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Republic Square: Mixed-Use Development For ExxonMobil Chemical Campus


fernz

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wow.. the more mixed use developments that sprout up on the west side, the more i think we need either an "energy corridor" light rail line down i10 or a streetcar network connecting all of these mixed use developments and the numerous corporations/clusters of high rises along the corridor.

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wow.. the more mixed use developments that sprout up on the west side, the more i think we need either an "energy corridor" light rail line down i10 or a streetcar network connecting all of these mixed use developments and the numerous corporations/clusters of high rises along the corridor.

 

That might happen at some point.  METRO added a circulator up and down Eldrdge a few years ago specifically to serve Energy Corridor employers and employees. 

Plus they've added additional sidewalks and improved access to Terry Hershey on Eldridge.  Several large 4 to 5 story apartments have gone up there with some more in the works.  I'd guess that they're filled with mostly younger oil company employees.  New library went in a couple of years ago.  Lot happening in the area.

 

I'd bet a circulator running Eldridge, I-10 to the Beltway, Beltway south to Westheimer and back to Eldridge would prove useful and popular.  That would encompass much of the Energy Corridor and Westchase development and City Centre as well.

 

Edited by august948
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That might happen at some point.  METRO added a circulator up and down Eldrdge a few years ago specifically to serve Energy Corridor employers and employees. 

 

I'd bet a circulator running Eldridge, I-10 to the Beltway, Beltway south to Westheimer and back to Eldridge would prove useful and popular.  That would encompass much of the Energy Corridor and Westchase development and City Centre as well.

 

interesting.. 

i was thinking more of a circulator from highway 6, along i10 to beltway (or Town and Country Blvd), and then down T&C Blvd to Memorial, and then back west, down memorial, to highway 6 again. but i like the idea of your circulator serving Westchase and a much larger residential population.

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Nancy Sarnoff announced that PM Realty will re-develop the 35 acre campus with a City Center feel after Exxon flees to the the Woodlands. I wonder if that stretch can accommodate that much more retail. I do like the hotel concept. Perhaps they will do some signature style highrises in the mix. We shall see, but not for a few years.

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interesting.. 

i was thinking more of a circulator from highway 6, along i10 to beltway (or Town and Country Blvd), and then down T&C Blvd to Memorial, and then back west, down memorial, to highway 6 again. but i like the idea of your circulator serving Westchase and a much larger residential population.

 

I'd run it down the beltway to Westheimer so you hit the middle of the Westchase office complexes and catch the developments near BMC (like the new Phillips 66 complex).  Then down Westheimer because of all the restaurants and shopping.  Because the west side of hwy 6 is basically Bush Park there isn't as much of interest as there is on Eldridge.  Eldridge has a number of apartment complexes as well as shopping, dining and a library.  What I would eventually like to see would be a park and ride bus going from the Addicks P&R at hwy 6 and I10 going down hwy 6 to the Missouri City P&R, perhaps with a stop at Sugar Land Town Center.  The current bus serving the Energy Corridor, 75 Eldridge Crosstown, already connects Addicks P&R with the Mission Bend P&R and hits all the stops along Eldridge, so if they could start doing cross-town P&R along with the downtown and back variety, we could start to see some other options for people in Sugar Land and elsewhere who work in the energy corridor.

 

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Found this when checking on the 75 Eldridge Crosstown bus...

 

 

If you live or work in the Energy Corridor, here’s good news: You can ride METRO free every Friday on the 75 Eldridge Crosstown bus.

Free Ride Fridays will give residents and employees in the Energy Corridor free rides until September 2014. The 75 Eldridge Crosstown route connects commuters to downtown, the Texas Medical Center and other important employment hubs.

Launched by the Energy Corridor District (ECD), Free Ride Fridays is designed to encourage commuters to try METRO’s buses on the 75 Eldridge Crosstown route, leaving their cars behind during the busy holiday season.

 

http://blogs.ridemetro.org/blogs/write_on/archive/2013/12/11/Free-Ride-Fridays-in-Energy-Corridor.aspx

 

 

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This project is immense when you think about it. $1 billion dollars to build a lifestyle center. West Houston has several Memorial City, City Centre, Westchase, and now this in Energy Corridor.

I saw this part of town tonight as well as a huge chunk of metro Houston. Memorial City's blue glowing skyline is starting to creep into Energy Corridor, with Westchase's growth in every direction, especially north towards 10, although there are neighborhoods passed the district, it's getting as far north as it can before the sizable cluster in City Center takes over, connecting in the center the three larger districts to its south, east, and west. There's a growing medical center and campus as well as a few hotels north of City Center on the other side of 10.

West Houston can faintly remind of Shenzhen with all this and future developments.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd only seen bits and pieces about the plans for this site in a few other threads, but I figured it warranted it's own thread given the potential scope of the proposal.

 

35 acres between I-10 & Memorial in the Energy Corridor: BP on one side & Terry Hershey Park on the other w/ the Skanska project going up across Memorial. Not much is expected to happen until 2015, when the division currently occupying the site moves to the campus on the north side.

