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Museo Plaza: Mixed-Use for the Museum District, 58-Story High-Rise

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Too good to be true. I'd obviously love for it to sprout, but not getting my hopes up, Houston developers have burned me too many times. :(

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I'm guessing this is why it took so long to get this off the ground. I bet it took awhile to get the capital and land together for the vision, but knowing that its under one vision and one person is great to hear. Thats more promising than it being with some development company that can change anything on a whim.

Edited by Luminare
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Mann owns all that space? However long he's had it, he's going to get a heck of a pay-day. New, state of the art medical space close to the the med center but not directly in it so their patients can find parking a bit easier and it has #views? He's going to to be fighting off tenants who have been rotting away on south Fanin and other "close but not quite in the med center" office buildings with a stick. The asset and land only goes up as the Ion development matures. And incredibly he actually cares about what he's building and what it looks like. Like @Luminare said, having one consistent, maybe a little vain, vision that actually cares is exciting. 

 

The one thing is that the museum district, outside of Zaza and that motel/hotel across 288 on binz, doesn't really have a hotel space. Which is an intriguing part the proposed tower. I always wondered why the MD didn't have more hotel/motels. When I have friends visit and they stay in that area or in Midtown, its usually through Air BnB at the Southmore or townhouse in Midtown. 

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5 minutes ago, X.R. said:

Mann owns all that space? However long he's had it, he's going to get a heck of a pay-day. New, state of the art medical space close to the the med center but not directly in it so their patients can find parking a bit easier and it has #views? He's going to to be fighting off tenants who have been rotting away on south Fanin and other "close but not quite in the med center" office buildings with a stick. The asset and land only goes up as the Ion development matures. And incredibly he actually cares about what he's building and what it looks like. Like @Luminare said, having one consistent, maybe a little vain, vision that actually cares is exciting. 

 

The one thing is that the museum district, outside of Zaza and that motel/hotel across 288 on binz, doesn't really have a hotel space. Which is an intriguing part the proposed tower. I always wondered why the MD didn't have more hotel/motels. When I have friends visit and they stay in that area or in Midtown, its usually through Air BnB at the Southmore or townhouse in Midtown. 

 

What would be interesting is if he entices Metro to build a station i that area. The redline passes that entire district only stopping at the edges. They really should put a station right between the museums and wheeler.

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2 hours ago, Luminare said:

I'm guessing this is why it took so long to get this off the ground. I bet it took awhile to get the capital and land together for the vision, but knowing that its under one vision and one person is great to hear. Thats more promising than it being with some development company that can change anything on a whim.

Or, conversely, an iconic mixed-use project driven by one person who is not an expert in real estate development could wind up with unforeseen pitfalls that threaten the dream.  Time will tell.  I hope @Luminareis right!

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10 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

What would be interesting is if he entices Metro to build a station i that area. The redline passes that entire district only stopping at the edges. They really should put a station right between the museums and wheeler.

there's a stop at Park Plaza. Doors open right. puertas abiertas a la derecha.

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a0a796b609f4aa1bad8fbd02aa9c72c9.gif

 

MuseoTower_Cam1_062217-1.jpg

 

^^^ we are all certainly aware that the MANN EYE CLINIC has been around for decades.  however, does DR. MIKE MANN along with his investors, really have this much money?  if the bottom front entry of this prospective MUSEO TOWER is any indication of the full tower itself, then this place if going to cost HYPER MILLIONS.  the bottom half of this prospective edifice is not something that we in houston are normally accustomed to.  this is TOP FLIGHT/HIGH END LA style or even MIAMI style luxury.

 

should all the phases of this prospective and magnificent development project come together as proposed, along with the newly planned X-HOUSTON TOWER... then the houston museum district shall become a showplace for the entire nation.  it shall become a stylized architectural powerhouse.

 

is houston, tx, really ready for this type of ultra posh and ultra high-end development?  DAMN, i think that we may have finally arrived...

 

 

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I'm not an architect, so I wondered if anyone can answer this question.  When the developer says, "Architecturally, it would be significant. The buildings would be timeless, not ready to be torn down in 30 years."  ...and then I look at the render and there isn't a single design element from more than 5-10 years ago (to my eyes). What confidence can he have that this building will be timeless?  Is it quality of materials?  Notoriety of the designer?  The only 30-year+ office building in Houston that I hear people note is the 700 Louisiana building which is an obvious homage to much older elements.  I'm not saying he's wrong, but how can someone predict this?

