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

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Theres one positive in these demo projects like the Skanska and now this Hines demo of the Chronicle that I find intriguing and thats the opportunity to see buildings from unobstructed angles and vistas that have never been seen before. Although the Skanska garage covers  much of the Pennzoil facade now, it still leaves quite a bit in tact. I like this short lived moment in time to see the buildings  from a new perspective.

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4 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I didn't realize how bad this demo was going to make this area look. Such a massive gap between the Chase tower to MSP!

 

You'll have the 10-story parking garage for One Market Square one block north of here to fill in the space.

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16 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

 

You'll have the 10-story parking garage for One Market Square one block north of here to fill in the space.

 

Maybe this can develop into downtown's Parking District North.

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Initial plans for this block were scrapped after oil prices fell. Would have involved an office tower with a highly unconventional use of the ground floor. That's all I think my source would want me to reveal.

Edited by H-Town Man
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On 3/17/2017 at 0:28 PM, H-Town Man said:

Initial plans for this block were scrapped after oil prices fell. Would have involved an office tower with a highly unconventional  (for Houston) use of the ground floor. That's all I think my source would want me to reveal.

Feel free to PM me and tell me everything you know :). You can't trust some folks on this board hehehe

Edited by nate4l1f3
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1 hour ago, nate4l1f3 said:

Feel free to PM me and tell me everything you know :). You can't trust some folks on this bored hehehe

 

All he meant was retail.

 

 

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Oil prices fell 2 years ago. If plans were scrapped then why follow through with demolition that cost millions if no plan exists for the site?

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51 minutes ago, wxman said:

Oil prices fell 2 years ago. If plans were scrapped then why follow through with demolition that cost millions if no plan exists for the site?

 

Parking revenue would be my guess. Also lower taxes and quicker start when the market turns.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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we haven't seen that view because the Comical building was in the way. Marvin The Martian used the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator to remove it since it obstructed his view....

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50 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Interesting view of the Aris which I don't believe we've seen here recently.

^^^ i'd have to concur here.  it took a few seconds just to realize just what building it was.  cool....

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HOT TAKE ALERT.

 

I would like to point out that it's 8:14 PM and there are still crews out demolishing the building at this very moment in backhoes. Do you really do two shifts (presumably with hazard pay) if you don't have a deadline?  And, as a contractor, if you didn't have a deadline with your developer (Hines), wouldn't you have put in your bid that you could spend less to tear the building down if you took more time doing it?  Like "Say Hines, if you got more time, we can tear this down for cheaper which lets us put our second-shift team on another job which lets us make more money during the same stretch of time, and it costs you less, chill?"  And wouldn't Hines have said "Great idea.  We have no plans for this but to immediately turn it into a surface parking lot, sales on which we would pay tax on this a heckuva lot more than if we had a condemned building just hanging out.  I mean, look at the guys who own the Days Inn Building - they figured it out. MAD TAX SKILLS."

 

Am I crazy? 

 

UPDATE:  It is now 12:07 AM and they are still working on this.

Edited by adr
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2 hours ago, adr said:

HOT TAKE ALERT.

 

Am I crazy? 

 

You might be, but I'll buy it! 

 

Are they in a race with Skanska and Linbeck?

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I think his point is why have that deadline if Hines isn't planning something soon?  It probably just means the demo crew had a a nice long deadline, the demo is taking longer than they thought, and they would lose more money going over the deadline than paying a second shift to blow things up.

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I would guess the Demolition crew is working at night for public safety reasons. The last high section of the building is too close to the street to safely bring it down without closing the street. It's a bother to the residents who live nearby but it's better than dropping a section of building on a busy downtown street during the busy day. 

 

That said, this project has been an eye sore and yes, taken way too long. Hopefully it will be done soon.

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57 minutes ago, KDW said:

The last high section of the building is too close to the street to safely bring it down without closing the street.

Why not close the street during the weekend to do it - that's when all the closures seem to happen anyway

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They may have been working on the weekends, I haven't been downtown on Saturday or Sunday. I went by the site the other day, the way that building looked if I were the contractor I would want it down as soon as I could. To leave it sit like that during the week with work going on over the rest of the site I would worry about the stability of the remaining structure and debris falling down unexpectedly. I guarantee they don't want to be working at night. Night work is less productive, more risk with light towers creating shadows, etc. Night work sucks for all! Contractors as well as residents. 