 

This article is a few weeks old, but has some insights. Haven't come across any renderings yet though...

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Big-real-estate-project-headed-for-Energy-Corridor-5149772.php

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  • 8 months later...

http://www.bisnow.com/archives/newsletter/commercial-real-estate/houston/3302-up-close-with-rob-bridges/

 

PMRG managing director Wade Bowlin also selected a capital partner for his 35-acre mixed-use project, but it's turned out less long-term than he envisioned; the team planned to build out the site over 10 years, but its partner said it'd provide all-cash financing to do it in five. PM chose the tract because of Terry Hershey Park, and PM's been working with the District and the county to activate the park in the development and be less self-contained than most projects in the submarket. Wade says the property will have office,several hotels, multifamily, corporate housing and retail (a bike shop is a must-have; he's looking for one now).
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  • 4 weeks later...

Seems like they are not doing a pedestrian-oriented type development like City center, too bad.

 

Huh?

 

The new buildings are all pushed up against the street with retail on the sidewalk.

 

Not to say that this looks perfect, but it does look relatively pedestrian-oriented, to the extent that is even possible in this context.

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Huh?

The new buildings are all pushed up against the street with retail on the sidewalk.

Not to say that this looks perfect, but it does look relatively pedestrian-oriented, to the extent that is even possible in this context.

The retail buildings are fronting a new street with what looks like a pitiful sidewalk, the open spaces look like suburban-type ponds instead of activity areas, and the center of the development has a new wide street..

I know this is not the best "context" but the property fronts a park with lots of activity - and BTW the plan doesn't engage the park; but this is much better location than what City Center started out with (the intersection of two major freeways)

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...
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A Houston developer wants to bring a bit of urban sensibility to the Energy Corridor, a section of west Houston known for its suburban office campuses, chain-filled strip malls and outsized apartment buildings.
 
The developer, PM Realty Group, is committing $1 billion to building a bustling mixed-use community of upscale apartments, outdoor restaurants, hotels and high-rise office towers housing companies seeking to recruit a younger generation of workers who value the outdoors, collaboration with colleagues and an abundance of amenities.
 
Construction is scheduled to begin next year, and the first office building could break ground before the company finds a tenant to occupy it.
 
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Looks cool, but I thought people in the burbs moved there for the suburban lifestyle. Is this thing more of a novelty to drive your car to, have a cup of coffee, and pretend you're living "in the middle of the action"? Seems like a project dreamed up by some wealthy guys that read an article about Millenials and thought they understood us after reading it.

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If done right (with some Metro connections of some sort) it could allow office workers to get away with no car during the work day - usually those areas you'd have to drive to get lunch somewhere.

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Looks cool, but I thought people in the burbs moved there for the suburban lifestyle. Is this thing more of a novelty to drive your car to, have a cup of coffee, and pretend you're living "in the middle of the action"? Seems like a project dreamed up by some wealthy guys that read an article about Millenials and thought they understood us after reading it.

 

obviously you've never been to city centre.

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I hate the idea. Urban pockets spread all over the metro = a smaller feeling metro.

Or idk, the beginning of a larger urban metro?

As this area and Westcreek continue to grow there will be a large and continuous streak of towers and high rises lining I-10 and the Beltway.

This project only furthers that idea.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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Or idk, the beginning of a larger urban metro?

As this area and Westcreek continue to grow there will be a large and continuous streak of towers and high rises lining I-10 and the Beltway.

This project only furthers that idea.

There is a difference between increasing the urban feel of an already dense area and lining a highway with towers and then forcing some pedestrian feel. West creek is in no way comparable to the EC. Uptown has the makings of a fully fledged edge city and Westcreek is just an extension of that. The push for enhanced PT will only enhance that. The energy corridor on the other hand is merely a string of suburban campuses doted here and there with amenities.

As for the comparison to Chicago, the comparison is also dissimilar. You are comparing full fledged edge cities to the energy corridor.

Can't run away from it, the spread of all these campuses may make for an impressive drive by site but it sure is hell makes for a less impressive urban core.

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Does anyone else feel like they just threw down a plot of grass in the middle of a bunch of buildings and are hoping people view this at City Centre 2.0?

 

Maybe I just haven't seen enough renderings or it's possibly all the people in suites in the renderings, but it feels very corporate and somewhat cold - no real cohesion or comfortable feeling.

 

It doesn't give me a vibe that it's a place people would want to live either. Kind of neat place to work, but ultimately a poor mans City Centre.

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Does anyone else feel like they just threw down a plot of grass in the middle of a bunch of buildings...Kind of neat place to work, but ultimately a poor mans City Centre.

Yeah, and just think, this is the pie in the sky pipe dream. If that is what it looks like now can you imagine what will actually get built after things get scaled back?

I think a poor man's city centre is generous.

