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The Allen: Allen Pkwy/Gillette Mixed Use 6 acres

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Just spoke to a representative of DC Partners. The event has been postponed.

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Just spoke to a representative of DC Partners. The event has been postponed.

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17 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

 

Anyone planning to attend? 6PM at the Arabella

 

15 hours ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

Just spoke to a representative of DC Partners. The event has been postponed.

 

I have a feeling that they jumped the gun on publishing that link and a lot more people than "friends and family" are interested in attending. The RSVP is now password protected.

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Houston Business Journal reporting that construction could start next month. I don’t have an HBJ account to post the article. 

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Houston Business Journal reporting that construction could start next month. I don’t have an HBJ account to post the article. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm skeptical of construction starting next month, but it would be great if work actually kicked off before summer.

 

The other lingering question: when will we see those updated renderings?

Edited by CaptainJilliams
misspelling
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The Allen Sales Gallery.  Also spotted a G.T. Leach storage container in the back.  Wonder if that means something

 

2pjQkrv.jpg

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One of the things I love about Houston is how dated even recent photos are due to the non-stop construction. For example, Midtown construction. As the saying goes: if you haven't been to Houston in the last five years, you haven't been to Houston.

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With the exception of Marlowe downtown, every RD project had been a complete departure from the initial rendering.  The Allen is a beautiful mixed-use development In the marketing material. . . I fear it will end up a half-stucco disappointment like Arabella and Astoria before all is said and done.  But who knows, maybe Mr Davis has turned a corner.  We’ll see.

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6 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

With the exception of Marlowe downtown, every RD project had been a complete departure from the initial rendering.  The Allen is a beautiful mixed-use development In the marketing material. . . I fear it will end up a half-stucco disappointment like Arabella and Astoria before all is said and done.  But who knows, maybe Mr Davis has turned a corner.  We’ll see.

RD is not involved with DC Partners anymore. 

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4 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Who is the architect on this project?

 

 In the articles posted above, they mention HOK as the design firm.

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Glad you cleared that up!  Urbanizer has been carrying this forum for years with his inside scoop in real estate developments.  I had little doubt he probably posted these a long time ago, and I’m glad he did.  But it is hard to go dig thru page after page of some of these bigger topics, particularly if you’re on a mobile device.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, BlindTiger said:

I meant to post this sooner, but you know how things are.

 

I was in town and driving by the property in early March.  Guys were working inside so my SO and I thought we might try to take a peek and just have a chat.  We spoke to the lead construction guy, whose name is eluding me right now.  The sales gallery is basically a model unit so prospective buyers can see what condos in the tower will look like.  They will have a huge tv that is able to show the view out the windows of any given unit which I thought was pretty neat.  The metal design on the outside of the gallery I think is there to stay, it is going to be the actual design/finish for most of what is being built there.  The guy said it was his first time working with that material and he was really interested to see how it went because it was going to be incorporated everywhere.  It is all pre-fabbed and shipped in from Australia.  

 

He confirmed a start date on the pavillion of April.  (Speaking to him in early March, he said they would break ground "next month.").  I think he said construction on the pavilion would take about a year and then they would get the retail in, etc.  The details here are a bit fuzzy but I'm pretty sure he said they would break ground on the tower (the next building they would start) in about 9 months, so December, and that once they broke ground construction would take about 3 years.   After getting the tower underway, they would begin work on the other two buildings, but did not have a definite timeline.  Overall, he said timeline to complete would be about 5 years. 

That’s a mighty long time for an ambitious project like this. It all starts good but then half way through they blame market conditions for getting a 2 story strip center and a parking garage. The pavilions downtown is a prime example. Was supposed to be three large high rises but ultimately ended up with a half baked project that nobody knows or cares about.

 

Regent Square is another example except that one never left the drawing board.

Edited by wxman
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37 minutes ago, wxman said:

That’s a mighty long time for an ambitious project like this. It all starts good but then half way through they blame market conditions for getting a 2 story strip center and a parking garage. The pavilions downtown is a prime example. Was supposed to be three large high rises but ultimately ended up with a half baked project that nobody knows or cares about.

 

Regent Square is another example except that one never left the drawing board.

Yep, who knows what will actually pan out of this.  I'm just relaying what I was told.  Once they break ground on the tower, I bet it's only about a year until they have structural steel up.  Once that happens, you can at least rest assured know how the skyline will change. 

