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Convention Center Redevelopment, Office Building + Proposed W Hotel

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1 hour ago, treblelino said:

Such a waste of space.

Sorry, but this has to be the most unintentionally ironic comment on this topic. This hotel is literally built on top of an existing building and does not take up any additional space whatsoever...

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3 hours ago, mls1202 said:

Sorry, but this has to be the most unintentionally ironic comment on this topic. This hotel is literally built on top of an existing building and does not take up any additional space whatsoever...

 

@treblelino is probably talking about the Rustic

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6 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:



Update on The Rustic at 1836 Polk in downtown Houston, part of the George R. Brown Convention Center redevelopment in the Convention District:

It's opening in late October or November.

More details on the space:
There’s also a retractable roof, two VIP areas, and an Uber Lounge for ride-hailing users.

https://www.papercitymag.com/restaurants/houston-21-best-new-restaurants-most-anticipated-openings-end-2018/

 

Do we have any construction pics of this? It sounds.... interesting.

 

 

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2 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

Do we have any construction pics of this? It sounds.... interesting.

 

 

 

Look back on previous pages of this thread - lots of pics

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The Rustic across from George R. Brown Convention Center will open in November.


From CultureMap
 

Downtown Houston's newest place to party will soon make its debut. The Rustic, a massive live music venue, bar, and restaurant, will celebrate its grand opening on November 1.
 

Located next to the George R. Brown Convention Center at 1936 Polk St., the 25,000-square-foot venue features a restaurant that serves comfort food as well as a bar with 40 craft beer taps. The menu features everything from family-style taco platters with bacon-fat tortillas to shareable starters, salads, and entrees like burgers, pork chops, and seafood. 
 

In addition to a stage the features live music every day, the venue includes a large outdoor patio, two VIP areas, and a designated waiting area for people who use ride-sharing apps. The Rustic is owned by FreeRange Concepts, the same company behind popular CityCentre destinations Bowl & Barrel and the General Public, in partnership with Texas country music singer Pat Green.


http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/09-12-18-the-rustic-downtown-houston-bar-restaurant-live-music-grand-opening-pat-green/

 

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Repost that was posted in the wrong  forum and thread.

Because this thread contains discussions on The Rustic because it is part of the Convention Center redevelopment and Avenida Houston, all posts about it goes here:


 

15 hours ago, HoustonMidtown said:

Stopped by for drinks tonight - overall a great time - the place is quite large - 2 outdoor patios - although they were closed for private parties tonight....the only downer was valet parking was $10 - and I parked my own car.....they have live music every night - there was a good crowd for a Tuesday

 

43940074730_ae0d586732_z.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

43940075220_adb3800d4e_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

45707448402_ed1f2d1264_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

43940075410_e25b9d16f9_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

45032649324_5be1a8a660_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

45032647944_0c5206e1ae_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

30817710157_8fcdad289e_k.jpgUntitled by Houston Midtown, on Flickr

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, bobruss said:

The lighting seems to be about twice as bright as what they should be. 

 

No...those are just overexposed lights in pics. Probably from a bad cell phone camera.

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15 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

No...those are just overexposed lights in pics. Probably from a bad cell phone camera.

 

Or a bad photographer (me) !!

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Jacobs Picked to Design-Engineer Convention Center

 

https://www.virtualbx.com/industry-news/houston-jacobs-picked-to-design-engineer-convention-center/

 



Houston (Harris County)  Houston First Corporation selected Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. as the architect/engineer for planned improvements to the George R. Brown Convention Center.

 

The improvements are intended to take advantage of opportunities being afforded by a Texas Department of Transportation 10-year highway project adjacent to the convention center and surrounding area.

 

The Brown Convention Center hosts more than 400 events and some 600,000 visitors annually. Its eastern portion backs up to the elevated freeway, and the vision is to connect both sides of downtown Houston via a potential deck park.

 

Jacobs will assist with modifications while ensuring that the convention center remains fully operational during construction.

 

Brad Simmons, a Jacobs vice president and global director of built environment, said in a statement released Wednesday, “We have an opportunity to be part of a project that will embrace a new gateway to East Downtown and make the convention center and its connections to this newly created space unique and versatile, while maintaining operational functionality.

 

“Our efforts will focus on helping Houston First continue delivering a positive experience for the community that results in repeat visits in both the business and leisure markets – both during construction of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project and for years to come.”

 

The Jacobs team includes convention and exhibition facility design firm Populous, and OJB Landscape Architecture. They will plan, design and deliver visionary and technical solutions for the convention center, among the nation’s 10 largest convention centers. Houston ranks as one of the top 25 cities for convention, conference and seminar travelers.

 

Services will focus on maximizing the facility’s operational efficiencies, maintaining continuous business operations and coordinating efforts with the state transportation engineers, the City of Houston and others involved in the North Houston Highway Improvement Project.

