skooljunkie

The Allen: Allen Pkwy/Gillette Mixed Use 6 acres

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WE have to remember that Houston is a different animal.

Its larger than the state of New Jersey. It really started developing in the fifties when suburbia was fueled by flight and the new freeway system.

It became a city when the car was king and we DON'T HAVE ZONING.

You have to remember that without zoning people are free to build whatever they want wherever they want.

No connectivity, no urban neighborhoods, and a lack of continuity will create an incubator for detachment which stymied any sense of an urban 

public realm walkability. We don't even have sidewalks wide enough to walk on if there isn't a telephone pole or a billboard or other impediment blocking the ROW. If there is even a sidewalk to begin with. Houston's culture has been all about the car, air conditioned comfort, and not having to walk more than fifty feet to get from your car to the front door of wherever your going. Why do you think the roof is always closed in our outdoor stadiums. WE are spoiled and don't want to sweat, get our hair messed up or have to walk in this humidity.

Until that changes (probably never), were stuck with these types of developments. 

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It is changing and some of the developers are trying to bring a more conscientiously designed projects to the table. The problem is that we are so disconnected because of the way we grew that nothing really connects to other developments and until the gaps, spaces, and poorly planned seas of parking lots and our poor excuse for a planning commisssion gets corrected it won't have the continuity it takes to get people out of their cars. Sure some of the new developments are neat and thoughtful but its like getting in your car to go to an amusement park. You drive to the development and pull into a parking area, pay your fee and walk around and ooh and aah , then you get back in your car and drive back home or to another well designed shopping district. 

One other thing I think calling it the planning commission is  oxymoronic.

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The islands ARE the urban fabric, genius. The beautiful urban park on the other side of the eight lanes of traffic to the north will make this a great little 40 story island. Too bad that the Victory Park island isn't next to an ACTUAL park.

Edited by Reporter
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On 5/6/2017 at 0:58 AM, dml423 said:

Am I the only one that gets disappointed in the suburban design of stuff around Houston? All these cool shopping areas that they build now, ROD, City Centre, this project, are all great but have literally no interaction with the city. It is a place people drive into and out of. it is literally the modern day mall, just that developers have figured out how to skimp on having to pay for A/C. It doesn't invite people to walk to from the outside, only encourages you to walk within the project after you have parked in a 4-6 story garage. I understand it for projects farther out like City centre, but this location? literally not even a mile out from the epicenter of the CBD?

 

I just came back from Portland and Seattle and was shocked by how the developments there actually encourage pedestrian activity and how much better designed those cities are. Portland which is around 1/3 of the size of Houston feels so much more urban and better developed. And seattle even more so. I am Houston born and bred and love the city, but you can see the difference that city planning and regulations make once you visit other cities.

 

I didn't mean to get off topic too much, so I digress. While the designs of the building look cool and I am a fan, the actual layout of these developments leave a lot to wish for. I just want developments to take a more urban approach.

 

I was just having this discussion with my business partner yesterday about locations, not this specific discussion, but a discussion about Houston and walkability, and how important it is to have a walkable space vs major road frontage.

 

Houston is a driver's town. It is more walkable than it was 10 years ago, it will continue to become more walkable, but it is still a town where you get in your car and you drive to your destination. It will continue to be this for years, if not decades.

 

So yeah, we'll continue to see destinations like this being built. It's better than suburban strip centers.

Edited by samagon
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Outside of skywalks in downtown, when's the last time a private company built a pedestrian bridge over major thoroughfare, or highway?

 

I'm struggling to think of any others than the Astroworld bridge over 610.

 

There's got to be a few over some smaller roads connecting parking structures to apartments, but over a major thoroughfare?

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Just hope they make it high enough for truck clearance. I remember the numerous truck /bridge collisions on the I-45 and  I-69 freeways, not to mention ship/bridge collisions on the Shipping channel 610 bridge.

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As long as the clearance is at least as high as the pedestrian bridge down the road closer to downtown, it should be fine.  That seems to have survived just fine over the decades.

 

With the amount of detail they've put into these renderings, especially these most recent ones, I hope that means they are serious about this particular design and won't be scaling it down.  It looks great!  Definitely more something like what you'd see built in the Middle East or East Asia than the boring stuff too frequently built here.

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2 hours ago, samagon said:

Outside of skywalks in downtown, when's the last time a private company built a pedestrian bridge over major thoroughfare, or highway?

 

I'm struggling to think of any others than the Astroworld bridge over 610.

 

There's got to be a few over some smaller roads connecting parking structures to apartments, but over a major thoroughfare?

The first one that comes to mind is the bridge from Memorial City mall to Memorial Hermann Memorial City over Gessner

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I love this development. My only hope is we continue to get projects like this along Allen Parkway and Memorial. Pending of course this does in fact come to fruition.

