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New Park for the Southern Area of Downtown

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We've seen reports that highlight the lack of green-space in Southern DT, but plans are being set in place for a park in this area. In the very early stages, 1/2 - 1 Block will be acquired for the park. This will be a joint effort by the Downtown Management District, COH Parks Dept. and TIRZ 3.

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Maybe that park that St Joseph's owns with the waterfalls should be bought. It's often locked up.

Well, there's Root Square, at least.

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Only half - one block will be for the park? I was hoping it was going to be a 2 block park a block or two south of the Toyota center garage. Oh well, hopefully it's a full block.

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With all of the residential moving into south downtown, I wonder if it would be a good idea to build a centeral square type park in that area, just to green up the space and create an outdoor vibe. I don't anticipate that the city has those types of plans, but it would be great.

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In the last 2 years, 4 blocks in the Garden District (or Parking District) are being developed. Skyhouse, Block 334, Holiday Inn and now Skyhouse 2 ...all next to each other. And 800 Bell is next to be redeveloped. A few other residential projects are planers as well. SoDo area has momentum. Will be interesting to see what happens to the old Days Inn now and the Amegy building when they vacate for the Galleria area.

 

The city is also allocating money for a park on the south side. I'll need to go through my computer at home but I have the document that lists the Main street redevelopment project, a southern downtown park, and a few other projects as well.

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I think its really important for the city to move on a park for southern downtown, before all of the blocks are spoken for and the

property escalates any more. We've seen with Discovery Green what a well planned park can do for development, and the area will be densely populated.

 

Does the city actually own any property in the southern zone?

 

There was a study prepared by Community Development Strategies for Houston Downtown Management District, in Feb. 2013, which specified a park possibly on the old Days Inn/ Holiday Inn site before the property changed hands again. I  pulled up the study but unfortunately all that is in my file is the cover sheet and I have lost the 122 page report. I'm sure someone else can reference this report. This should have happened yesterday. The longer they wait the less opportunities there will be to find a good property that is more the size of Discovery Green than Market Square. There will be many more people living in that area

The sooner the better.

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I think its really important for the city to move on a park for southern downtown, before all of the blocks are spoken for and the

property escalates any more. We've seen with Discovery Green what a well planned park can do for development, and the area will be densely populated.

Does the city actually own any property in the southern zone?

There was a study prepared by Community Development Strategies for Houston Downtown Management District, in Feb. 2013, which specified a park possibly on the old Days Inn/ Holiday Inn site before the property changed hands again. I pulled up the study but unfortunately all that is in my file is the cover sheet and I have lost the 122 page report. I'm sure someone else can reference this report. This should have happened yesterday. The longer they wait the less opportunities there will be to find a good property that is more the size of Discovery Green than Market Square. There will be many more people living in that area

The sooner the better.

Again, I need to take a look at the document again when I get home but there appeared to be $2 million allocated for a southern park in downtown. Need to double check the numbers but I could not find a specific location mentioned when I read it last night.
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Again, I need to take a look at the document again when I get home but there appeared to be $2 million allocated for a southern park in downtown. Need to double check the numbers but I could not find a specific location mentioned when I read it last night.

 

Thanks, I would be very interested in seeing that. With as many residents as are planned for that area, we need another market square type park.

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Thanks, I would be very interested in seeing that. With as many residents as are planned for that area, we need another market square type park.

 

No that area will really need something larger than 1 block with all of the residential going in around there. Hopefully the city and the downtown district ,who really runs downtown, will think bigger.

I'd like to see at least two blocks but 4 would be awesome. Then there could be room for some fields ,

or a lawn where people could lay out in good weather and get some sun, or just have a picnic maybe. Some sand volleyball  courts,  and a dogpark . I live across the street from Menil park and I can tell you that park is one of the most popular places in the city per sq. foot. You name it and it happens there,

By the way every other Sunday at about 3 or 4 they have been having huge water balloon fights with people bringing ice chests, baskets and trash cans full of balloons. The last fight I even saw a chauffeur get out of a town car and get two large shopping bags full of balloons out of his trunk and carry them over to the park for two girls who were so excited to be going to their first water balloon fight. That's what they need downtown. Next fight should be this Sunday if they are still having them.

