democide

Block 58 Redevelopment by Hines, 47-Story Office Tower

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Hearst Selects HFF to Market Houston Chronicle Downtown Property

 

Quote

HOUSTON – Hearst Corp. has selected the HFF commercial real estate brokerage firm to handle the sale of its Houston Chronicle property in downtown Houston.

 

Hearst interviewed a number of Houston’s leading commercial real estate brokers before selecting HFF, a national firm with a strong local office.

 

The 10-story Chronicle building, 801 Texas Ave., covers a full city block and comes with parking garage on another block. The newspaper, which has operated at that location since 1910, will move to the former Houston Post building on Southwest Freeway.

 

The Chronicle’s downtown facility, much of it classified as being in “poor” condition by the Harris County Appraisal District, is expected to be demolished.

 

The Chronicle property is in a hot sector. A number of new developments are being built nearby, including a 40-story apartment tower by Woodbranch Investments and the 48-story Hines office tower, 609 Main at Texas.

 

http://realtynewsreport.com/2014/11/21/hearst-selects-hff-to-market-houston-chronicle-downtown-property/

 

Thanks to desertpunk at SSC.

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They're putting a lot of effort into marketing the downtown site. Was I the only one that didn't know an adjacent garage was part of the deal too?

 

https://my.hfflp.com/GetDocument?DT=DealDocument&ID=113784

 

11233514_663055945010_772980604754847638

 

1549457_663055959980_1881979903842753951

THANK YOU MR. HINES!!!! This man is going to save this city all by himself!

 

Where did they get these conceptual renders from? We need a tower like that. Along with Discovery Tower, downtown could become something amazing!

Edited by j_cuevas713
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The HBJ report says that the Realty News Report run by Ralph Bivinins says that since Hines is currently building 609 that it is unlikely they would demolish and build a skyscraper at this time. Probably true, I guess given the economy? But that means they'd have to lease it for like ten years right? If so, this would be a LONG term investment they couldn't really start for a long time, and this while downtown is somewhat booming. I find that hard to believe but I guess it's possible.

 

Thoughts on what their options are?

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That half-block parking garage is the one next to the Hogg(sp?) Palace right?

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The HBJ report says that the Realty News Report run by Ralph Bivinins says that since Hines is currently building 609 that it is unlikely they would demolish and build a skyscraper at this time. Probably true, I guess given the economy? But that means they'd have to lease it for like ten years right? If so, this would be a LONG term investment they couldn't really start for a long time, and this while downtown is somewhat booming. I find that hard to believe but I guess it's possible.

 

Thoughts on what their options are?

 

The fact there is a large parking garage is valuable.

 

They could also renovate the old building back to its historic facade roots.

 

There is also the empty lot nearby that is a part of the purchase - possible new residential by market square (likely IMO).

 

Honestly, this is a smart move. Hines will have a handful of potential plans for that space. If they are buying it, it is because of some kind of potential. Remember, there are 2 lots they would be getting. Future is bright for that area, this ensures Hines has at least 2 projects in the area for the future.

Edited by Avossos

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This is 1.5 blocks. At $50M, this places the value of the land at $500+psf. I'm pretty shocked they're able to get this type of valuation in a low oil price market.

 

 

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Good stuff. I think pretty much everyone was hoping Hines would get this.

 

I think a residential tower on the garage site will happen sooner than an office tower on the full-block site, but the need for a garage to serve the existing building is a barrier (assuming they will try to keep leasing it in the short term, until they can build a new tower). They would have to demolish the printing press section of the old building and put a garage there. Not sure how the economics would work on that.

 

And just for fun, who do we want designing the next office tower? Maybe we can give Pickard Chilton a break this time around. Renzo Piano might like to come back to town, and Hines has worked with Cesar Pelli in other cities.

 

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LOL @ a Houston Chronicle blog citing "unnamed sources" as to who the Houston Chronicle is in negotiations to sell to. 

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^^ Is Realty News Report affiliated with the Chronicle? Almost certainly Bivins got this info from someone involved in negotiations under strict anonymity, probably a contact he knows at either HFF or Hines. I doubt Hearst would let anything leak out internally.

 

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Last I saw Bivins worked for Culture Map but also has his own website.

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If Hines were to reach an agreement on the site, it would be in the best interest for Houston IMO. I would think they would use this site as a crossroads to tie together the CBD, Market Square, and the Theatre District. Personally, I would think if Hines locks up this site, they would look to buy the Market Square Tower site, as well (if it were for sale). With coordination, those 3 adjoining pieces of land, developed by the right group, could be transformational. Hines is the best in the business, and it would be quite the project. My guess is that Hines could hold this land even through the next cycle, possibly.

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really doubt we will see anything as tall as chase tower the only thing on life support is the chevron tower as the next possible super tall

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and Hines has worked with Cesar Pelli in other cities.

Hines wasn't apart of any of the Houston Pelli developments? Renzo would be neat.

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I have more faint in Hines building something than I do any of the other developers.Hines has should the balls to take a risk on Houston more than the others

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I have more faint in Hines building something than I do any of the other developers.Hines has should the balls to take a risk on Houston more than the others

 

I don't know.  They left the 1000 block of Main Street remain as surface parking for like 15 years after the Lamar was demolished.  I kind of foresee the same fate for the Chronicle structures.  

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I don't know.  They left the 1000 block of Main Street remain as surface parking for like 15 years after the Lamar was demolished.  I kind of foresee the same fate for the Chronicle structures.  