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

I think his point is why have that deadline if Hines isn't planning something soon?  It probably just means the demo crew had a a nice long deadline, the demo is taking longer than they thought, and they would lose more money going over the deadline than paying a second shift to blow things up.

They're planning on using it for parking correct? It could be any number of factors; every contract has a set number of days and maybe this one is almost up, maybe said contract had encentives for finishing early and the owners think it's financially beneficial to finish early, maybe Hines wants this done asap so they can get parking revenue and submitted a change order, or yes, they could get ready to start development on a tower, but i highly doubt it would happen this soon considering the huge supply of office space on the market.

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Maybe Hines knows something we don't about what the market will look like in 2 years (when a tower started soon would deliver)

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48 minutes ago, BigFootsSocks said:

They're planning on using it for parking correct? It could be any number of factors; every contract has a set number of days and maybe this one is almost up, maybe said contract had encentives for finishing early and the owners think it's financially beneficial to finish early, maybe Hines wants this done asap so they can get parking revenue and submitted a change order, or yes, they could get ready to start development on a tower, but i highly doubt it would happen this soon considering the huge supply of office space on the market.

 

I would think all that really matters is what Class A+ vacancy looks like (and potentially hotel/resi demand is).

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20 minutes ago, lockmat said:

 

I would think all that really matters is what Class A+ vacancy looks like (and potentially hotel/resi demand is).

 

Getting closer.  All that really matters (if they plan an office building) is whether they can lease sufficient space in a new tower to make construction profitable. That can happen even if the existing stock is 25% vacant.

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My source says it will be awhile, as in a few years. Downtown has historically high vacancy rates right now and 609 hasn't even opened

yet. Hines didn't become one of the most successful developers by making rash decisions. If they are building the Capitol tower, that will add quite a bit more space to the mix so I think I'll go with what my source said. 

I'd love to see another Hines tower as much as everyone else but sometimes its smart to choose your moment, and it's not now.

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 HOTEL/CONDO/RETAIL/OFFICE SPACE/ WITH A OBSERVATION DECK THAT YOU CAN SEE ALL THE WAY TO  GALVESTON. Oh well one can still dream.

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20 hours ago, bobruss said:

My source says it will be awhile, as in a few years. Downtown has historically high vacancy rates right now and 609 hasn't even opened

yet. Hines didn't become one of the most successful developers by making rash decisions. If they are building the Capitol tower, that will add quite a bit more space to the mix so I think I'll go with what my source said. 

I'd love to see another Hines tower as much as everyone else but sometimes its smart to choose your moment, and it's not now.

 

I doubt the downtown vacancy rate is actually "historically high".  

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Ok, it might have been worse in the late 70's 80-s when all of the skyscrapers downtown came on line, but its almost as bad.  It's sure not the type of real estate climate that makes a savvy developer go out and say hey lets build another 65 story spec building in downtown because I have the land and I think Houston needs another skyscraper to appease the Haifers. We lead the nation in the highest office vacancy rate. Exxon is gone, Shell is moving out, Continental United is leaving Allen Canter, 609 is coming on board.

not to mention all of the smaller bunches of empty floor space. My point is this is not the time you build another spec building especially when you have a 50 story tower your just about to open.

 

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

Ok, it might have been worse in the late 70's 80-s when all of the skyscrapers downtown came on line, but its almost as bad.  It's sure not the type of real estate climate that makes a savvy developer go out and say hey lets build another 65 story spec building in downtown because I have the land and I think Houston needs another skyscraper to appease the Haifers. We lead the nation in the highest office vacancy rate. Exxon is gone, Shell is moving out, Continental United is leaving Allen Canter, 609 is coming on board.

not to mention all of the smaller bunches of empty floor space. My point is this is not the time you build another spec building especially when you have a 50 story tower your just about to open.

 

 

No, it is not almost as bad as the oiI bust years.  Houston had a 32% office vacancy at one time; it may have gone higher than that at times.  We're now sitting somewhere around 21%, according to one service.  Other services have us closer to 16%.  Downtown vacancy is around 15%.  Other cities have seen much construction with similar vacancy rates (see, e.g., our neighbors in North Texas).  

