democide

Block 58 Redevelopment by Hines, 47-Story Office Tower

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With the new 609 main tower, capital tower having hard time getting commitments, also 6 allen center on hold, International tower on hold, how much demand is there left?

Anyone else see this as a 37 story type of building in reality?

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[ "Huote name=astros148" post="505068" timestamp="1436144045]

With the new 609 main tower, capital tower having hard time getting commitments, also 6 allen center on hold, International tower on hold, how much demand is there left?

Anyone else see this as a 37 story type of building in reality?

37 stories? That's very generous of you lol. You forgot also that they cannot even fill 6 Houston center, a "squaty" 30 story building

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[ "Huote name=astros148" post="505068" timestamp="1436144045]

37 stories? That's very generous of you lol. You forgot also that they cannot even fill 6 Houston center, a "squaty" 30 story building

I think it's about timing. 6 Houston Center has been on the table for a while now (early 2000's). Since that time Hines has developed 717 Texas, BG Group Place and now 609 Main. Crescent tries to build 6HC just as the economy takes a slide.

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So you really see this being a 40+ office tower? Until we get zoning in place, companys would rather bulild multiple smaller towers across the city then building anything substantial.

Might be another 30 yrs till we see a 70 story .

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With the residential and hotel development, there are fewer parcels to go around Downtown. This location could be linked to the tunnel system. Hines could (and would be well advised to) delay development until they secure a major tenant for 609 Main. A $55 million initial investment warrants something substantial in order to get a good ROI.

Edit: I should clarify that, although I would be happy to see it happen, I do not think this location will likely get a 70-story building. However, increasing scarcity of lots Downtown well warrants waiting a bit to build something larger than what has been proposed for 6HC.

Edited by houstontexasjack

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The location of this property is prime and is the best spot for a supertall imo. I just dont see them building a 70 story, nevertheless the tallest in the building. Imo the best we could get would be a 45 story with some sort of spire. 

 

I think it all depends on how well 609 does. If it becomes the next BG Group for Hines, then excellent.

Edited by astros148

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So you really see this being a 40+ office tower? Until we get zoning in place, companys would rather bulild multiple smaller towers across the city then building anything substantial.

Might be another 30 yrs till we see a 70 story .

 

We are regularly treated to wild exaggerations on this board as to what zoning would do.

 

Even cities with zoning have office towers rising outside of their downtown areas (multiple smaller towers across the city) rather than building more substantial towers downtown.  One only hast to look to our neighbors to the north to see a prime example.  We are unlikely to put zoning in place in Houston in any of our lifetimes.  I would go so far as to say that Houston will absolutely not put in place a zoning scheme that would ban the construction of smaller towers across the city and require all major office buildings be built downtown.  Will. Not. Happen.  Ever.

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In my opinion, they will do one, or more of the following;

1)Lease the space as is

2)Remodel the building to accommodate a more 21st century office development market

3)Tear down all buildings

4)Tear down all building as and build one, or more of the following

a)Garage

b)Mixed Use

c)Skyscraper

d)Supertall

e)Residential

But that's just my opinion.

This is John Madden signing off.

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You pretty much listed everything lol. Hines has already stated they arent interested in a redevelopment.  

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We will likely see something BG group sized or smaller on this lot. Unless oil skyrockets or this city can attract other huge office tracts...

We will not see a +70 story tower Downtown for another decade at least.

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You pretty much listed everything lol. Hines has already stated they arent interested in a redevelopment.

What's that in the sky? It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's....the joke!

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You guys imagination runs wild on here. lol. It would be cool if they built a twin of Chase Tower on this lot. Then we could have our own mini version of the old WTC. They look similar, too. 

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My personal preference (not based on any market realities) is that if they decide to clear this lot to develop something, that something should be notable, either 70+ stories or at least a compelling design. Because of the prime location and the fact they are demolishing historical structures, a 30 story glass box would be very disappointing. Again, not based on reality, Houston does that kind of stuff all the time.  

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I agree with the people that say this will take 10 years or more to be built out fully, but I do expect it to be pretty impressive based off location and the price they had to pay to get it. 

