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The Allen: Allen Pkwy/Gillette Mixed Use 6 acres

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25 minutes ago, Urbannizer said:

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Wow.  This would dominate my view west from the Lyric Centre.  When I glance up from my computer screen, the federal reserve is directly centered over the top of the monitor. I think this would eclpise the Marathon Oil Building, Post Oak Tower, BHP Billiton, and other structures clustered around San Felipe that are in that line of sight.  I dig the offset segments of the building, and it looks like it could have a crown with (in Lego Movie astronaut voice) a LIGHT UP FEATURE!!!

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I'm only surprised that more stuff like this doesn't get built along the beautiful banks of Buffalo Bayou. This development is in the nicest part of Houston and it's right between the 2 coolest parts of the city, downtown and uptown. This area is close to everything with killer views on every side.

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I always thought 3333 Allen Parkway had the best views in town, step aside. Maybe in the future we'll see developments on the north side of the bayou additionally.

 

Cool project!

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2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

I always thought 3333 Allen Parkway had the best views in town, step aside. Maybe in the future we'll see developments on the north side of the bayou additionally.

 

Cool project!

 

What, are you ignoring our own Soviet block, The Memorial by Windsor? Or the old Holiday Inn/Old Folks home?

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20 minutes ago, KinkaidAlum said:

 

What, are you ignoring our own Soviet block, The Memorial by Windsor? Or the old Holiday Inn/Old Folks home?

Oh yes, the beautiful Memorial stucco tower of yellow string lighted beauty. Encore!

 

I admire the old folks home... although the development from Katyville to the Taylor/Memorial Overpass have a bit of gentrification to go before anything grand happens there.

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All the buildings look like they came from the "Houston Potential" thread or an aspiring artists personal webpage. 

 

The best design in my opinion is the lowrise with retail.

 

 

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I hope these aren't the typical zoomey early renderings eventually replaced by an Alessandra type development or a Randall 

Davis bait and switch. I'm always a little leary of early development renderings. 

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Forecasting I had seen in 2015 (perhaps early 2016) had said if oil prices rebounded, as they have, we would see an uptick in construction starting late 2017 into 2018. With the amount of collaboration on this project and hoping there's no random downturn in the economy, I have a feeling this one will actually make it through.

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^^^ heck, even GEORGE JETSON approves of this state-of-the-art architecture.  beautiful and futuristic.  CELEBRATE!

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These guys are real players. They're also developing a Thompson branded hotel/condo tower in San Antonio.

 

The ONLY thing that worries me is that they're behind several Randall Davis projects... and those are the king of bait and switch/value engineering.

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The renderings are great and this project definitely has legs to move forward. When this project was first announced, the developers said at the time that they want to build a skyline changer and new landmark tower. This is exactly that. 

 

Although im weary of initial renderings as they are prone to revisions, here's hoping they keep the concept intact and get underway in the near future!

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4 hours ago, Sellanious Caesar said:

The renderings are great and this project definitely has legs to move forward. When this project was first announced, the developers said at the time that they want to build a skyline changer and new landmark tower. This is exactly that. 

 

Although im weary of initial renderings as they are prone to revisions, here's hoping they keep the concept intact and get underway in the near future!

 

my understanding is that everything besides the initial tower and lifestyle center are all TBD. Uses will include office, apt, retail, perhaps medical but designs and scale are subject to change.

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I'm curious if the intention is for the hotel to occupy the upper floors of the tower or if it will occupy the lower floors in order to incentivize EB-5 condo purchases on the upper levels.

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1 hour ago, houstontexasjack said:

I'm curious if the intention is for the hotel to occupy the upper floors of the tower or if it will occupy the lower floors in order to incentivize EB-5 condo purchases on the upper levels.

 

Typically, hotels will be on the lower floors with condos above.  It would have nothing to do with EB-5 investments.  EB-5 investments are not condo purchases.  That's not the way the program works.

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23 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Typically, hotels will be on the lower floors with condos above.  It would have nothing to do with EB-5 investments.  EB-5 investments are not condo purchases.  That's not the way the program works.

Thanks for the clarification.  

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First off, let me say that I love the design and hope that this gets built.  That said, if I were an investor, I would be a bit hesitant about the location (not counting Allen Pky Village next door).  The main issue I see is that other than Buffalo Bayou Park and Pass & Provisions, there is nothing in easy walking distance.  If this was just residential, I don't think that would be a problem -- people love to live near the park and they can drive to work.  But this is also going to be a hotel.  I assume that most of the hotel guests will be in town for business downtown, and I would suspect that most of them would rather stay at one of the nice hotels downtown where they can walk to their offices, as well as a variety of restaurants, bars, and entertainment.  The office aspect of this project is probably okay with the location -- single office buildings abound.  But if a business is looking at Class A space in this general area, I would suspect that many would rather be downtown than this location, which will be somewhat of an island.  

 

Like I said, I like the design and hope it gets build.  Just putting in my two cents.  

