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Petroleum Building (Great Southwest Building) to Become Cambria Hotel

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Todd Interests, which is nearing completion of the redevelopment of One Dallas Center in downtown Dallas into apartments and office space, is in "hot in pursuit of another development deal – this one in Houston."

They are looking to do more creative redevelopments and one of the deals on the table is the Petroleum Building (more recently known as the Great Southwest Building) in downtown Houston. They are looking to redevelop it into residential or hospitality.

Yes, this interesting news about downtown Houston real estate redevelopment can only be found in the Dallas Morning News.

What currently occupies it?

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It's an awesome building. Anything they do to it, I hope they only increase its life.

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I love this news. The Great Southwest Bldg. is beautiful and with a bit of sprucing up it could be a real gem.

 

Irma's has a location in the lobby too.

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In fairness, it could be that a DMN reporter already had a contact with the developer, who is Dallas-based. But, I chuckled.

 

This would be great at adding residential units at a more modest price point than new construction and land acquisition requires. IIRC it has low ceilings, which pretty much eliminates a certain type of buyer.

 

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Great idea, the Great Southwest Building is so nice.  I was worried that it was sitting there with all the new construction going on.  I think "Irmas" is still there and would be cool to redeveloped it.

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Glad to hear this.  Years ago I posted a topic about a relief sculpture called "The Mad Driver" that was once incorporated into the Petroleum Building garage but seems to have vanished.  It would be nice if that sort of detail could be restored.

 

 

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Sweet.

Ya know, we really do have some hidden historic gems downtown. It would be really cool to compile a photo list of historic downtown buildings we hope SHOULD look forward to future renovations to. I'd help but I'm not that knowledgable in that area.

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Good news. There are some existing low rise buildings on that block which will apparently be demolished for the parking garage and townhomes. I can't tell from my phone if they are historic or not but that is a potential concern.

Townhomes, really?

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Looks like at least two of them (on the southwest corner) are indeed historic, 3-4 stories tall. The article does say "on Austin and Capitol," and only one of those buildings fronts Capitol.

Hopefully it's not in the plan.

Edited by H-Town Man

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I think townhomes are a great way of disguising a garage. Adds some variety to all the apartment units too. What streets are the historic buildings on? The townhouses only front 2 of the streets.

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WOW!

This is GREAT news!

In this great redevelopment news, let's not overlook a new Marquette property too!

Another 20+ story tower near the ballpark too! It's great that developers are continuing to follow through with some good developments, despite the "slowdown" in the energy industry.

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I think townhomes are a great way of disguising a garage. Adds some variety to all the apartment units too. What streets are the historic buildings on? The townhouses only front 2 of the streets.

Will the petroleum building be apartments? I didn't see that in the article. My guess is that you are correct but, I actually hope that they are condos.

I also hope that the townhomes are all brick and attached. Maybe like the back bay of Boston. That would be nice but, my first impression is that they will be "oddly out of place" in downtown Houston.

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The three other buildings on the block (ignoring the windowless monolith) could actually be renovated/integrated into new townhouses, which I think would be ideal. It's been done to varying degrees of success on Washington and in midtown.

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im not talking about altering the exterior.. just making it to where residents are able to get out on those set backs. i assume that decorative cornice(?) things around the edges of those provide some sort of "railing" needed for code?

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Yes I love this building, great news.

 

 

^I really hope they don't. Hope they leave the exterior completely untouched. Don't even powerwash it.

 

 

IDK. Gives me a terribly Zuul-like vibe here.....

 

627-1.jpeg

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im not talking about altering the exterior.. just making it to where residents are able to get out on those set backs. i assume that decorative cornice(?) things around the edges of those provide some sort of "railing" needed for code?

 

I doubt those roof tops are rated for an outdoor gathering area. Rooftops that carry people have pretty high requirements, as purdue will tell you.

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So that's what the town homes will look like? They don't stick out too much m. Are those 2 story buildings some of the existing historic ones, or new builds?

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darn pay wall. I feel like they could have done a lot more with this site. Sure it's good to blend in with the area, but they could have done something a lot more interesting than this....

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Looks good, like traditional storefront retail only with townhomes inside. I wonder how easy it will be to change it into actual retail as the market matures.

Btw, one of the real historic buildings on the other side of the block (which look to all be spared) would be a good location for the downtown dry cleaner's everybody wants.

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darn pay wall. I feel like they could have done a lot more with this site. Sure it's good to blend in with the area, but they could have done something a lot more interesting than this....

 

 

Here's the article:

 

 

More downtown residential projects are in the works around Minute Maid Park.

