Jump to content

Any updates on 800 Bell (former Exxon Building)?


Recommended Posts

Jgriff & Nate whispering under their breath "damn"... ;)

She's spared (For now). A real shame the city didn't decided to occupy this space. Will be interesting to see how long this downturn lasts and how long after prices rise that the O&G companies will start growing again.

 

The owners can do whatever they want as far as I am concerned, I don't really care.

 

This thing is huge though. I wonder what the economics of rehabbing it will be if it sits barely maintained for an extended period, and maintaining it well could quickly bankrupt whatever LLC was established to hold it with an expectation of redevelopment. If neglected, this could make the Days on Earth Inn look pretty and unobtrusive by comparison.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 506
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I guess it's to show tenants what a finished office will look like with views and all. They must smell some prey to be doing this now. I really hope they don't knock away one of the solar fins since I

Don't know if anything is really happening, but recently bit the bullet and got a Houston Business Journal sub. So far I'm not regretting it. Found this on the site:   Anyone have any other

I am guessing that is just to refit a floor for marketing efforts. 

Posted Images

Dallas has had a tower of similar height and vintage sitting vacant for awhile. I was hoping such a thing wouldn't happen to OUR downtown, but it is what it is.

Will downtown have had any net increase in office space from this cycle, when you factor the addition of 609 Main and Hilcorp against the loss of this building and Houston Club? Maybe just a couple hundred k?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dallas has had a tower of similar height and vintage sitting vacant for awhile. I was hoping such a thing wouldn't happen to OUR downtown, but it is what it is.

Will downtown have had any net increase in office space from this cycle, when you factor the addition of 609 Main and Hilcorp against the loss of this building and Houston Club? Maybe just a couple hundred k?

How much space did Exxon have at 1301 Fannin?

Might be a good opportunity to turn 800 Bell into a residential. Something affordable, give Ivy Lofts a run for their money. I wonder if the fins could support a balcony? Thin metal railings wouldn't be too damaging to the look?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be a good opportunity to turn 800 Bell into a residential.

I wonder if the fins could support a balcony? Thin metal railings wouldn't be too damaging to the look?

I've been thinking this for a while, even said something about that not long ago. It's been clear for some time that more office space isn't needed downtown anytime soon.. Turn it into residential! As for the balconies, someone shot my fin to balcony conversion down saying they arent meant to hold any weight, but if Shorestien was going to expand the floor plates out, why couldn't something be figured out for making the fins support balconies or rebuilding the fins/balconies entirely?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking this for a while, even said something about that not long ago. It's been clear for some time that more office space isn't needed downtown anytime soon.. Turn it into residential! As for the balconies, someone shot my fin to balcony conversion down saying they arent meant to hold any weight, but if Shorestien was going to expand the floor plates out, why couldn't something be figured out for making the fins support balconies or rebuilding the fins/balconies entirely?

 

Also use tempered glass for railing on the balconies to give minimal impact to the apperance.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Not moving forward soon:

 

Quote

The fate of 800 Bell has been up in the air for some time now, but a spokesperson for California-based Shorenstein Properties, which owns the downtown building, said any planned renovations for the 45-story office tower are on hold.

To move forward, the project requires "a significant sized user to prelease the building in order to commence reconstruction," Transwestern's Eric Andersontold the Houston Business Journal. Transwestern is marketing the 1.3 million-square-foot building, which makes it the most available contiguous space in Houston.

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2016/07/redevelopment-plans-for-downtown-tower-on-hold.html?ana=RSS%26s=article_search

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Avossos said:

I bet the City of Houston takes it :)

With a new mayor, I think that's probably the most logical choice especially since they are in desperate need for a new building.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Triton said:

With a new mayor, I think that's probably the most logical choice especially since they are in desperate need for a new building.

 

My guess is they strike a deal, at some point in the next 8 months. They do a combination of renovations of that building for courts and offices. They also buy a lot nearby (maybe in Eado or Northside) for the police dispatch, making them happy with a more horizontal campus. Justice complex combing both is adjusted. In 2-3 years they will sell the land as the market is rebounding.

Edited by Avossos
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Avossos said:

 

My guess is they strike a deal, at some point in the next 8 months. They do a combination of renovations of that building for courts and offices. They also buy a lot nearby (maybe in Eado or Northside) for the police dispatch, making them happy with a more horizontal campus. Justice complex combing both is adjusted.

