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Camden Conte: 21-Stories x2 (2 Phases) - Downtown

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yeah ive definitely never heard of them closing the street. thats one of the streets the east end wants to use for their streetcar system/spur into downtown.

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How do we know that there is no GFR in this development? One rendering of one side of one block in a two block project?? Maybe we could learn some facts before we fly off the handle.

 

You're right, we don't. But in my opinion, I'd be shocked if there was because its relatively isolated, especially compared to other areas of downtown. Of course, if it did, it'd be a pleasant surprise.

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hey urb, any idea what the highlighted block next to the Nau that isnt lettered is? on the skinny block in front of Minute Maid.

 

ewwwwww! The link says a parking garage????!

 

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2014-03-05/140303_Downtown_Houston_Development_Map_11x17.pdf

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The picture shown looked to me to cover 2 blocks. Maybe if it isn't, this is he shorter building and the 12 story one is still to come.

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It's on two separate blocks, but it does not necessarily mean they are shutting down the street. Considering this is Leeland, they won't.

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It's on two separate blocks, but it does not necessarily mean they are shutting down the street. Considering this is Leeland, they won't.

The two wings doesn't look big enough to be separate blocks, and the entrance in the middle has a ramp so that would mean the middle street would be closed off. I dunno, I hope the rendering drastically changes.

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It may be short sighted or whatever, but interaction with the street around there is probably best avoided at the moment. 

 

To pull off the kind of transformation of downtown that most here want in some form or another, I think you need to start with stuff just like this to make the "cooler" ideas more plausible in phase two with an already established customer core for the holiest of holy pedestrian friendly street scenes. Lord knows there will still be plenty of parking lots to claim for whatever urbtopian visions might yet spring forth. 

 

There are too many variables to "master plan" a place like DT Houston, the residential incentives seem like a really pragmatic way to get to a denser, more attractive place, but if it doesn't happen organically, you might be left with 20 years of bad ideas rotting in place. 

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Sorry Nate, I think that's BS. They don't need to make functional store space but they can fake. They could have parking with glass fronts like Sakowitz that can easily be converted down the line to actual stores.

Building a fugly building because the area isn't all that is just silly

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Before we all rush to see who can prove their urbanist bona fides by being the first to slit their wrists over this, perhaps we should pause to consider:

 

1)  We are seeing a rendering of one side of one building.  Given that there are two garage entrance/exits and zero doors shown on this rendering, it's fair to presume this is the "back" side of the building.  For all we know, the other three sides might be urban paradise.

 

2)  There is a chance this rendering is nothing but a place-holder to represent "planned residential".  The first of the two buildings is no even slated to start construction for more than a year.

Edited by Houston19514
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Before we all rush to see who can prove their urbanist bona fides by being the first to slit their wrists over this, perhaps we should pause to consider:

 

1)  We are seeing a rendering of one side of one building.  Given that there are two garage entrance/exits and zero doors shown on this rendering, it's fair to presume this is the "back" side of the building.  For all we know, the other three sides might be urban paradise.

 

2)  There is a chance this rendering is nothing but a place-holder to represent "planned residential".  The first of the two buildings is no even slated to start construction for more than a year.

 

Both could be true, the second even more likely, but to play devils advocate, how often do they make a rendering of the back of a building?

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Both could be true, the second even more likely, but to play devils advocate, how often do they make a rendering of the back of a building?

 

I don't know, but this is pretty obviously the back of the building.  There has to be a door for people somewhere.  If nothing else there will be a rental office.

 

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Yeah, that makes sense, spend money to give people a teaser of the worse view of a building.

That will build confidence. Let's put our worse foot forward.

I don't see any situation where these "other three sides are better" are plausible.

That's like applying to a modeling agency with a donkeys arse as your head shot.

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I don't know, but this is pretty obviously the back of the building. There has to be a door for people somewhere. If nothing else there will be a rental office.

How is it obvious? And who says the pedestrian entrance has to be at the front? I would think the building would have multiple front entrances with the lobby of both buildings facing each other.

But still, there is no reason to build an ugly side.

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Sorry Nate, I think that's BS. They don't need to make functional store space but they can fake. They could have parking with glass fronts like Sakowitz that can easily be converted down the line to actual stores.

Building a fugly building because the area isn't all that is just silly

 

I don't really have a dog in it either way. Either it gets built or it doesn't, but often times, the perfect is the enemy of the good. This area is still relatively isolated, as long as they're not stacking FEMA trailers there, it will be an improvement and something to work from. All very interesting IMO. Cities need boring buildings too. 

