the construction trailers off the site for them to start?

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Wait, how can they start if the tower itself will take up the whole parking surface? Wouldn't they have to move the construction trailers off the site for them to start?

 

The trailers will be there for a while. This tower isn't set to go up until the beginning of next year. I guess it is just early preparation for both this tower and perhaps Marriott Marquis across the street, though I doubt any debris would be able to get to this parking garage from there.

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Thanks! Kind of a bummer that there waiting until early next year to start, but I guess it's better to wait than to rush through them.

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At the same time, this one isn't going away. BisNow included a mention of it in today's edition. Along with a 6-story residential also being developed by Trammell Crow but not shown on the development map. 

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At the same time, this one isn't going away. BisNow included a mention of it in today's edition. Along with a 6-story residential also being developed by Trammell Crow but not shown on the development map. 

the other one isnt listed on the development map anymore? weird. its called Alexan Downtown i believe.. heres the thread for it.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/30294-block-73-6-story-267-unit-residential-building/?hl=%2Bdowntown+%2Bresidential#entry460043

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Sort of glad because if 40 becomes the norm for infill, perhaps it will prompt other builders to blast the 60 storey ceiling to create a signature tower. I am hoping.

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Honestly, with the changes that seems to occur month to month or quarter to quarter (I.e. Camden Conte), I really don't trust that development map much any more. This building could be 40 floors or 50 floors, or 10 floors by the time it is built..... IF it is ever built.

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Houston Chron has also updated this as under construction. Last I checked over the weekend, there were still trailers here.

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/slideshow/Highrises-under-construction-in-the-Houston-area-96439/photo-6201257.php

 

Edit: I believe this won't start until the beginning of next year.

Edited by Triton

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