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The RO: Mixed-Use Development for ExxonMobil's Former Research Campus (W Alabama and Buffalo Speedway)

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This Week's Houston Deal Sheet

EXECS

Quote

Steve Kilcrease was promoted to the national director of planning and construction at Transwestern Development Co. He will oversee planning, design and construction management for the firm’s office, multifamily and mixed-use projects nationwide. Previously completed jobs include the Gulf States Toyota headquarters, a 475K SF corporate build-to-suit; BHP Billiton Tower, a 600K SF, 30-story office building; and The RO, a $750M mixed-use project.

https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/deal-sheet/this-weeks-houston-deal-sheet-92013?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

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W Alabama should be wider.  I believe this master development will include an additional street, but I don't think it will widen W Alabama

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Posted (edited)

Coolio, I always drive by the site and was waiting to hear an update since the banners still show a 2019 groundbreaking.

 

Man, this project could be massive if all phases are built out! So it looks like we are still going to get 3 towers in Phase I according to the packet.

Edited by CaptainJilliams
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The tower on parcel 1 looks sort of like the new Hanover River Oaks. 

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Two thoughts:

 

1.) The slow march of the eventual merging of Upper Kirby, Greenway, Highland Village, ROD, and finally the Galleria  keeps progressing

2.) The AT&T building's (or at least its large parking lot) days are numbered.  

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4 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

Brochure reveals retail component and more of The RO Phase I:

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/transwestern-property/Flyers/91c990da-f48d-e911-80f5-caa232701e1a.pdf

 

- 644 residential units

- 310,000 office building

- 200 hotel keys 

- 65,000 sq ft of retail

 

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Cha-Ching! Gamechanger! Looks like I get to update that large map at some point.

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37 minutes ago, DNAguy said:

Two thoughts:

 

2.) The AT&T building's (or at least its large parking lot) days are numbered.  

 

A mid-rise is already underway there.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Urbannizer said:

 

A mid-rise is already underway there.

 

 

 

My ability to predict the past is amazing, no?

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I'll be able to watch this go up. I'm one block directly north, looking south. About 120 feet in the air.

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This will capture the lucrative "between Uptown and Upper Kirby" market, who will no longer have to travel a full half-mile to get to the nearest emerging live/work/play area.

 

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I like the narrowness of the internal streets, and the fact that they're not dead straight, so the sightlines are more interesting. 

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Posted (edited)

I wonder what hotel brand will go here.Driving down Richmond Ave won't be the same, in a good way. 

Edited by HOUCAJUN
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Class AAA Office.  Would this be a Houston first? Thinking that's just a marketing term, and they actually mean Class AA.

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15 hours ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

Class AAA Office.  Would this be a Houston first? Thinking that's just a marketing term, and they actually mean Class AA.

 

there's no real classification system for office properties - it's all marketing more or less. AA/A+ is commonly used for the newest asset classes, though.

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Who's the architect and contractor? Haven't seen anything posted. 

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21 hours ago, Geoff8201 said:

A couple things I heard through the grapevine...

 

Parcel 1 at the corner of Buffalo and Alabama will be a 37 story luxury residential building for rent.

Dang, that's gonna block my view of NRG Stadium. ☹️

 

OTOH, I'll have some great construction pics to post. 🙄

The-RO.jpg

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10 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

Bring in the value engineer!

In this situation I would lean more towards the project scope having grown and now of higher value.  If Jon Pickard is involved, I'd be shocked if it came below expectations.

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49 minutes ago, CREguy13 said:

In this situation I would lean more towards the project scope having grown and now of higher value.  If Jon Pickard is involved, I'd be shocked if it came below expectations.

From what I have heard, they designed too expensive of a building and are redesigning it. They would need about $10 psf (25%) above market rents to make a market return on the building they designed. 

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22 minutes ago, SMU1213 said:

From what I have heard, they designed too expensive of a building and are redesigning it. They would need about $10 psf (25%) above market rents to make a market return on the building they designed. 

 

Not surprised, honestly. The advantage to get these large scale developments is that we get new urban cores to both infill and later grow out from, but the disadvantage is that you are having to spread out your monies to multiple buildings instead of one. Its highly likely in that situation that the quality per building is going to go down. Then again, in this new phase our city is in, we are looking for more quantity than quality. At some point when you get a good critical mass of quantity will quality arise from that.

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