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On 3/29/2019 at 11:16 AM, wxman said:

That’s a mighty long time for an ambitious project like this. It all starts good but then half way through they blame market conditions for getting a 2 story strip center and a parking garage. The pavilions downtown is a prime example. Was supposed to be three large high rises but ultimately ended up with a half baked project that nobody knows or cares about.

 

Regent Square is another example except that one never left the drawing board.

 

The more ambitious the project, the longer it will take. Thats just the nature of the beast. The timeline by the previous post doesn't really seem that far off from the norm to me.

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On 3/29/2019 at 10:44 AM, BlindTiger said:

I meant to post this sooner, but you know how things are.

 

I was in town and driving by the property in early March.  Guys were working inside so my SO and I thought we might try to take a peek and just have a chat.  We spoke to the lead construction guy, whose name is eluding me right now.  The sales gallery is basically a model unit so prospective buyers can see what condos in the tower will look like.  They will have a huge tv that is able to show the view out the windows of any given unit which I thought was pretty neat.  The metal design on the outside of the gallery I think is there to stay, it is going to be the actual design/finish for most of what is being built there.  The guy said it was his first time working with that material and he was really interested to see how it went because it was going to be incorporated everywhere.  It is all pre-fabbed and shipped in from Australia.  

 

He confirmed a start date on the pavillion of April.  (Speaking to him in early March, he said they would break ground "next month.").  I think he said construction on the pavilion would take about a year and then they would get the retail in, etc.  The details here are a bit fuzzy but I'm pretty sure he said they would break ground on the tower (the next building they would start) in about 9 months, so December, and that once they broke ground construction would take about 3 years.   After getting the tower underway, they would begin work on the other two buildings, but did not have a definite timeline.  Overall, he said timeline to complete would be about 5 years. 

 

Just to try and further bring validity to this post, I spoke with my brother this weekend who told me his company (contractor for high-rise MF) has this on their schedule for November/December.  Also, the drawings he's seen are very similar to the renderings shown so hopefully this isn't being value engineered like we fear. 

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

 

Just to try and further bring validity to this post, I spoke with my brother this weekend who told me his company (contractor for high-rise MF) has this on their schedule for November/December.  Also, the drawings he's seen are very similar to the renderings shown so hopefully this isn't being value engineered like we fear. 

 

While I don't like the term "value-engineering', its also become a very broadly applied term thats almost lost its intended meaning. For others not in the industry we call this process the "VE" process. It happens on every...single...project. What you don't want is for your architects to be enormous push overs, or contractors VE'ing stuff that shouldn't be VE'ed (you won't believe the corners contractors look to cut even for things that are legitimately important), or owners that are pinching pennies when they don't have too. Its an incredibly risky business and its amazing that people invest or want to build a building, period. To that point, people are going to want to make sure money is being used properly, and that has always been the intended use of "VE". The design that has been shown is completely doable. For me its always been the finishes. Will it look cheap or will they go all the way and not cut corners in places that don't make sense. So when anyone here hears the term "VE" that doesn't mean the design that was presented will be dumbed down or even changed (usually that is rare and actually costs more to dumb down or change a project completely). Usually its finishes and detailing that gets "VE". Its a balance, and I've seen multiple ways it plays out. Hopefully they have a competent GC.

Edited by Luminare
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15 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

While I don't like the term "value-engineering', its also become a very broadly applied term thats almost lost its intended meaning. For others not in the industry we call this process the "VE" process. It happens on every...single...project. What you don't want is for your architects to be enormous push overs, or contractors VE'ing stuff that shouldn't be VE'ed (you won't believe the corners contractors look to cut even for things that are legitimately important), or owners that are pinching pennies when they don't have too. Its an incredibly risky business and its amazing that people invest or want to build a building, period. To that point, people are going to want to make sure money is being used properly, and that has always been the intended use of "VE". The design that has been shown is completely doable. For me its always been the finishes. Will it look cheap or will they go all the way and not cut corners in places that don't make sense. So when anyone here hears the term "VE" that doesn't mean the design that was presented will be dumbed down or even changed (usually that is rare and actually costs more to dumb down or change a project completely). Usually its finishes and detailing that gets "VE". Its a balance, and I've seen multiple ways it plays out. Hopefully they have a competent GC.