 

The track of land at Montrose and Allen is another prime site for this caliber of development. Additionally the Regent square tract which of course is a pending project. Taller buildings from Shepard all the way Downtown would be quite the skyline in of it self.

 

The property at the corner of Shepard and Allen specifically I believe has lots of potential. The buildings at that corner appear to be in disrepair or not really in use. Lots of disposable income right down the street.

 

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It takes the help of the city and a number of projects to make an area more pedestrian friendly. The developers of this project utilized the land very well and it's walking distance to Downtown so I don't get the complaints. Also Allen Parkway was recently redone to make it safer for pedestrians, for those who won't use the skywalk. A number of urban projects (Buffalo Heights District, Regent Square) are planned here, so we're off to a great start, it just takes time.

Edited by invisibletrees
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1 hour ago, urbanize713 said:

I love this development. My only hope is we continue to get projects like this along Allen Parkway and Memorial. Pending of course this does in fact come to fruition.

 

The track of land at Montrose and Allen is another prime site for this caliber of development. Additionally the Regent square tract which of course is a pending project. Taller buildings from Shepard all the way Downtown would be quite the skyline in of it self.

 

The property at the corner of Shepard and Allen specifically I believe has lots of potential. The buildings at that corner appear to be in disrepair or not really in use. Lots of disposable income right down the street.

 

I've been told this site is coming on the market soon either as a whole or a portion of the plot.  The entire site is bound by Allen Parkway, Shepherd, W Dallas, and Tirrell.  I would guess that the new ownership will develop a high-end mixed-use project. 

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I know that Allen Pkwy and Memorial aren't going away anytime soon (or plan to be buried), but becoming the "pedestrian bridge capital of the US" would be a pretty cool goal for this stretch of Buffalo Bayou.  Hopefully Regent Square would also see the value in adding one to their development.  

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I agree the more access to Buffalo Bayou park the better. 

I think there is a overhead crosswalk at Gulfgate that crosses either 45 or 610. It seems I saw it the other day as I was driving around the parking lot at Gulfgate. First time I've ever been this close to I believe is  the first shopping mall in Houston. 

Its good to see that it is still viable and seems to be a pretty active mall with HEB and Best Buy as anchors.

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18 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I agree the more access to Buffalo Bayou park the better. 

I think there is a overhead crosswalk at Gulfgate that crosses either 45 or 610. It seems I saw it the other day as I was driving around the parking lot at Gulfgate. First time I've ever been this close to I believe is  the first shopping mall in Houston. 

Its good to see that it is still viable and seems to be a pretty active mall with HEB and Best Buy as anchors.

 

There was once a movie theater just across 610 from Gulfgate Mall. I think the pedestrian bridge was to allow access between the two originally, with perhaps some thought to giving pedestrian access to the mall from the neighborhood south of 610. 

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Very excited that something like this is being built along Allen Parkway! I work nearby at the AIG Complex, am moving into the new apartment development next door off Dallas (Broadstone Tinsley Park) and frequent Buffalo Bayou Park. Great to add more walkable area and businesses to the area. I am wondering if there will be any type of grocer in this development. I feel like besides Whole Foods, there isn't really any where to shop without venturing into the Heights or Montrose.

 

Also, what are the chances Allen Parkway Village gets demolished to make room for future skyline development? I believe this area is considered historical but this is prime real estate and I could imagine blocks of new development leading into downtown on this very plot. Slow by surely the Fourth Ward is becoming developed.

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Allen Parkway Village isn't going anywhere. It's historic and is actually a small portion of the original neighborhood.

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On 5/9/2017 at 7:56 AM, samagon said:

Outside of skywalks in downtown, when's the last time a private company built a pedestrian bridge over major thoroughfare, or highway?

 

I'm struggling to think of any others than the Astroworld bridge over 610.

 

There's got to be a few over some smaller roads connecting parking structures to apartments, but over a major thoroughfare?

 

I may be making this up.. but isn't there an old hotel on the beltway by IAH with some sort of connector pedestrian bridge over the highway? I don't get on that side of town often but I remember reading a discussion about the hotel on here a few years ago.

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It will exceed 500 feet. Using One Park Place and Market Square Tower as references ( both residential) my guess is it will not exceed the American General Tower.  

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The only way it is taller than an office tower would be if there's a crown/spire. Office buildings are universally taller with higher floor-to-ceiling heights than residential/hotels with the same floor count. However, it should break 500 feet. 

 

 

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There seems to be a small crown feature. I don't know if the lines above the tallest setback indicate floors...

 

Based on the aerial rendering the roof looks flat, as if the drone "taking the picture" matched the height. If that's an indicator for height, it looks around the 680ft range (lined up to the Continental Tower's upper windows on the crown, approx. 210m).

 

HOK usually have accurate renderings, so we'll see what the FAA filing says.

 

Edit: if my amateur calculations prove to be true, it would set it slightly above or below 3 Allen Center, making it the tallest residential/hotel/mixed use building in the state if they beat out the Independent in Austin.

