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Texas Tower (Block 58) by Hines, 47-Story Office Tower


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The glass on the garage is starting to be installed.

it's not posted on his website anymore but this morning Ralph Bivins announced that Hines was on the verge of kicking off block 58. V&E has long been rumored as the lead tenant and Ralph confirmed

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Not so sure if they are thinking office, I think they will wait, if the are thinking residential then I think they will wait to see how the current project fairs, if it lease fairly quickly, then they will be aggressive. .one think about Hines they don't seem to focus on the current state of the market as much as the others if they did 609 would have been put on hold like so many plan towers

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Given economic uncertainty I think this will be a surface lot for many years to come.

I'd usually agree with you but you never know with Hines. Their risk assessment appears to be a little different than others. I could be wrong... we all know a slowdown in growth is coming so who knows what Hines may want to do now.

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Not so sure if they are thinking office, I think they will wait, if the are thinking residential then I think they will wait to see how the current project fairs, if it lease fairly quickly, then they will be aggressive. .one think about Hines they don't seem to focus on the current state of the market as much as the others if they did 609 would have been put on hold like so many plan towers

 

their timeline on multifamily is much longer than most developers... they pro forma assets through multiple cycles which equates to holds between 7-15 years. not to say that is always the case but that's their MO.

Edited by swtsig
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I doubt the original hodgepodge of buildings can be adequately restored at this point in their lifespans. When that cladding was put on those buildings in the 1960s, they did alot of damage to the exterior surfaces. Also, so much alteration has been done to the interior that it's all but unrecognizable in some areas. It is a shame though. The original Chronicle Building was a handsome architectural specimen for its day. It was built in 1909 and stood 10 stories tall.

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2018 possibly? Seems like a total guess.

 

 

 

But with the Houston office market headed for the doldrums it will be years before the Chronicle site, 801 Texas Avenue, will have a new skyscraper on it.  A groundbreaking in 2018, with a tower being completed in 2020, seems like a good timetable estimate.

 

http://realtynewsreport.com/2015/09/01/houston-chronicles-demolition-to-clear-way-for-hines-next-addition-to-houston-skyline/

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Would they really bulldoze it until 2018?  Wouldn't leasing it out as offices until then be cheaper and provide more in come than a parking lot?

 

It doesn't sound like the easiest property to lease out.  At best, it might be comparable to the pre-demolition Houston Club building which was largely vacant for a long time prior to Skanska getting its hands on it.

 

As to why you would demolish it vs. let it sit as is until you are ready, I don't know the economics or legal concerns involved well enough to hazard a guess.

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Would they really bulldoze it until 2018?  Wouldn't leasing it out as offices until then be cheaper and provide more in come than a parking lot?

 

I suspect the configuration of the building would not be terribly attractive to most commercial tenants.  Hines would be on the hook for the value of the improvements in addition to the land for tax purposes and would have to pull tenants in in order to make the additional improvements worth it.  With all the construction downtown eating up competing places to park, they can reliably get good rates for parking to cover their holding costs without risking the maintenance costs and liability risk that comes with having improvements on property.

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I'm sure this has been answered many times before but the timetable to build a skyscraper is several years, especially in the 40+ floor range. So why not take advantage of the 'cheap' resources now for when the market recovers several years from now when the building is ready for occupancy. Sorry, I'm sort of ignorant on these issues.

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Hines has not been known to buy properties with any intention of sitting on them for any extended period of time, and I cannot think of a single instance where they have bought a property, demolished it, and replaced it with a parking lot.

Dumb and lazy question, do we know how long they sat on the 609 property? They will likely not bulldoze anything until they build.
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Hines has not been known to buy properties with any intention of sitting on them for any extended period of time, and I cannot think of a single instance where they have bought a property, demolished it, and replaced it with a parking lot.

 

Lamar Hotel block?

 

Maybe the worst demolition of the modern era downtown.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Dumb and lazy question, do we know how long they sat on the 609 property? They will likely not bulldoze anything until they build.

 

In that case, I think the cost of demolishing a 19 (?) story building wasn't worth it compared to the building's small footprint. You couldn't get much more than 15 parking spaces for a 6 figure demolition cost.

