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42-Story High-Rise for Block 98, Behind Hess Tower


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Height: 468’ Work begins 4/20, light one up for this one 😆    https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=430526526&row=2

https://www.highstreetresidential.com/en/portfolio/block-98   42-stories, 2Q 2022 completion  

Rendering from this past March.  

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I have a sneaky suspicion that they are going to want to make this building a floor or two taller than OPP.

Would one or two floors taller than OPP make it taller than OPP? I'm asking cause the proposed height for Hines residential seems to be really short. At 362 ft Hines seems to be about 11 ft per floor. Since the Architect for block 98 I am assuming the height per floor would be similar. That would give block 98 a height of 441ft for 39 floors.

I am hoping that the estimate for Hines is off. If the height per floor of this building is closer to OPP then this building would top out at 507ft. Either way this and the 40 floor Market Square residential both make it on the tallest 50 buildings in Houston list. Hines MS and Marquette will barely miss the cut off. They need to bring Hines up to 41 floors just to be king. Lol

Edited by HoustonIsHome
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I've always found it interesting that Houston's "tallest" (by floor count) residential high rise is 40 stories while other, much smaller cities (Charlotte, Austin, etc.) have 50+ story condos.

austin and Charlotte are smaller cities but both have bigger downtown populations. Austins is two times as large as houston. Maybe when we get to that level we will start having 50 and 60 floor residential towers Edited by HoustonIsHome
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That's true, but those cities have only had their 50+ story residential buildings for a few years. I'm not sure about Charlotte, but Austin has always had a lot of people living "downtown." I just think it's weird that they are getting those projects while we don't (as of now at least) have anything existing or on the design boards taller than 42 stories (Hermann Place), especially considering the sheer volume of growth all over Houston. It doesn't have to be downtown here either, as the Galleria area is Houston's prime location for high rise condos.

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I've always found it interesting that Houston's "tallest" (by floor count) residential high rise is 40 stories while other, much smaller cities (Charlotte, Austin, etc.) have 50+ story condos.

 

Another factor is that residential towers might tend to climb higher if they have a shot at being the tallest or second tallest building in town. If the Austonian were built in Houston, it would not soar above the buildings around it like it does in Austin. If you can't make a huge skyline impact, you're more apt to go with the economical height of 30-40 stories.

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Well, a very large percentage of Austin's highrise growth has been in residential and hospitality.  Makes sense then that they would have developers trying to push things by building a 50-60 floor residential building.  From a financial sense it is absurd...but then that's Austin.  Never really made sense to me.

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For Austin, it's a fast growing city with a higher-demand for high-rise living. The area around UT and the Capitol building is under a height restriction of 300 Feet. Even though there are a lot of spaces still available in downtown Austin, much less lots will be available to build on 20+ years from now if the city continues to develop at the same rate as it's going now, so it makes much more sense to build tall in Austin. Meanwhile here, we can build pretty much anywhere, but I think someone will eventually build a 50-story residential tower in Houston.

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austin and Charlotte are smaller cities but both have bigger downtown populations. Austins is two times as large as houston. Maybe when we get to that level we will start having 50 and 60 floor residential towers

Charlotte's downtown population really isn't that large. Most of the growth in urban population is occurring in Southend which is essentially Charlotte's equivalent to Midtown, not Downtown (called Uptown in Charlotte).

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Another factor is that residential towers might tend to climb higher if they have a shot at being the tallest or second tallest building in town. If the Austonian were built in Houston, it would not soar above the buildings around it like it does in Austin. If you can't make a huge skyline impact, you're more apt to go with the economical height of 30-40 stories.

 

Am I the only person that is perfectly ok with "median" height residential towers?  They still fill out downtown and increase residences, and right now that is the goal.  The DT residential market needs to prove it's viability in comparison to other nearby alternatives, and that's what the current projects are going to do.  Can't re-invent the wheel until you've spun it several thousand times. 

 

Once we get a more people actually living in downtown, the next big leap is to do more mixed-use partnerships, a la OPP/Phoenicia.  Hopefully that will provide more opportunity for "signature" towers. 

 

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Am I the only person that is perfectly ok with "median" height residential towers?  They still fill out downtown and increase residences, and right now that is the goal.  The DT residential market needs to prove it's viability in comparison to other nearby alternatives, and that's what the current projects are going to do.  Can't re-invent the wheel until you've spun it several thousand times. 

 

Once we get a more people actually living in downtown, the next big leap is to do more mixed-use partnerships, a la OPP/Phoenicia.  Hopefully that will provide more opportunity for "signature" towers. 

 

I'm not NOT okay with them, but it's kinda disappointing to see all these 50-60story (and supertalls) in other cities around the nation while the best we can get is these little stumps. All in the name of growth, I guess. 

