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The thing about CVS is this: it doesn't matter if it's a CVS or Burger King, or CostCo, or whatever. It's simply the construction of suburban-type structures in an area the city has bent-over-backwards to outfit for proper urban infrastructure. It's basically, "oh, hi, thanks for investing so much in this neighborhood. but we can't afford an architect, and our accountants say no risk is acceptable, so we're just going to use a standard acre-footprint design."

What or who are you talking about? If the new midtown CVS is your issue, how exactly has the city "bent over backward..." when the building code still requires X number of on-site parking spots and 25 foot setbacks?

If the Costco at the former HISD site is the issue, that is a little disappointing. But I don't think it is going to be just a standard suburban Costco is it? I think there is still going to be some mixed-use there. In any event, that is one, ONE, of the many mixed use developments in various planning stages that has apparently disappointed. On what basis should we assume that City Centre, BLVD Place, West Street, River Oaks District, Houston Pavilions, High Street, and Regent Square will be equally disappointing?

The idea that developers pay to have extensive site-plans and renderings drawn up for urban mixed use districts just to excite the media is pretty comical, as is your statement that no developers are interested in developing such things in Houston. (Our problem right now might just be that too many developers are developing such projects, thus dividing the retailers among too many projects and making it a little more difficult to get any of them built. But in spite of that, West Street is already under construction, as is Houston Pavilions, and I believe City Centre; BLVD Place is slated to start construction this summer...)

I don't know what urban "nirvana" you are headed for after you graduate, but you might need to prepare to be disappointed.

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EXCLUSIVE REPORTS From the August 12, 2005 print edition Car dealership gives way to urban infill Jennifer Dawson Houston Business Journal A high-end development mixing retail, residential and po

I removed "cancelled?" from the title since the project is now moving forward again.

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Alright, maybe my post was a little ugly. Don't kill yourself woolie. You guys may know more about oil and gas economics than I do, but this city has still got a few good years left before it turns into Detroit. Negitive comments about Houston and dooms day senerios always bring out the btch in me. Don't let it add to your problems.

Houston is no flawless urban paradise and I doubt I will ever live to see it be, but it survived the last oil bust and has been growing at a faster pace than most cities in this country for the better part of its existance. There have been countless projects announced in the last 30 years that haven't been built or were scaled down. Yet somehow this city has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. High Street looks nice, but life will go on with out it. I wouldn't be freaking out over a delay or cancellation just yet. Someone else will announce something else tomorrow and MAYBE it will get built maybe not but Houston is smoking right now - be happy. When woolie moves, ten more will be here to take his place.

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You completely missed my point. Anyway, here's an exercise. Detroit hemorrhaged when the domestic auto industry collapsed. What will happen to Houston when there's no more oil to drill or refine? :)

I guess we'll have to come back here and talk about that in say 300 to 400 years. Oh wait, let me guess, you are of the belief that we'll run out of oil in 20 years, right ? Quit watching AlGore movies, he was so worried about us running out of oil that he sold off all the Navy's surplus. Don't be lead down the primrose path woolie. Besides, what do you care about Houston, you'll be gone after grad school ?! :huh:

Doubt there will be a Best Buy or Targe't at EITHER location, as Target is actually right behind the High Street deal and a Best Buy is a street over on Richmond.

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If the Costco at the former HISD site is the issue, that is a little disappointing. But I don't think it is going to be just a standard suburban Costco is it? I think there is still going to be some mixed-use there.

Not really in any meaningful way.

The idea that developers pay to have extensive site-plans and renderings drawn up for urban mixed use districts just to excite the media is pretty comical, as is your statement that no developers are interested in developing such things in Houston.

Usually, developers that make big plans public at least start off meaning well but that discover later in the process, only after having spent gobs of money in the planning process, that the market for these kinds of projects is extremely limited, but there are a very few that do abuse the system for no reason other than gaining media attention (i.e. Hardy Yards).