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I'm not an architect, so I wondered if anyone can answer this question. 

"When the developer says"

 

You don't have to be an Architect to answer this.  All developers are liars, they lie to themselves and the world around them constantly.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, great buildings wouldn't be built without their ego.  When in doubt, assume the developer is lying and you will be better for it.

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6 hours ago, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

there's a stop at Park Plaza. Doors open right. puertas abiertas a la derecha.

Anytime I say Herman Hospital it takes all my effort to not add "Houston Zoo" they're just paired in my mind

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1 hour ago, CasualObserver said:

I'm not an architect, so I wondered if anyone can answer this question.  When the developer says, "Architecturally, it would be significant. The buildings would be timeless, not ready to be torn down in 30 years."  ...and then I look at the render and there isn't a single design element from more than 5-10 years ago (to my eyes). What confidence can he have that this building will be timeless?  Is it quality of materials?  Notoriety of the designer?  The only 30-year+ office building in Houston that I hear people note is the 700 Louisiana building which is an obvious homage to much older elements.  I'm not saying he's wrong, but how can someone predict this?

 

For my professional opinion. Architecturally, would this be significant? In a way yes and in a way no. Aesthetically in a way yes, because there isn't anything like it in the area, and in a sea of low-res residential its definitely going stick out and be prominent for a number of years, but once that 58 story skyscraper goes up that point will be rather mute. Aesthetically in the world of architecture, its not really that significant. Its not doing anything radical, different, or new. So significance is only true depending on how you compare this contextually or relatively. Relatively, no. Contextually, yes. Will this building be timeless? What is timeless? Its a very ambiguous term. Again this is another, yes in some ways, and no for others. Historically, buildings that are of this scale and of this height tend last a very long time, definitely from 30 years on-wards, which in a way would make it "timeless". In the world of architecture something that is "timeless" is either something that is designed in such a simplistic way that it can both last for a long time to be reinterpreted in a number of ways, or it is something which incorporates elements that have, historically, lasted throughout time, and have often been seen as typical interpretations of "beauty" which has been proven to last. These are aspects like, proportion, symmetry / asymmetry, detailing, scale, form, how it works with light and shadow, and craftsmanship regarding its construction, and materials (often this goes all the way back to Virtruvius and what he described are the elements for a truly master work of architecture which are: Commodity, Firmness (Utility), and Delight). As for the Designer? Never heard of him, but that doesn't mean this person doesn't have any notoriety. Maybe this person has notoriety in Medical circles, or this is a friend of the owner. Could be anything. By the way, while Houston is known for not having a lot of historical architecture or buildings that have been around for a long time, we actually do. Most of the notable buildings that are in downtown were built in  the 50's, 60's, and 70's which if you go all the way back to the 50's that's 70 years ago! Finally, while 700 Louisiana is great building its definitely an unfair comparison. Its basically comparing apples to oranges. They are very different buildings, and plus that building was designed by one of the greatest architects of all time, Phillip Johnson. Not exactly a fair shake.

 

From a personal perspective, yet is informed by my professional and educational experience, this has to be said that these responses are a matter of opinion, and thus are entirely subjective, just as anything aesthetically is. Whether something will be significant, or timeless is not really for us to say, but what others will say, and by the passage of time. Nobody can predict how long something will last. You build it and hope for the best. The artist, designer, and how I see things aesthetically, and through my informed knowledge of what is going on in architecture today, and from the past, .....no definitely not significant, and definitely not timeless. Then again who is it up for us to say or tell this owner that his opinions and feelings are wrong? Thats his opinion and he is putting up the money to make this possible. Throwing that onto him would just be a douche thing to do. I'm glad he is happy with the design and the services rendered by his architect!

 

There is much more that can be discussed about this, but this is already getting to long. TDLR: Its both simple and at the same time very complicated. Just depends on how you want to approach the matter.

 

2 hours ago, tangledwoods said:

 

You don't have to be an Architect to answer this.  All developers are liars, they lie to themselves and the world around them constantly.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, great buildings wouldn't be built without their ego.  When in doubt, assume the developer is lying and you will be better for it.

