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Melrose Building to be Redeveloped into a Le Meridien

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So damn sexy. I want to take this behind the middle school gym and get it pregnant.

jesus.png

oh my kinkaidalum, please hurry up and kneel before him.....

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^^^ ok, so far.. very good.  things are starting to look a bit more sophisticated in my view.  i am loving the new signage, and something just seems a bit different with the overall scale of the edifice itself.  i want this hotel to be a complete and utter success for downtown....  

 

I would never try to rain on your parade or try to burst your eternally happy bubble, but to me it looks like these two renderings are unchanged save for the fact one is at dusk and the original was a bit earlier in the day.  

 

Edit: Oh yes, and we've gone from Mercedes to Toyota.

Edited by brijonmang

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Can they have the large sign down the side though?  I thought there was some ordinance preventing that in downtown.  

 

My understanding is that residential and hotels are allowed signage downtown.

Someone else commented that it is a little more complicated than that, but I don't know the details. 

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Can they have the large sign down the side though?  I thought there was some ordinance preventing that in downtown.  

 Does not apply to Hotels.

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I would never try to rain on your parade or try to burst your eternally happy bubble, but to me it looks like these two renderings are unchanged save for the fact one is at dusk and the original was a bit earlier in the day.  

 

Edit: Oh yes, and we've gone from Mercedes to Toyota.

no, you are right.. the first rendering is the exact same rendering that we originally saw. not sure what Monarch sees different but oh well.. definitely wouldn't be the first time someone suddenly loved something that hadn't changed a bit after talking about how bad it looked. heh..

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The demolition contractor's crew that I saw coming and going is gone, no activity at the moment. I'd guess they were doing some bid work and/or initial scoping. They had a fairly large trailer sized generator parked on the sidewalk while they were in there. There's got to be 20 years worth of dank cooped up in there.

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http://www.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/Le-Meridien-luxury-hotel-planned-for-downtown-6665226.php?cmpid=twitter-desktop

 

Building permits have been obtained for a luxury hotel to be developed in the long-abandoned Melrose building at 1121 Walker.

 

The Beck Group, a Dallas-based construction and architecture firm, acquired the permits for the project. On planning and development documents, the owner/occupant is listed as Le Meridien.

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http://www.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/Le-Meridien-luxury-hotel-planned-for-downtown-6665226.php

 

Building permits have been obtained for a luxury hotel to be developed in the long-abandoned Melrose building at 1121 Walker.

The Beck Group, a Dallas-based construction and architecture firm, acquired the permits for the project. On planning and development documents, the owner/occupant is listed as Le Meridien.

rendering of the hotel is posted on the Downtown Houston Management District's website, which reports the completion date of the 225-room project as third-quarter 2017.

 

The project is also featured on the website of Atlantic American Opportunities Fund, a Tampa-based company that provides financing for real estate developments using the federal EB-5 visa program.

According to the website:

The Le Meridien Houston will be a full-service hotel situated in downtown Houston, Texas that will operate under Starwood's Le Méridien brand. Project plans include 255 guestrooms, a signature restaurant, meeting space, and a rooftop pool.

The Project will feature an extensive list of amenities and first-rate finishes indicative of a full service hotel, including a state of the art reception / lobby along with onsite concierge services, a rooftop pool that opens to an outdoor sundeck, as well as a rooftop viewing area. There will be approximately 8,000 square feet of meeting space, including a penthouse ballroom, ballroom pre-function area, and business meeting rooms. In addition, the Project will have a signature restaurant and bar as well as a HUB lounge for hotel guests.

The Project will be centered around the redevelopment of Houston's historic Melrose Building, located at 1121 Walker Street in Houston's central business district. Opening in 1952, the Melrose Building was Houston's first modern-style skyscraper, and has recently been added to the National Register of Historic Places. As such, any redevelopment work qualifies for historic tax credits, which will provide a significant financial benefit to the Project. The 21-story building has been vacant for 20 years.

AAFF made an $15.0 million equity and subordinate debt investment in the Project, alongside a bank construction loan, State and Federal Historic Tax Credits and an equity investment made by the project's sponsor.

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Here's an old photo of the Melrose building. Does anyone know what the building on the right is and when it was demolished? Looks like they could have been turned into nice apartments about now, but now its a parking lot waiting for Houston Center if that ever gets built...  :(

 

melrose1big.jpg

Edited by Nole23
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That was the Medical Arts building.  It was demolished I believe in the late 1970s/early 1980s.  I read that it had structural problems and pieces were falling of, so it might have been considered a hazard.  

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So sad... That building looks amazing. Wish we could have kept more of our history. The melrose building should be cool.

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I know this is off topic but what would you guess the cost of building that same style with the original materials and plans nowadays? Of course with modern fire protection etc. I know the Marriott was redone in a reasonable fashion but would brick and ornate details really be that expensive?

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If you're happy with how the Marriott turned out, then no. Actually doing a good job would be significantly (impractically) more expensive.

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I know this is off topic but what would you guess the cost of building that same style with the original materials and plans nowadays? Of course with modern fire protection etc. I know the Marriott was redone in a reasonable fashion but would brick and ornate details really be that expensive?