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3 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

There seems to be a small crown feature. I don't know if the lines above the tallest setback indicate floors...

 

Based on the aerial rendering the roof looks flat, as if the drone "taking the picture" matched the height. If that's an indicator for height, it looks around the 680ft range (lined up to the Continental Tower's upper windows on the crown, approx. 210m).

 

HOK usually have accurate renderings, so we'll see what the FAA filing says.

 

Edit: if my amateur calculations prove to be true, it would set it slightly above or below 3 Allen Center, making it the tallest residential/hotel/mixed use building in the state if they beat out the Independent in Austin.

There's zero chance this building will top 3 Allen Center. That is a 50-story, 685 foot, Class A office tower with probably 12' or 14' ceilings. I think a better match for this condo tower would be One Park Place. That building is 37-stories, 501 ft tall. Market Square Tower is 40-stories and 502' tall. I think it's likely that this building will be in the 540' range but not much more than that I'd suspect.

Edited by wxman
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This came to mind for me

 

2929 Weslayan is 39 stories, is completely all residential, and its height is officially listed at 533 feet. 

 

http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=98555

 

I think the Allen will at least match that in height, which is great, because 500 feet in these market conditions is more than what we could've asked for anyways. The Allen's base floor looks to be a few feet higher than 2929 Weslayan, so I think there is a great chance that this will eclipse 500 feet. 

Edited by Sellanious Caesar
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no chance a 42-story mixed use tower even approaches the height of a 50-story office building, sans massive crown/decorative spire.

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Unless they don't count parking floors below. Anyways just an observation, no need for anyone to believe it will be that tall.

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This project is going to be so damn sexy and God willing a trend setter for the city. 

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On 7/1/2017 at 9:26 AM, CREguy13 said:

Construction is starting this fall and will include:

 

- 30,000 SF Lifestyle Pavilion with high-end fitness center

- Thompson Hotel & Condo Tower

- Interior Park & Café with outdoor seating

- Ground level retail throughout the project

- 80,000 SF medical office building

 

https://view.staging.hangar.com/CRE/DC-Partners/Allen-Parkway/index.html

 


So the pedestrian bridge across Allen Parkway won't be part of phase one?

Oh, and I count 38 stories on top of the podium..? Surely that podium is taller than 4 average height floors.. (in response to the height comparisons from back in May)

Edited by cloud713
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8 minutes ago, cloud713 said:


So the pedestrian bridge across Allen Parkway won't be part of phase one?

Oh, and I count 38 stories on top of the podium..? Surely that podium is taller than 4 average height floors.. (in response to the height comparisons from back in May)

Check out the 3D view on their website, it looks closer to AIG in Height.

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Haven't gotten around to attaching the PDF file (can't do this via mobile) but I've added images from it to CBREguy's post.

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On 5/2/2017 at 7:45 AM, mollusk said:

Hmmmm... Related, ZaZa has a rail stop right outside the door, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone (other than myself) actually using that stop to go to/from the ZaZa.

ZaZa is definitely within walking distance of countless museums and is like across the street from Herman park 

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5 hours ago, architrist said:

ZaZa is definitely within walking distance of countless museums and is like across the street from Herman park 

Did you really reply to a post from may 2nd in a thread that has nothing to do with Hotel ZaZa? 

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On 7/27/2017 at 11:52 PM, CREguy13 said:

Sorry tried to attach something and did not work.  Will try to find better attachment, but groundbreaking for Office is also scheduled for this fall and delivery is in winter of 2019.

 

 

IMG_4133.PNG

 

IMG_4134.PNG

 

IMG_4136.PNG

 

IMG_4137.PNG

Like the ledge.

 

 

1.jpg

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It may be premature to speculate, but I wonder if Harvey will have any effect on this project.  Its proximity to Buffalo Bayou, although normally an aesthetic asset, could frighten investors who might be shown photos of the recent flooding over the banks.

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19 minutes ago, houstontexasjack said:

It may be premature to speculate, but I wonder if Harvey will have any effect on this project.  Its proximity to Buffalo Bayou, although normally an aesthetic asset, could frighten investors who might be shown photos of the recent flooding over the banks.

 

Doubtful. In fact, it'll likely go the other way - proven not to flood in the worst circumstances known so far.

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18 minutes ago, houstontexasjack said:

It may be premature to speculate, but I wonder if Harvey will have any effect on this project.  Its proximity to Buffalo Bayou, although normally an aesthetic asset, could frighten investors who might be shown photos of the recent flooding over the banks.

 

This is still an extremely desirable property. They will just need to be smart on how they develop this property.

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Do we know if the property flooded or not? The satellite photos from August 31st show it dry. I walked down to the Bayou at Memorial and Shepherd every day and the 28th appeared to be the highest day.

 

I live near Shepherd and West Dallas, we didn't get any high water. The Shepherd drainage project that took 2 years apparently worked very well for us.

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