 

As for you, where do you get off saying any of this? An opinion isn't a lie. A statement of fact which you know to be false, is a lie. Everything being said by the owner and developer are matters of opinion. Just because you don't like their opinion, doesn't mean they are liars. I may not like that everything gets tagged as "luxury" for instance, but that doesn't mean that they are liars. They just have a different opinion on what "luxury" is. I don't like it, but its their right to believe what they want to believe. Besides the market will dictate that anyway. This is like saying that Sales people are liars. They aren't. They tell you a story in order to get your interests to buy something. You either believe their story or you don't. Nothing that is being said by them is really objective. Only subjective.

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19 hours ago, Luminare said:

What would be interesting is if he entices Metro to build a station i that area. The redline passes that entire district only stopping at the edges. They really should put a station right between the museums and wheeler.


To light rail passengers, there are only two stops that matter; the one where they get on, and the one where they disembark. All the rest of them are merely delays.
Maybe at some point there will be enough destinations near this portion of Main for another stop to be warranted. To build one solely to cater to one building, no matter how cool it may be, seems like an annoyance that many people would prefer to avoid.

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If the first renderings are true for the scale of the high rise and the newest render is true for the quality of the entire building I think it will be a knockout. 

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31 minutes ago, dbigtex56 said:


To light rail passengers, there are only two stops that matter; the one where they get on, and the one where they disembark. All the rest of them are merely delays.
Maybe at some point there will be enough destinations near this portion of Main for another stop to be warranted. To build one solely to cater to one building, no matter how cool it may be, seems like an annoyance that many people would prefer to avoid.

I can't imagine how they would do it, without having to shut down the line for a while. I wish someone who knows how these sort of things would be handled would elaborate.

This is going to be somewhat of an issue when they take 59 below grade and under the existing rail lines at just about the southern end of the Main street Richmond station also.

Not to mention all of the streets like from Milan to Almeda.

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51 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I can't imagine how they would do it, without having to shut down the line for a while. I wish someone who knows how these sort of things would be handled would elaborate.

This is going to be somewhat of an issue when they take 59 below grade and under the existing rail lines at just about the southern end of the Main street Richmond station also.

Not to mention all of the streets like from Milan to Almeda.

 

Adding a station without shutting down the line doesn't strike me as terribly difficult.  The station structure is all beside the tracks, not over or under.

 

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Ok, that makes sense.  Now answer  the other part of my comment, since you seem to have all of the answers. How about the streets from Milan to Almeda where the 59 is proposed to go under.

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2 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Ok, that makes sense.  Now answer  the other part of my comment, since you seem to have all of the answers. How about the streets from Milan to Almeda where the 59 is proposed to go under.

 

Probably a 2 month shut down with bus shuttles while they make the bridge.  It's possible they might do one track at a time, but since the tracks are right next to each other they'll probably share a bridge

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46 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Ok, that makes sense.  Now answer  the other part of my comment, since you seem to have all of the answers. How about the streets from Milan to Almeda where the 59 is proposed to go under.

 

Busing. They will probably have to run a bus route connecting the two ends of the lines. This was usually the case in countries I visited that had train maintenance or construction (particular Germany where it was happening all the time).
EDIT: so for instance they will run a bus from the Wheeler Station to the Museum District station.

Edited by Luminare

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

Ok, that makes sense.  Now answer  the other part of my comment, since you seem to have all of the answers. How about the streets from Milan to Almeda where the 59 is proposed to go under.

 

LOL   I don't know.  I presume they will handle the street crossings in a manner similar to what they did when they lowered the portion of the Southwest Freeway just to the west of this. Some streets might have to be closed for some period of time.  Oh, the horror!!!   😉   No doubt it will be a complicated project.

Edited by Houston19514
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The shuttle would probably be between Hermann Park/Rice U and Wheeler - there's no switch over on the tracks between museum district station and wheeler, and when Metro runs a shuttle bus they reverse the trains using the crossover points.  Also the city might object to trains going backwards down Fannin or San Jacinto

 

That's why when there was track work at central station, the bus bridge was from downtown TC to UH-D

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No shutdown of consequence would be necessary to add a new station between Wheeler and Museum District.  Remember, Central Station Main was added without any significant shutdown (occasional shutdowns with bus bridges at off-peak times and that's it).  That said, although the 1000 meter gap between Wheeler and Museum District is bigger than the typical 400-800 meter gaps in Midtown, Downtown, and the TMC, it's in line with the spacing of the rest of the MetroRail system.  And having stops delays the already slow train, meaning you would need a lot of people getting on and off before a stop becomes more than just an annoyance.  So I think a lot more than just this Museo Plaza development will have to be completed before another stop would be justified.

