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

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This is terrible news.

Question: has this project received its approval for the Incentive money? If it has, this is bad news. If it has NOT received approval, then, I get why there is no start date.

I don't think it's bad news. They probably need to get equity and/or debt before moving forward, they need construction drawings and permits.

Granted, it's possible by the time they are ready to go, demand downtown has waned and they put it on hold. After all, Camden did sit on its Midtown land for about 12 years.

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"terble news".... dramatic much? what, are the other dozen or so projects going on downtown not enough to keep you at least mildly content?

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I'm confused by the decision to delay the project immediately after deciding to expand it. Do they have two very conflicting reads on the market, or is the delay to give them more time to accommodate/fund the larger project?

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I'm confused by the decision to delay the project immediately after deciding to expand it. Do they have two very conflicting reads on the market, or is the delay to give them more time to accommodate/fund the larger project?

Delay? Was there ever a groundbreaking date given?

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I don't think there was ever an official start date given, but it's still a little concerning that they still don't have one because a lot of Downtown projects have been pushed back already. Right now, Downtown has a lot of proposed projects, but not much under construction. I fear that if Downtown can't build during these boom years, that it may never develop into the urban environment a lot of us want.

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I don't think there was ever an official start date given, but it's still a little concerning that they still don't have one because a lot of Downtown projects have been pushed back already. Right now, Downtown has a lot of proposed projects, but not much under construction. I fear that if Downtown can't build during these boom years, that it may never develop into the urban environment a lot of us want.

The next positive comment you pits will be your first. Just stop complaining for one second and realize that we are in the middle of a boom nearly every city would be jealous of.

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Delay? Was there ever a groundbreaking date given?

My comment is based on the Camden quote in the 5/7 chron article saying they have no start date. We didn't have an exact date before, but initial sources in this thread and the downtown development map at least had it down to a specific quarter.

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The next positive comment you pits will be your first. Just stop complaining for one second and realize that we are in the middle of a boom nearly every city would be jealous of.

 

I'm not complaining. I'm just posting my opinions like everyone else. I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. And I've posted plenty of positive comments. Look at the Block 73, 1800 San Jacinto, 1111 Travis, CN Tower, etc.

 

Yes, the city of Houston as a whole is in a boom, but Downtown is lagging behind a little. I'll feel better when more of the proposed projects get under construction. Downtown is doing great, but I want it to do even better. A lot of Houston's competitor city's downtowns started building last year and Downtown Houston is just starting to catch up.

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My comment is based on the Camden quote in the 5/7 chron article saying they have no start date. We didn't have an exact date before, but initial sources in this thread and the downtown development map at least had it down to a specific quarter.

You do realize they have to completely redesign the building..? It's going from an 8 story midrise to a 21 story tower. That's a pretty dramatic change.

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Dumb question, I am sure this isn't so, but...these developers can't get approved for the $15K per unit initiative just to scoop it up so the other guy doesn't get it, then sit on it for 10 years and do nothing right?

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I don't think there was ever an official start date given, but it's still a little concerning that they still don't have one because a lot of Downtown projects have been pushed back already. Right now, Downtown has a lot of proposed projects, but not much under construction. I fear that if Downtown can't build during these boom years, that it may never develop into the urban environment a lot of us want.

 

What downtown projects have been pushed back?

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What downtown projects have been pushed back?

 

1. Chevron Tower was initially supposed to start in 2Q 2014, but is now expected to start sometime in 2015.

2. International Tower was initially scheduled for 1Q 2014, but we still don’t know if it’ll even get built.

3. Capitol Tower was supposed to start in 1Q 2014. I don’t know if they meant they were going to start the demolition at that time, but even if they did, I think it started a little late.

4. 6 Houston Center was originally said to start in 1Q 2014, now they’re saying 2Q 2014.

5. Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites was supposed to start 1Q 2014, now has been pushed back to 4Q 2014.

6. Hyatt Place Downtown was originally scheduled for 1Q 2014, got pushed back to 4Q 2014, and now isn’t even on the development map.

7. The 7 story Fingers project by MMP was supposed to start in 4Q 2013, but we are just now seeing progress.

8. The Alliance 5 story residential was supposed to start in 4Q 2013, but they have just now cleared the parking lot.

 

There might even be more that I missed. 5 Allen Center has constantly been pushed back and we still don’t even know if it’ll ever get built. The Marriot Marquis had its ground breaking ceremony on schedule, but we haven’t seen anything since. The only good thing is that it looks like the Hines Market Square project is going to get started before it was originally announced. That’s probably the project I’m most looking forward to in Downtown, so I’m excited about that.