 

“Houston First is very excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the connection and accessibility between Downtown and Eado. Joining these two areas will be a game changer, providing a more enriching experience not only for visitors to the George R. Brown Convention Center in the heart of Avenida Houston, but for all of Houston,” said Houston First President/CEO Brenda Bazan.

 

“We look forward to partnering with the Jacobs team and have every confidence in their expertise to make certain the GRB is able to continue attracting and delivering superior services to its clients during the transformation of an elevated freeway into a multi-use green space for everyone to enjoy,” Bazan said.

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Wow. This is awesome news. Ever since the work to improve the front façade of the GRB was announced, I've wished that the same would be done to the "back side". This is even better than what I hoped for. This should add even more appeal to Houston as a convention destination, with convention planners that have overlooked Htown in the past.

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I agree with the fact that Downtown is maturing with new restaurants. The population just needs to increase some more. I’m hoping that the The Shops at Houston Center redevelopment helps. 

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8 hours ago, tigereye said:

Per Sarnoff - an announcement on the empty Bud’s space expected next week. 

 

But it another space has opened up: McAlister’s closed up shop. 

 

https://www.chron.com/entertainment/restaurants-bars/article/McAlister-s-Deli-closes-at-Avenida-Houston-13514969.php

 

Saltgrass (See VII)

 

https://www.houstonfirst.com/static/media/uploads/attachments/doc038096-b-12.20.pdf

 

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On 11/7/2018 at 12:13 PM, wilcal said:

That place looks like some BS for out of towners a la the Riverwalk in San Antonio.

Dude, where is the mechanical bull from Gilley's? That would a be a good draw

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Not really showcasing Houston's amazing food scene.  Convention goers can get a meal, just exactly like the one that they had in their home town.  Memorable. 

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Posted (edited)

Well I think this has more to do with the fact that it's part of the Landry's family of restaurants, so it's a local brand. Plus it's not like McAlister's wasn't a chain as well.

Edited by j_cuevas713
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I'm not sure if non-chain restaurants are really attracted to the convention center. It doesn't seem real hip to be at a convention center, so the likely clientele is more family, which translates more to chain restaurants. I also can't help but think that anyone there is going to struggle when there's not a big convention or an event at the park. It's too far from office buildings for casual lunch, although bigger company events might work well there.

 

This does not apply at all to The Rustic, which is on its own block in its own self-created environment.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Timoric said:

Dude, where is the mechanical bull from Gilley's? That would a be a good draw


Heck yeah, it would. 

There was a mechanical bull at the country-themed bar at Bayou Center. It was part of that one-in-four bar place.

A mechanical bull within a block of two of the Convention Center or near the bars on Main would be a draw for tourists.

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Regarding Saltgrass, I am sure that Houston First isn't excited by the concept, but happy to have a tenant, who will probably be viable.  It does seem like we should have a BBQ joint (I realize Bud's didn't make it, but Goode Company might.  McAllister's was a chain but didn't have much curb appeal, IMO, for the high profile location.  But, it was financially accessible.  A more reasonably priced TexMex (compared to Pappasito's) also seems like a MUST on Avenida de las Americas.  Maybe funky taco place could substitute.   In the end, Saltgrass is fine...but not more than that.  Just think Houston First should filter a bit more. 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

Regarding Saltgrass, I am sure that Houston First isn't excited by the concept, but happy to have a tenant, who will probably be viable.  It does seem like we should have a BBQ joint (I realize Bud's didn't make it, but Goode Company might.  McAllister's was a chain but didn't have much curb appeal, IMO, for the high profile location.  But, it was financially accessible.  A more reasonably priced TexMex (compared to Pappasito's) also seems like a MUST on Avenida de las Americas.  Maybe funky taco place could substitute.   In the end, Saltgrass is fine...but not more than that.  Just think Houston First should filter a bit more. 

 

Dead on the money, but I think all of us are placing our own perceptions on who the target audience is. More appropriate would be to figure out who is the target audience with these stores (or the target audience HoustonFirst is trying to target). People stuck at a convention for a couple days, and or to busy to get out, but would probably like a quick taste of "Texas" offerings? Then these stores are the perfect fit for easy access to "Texas" offerings. Thats the mainstream for ya.

 

As for TexMex, the place could seriously use a Torchys.

 

EDIT: This is of course not to put down the work they have done to the convention center. Fantastic really. Lets just be real here. The convention center and the offers they are trying to put in there scream GENERIC TEXAS. Its a place literally designed to cast the widest net possible! These are the results we should expect, and frankly I'm ok with. Unless we think "Generic Texas" needs a significant refresh.

 

EDIT2: In otherwords its what a corporation thinks "Texas" is. Which is interesting to think about really from their perspective. They are trying to pitch a vast net based on what a Corporation thinks Texas is.

Edited by Luminare
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Posted (edited)

I’m sure this will be unpopular but I think at least one suburban chain restaurant is exactly what is needed at the GRB for the same reason that in Times Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Navy Pier, the West End, the Riverwalk, etc, etc you will find an Applebee’s and an Olive Garden. The price point for Grotto and Pappadeaux is simply too high for the families that frequent Discovery Green on the weekend. There needs to be a familiar national brand targeted for $10/person instead of $20+. 

