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On 12/13/2021 at 10:16 PM, Ctaf said:

Is TMC3 being built all at once, or has it been divided into different phases?

Its being built in...like 3 phases if I'm not mistaken. However, all of Phase 1 hasn't started yet. The hotel and convention center is supposed to be Phase 1.

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Fitch Ratings - Chicago - 16 Dec 2021: Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AA-' Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and bond rating to the following Harris County Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation taxable revenue bonds, issued on behalf of Texas Medical Center (TX):

--$93,725,000 Taxable Revenue Bonds, Series 2022.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.

The $93.7 million in series 2022 bonds will be issued as fixed-rate taxable bonds, proceeds used to fund two parking garages on the Texas Medical Center (TMC) 3 campus, fund capitalized interest through October 2023, and pay costs of issuance. The bonds are expected to price the week of January 10 via negotiated sale.

[more in linked Fitch Ratings article]

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Editorial: Houston's future is rising out of a VA hospital parking lot

Updated: Jan. 3, 2022 6:13 a.m.

Imagine a scientist, a doctor and a venture capitalist strolling into a Houston bar in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. They trade gossip and jokes over drinks until some offhand comment leads to an idea for the next lifesaving technology. On a table napkin, they sketch out a plan to prove that the technology works, testing it with volunteers from our diverse patient population so they can launch Houston’s next billion-dollar company.

Sound like a joke? Maybe. There certainly isn’t any bar like that now at the center of Houston’s giant medical center. And even if there was, few would probably be walking to it. Whether sidewalks or bridges or tunnels, pathways at the TMC are a notoriously confusing labyrinth. And, finally, the venture capitalist? TMC bylaws ban for-profit companies.

For all of Houston’s many medical world superlatives — and in terms of sheer size,the TMC is the largest medical research center in the world — it lags other hubs when it comes to launching billion-dollar start ups.

At long last, however, that could be changing. A new development called TMC3 that broke ground in September should help reposition Houston, and allow us to stop leaving the big money on the table. The master plan includes 5 million square feet of buildings with restaurants and shops on the first floors, organized around a series of parks resembling the double helix of a DNA molecule.

The architect planning this new venture is David Manfredi, the founding principal of the firm hired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009 to enliven Kendall Square in Cambridge, hailed as the iconic innovation district by the Brookings Institution in its report on the new geography of innovation. Kendall Square has incubated some of the most successful biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in America. Among them is Moderna, the company that developed a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna began as a partnership of Harvard professors and an entrepreneur at a biotech “venture studio.” The proximity of scientists and venture capital was critical to translating mRNA technology into our best defense against the pandemic. What about Pfizer? Their Cambridge research spaces are in Kendall Square, too.

What’s so magical about this place? In addition to bringing together many different educational, research and business enterprises, Kendall Square is hip. When the scientists aren’t experimenting on rats and the financiers tire of working their spreadsheets, they can relax together at parks, cafes, restaurants and bars.

Manfredi told the editorial board he knew he had succeeded when his three daughters made plans to go to Kendall Square and he wasn’t invited.

Houston’s efforts to recreate that kind of atmosphere are exciting, but success is anything but guaranteed. A medical center built up over more than seven decades won’t change quickly. Its own fascinating backstory reveals why change will be hard.

Back in 1943, Houston sold a 134-acre forested section of Hermann Park to the MD Anderson Foundation. With this land and funds from the foundation as as a local match, city leaders convinced Texas lawmakers to choose Houston as the site of the state’s first cancer center. Baylor College of Medicine relocated from Dallas as well and, in 1945, the Texas Medical Center was born. TMC manages the land, doling out pieces to 61 nonprofit member institutions that include Houston Methodist, St. Luke’s, Memorial Hermann, Texas Children’s Hospital, Ben Taub and others.

The high-rises we see today didn’t come about all at once. Initially, low-slung buildings spread out among the trees and along streets laid out like those of a gated neighborhood. As each institution grew, TMC allotted more parcels of land and built up parking garages. Each big institution established its own fiefdom. The overall result is a district with the scale and crowds of a big city but without the interconnectedness that makes urban areas work best.

Things have begun to change, however, and in 2013 TMC hired William McKeon as its new president and CEO. He had background in working with biotech companies and he soon made plans to throw for-profit firms into the mix. In 2014, the TMCx start-up accelerator launched in a repurposed Nabisco factory. Then, instead of allotting land to each of the TMC’s member institutions individually, he convinced them and commercial life sciences companies to commit to a master-planned innovation district on what was a set of giant surface parking for the Veterans Affairs hospital. He also created an exception to the ban on for-profit corporations. After an initial design by Gensler that envisioned the double helix, TMC brought on Manfredi, thanks largely to his experience improving Kendall Square.

The master plan calls for a radically transformed urban space where innovation, life-saving science and potentially billion-dollar developments all coexist. But to reach its full potential for transforming Houston, it will have to be more than just a successful island of urban life in the midst of a mess of parking, apartment, office and hospital buildings.

That’s where the city, county and TMC must all play their roles in stitching together the surrounding urban fabric, connecting them to transit and Brays Bayou paths.