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8 minutes ago, htownproud said:

First off, let me say that I love the design and hope that this gets built.  That said, if I were an investor, I would be a bit hesitant about the location (not counting Allen Pky Village next door).  The main issue I see is that other than Buffalo Bayou Park and Pass & Provisions, there is nothing in easy walking distance.  If this was just residential, I don't think that would be a problem -- people love to live near the park and they can drive to work.  But this is also going to be a hotel.  I assume that most of the hotel guests will be in town for business downtown, and I would suspect that most of them would rather stay at one of the nice hotels downtown where they can walk to their offices, as well as a variety of restaurants, bars, and entertainment.  The office aspect of this project is probably okay with the location -- single office buildings abound.  But if a business is looking at Class A space in this general area, I would suspect that many would rather be downtown than this location, which will be somewhat of an island.  

 

Like I said, I like the design and hope it gets build.  Just putting in my two cents.  

 

Don't forget there are plans to re-route 45 and remove the portion separating this area from downtown. Downtown is eventually going to extend to this area so they are probably thinking about what is going to happen. Plus, if Regent Square ever happens I'm thinking we will start to hear some kind of proposal to add mass transit up Allen Parkway connecting it to downtown.

Edited by shasta
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It's true that there is not much currently within walking distance. There is a pretty large untapped market in the 4th ward though. There is still lots of area to redevelop between w dallas and w gray. Maybe this will be enough to really spur that development. 

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Your right about the rerouting of 45, but I think the part of freeway on the west side will continue to stay as is and feed into downtown and midtown.

If I was following the plans correctly the south side of the Pierce elevated that separates Midtown and downtown will disappear but the west side will remain  for  off ramps to Allen Parkway and Bagby and downtown.

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2 hours ago, bobruss said:

Your right about the rerouting of 45, but I think the part of freeway on the west side will continue to stay as is and feed into downtown and midtown.

If I was following the plans correctly the south side of the Pierce elevated that separates Midtown and downtown will disappear but the west side will remain  for  off ramps to Allen Parkway and Bagby and downtown.

 

Yes, some ramps will remain, but it will be very much less of a divide than currently exists on the west side.

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On 4/28/2017 at 0:32 PM, htownproud said:

First off, let me say that I love the design and hope that this gets built.  That said, if I were an investor, I would be a bit hesitant about the location (not counting Allen Pky Village next door).  The main issue I see is that other than Buffalo Bayou Park and Pass & Provisions, there is nothing in easy walking distance.  If this was just residential, I don't think that would be a problem -- people love to live near the park and they can drive to work.  But this is also going to be a hotel.  I assume that most of the hotel guests will be in town for business downtown, and I would suspect that most of them would rather stay at one of the nice hotels downtown where they can walk to their offices, as well as a variety of restaurants, bars, and entertainment.  The office aspect of this project is probably okay with the location -- single office buildings abound.  But if a business is looking at Class A space in this general area, I would suspect that many would rather be downtown than this location, which will be somewhat of an island.  

 

Like I said, I like the design and hope it gets build.  Just putting in my two cents.  

 

My understanding is that it is foreign investment, as someone higher up in the thread said, there's no accounting for foreign investment. It's used to hold cash.

 

But, it's not like there aren't a lot of hotels (high end even) that don't have walking distance to anything. I wonder what the ratio of business traveler in Houston that rents a car vs no rental? I wonder (with the spa component that I've read about) if the business guest is going to be their main client?

 

Whoever they get to stay there, if they do rent a car, they are in an excellent location for a short drive to many different destinations.

 

As far as downtown building out towards it? Probably, but it won't build out close enough to make a difference to the walk-ability of this build, not in our lifetimes at least.

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Walking distance is a non-issue. You can't walk anywhere anyway. But at least anyone living or staying at this development can walk to a great park right across the street. I wouldn't be surprised if there might be a restaurant or shop to walk to right inside this 6 acre development eventually.

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11 hours ago, samagon said:

 

My understanding is that it is foreign investment, as someone higher up in the thread said, there's no accounting for foreign investment. It's used to hold cash.

 

But, it's not like there aren't a lot of hotels (high end even) that don't have walking distance to anything. I wonder what the ratio of business traveler in Houston that rents a car vs no rental? I wonder (with the spa component that I've read about) if the business guest is going to be their main client?

 

Whoever they get to stay there, if they do rent a car, they are in an excellent location for a short drive to many different destinations.

 

As far as downtown building out towards it? Probably, but it won't build out close enough to make a difference to the walk-ability of this build, not in our lifetimes at least.

My pure guess is that the VAST majority of business travelers coming to Houston arrive to their hotel in a car and use that same car to go meet clients or coworkers around various parts of the city.   When I travel on business, that's exactly what I do.  While I do try to get close to the client or prospective client offices, if I were traveling to Houston and had to see clients in the med center, Galleria, and town center areas, I would think nothing of renting a room at this place and simply driving to the destinations for the meetings.

 

further, it is exremely common for a business traveler to "entertain over dinner."  Normally you let the client pick.  So, add that to the list of driving.....

