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Convention Center Redevelopment, Office Building + Proposed W Hotel


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From earlier tonight:

http://www.meetings-conventions.com/News/Features/Convention-centers-site-selection-destinations/?platform=hootsuite   ^^^ GRB named #2 BEST convention center in the country.  well done

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Hilton Americas ground floor retail is getting a monster sized Starbucks with special evening service perks including adult beverages. Its supposed to be a tourist attraction. Its going in the northeast corner of the Hilton, right across from the GRB! I think this is gonna be AWESOME!

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/04-06-15-houston-to-get-a-monster-sized-new-starbucks-with-special-evening-service-perks-a-tourist-draw/?utm_source=sf_facebook

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Say what you want about Starbucks, national chains, blah blah blah, but this is exactly the kind of stuff our downtown needs, TOURISTY DESTINATION stuff!

These are the kind of retail options that are going to draw people in, as cheesy as they are, these are the kinds of places that tourists, convention goers, and hotel guests like to visit.

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nice! i agree. downtown needs destination type stores. i first misread this as it going in the bottom of the Marquis. cool that the Americas is getting more GFR!

Yea, couldnt find the old hilton thread so I put this here since its part of the GRB redevelopment/retail plan.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm all for preservation, but what is the point in keeping it in that area? That area is long gone. The house would be better suited near the others at Sam Houston park. The old neighborhood is gone, and these wooden structures just look weird in that area.

exactly. if the museum isn't happening, move them to Sam Houston Park (i guess the white[?] one is staying with the Church as some sort of administrative offices or something). not that i think a bunch of old houses should be in Sam Houston Park either, but thats a whole nother story..

IMO Sam Houston Park could be so much better without those houses and with a fresh reno. and get a proper connection from the new bike lane across the street to Sam Houston Park and have potentially two signature parks bookending downtown.

where could the houses go that wouldn't be taking up prime CBD property? too bad they built that mediocre low income(?) housing development along the bayou, across 59 from downtown, however many years ago. the houses could of gone on the other side of 59 while still keeping them in a somewhat original/historical location.

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exactly. if the museum isn't happening, move them to Sam Houston Park (i guess the white[?] one is staying with the Church as some sort of administrative offices or something). not that i think a bunch of old houses should be in Sam Houston Park either, but thats a whole nother story..

IMO Sam Houston Park could be so much better without those houses and with a fresh reno. and get a proper connection from the new bike lane across the street to Sam Houston Park and have potentially two signature parks bookending downtown.

where could the houses go that wouldn't be taking up prime CBD property? too bad they built that mediocre low income(?) housing development along the bayou, across 59 from downtown, however many years ago. the houses could of gone on the other side of 59 while still keeping them in a somewhat original/historical location.

Come on Cloud! I know we are not Europe but as far as history these houses are as good as it gets for this city. I think it would have been cool to have this house encased in some ultra modern glass box as a part of the museum, but the Museum's architecture was a joke from the beginning. Sam Houston Park would be a good fit, since my idea will never take flight. But I don't think we should get rid of it or any other tiny speckle of history this city has.
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Come on Cloud! I know we are not Europe but as far as history these houses are as good as it gets for this city. I think it would have been cool to have this house encased in some ultra modern glass box as a part of the museum, but the Museum's architecture was a joke from the beginning. Sam Houston Park would be a good fit, since my idea will never take flight. But I don't think we should get rid of it or any other tiny speckle of history this city has.

Heh. Didn't mean to offend anyone. Believe me, I'm all for preservation, but really, what attachment do those houses hold to that particular block of downtown? What's the big deal in scooting them across i69? Were those other houses at the Sam Houston Park location there before it was turned into a park?

The glass box idea would of been awesome but unfortunately they didn't have that vision (or money).

I just feel like if we're going to keep them around, there needs to be some established museum type thing to them. Not just scatter a bunch of old houses on each side of downtown. Visitors probably have no idea what the hell the significance of them is or what they're doing in the middle of the CBD. In their current state it almost feels like they are holding back progress for that part of downtown and any redevelopment opportunity to Sam Houston park.

Edited by cloud713
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i cannot wait to see the facelift and all the new amenities...i just wish they would take away some of the features that make it look like a cruise ship as i know that is what they were originally going for when built but now it just makes it look outdated.

 

but again, not to end on a bad note, i am super excited about this project! i love this area of Houston!

 

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Heh. Didn't mean to offend anyone. Believe me, I'm all for preservation, but really, what attachment do those houses hold to that particular block of downtown? What's the big deal in scooting them across i69? Were those other houses at the Sam Houston Park location there before it was turned into a park?

The glass box idea would of been awesome but unfortunately they didn't have that vision (or money).

I just feel like if we're going to keep them around, there needs to be some established museum type thing to them. Not just scatter a bunch of old houses on each side of downtown. Visitors probably have no idea what the hell the significance of them is or what they're doing in the middle of the CBD. In their current state it almost feels like they are holding back progress for that part of downtown and any redevelopment opportunity to Sam Houston park.