Its crazy.

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I Am familiar with the city south section plan from the report if memory serves they identify three areas for another discovery sized park....I would rather it be something different a sculpture garden type or a small botanical..not discovery green 2

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I Am familiar with the city south section plan from the report if memory serves they identify three areas for another discovery sized park....I would rather it be something different a sculpture garden type or a small botanical..not discovery green 2

i thought they had only highlighted one or two blocks for a southern downtown park. at one point it was even down to half a block, just north of the Savoy/Holiday Inn i thought?

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i thought they had only highlighted one or two blocks for a southern downtown park. at one point it was even down to half a block, just north of the Savoy/Holiday Inn i thought?

Thought it said similar acre to Discover green but I will also double check

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It was two blocks. I think a downtown sculpture garden would be a great idea, but only if it was somehow administered and curated by the M.F.A., or perhaps arts alliance.

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I believe the two blocks was more of a vision. There's a document from the city itself that has money either allocated or planned for half block/block in southern downtown.

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A four block (or even two block) park would be a big a park with others fairly close by. Discovery green is in close walking distance, and the superblock will be too. I'm not sure we need multi million dollar parks every 3 or 4 blocks.

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A four block (or even two block) park would be a big a park with others fairly close by. Discovery green is in close walking distance, and the superblock will be too. I'm not sure we need multi million dollar parks every 3 or 4 blocks.

Would not a one block park be in the "multi-million" dollar range?

How much is one vacant lot (parking lot) going for in downtown these days?.... Seems to me it is already in the "multi's"

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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I called the downtown district and spoke with the person involved with the southern section of downtown.

He said they are looking at a possible half block or even quarter block park. Maximum if lucky would be a full block but sounded doubtful. He said that there were some wonderful small parks in other cities that work very well. He said they do have someone looking for a site.

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http://www.bisnow.com/commercial-real-estate/houston/2796-up-close-with-mark-raines/

 

Southern Downtown's New Public Realm Plan

 

66002_1410467194_CentralHoustonTeam1-med

 

Revitalizing Downtown isn't just accomplished with mega office developments and high-rise luxury apartments. Asakura Robinson hit the streets of Southern Downtown to discover ways the space between buildings can have a major impact on the area. The result: the Southern Downtown/CBD Public Realm Plan. The Downtown Houston Management District's Angie Bertinot (center, between colleages Laura Van Ness andBob Eury) tells us the area actually has a number of interesting spaces, small plazas, public art, and green space that aren't well activated. But it also has many barriers, blank walls, vacant lots, and (most importantly, Asakura Robinson believes) a lot of uniformity.

 

66002_1410373764_PublicRealmPlan-medium.
 

The Public Realm Plan includes six strategies.

 

1) Mix it up a little—classify streets by predominant mode of travel and making improvements accordingly. Some roads might get separated bike lanes, and pedestrian-heavy routes might get more benches. Angie tells us one street is already getting updated—the District's Main Street Improvement project stretches down to Pierce and will begin early next year.

 

2) Program and design distinctive parks and open spaces. That includes developing a new park around the area of most residential development (Angie says it's still in early planning), and improving programmatic elements at existing spaces.

 

3) Beautify private corporate plazas. Asakura Robinson created a set of voluntary design guidelines to help architects and property managers get the most out of their public-private spaces.

 

4) Address vacant lots and blank walls. This is especially important in streets designated as pedestrian-priority, and includes landscaping, green walls, and public art to make the area livelier.

 

5) Connect beyond the borders. There's activity in the Fourth Ward, Midtown, and EaDo, but southern Downtown is cut off from it all.