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Maybe it's just me but I'm failing to see what makes this as prime a site as others are hyping it up to be.. It's nice, yeah.. On the northern edge of the corporate zone of downtown.. But it's not on a light rail line, or fronting a park. There are a handful of downtown sites I can think of that are more prime than this one?

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The included half-block parking garage is corner to the park.  There's a parking lot block between this site and the park, so it seems closer to the park than it is.  It isn't on the light rail, but it is 1 block from the southbound Preston station.

 

Also that included garage is ugly.  One of the less attractive ones.

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Maybe it's just me but I'm failing to see what makes this as prime a site as others are hyping it up to be.. It's nice, yeah.. On the northern edge of the corporate zone of downtown.. But it's not on a light rail line, or fronting a park. There are a handful of downtown sites I can think of that are more prime than this one?

 

That begs the question, why did they snatch up this location so quickly after the Chronicle announcement, as opposed to grabbing some surface parking lot downtown for development? They could avoid all of the demo costs, and there are still plenty of them along existing existing rail lines. Maybe it's an infrastructure thing?

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The fact that it already has tunnel access is probably worth something.  Also, maybe the owners of the surface lots that seem better are asking unreasonable amounts of money.

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I heard from a friend that one of the gravel parking lot blocks in midtown was asking something like $5 million or more.  For a gravel parking lot

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I heard from a friend that one of the gravel parking lot blocks in midtown was asking something like $5 million or more. For a gravel parking lot

Depending on which site that is/where it's located in Midtown, that might not be an awful asking price? They're likely holding out for a MF developer to come in and plop up a midrise apartment complex on that land.

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I heard from a friend that one of the gravel parking lot blocks in midtown was asking something like $5 million or more.  For a gravel parking lot

 

Less than 1/6th of the price rumored for the Chronicle block (allocating the $50 M price proportionally between the full block and half block) and no demolition costs. . .

 

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The Chronicle block does come with a building or two though

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The Chronicle block does come with a building or two though

 

Yes it does.  Buildings that have almost zero value and are ready to be demolished.  From the moment the Chron announced the property was for sale there was very little doubt these buildings were history.  In reality, the buildings are a negative value, because of the money that will have to be spent removing them.

 

(FWIW, the HCAD appraises the improvements at $100.  The land is appraised at $15,625,000.)

Edited by Houston19514
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Maybe it's just me but I'm failing to see what makes this as prime a site as others are hyping it up to be.. It's nice, yeah.. On the northern edge of the corporate zone of downtown.. But it's not on a light rail line, or fronting a park. There are a handful of downtown sites I can think of that are more prime than this one?

 

The only downtown block I can think of that's a better location than this one is if they were able to redevelop the federal courthouse on Rusk. Everything else is either not on a tunnel or has its views blocked, and I consider the south side of downtown to be inferior to the north. The 5 Allen Center site is a good contender, and the Stream/Essex Market Square site would be better if it had tunnel access.

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...and the Stream/Essex Market Square site would be better if it had tunnel access.

 

Supposing whatever is built on the Chron site requires a full block excavation, a tunnel connection to the Essex block would just be a matter of crossing Prairie at the right spot to join up with the basement of the new building here.

 

I suppose Hines could design out any connectivity to that block if they wanted to be jerks about it and harm any future competition, but that seems unlikely.

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I suppose Hines could design out any connectivity to that block if they wanted to be jerks about it and harm any future competition, but that seems unlikely.

I don't think that's how Gerald Hines operates. He's more concerned about the quality of life for this city.

He understands the dynamics of the tunnels and what they mean to the overall workings of downtown.

Edited by bobruss
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I suppose Hines could design out any connectivity to that block if they wanted to be jerks about it and harm any future competition, but that seems unlikely.

I don't think that's how Gerald Hines operates. He's more concerned about the quality of life for this city.

He understands the dynamics of the tunnels and what they mean to the overall workings of downtown.

 

Agreed.  Hines buildings connect up, period.  

 

The sole exception I can think of was the rumor floating at the time that the reason Heritage didn't have any connections (the gerbil tube came way later) was because various major surrounding developers thought putting up that building at that time was a very, very bad idea.  They turned out to be correct, since it ended up being a see through for several years.