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I don't see anyone forcing you to read his rants, either. Whining is a two way street. If you cannot handle his whining, perhaps you should find another forum, as well. I hear dallasmetropolis is looking for new members...and they only talk nice, from what I'm told.

Actually, whining must be a 3 way street now that you've joined the party. And no one is forcing you to read my post. If you can not handle my whining perhaps you should find another forum as well. I hear lipserver.com is looking for new members too.

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Actually, whining must be a 3 way street now that you've joined the party. And no one is forcing you to read my post. If you can not handle my whining perhaps you should find another forum as well. I hear lipserver.com is looking for new members too.

Well, someone had to point it out.

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Actually, whining must be a 3 way street now that you've joined the party. And no one is forcing you to read my post. If you can not handle my whining perhaps you should find another forum as well. I hear lipserver.com is looking for new members too.

<-------(breaks out into song using an Elton John tune) CAN YOU FEEL, THE LOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEE, TONIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTT ???

The tension is so thick in here, you could cut it with a rusty spoon !

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O.K., O.K., I apologize to everyone for being such a btch today. :blush: I'm very fond of Houston and sometimes I go overboard and defend this city as if I were defending my own mother. I should have made my point without getting personal. It wasn't woolie saying he wanted to leave Houston that set me off - it was Houston being compared to dismal, decaying, Detroit, or for even suggesting that Houston was headed for a similar destiny. That idea just seems so messed up when I look around and feel the buzz, excitement and optimism in this city today.

I expect a retaliation from Red (someone who I almost always agree with) and that will be it for today. :)

xxxooo

Edited by Mister X
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O.K., O.K., I apologize to everyone for being such a btch today. :blush: I'm very fond of Houston and sometimes I go overboard and defend this city as if I were defending my own mother. I should have made my point without getting personal. It wasn't woolie saying he wanted to leave Houston that set me off - it was Houston being compared to dismal, decaying, Detroit, or for even suggesting that Houston was headed for a similar destiny. That idea just seems so messed up when I look around and feel the buzz, excitement and optimism in this city today.

I expect a retaliation from Red (someone who I almost always agree with) and that will be it for today. :)

xxxooo

Apology accepted. Woolie's post set me off, too, for it was not accurate or well thought out (especially for a grad student, woolie!). I even took a jab at him. But, your post just seemed a bit harsh.

All's well that ends well. No hard feelings, Senor Equis? :rolleyes:

Oh, and you, too, woolie? :rolleyes:

How 'bout a Fresca!

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Alright, yes, I wasn't articulating my thoughts very well, but to me the quest for urbanism isn't about fitting some hip ideal, or wanting Houston to be like other cities. It's about sustainable development. The auto oriented suburban city gives me pause because it can be vulnerable to fuel supply disruption, which I really do fear is going to become critically important in the coming decades.. it's about climate change disrupting our economy on a large scale and displacing people all over the world, leading to unstable countries where the rule of law is declining in importance. It really boils down to an issue of Security, much more than environmentalism.

The comparison to Detroit (and Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, and Buffalo, etc.) is this, which everyone missed, is the lesson from history, that a structural change in a society or an economy can easily turn a boomtown into a burned out shell. What gives me pause about Houston is the dependence on a single mode of transportation which requires a huge petrochemical infrastructure to support, and the dependence of the local economy on this industry, which although has improved in recent years is still quite heavy. And we can talk about alternative fuels or electric cars playing a role in the future, but we need to be moving there in substantive ways now, with more than just re-branded ag subsidies to corn farmers.

Basically I think that global warming and peak oil are going to become important issues in the near future and we should already be moving to restructure our cities and transportation networks to prepare now, while we still have excess resources and are a prosperous society.

When I think about building throwaway structures like a WalMart or CostCo, though, it's just pure sadness, that our built environment is reduced from being something people care about and discuss, to simply the cheapest possible air conditioned shelter accessible by freeway.