 

In the case of the Chronicle building, the FAR is a lot lower, so it's more inviting to demolish. Whether it's inviting enough, I don't know.

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Lamar Hotel block?

 

Maybe the worst demolition of the modern era downtown.

 

Isn't that where 1000 Main is located?   I had not known Hines did that demoliation.  Would be interesting to see what their plans were at the time of the demolition.  (And of course the early-mid 80s oil bust was a unique period.  One suspects Hines had no intention at the time of letting it sit as parking for 15 years.)

Edited by Houston19514
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Hines has not been known to buy properties with any intention of sitting on them for any extended period of time, and I cannot think of a single instance where they have bought a property, demolished it, and replaced it with a parking lot.

 

The Lamar Hotel block?  That was maintained as surface parking for at least 15 years.

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I'm sure this has been answered many times before but the timetable to build a skyscraper is several years, especially in the 40+ floor range. So why not take advantage of the 'cheap' resources now for when the market recovers several years from now when the building is ready for occupancy. Sorry, I'm sort of ignorant on these issues.

 

what cheap resources? construction prices are still sky high and will likely take another 6-12 months to come back down to earth - little benefit in starting something now, especially office, if that was the sole motivation. but it all depends on what they're planning. i could realistically see them working on a mixed-use hotel/condo like they're working on (or were) near westcreek since appetite still exists for that product type with investors. hotel/apt probably isn't out of the question either i suppose.

 

if they're planning a bit of a hold the most sensible approach would likely be to leaseback the building to the chronicle for a year or two and let market volatility settle down. uncertainty is the killer of all deals and a lot of people expect a very ugly remainder of 15 and much if not all of 16, but no one really knows; however, if anyone has the ability to pull of a bold project in an otherwise bloody market it is Hines - their resources are unrivaled. institutional money is really shying away from houston right now but there are other sources.

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what cheap resources? construction prices are still sky high and will likely take another 6-12 months to come back down to earth - little benefit in starting something now, especially office, if that was the sole motivation. but it all depends on what they're planning. i could realistically see them working on a mixed-use hotel/condo like they're working on (or were) near westcreek since appetite still exists for that product type with investors. hotel/apt probably isn't out of the question either i suppose.

 

if they're planning a bit of a hold the most sensible approach would likely be to leaseback the building to the chronicle for a year or two and let market volatility settle down. uncertainty is the killer of all deals and a lot of people expect a very ugly remainder of 15 and much if not all of 16, but no one really knows; however, if anyone has the ability to pull of a bold project in an otherwise bloody market it is Hines - their resources are unrivaled. institutional money is really shying away from houston right now but there are other sources.

:'D.....D':

 

What a roller coaster of emotions. 

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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I think the most obvious reason for Hines to go office here is that GE is relocating to 609 Main, but needs more space.

There's that running joke again... quick, someone catch it!  :) Yea, and HEB is going to build here with a 6 story complex. Organic foods at the bottom.

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Dumb and lazy question, do we know how long they sat on the 609 property? They will likely not bulldoze anything until they build.

 

I'm fairly sure we saw that rendering that Triton linked about the time BG Group Place was going up, but the bad economy was taking effect and nothing came of it. I'd guess they bought it in 2007 and the rendering came out in '08. Then I remember in 2012 as the new boom was heating up there was news that Hines was going to announce a new Houston development at some real estate conference in April, and everyone on here was waiting on edge, and then the announcement came: a warehouse park in north Houston. Big letdown. 609 Main wasn't announced for another year, when the boom was in full swing.

 

So yes, even Hines is careful and waits for the right market conditions.

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Hines-buys-Chronicle-s-downtown-property-6579844.php

 

A partnership led by Houston development firm Hines closed on a deal Tuesday to buy downtown's Houston Chronicle building and an adjacent half-block that houses a parking garage.

 

"Given the site(s) adjacency to the business and theater districts and the proximity to Market Square, we consider this one of the most strategically connected locations for future development in the central business district," John Mooz, senior managing director for Hines, said in a statement. "That likely confirms the intense market interest among the bidding community last spring."