The $1.8 billion first phase of construction is well underway and will include 950,000 square feet of research space, a hotel with upward of 500 rooms and 65,000 square-feet of conference space, a 350-unit residential tower and parks designed by Mikyoung Kim. The new streets have been poured. The construction of the TMC3 Collaborative Building is underway along with the unavoidable parking garage.

Houstonians already have reasons to feel pride in the TMC for what it is today. Medical discoveries are nothing new, including the recent success by a Baylor team lead by Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi that developed a patent-free, lower-cost, easier-to-produce COVID vaccine that is being manufactured in India. TMC3 could help open a new chapter in the center’s success, however, helping the whole region. It represents a pivot that could bring institutions together to form a greater whole in way that attracts investment capital, jobs and talent.

When the next global health emergency arrives, Houston’s scientists and entrepreneurs could launch the equivalent of the next Moderna. For all the turmoil of the last two years, decades from now Houstonians may well look back at these years as the moment when the city made a transition to a biotech hub.

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22 hours ago, Lux said:

Decent article, but . . .  "VA hospital parking lot"?  Where'd they come up with that little factoid.  The site of TMC3 was Texas Medical Center patient and visitor parking and contract parking; served by TMC shuttles.  It was not a VA hospital parking lot.  How do they come up with the nonsense they publish?  Did someone glance at a map and see the big VA Hospital site somewhat nearby and just jump to that assumption (which in itself would betray a woeful ignorance of their city and one of its MAJOR entities/industries?)  Again I ask, is it really too much to ask local news folk to have some basic knowledge about their city?  SMH

Edited by Houston19514
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4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Decent article, but . . .  "VA hospital parking lot"?  Where'd they come up with that little factoid.  The site of TMC3 was Texas Medical Center patient and visitor parking and contract parking; served by TMC shuttles.  It was not a VA hospital parking lot.  How do they come up with the nonsense they publish?  Did someone glance at a map and see the big VA Hospital site somewhat nearby and just jump to that assumption (which in itself would betray a woeful ignorance of their city and one of its MAJOR entities/industries?)  Again I ask, is it really too much to ask local news folk to have some basic knowledge about their city?  SMH

Yep.  The old south extension lots were not VA lots.  To the best of my knowledge, all VA lots reside east of Cambridge.  With that being said, I like that the Chron editorial board is an advocate for this transformative project.

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1 hour ago, hindesky said:

One of the drone pilots that posts on here said he can't fly here due to software restrictions built into the drone. Is this correct info @cityliving @brijonmang?

 

1 hour ago, cityliving said:

I've tried flying around this project but because the Medical Center flight restrictions around where this project is located, it makes it hard to fly a drone around there.

Just rent a helicopter 🥱

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2 hours ago, cityliving said:

I've tried flying around this project but because the Medical Center flight restrictions around where this project is located, it makes it hard to fly a drone around there.

Thank you for actually following the rules! Pics are never worth putting one of those helicopters in danger. 

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I just got back from my first trip to Houston since 2019. I stayed at the Blossom Hotel. What a quirky place. I really liked the rooms and that bathrooms and the air con was top notch!

FYI, the views from the 13th floor pool and deck of the TMC3 are quite nice. You really get a sense of the scale of the entire project. 

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20 hours ago, wilcal said:

Thank you for actually following the rules! Pics are never worth putting one of those helicopters in danger. 

It's not hard to follow the rules when the aircraft's programming doesn't allow you to take off... 😁

22 hours ago, cityliving said:

I've tried flying around this project but because the Medical Center flight restrictions around where this project is located, it makes it hard to fly a drone around there.

The only way I've been able to get around this is to get off the ground before the satellites lock on. I think it limits you to around 50 feet, which is better than nothing (and not a danger to air traffic).

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23 hours ago, cityliving said:

I've tried flying around this project but because the Medical Center flight restrictions around where this project is located, it makes it hard to fly a drone around there.

There might be rules, but with every rule there is an exception. That exception would be finding a way to talk to higher ups on site or those building this, and pitch your flights as part of an advertising opportunity from which you would get a cut. All of this is of course hypothetically speaking. Maybe team up with @brijonmang? Just spitballin an idea. Remember where there is a will there is a way.

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4 hours ago, Luminare said:

There might be rules, but with every rule there is an exception. That exception would be finding a way to talk to higher ups on site or those building this, and pitch your flights as part of an advertising opportunity from which you would get a cut. All of this is of course hypothetically speaking. Maybe team up with @brijonmang? Just spitballin an idea. Remember where there is a will there is a way.

The geo fencing has gotten pretty strict in the Med Center.  All of the helipads have been added to DJI databases as well as the fact there's class B airspace throughout and on the north side you have the approach for one of Hobby's runways.  You can do it but it's definitely a hassle and much more risky than flying just about anywhere else in the city.

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2 hours ago, Lux said:

I'm not too familiar with Pegasus Park, but after quick research I couldn't help but chuckle that it was in the same conversation as TMC3.  I'm all for collaboration if it helps bring more capital to Houston, but I genuinely don't think Austin and Dallas are remotely close to the potential that exists here.  Although I'm happy to admit my ignorance when it comes to their medical and biotech scenes.

