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

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It sounds like the expanded Downtown Living Initiative (DLI) is reaching its limit. If Camden Phase II qualified under the DLI, I'm very disappointed. The most recent Development Map shows a Q1 2017 start date for Phase II and completion by Q2 2019. It seems that the city is just providing Camden with a free call option on downtown residential - if development works out and rents are attractive, Camden builds Phase II and pockets the subsidy, if it doesn't work out, then they don't build Phase II.

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I think it looks great. It looks a little like others downtown but the curved edges give it some northeastern flare. Stoked for some height on that side of downtown...truly ground breaking.

The gazebo in the park that's also in the rendering along with TC garage confirms it's orientation.

Edited by lockmat

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I assume for phase 2, the other building on the south block will be identical, correct?  If so, what's that building to the south?

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It's kinda cool with the oval shaped corner.

What is that building behind it? And I saw the corner of the rendering for the Hilton Garden Inn (wedge), the design hasn't changed I assume?

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I assume for phase 2, the other building on the south block will be identical, correct?  If so, what's that building to the south?

 

 

It's kinda cool with the oval shaped corner.

What is that building behind it? And I saw the corner of the rendering for the Hilton Garden Inn (wedge), the design hasn't changed I assume?

 

 

Each phase has its own block doesn't it? I'd assume that's the second phase. If so it's oriented differently, thankfully.

 

Confirmation phase II has the same number of units, but will cost $5 million more, but maybe that's factoring inflation since it will be built later. (p. 38)

 

http://www.snl.com/Cache/1001184227.PDF?Y=&O=PDF&D=&FID=1001184227&T=&IID=103094

Edited by lockmat
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Each phase has its own block doesn't it? I'd assume that's the second phase. If so it's oriented differently, thankfully.

Confirmation phase II has the same number of units, but will cost $5 million more, but maybe that's factoring inflation since it will be built later. (p. 38)

http://www.snl.com/Cache/1001184227.PDF?Y=&O=PDF&D=&FID=1001184227&T=&IID=103094

Well I mean the structure 2 blocks behind it, same height but faceless...

Edit: It looks like a floor or two taller. Perhaps the +5 million? Or is adding a floor a much higher cost. I see that it is directly behind the low rise section of the tower, and not more two blocks. Perhaps a blank design because they have not gotten that far on phase 2?

Edited by Montrose1100

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I don't recognize any buildings around this. Can anyone help me out?

Toyota Center on the left, Garage in the middle, Camden phase 1 on right, and phase 2 in the grey background (far right).

Edited by Montrose1100

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Toyota Center on the left, Garage in the middle, Camden phase 1 on right, and phase 2 in the grey background (far right).

Thank you! The garage was throwing me off.

Phase 2 is another tower... I almost thought phase 2 was the mid rise portion of the picture. Good to see another high rise portion, but like others said, I hope this didn't get the I initiative funds, since it's so far out.

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Each phase has its own block doesn't it? I'd assume that's the second phase. If so it's oriented differently, thankfully.

So Phase 2 will fade west, towards Houston House? It would be cool to build that southern downtown park they've been talking about on the two blocks between HH and this Phase 2, so we would have residential towers book ending the park.

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Confirmation phase II has the same number of units, but will cost $5 million more, but maybe that's factoring inflation since it will be built later. (p. 38)

 

http://www.snl.com/Cache/1001184227.PDF?Y=&O=PDF&D=&FID=1001184227&T=&IID=103094

 

Perhaps the added expense for phase two is to account for not receiving the Downtown Living Initiative money on the second building?

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A better look:

 

15759453986_7de5178b99_b.jpg

 

 

Attractive rendering, this has me excited. Love the way it meets the park, the only building besides Hines Market Square that I would give a solid A for urbanism.

 

I don't think it's as similar to The Catalyst as others are saying. The Catalyst puts that awful portico and garage entrance on its best side facing Texas Ave. This seems to put GFR down an entire block, as opposed to Catalyst's one restaurant space.

 

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Toyota Center on the left, Garage in the middle, Camden phase 1 on right, and phase 2 in the grey background (far right).

 

ah so this is going where the old BUS was located... i was totally thrown off.

 

in that case I love the orientation towards TC and the park.

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/Company-sees-apartment-market-losing-some-of-its-6005339.php#/0

 

Camden has also been planning to develop a project downtown, but the timing is less certain.

 

"Were not prepared to start that now," Campo said. "We're just designing it. We'll see how the markets unfold and see what happens to construction and rents."

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Their tax credit should be revoked and given to someone who actually plans to build. I thought there was a certain timeframe that construction needed to begin.

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Campo managed to wait out another boom without building anything. Good for him.

This is the head of Houston First, who's "leading the effort to have Houston recognized as one of the great cities of the world." Vacant land for decades in prime urban locations sure accomplishes that goal

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Campo is that guy who shows up at the bar 15 min before last call and declares the place dead because almost no one is there

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Has anyone driven by this property recently? Turns out whoever said that that demo of the existing structure took place to turn this block into a parking lot were right. This looks like this will just be parking for however long Camden decides to actually build on this lot... SMH.

