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The Allen: Allen Pkwy/Gillette Mixed Use 6 acres

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56 minutes ago, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

 

That's a shame. That plot of land will still benefit from infill and it's good news to hear things seem to be moving forward, but I'm definitely concerned with how it will look now. Hopefully, they provide updated renderings come the time that leasing office opens.

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2 hours ago, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

 

From my short time in this industry thus far, this simply comes to the architect either designing something they don't know how to pull off, or not having a backbone to back up their design. On the flip side, I've been getting really pissed with just how lazy contractors have come across or the fact that they are obsessed with looking good to the client by creating fictitious "budget savings" by value engineering where it doesn't need to simply to look good to the client. In many instances a project doesn't need to be value engineered, and instead they are doing to avoid costs put onto them, or simply pocket the money as profit. Its ludicrous. This all starts, however, with architects designing with a spine, and standing up for what they want to see. 

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I'm wondering, all engineers, architects, industry, and engineer-adjacent people. 

How the hell do you "value" engineer something that's 800 feet tall? It seems like whatever materials you chose you're going to have to engineer the hell out of them. 

(Unpopular opinion: I wasn't all that crazy about the offset sections.) 

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I hope The District I and II don’t get “value engineered”.  Those and the Hines projects downtown are my favorite buildings on the drawing board for Houston right now.  I have full faith that Hines will deliver.  Hopefully Caydon doesn’t go the way of Randall Davis.

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17 hours ago, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

While, I am a huge fan of this project.  I lean optimistic that the sentiment of Houston developers you've detailed, is changing.  The amount of product put out by Hanover, Hines and others that have enhanced the skyline over these past few years has been great.  Point being, I am hopeful that financing will continue to get smarter with the spotlight on Houston investment becoming brighter, which is happening ie more investors coming to town. Flash renderings that inevitably become redrawn completely is getting old and DC/RD is starting to get a reputation for this.  I'll withhold opinion until I see the renderings, but I'm confident that this stereotype is changing as Houston becomes more attractive to global investors.

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10 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

I hope The District I and II don’t get “value engineered”.  Those and the Hines projects downtown are my favorite buildings on the drawing board for Houston right now.  I have full faith that Hines will deliver.  Hopefully Caydon doesn’t go the way of Randall Davis.

 

The renderings we saw of The District I and II looked to me like splash renderings, concept sketches to generate interest. I had the same thought when I saw renderings for the Allen. I imagine we'll get a quality product out of Caydon (not so sure about The Allen, even the name just seems weird) but the renderings we saw were beyond belief.

 

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You also need to understand how a project gets financed. The initial renderings are nothing more than marketing especially for a project like this. I'm almost 100% positive this is an EB-5 equity financed project, meaning the initial renderings are shown to thousands of wealthy Asian/African investors to draw them in. Under this program, the foreign national must invest $500,000 or $1 million in exchange for an expedited green card process, depending on where the project is located. So you are showing these renderings to nonprofessional real estate investors whose primary focus is not on their money but being allowed into the US. Now, this first phase is probably a 100-200-million-dollar project if not more, which means you have to find a LOT of foreign investors to put up money before a construction loan even becomes a possibility. 

 

Once the developer gets close to putting shovels in the ground he is 100% not going to build the marketing renderings; he has no incentive too. The great thing about EB-5 is the cost of equity is almost nothing, like a 2% return to the foreign investors with no definitive timeline on when that money will get returned. A developer like Hines or Hanover will have a cost of equity around 14-20%, a huge difference!  So you over promise and under deliver, because if you can get anything built that looks halfway decent and leases up, you as the developer, will be swimming in money once you sell.

 

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1 hour ago, C List said:

You also need to understand how a project gets financed. The initial renderings are nothing more than marketing especially for a project like this. I'm almost 100% positive this is an EB-5 equity financed project, meaning the initial renderings are shown to thousands of wealthy Asian/African investors to draw them in. Under this program, the foreign national must invest $500,000 or $1 million in exchange for an expedited green card process, depending on where the project is located. So you are showing these renderings to nonprofessional real estate investors whose primary focus is not on their money but being allowed into the US. Now, this first phase is probably a 100-200-million-dollar project if not more, which means you have to find a LOT of foreign investors to put up money before a construction loan even becomes a possibility. 

 

Once the developer gets close to putting shovels in the ground he is 100% not going to build the marketing renderings; he has no incentive too. The great thing about EB-5 is the cost of equity is almost nothing, like a 2% return to the foreign investors with no definitive timeline on when that money will get returned. A developer like Hines or Hanover will have a cost of equity around 14-20%, a huge difference!  So you over promise and under deliver, because if you can get anything built that looks halfway decent and leases up, you as the developer, will be swimming in money once you sell.