 

Edit:  To be clear, Hines didn't develop Heritage, but was one of those in on surrounding property.

Edited by mollusk

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The only downtown block I can think of that's a better location than this one is if they were able to redevelop the federal courthouse on Rusk. Everything else is either not on a tunnel or has its views blocked, and I consider the south side of downtown to be inferior to the north. The 5 Allen Center site is a good contender, and the Stream/Essex Market Square site would be better if it had tunnel access.

 

It does have blocked views, but the McKinney/Milam/Walker/Louisiana block (where the Bank of the Southwest Tower wasn't built) would still be my choice for a high-profile development.  It would have tunnel connections from four directions, which would make it a natural hub.  The Chronicle block is close to the end of a tunnel, so it doesn't draw much foot traffic.

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It does have blocked views, but the McKinney/Milam/Walker/Louisiana block (where the Bank of the Southwest Tower wasn't built) would still be my choice for a high-profile development.  It would have tunnel connections from four directions, which would make it a natural hub.  The Chronicle block is close to the end of a tunnel, so it doesn't draw much foot traffic.

 

I thought of that one but it seems like you'd have to build something of the scale of Bank of the Southwest to get out of the shadows. But yeah, for a supertall, I would think that one is the best, or maybe Skanska.

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I thought of that one but it seems like you'd have to build something of the scale of Bank of the Southwest to get out of the shadows. But yeah, for a supertall, I would think that one is the best, or maybe Skanska.

 

Although Republic Bank Center (Bank of America Center) pretty much hid architecturally remarkable for its day Penzoil Palace nearby. But if it is 56 stories tall like that one, great! In fact, I would like to see more building like that one, it really is unique,add something that complements that awesome timeless style, it might be the finest looking building in Texas.

Edited by Timoric

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I suppose Hines could design out any connectivity to that block if they wanted to be jerks about it and harm any future competition, but that seems unlikely.

I don't think that's how Gerald Hines operates. He's more concerned about the quality of life for this city.

He understands the dynamics of the tunnels and what they mean to the overall workings of downtown.

 

Yeah, that's why I thought it unlikely, given what I've read here about Hines and its tunnel ethos.

 

It doesn't look like it based on the foundation, but you have to wonder if a future tunnel connected Essex/Stream block building could reach across Travis and connect with Hines' Market Square residential tower.  It would be the first tunnel connected residential that I could think of, apart from the Four Seasons, if you count that.

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Yeah, that's why I thought it unlikely, given what I've read here about Hines and its tunnel ethos.

 

It doesn't look like it based on the foundation, but you have to wonder if a future tunnel connected Essex/Stream block building could reach across Travis and connect with Hines' Market Square residential tower.  It would be the first tunnel connected residential that I could think of, apart from the Four Seasons, if you count that.

 

Doesn't St. Germain have a tunnel connection.

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If the tunnel map can be believed, there's no tunnel on that block

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2015-02-09/Buildings_Streets_Tunnels-DDMAP2015-2.pdf

 

Commerce towers is over a tunnel - don't know if its accessible to the residents.  Same with Kirby lofts.

 

Surprised OPP wasn't connected up to 4 Houston center and thus give workers an A/C walk to work

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Commerce towers does appear to be accessible to residents.  To get to the tunnels in the CVS at Kirby lofts you have to exit the building and walk through the vagrant mine field for about 30 feet.

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If the tunnel map can be believed, there's no tunnel on that block

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2015-02-09/Buildings_Streets_Tunnels-DDMAP2015-2.pdf

 

Commerce towers is over a tunnel - don't know if its accessible to the residents.  Same with Kirby lofts.

 

Surprised OPP wasn't connected up to 4 Houston center and thus give workers an A/C walk to work

 

Forgot about Commerce Tower, they do indeed sit on top of the jink in the tunnels between Beck's and Rajin Cajun.

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It would be amazing if either whatever gets built on the International Tower block has a Skanska Capitol Tower esque lobby open to the tunnels or if they could extend the tunnel beyond the I.T. block directly to the park.

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I thought of that one but it seems like you'd have to build something of the scale of Bank of the Southwest to get out of the shadows. But yeah, for a supertall, I would think that one is the best, or maybe Skanska.

