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

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Did they even make ugly buildings back then? I almost wouldn't believe that was Houston except for the sign.

 

Was this the Chronicle site?

 

No, that was the current JW Marriott (806 Main?). Esperson building is in the background, along with a movie theater in between.

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Yeah Hines typically moves extremely slow, and their due diligence is second to none.  There are numberous committees within HInes that pass approval to these projects.  I can't reallly comment as much on the hotel, but equity for Multifamily and Office is completely dried up from any domestic investor.  The amount of sublease space coming on the market in CBD coupled with new office construction will total a few million square feet of vacancy.  In my opinion, the only way this thing finds legs in the next 5-7 years is if they go smaller on the office portion 600-700k SF, and more aggressive on the hotel flag (1000 rooms) and MF/Condo (400-500 units).  There are a number of tenants downtown that range in the 250-350k with leases rolling every few years, but not as many whales 500-1000k SF tenants that would leave their current buildings, when they likely already have building signage rights and likely prefer much lower rates.  One can only speculate, but maybe EPP has intent to move to this building eventually and wanted to have some ownership through an affiliate - along with their longstanding relationship with Hines.  A lot would have to occur for that to happen, but who knows. 

 

Clearly, more interest is coming downtown then before, but my guess is this will be a parking lot for the next 10 years, unfortunately.  The Hines effect on surrounding buildings is real, and I think that 609 main and their Market Square MF will change this area of downtown.  There are just too many unknowns and not enough demand for this project quite yet and we are years away.  Again, this is all my opinion. 

 

You mentioned a month or two ago that there might be an announcement soon related to downtown office space. Did what you were thinking of end up happening or fall through, or is it still in process?

 

Appreciate your insights.

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Small town businesses are closing ship in downtown, you have a new office tower on capital waiting to be build with the foundation already set in place. On top of this you have 609 main in the mix, you have a prolonged oil slump which forecasters have predicted once the Iranian oil market hits, the saudis will have no intent on playing ball again.

 

This 100 story tower isnt going to get built for years, the houston economy is in the DUMPS right now. Get a gasp of reality some of you guys. Theres a reason why Cheveron shelved their skyscraper and other projects have been put on hold.

 

Small town businesses are closing ship in downtown, you have a new office tower on capital waiting to be build with the foundation already set in place. On top of this you have 609 main in the mix, you have a prolonged oil slump which forecasters have predicted once the Iranian oil market hits, the saudis will have no intent on playing ball again.

 

This 100 story tower isnt going to get built for years, the houston economy is in the DUMPS right now. Get a gasp of reality some of you guys. Theres a reason why Cheveron shelved their skyscraper and other projects have been put on hold.

Talk about a downer

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You mentioned a month or two ago that there might be an announcement soon related to downtown office space. Did what you were thinking of end up happening or fall through, or is it still in process?

 

Appreciate your insights.

It was a lead tenant for Capitol Tower and the deal fell through on the goal line.  It was close to being signed, but can't really elaborate anymore.  There are still some larger tenants in the market downtown, but we'll see with the current condtions.

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It was a lead tenant for Capitol Tower and the deal fell through on the goal line.  It was close to being signed, but can't really elaborate anymore.  There are still some larger tenants in the market downtown, but we'll see with the current condtions.

 

Damn.

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It was a lead tenant for Capitol Tower and the deal fell through on the goal line. It was close to being signed, but can't really elaborate anymore. There are still some larger tenants in the market downtown, but we'll see with the current condtions.

Uggghhhh close the deal!!!!

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Yeah Hines typically moves extremely slow, and their due diligence is second to none.  There are numberous committees within HInes that pass approval to these projects.  I can't reallly comment as much on the hotel, but equity for Multifamily and Office is completely dried up from any domestic investor.  The amount of sublease space coming on the market in CBD coupled with new office construction will total a few million square feet of vacancy.  In my opinion, the only way this thing finds legs in the next 5-7 years is if they go smaller on the office portion 600-700k SF, and more aggressive on the hotel flag (1000 rooms) and MF/Condo (400-500 units).  There are a number of tenants downtown that range in the 250-350k with leases rolling every few years, but not as many whales 500-1000k SF tenants that would leave their current buildings, when they likely already have building signage rights and likely prefer much lower rates.  One can only speculate, but maybe EPP has intent to move to this building eventually and wanted to have some ownership through an affiliate - along with their longstanding relationship with Hines.  A lot would have to occur for that to happen, but who knows. 

 

Clearly, more interest is coming downtown then before, but my guess is this will be a parking lot for the next 10 years, unfortunately.  The Hines effect on surrounding buildings is real, and I think that 609 main and their Market Square MF will change this area of downtown.  There are just too many unknowns and not enough demand for this project quite yet and we are years away.  Again, this is all my opinion. 