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Has anyone driven by this property recently? Turns out whoever said that that demo of the existing structure took place to turn this block into a parking lot were right. This looks like this will just be parking for however long Camden decides to actually build on this lot... SMH.

Yep.

Biggest boom in Houston in 40 years and it looks like Camden helped downtown add another empty lot (at least for the time being).

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Yep.

Biggest boom in Houston in 40 years and it looks like Camden helped downtown add another empty lot (at least for the time being).

Yes. The building they demolished was actually nice too. It was historic looking and was used for retail. Camden is on my shit list

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Yes. The building they demolished was actually nice too. It was historic looking and was used for retail. Camden is on my shit list

 

On your what list? I'm sure they find that most disconcerting and will immediately reverse course, track you down, and solicit your opinion as to what they should do with THEIR PROPERTY. 

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Are you talking about this brick building

1nkj5IG.jpg

SxRyKnk.jpg

Not very clear pics but I took them not too long before demo was started.

Yes this is the building. I thought it was nice.

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On your what list? I'm sure they find that most disconcerting and will immediately reverse course, track you down, and solicit your opinion as to what they should do with THEIR PROPERTY.

Thanks for going to the effort of responding, however pointless.

I am for preservation of any history we can, especially brick buildings in this part of town. I don't care who owns it, I don't have to like it. If you aren't ok with opinions, you may not be in the right place.

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Oh, I get it. If I don't like your opinion I'm in the wrong place. Sorry to interrupt YOUR board. It's not YOUR board, and  it's not YOUR property. 

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Yes this is the building. I thought it was nice.

 

Me too. The brick was crumbled up and cars park on its rubble now.

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Their tax credit should be revoked and given to someone who actually plans to build. I thought there was a certain timeframe that construction needed to begin.

 

According to the Chronicle, there is a timeframe within which construction must be completed:

 

In order to receive the reimbursement, the developers have one year from the date they sign the incentive agreement to get the project into the city permitting department, after which time they have three years to get a certificate of occupancy.

 

So, if this does not get going soon enough, Camden will lose the tax credit. Link below:

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/New-apartments-add-to-downtown-boom-6013209.php?t=bd840817c3&cmpid=twitter-premium

Edited by houstontexasjack
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According to the Chronicle, there is a timeframe within which construction must be completed:

In order to receive the reimbursement, the developers have one year from the date they sign the incentive agreement to get the project into the city permitting department, after which time they have three years to get a certificate of occupancy.

So, if this does not get going soon enough, Camden will lose the tax credit. Link below:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/New-apartments-add-to-downtown-boom-6013209.php?t=bd840817c3&cmpid=twitter-premium

So this essentially forces Campo's hand to build & complete within 4 years rather than delay like he's doing at the Midtown Superblock. The question for me then becomes if Camden loses the tax credit because Campo holds on the project and the Downtown Living Initiative caps out, could the lost Camden credit be given to another developer or is it just a lost opportunity at that point.

Edited by tigereye

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So this essentially forces Campo's hand to build & complete within 4 years rather than delay like he's doing at the Midtown Superblock. The question for me then becomes if Camden loses the tax credit because Campo holds on the project and the Downtown Living Initiative caps out, could the lost Camden credit be given to another developer or is it just a lost opportunity at that point.

 

I posted this in another thread but it becomes a lost opportunity:

 

"In the event that an approved project is cancelled for any reason, the units previously assigned to that project by the Board will not be reassigned to other approved or unapproved projects"

 

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2015-01-12/150112_HDMD_DLI_Cap_Memo.pdf

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I posted this in another thread but it becomes a lost opportunity:

"In the event that an approved project is cancelled for any reason, the units previously assigned to that project by the Board will not be reassigned to other approved or unapproved projects"

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2015-01-12/150112_HDMD_DLI_Cap_Memo.pdf

Absolutely stupid.
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Yes this is the building. I thought it was nice.

Yeah, I thought it was nice too, but thought the 21 storey residential would be good for the area.

What's up with Camden and dragging feet.

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I posted this in another thread but it becomes a lost opportunity:

 

"In the event that an approved project is cancelled for any reason, the units previously assigned to that project by the Board will not be reassigned to other approved or unapproved projects"

 

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2015-01-12/150112_HDMD_DLI_Cap_Memo.pdf

 

 

Absolutely stupid.

 

Yeah, it's kind of hard to think of a better word for it.  That is such a bad policy it's a little hard to believe it's true.  Even coming from government, that is surprisingly brain-dead.

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Yeah, it's kind of hard to think of a better word for it.  That is such a bad policy it's a little hard to believe it's true.  Even coming from government, that is surprisingly brain-dead.

 

It really hurts - takes 792 units away from the program (16% of the total).

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It really hurts - takes 792 units away from the program (16% of the total).

 

Let's not get too carried away.  It hasn't taken anything away from the program so far.