Edited by woolie
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We're unique in that aspect. :wacko:

Make a table of the largest 100 cities in the world and the % of trips by car... American cities and in particular Houston/Dallas/Phoenix/etc really are unique. Cars are popular around the world, to be sure, but in most cities the entire fabric that holds the region together won't dissolve if oil supplies are severely diminished, because most trips are either already done by other modes, or discretionary car trips can fall back to other (if less convenient) methods.

Edited by woolie
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When I think about building throwaway structures like a WalMart or CostCo, though, it's just pure sadness, that our built environment is reduced from being something people care about and discuss, to simply the cheapest possible air conditioned shelter accessible by freeway.

While I kinda agree with you on most things (midtown coog will be shocked to read that), it is the last paragraph that makes me the most sad and that I am in agreement with you the most.

I hear way too many Houstonians say things like, "sure, it is ugly today and not what we wanted, but it can be replaced."

Besides being a waste, it's a real shame when such visible corners become clustered with CRAP. Midtown does not need a suburban style CVS store, especially on the light rail line. The old H.I.S.D. site being replaced with a massive Big Box Costco isn't even close to ideal.

But, this is market saturation type business that is happening all over the country. Heck, even my neighborhood in Boston saw two CVS stores open over the last few years (although neither is a drive-thru type pod building).

So, focus on the good things in town... continued renovation of Hermann Park, Asia House Museum, Christ Church expansion and park, Discovery Green, One Park Place, West Ave, 2727 Kirby, Sonoma, MOSAIC, Discovery Tower, Med Center on crack, UH master plan, UH Downtown expansion, townhomes East of US 59, The Edge, etc...

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O.K., O.K., I apologize to everyone for being such a btch today.

Just don't advocate suicide. That's already been done here before and is always hurtful to someone with intimate experience.

As for Midtown and CVS; the Heights Association had no problem dealing with CVS to get the kind of store they wanted at Yale and 20th. Maybe the Midtown planners should talk to the Heights Association on how to deal with developement that satisfys the neighborhood while protecting the profits of the company.

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The way I see it is that even if only a fraction of the urban developments that have been announced in the last few years actually become a reality, it's still a move in the right direction and something to be joyous about. The annoucements alone are reason enough to be optimistic after decades of corner gas stations and strip malls.

But just think of the number of projects and tear downs that will have to happen in this city before it really starts to look truly urban. Sure we may end up with pockets like Regent Square, West Ave, Sonoma, or BLVD place. And that will be fantastic. But I think the only thing that will ever make Houston a true walkable urban environment is to fill every street in the loop from DT to UT with these types of projects.

That sounds as unrealistic to me as turning Galveston into a white sand, blue water beach within 10 years. I think it's unrealistic to expect that the current urban trend we see happening is going to transform Houston overnight. If it happens at all it will take decades to really change the Houston landscape in any significant way.

Unless you can handle Houston for what it is today and learn to appreciate the positives, this city will be an agonizing place to live. If your just here waiting for the city to change right before your eyes, you're in for a very long wait. It took decades of good and bad ideas just to get it where it is today. Luckily, I don't have a real problem with it. I'm pretty much cool with Houston as is. Any urban improvements that come along (just like woolie said) are just icing.

My pet hope is that the city will one day begin to see the potential in Midtown and create some new zoning laws, building restrictions, or incentives to make Midtown and maybe East of Downtown an extention of Downtown. Forget about Uptown and the rest of Houston. A suburban atmosphere fits the rest of Houston just fine in my opinion (sans the freeway blight of course). As far as urbanism goes, the city's core (DT, MT, East of DT, and maybe the Montrose Area) deserve all the attention. I guess thats why a possible setback of High Street doesn't upset me that much. I already think of that area as a suburb. A beautiful suburb full of gorgeous highrises, but still a suburb. A setback for a project like High Street if it were to be in Midtown would have hurt.

And yes I agree with everyone about the Main/Elgin CVS. It's an atrocity. Much worse than a possible High Street setback.