 

Maybe you should visit the Houston Heritage Society.  It's been in Sam Houston Park since 1954.

 

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Maybe so? I've only walked around the houses for FPSF and what not. But that "heritage society" isn't very inviting or well displayed. I knew there was an organization behind the houses but I've never been intrigued enough by the mediocre visual appeal of the place to actually go visit the society. I don't mean to knock on our history, I'm all for preserving what little we have, I just think in their current state the houses on either side of downtown are impeding the type of development most of us would like to see.

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I don't mean to knock on our history, I'm all for preserving what little we have, I just think in their current state the houses on either side of downtown are impeding the type of development most of us would like to see.

I agree Sam Houston isn't very inviting. It looks/feels exclusive and private (another Design thread)? But that last statement has me scratching my head...

Sorry Mods, feel free to move this discussion appropriately.

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Heh yeah sorry for getting this so sidetracked. Those houses on the east side are sitting on a block of land right next to a brand new light rail station, in between Minute Maid and arguably the most mixed use building Houston has ever seen (GHP Building). Some really neat development could go there and create a more seamless flow down ADLA rather than having the odd break at that block with random old houses.

And it's hard to picture Sam Houston Park as anything noteworthy with the houses/society in its current state.

Maybe I just lack the vision of how to integrate these houses into an urban 21st century downtown district, i just think they might be better off across 59. Wasn't that area part of Frost Town too?

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Maybe so? I've only walked around the houses for FPSF and what not. But that "heritage society" isn't very inviting or well displayed. I knew there was an organization behind the houses but I've never been intrigued enough by the mediocre visual appeal of the place to actually go visit the society. I don't mean to knock on our history, I'm all for preserving what little we have, I just think in their current state the houses on either side of downtown are impeding the type of development most of us would like to see.

 

The Heritage Society is a non-profit charity.  I'm sure they are always looking for help and contributions.  Here's the Get Involved link.  Here's the Membership link.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.houstonconventiondistrict.com/

 

Pace of Garage Construction to Increase

 

The process of building a seven-story garage capable of housing nearly 2,000 cars is a lot of hurry up and wait before it moves into the hold-onto-your-hat phase.

That’s where Houston First now stands in construction of its new parking facility at the north end of the George R. Brown Convention Center. With the cornerstone piece now in place, the structure is heading skyward and there is an expectation that the pace will quicken considerably.

Construction contractors say erecting all the pre-cast concrete that frames the garage will essentially be a summer-long project, meaning the visible structure will go up in about five months. Much more unseen work within the garage, spanning many more months, will remain to be done before the facility is ready for occupancy next year. But the upshot is that the basic framework will look like a garage to the lay person in very short order.

One of the challenging aspects to the project is that the garage will be built above Metro’s new commuter rail line that is slated to open in several weeks. The tracks bisect the construction site. At some point construction will take place at night when electrical power to the rail lines can be taken off line.     

When the garage is complete it will offer parkers access to the convention center, two hotels under construction and design and the new GHP Tower, the future home of Houston First, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and its namesake, the Greater Houston Partnership.

First Retail Proposal Under Review

Preliminary interest in retail development in the neighborhood surrounding the George R. Brown Convention Center is very healthy, according to the firms contracted by Houston First to manage the development process.

As many as seven new retail, restaurant, sidewalk cafes and entertainment venues will be added to as part of a bold streetscape makeover. Houston First, which manages the George R. Brown, is contracting with Griffin Partners and Wulfe & Co. for the development process. 

The initial step was to obtain retail concepts from interested parties. The first call produced more than 35 concepts for consideration.

Griffin Partners and Wulfe & Co. will sift through the proposals and make recommendations to Houston First so that approval may be given to begin lease negotiations.  Griffin Partners is a commercial real estate development firm and Wulfe & Co. provides expertise in leasing, sales, consulting, site selection services, property management and investment sales for property owners and retailers.

Ric Campo, chairman of Houston First, said getting the right mix of private-sector development is critical in the overall growth of the area and is in keeping with the Convention District master plan.

“These new people places will be major amenities for the Avenida de las Americas (the boulevard in front of the GRB), the Hilton-Americas Houston hotel, Discovery Green, the new Marriott Marquis under construction and the new offices included in the master plan,” Campo said.

Katherine Wildman and Bunny McLeod of Wulfe & Co. are targeting a variety of full service and fast casual restaurants of various sizes and types, and will assist Houston First in the administration of the process to identify suitable tenants.  The new restaurants will have large patio opportunities fronting Avenida de las Americas, offering vistas to an exciting streetscape.

The new spaces are anticipated to be turned over to tenants by spring 2016 with openings scheduled for late 2016, in advance of the 2017 Super Bowl and close to the opening of Marriott Marquis, the 1,000-room hotel now under construction at Avenida de las Americas and Walker.

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With all the new residential developments in downtown and midtown, the new light rail extensions, and better bike access to downtown, I wonder if we'll ever hit a point where new parking garage construction will start to taper off. 

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