 

I agree.  I am in the design industry like you are and I just find it easier to use VE as a broad term.  I'm very familiar with having my projects get their budgets slashed in the middle of doing the construction drawings 😡.  My brother also mentioned that the drawings he saw had a very robust HVAC system, he said it was somewhat over designed so it sounds like they aren't taking the cheap route there.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

 

I agree.  I am in the design industry like you are and I just find it easier to use VE as a broad term.  I'm very familiar with having my projects get their budgets slashed in the middle of doing the construction drawings 😡.  My brother also mentioned that the drawings he saw had a very robust HVAC system, he said it was somewhat over designed so it sounds like they aren't taking the cheap route there.

 

Not exactly shocked about an overly designed HVAC. I'm sure the structure has also been the case. Then again I always prefer to work those guys that over-design/over-deliver since its always easier to strip down than to add-on. Lets hope that the GC they get is actually someone who can do the job and not some "friend" of the client. That is just asking for a design to get scaled back or "dumbed down". Another note for all would-be future clients in here. Get the guy that can actually do the job! Not some "friend" who "needs" the work (or so they say). Thats asking for trouble.

 

EDIT: I can also relate about the changes during CD! The worst is when its 95% (just ready for construction or permit) and then bam! Changes!

Edited by Luminare
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We call it value plus and can get a bonus if we find something that will save the client or us money.

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14 hours ago, jgriff said:

We call it value plus and can get a bonus if we find something that will save the client or us money.

 

Never said Estimating was an easy job. I'm sure you are one that knows where to find the best areas to save money, but man have I been on some projects that are ridiculous. One job I was on, the GC "saved" 2 million from the project, but when the building was finished it was clear the 2 million saved was money that could have been used to better the building. The building just looked cheapened and stripped down. The silver lining was the 2 million then went into another building, but then the same GC tried to do it again! There is a clear difference in preventing unnecessary spending and preventing necessary spending.

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34 minutes ago, toxtethogrady said:

You always have to be careful, though...
Leaning Tower of NYC

There is one in San Francisco that is leaning like that as well. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jmitch94 said:

There is one in San Francisco that is leaning like that as well. 

 

And the transportation hub in San Francisco, and the bridge situation in Dallas. Yes there are even GC's that are so bad that they will try to save money by cutting out Steel, or concrete stress testing (the Dallas example), or cut holes into beams so they can use bolts instead of welding (the transportation hub example). It may seem like an unnecessary expenditure, but it is never something you should skip out on.

 

EDIT: It should be clear that there are many great and competent GC's out there. This isn't the issue. The issue is a bad GC is potentially dangerous to a job (they are building the building after all). Whether its one that arrogantly proclaims that they have done a certain job a million times so they don't need to stress test, or a GC who will literally throw an architects plans in the garbage because they believe they "know how a building goes together" (all the above applies to architects, and engineers btw), its important that a GC respects the process and follows the plans as laid out and if changes need to be made then they do it in a professional fashion. Cutting corners isn't just bad for the building, but its bad for Client and is a violation of trust that a client puts on a GC to do things right just as they do for Architects.

Edited by Luminare
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At DFW Airport 35 years ago, it was fewer sacks of concrete than specified in the runways. People eventually went to jail over it...

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On 3/4/2019 at 4:15 AM, Urbannizer said:

Free event being held Thursday March 21st for a “first look” at The Allen. The new design will likely be shown here.

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-residences-at-the-allen-friends-family-event-tickets-57735629823?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

 

 

Now scheduled for April 24th

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.eventbrite.com/e/realtor-training-with-houston-eb5-tickets-60262049412/amp

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Wasn’t there supposed to be a meeting or some kind of gathering to reveal new plans for this development? I wanna say it was supposed to be on April 24th or something.

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On 4/27/2019 at 8:58 PM, wxman said:

Wasn’t there supposed to be a meeting or some kind of gathering to reveal new plans for this development? I wanna say it was supposed to be on April 24th or something.

anyone know what happened at this meeting? 

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Received confirmation that the distinctive “twist” in the hotel/condo design has been done away with.

 

Another classic bait bait and switch... Yay houston developers! 

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16 minutes ago, swtsig said:

Received confirmation that the distinctive “twist” in the hotel/condo design has been done away with.

 

Another classic bait bait and switch... Yay houston developers! 

 

Source?

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, swtsig said:

Received confirmation that the distinctive “twist” in the hotel/condo design has been done away with.

 

Another classic bait bait and switch... Yay houston developers! 