If they do reach a deal, perhaps those wanting the original design may win. Perhaps the city can get a discount to lease this building if only the internal offices are renovated, with the exterior simply cleaned perhaps. Shorenstein did want to modernize the building though, so who knows... guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Triton said:

If they do reach a deal, perhaps those wanting the original design may win. Perhaps the city can get a discount to lease this building if only the internal offices are renovated, with the exterior simply cleaned perhaps. Shorenstein did want to modernize the building though, so who knows... guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

 

Oh I agree that if Houston does take the space, the exterior will likely remain (hopefully cleaned up a bit). I hope that this does get connected to the tunnels however, whatever happens to the building.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
20 hours ago, Triton said:

Late 60s

 

1024x1024.jpg

Man, I wish all those pre-wars weren't mowed down... What a bummer that empty lots sit there now. Older downtowns function like real cities, not seas of boring disconnected, cold office towers. Anyways, a great shot and a great look into the past!

 

Perhaps this is straying from the topic of the discussion, but does anybody have an estimate of how many were destroyed?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Many US (inner) cites were abandoned in the 60's and 70's. This certainly wasn't unique to Houston. Its important to note too that renovation is most of the time cheaper than new construction. Obviously I can't predict what would have occurred if the buildings were kept, but In my opinion a few of them would have been renovated by the 90's and early aughts. 

Looking at that building in the foreground in historic aerial photography, thats the corner of La branch and Rusk st . Which today is a surface level parking lot. (Lot 97)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a good point - I guess it's hard to imagine now other cities having lots of abandoned buildings.  

 

I wonder how downtown would have turned out if they hadn't demolished the buildings for Houston Center.  South downtown wasn't part of that, but it might have kept some of those buildings

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of those buildings were likely torn down to reduce property taxes, reduce maintenance costs, and to provide the ability to make money from use as a parking lot. For those of you who weren't here in the 70's and especially the 80's during the oil bust, Downtown was dead. No one went there much, except to go to work. There was no real demand for space, so no reason for the buildings to be kept.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

sfw5Mcj.jpg

Also, since were posting old photos of the building, I'll share a project I'm working on right now. I was able to get a skyline shot of Houston from 1966 which I had digitally restored.  I then hired a drone operator to take an equivalent shot for me. 

Edit, seems like I can only display one imgure link try this: http://i.imgur.com/np541Gz.jpg   and http://i.imgur.com/sfw5Mcj.jpg 

Edited by Purdueenginerd
  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Purdueenginerd said:

sfw5Mcj.jpg

Also, since were posting old photos of the building, I'll share a project I'm working on right now. I was able to get a skyline shot of Houston from 1966 which I had digitally restored.  I then hired a drone operator to take an equivalent shot for me. 

Edit, seems like I can only display one imgure link try this: http://i.imgur.com/np541Gz.jpg   and http://i.imgur.com/sfw5Mcj.jpg 

I tried viewing your first picture in several different browsers but I am not able to view it.

Edited by Triton
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Purdueenginerd said:

sfw5Mcj.jpg

Also, since were posting old photos of the building, I'll share a project I'm working on right now. I was able to get a skyline shot of Houston from 1966 which I had digitally restored.  I then hired a drone operator to take an equivalent shot for me. 

Edit, seems like I can only display one imgure link try this: http://i.imgur.com/np541Gz.jpg   and http://i.imgur.com/sfw5Mcj.jpg 

 

Not bad at all in 50 years. The obvious next move will be to remove the freeway, so that development takes off in the foreground and the bayou becomes a greenscape corridor between two skylines.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Purdueenginerd said:

sfw5Mcj.jpg

Also, since were posting old photos of the building, I'll share a project I'm working on right now. I was able to get a skyline shot of Houston from 1966 which I had digitally restored.  I then hired a drone operator to take an equivalent shot for me. 

Edit, seems like I can only display one imgure link try this: http://i.imgur.com/np541Gz.jpg   and http://i.imgur.com/sfw5Mcj.jpg 

Apparently, there were no parking garages Downtown in 1966 (OK, there's one for the Humble Building, and presumably a couple of others). There are a lot of cars in the surface lots. Which may explain why so many low rise buildings were torn down.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ross said:

A number of those buildings were likely torn down to reduce property taxes, reduce maintenance costs, and to provide the ability to make money from use as a parking lot. For those of you who weren't here in the 70's and especially the 80's during the oil bust, Downtown was dead. No one went there much, except to go to work. There was no real demand for space, so no reason for the buildings to be kept.

And, in the late 1980s, downtown after dark was fairly dangerous.  Heck, the Urban Animals had to skate around in big packs just to stay safe!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Even if the existing facade stayed as is, the building is in desperate need of a good scrubbing. I drive by it every single day.