 

6) Get something going in the far southeastern corner of Downtown, which has yet to see development pressures like the rest of the CBD. The Public Realm Plan calls for temporary but productive land use in the meantime—like urban farming or public art—that would improve the perception of the area until development becomes more practical

 

Edited by DrLan34
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Those are some pretty round numbers. It doesn't look like they got a single quote. I'd like to see the actual spend.

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Probably because they didnt get any actual numbers. They are focused on rebuilding Dallas St first and then the Allen Parkway redesign before they get to this park.

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Only $500,000 allocated for the historical building though.

Also of interest from the slides, timeline/budget for the southern downtown pocket park, and Jones Plaza and the plaza in front of the library being renovated (theater district master plan).

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Looks like it starts construction next year with acquisition this year. This park would cost about $6 million while Market Square Park had cost a little over $3 million.

 

Editted with thread in mind now.

Edited by Triton

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Ha! I knew this sounded familiar. Thanks for bringing these posts over Urby. Been a little while since we've talked about this park.

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Only $500,000 allocated for the historical building though.

Also of interest from the slides, timeline/budget for the southern downtown pocket park, and Jones Plaza and the plaza in front of the library being renovated (theater district master plan).

What building? What block are we talking about?

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Is that the scientology building?

I don't know. However Google has it labeled as "First Church Christ Scientist." If that is correct, it is a different religion. Think: "Christian science Monitor" and that great building a reflecting pool in the Back Bay of Boston.

Edited by UtterlyUrban

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I don't know. However Google has it labeled as "First Church Christ Scientist." If that is correct, it is a different religion. Think: "Christian science Monitor" and that great building a reflecting pool in the Back Bay of Boston.

 

 

That is correct . It was a Christian Science building. They used to have Christian Science Monitor newspapers available there. They are different from the Scientologists. Different origins, beliefs, etc. 

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/Downtown-and-west-Houston-office-markets-feel-6843946.php?t=2f50d5d270438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium#photo-9432253

 

 

A plan to acquire land on the southern end of downtown to develop public green space for the business and growing residential population. The project is budgeted at $9 million, but property has not yet been acquired.

 

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This over budget crap is non sense... what was the city budgeting for, some 8 by 11 copies from a Xerox machine to glue to a building. How in the hell do you go over budget on projects that you should already estimate high on? 

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http://abc13.com/news/mayor-turners-budget-plan-includes-job-cuts/1292967/

 

"It may push some of our projects back a year or two, but it's worth it to help solve the problems," said Ryan Leach of the TIRZ. Leach says the fund contributions may delay a planned park for the southern edge of downtown, but would not affect any of the group's plans for Super Bowl.
 

 

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Double U I usually enjoy reading your hot takes, but this is neither hot nor taking; it's pretty spot on. This is pretty dumb. NFL moving closer to FIFA/IOC levels of extortion.

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12 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

Double U I usually enjoy reading your hot takes, but this is neither hot nor taking; it's pretty spot on. This is pretty dumb. NFL moving closer to FIFA/IOC levels of extortion.

 

I don't think the downtown TIRZ is doing anything that has been in any way extorted or even requested by the NFL.  They are merely doing some infrastructure and other enhancing projects that will benefit the downtown community and  be done in time to put on a good face for the Super Bowl crowds (and the vaguely-proposed southern downtown park was never on a schedule to be anywhere near complete by February 2017).

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^  Following up on this, at the May meeting the Downtown Redevelopment Authority voted to approve a resolution authorizing the performance "of due diligence for the development, lease, or purchase of real property interests for parks, recreational, open space and uses . . . "

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1 hour ago, Urbannizer said:

 

Two blocks from Root Memorial Square. Wasn’t anticpating that site but could be beneficial to residents at Block 334, Both Skyhouses, Houston House, and other places nearby. 

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Interesting that it's three-fourths of a block. Are they building the park around the Good Year Service center or is that building a goner:ph34r:

 

Edit: Nevermind, I saw the image after logging into Biz Journals.

 

southern-downtown-park-aerial01-green*10

Edited by Nole23
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