 

I think that a hotel close to a green belt like the this will be an added attraction for some travelers as they will see it as a great place to take a run before the start of a busy day.

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9 hours ago, KinkaidAlum said:

What's walkable from the Omni Riverway? From the St. Regis? From The Houstonian? 

Hint:  essentially nothing.  Yet, they do quite well.  

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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.

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as far as location goes for the office component, you'd be surprised at how many tenants skip downtown due to the hassle of getting in/out of the CBD in addition to the exorbitant costs for parking due to the limited number of spaces available. this building will be able to provide a much healthier suburban office parking allotment at cheaper prices right outside of downtown... add that to its location in front of one of the best urban parks in the country and part of a mixed use development and i have no doubt it will fair well.

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I don't think you can use hotels in the Galleria as a comparison.  Most business visitors and guests I know that stay in the Galleria rent cars; most people I know that stay downtown--business or other visitors--don't.  Again, just my observations and two cents.  Like I said, I hope it does well.  

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The only time I don't rent a car when traveling for business is when I'm going to a convention. When I'm going to stay in a convention hotel, and it's 3 days of meetings for 8 hours, breakfast/lunch/dinner are provided, and there's evening activities. Otherwise, I'll rent a car.

 

I imagine specific areas of New York City would be different, but I can't think of anywhere else I'd go for a client visit where I wouldn't get a car.

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I never, ever rent a car when I'm out of town on business. I either use taxis, walk or Uber. You can get an Uber into downtown from this location for about $5-$7. I live right up the street and use Uber every weekend night. It's so cheap it's not even worth putting on the expense account.

 

That being said, you're a little under a mile from a tunnel entrance from here. If I lived here and worked downtown I'd walk it everyday unless it was storming.

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On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 5:06 PM, swtsig said:

as far as location goes for the office component, you'd be surprised at how many tenants skip downtown due to the hassle of getting in/out of the CBD in addition to the exorbitant costs for parking due to the limited number of spaces available. this building will be able to provide a much healthier suburban office parking allotment at cheaper prices right outside of downtown... add that to its location in front of one of the best urban parks in the country and part of a mixed use development and i have no doubt it will fair well.

 

When referring to CBD parking, I'm assuming you're referring to buildings without their own garages? Newer buildings come with them. I'm not aware, do they not have enough parking for all of their employees?

 

If my assumption is correct that buildings w/ garages that have enough spaces for all their employees, that's one less factor they can check off their list.

 

So theoretically, if this was built downtown, it would have enough parking spaces, no?

Edited by lockmat
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1 hour ago, lockmat said:

 

When referring to CBD parking, I'm assuming you're referring to buildings without their own garages? Newer buildings come with them. I'm not aware, do they not have enough parking for all of their employees?

 

If my assumption is correct that buildings w/ garages that have enough spaces for all their employees, that's one less factor they can check off their list.

 

So theoretically, if this was built downtown, it would have enough parking spaces, no?

 

I suspect no. Using a surface lot and counting cars https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7617402,-95.3630988,79m/data=!3m1!1e3 I come up with between 220 and 240, but let's call it 240 that you get per floor of a full block parking garage. half block garages get 120.

 

11 floors of parking is 1320 parking spaces for 40-50 floors of office? Not gonna cover. But then, I'm sure that's planned, you have park and rider users, you have carpoolers, you have people that choose to park in other cheaper lots.

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If this gets completed it will look like a dull cross between the Reliant stadium (HOK) and that Jeanne Gang Aqua tower knock-off on Wesleyan @ Alabama. It's just a slick rendering, try not get too excited. At best it will have an Energy Corridor vibe. 

 

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1 hour ago, infinite_jim said:

If this gets completed it will look like a dull cross between the Reliant stadium (HOK) and that Jeanne Gang Aqua tower knock-off on Wesleyan @ Alabama. It's just a slick rendering, try not get too excited. At best it will have an Energy Corridor vibe. 

 

Here's to hoping it looks close to the cool designs in the EC... sans the suburban campus feel. 

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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.

Edited by dml423
incomplete sentence and spelling correction
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1 hour ago, dml423 said:

Am I the only one that gets disappointed in the suburban design of stuff around Houston?

 

No.

 

Quote

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?

 

This project is essentially an island:

  • North - eight lanes of vehicular traffic w/ street-side parking
  • East - gated, dated apartment community
  • South - Fourth Ward neighborhood with countless vacant SFR lots
  • West - gated Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Urban-esque pocket developments are shiny, but do little when not successfully connected to the urban fabric of a city.

 

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I believe Sic' Em Bears is essentially spot on in his analysis. Those who tire of the urban archipelago commerical developments are going to be disappointed. This development will look good off the freeway, but I suspect will add little to enhancing the urban feel in the CBD. It will be an island. Ideally ( for those of us who like density) this would be built  between the new Marriott and Minute Maid Park or just south of the Convention center near the stalled out Camden apartments. Eventually something will pop up in those areas. They are rich with opportunity.

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