 

Although that was a uniquely catastrophic bust. OPEC going from a complete embargo on western countries to flooding the market.

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I don't know. They left the 1000 block of Main Street remain as surface parking for like 15 years after the Lamar was demolished. I kind of foresee the same fate for the Chronicle structures.

They have said again and again they're not interested in renovations. The buildings are going bye bye if Hines is purchasing.
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So Hines paid $50 million for this and if i remember correctly Skanska paid around $20 for the Houston Club.  Seems like a pretty big premium for what exactly?

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Location, location, location (namely right smack dab in the middle of downtown)

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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. 

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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.

That is correct. Wish they could be returned to their original existence, especially the theater

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So Hines paid $50 million for this and if i remember correctly Skanska paid around $20 for the Houston Club. Seems like a pretty big premium for what exactly?

Well, for one, Hines is getting an extra half-block of land with a usable parking garage. That's easy revenue for holding the thing. Secondly, far more Downtown blocks have been or are actively being constructed upon. There just aren't as many parcels such as this to go around any more.

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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's two of them from the other Chronicle topic.  The current building incorporates the original structure, the Majestic Theater, an extension that was built on top of the theater, the Milam Building (would be on the left in the picture), and the printing press addition in back.

 

large.jpg?1322441971

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If that's the majestic theater, what's on Preston street between Travis and Main?

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So Hines paid $50 million for this and if i remember correctly Skanska paid around $20 for the Houston Club. Seems like a pretty big premium for what exactly?

The HC building itself was probably a big liability that drove down the overall value. To replace it, they had to do that whackadoo parking garage thing that didn't even work. The Chronicle spots have some advantages over that.

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If that's the majestic theater, what's on Preston street between Travis and Main?

 

That is the Majestic Metro.  

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I suspect that joining the buildings may have caused irreparable damage, at least to the point that you couldn't restore them to its former state.  

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The building will be demolished for an office tower in 2017.

The demolition will occur in 2017 and construction will begin the same year? Or just the demolition?

Any word on dimensions of the tower?

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I suspect that joining the buildings may have caused irreparable damage, at least to the point that you couldn't restore them to its former state.  

 

I'd be very curious as to whether any vestiges of the buildings' former configuration have remained visible from the interior of the current structure.

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The information comes from here:

 

https://www.bidclerk.com/project/3144909.html

 

Demolition, site work, and new construction of a mixed-use building in Houston. Conceptual plans call for the demolition of an existing ten-story office building and the construction of a mixed-use tower to contain office, retail and restaurant space...

 

Someone can share more with us if they have full access to BidClerk.

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The building will be demolished for an office tower, 2017 start date.

 

I like their downtown strategy. Build. Finish. Build another one. Finish. Build another one...

 

Hopefully it continues.

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Any hope that the rendering of the spire going to transition to reality?

 

Btw, if they're having trouble filling Capitol Tower, what makes Hines think they can fill a new high rise when their new 48-story tower will likely deplete the lease-pool even more than it already is?

Edited by wxman

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Any hope that the rendering of the spire going to transition to reality?

Btw, if they're having trouble filling Capitol Tower, what makes Hines think they can fill a new high rise when their new 48-story tower will likely deplete the lease-pool even more than it already is?

No that conceptual rendering was terrible. A Randal Davis wet dream.

Although a spire would be a breath of fresh air, just not that particular one ;)

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I'd be very curious as to whether any vestiges of the buildings' former configuration have remained visible from the interior of the current structure.

 

Yes, the vestiges are still there, but you have to be observant to notice them, like the upper floors not lining up, and having to make a big U shaped walk around on the middle floors to avoid the high ceiling of the theatre building. 

ADA ramps were added all over the place throughout the years to make the buildings accessible. The printing plant, completed in the early 60's, is really a trip to experience. Workers walk in and around an  "in floor" conveyor system continously moving large bundles of newsprint on carts circling the presses. The bundles are delivered as needed by a flip of a lever, dumping the bundle at the press machine as the others continue to move along. The empty cart then deverts itself to the side as a full one enters on to the track. It's appears really unsafe and scary, but I guess it was state of the art at it's time. 

Sad to see it go, but I'd guess that the Post plant on 59 is a much better facility in comparison.

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Yes, the vestiges are still there, but you have to be observant to notice them, like the upper floors not lining up, and having to make a big U shaped walk around on the middle floors to avoid the high ceiling of the theatre building. 

ADA ramps were added all over the place throughout the years to make the buildings accessible. The printing plant, completed in the early 60's, is really a trip to experience. Workers walk in and around an  "in floor" conveyor system continously moving large bundles of newsprint on carts circling the presses. The bundles are delivered as needed by a flip of a lever, dumping the bundle at the press machine as the others continue to move along. The empty cart then deverts itself to the side as a full one enters on to the track. It's appears really unsafe and scary, but I guess it was state of the art at it's time. 

Sad to see it go, but I'd guess that the Post plant on 59 is a much better facility in comparison.

 

IIRC the printing presses that were in the downtown facility were sold off and moved out within the past year or two - I've seen a photo of one of them being moved, but I can't find it now. They were decommissioned several years before that, and all Chron printing operations have been run out of the former Post facility since then.

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Right now Hines is building a 45 story tower in Chicago on spec - the first office tower to be built on spec there since 1998. The vacancy for that submarket (West Loop) is 14.6%. Meanwhile downtown Houston's vacancy is around 9%, although of course Houston is weakening at the moment and Chicago is strengthening. This could be a situation of get ready, wait for good news from the oil sector, pull the trigger.

 

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