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On 1/16/2020 at 4:23 PM, rechlin said:

... So I think a lot more than just this Museo Plaza development will have to be completed before another stop would be justified.

I think there already is a lot more than just this proposed project. Southmore has a lot of units. The Mondrian and the Venue add even more. The redone Holocaust museum should generate trips. Add the riders from/to the Museo Plaza project and I think rather than the additional 3 minute dwell time at a station, the connectivity to TMC and downtown would actually increase overall ridership.

 

Then again, I've been wrong before.

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:40 PM, Luminare said:

I'm guessing this is why it took so long to get this off the ground. I bet it took awhile to get the capital and land together for the vision, but knowing that its under one vision and one person is great to hear. Thats more promising than it being with some development company that can change anything on a whim.

Well if anyone knows about vision it would be Mike Mann. We have been working with him for years on his art collection for all of his clinics. 

All of the art in his lobbies and offices are from Gremillion.

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19 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Well if anyone knows about vision it would be Mike Mann. We have been working with him for years on his art collection for all of his clinics. 

All of the art in his lobbies and offices are from Gremillion.

 

Always glad to see the local guys that make it big, stay and help to improve whats around them and build something from scratch. From what I know, he is pretty well respected.

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 10:28 AM, Luminare said:

 

Will this building be timeless? What is timeless? Its a very ambiguous term. Again this is another, yes in some ways, and no for others. Historically, buildings that are of this scale and of this height tend last a very long time, definitely from 30 years on-wards, which in a way would make it "timeless". In the world of architecture something that is "timeless" is either something that is designed in such a simplistic way that it can both last for a long time to be reinterpreted in a number of ways, or it is something which incorporates elements that have, historically, lasted throughout time, and have often been seen as typical interpretations of "beauty" which has been proven to last. These are aspects like, proportion, symmetry / asymmetry, detailing, scale, form, how it works with light and shadow, and craftsmanship regarding its construction, and materials (often this goes all the way back to Virtruvius and what he described are the elements for a truly master work of architecture which are: Commodity, Firmness (Utility), and Delight).

 

Good discussion. Timeless to me is like that song from the 80's that comes on when you're sitting at a bar at Happy Hour waiting for your friends to show up and you're like, "Damn. That's a good song." It sounds like it could have come out last week - hasn't lost anything from its age. It's usually the song that didn't try to do too much. The songs that tried to be like little mini-epics sound really dated. It just says what it has to say and then gets out.

 

Some of U2's hits have this quality. Sure, they get overplayed, but if you can go say a year without hearing one and then hear it again, it sounds fresh and you realize why it's overplayed. I'm not even a big U2 fan, just noticed that they don't really age.

 

For buildings in Houston, I'd say Pennzoil Place has this quality. 700 Louisiana has a little bit of the song that tried to be an epic (although it nearly pulls it off). Pennzoil just does its thing and doesn't do too much. Whenever you see it peeking out in a photo, it just breathes class into everything else around it. Meanwhile, Texas Commerce Tower seems to have outkicked its coverage, and Texaco Heritage Plaza was like a belly-flop on day one. Some of the SOM buildings downtown (One Shell, Wells Fargo, 1021 Main, Tenneco) also flirt with timelessness.

 

This building looks pretty crisp and may stand the test of time. The only thing I worry about is the parking. When you devote a third (or maybe half?) of a building to car storage, you run the risk that that could look really bad if we ever start to pull ourselves away from cars.

Edited by H-Town Man
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To me Texaco Heritage Plaza is the most iconic skyscraper in Houston. 

 

In my opinion, a timeless building is one that is instantly recognizable for a city. If there is a silhouette you know what city it is from. For Austin, it is the Chase tower and Dallas could be Reunion Tower and maybe the slanted glass building.

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47 minutes ago, thatguysly said:

For Austin, it is the Chase tower and Dallas could be Reunion Tower and maybe the slanted glass building.

 

Do you mean the Frost Bank tower in Austin?

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Just now, Andrew Ewert said:

I'm not sure if it's a popular opinion, but 700 Louisiana has always been the defining iconic building in the skyline in my mind.

 

I love 700 Louisiana, however, just because something is "iconic" doesn't necessarily mean its "timeless". I personally think it 700 Louisiana is a great work with elements that make it both "iconic" and "timeless". I also think your opinion is more popular than you think or at least more than you make it out to be.