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I'll say this:

 

1 - 50 floor tower is better than 2 - 20 floor towers.

 

However, 4-5 - 20 floor towers are better than 1 - 50 floor tower.  Infill with these shorter residential will allow more infill and more individual projects versus one really big tower with 500 units (or something like that).

 

Taller buildings do have an impact on the skyline, but the smaller units will fill in the voids left blank since the late 70s/early 80s.  Personally when I'm driving (or visitors are driving) through or around Downtown I would rather have most of those empty blocks filled with smaller buildings than with several larger buildings.  Besides, the more small buildings the higher the demand for residential will be and that in turn will make it more likely that in 5 years we may get a 60-70 floor (800' tall) residential tower.  At least that's my take on it.

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I still don't understand why one 50 story tower would be better than two twenties, but then I don't particularly care about the skyline. I like our skyline, but I don't think it needs to be a priority when we should be more worried about making downtown a functioning neighborhood.

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A couple of other reasons Austin is building tall is that, overall, it has a much smaller downtown than Houston, is a much more centralized city than Houston, and has no (real) equivalent to the Galleria, Westchase, Med Center. Austin also has a very active community of residents that protests the heck out of any new development in most of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Downtown is kind of the only place to develop densely, if you want to develop in the inner city.

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I still don't understand why one 50 story tower would be better than two twenties, but then I don't particularly care about the skyline. I like our skyline, but I don't think it needs to be a priority when we should be more worried about making downtown a functioning neighborhood.

 

Well, 609 Main is a better building than the two 20 floor residential towers proposed over by St Josephs (or thereabouts).  That's all I'm saying.  Now, 4-5 of those residential towers trumps that lone 50 floor building - in my opinion.

 

I absolutely agree that it isn't the skyline we should worry about - its already great - we need a more liveable central core.  Thankfully both can improve with what is currently proposed (and under construction).

 

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Well, 609 Main is a better building than the two 20 floor residential towers proposed over by St Josephs (or thereabouts).  That's all I'm saying.  Now, 4-5 of those residential towers trumps that lone 50 floor building - in my opinion.

 

 

 

But what does better mean? Why is it better? What benefit does the additional height provide? Is it just its impact on the skyline? I'm honestly curious because I would, personally, genuinely prefer two twenties to one 50. By far. I think 50s can end up being too out of scale when not very well designed.

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But what does better mean? Why is it better? What benefit does the additional height provide? Is it just its impact on the skyline? I'm honestly curious because I would, personally, genuinely prefer two twenties to one 50. By far. I think 50s can end up being too out of scale when not very well designed.

 

Better in the architectural sense.  That's it.

 

Does that not make sense?  Again, my opinion.

 

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Personally, as long as the ground floor is well-designed and active (with retail, where appropriate), the amount of floors and even design of the building is somewhat secondary. That said, we need many more residents downtown, so the more floors in each development the better!

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I'm not NOT okay with them, but it's kinda disappointing to see all these 50-60story (and supertalls) in other cities around the nation while the best we can get is these little stumps. All in the name of growth, I guess. 

 

I too would love to see a 60+ story condo tower go up in Houston (specifically downtown Houston).  But let's not exaggerate the number of 50-60 story residential buildings around the nation (let alone supertalls).  Outside of NYC, Chicago and Miami, there really are very few (and outside of NYC and Chicago I don't think there are any supertall residentials).

 

Yes, Austin has one.  But only one.  Yes, Charlotte has one.  But only one (and it barely makes the cut, being only 50 stories.) 

 

Here is a complete (I think) list of US Metro areas that have one or more 50+ story residential buildings (many are buildings that only include residential along with other uses, e.g., hotel):

NYC

Chicago

Miami

LA (one, 54 stories and it's primarily hotel.)

San Francisco (2)

Atlanta (1, hotel with condos)

Las Vegas (4)

Austin (1)

Charlotte (1)

 

A little more high-rise residential context in connection with the comparisons to Austin and Charlotte:

 

Austin has 13 high-rise residentials (roughly 15+ stories or 180+ feet)

Charlotte has 6

Houston has 53

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But what does better mean? Why is it better? What benefit does the additional height provide? Is it just its impact on the skyline? I'm honestly curious because I would, personally, genuinely prefer two twenties to one 50. By far. I think 50s can end up being too out of scale when not very well designed.

 

Yeah, I would rather have more shorter towers, at least for residential uses.  Costs increase drastically with building height, so that the taller the building the more average units are going to cost.  At this point in downtown residential development, I think going short and appealing to a wider audience is a more sensible strategy than pricing a lot of people out of the market.

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I'm indifferent as to what I like more. There are 20 story towers I like at that height, and there are 50 story towers I like at that height. Either way, I love the infill that's going on downtown of all sorts. Retail will likely flourish when most of these residential mid and high rises are finished.