"I think one of the exciting things is that we are building a neighborhood," said Bob Eury, the Houston Downtown Management District's executive director.

The district recently approved two projects near the eastside ballpark as part of the Downtown Living Initiative, which provides an incentive valued at up to $15,000 for each unit built in a multifamily pro-ject. The newest projects include redevelopment of the former Petroleum Club, a 21-story art deco building now known as the Great Southwest Building, and a proposed 24-story building.

Dallas-based Todd Interests received the incentive for its proposed redevelopment of the historic building on Texas Avenue. The 1927 building will have 162 units, and the builder is adding 11 townhomes and a parking garage.

Chicago-based Marquette Cos. proposed a 304-unit, 24-story residential tower northeast of Minute Maid Park bordered by Commerce, Jackson and Franklin streets. The company broke ground in November on a 28-story, 361-unit apartment project on Texas, also near the ballpark. That project is slated to be completed by 2016.

Hotels, offices and a new High School for the Performing and Visual Arts campus are in the works for this eastern section of downtown as well.Also under construction nearby is a 400-unit complex by Houston-based Finger Cos. going up just west of the stadium. And Trammell Crow Residential and Trammell Crow Co. have separate projects slated for the area.

"You don't want just one of these projects by themselves," Eury said. "The more residents, the stronger the possibility of street-level retail. It means more activity."

The Downtown Living Initiative, meant to lure residential builders downtown, has approved 16 projects with 4,955 units, only 45 units away from the cap of 5,000.

About 1,700 apartment units are under construction or were recently completed, and another 2,500 are planned, according to the Downtown District, which administers the program.

The City Council approved the initiative in 2012, with a cap of 2,500 units. Last year, the council approved an expansion of the program to 5,000 units.

SkyHouse Houston is the first completed project awarded one of the incentives. Developer Novare recently started construction on its second project. Those are in the south end of downtown. Other projects are near Market Square.

"We are excited about the number of units developed," Eury said. "Downtown needs more residents to make retail work well."

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I would like those smaller buildings to be a couple stories taller so that they are 4 stories and not 2, but that's just because I think there is an awkward transition from the tall building to the shorter ones.

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I guess they are pushing out the existing office tenants? I assume there are still some in there, or at least there were last time I checked. Downtown must be getting scarce for Class B/C office space with Houston Club disappearing and now this. Should help out the State National Building though I guess.

 

Was it actually the Petroleum Club building before it was Great Southwestern Life? I googled and found a Great Southwestern Life Insurance Co. in a court case in Oklahoma in 1937. I hope they do nothing at all to the existing letters.

 

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I guess they are pushing out the existing office tenants? I assume there are still some in there, or at least there were last time I checked. Downtown must be getting scarce for Class B/C office space with Houston Club disappearing and now this. Should help out the State National Building though I guess.

 

Was it actually the Petroleum Club building before it was Great Southwestern Life? I googled and found a Great Southwestern Life Insurance Co. in a court case in Oklahoma in 1937. I hope they do nothing at all to the existing letters.

 

Downtown B/C space has been getting pretty tight for a while, although the Houston Club building was all but vacant for quite a while.  We looked at it on the previous go round six or seven years ago, and even then it was pretty much just the Houston Club, street and tunnel retail, and parking.  By the time the market started doin' the tighten up in earnest it was already in Skanska's hands and being emptied.  

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I doubt those roof tops are rated for an outdoor gathering area. Rooftops that carry people have pretty high requirements, as purdue will tell you.

 

You COULD get away with it, with some strengthening. 

 

If its a simply balcony the requirements arent that much, but if its a gathering space for large groups of people, then yes. The requirements are high. 

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I guess they are pushing out the existing office tenants? I assume there are still some in there, or at least there were last time I checked. Downtown must be getting scarce for Class B/C office space with Houston Club disappearing and now this. Should help out the State National Building though I guess.

Was it actually the Petroleum Club building before it was Great Southwestern Life? I googled and found a Great Southwestern Life Insurance Co. in a court case in Oklahoma in 1937. I hope they do nothing at all to the existing letters.

Maybe 1114 Texas will get a chance too.

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Redscare!

 

You've been missed. Now, bring out Crunchtastic!

 

Leave him alone. He's like a pet cat that's been away for awhile. Don't scare him off!

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From the article

"We're still working through a lot of details and are in a flux of what we exactly want to do with this project," Robert McFarlane, president of Todd Interests tells CultureMap. "The rendering was just a part of the application process. It's just a form of an idea of what we might be doing. We're still considering multiple options."

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