 

Sounds reasonable.  Thanks for a very informative post.  As you say, surface parking seems a likely outcome for a while to come.  It wouldn't be the first time they have used blocks for parking for extended periods. 

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From Realty News Report this morning

 

"Hines also recently acquired the Houston Chronicle building, which is a couple of blocks from Pennzoil Place. The Chronicle will be torn down and replaced with new high-rise development. A timetable for the Chronicle block development has not been set, but Realty News Report is projecting a 2018 groundbreaking and a 2020 completion there."

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I didn't realize they planned them so far out, but it makes perfect sense.  They want to be in place for the next real estate development upswing, just like with 609 Main for this one.

 

 

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demo contractors have bid on the work, i hear it is down to two bidders.  They will NOT be imploding the building, it will be a conventional process down floor by floor.

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Sweet! So we can expect it to come down sometime this year. Will the garage be demolished around the same time as well?

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Sweet! So we can expect it to come down sometime this year. Will the garage be demolished around the same time as well?

 

I'm still surprised they would demo the garage, at least until new construction is started.  With the garage at Congress between Milam and Louisiana going to the Market Square Tower this fall (which is the major parking hub for the Lyric Centre and a good number of folks at the Calpine Center), I'd think Hines could fetch pretty good rates for spots in the Chronicle garage.  The Lyric Centre has been radio silent regarding the development of its proposed garage on the lot next to the building, which has made a number of tenants here worried.

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I'm still surprised they would demo the garage, at least until new construction is started.  With the garage at Congress between Milam and Louisiana going to the Market Square Tower this fall (which is the major parking hub for the Lyric Centre and a good number of folks at the Calpine Center), I'd think Hines could fetch pretty good rates for spots in the Chronicle garage.  The Lyric Centre has been radio silent regarding the development of its proposed garage on the lot next to the building, which has made a number of tenants here worried.

 

True that.  Parking on the north side of downtown has gotten a bit squoze - it's even hard to find a place in the catacombs, and pretty much everywhere has a wait list for contracts.

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They have done brisk business with that garage ever since they opened it to the public, probably doubled the Chronicle's profit. When Skanska's garage comes online, the scarcity in the area might dissipate.

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I know it would be expensive but since theres no hurry on tearing the Chronicle down I'd love to see them take the facade  off the building to reveal the original brick work.

Leave it that way for a little while and then deconstruct. I'm just curious about seeing the old structures from those pictures.

On a similar note I'd like to to see them do the same thing to the Binz building and the Sears building.

They just seemed to have more character in their original design.

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I know it would be expensive but since theres no hurry on tearing the Chronicle down I'd love to see them take the facade  off the building to reveal the original brick work.

Leave it that way for a little while and then deconstruct. I'm just curious about seeing the old structures from those pictures.

On a similar note I'd like to to see them do the same thing to the Binz building and the Sears building.

They just seemed to have more character in their original design.

 

It would be interesting to see what is under there.  I wonder which of the re-skinned buildings were done primarily for appearance versus functional weatherproofing like the Mickey Leland building.  806 Main (the new JW Marriott) had a layer of thick mastic applied to the original brick under its 60's vintage curtain wall, which made me wonder if it had water issues.

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I'm pretty sure that the Binz was just a remodeling modernization effort and the Sears building was supposedly done because of the racial climate at the time.

I don't have a clue except to make the two separate Chronicle buildings appear to be one and modernized.

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I'm pretty sure that the Binz was just a remodeling modernization effort and the Sears building was supposedly done because of the racial climate at the time.

I don't have a clue except to make the two separate Chronicle buildings appear to be one and modernized.

 

When was Binz redone? Prior to 601 Travis/TCB Tower being built in the 80's, that corner had to look like hell.

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What is under the facade? Gobs and gobs of black glue, just like on the recent Marriott conversion

 

Yea I was thinking the same thing. The exterior underneath is ruined. I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to "modernize" a lot of these old buildings a few decades ago with these lousy facades. 

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Yea I was thinking the same thing. The exterior underneath is ruined. I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to "modernize" a lot of these old buildings a few decades ago with these lousy facades.

Shorestein with 800 Bell... I could even say the federal government with the Mickey Leland Building, Central Square, those condos on westheimer, those twin boxes on the west loop. To a lesser extent the telemundo building on the north loop. The list could go on but I think you get the point.
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When was Binz redone? Prior to 601 Travis/TCB Tower being built in the 80's, that corner had to look like hell.

 

The Binz building isn't a remodel.  It was built new in the early 1980s.  The original structure was demolished.

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There are some times when a reskin is just fine.  The Chron is a jumble of five buildings plus an addition, erected over decades with little apparent thought given to coordinating them.  In particular, the three buildings on Texas with the shorter theater in the middle and under one are just a mess; the cladding brings it all together.  Likewise, when the existing exterior skin leaks like a screen door (as with the Mickey Leland building), there's not much else that can be done.