 

That is not to say that anyone is going to start any spec buildings any time soon and of course you know I have not suggested such.  But let's not get carried away with the doom and gloom. 

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My comments were not doom and gloom.  I don't know if you work for the chamber of commerce or Houston First, but all I suggested is fairly well factual. All of those companies have either left down town or relocated, and that is not good for commercial real estate. Ask SWTSIG and some of the others who work in the downtown market. I've talked to several commercial real estate execs and they don't think the picture is rosey right now.

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38 minutes ago, bobruss said:

My comments were not doom and gloom.  I don't know if you work for the chamber of commerce or Houston First, but all I suggested is fairly well factual. All of those companies have either left down town or relocated, and that is not good for commercial real estate. Ask SWTSIG and some of the others who work in the downtown market. I've talked to several commercial real estate execs and they don't think the picture is rosey right now.

 

No one has suggested the picture is rosey right now.  Please stop with the straw men.  All I did was correct the misstatements and obvious exaggerations that were not "fairly well factual."  (And no I don't work for the chamber of commerce or Houston First, but that doesn't stop me from identifying falsehoods when I see them.)

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27 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

No one has suggested the picture is rosey right now.  Please stop with the straw men.  All I did was correct the misstatements and obvious exaggerations that were not "fairly well factual."  (And no I don't work for the chamber of commerce or Houston First, but that doesn't stop me from identifying falsehoods when I see them.)

 

You beat me to it. Thank you.

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10 hours ago, bobruss said:

Ok, it might have been worse in the late 70's 80-s when all of the skyscrapers downtown came on line, but its almost as bad.  It's sure not the type of real estate climate that makes a savvy developer go out and say hey lets build another 65 story spec building in downtown because I have the land and I think Houston needs another skyscraper to appease the Haifers. We lead the nation in the highest office vacancy rate. Exxon is gone, Shell is moving out, Continental United is leaving Allen Canter, 609 is coming on board.

not to mention all of the smaller bunches of empty floor space. My point is this is not the time you build another spec building especially when you have a 50 story tower your just about to open.

 

 

No need to defend yourself, nothing you said was wrong, nor was it "doom and gloom." Vacancy is the highest it's been since 2005. Not an all time record, but I think "historically high" is a legitimate description, as in, it compares with other major vacancy peaks in history. The only other point you made was that there wasn't likely to be another office tower start for a few years, which is a pretty fair point to make and in no sense gloomy.

 

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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it may be a bit too early to ask this, but anyone have any information on what Hines might build on this site, now that the demolition is almost done ?  I'm crossing my fingers for a supertall one day.  :D

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21 hours ago, ArtNsf said:

it may be a bit too early to ask this, but anyone have any information on what Hines might build on this site, now that the demolition is almost done ?  I'm crossing my fingers for a supertall one day.  :D

One that can see Galveston!

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On 3/26/2017 at 0:51 AM, ArtNsf said:

it may be a bit too early to ask this, but anyone have any information on what Hines might build on this site, now that the demolition is almost done ?  I'm crossing my fingers for a supertall one day.  :D

 

street level parking lot.

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They might even follow Heritage Plazas lead and design a garage that would eventually be structurally capable of handling a skyscraper. My source said they could possibly look at that plan for a short term money making solution. He wasn't sure about it but it has been discussed.

 This is  across the street from Hines, Texas Commerce/Chase building, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to the tallest building in Houston.

The juxtaposition of two supertalls  would create an interesting mass. It would also put a lot of people on the streets in a two block area.

Fortunately the parking for Chase is on the Main street side so the cars wouldn't all be emptying on to the same streets.

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

They might even follow Heritage Plazas lead and design a garage that would eventually be structurally capable of handling a skyscraper. My source said they could possibly look at that plan for a short term money making solution. He wasn't sure about it but it has been discussed.

 This is  across the street from Hines, Texas Commerce/Chase building, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to the tallest building in Houston.

The juxtaposition of two supertalls  would create an interesting mass. It would also put a lot of people on the streets in a two block area.

Fortunately the parking for Chase is on the Main street side so the cars wouldn't all be emptying on to the same streets.

 

Another piece of that puzzle is the existing Chronicle garage (across Prairie from 717 Texas) that Hines purchased along with the Chronicle building block. It could get garagier is needs arose.  

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