 

 

Thanks for this.

 

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7 hours ago, arbpro said:

If I thought my surroundings were ugly I would move. But that's just me!

Not a luxury everyone can afford unfortunately. 

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^ Hey don't blame Houston if you're too poor to buy a bus ticket back to whatever shithole you came from.

Edited by West Timer
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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Yeah never get that whole Houston is ugly thing. IMO Houston is actually a pretty nice city. 

 

I don't think Houston is a particularly naturally beautiful place. I think we've done a good job with what we have.

 

Our defining water feature being Buffalo Bayou and effectively zero discernible elevation change doesn't create much drama in our terrain. 

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7 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

I don't think Houston is a particularly naturally beautiful place. I think we've done a good job with what we have.

 

Our defining water feature being Buffalo Bayou and effectively zero discernible elevation change doesn't create much drama in our terrain. 

I guess as far as terrain then yeah we're a giant marsh/swamp. I mean I've been to LA and they have gorgeous mountains but the city itself is moo

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I agree regarding the terrain. Nevertheless as a professor in one of the biological sciences I find the Houston area and the Big Thicket amazing for its plant and animal variety. I've never seen  a metro area with what appear to be  three ecological zones: Prairie like west Houston, The Jungle like thickets of North Houston, and the marshy wetlands of Southeast Houston. Eye candy for folks in biology.

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10 hours ago, West Timer said:

^ Hey don't blame Houston if you're too poor to buy a bus ticket back to whatever shithole you came from.

 

What a enlightened, hospitable, and welcoming attitude.

 

Guess we should build a wall around Houston to keep people from crawling out of their shitholes and coming here for work.

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19 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

 

The bridge hasn't been in the renderings and maps for a little while. I think it was even discussed here as well in the past few months.

Edited by ChannelTwoNews

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11 hours ago, West Timer said:

^ Hey don't blame Houston if you're too poor to buy a bus ticket back to whatever shithole you came from.

 

I will gladly buy a bus ticket for you to go somewhere else so we can keep people like you out of Houston and make it a better city.

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Give it to the Vy troll. She's the one that can't stop the pointless bitching about Houston. Unlike her, I can afford to live anywhere I want and I think Houston is fabulous and getting more fabulous by the day.

 

But I guess I'm probably being too insensitive. Really, I have nothing but pity for those poor pathetic losers who are handcuffed to places they would rather not be and aren't smart enough to be able to figure out how to do anything about it except whine about it on the internet and then proceed to blame our great city for their own personal issues and shortcomings.

 

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On 12/17/2018 at 1:30 PM, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

Never ASSume.

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33 minutes ago, thatguysly said:

 

I will gladly buy a bus ticket for you to go somewhere else so we can keep people like you out of Houston and make it a better city.

 

Exactly. There's no problem with expressing your opinion, but constant negativity and little to no constructive conversation becomes annoying very quickly. 

 

No city is perfect, anywhere you go there will always be good and bad things about the place you call home. One of the worst things you can do is complain about the bad and remain inactive, whether in action or ideas.

 

But in saying all this, the best way to deal with these people is to just ignore them. Don't feed stupidity. 

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30 minutes ago, West Timer said:

Give it to the Vy troll. She's the one that can't stop the pointless bitching about Houston. Unlike her, I can afford to live anywhere I want and I think Houston is fabulous and getting more fabulous by the day.

 

But I guess I'm probably being too insensitive. Really, I have nothing but pity for those poor pathetic losers who are handcuffed to places they would rather not be and aren't smart enough to be able to figure out how to do anything about it except whine about it on the internet and then proceed to blame our great city for their own personal issues and shortcomings.

 

 

Such great people we have in our fair city of ours. Open-minded, slow to make assumptions, and modest. Just the best.

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42 minutes ago, West Timer said:

Never ASSume.

 

it's not really an assumption...

 

15 minutes ago, Vy65 said:

 

Such great people we have in our fair city of ours. Open-minded, slow to make assumptions, and modest. Just the best.

 

perhaps if you did anything other than complain people would be a little more "open minded and modest"... if you simply wanted a place to b!tch maybe yelp would be more your speed.

Edited by swtsig
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1 hour ago, ChannelTwoNews said:

 

The bridge hasn't been in the renderings and maps for a little while. I think it was even discussed here as well in the past few months.

I know. Just giving the latest article on Swamplot.

3 minutes ago, swtsig said:

 

it's not really an assumption...

 

 

perhaps if you did anything other than complain people would be a little more "open minded and modest"... if you simply wanted a place to delicate flower maybe yelp would be more your speed.