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Are we sure this is coming down soon?

http://realtynewsreport.com/2016/02/24/houston-chronicle-leaves-downtown-newspaper-property-now-controlled-by-hines/

Hines currently has no plans for the Chronicle site which covers 99,184 square feet of land including a half-block parking garage at 710 Preston, says Mark Clegg, director, media relations and communications for Hines. He adds no date has been set for demolition of the Chronicle building. “Our Southwest Region will consider all of its options and announce something in the future – but nothing has been decided at this point,” he says.

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What if Hines saves this building and restores it!!!??? 

Honest question. Not necessarily directed at you, but it made me wonder.. How many restorations has Hines done? It seems like they always tear down to build new, but I can't say I've followed every project in their portfolio.

With that said, I wouldn't mind them saving the little theater building and developing around it (though not directly on top of it like the current building cluster). Doubtful, I know.. but I dig the architecture.

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For the price they paid for the site, they'd have trouble getting a decent ROI.

Yeah true, but Hines seems to respect Houston enough where I don't believe its impossible that he decides to restore it. Especially since they don't have clear direction on what they want to do with the building, one would only wonder what other options there would be other than demoing the building and starting over. Seems like they're going to really weigh every option. You also have to think about how many developers are continuing the trend by restoring older structures. Hines has to take notice. 

Honest question. Not necessarily directed at you, but it made me wonder.. How many restorations has Hines done? It seems like they always tear down to build new, but I can't say I've followed every project in their portfolio.

With that said, I wouldn't mind them saving the little theater building and developing around it (though not directly on top of it like the current building cluster). Doubtful, I know.. but I dig the architecture.

Yeah, it just seems perfect for them to actually invest in doing that considering the trend among other developers. 

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Judging from the photos, any exterior detail on the theater was gone by the 40s.  Also, combining the five buildings apparently ended up with a rabbit warren of interior passageways, complete with seemingly randomly placed sets of steps where the floors didn't line up with one another.  Based on that, it looks like any sort of restoration would be a mammoth undertaking, if it could even be done.

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Is this close enough to Market Square to go stone rather than glass modern to match the character or would glass tall building be just fine?

 

The main building complex is a full block away from Market Square; the parking garage is catty corner.  Both are across their respective streets from 717 Texas (aka Calpine).  The garage is also across the street from the 40 story Market Square Tower.  The view from La Carafe across Market Square towards the Chron is already dominated by 600 Travis; from the square itself all you really see across the parking lot is the wall of the printing plant and the back of the taller part.  So, a current style design on that site wouldn't really affect Market Square in any appreciable way.

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Hines doesn't restore. Hines destroys. Hines SMASH!

 

HulkIronMan28fLG.gif

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Chronicle needs to go. Hines already said that the site will feature a high rise and wouldn't we all rather have that???

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Well, no, not if there's anything left of the old buildings. Besides, Hines could put up a pair of high rises where the garages are now and do something more interesting with the existing non-garage building.

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My guess, Hines wrecks the block, than puts a surface parking lot in. They collect some scratch in parking fees, wait until oil starts to go back up and build an office tower.

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Why does it have to be either a glass tower or restoration?

What about another Aris @ Market square?

A mixture of old and new?

A 50 floor mixed use tower that respects the traditional feel of the area to the north but incorporates the newer designs of the buildings to the south.

In a classy way combine the Esperson (I know it is actually a couple blocks south) with Penzoil. But not in a Randall Davis way, more in the Aris way. A traditional feel work a modern award winning twist.

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Why does it have to be either a glass tower or restoration?

What about another Aris @ Market square?

A mixture of old and new?

A 50 floor mixed use tower that respects the traditional feel of the area to the north but incorporates the newer designs of the buildings to the south.

In a classy way combine the Esperson (I know it is actually a couple blocks south) with Penzoil. But not in a Randall Davis way, more in the Aris way. A traditional feel work a modern award winning twist.

Seconded.

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moo. Too much "traditional" going on already. We need a new architectural art-piece for Downtown. Something very modern, raises the bar and stands out, yet classy. Hines may stick to Pickard Chilton which is nice, but their recent designs are pretty similar to one another and I'm sure they can do more. Hopefully Hines goes with SOM or Zaza Hadid, even though the latter may be extreme for them. The chronicle block a +50 office tower and the garage block a ~40 story 5-star hotel with condo units above.

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Yeah I was wondering about parking too.. There is an underground garage planned for 400-500 parking spaces, but obviously they would need more. I'm not sure of Seattles parking situation/how developers generally do things (if anyone knows, I'd be interested to learn more.. In Houston we have this mindset that every office tower needs a big garage podium at its base). Maybe they'll lease space from a nearby garage?

Edited by cloud713

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"but obviously they would need more"... I sincerely doubt that any other parking is planned for this project. Our perspective is just skewed by what we see here.

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