Edited by Mister X
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Just don't advocate suicide. That's already been done here before and is always hurtful to someone with intimate experience.

You're right. I sometimes forget that what is written as harmless sarcasm or dark humor, offends much more deeply than I ever intended. I can't do that kind of humor as cleverly as they can do it on 'Family Guy', so I'll try and choose my words with more care in the future. :)

I went back and read that post later in the day and realized that it came off sounding much more harsh than I wanted it to. I never meant to advocate suicide, maybe just ending misery. That's why I apologized to everyone (which includes woolie) for it. :blush: I should probably remove it, but I figured it would serve as a reminder to myself to leave it so that everyone can see what an ass I can be sometimes when I hit the 'submit post' button before thinking, and not to do it again. When several respected members of this forum (which includes you) raise objections to that kind of language, I better listen.

Again, I'm sorry to everybody I offended.

Edited by Mister X
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Make a table of the largest 100 cities in the world and the % of trips by car... American cities and in particular Houston/Dallas/Phoenix/etc really are unique. Cars are popular around the world, to be sure, but in most cities the entire fabric that holds the region together won't dissolve if oil supplies are severely diminished, because most trips are either already done by other modes, or discretionary car trips can fall back to other (if less convenient) methods.

i think the "etc" part of your post is WAY bigger than you think.

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I agree about high street. It never excited me too much, due to the fact that it was way off in the Galleria area, too far away to really matter to me. Sure I go out there sometimes, but as long as I am in Houston, I see myself living near it's core.

I do drive to work, but it's only an 8 minute commute (with no traffic), and Vanessa takes the train (we live not too far from you Wooly). I also bike to school. If it wasn't for those things, I might be frustrated with Houston as well.

I know a guy who lives in Sugarland and always rants about how his apartment there is way bigger than what he would have had in Houston for the same price, and how much he loves that (despite the long commute and horrible traffic on the 59). To each his own I guess.

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I know a guy who lives in Sugarland and always rants about how his apartment there is way bigger than what he would have had in Houston for the same price, and how much he loves that (despite the long commute and horrible traffic on the 59). To each his own I guess.

some people don't mind a drive. i recently had to take 59 out during afternoon rush hr and I guess it surprised me at how well the traffic was moving. while the drive took longer than normal, it definitely wasn't as bad as it could have been. living inner loop is nice IMO because of what amenities are nearby (particularly restaurants). i personally don't feel a 25-30 min commute is long, esp if traffic is moving. my supervisor goes from 290 and hiway6 to clear lake daily. to me, THAT is a long commute.

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I haven't heard much about high street as far as progress goes, so I'm with the group about not being too excited about it. however, I do find that it's going to make an interesting addition to the galleria area considering it's location. If it takes off, I would imagine that everything between Highstreet and 610 is going to change radically. maybe they can finally get rid of that strip mall and nasty hotels. :) That would be a trigger for more development along 610 between Fournace and Post Oak.

Those poor A-oakers...they don't know what they're in for even if they do manage to keep the train off rail. :)

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Make a table of the largest 100 cities in the world and the % of trips by car... American cities and in particular Houston/Dallas/Phoenix/etc really are unique. Cars are popular around the world, to be sure, but in most cities the entire fabric that holds the region together won't dissolve if oil supplies are severely diminished, because most trips are either already done by other modes, or discretionary car trips can fall back to other (if less convenient) methods.

I would enjoy seeing a list of the cities among the 100 largest where "most trips are either already done by other modes, or discretionary car trips can fall back to other . . . methods" [realistically] The list will be very short indeed, even among the much-hallowed, so-called "sustainable" European cities.