 
 

 

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This site provides for excellent tunnel access. It would be awesome to have something that complements the design of the Chase Tower across the street--I have warmed to the idea of a 'fraternal twin' of identical height with a different appearance. I realize the economics may not be there for such a structure.

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This site provides for excellent tunnel access. It would be awesome to have something that complements the design of the Chase Tower across the street--I have warmed to the idea of a 'fraternal twin' of identical height with a different appearance. I realize the economics may not be there for such a structure.

 

Definitely a different appearance. Chase is a hideously ugly building that has aged poorly. The only reason why I "like" this building is because it's a supertall and the tallest in Texas. But having a building equal in height could be interesting for sure.

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Definitely a different appearance. Chase is a hideously ugly building that has aged poorly. The only reason why I "like" this building is because it's a supertall and the tallest in Texas. But having a building equal in height could be interesting for sure.

I used to have the same dislike for it as well, but have grown to embrace it. I started to think about that 80's movie where that guy works in a Detroit car factory but are losing poorly to Japanese manufacturers (He offers a certain amount of car production in a certain amount of time, they eventually win, everybody is happy). Anyways, I also think about the WTC and the Japanese architect that designed the towers. While they are NYC landmarks still in everyone's hearts, I imagine them as well as our Chase Tower in the business district in Tokyo. The towers themselves might be boring or lame when compared to other designs of the time, but I see them as giant pieces of Japanese art NYC and we were lucky to receive as Japan was still rising as an economic power.

Also, as childish as this may seem, the Chase Tower was the first skyscraper to break 1,000ft (super tall), outside of New York and Chicago. For us to achieve this at such an early stage in our development of a city still rising with oil and energy compared to more established cities of the time is a cool victory in my books.

A recladding as someone pointed out compare to Tonroto's tallest a while back would help, I think it's aged fine. The plaza on the other hand could use some more trees.

If Hines builds a tall office, residential, or mixed use tower here eventually... It should compliment the Chase Tower. No matter the height unless it gets too close to 900ft and above.

Sorry for the rant. I'm excited Hines is involved with this block. We'll get something great but have to wait for it. I'm sad the original structures can't be saved and redone, but we'll get something good for sure.

Edit: wrote the same word twice.

Edited by Montrose1100
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I used to have the same dislike for it as well, but have grown to embrace it. I started to think about that 80's movie where that guy works in a Detroit car factory but are losing poorly to Japanese manufacturers (He offers a certain amount of car production in a certain amount of time, they eventually win, everybody is happy). Anyways, I also think about think about the WTC and the Japanese architect that designed the towers. While they are NYC landmarks still in everyone's hearts, I imagine them as well as our Chase Tower in the business district in Tokyo. The towers themselves might be boring or lame when compared to other designs of the time, but I see them as giant pieces of Japanese art NYC and we were lucky to receive as Japan was still rising as an economic power.

Also, as childish as this may seem, the Chase Tower was the first skyscraper to break 1,000ft (super tall), outside of New York and Chicago. For us to achieve this at such an early stage in our development of a city still rising with oil and energy compared to more established cities of the time is a cool victory in my books.

A recladding as someone pointed out compare to Tonroto's tallest a while back would help, I think it's aged fine. The plaza on the other hand could use some more trees.

If Hines builds a tall office, residential, or mixed use tower here eventually... It should compliment the Chase Tower. No matter the height unless it gets too close to 900ft and above.

Sorry for the rant. I'm excited Hines is involved with this block. We'll get something great but have to wait for it. I'm sad the original structures can't be saved and redone, but we'll get something good for sure.

 

Your point regarding the Chase's design is well taken--I had not previously considered its design as being reminiscent of Tokyo, but it does remind me of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building now that you mention it.  Going with this idea, I think a geometric design similar to the Hearst Building in New York or the Cocoon Tower in Shinjuku, Tokyo would add very nicely to this area.

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So... Enterprise Products is part of the partnership that bought this. Why would they be involved in a purchase of this lot? I believe they are currently at 1100 Louisiana.

They are. Wonder when their lease is up?

BTW thanks for making me look up Enterprise Plaza because this whole time I thought it was named after Enterprise Bank!

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