I couldn’t agree more. Vy never has good input, just complaints lol

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10 hours ago, swtsig said:

 

it's not really an assumption... perhaps if you did anything other than complain people would be a little more "open minded and modest"... if you simply wanted a place to b!tch maybe yelp would be more your speed.

 

This is a really ignorant post.

 

10 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I know. Just giving the latest article on Swamplot.

I couldn’t agree more. Vy never has good input, just complaints lol

 

See above

Edited by Vy65

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5 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:



What's going on with Swamplot? The site doesn't post all up-to-date intel as it used to, reporting on projects months after it's been discussed here. Never posting updates or sharing new articles on Facebook or Twitter. And sometimes there are 3 posts a day (one really if you don't include the demo report or headlines). And the meaty posts are almost always published late. Posts were published on the hour before. The site is a shell of itself. 

Count me not surprised Swamplot shared the bridge update on the renderings weeks and months after it's been known.

 

They rely to a large extent on tips sent by readers. So, feel free to fill their inbox with tips. I am sad that they seem to have gotten rid of the Swampys, which normally bring holiday cheer this time of year.

 

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1 hour ago, AREJAY said:

Surprise! it's a Mattress Firm 

 

Game-changer.

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16 hours ago, phillip_white said:

Looks like fiberglass.

 

Looks more like a custom fabricated metal panel. I know one said that they were doing some value engineering on the first phase, but if they are putting this much effort to make this lease office look fancy....I just don't see them doing that much value engineering.

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Upon further examination. You can notice that the look and style of this paneling is similar to the look that they are going to do for the one commercial component. Might be a good first look at what that smaller building will look like once they start it.

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On 12/18/2018 at 9:10 AM, C List said:

You also need to understand how a project gets financed. The initial renderings are nothing more than marketing especially for a project like this. I'm almost 100% positive this is an EB-5 equity financed project, meaning the initial renderings are shown to thousands of wealthy Asian/African investors to draw them in. Under this program, the foreign national must invest $500,000 or $1 million in exchange for an expedited green card process, depending on where the project is located. So you are showing these renderings to nonprofessional real estate investors whose primary focus is not on their money but being allowed into the US. Now, this first phase is probably a 100-200-million-dollar project if not more, which means you have to find a LOT of foreign investors to put up money before a construction loan even becomes a possibility. 

 

Once the developer gets close to putting shovels in the ground he is 100% not going to build the marketing renderings; he has no incentive too. The great thing about EB-5 is the cost of equity is almost nothing, like a 2% return to the foreign investors with no definitive timeline on when that money will get returned. A developer like Hines or Hanover will have a cost of equity around 14-20%, a huge difference!  So you over promise and under deliver, because if you can get anything built that looks halfway decent and leases up, you as the developer, will be swimming in money once you sell.

 

 

I'm not able to read through this because its locked behind a paywall. Warning! This is not for this development, but since what happened with another developer involves foreign investment that means its on topic and will probably on topic with other developments with similar financing. With that being said....holy cow! I was a bit skeptical of this persons comment about foreign investment until I found this headline this morning...

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/foreigners-funded-houston-development-to-get-green-cards-they-were-duped-sec-says-11546956000

 

If anyone has a wsj sub and is willing to provide the transcript I would definitely appreciate it. Interested in reading the rest and not just the headline.

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Totally forgot to post, this is from Dec. 20 when I was taking a bike ride. Soil samples happening in NE corner of lot.

 

73OeIRp.jpg

 

kOGayLY.png

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

I'm not able to read through this because its locked behind a paywall. Warning! This is not for this development, but since what happened with another developer involves foreign investment that means its on topic and will probably on topic with other developments with similar financing. With that being said....holy cow! I was a bit skeptical of this persons comment about foreign investment until I found this headline this morning...

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/foreigners-funded-houston-development-to-get-green-cards-they-were-duped-sec-says-11546956000

 

If anyone has a wsj sub and is willing to provide the transcript I would definitely appreciate it. Interested in reading the rest and not just the headline.

 

Found some screenshots of the story on another forum: http://www.andhrafriends.com/topic/786199-foreigners-funded-houston-development-to-get-eb-5-green-cards-they-were-duped-sec-says/

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8 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

Apparently this is in need of some serious reform. Unfortunately it seems like its another one of those items where both sides of the aisle would like to do something about it, but when each party takes power they seem to kick the can down the road in order to use it themselves. With that being said, I'm nearly 100% confident that every other nation probably has a backdoor through the process like this. While its been mostly used by Chinese investors to get into the US, I'm pretty confident that China has the exact same thing, but in reverse for US investors.

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They are putting some serious work into this sales office. Pretty impressive!

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