 

Thanks for that research, Houston19514. I think soon enough we'll be on that list ourselves.

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But what does better mean? Why is it better? What benefit does the additional height provide? Is it just its impact on the skyline? I'm honestly curious because I would, personally, genuinely prefer two twenties to one 50. By far. I think 50s can end up being too out of scale when not very well designed.

They also absorb more than twice the market share of 20's, so that more people are bottled in the same building, deadening neighborhood life. All else being equal, I believe (can't prove) that two 20's and a 10 produces more people walking around on the street than one 50 will, and the difference is greater the less surrounding buildings there are.

That said I think a 50 at some point would be good simply for the prestige and the advertisement it makes for the area.

Edited by H-Town Man
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They are saving $4,710,000 with the incentive. (314 units x $15,000).

Please correct me if I am wrong.....

The incentive is paid over 15 years I thought. If I am correct, and I might very well be wrong, the time value of money would make the incentive less than half that.

If I am correct, I also wonder how that 15-year period is effecting the development of rental buildings vs. condos. If a developer built condos and sold them all, I am curious as to what mechanism he would use to preserve the incentives come to him when he is not the property owner any more.

All that said, it is very likely that I have this muddled up. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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I think most of us are arguing that shorter buildings are better. Did you read?

 

I dont think shorter is better. But, then again, I dont think taller is better either. It needs to be taken in context.

 

I believe things should grow organically - so these 21 story buildings are the tallest we could honestly expect in the SE area of downtown. If done well, these can be a really solid foundation for additional growth in the area. I am confident that we will see taller buildings to come - which makes sense - when there are less lots available to build.

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For me it is all time and place. In a downtown filled with 40+ towers and running out of land then a 60+ building would be preferable for me. (HOUSTON IN 10 years)

In a downtown with a lot of tall buildings but a lot of empty lots then either would be good to me. (HOUSTON the past 40 Years).

In a downtown with very few tall buildings and lots of room to grow then a single tall building might be less preferable than multiple 20 floor buildings. (Houston 100 years ago).

that's just me. I would gladly take 20 buildings in midtown that are 10 floors than 1 burg khalifa that is 200 floors. It creates a wonderful urban environment without all these empty plots. In downtown however, I would probably go for two 100 floor buildings over one 200 floor buildings.

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...I also wonder how that 15-year period is effecting the development of rental buildings vs. condos. 

 

I don't think it's much of an effect at all.  My perception is that condos are more difficult to finance because of significant pre sale requirements by the lenders.

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Except even those aren't terribly realistic heights.

We're getting 5-7 story buildings in Midtown, not 10, and 5-50 stories downtown including office buildings.

They are most realistic. I prefer what is going on in midtown now than having some gigantic tower. What's not realistic about that? There have been tower proposals for midtown but I prefer it current direction

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I think most of us are arguing that shorter buildings are better. Did you read?

 

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"...

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I think my "argument" point is missed - probably because I didn't sell it very well at all.

 

My point was "Typically a 50 floor building will be a better designed structure than a 20 floor building; so speaking purely from an architectural standpoint I would rather see the better design."  Now, we all know there are plenty of rather dull (or just plain bad) tall buildings and there are some generously designed smaller ones so it isn't a universal truth that taller = better architecture.  Normally though the greater the expense of the building the greater the emphasis on design from the developers/clients.  Normally.

 

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.

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I think my "argument" point is missed - probably because I didn't sell it very well at all.

 

My point was "Typically a 50 floor building will be a better designed structure than a 20 floor building; so speaking purely from an architectural standpoint I would rather see the better design."  Now, we all know there are plenty of rather dull (or just plain bad) tall buildings and there are some generously designed smaller ones so it isn't a universal truth that taller = better architecture.  Normally though the greater the expense of the building the greater the emphasis on design from the developers/clients.  Normally.

 

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.

Good point. 3615 Montrose and The Flats on Fairview are both beautiful designs and I would have no issue at all with multiple "small" buildings on this scale if it means building up Houston's core.

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They also absorb more than twice the market share of 20's, so that more people are bottled in the same building, deadening neighborhood life. All else being equal, I believe (can't prove) that two 20's and a 10 produces more people walking around on the street than one 50 will, and the difference is greater the less surrounding buildings there are.

That said I think a 50 at some point would be good simply for the prestige and the advertisement it makes for the area.

 

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?

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Taller buildings tend to require higher rents to make up additional costs, and they tend to have somewhat larger apartments partially as a result. Plus there are requirements for additional elvators, mech etc.

Not guaranteed of course, but lower apartment buildings often have more units per floor.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to 42-Story High-Rise for Block 98, Behind Hess Tower

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