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downtownian, on 14 Jan 2015 - 1:14 PM, said:

I posted this in another thread but it becomes a lost opportunity:

"In the event that an approved project is cancelled for any reason, the units previously assigned to that project by the Board will not be reassigned to other approved or unapproved projects"

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2015-01-12/150112_HDMD_DLI_Cap_Memo.pdf

Theoretically I suppose Camden could have come up with a project comprising many, many more units just to reduce the competition's economic incentive to build. Self preservation of their rental assets already in place. File a form for the grant, never build the project, and suddenly hundred, if not thousands, of units will likely not be built. Less competition = higher rents. How many units would a 101-story building have held?....

Edited by Sparrow
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Before too many people grab their pitchforks, it should be noted that all that has been reported about the Camden downtown project is that they are "not prepared to start that now".  AND that they are "just designing it".  They will see how the market unfold and see what happens to construction and rents.  Nothing nefarious or evil about any of that.  Keep in mind that they have a pretty good incentive to aim for a certificate of occupancy within three years.

Edited by Houston19514
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Before too many people grab their pitchforks, it should be noted that all that has been reported about the Camden downtown project is that they are "not prepared to start that now".  AND that they are "just designing it".  They will see how the market unfold and see what happens to construction and rents.  Nothing nefarious or evil about any of that.  Keep in mind that they have a pretty good incentive to aim for a certificate of occupancy within three years.

 

I have a problem with the DLI being structured as a free call option to developers - if downtown residential looks good over the next few months, they build; if not, they don't build and it doesn't cost them anything other than having to go through the relatively costless application process. I would have preferred that the incentives were granted to developers who committed to build downtown or pay a penalty or that it was only granted to projects that broke ground. It seems like all you need for approval is some designs and land.

 

Not trying to demonize the developers - if I owned a block, I would have submitted a random residential proposal for it (maybe even a proposal for 5,000 units on my one block just so I could have the free option).

 

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These developers can't predict the future; they can't know 100% that their projects will go up. If there were a fine for not completing a project then none of the developers would go for it.

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I have a problem with the DLI being structured as a free call option to developers - if downtown residential looks good over the next few months, they build; if not, they don't build and it doesn't cost them anything other than having to go through the relatively costless application process. I would have preferred that the incentives were granted to developers who committed to build downtown or pay a penalty or that it was only granted to projects that broke ground. It seems like all you need for approval is some designs and land.

 

Not trying to demonize the developers - if I owned a block, I would have submitted a random residential proposal for it (maybe even a proposal for 5,000 units on my one block just so I could have the free option).

 

 

So, you've already conceded that it requires more than just the relatively costless application process.  They also had to invest in land and designs. 

 

Only granting the benefit to projects that break ground is inherently unworkable.  Nobody will ever break ground without the incentive agreed and in hand.

 

Allowing one year to permitting and three years to Certificate of Occupancy might seem a little generous at first blush, but the permitting process has been holding up a lot of projects recently, so one year to permitting is not giving a whole lot of wiggle room.  That only allows an additional 2 years for construction.  Again, not really all that generous, especially if you want high-rises (other than SkyHouses).

 

As has been mentioned earlier, I can see no reason to not reassign canceled project units.  That rule is inexplicable.

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So, you've already conceded that it requires more than just the relatively costless application process.  They also had to invest in land and designs. 

 

Only granting the benefit to projects that break ground is inherently unworkable.  Nobody will ever break ground without the incentive agreed and in hand.

 

Allowing one year to permitting and three years to Certificate of Occupancy might seem a little generous at first blush, but the permitting process has been holding up a lot of projects recently, so one year to permitting is not giving a whole lot of wiggle room.  That only allows an additional 2 years for construction.  Again, not really all that generous, especially if you want high-rises (other than SkyHouses).

 

As has been mentioned earlier, I can see no reason to not reassign canceled project units.  That rule is inexplicable.

 

I agree that the cost of the option is: 1) Application process; 2) Owning the land (if you own the land already, this is free. Mine as well apply for this incentive); 3) Designs. Not really sure how much this costs - does anyone know?

 

I like the idea of a fine if the project does not go through - call options have economic value so developers would still apply for the incentives even if there was a fine. You just need to set the fine low enough so that it does not discourage developers from applying but high enough so that only serious developers get the incentive.

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I agree that the cost of the option is: 1) Application process; 2) Owning the land (if you own the land already, this is free. Mine as well apply for this incentive); 3) Designs. Not really sure how much this costs - does anyone know?

 

I like the idea of a fine if the project does not go through - call options have economic value so developers would still apply for the incentives even if there was a fine. You just need to set the fine low enough so that it does not discourage developers from applying but high enough so that only serious developers get the incentive.

 

There is zero evidence that anyone other than a serious developer has applied for any of these incentives and it is unlikely one would do so.   The "fine" for not proceeding is already substantial, as you've already discussed but somehow don't seem to absorb:  1) investment in the land, 2) investment in design, and 3) the (not-really cost-free) application process.  Plus, if you don't proceed, you forego the opportunity to get the $15,000 per unit incentive.  That is plenty of disincentive to keep away non-serious developers. 

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