 

Very, very expensive. First, most architects are not trained to design in historical styles. Walk through your typical architecture school and look at the projects and everyone is trying to be the next Frank Gehry or Calatrava. Whereas back then, people really got an education in the historical styles, the proportions, the endless vocabulary of all the different details, etc.

 

Then, all the companies and infrastructure that existed to supply ornament for a building like that are no more. Where are you going to get cast stone (let alone real carved stone) pieces like that nowadays? Not as cheaply as when there were dozens of buildings going up in every city placing orders. And how much are your stone carvers going to cost if you decide to go that route? Will they work as cheaply as the half-starved Italian immigrant stone laborers did a hundred years ago? Probably not.

 

All that said, it can be done. Look at the new Old Parkland buildings by the Trammell Crow family in Dallas. That is first rate historical architecture. It's all very big and inflated, as one can expect from our era, but the details and proportions are there. And Rice built bona fide historic-style buildings for the Baker School and Jones School of Management 15 years or so ago. But the people who build this kind of stuff have deep pockets and are generally owner-occupants. A developer building an investment property is unlikely to splurge on history.

 

The best way to have historic architecture, it must lastly be said, is not to tear down historic buildings.

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If you're happy with how the Marriott turned out, then no. Actually doing a good job would be significantly (impractically) more expensive.

The interior is beyond. The exterior, I just have to say "That'll do pig... that'll do".

 

Very, very expensive. First, most architects are not trained to design in historical styles. Walk through your typical architecture school and look at the projects and everyone is trying to be the next Frank Gehry or Calatrava. Whereas back then, people really got an education in the historical styles, the proportions, the endless vocabulary of all the different details, etc.

 

Then, all the companies and infrastructure that existed to supply ornament for a building like that are no more. Where are you going to get cast stone (let alone real carved stone) pieces like that nowadays? Not as cheaply as when there were dozens of buildings going up in every city placing orders. And how much are your stone carvers going to cost if you decide to go that route? Will they work as cheaply as the half-starved Italian immigrant stone laborers did a hundred years ago? Probably not.

 

All that said, it can be done. Look at the new Old Parkland buildings by the Trammell Crow family in Dallas. That is first rate historical architecture. It's all very big and inflated, as one can expect from our era, but the details and proportions are there. And Rice built bona fide historic-style buildings for the Baker School and Jones School of Management 15 years or so ago. But the people who build this kind of stuff have deep pockets and are generally owner-occupants. A developer building an investment property is unlikely to splurge on history.

 

The best way to have historic architecture, it must lastly be said, is not to tear down historic buildings.

Well I know it would be a very distinct group of people who are not trained per say, but knowledgeable? I know the time has long passed when people were able to draft and design their own homes, but there must be specialized craftsmen and women who know the ins and outs of past styles. Very expensive, I guess is the answer to my question. 

 

I'm sure getting carved stone with today's technology and precision wouldn't be hard necessarily, just purchasing the stone in large quantities (shipping, construction, you name it). 

 

Stucco and Styrofoam are the only feasible options today to replicate this? Brick is sill used. It would be a wet dream to have The Sterling Hotel built like the original proposal, but it would be more realistic and ideal to have smaller buildings that occupy lots Downtown to mimic the charm and characteristics of that time. Rather than a blasphemous Renoir Lofts ;).

 

A shame at the price of practicality and profit we have lost so much passion and interest. Such is life.

 

Anyways, Back on to the Le Meridien. It's refreshing to see this building saved and used in a good way. 

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The only part that you can see from this side of the paywall

 

Nice historic photo of, and I liked the explanation of how they did it

 

 

 

Right now, it's a sad-looking skyscraper at the corner of Walker and San Jacinto. Been that way for quite some time actually.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/bayou-city-history/article/The-Melrose-Building-is-one-of-Houston-s-6668309.php#photo-9040608

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The 1950 downtown photograph is incredible in the amount of detail it shows.  You can imagine how futuristic the Melrose Building must have looked at the time.

 

 

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I think the original James Coney Island was not on Main Street but on either Walker or Rusk east of Main

street. I remember going there in the 50's. The chairs were reminiscent of the old wooden school desks

where the desk folded up from a side position.

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I think the original James Coney Island was not on Main Street but on either Walker or Rusk east of Main

street. I remember going there in the 50's. The chairs were reminiscent of the old wooden school desks

where the desk folded up from a side position.

 

Here's what James Coney Island has to say on the matter:

 

Nestled on the ground floor of the Beatty-West Building on Walker and Main in downtown Houston, the first James Coney Island opened its doors in 1923

 

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So I guess your right but I did have the side street right and I believe you entered on Walker side.

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The building immediately north of Foley's is was the Lamar Hotel, famous for Suite 8-F.

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I am wondering what they will do to the north facade above the garage. It is just two blank walls now. Will they add windows? Did I read that this building is now some kind of official "landmark"? If so, they may not be able to change that blank facade?

Curious to see renderings from a different direction.

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^^^ are they planning on having this luxury development open / operating in time for the super bowl.... anyone??

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11 hours ago, monarch said:

^^^ are they planning on having this luxury development open / operating in time for the super bowl.... anyone??

That would be mighty ambitious.

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