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Triton

Americana building (811 Dallas) being demolished for future development

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Has anyone heard any rumblings about the Americana being demolished with mixed-used going in its place?

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Pretty mediocre building. I used to walk past it every day when I worked Downtown, and it always looked dead. no action, no people, nothing.

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Has anyone heard any rumblings about the Americana being demolished with mixed-used going in its place?

 

It looked like they had a plan at one point. I think they ran everyone out of there other than Subway and the Downtown District guys.  They shut down Popeye's for Pete's sake.

 

I foggily recall something about Hillcorp owning that block too, but don't quote me on that.

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It looked like they had a plan at one point. I think they ran everyone out of there other than Subway and the Downtown District guys. They shut down Popeye's for Pete's sake.

I foggily recall something about Hillcorp owning that block too, but don't quote me on that.

Correct. 1110 Main Partners LP owns both the Americana & Hilcorp Tower blocks. Last I heard, the building was to be renovated, that's why all of the existing businesses were forced out. But that was a while back ...surprised Subway is still open.

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I wonder how much space does Hilcorp occupy in that building on Dallas. Might create a sizeable vacancy if they vacate for their new residence on Travis

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Not sure if this deserves a new thread, but I spoke to a construction worker at the Americana Building site (Block 257), and they are going to be demolishing the tower from the top down. There's barricades out on Dallas Street, so it seems like things will be progressing quickly. 

 

Also, the Downtown District operations is moving its office from 1119 Milam to 1102 Travis, which is the SW corner of Travis and Lamar. 

 

 

 

 

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I was going to post something about this as well. Subway closed at the end of 2016. There has been what appears to be an active construction dumpster at on of the entrances on Dallas. Additionally today you can see where some of the windows at the top of the tower are being taken out.

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so who is paying for this demolition....

 

I might be stupid here... but the cost of demolishing this is high, I'm sure. What kind of firm would demo without plans to build something? We don't need another office tower... we don't need more apartments (wish we did), so is this Kinder? Anyone know what the long term plan is?

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20 minutes ago, urbanize713 said:

Unless something has changed Jeffrey Hildebrand owns this property. In fact Hilcorp had offices in this building while it was still functional.

 

Did we hear a rumor that they were going to build a second tower? Or Parking garage?

 

Second question - why is that weird brick garage not being torn down too!?

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I was told by a construction worker that even the Downtown District operations offices (which are moving around the block to the other side of the building) are temporary, so I anticipate that everything will be coming down eventually. Perhaps they'll just continue to have the parking garages operate until something is decided to place on the site. This way they're paying less in taxes by not having a big vacant building, but still making money on the old Macy's garage. 

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On 5/9/2015 at 11:22 PM, Triton said:

Has anyone heard any rumblings about the Americana being demolished with mixed-used going in its place?

 

This quote is from 2 years ago. Maybe these are the plans?

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1 hour ago, Nole23 said:

 

This quote is from 2 years ago. Maybe these are the plans?

 

I am not quite sure. I heard some rumors of a demolition but nothing much after that. Who knows, maybe this is a renovation?

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1 hour ago, urbanize713 said:

Unless something has changed Jeffrey Hildebrand owns this property. In fact Hilcorp had offices in this building while it was still functional.

This is correct. J. Hildebrand owns the entire block

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The cost to upkeep an office building is pretty high. If you have no future plans for the building, it's generally cheaper to demolish it, in lieu of sitting on a building with low occupancy and/or rents. Fortunately, they can collect some high margin income as a parking lot/garage while they plan out the future development. 

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I was just looking at the building the other night and thinking this would make a great mod-themed hotel. Not often you find such a well-preserved period piece. But maybe the Meridien has already filled that niche? If this building were in downtown Austin or somewhere on the West Coast, it would get restored in a heartbeat.

 

 

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On 2/9/2017 at 10:47 PM, HNathoo said:

The cost to upkeep an office building is pretty high. If you have no future plans for the building, it's generally cheaper to demolish it, in lieu of sitting on a building with low occupancy and/or rents. Fortunately, they can collect some high margin income as a parking lot/garage while they plan out the future development. 

So why does the old Holiday Inn continue to stand?

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So we get either a surface lot or a parking garage?