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16 hours ago, Lux said:

Gosh, what a ditsy voice. A little irritating to hear "Austin, Dallas, ... and Houston." I don't remember them mentioning a single thing that was happening in Austin. As to Pegasus Park, yeah, no TMC3, only advantage is that the buildings are already built and thus can be leased fast and cheap.

 

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13 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

This brings to mind the Stanley Marcus quote:  "in Dallas you can sell the sizzle, but in Houston you have to show them the steak"

And in Austin you charge 5x the market rate for someone to tell you what the steak tastes like.

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5 hours ago, phillip_white said:

And in Austin you charge 5x the market rate for someone to tell you what the steak tastes like.

Austin would tokenize the $teak and make you feel dumb for not understanding the paradigm shift.  
 

https://steak.network

Edited by Lux
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^^^ maybe, it's just me, but i have very often thought that something was quite odd regarding the very latest renderings/concepts... of TMC-3 featuring the HOTEL/CONDO development portion of this burgeoning project.  however, i  just could not place my finger upon it until now... THE ORIENTATION OF THE PROPOSED CONDO TOWER.  

why is such an important proponent of this particular development turned SIDEWAYS (and somewhat hidden)?  am i the only one that find this a bit strange/unique in such an ultra important development?

the HOTEL TOWER proponent is positioned perfectly, directly in the center of everything.  yet the CONDO TOWER is just off by the wayside, seemingly, in nonchalant fashion.

 it just seems very odd in my opinion...  

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11 hours ago, Lux said:

Nice detail in today’s Elkus Manfredi TMC3 rendering post on Twitter.  Lots of trees 🌳

Additionally, note on Parcel B the placement of both University of Houston and Texas A&M signage.  The slightly twisted tower design on Parcel F also seems new.  This campus view has often been displayed as a night shot, but perhaps this daytime rendering from the architect hints at the current vision.


spacer.png

TMC3-Aerial-Night_Revised-Hotel-2-scaled

To my non-architect eye the buildings between Industry Building 1 and the hotel seem to have grown in the new rendering as have the buildings flanking the Collaborative Building (which I believe are marked as industry buildings in the master plan). If A&M and UH are putting their buildings on a shared base it'll likely require approval by the boards of regents so we'll hopefully get better indication in the next couple of months when those meetings take place.

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Don't get me wrong, I love this project.......but are the renderings getting more underwhelming or is it just me? The only cool perspective is from above. The pedestrian/ car perspective....it kind of just looks like some scattered buildings. I feel like the double helix was more exaggerated in previous renderings. Again, please don't bash lol my perspective, I still love this project.

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Quote

Don't get me wrong, I love this project.......but are the renderings getting more underwhelming or is it just me? The only cool perspective is from above. The pedestrian/ car perspective....it kind of just looks like some scattered buildings. I feel like the double helix was more exaggerated in previous renderings. Again, please don't bash lol my perspective, I still love this project.

Have you seen any of the renderings elsewhere in this thread from the landscape architect?  A HUGE focus of this project is the central helix spine and the site hardscape / landscaping is going to be dope.  Imagine the rooftop of POST but ground level surrounding by tall curving glass buildings.

Now if you are driving down Old Spanish Trail or Braeswood, this will likely end up looking a bit vanilla but the project isn't really designed for those big external views it seems to be fairly inward looking (in my non-architect opinion).

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18 hours ago, monarch said:

^^^ maybe, it's just me, but i have very often thought that something was quite odd regarding the very latest renderings/concepts... of TMC-3 featuring the HOTEL/CONDO development portion of this burgeoning project.  however, i  just could not place my finger upon it until now... THE ORIENTATION OF THE PROPOSED CONDO TOWER.  

why is such an important proponent of this particular development turned SIDEWAYS (and somewhat hidden)?  am i the only one that find this a bit strange/unique in such an ultra important development?

the HOTEL TOWER proponent is positioned perfectly, directly in the center of everything.  yet the CONDO TOWER is just off by the wayside, seemingly, in nonchalant fashion.

 it just seems very odd in my opinion...  

Perhaps TMC3 wanted the hotel to face the world famous Texas Medical Center.

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58 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Perhaps TMC3 wanted the hotel to face the world famous Texas Medical Center.

^^^ perhaps.  however, i just find it quite odd, for such an important development such as this.  the CONDO TOWER should equally face front and center of everything in this magnificent development...

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OK, so the architect just posted this image today — design on some parcels may be in flux (as we should expect), so we’ll see how it ultimately shakes out.  Regardless, what a stunning campus, and the colors really pop in this rendering! I agree with @tangledwoods in that the biotech hub is built for proximity, views and experience from within the DNA necklace parks.  It’ll be like a little city abuzz with activity.  Perhaps Levit Green, close to 288, can optimize design for highway views.

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@monarch, I hear you regarding the positioning.  Remember that the hotel was previously shown with curvature, and the curved residential tower sat on top with views looking down the park strand.  Regardless of placement, residents couldn’t get any closer to the action.

Edited by Lux
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