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There is a difference between increasing the urban feel of an already dense area and lining a highway with towers and then forcing some pedestrian feel. West creek is in no way comparable to the EC. Uptown has the makings of a fully fledged edge city and Westcreek is just an extension of that. The push for enhanced PT will only enhance that. The energy corridor on the other hand is merely a string of suburban campuses doted here and there with amenities.

As for the comparison to Chicago, the comparison is also dissimilar. You are comparing full fledged edge cities to the energy corridor.

Can't run away from it, the spread of all these campuses may make for an impressive drive by site but it sure is hell makes for a less impressive urban core.

All good points, but I think you misunderstood what I meant. We shouldn't be surprised to see a development like this. Yes, Westcreek is a fraction of the entire EC, but look at the developments we're seeing now from the Millennium tower on up. There's still quite a few cranes heading North along the Beltway after Westpark.

In due time, we will see a more "connected" line of high rises along this portion of the Beltway, as a sort of "off-shoot" of the entire EC.

With the success of City Centre, it's no wonder we're seeing a development such as the one proposed. Cypress has a miniature version off of 1960 in the works. Kingwood also has a more upscale version in the works too.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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All good points, but I think you misunderstood what I meant. We shouldn't be surprised to see a development like this. Yes, Westcreek is a fraction of the entire EC, but look at the developments we're seeing now from the Millennium tower on up. There's still quite a few cranes heading North along the Beltway after Westpark.

In due time, we will see a more "connected" line of high rises along this portion of the Beltway, as a sort of "off-shoot" of the entire EC.

With the success of City Centre, it's no wonder we're seeing a development such as the one proposed. Cypress has a miniature version off of 1960 in the works. Kingwood also has a more upscale version in the works too.

 

I think this sums up HoustonisHome's point. From my signature:

 

  • “In cities like Houston that are contemporary, you drive there, and then you do your urban thing, and then get back in your car and drive home,” - Susan Rogers

That's what this development is, and City Centre for the most part.

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I think this sums up HoustonisHome's point. From my signature:

  • “In cities like Houston that are contemporary, you drive there, and then you do your urban thing, and then get back in your car and drive home,” - Susan Rogers
That's what this development is, and City Centre for the most part.

Ok, no. Well yeah. I get that, I understand these points, all valid, I might add. Not saying any of you are wrong.

I'm saying we shouldnt be shocked too see these kinds of developments. We should welcome it! These kinda of projects will only get better as time passes and companies compete against each other for the ultimate "mixed use" project until a point where they become extensions of one another.

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To me "Urban" is unpredictability. A surprise. A discovery around an unexplored corner. This place, like emerge Woodlands, may be pleasant and dense, beautiful even. But, it's not really what I'd call urban. It'll be way too programmed, and too presented and too Boring. It'll be the same restaurants and "bars" as any shopping center will have. I really don't think that this is what urbanites want. Too safe.

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But The Woodlands is growing. There's already a residential high rise in development, with "many more planned" (according to Urbannizer in that particular thread), as well as the third Anadarko Tower.

There's a trend here guys, and I may just be a little baked but it's not like it doesn't make sense. It just all comes down to the way Houston as a city develops; it's own unique mix of sprawl and urbanism in localized pockets.

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BigFootsSocks, I don't think you full appreciate what some of us are saying. Yes Houston is growing but it's not what some people would call "smart" growth. Houstons metro area is about 10,000 Sq miles, the urban area is about 1700 Sq mile. Trying to develop all 2000 Sq miles into a dense urban core is ridiculously difficult ( and really each year this 1700 Sq miles gets bigger and bigger as development spreads out).

Let's put it in perspective using similar land area examples. Los Angeles and London are good examples. Los Angeles has been the poster child for sprawl for the last 50+ years. Their urban area has over 12 million people and is about 1700 Sq miles like ours. We only have 5 million.

The entire London metro, complete with cow fields and acres and acres of pasture has almost as many people as the Los Angeles urban area but in only 600 Sq miles (the size of the city of Houston).

We are on the LA model with miles and miles of low density development. We have the same area but less than half the population. So think of it this way, with traffic as bad as it already is, if we double the population we will still be less dense than the poster child for urban sprawl. Kinda sad. And that is assuming that the Urban area does not expand ( with the grand parkway the area will probably tripple).

All I'm saying is some people like a nice built out environment, I don't think we will build out the inner loop in the next 100 years so fake urban centers 200 miles out don't give me a warm feeling. Like lockmat said houston is a drive to and drive back home kind of town. Don't try to force pedestrian areas in the middle of anti pedestrian areas.

I greatly prefer dense pockets of development sustained for a few miles then surrounded by lots of rural areas before the density picks up again. Continuous stretches of low to medium density only makes for horrible comnutes. It would be much easier ride to work if there was no development between downtown, TMC, UPTOWN, EC, etc but that mentality of feeling in the gaps worth a string of low density is just making living here worse and worse. No thanks, I will stick to the core

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  • The title was changed to Republic Square: Mixed-Use Development For ExxonMobil Chemical Campus

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