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Bazinga ^^^

I think the better question is what project actually started on schedule as almost everything seems to start late.

I hated the original renderings fir the Camden buildings, and although I am like you an anxious for all of this to be done and rented before superbowl, if waiting means we are getting a better building than the crap first purposed then I don't mind the wait

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I think an even better question is how have some of you construction-obsessed posters on an architecture board not come to realize that damn near every major project gets delayed in some capacity or another and that "groundbreaking" dates are almost entirely meaningless. The funny thing is when a group like Camden sets a start date 18 months out it's often the same folks complaining out loud, openly questioning why the start date is so far off.

Stop living and dying by arbitrary dates set bt developers meant to entice investors and the public to their project. These things have an innumerable amount of moving parts.

Agreed. Planning and designing a project takes a great deal of time and money. Delays of a couple quarters are very small in the grand scheme of things.

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Wow I'm detecting some major insecurity on this thread! Its rare that major projects ever start on time or stay on schedule. Not to mention we are looking at the beginning of a precedent here in Houston. Downtown and other areas of Houston are going to experience a lot of growing pains these next few years as this is the largest boom in construction in this area since the 1980's thats 3 decades ago!!!

I'm just proud of the city for even getting the stuff we got now. Of course as an architectural intern, just like every other architect/designer, we aren't very patient people when it comes to development, but this is a major step for Houston and it will take some time.

All we need is just a couple of these to get goin and that's when the real growth starts. Construction is contagious and is momentum based. I think we all need to breath and not panic! Lets all be chill. What we are seeing hasn't ever been done yet in Houston or at least in a very very long time. Not to mention we just got out of a recession not to long ago either.

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^Speaking as someone who has seen it before - if projects aren't under construction (for any reason) there is a chance they will be cancelled.

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^Speaking as someone who has seen it before - if projects aren't under construction (for any reason) there is a chance they will be cancelled.

 

Kind of the way life happens. I have a construction project in my back yard, and we are very delayed!! and this is just a guest house. So God only knows all the things that could happen to a project...

 

But our market is strong, and I don't think we should worry too much. At the end of the the day, maybe 80% of these will happen. And thats a pretty good percentage... NYC has tons on tons of projects proopesed and many never happen... Just think of Freedom tower... its taken over 1 decade... and this probably had a lot of pressure to get done.

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I don't think there was ever an official start date given, but it's still a little concerning that they still don't have one because a lot of Downtown projects have been pushed back already. Right now, Downtown has a lot of proposed projects, but not much under construction. I fear that if Downtown can't build during these boom years, that it may never develop into the urban environment a lot of us want.

 

What do you mean by this?  Downtown has more simultaneous construction underway now than its seen since the 80s.  Cranes are going up as we speak. 

 

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While Freedom Tower is a good example. Its more example of oversensitive politicians who literally had to do a full redesign because of who moronic they were the first time around.

 

 

Damn my boundless optimism lol. I know I'm young with a degree of naivete, but with this many projects online or close to online....its a good indicator that they will get built at some point. 

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Kind of the way life happens. I have a construction project in my back yard, and we are very delayed!! and this is just a guest house. So God only knows all the things that could happen to a project...

 

True.  I have a development list that's stuck to my fridge, adjacent to the less than flattering photos.

 

Just as an example:  If the soil report comes back with a significantly different reality than what was projected, the foundation design will have to be evaluated and perhaps changed.  That then invites some mission creep - "well, we're having to do X anyway, might as well go ahead and add Y while we're at it since the incremental cost will be less than two redesigns would be."  All of which puts the starting schedule into the Dumpster.

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What do you mean by this?  Downtown has more simultaneous construction underway now than its seen since the 80s.  Cranes are going up as we speak. 

 

 

I meant what I said. Downtown has a lot of proposals and not much under construction in comparison, and a lot of its proposals have been pushed back. I gave a list on an earlier post. Currently, there are 6 new under constructions (including 609 Main and Marriot Marquis) and 20 proposals. A lot of these proposed projects, most of them residential, are now scheduled to get underway at the same time because a few were pushed back. I think that it is reasonable to have concerns that not all of these will get built. I hope that my concerns are wrong, though. I could see Downtown exploding if most of these projects get built and are successful, but the problem is getting them started first.