 

There are plenty of options for “in-the-know” foodies elsewhere, even in walking distance. The Convention Center restaurants will be successful based on volume.

 

EDIT: I actually agree with Doc Loomy that Torchy’s for McAllister’s is a perfect solution. 

Edited by mattyt36
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36 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

There needs to be a familiar national brand targeted for $10/person instead of $20+.

 

Agreed on the price point, but that's no reason for a national chain. Eatsie Boys blows my mind for $10 - I'm sure there are other good options for the money.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Alec said:

 

Agreed on the price point, but that's no reason for a national chain. Eatsie Boys blows my mind for $10 - I'm sure there are other good options for the money.

 

I’m admittedly no expert in the industry. But I don’t think it’s a question of your or my individual preference, as for every one of you and me there will be just as many examples with other preferences.

 

So if a sizable portion of the market (if not the majority) is people from the suburbs (either visiting Disco Green on the weekend or for some convention), why not give them at least one familiar, affordable, “guaranteed” (yet admittedly ho hum, and more consequentially for this forum, entirely unsexy) option? That really doesn’t exist downtown. 

 

I also believe for many a $10 price point for table service makes it more of a memorable “event” than counter service, which is what many people are looking for with their families rather than the “star” quality of the food. 

Edited by mattyt36
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I agree with you, Matty, that there needs to be some family friendly/affordable options on this side of downtown and totally agree with Lumi about Torchy's, that is exactly the type of Taco place that would fit perfectly in McAllister's space.  But, I think that the intention of the spaces on the front of the GRB, was to showcase Houston's food scene, similar to the great progress which has been made at IAH, Terminal C & E.  But, until some better retail space options open up in the area, the GRB is almost all that there is.  Unsexy Chains like Saltgrass, which can afford it, will certainly step right in.  I just hope that Applebee's isn't next up. 

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Totally agreed that a Torchy's would have done very well. Asian missing in this area as well tbh.

 

I'm not really seeing too many of the families that are going to Discovery Green venture over to eat at GRB, so any type of low cost option is better. Still hard to eat at Saltgrass for < $10. Torchy's or a fast food option would have given people that as a choice. 

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In my experience when at a convention, it is nice to see a familiar name of a restaurant instead of some name that you don't know what it is.  If you're from Chicago, in town for the John Deere convention, and you have an hour for lunch before you have to go back on the floor, knowing that you won't be disappointed is a plus.

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

Totally agreed that a Torchy's would have done very well. Asian missing in this area as well tbh.

 

I'm not really seeing too many of the families that are going to Discovery Green venture over to eat at GRB, so any type of low cost option is better. Still hard to eat at Saltgrass for < $10. Torchy's or a fast food option would have given people that as a choice. 

Kim Son gone? Salt and Pepper Crabs

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1 hour ago, Timoric said:

Kim Son gone? Salt and Pepper Crabs

 

Won't be there for long with highway expansion. Huynh is walkable, too of course. 

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Saltgrass isn't the best, but when you're boss is looking at your expense report he'll probably let that slide where Pappas Bros would get you sent to Alaska next February. This strikes me as a more mild example of the "Olive Garden in Times Square" phenomenon.  

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https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2019/01/18/east-downtown-gears-up-for-houstons-potential.html

Quote

In an effort to improve the city's transit and convention offerings, Houston First selected Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC) in late 2018 as the architect and engineer on planned improvements to the southeast and east side of downtown Houston, including the George R. Brown Convention Center and its surrounding infrastructure. Jacobs will work alongside several partners, including Houston-based The Office of James Burnett, a landscape architecture firm, and Kansas City, Missouri-based Populous, a convention design firm, to modernize the convention center and improve connectivity between it and the area's other amenities, such as BBVA Compass Stadium and Minute Maid Park.

The project could be ongoing for as long as a decade. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

 

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wow that is amazing news LBC2HTX!!!! 

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Remainder of article was a Q&A with the VP from Jacobs regarding prep for Houston's Worldcup bid. 

 

 

 

Edited by LBC2HTX
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^^ I certain do Not think that the exterior will be changed, unless something necessary is added.  Houston First just spent a small fortune on it two years ago.  Looks great now, imo. 

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I think there have been references in the past to the back side of the GRB being updated etc...that would be amazing especially since it faces the freeway and is seen by everyone! 

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The "backside will still be all loading docks, on two levels...a very functional side.  I would not expect that this side will see much aesthetic investment.  Not much that can be done, I imagine. 

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55 minutes ago, gene said:

I think there have been references in the past to the back side of the GRB being updated etc...that would be amazing especially since it faces the freeway and is seen by everyone! 

 

Not for long...  The freeway will be below grade, most likely covered by a park.  There will be no view of the GRB from the freeway.

Edited by Houston19514
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can they at least power wash it? haha! 😄

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