 

Honestly the twist was very subtle anyway. Even if it was just a straightened version of that tower it would still look just fine. You normally can only justify a twist if its either more dramatic, or you have multiple moments that define the "twist" as a design feature. The twist just seemed like an afterthought in this design. Anything that is an afterthought in any design is going to be trimmed off. Now if the twist was like Jeanne Gang's newest building in San Fran:

 

Pgc4Up0.jpg

 

Clearly this is a defining feature for the building that was well thought out, so it will be vigoriously defended by the architects during construction documentation.

 

13 minutes ago, CaptainJilliams said:

 

Source?

 

@swtsig is probably one of the more reliable field sources we have in this forum. Normally when swtsig says something people listen. Swtsig is usually right about certain confirmations.

Edited by Luminare
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3 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Honestly the twist was very subtle anyway. Even if it was just a straightened version of that tower it would still look just fine. You normally can only justify a twist if its either more dramatic, or you have multiple moments that define the "twist" as a design feature. The twist just seemed like an afterthought in this design. Anything that is an afterthought in any design is going to be trimmed off. Now if the twist was like Jeanne Gang's newest building in San Fran:

 

Pgc4Up0.jpg

 

 

Honestly, I never even knew the condo/hotel tower was supposed to “twist”.. it just looked like they flipped a parallelogram over for each stack, to mirror the one below it and stagger the angle of the balconies/views.

 

When can Houston start expecting to get some projects like that epic Gang tower? ...50 years? Houston is so far behind in architecture/design, it’s sad, especially after being at the top in the 70s.

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1 hour ago, cloud713 said:

 

 

Honestly, I never even knew the condo/hotel tower was supposed to “twist”.. it just looked like they flipped a parallelogram over for each stack, to mirror the one below it and stagger the angle of the balconies/views.

 

When can Houston start expecting to get some projects like that epic Gang tower? ...50 years? Houston is so far behind in architecture/design, it’s sad, especially after being at the top in the 70s.

Once tenants are willing to pay the rents that are necessary to build them. THE RO is getting redesigned right now because the building was overdesigned and they would need rents 30% over market to make the construction numbers work. Companies/people aren't willing to pay that just to be in a pretty building unfortunately. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SMU1213 said:

Once tenants are willing to pay the rents that are necessary to build them. THE RO is getting redesigned right now because the building was overdesigned and they would need rents 30% over market to make the construction numbers work. Companies/people aren't willing to pay that just to be in a pretty building unfortunately. 

 

Thats correct. From my own knowledge base you only get the really high-end / super-fine / "epic" projects when they either have an iconic name attached to the project that warrants a particular pricetag / design (example being Frank Gehry who puts titanium on everything and one that hires him knows they have to put that in there initial pricing), real estate starts to crunch up a bit in terms of availability or there is a large stock of "generic" building types that warrants approaching the high end to stand out, and finally when you have a large speculative market with LOTS of $$$$. The only reason we have the buildings we have from the 70's was due to the latter option. Oil Companies with lots and lots of money to drive a high-end speculative market. Do we really want that again folks? That kinda crashed hard the last time. We will get there, but it won't get there quick. We want the first two options to get the fancy stuff, but it takes some leg work to get there first. We are heading in that direction. We have really gotten a glorious amount of different/interesting/necessary projects for Houston. Its not a matter of if anymore, but a matter of when.

Edited by Luminare
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On 4/30/2019 at 4:49 PM, real-k-estate said:

Now planned for May 16

 

What a joke this is.

 

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9 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Thats correct. From my own knowledge base you only get the really high-end / super-fine / "epic" projects when they either have an iconic name attached to the project that warrants a particular pricetag / design (example being Frank Gehry who puts titanium on everything and one that hires him knows they have to put that in there initial pricing), real estate starts to crunch up a bit in terms of availability or there is a large stock of "generic" building types that warrants approaching the high end to stand out, and finally when you have a large speculative market with LOTS of $$$$. The only reason we have the buildings we have from the 70's was due to the latter option. Oil Companies with lots and lots of money to drive a high-end speculative market. Do we really want that again folks? That kinda crashed hard the last time. We will get there, but it won't get there quick. We want the first two options to get the fancy stuff, but it takes some leg work to get there first. We are heading in that direction. We have really gotten a glorious amount of different/interesting/necessary projects for Houston. Its not a matter of if anymore, but a matter of when.

 

Thats a good point about “the only reason we have the buildings we have from the ‘70s”..

Speaking of Gehry.. I just got back from DC, and I’m still not sure what to think of his Eisenhower Memorial design.

 

Hopefully the rescheduled meeting for this project won’t be pushed back again.

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