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Cities need boring buildings too.

Houston already has this covered.

I agree that getting a building is good, but a little effort could be better.

Do things right the first time so we won't be worried about correcting it later. Why can't they fake a facade?

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Look at the layout of the building in the rendering.  Imagine where the elevator bank(s) would be.  To me, it seems as though they would be on the opposite side of structure.  Surely not right through the garage side.  This surely is the back side of building.  However, it is puzzling why the back side rendering was the first leaked/released, unless the developers are not yet ready for the full reveal. 

 

I believe that HoustonIsHome is right and that the entrances of the two buildings/blocks with face toward one another. Makes sense that any amenities and any possible retail would be located there.

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Yeah, that makes sense, spend money to give people a teaser of the worse view of a building.

That will build confidence. Let's put our worse foot forward.

I don't see any situation where these "other three sides are better" are plausible.

That's like applying to a modeling agency with a donkeys arse as your head shot.

 

good grief dude - maybe.... just maybe.... you're overthinking this just a bit. for all you know this could have been the very first conceptual design and they've already moved on to design revision #5. so far you've made about half a dozen hysterical assumptions based on one tiny rendering.

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Who is hysterical? Just stating opinions on the architecture. If you like it fine, if you don't fine. This is what the forum is here for.

If we get something better, I will admit I was wrong (I will gladly welcome being wrong) but what's the problem in some of us being very disappointed with THIS rendering?

Edited by HoustonIsHome

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It's only one rendering, one that is not finalized. I think everyone's trying to say its best to reserve full judgement until we see more, and learn more.

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It's only one rendering, one that is not finalized. I think everyone's trying to say its best to reserve full judgement until we see more, and learn more.

How often do plans drastically change?

I know back in the day multiple versions of proposed buildings were put out before done thing is settled on, but is that still done?

Do they spend as much time on these short residential complexes as they do on signature tiwers?

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It doesn't matter if they are short residential complexes. Revisions still take place all the time. It's better to wait for the final design closer to groundbreaking day than to fret over a conceptual rendering. 

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It doesn't matter if they are short residential complexes. Revisions still take place all the time. It's better to wait for the final design closer to groundbreaking day than to fret over a conceptual rendering.

I asked cause I didn't know. I have seen it for towers but don't know much about apartments.

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This new rendering makes reading all the past comments about prison-looking and anti-retail even more funny.

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This new rendering makes reading all the past comments about prison-looking and anti-retail even more funny.

This exactly what I was trying to say.. We always do this on this tread , calm the F down and wait for more info.. sheesh

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I think this would serve the purpose.... I still am not a fan of the materials it looks like they are using. I really think brick ages so much better in houston. We have all the humidity that will cause mold etc... I do hope these projects promote slightly taller structures (10 stories +), but a good mix of heights will be nice.

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The only problem I have is that I wish they had more uniformality.. image if 500 Crawford,this project and the other 5,7, and 10 story projects have been constructed along the same block  and all the up coming towers had done the same

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This exactly what I was trying to say.. We always do this on this tread , calm the F down and wait for more info.. sheesh

The thing is, this is downtown where there is a street grid, not a strip center, so there is no "back side", making the complaints that it's ugly are still valid.

One day the "back side" could be facing the "side" of another building and will always be next to a sidewalk people will walk down.

It's not the end of the world, but it could be better.

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We never can be sure how a project will look until it is completed. We can't even decide which side of the building this rendering is of. I think we should just sit back and wait for  the final renderings  of the total project for us to discuss/criticize.

 

Also I think I read somewhere on this site where there were quite a few blocks in the southeastern quarter of downtown that were either parking lots or minimal structures on them so I don't mind a few 7 - 10 story apartment projects which will ultimately bring more people to downtown which will eventually create a need for more street level retail also. Theres still going to be plenty of room for the talls all over downtown.

I do believe that midtown and most of  eastern Montrose will mostly be  5 -10 story apartment buildings.

It might take 10 years or so but it will happen.

 

As far as the medical center and downtown meeting in the middle its not going to happen.

The TMC is definitely moving south and east. They have large tracts of land to work with at much lower costs.

My wife works for UT in the med center and they have plans along with most of the other institutes for future development to the south.

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This exactly what I was trying to say.. We always do this on this tread , calm the F down and wait for more info.. sheesh

Im with lockmat, why should there be any poorly functioning side. Further, this side is only slightly better. Still stand offish. Still fortresslike.

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Okay, can everyone come back in off the ledge now?  ;-)

 

Where's the fun in that? 

 

I've probably said this ten times already, but this end of DT is going to look and feel so different.