 

They redid almost all of the stone cladding not that long ago, maybe 10 years. It shouldn't be too dirty yet.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

It been a while since I have heard anything on 800 Bell. There was a company planning to renovate it last I heard. Then there were the talks of turning it into a court complex. I thought was a innovative way reuse the tower. Figure you dont need all the floors for the court complex so the rest could be rented out law firms and such.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BigBlueContractor said:

The study was done, high rise court facilities do not work. Major problems with conveyance of people, i.e. inmates and jury members. Also parking becomes a headache, people end up being late, etc... 

 

That is too bad. Would love to see this building remain in it's current form.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BigBlueContractor said:

The study was done, high rise court facilities do not work. Major problems with conveyance of people, i.e. inmates and jury members. Also parking becomes a headache, people end up being late, etc... 

Someone needs to tell Harris County that, since both of the main courthouses are high rise buildings.

 

800 Bell's elevators are first class, fast, and there are a lot of them. 3 banks if I remember correctly from meetings I attended there.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

They learned their lesson! Especially with the Jury Issue. They had to build a separate building just to house the jurors before they could go in. 

 

But you have to remember that was all master planned and their are tunnels that go from jails to criminal courthouse - it allows for seperation. 800 Bell would not allow that. They were also talking about 800 Bell housing the police HQ at 600 Travis. The original deal that was in place was a really complex delivery. 

 

The bottom line is that the COH needs new "social infrastructure", but they do not have enough money to pay for it. They would have to go to the voters asking to get 500+ to rebuild their jails, courthouses, and police center into a "campus". It is spread out right now, where Harris County is bundled together nicely. 

 

Not sure what the voters appetite would be on a large bond program for those types of facilities?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, BigBlueContractor said:

They learned their lesson! Especially with the Jury Issue. They had to build a separate building just to house the jurors before they could go in. 

 

But you have to remember that was all master planned and their are tunnels that go from jails to criminal courthouse - it allows for seperation. 800 Bell would not allow that. They were also talking about 800 Bell housing the police HQ at 600 Travis. The original deal that was in place was a really complex delivery. 

 

The bottom line is that the COH needs new "social infrastructure", but they do not have enough money to pay for it. They would have to go to the voters asking to get 500+ to rebuild their jails, courthouses, and police center into a "campus". It is spread out right now, where Harris County is bundled together nicely. 

 

Not sure what the voters appetite would be on a large bond program for those types of facilities?

 

Why would they need to separate the jurors any more than they currently do?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Why would they need to separate the jurors any more than they currently do?

What's all this talk of separating anyhow? I thought the jury building for the county was more of an organizational convenience than a need to isolate the populace from the law.

 

I served for nearly 2 months on a trial at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse a few years back, and on many occasions walked in thru the metal detectors right behind or in front of the guys that were on trial or lawyers from either side. We jurors exercised good practice (as did they) and didn't ride in the same elevator up with them--we would just wait for the next one.  

 

Edited by Sparrow
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Sparrow said:

What's all this talk of separating anyhow? I thought the jury building for the county was more of an organizational convenience than a need to isolate the populace from the law.

 

I served for nearly 2 months on a trial at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse a few years back, and on many occasions walked in thru the metal detectors right behind or in front of the guys that were on trial or lawyers from either side. We jurors exercised good practice (as did they) and didn't ride in the same elevator up with them--we would just wait for the next one.  

 

Correct... It was more of preventing from you waiting outside in the rain when they have a pool they are picking from. Let's say it is more of convenience and knowing that your tax dollars are being well spent. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2017 at 6:09 PM, Ross said:

They redid almost all of the stone cladding not that long ago, maybe 10 years. It shouldn't be too dirty yet.

 

Let's hope your mother isn't reading this... :ph34r:

 

On 3/8/2017 at 7:24 PM, Ross said:

Someone needs to tell Harris County that, since both of the main courthouses are high rise buildings.

 

The public elevators in the criminal courthouse are incredibly inadequate.  Those in the civil courthouse just have pretty long waits at peak times - far longer than what you experience in a typical commercial building.

 

9 hours ago, BigBlueContractor said:

They learned their lesson! Especially with the Jury Issue. They had to build a separate building just to house the jurors before they could go in. 

 

The current centrally located underground jury assembly facility is at least the second one. There was an earlier version in Congress Plaza, on Congress between Fannin and Main, built in the very early 80s.  Before that goes a bit before my time.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand the comment of the jury needing a sperate area. If you go down to Galveston the court complex they built has the jury selection court room in the same building with the trial courts. It all one big complex.  I just got called for duty last week. I went into the jury court room which was on the first floor right down hall from one to the trial ones.

Edited by cougarpad
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Subdude changed the title to Any updates on 800 Bell (former Exxon Building)?

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...