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I know a guy who lives in Sugarland and always rants about how his apartment there is way bigger than what he would have had in Houston for the same price, and how much he loves that (despite the long commute and horrible traffic on the 59). To each his own I guess.

that's exactly how i am, LOL the apt. i had was 880 sq. ft. if i were to buy that around here the price would be in the 1k's. plus i dont mind the commute i'm in love with my car so i enjoy getting in it and driving, lol drive.gif

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Alright, yes, I wasn't articulating my thoughts very well, but to me the quest for urbanism isn't about fitting some hip ideal, or wanting Houston to be like other cities. It's about sustainable development. The auto oriented suburban city gives me pause because it can be vulnerable to fuel supply disruption, which I really do fear is going to become critically important in the coming decades.. it's about climate change disrupting our economy on a large scale and displacing people all over the world, leading to unstable countries where the rule of law is declining in importance. It really boils down to an issue of Security, much more than environmentalism.

The comparison to Detroit (and Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, and Buffalo, etc.) is this, which everyone missed, is the lesson from history, that a structural change in a society or an economy can easily turn a boomtown into a burned out shell. What gives me pause about Houston is the dependence on a single mode of transportation which requires a huge petrochemical infrastructure to support, and the dependence of the local economy on this industry, which although has improved in recent years is still quite heavy. And we can talk about alternative fuels or electric cars playing a role in the future, but we need to be moving there in substantive ways now, with more than just re-branded ag subsidies to corn farmers.

Basically I think that global warming and peak oil are going to become important issues in the near future and we should already be moving to restructure our cities and transportation networks to prepare now, while we still have excess resources and are a prosperous society.

When I think about building throwaway structures like a WalMart or CostCo, though, it's just pure sadness, that our built environment is reduced from being something people care about and discuss, to simply the cheapest possible air conditioned shelter accessible by freeway.

Let us assume that global oil production is reduced by half tomorrow morning, for example as a result of regional nuclear war in the Middle East. A lot of oil-producing infrastructure has been wiped out of existence. The oil is still there under the surface, and we can get to it again, but because we don't have thousands of warehouses around the globe already stocked with all the components we need and because so much of the oilfield labor in that region has been killed off, it could be several years before we see even a little bit of output from that region and decades before it gets to the same point that it was at as of today. There is still oil being traded on the global markets of course, but it only goes to the highest bidders, which tend to be industrial users and which tend to either be located in the U.S. or produce products for the U.S. on account of that we are willing and able to pay the highest prices; still, our consumers must cut back drastically and immediately in order to ensure their own financial stability.

Where does Houston fit in? Answer: We have such a concentrated labor pool of specialized talent in our area that would suddenly be in ridiculously high demand that you could not fathom the amount of money that would be pumped into our economy in the form of wages, practically overnight. Likewise, we have oil and gas manufacturing infrastructure already in place that other cities simply do not; Houston would benefit not only from the manufacturing activity itself, but from the manufacturing activity associated with creating new manufacturing infrastructure. The high wages and extreme levels of migration to Houston to fill the demand for jobs would fill vacant homes and put extreme price pressure on housing and land. You could kiss goodbye the days of cheap real estate in Houston, but if you own a house (anywhere in the Houston area) then congradulations--you're wealthy. That's just what happens when there are too many people and not enough housing units...and especially in a situation like Houston's where the locations of employment are so spread out amongst the residential areas. And I want to be perfectly clear: we aren't talking about 70's-style boomtown growth--we're talking about a rate and scale of growth that is unprecedented in American history.

The danger to our fair city is not in the form of a disruption of oil, but of the elimination of it--but as I've already stated, Houston is a sunbelt city. Our climate is nice, unlike in the rustbelt or St. Louis. It is even better than Dallas, really, and on top of that, we have the coast. If the energy industry collapses, it'll be a painful process, but ultimately we'd just diversify like we did in the 90's. When all is said and done, it really isn't that big of a deal.