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Downtown will do just fine.  I agree that some on here are being a bit too pessimistic (this coming from an eternal pessimist) about this project.  Even if it does get canceled - so what?  Plenty of other projects for DT that will help bring new life to that area of town.

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Mid-2015 Groundbreaking.

That sort of sentiment is echoed by Ric Campo, the chairman and CEO of Camden Properties, which is known throughout the city for its own luxury apartments.

“I think Downtown is finally on the verge of totally transforming into what so many of us imagined it to be,” he said.

His company has long had properties in Midtown and River Oaks and will break ground in the middle of 2015 on a Downtown project. He says the DLI was a tremendous incentive for him.

“It shows the city of Houston is willing to be a true partner to developers and can help us create the vibrant residential life we all want to see here in the city,” Campo said.

His yet-to-be-named project will take up two city blocks. As we went to press, Campo and his team were still working on the design process for the space, expected to be between 12 and 20 stories. Campo says he expects to attract a blend of young professionals who work Downtown or in the Texas Medical Center and empty nesters looking to downsize who want a residential life filled with amenities.

http://www.downtownhouston.org/news/article/life-big-city/

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Demo permits for the block bounded by Austin, Leeland, LaBranch and Bell issued today.

 

Wow, there is a pretty attractive building there... why couldnt they have picked from the other dozen empty lots around... Maybe it isnt a big deal, but that building seems perfectly fine, and could hold some nice, useful retail.

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Thats what I was thinking.

Why start demo?

My guess???

So that they can "start" the project and thereby lock in the incentive. Since the project has "started" and the incentive has been approved (at least for the original proposal), this may ensure that they are able to lock in their credits.

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My guess???

So that they can "start" the project and thereby lock in the incentive. Since the project has "started" and the incentive has been approved (at least for the original proposal), this may ensure that they are able to lock in their credits.

 

That's an interesting point.  I haven't looking at the downtown housing incentive program in detail, but I wonder if they are paid after the project is completed or at the end of the fiscal year in which the project begins (which would inject additional capital).  It definitely seems as though they would lock in the credits even if the program were to be terminated after a short time due to a large number of builders participating.

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That's an interesting point. I haven't looking at the downtown housing incentive program in detail, but I wonder if they are paid after the project is completed or at the end of the fiscal year in which the project begins (which would inject additional capital). It definitely seems as though they would lock in the credits even if the program were to be terminated after a short time due to a large number of builders participating.

They are paid over a 15 year period and after the project is complete.

It is my opinion, others disagree, that the 15 year period is one significant factor driving downtown residential developers to develop apartments instead of condos.

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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What was the history of that building? Event space?

 

I believe that it was an event hall, but only recently. It may have been a small operation type office, and there was a foreign car garage in that general area (with BMW and Acura symbols painted on the windows) but that may have been another building, but it has not been anything successful in my memory. 

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thats kinda confusing.....what is that for?

Is this on the phase1 or phase 2 lot?

If phase 2:

To keep the soil from running off over the next two years before they break ground?

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UtterlyUrban's comment has a degree of truth to it.  haha. Nonetheless, if theyre starting construction, it's essentially free gravel for their equipment to drive on and gain traction in the mud. --thats my guess. 

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UtterlyUrban's comment has a degree of truth to it.  haha. Nonetheless, if theyre starting construction, it's essentially free gravel for their equipment to drive on and gain traction in the mud. --thats my guess. 

 

I think your guess is a very good one, Purdue. In the past we've had contractors ask to tap contingency funds to put in temporary (gravel) drives so that their schedules wouldn't be so impacted by long stretches of rainy weather. I haven't see that problem much lately until the beginning of this year.

 

Many contractors are now including it (temporary surfaces) as part of their overhead. When this brick is no longer needed it can be scraped up and, hopefully, put to some appropriate use instead of going to a landfill.

 

Most demolition specifications are clear about what can be done with this type of waste. Usually, it is not a good idea to bury it on the site though some of the unscrupulous will do that to save transportation and disposal fees.

 

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Can one get 518 "normal sized" units in two 8-story buildings or is this a typo from the original proposal?

This one started life as 2x12. When the renders came out (shown on Page 1), it looked like 8. I'm not sure who got the idea it was 21, but it appears that the idea all along was for 8 stories - possibly in one monolithic building spanning two city blocks. Oh, well...

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They've been using the lot for parking for Toyota center events, I've noticed. Go figure.

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