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23 minutes ago, Andrew Ewert said:

I'm not sure if it's a popular opinion, but 700 Louisiana has always been the defining iconic building in the skyline in my mind.

I didn't realize that was it's latest moniker, but I included it in my list also, with its original name Republic Bank.

Also because Pennzoil sort of rocked the architecture world at the time of its completion, I believe it is by far the most Iconic building in the city. 

It also changed the way that office buildings were designed. Rather than a bunch of rectangular and square boxes it completely changed the game.

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

I didn't realize that was it's latest moniker, but I included it in my list also, with its original name Republic Bank.

Also because Pennzoil sort of rocked the architecture world at the time of its completion, I believe it is by far the most Iconic building in the city. 

It also changed the way that office buildings were designed. Rather than a bunch of rectangular and square boxes it completely changed the game.

 

Agree. This is a good case for why it would be deemed "timeless". You could walk next it or see it from afar and genuinely believe that it was designed and built not long ago, when in fact it was the very first of its kind. As a prototype for an entire canon and style of architecture, even though today Postmodernism is rather infamous in its representation, it holds up remarkably well. The same can't be said for something like Michael Graves Portland Building which now looks incredibly dated even though it was quite unique and trendy upon its completion (only 6 years difference by the way).

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2 hours ago, Andrew Ewert said:

I'm not sure if it's a popular opinion, but 700 Louisiana has always been the defining iconic building in the skyline in my mind.

 

1 hour ago, bobruss said:

I didn't realize that was it's latest moniker, 

 

I believe its latest moniker is TC Energy Center and it's definitely iconic

Edited by Houston19514
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3 hours ago, Andrew Ewert said:

 

Do you mean the Frost Bank tower in Austin?

 

Yes. Derp

2 hours ago, Andrew Ewert said:

I'm not sure if it's a popular opinion, but 700 Louisiana has always been the defining iconic building in the skyline in my mind.

 

I agree with this one as well

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3 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

I love 700 Louisiana, however, just because something is "iconic" doesn't necessarily mean its "timeless".

 

1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

Agree. This is a good case for why it would be deemed "timeless". You could walk next it or see it from afar and genuinely believe that it was designed and built not long ago, when in fact it was the very first of its kind.

 

This is what I was driving at. Pennzoil is not my favorite building in Houston, but it is more timeless than my favorite building is. The Rice Hotel is another one I'd call timeless. You wouldn't change a single thing. It's like the Nadia Comaneci floor routine of early twentieth-century hotels. They nailed everything.

 

 

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On 1/29/2020 at 11:34 AM, Luminare said:

 

I love 700 Louisiana, however, just because something is "iconic" doesn't necessarily mean its "timeless". I personally think it 700 Louisiana is a great work with elements that make it both "iconic" and "timeless". I also think your opinion is more popular than you think or at least more than you make it out to be.

 

I'm not even sure what "iconic" means.  How does one assess iconistatisity?  Is "iconic" famous, beloved, an archetype, or what?  The problem is that "iconic" has been over-used to the point where it has very little meaning remaining.  Ranting aside, I think 700 Louisiana and Pennzoil could be considered the two most "timeless" Houston buildings. 

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12 minutes ago, Subdude said:

 

I'm not even sure what "iconic" means.  How does one assess iconistatisity?  Is "iconic" famous, beloved, an archetype, or what?  The problem is that "iconic" has been over-used to the point where it has very little meaning remaining.  Ranting aside, I think 700 Louisiana and Pennzoil could be considered the two most "timeless" Houston buildings. 

Maybe Iconic is like porn.

 

Tough to define , but you know it when you see it.

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5 hours ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

Demolition permit issued.

 

mW5fqpm.png

 

Holy crap, its actually happening. I drive by that area every few days, and just getting rid of that old building and putting anything on it (including a mattress firm) would be a huge improvement and make that area seem a little less...cold and deserted.  Putting a 10 story medical building with constant traffic will 100% spur development in a tiny pocket of land that is strangely devoid of it and maybe rehabilitate some of those older buildings (some are actually quite nice). 

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2 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

Fencing is up:
 

bskYBqt.jpg

This is Site for the new the Mann Eye Clinic building correct? I therefore assume the Museo Plaza building is kaput.

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19 minutes ago, Twinsanity02 said:

This is Site for the new the Mann Eye Clinic building correct? I therefore assume the Museo Plaza building is kaput.

 

Nope, Mann eye building is just phase 1. 

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