Oh, and btw, this is where Houston falls in terms of commuters using single-occupant automobiles out of the most populous 25 metropolitan areas in the U.S. Our most comparable peer group is Phoenix, Denver, Miami (all ahead of us), Atlanta, Dallas, and Tampa (all behind us). You'll notice that the rust belt cities tend to commute with disproportionate frequency by single-occupant automobile, but I would suspect that that is more of a consequence of a decline in the number of commuters on an infrastructure that was designed for more people, which then translates to less congestion and greater automobile use, as opposed to the notion that high levels of automobile use is a cause of economic decay; after all, it certainly hasn't hurt our own economic growth.

comparativecommutingtretv6.png

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So much for discussing High Street :D

We all know that a big chunk of our jobs are made up of oil/energy related fields. If we were ranking the top ten types of jobs in Houston, what would say, the next nine be? Where could I get that information?

And what are the most types of jobs that DFW have?

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Let us assume...

Could these, long-and for the most part irrelevant to the thread-posts be moved to another location? There are specific forums for topics on oil, jobs and transportation that could be used thus freeing up space for those of us interested in High Street. Moderators?

Edited by nmainguy
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Could these, long-and for the most part irrelevant to the thread-posts be moved to another location? There are specific forums for topics on oil, jobs and transportation that could be used thus freeing up space for those of us interested in High Street. Moderators?

Don't mind the Pedant. The information was interesting but just didn't belong in this thread.

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Like the Pavilions?

The Pavilions is one of the lone project that have been announced over the past years that has went through and even the Pavilions was scaled back.

BLVD place, The place across from High Street, Orion (and so many other towers). What about these?

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I hate to get off (or back on) topic here, but High Street is on hold. Read into that what you will.

Hold up everyone!!!

Where's the source on this? The land has already been cleared for High Street. You must be talking about the Westcreek Development which is on the lot right next to this. The Westcreek Apartments were supposed to be knocked down but word is that they will be around for a little while longer.

Ask Westerngulf, he seems to have the updates on this

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Me. Sorry. "Delete" and "Reply" are a little close to each other. :(

Man! I hate it when that happens! I'm sure you know what god feels like.

"Oh Me damn! I meant to give the guy a winning lotto ticket, not a fatal stroke!"

SOMEONE owes someone a beer. ;)

LOL

Edited by ricco67
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Why are High Street and Highland Tower merged into one topic?

Highland Tower is a completely separate development. They are simply leasing the High St. site for the temporary sales center.

Oop! Although they weren't merged, I just added Highland Tower to the High Street title because I thought it was the same project. Feel free to start a Highland Tower topic. It's getting hard to keep all the Galleria-area projects straight, which I guess is a good thing.

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Its only on hold, but I felt like the project will be cancled or scaled down greatly. Its a shame I really liked this High Street project. Might sound stupid to some, but I always thought it could have been something like SOHO in New York. I thought it was going to be cancled because I could not find it on Google.

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Its only on hold, but I felt like the project will be cancled or scaled down greatly. Its a shame I really liked this High Street project. Might sound stupid to some, but I always thought it could have been something like SOHO in New York. I thought it was going to be cancled because I could not find it on Google.

I thought they said the tower not the High Street Project? Are both on hold or canceled?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know if uptown's website makes things any more official, but this is one of the projects mentioned in their development section.

High Street: Trademark Property Co. has signed a 100-year ground lease on this 6-acre site, formerly the Central Ford location just inside the loop at 4410 Westheimer. The site is being redeveloped into a 100,000 sf mixed-use project which should open in late 2008. The project will have specialty retail, restaurants and entertainment space on the ground floor. It will be topped off with 250 to 350 apartment units

http://www.uptown-houston.com/economic/development.html

And here are some crappy renderings I found on the developers website:

02.jpg

03.jpg

04.jpg

05.jpg

06.jpg

SitePlanHS-06-07.jpg

And apparently, these are the same guys that did Market Street in the Woodlands.

Edited by lockmat
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I don't know about those colors.

Agreed. But since these are the same guys that constructed Market Street in the Woodlands, I'm sure the end result will turn out great. However, I don't believe those will be the final colors. As lockmat said, they're early crappy renderings.

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