 

Just walking down main to the Cathedral with Skyhouse almost complete and the adjacent lot already torn up, you can get an idea for the future here. With this project as well as the one on the Binswanger Glass block, you're looking at a difference like we saw from the time before the GRB was built to post Discovery Green for that area. 

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Im with lockmat, why should there be any poorly functioning side. Further, this side is only slightly better. Still stand offish. Still fortresslike.

THIS is what I want I want to see moreof in downtown and midtown

post-12649-0-74889200-1394645949_thumb.j

post-12649-0-21040500-1394646108_thumb.j

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

Those are awesome!! Both are so cool. Darn, I would love to see some of these in Houston!

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When are those going up? What part of town

Never. Those renderings are from developers who build in Houston but these are for other cities.

We settle for less than we could get so that's always what we get, less.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

Those are awesome!! Both are so cool. Darn, I would love to see some of these in Houston!

 

the first one is def cool but the second one is almost identical to Hanover's 12-story residential going up in the village so you are, in fact, seeing some of these go up in houston.

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the first one is def cool but the second one is almost identical to Hanover's 12-story residential going up in the village so you are, in fact, seeing some of these go up in houston.

 

 

It is similar I agree. The Hanover you speak of is one of my favorites going up in Houston right now. Although, the one pictured hear seems a little more 'east coast'. Both are cool. I actually think the 10 story going up in the southern part of downtown is vaguely similar to the more modern image. Of course not the same, but it is of a similar vibe, though less dramatic.

 

 

Never. Those renderings are from developers who build in Houston but these are for other cities.

We settle for less than we could get so that's always what we get, less.

 

"We settle for less" - this is hard to prove. Yes there are some cheap, cost cutting designs that get passed through. I don't know how much control WE or even the permitting center have as long as it meets requirements. If we had a competition for space - which we don't yet - we would see more money spent on design due to the NEED for a stand out property. Houston doesnt demand all the stand out properties we want yet. Right now, if it is new, and slightly edgy, it attracts the people... When time comes that anything new in downtown / midtown requires significant capital / competition / and architectural originality, then we will see some amazing things.

 

All we can do is promote a culture of high expectations. No use complaining we 'settle'. We have some amazing structures. We will get more, and more, as time goes on.

Edited by Avossos

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Was driving by and noticed a large area fenced off with construction workers and equipment onsite.

 

Edit: As you can tell, I was driving home and noticed it at the last second. Too much traffic to try and stop.

 

13391505164_e7b65d3ea4_o.jpg
Edited by Triton
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Is this accelerated? 

 

I guess I'm confused with the two phase thing and what looks like a closed street. Maybe the renderings are wildly preliminary. 

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Why can't we get better designed buildings IN DOWNTOWN OF ALL PLACES

Money.  You get the best design that the developer wants to pay for.  If the developer only feels like spending a certain amount of money on design instead of double that amount, that's his business since it's his project.

 

Some cities have committees or mayors who personally approve projects to make sure they meet certain aesthetic qualities.  Houston doesn't have that.  Your options are to either change the law, or live in a place where the developers have less freedom.

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Money.  You get the best design that the developer wants to pay for.  If the developer only feels like spending a certain amount of money on design instead of double that amount, that's his business since it's his project.

 

Some cities have committees or mayors who personally approve projects to make sure they meet certain aesthetic qualities.  Houston doesn't have that.  Your options are to either change the law, or live in a place where the developers have less freedom.

Money + Architectural Talent.

 

Not all firms are created equal.

 

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THIS is what I want I want to see moreof in downtown and midtown

 

I will agree with some of the other posters that development in an area has to reach a certain threshold before we can reasonably expect quality like that. Of course Finger built quality with One Park Place, and it was the first new residential highrise downtown in 30 years, but that was a phenomenal location. For architecture to cater to the most discerning residential buyer, you have to ask - will the most discerning residential buyer want to live surrounded by parking lots in a still-transitioning area? This building is probably the best we can expect here for now.

 

I do think we should applaud buildings that make efforts towards building an active, attractive streetscape (preparing the way for discerning buyers to want to live there in the future), and criticize those that don't. I was glad the downtown residential subsidy program makes it a condition that the building should be attractive at street level.

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Money. You get the best design that the developer wants to pay for. If the developer only feels like spending a certain amount of money on design instead of double that amount, that's his business since it's his project.

Some cities have committees or mayors who personally approve projects to make sure they meet certain aesthetic qualities. Houston doesn't have that. Your options are to either change the law, or live in a place where the developers have less freedom.

But downtown???

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