Yep, both of those blocks. The fact that the Skanska plot is straddled by the new light rail lines and in the heart of the corporate district, that would be my pick for most prime site (at least in terms of offices). Not sure if Bayou Place has tunnel connectivity but obviously they want to redevelop that into a few components, including a major office tower, and it's on the light rail line basically with direct access to the buffalo bayou trails system.

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With discussions of a super tall, here are a few questions and observations.

What real variables need to be in place for a supertall to be built besides ego? Scarcity and a need, right?

I propose a supertall could possibly be built in downtown sooner than we might think.

Conventional wisdom says when downtown blocks are scarce is when it could happen.

However, I propose that when the "skyline" district options are scarce is when we could get one because that area is where the real office value is.

Maybe the east side of downtown or the area on Dallas changes where office value is and changed my scenario. Plus, I think what gives us the best chance of a supertall is an area that needs multiple uses but is low on options. I think Aessandra could have been perfect, but I guess the market conditions also need to be right too.

Thoughts?

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great analysis Lockmat..

i thought it would be cool to make a supertall on the 1111 Main/Sakowitz half block.. (i think it even has the fabled tunnel connection through the neighboring office tower) would make for a hell of an anchor to our retail district, kind of like the planned Nordstrom(?) Tower in NYC, and could have multiple components (retail/department store, automated garage, boutique office, hotel, residential) to appease the multifaceted needs of that location.

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I'll add another car to this derailment.

The last super tall we know of that had a rendering come to light was in Uptown, so scarcity of Downtown blocks (which won't happen for a while) is not a big deal. So, there are many factors and options. It will come down to the right demand and development to hold a crown of tallest in the city, state, or even west of the Mississippi.

I'm sure Hines' latest tower could have easily become this, but would probably require the purchasing of another block solely for additional parking.

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I'll add another car to this derailment.

The last super tall we know of that had a rendering come to light was in Uptown, so scarcity of Downtown blocks (which won't happen for a while) is not a big deal. So, there are many factors and options. It will come down to the right demand and development to hold a crown of tallest in the city, state, or even west of the Mississippi.

I'm sure Hines' latest tower could have easily become this, but would probably require the purchasing of another block solely for additional parking.

I think you're right. Both submarkets have their own levels of scarcity and either could potentially provide a supertall. But remember my downtown caveat. All of downtown real estate doesn't need to be scarce, only the west/northwest side. That's my theory.

Maybe an advantage that Post Oak has is that there aren't really towers they're going to tear down and replace with a tower. However, there is lots of room where current shopping centers are.

...thinking out loud here.

Edited by lockmat
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i want a tower with a spherical or pyramid roof. They just seem so iconic and we need a few...

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According to Wikipedia, the facility was once four separate structures that were joined together in the 70s. The original structures are 115 years old. Trying to find a picture from before they were joined. 

 

Here you go:

 

Milam_Bldg.jpg

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http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2015/06/houston-chronicle-building-sale-in-the-works/#21137101=0

Looks as though Hines is moving toward purchasing the Chronicle site Downtown. This holds potential for either commercial or residential. Would love something taller than the Chase tower here.

 

Hines is confirmed:

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Hines-to-own-another-prime-piece-of-downtown-6479478.php

 

"John Mooz, senior managing director of Hines, confirmed the company's plans to acquire the property late Tuesday but would not expand on what it plans for the site or provide any other details."

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Well atleast we know the buildings will be gone. He sat on the BG Group lot for a while, I remember a rendering of a small blue glass building maybe the size of 6 Houston Center.

It will be interesting what Hines decides to do with it. If they build residential now or commercial later, we can expect quality.

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I think a tall building on this site would look odd next to Chase Tower. It would appear that they were competing for height....a "who's d_ck is bigger contest. This would look better maybe on a lot by Discovery...assuming it'll be tall.

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Well atleast we know the buildings will be gone. He sat on the BG Group lot for a while, I remember a rendering of a small blue glass building maybe the size of 6 Houston Center.

It will be interesting what Hines decides to do with it. If they build residential now or commercial later, we can expect quality.

 

I thought that was the Texas/Main lot.

 

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