 

Is it strange Hilcorp is holding on to this block? Are they anticipating expansion so soon when they just put up a new tower?

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Downtown Americana building to be demolished

Quote

Hilcorp Ventures, the real estate and investment company owned by Houston's Hildebrand family, is demolishing one of its downtown properties, a worn-out office tower across from the Hilcorp headquarters.

Demolition work has started on the 10-story Americana Building at 811 Dallas. The tower will be removed floor-by-floor, but the garage beneath it will stay, the company said Tuesday. There are no immediate plans to redevelop the site.

The property is across Travis from the Hilcorp tower, which was built on the site of the former Foley's department store. The building is the headquarters for Hilcorp Energy, a private exploration and production company founded by Jeffery D. Hildebrand.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Downtown-Americana-building-to-be-demolished-10949019.php?t=d2940d48af438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

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I guess this building along with the Chronicle building means we are setting up for the next big push in development. I feel this next phase, once the market rebounds, is really going to change Houston big time. 

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I don't think its going to happen for a while. Theres just too much unleased and sub leasable space available. 

A lot of that space has to be absorbed before there will be another tower coming out of either one of those two lots.

Skanska might go ahead with their tower due to a possible deal with Wells Fargo but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one either.

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I'm hoping Hilcorp Ventures will sell later on, that area is a prime location for a tall mixed use tower. 

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On 2/20/2017 at 6:15 PM, BeerNut said:

So why does the old Holiday Inn continue to stand?

because they're not keeping it up

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"The 550-car garage spans both sides of the block, but the office building sits atop just the southern half. The north half of the garage will remain open during construction. "

-- This has me a little confused.  Does this mean their garage is a part of (and connected to) the old Foley's garage?  I know the Foley's garage is on the northern half (or maybe the northern third) of the block.  I remember using the Foley's garage but it seemed to be just that top part of the block.

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Spanning from east to west (Milam to Travis) is what they meant. The garage does not sit under the office building. There's retail on the first floor.

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There are several levels of garage under the Americana Building, pretty much separated from the Foley's garage half of the block.  IIRC there are a couple of pass throughs between the two.

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On 2/22/2017 at 10:36 AM, j_cuevas713 said:

I guess this building along with the Chronicle building means we are setting up for the next big push in development. I feel this next phase, once the market rebounds, is really going to change Houston big time. 

I'm sure that's what they said in 1984-1987 after tearing down every block that could house a new skyscraper ;).

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4 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

I'm sure that's what they said in 1984-1987 after tearing down every block that could house a new skyscraper ;).

 

Not so much.  The 80s collapse was sharper and deeper, because the oil bust started right around the same time that the decimation of the banking system hit high gear.  Every single segment was way overbuilt, to the point that there were newly built out subdivisions with mostly lender owned houses, the brand new Heritage Tower downtown was see through for years, the Mickey Leland building would have been too, except that the Feds took it out of RTC's inventory, the sidewalks at the shuttered Rice were a pissoir... etc., etc., etc.  Adding to the tumbleweeds visual, Texas Eastern did the demo phase of Houston Center pretty much all at once shortly before the rug got yanked out from under everything.  It was really pretty grim for a while - things didn't even start to show small glimmers of improvement until the 90s.  My own house lost about 25% of its market value between when the prior owner bought it in 1983 (with a subsidized interest rate that was higher than what it would be now to put on a MasterCard) and when I bought it in late 1989.

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7 hours ago, mollusk said:

 

Not so much.  The 80s collapse was sharper and deeper, because the oil bust started right around the same time that the decimation of the banking system hit high gear.  Every single segment was way overbuilt, to the point that there were newly built out subdivisions with mostly lender owned houses, the brand new Heritage Tower downtown was see through for years, the Mickey Leland building would have been too, except that the Feds took it out of RTC's inventory, the sidewalks at the shuttered Rice were a pissoir... etc., etc., etc.  Adding to the tumbleweeds visual, Texas Eastern did the demo phase of Houston Center pretty much all at once shortly before the rug got yanked out from under everything.  It was really pretty grim for a while - things didn't even start to show small glimmers of improvement until the 90s.  My own house lost about 25% of its market value between when the prior owner bought it in 1983 (with a subsidized interest rate that was higher than what it would be now to put on a MasterCard) and when I bought it in late 1989.

The point being is we have no idea when the next "boom" will be and exactly how much office space it will command. These lots could sit empty for a very long time.

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17 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

The point being is we have no idea when the next "boom" will be and exactly how much office space it will command. These lots could sit empty for a very long time.

 

That's a fair point.  However, this isn't as deep a hole to climb out of as there was back in the 80s (at least yet).

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On 2/24/2017 at 2:30 PM, EspersonBuildings said:

"The 550-car garage spans both sides of the block, but the office building sits atop just the southern half. The north half of the garage will remain open during construction. "

-- This has me a little confused.  Does this mean their garage is a part of (and connected to) the old Foley's garage?  I know the Foley's garage is on the northern half (or maybe the northern third) of the block.  I remember using the Foley's garage but it seemed to be just that top part of the block.

 

that's not the only nonsensical statement in that article..  Bottom  line:  Don't try to make sense of it.  It's the Chron.  

Edited by Houston19514
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On February 20, 2017 at 6:15 PM, BeerNut said:

So why does the old Holiday Inn continue to stand?

Because it doesn't have a seat.

Sorry, But its almost comical that something hasn't been done about that eyesore.

I drove by it this weekend and it gets worse each time I go by. 

Especially from the southern elevation.

Philip_ White and Hindesky need to do some serious photo and drone work on this and maybe we can get someone in the city 

to finally wake up and get the owners to clean it up. I cant believe that the curtains are still up after twenty something  years of vacancy.

 

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The owner of the Holiday Inn has no economic incentive to do anything to do it. Good will doesn't create revenue, unfortunately.

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4 hours ago, cspwal said:

Don't they have to pay property tax on the land?

Yes, they do.  And, the tax would include the assessed value of the structure. I have been told that the reason why many buildings are flattened is because the empty lot has revenue possibilities (parking) and taxes that are lowers.  The owners here may see different economics.

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Maybe the cost of demolition is more than 5 years of property taxes, and they keep thinking they'll have a plan by then

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On 2/22/2017 at 10:25 AM, bobruss said:

I don't think its going to happen for a while. Theres just too much unleased and sub leasable space available. 

A lot of that space has to be absorbed before there will be another tower coming out of either one of those two lots.

Skanska might go ahead with their tower due to a possible deal with Wells Fargo but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one either.

 

I disagree only based on anecdotal evidence. There's a ton of sub-lease space on the market but that's not stopping developers from getting a jump on the next building cycle. We've seen 609 Main come out of the ground as spec. Now we're seeing Capitol Tower rise with it's ''anchor tenant'' occupying a relatively small portion of the building. Now we're seeing Market Square Tower being shopped for an anchor tenant as they move forward with construction of the garage. The in-thing right now seems to be corporate relocations. One thing that does puzzle me however is why the Bank of the Southwest Tower block remains empty. You would think that nearly 30 years after the lot was cleared for construction that somebody would have jumped on that by now. It's probably THE most valuable block in the CBD with ample tunnel access and central to everything. If I was a developer, I'd be licking my chops with an empty lot, no demo costs and walking distance to the stadiums and the theatre district. 

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On 3/30/2017 at 3:01 PM, cspwal said:

Don't they have to pay property tax on the land?

 

On 3/30/2017 at 7:41 PM, UtterlyUrban said:

Yes, they do.  And, the tax would include the assessed value of the structure. I have been told that the reason why many buildings are flattened is because the empty lot has revenue possibilities (parking) and taxes that are lowers.  The owners here may see different economics.

 

On 3/30/2017 at 10:47 PM, cspwal said:

Maybe the cost of demolition is more than 5 years of property taxes, and they keep thinking they'll have a plan by then

Total property taxes on the Days Inn for 2016 were less than $110k. I would imagine demolition would be several million.

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Here's a case where the land value is astronomical compared to the improvement value ($18.7 mil v $2.9 mil, respectably). Hence the lopping off of the office tower but I wonder why they decided to keep the Macy's garage and the garage podium as Hillcorp has plenty of parking across the street. Maybe they have some ironclad contracts like the Houston Club bldg. 

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