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s3mh

W 19th (former Chase Bank) New Apartments by Greystar (2 Phases)

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This is one messy message to unpack, but lets walk through it.

 

13 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

Oh come on.  The Heights was built out mostly from 1910-20 and is largely Craftsman with some older Victorian homes.  The spectrum of the original architecture is not that wide and the McVics, Fauxorleans and especially the $%&@ing modern Victorian farmhouse new builds that have infested the neighborhood stick out like sore thumbs.

 

 

4 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

 

From what I've seen in this particular hood its an all around "American Eclectic". Lots of older kit houses from old pattern books that advertised anything from "Queen Anne" to "Craftsman". The spectrum is so wide and broad that it leaves the door open for many possibilities which is what makes the area fun!

 

 

Do you even know what goes into a Queen Anne house and a Craftsman house? Not only are they stylistically vastly different from each other, but thats without even going into how each type of house is organized. One is very ornate while the latter is very simple. One is Uniquely English while the other is uniquely American. Thats a very wide and broad spectrum of design. Anything that is built like new is going to stick out like a "sore thumb" whether it is a good build or a crap build. None of this is even an argument and is a matter of opinion. A weak one at that.

 

21 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

Of course, everyone who is at all connected with the builders, realtors and architects in the Heights thinks that it all looks great, but that is just because they want to put their own architectural stamp on the neighborhood.

 

 

Haha. So now I'm a shill? How do you define a "shill" in your eyes? By your definition, anyone that likes development that you don't like or even development at all is basically a "shill". Thats a very broad and vague definition of a very particular word.

Yes I do work in the industry and yes I do want to see more developments happening, but its not like I'm secret about that, and my remarks aren't sponsored by Greystar either (maybe they should. That would make life so much easier haha).

 

27 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

 But it is totally easy to build consistent with the original architecture and a good percentage of the recent new builds have paid attention to the original craftsman architecture.

 

 

Are you saying you have? I would love to see your work. I'm sure you have done an excellent job since you claim that is "easy" to build consistently with the "original architecture". Where are these new builds that you speak of as well. Most I've seen have been restorations, as Craftsman isn't exactly in vague when it comes to new houses of late. Then again I could be wrong.

 

32 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

The Broadstone Waterworks does a good job of respecting the original architecture of the Heights.  Brick with some stucco and some Art Deco ornamentation.  You can clearly see that they were thinking about what would fit in well in a historic neighborhood.

 

 

1) Are you seriously going to use a building that hasn't been finished yet as your horse to bet on? Really?

 

2) You do know this is an EDI International project, right? EDI is the definition of "boilerplate" and "generic". Thats not to say that is bad or even wrong. They aren't an example of incredible design talent. They do consistent work that has a consistent level of quality which is hard for any firm of any size to do (I hope to even get to that level in my career. Thats hard to do). So there is that. However, by your definition of what a "shill" is. Maybe we should question your motivations? Especially when you say things like below:

 

40 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

Greystar just came in and basically dropped an architectural f-bomb.  They didn't even try.  It is boilerplate in a way Craftsman architecture never was.  Craftsman architecture was part of a significant artistic movement and the architecture is celebrated and preserved for its brilliantly simple variations on common architectural elements.  Greystar's design is just another modern multi-family going for the "Urban Elegance" look.  It is stale, out of place and just lame.

 

 

This sounds like you have a personal axe to grind with these guys. No idea why, but this is way to emotional, and like your previous remarks, doesn't mean its an argument. I also think Greystar is like another EDI International. Though I would say they are a slight peg above. At least they put out renders that are professional and make you interested in the building. EDI can't even be bothered too.

 

43 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

This neighborhood is in National Geographic.  Property values are off the charts.  Retail developments are everywhere with every restaurant in Austin and Dallas looking for a spot in the Heights.  We deserve much better than this.

 

 

 

I don't care if they are in the next issue of Playboy. The elites in media aren't the reason why The Heights is now successful. Its not because someone wrote about the place in GQ or whatever. Its a lot of different companies doing their best to figure it out and make something out of a neighborhood that used to be not much of anything. A lot of those retail developments and housing is actually the very stuff that you complain about. A lot of regular generic stuff, but together it becomes something.

Luckily you have zero power or authority to make any worthwhile decisions in this neighborhood because by your ridiculous subjective standards nothing would ever get built (anywhere for that matter).

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I think I'm kinda w/ s3mh on this one. 

 

I'm pretty much OK with the massing. The 20th St frontage is essentially 6 stories (a reasonable height fronting a street that width). The 12-story facade on Nicholson would seem overly high fronting a street as narrow as Nicholson, except the RoW on Nicholson is actually 50% wider than 20th (90 vs 60 ft). And the afternoon shade on that stretch of the bike trail would be welcome.

 

But the architecture is... not great? With the exception of the balconies on the north façade, it looks more like an office building or hotel than residential. And with the exception of the (3-story) lobby on the corner, the rest of the street-facing parts of the building look to be essentially blank walls covering a parking structure. Could be better.

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Think ya'll are being too harsh on s3mh and I get what he's saying. Most of the new multi-family in the Heights area have mostly tried to stick with the Heights aesthetic. Maybe some reddish brick or maybe even lap siding. This tower is more of an ultra modern multi-family which is different than the other developments that have been cropping up in the Heights.

 

That being said, as Purdeenginerd above pointed out, the Heights has always been a mish-mash of different architectures, especially all the low and midrises we have here. We have a fugly looking office building, the random Houston Heights Tower in the center of downtown Heights... Sure, we should aim for consistency going forward but I really don't think this building will stick out in the Heights area in any negative way.

 

Lastly, I don't see anyone upset about the new Chase building. Talk about nice! I actually walked in their yesterday:

2019-06-12_17_32_24.jpg

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The front corner and balconies in the rendering look alright but the many repetitive cut out windows just really kills it for me. It immediately reminded me of the same cut out windows on The Hampton/Homewood Suites Hotel downtown. Also, the modern yet bland minimalist look doesn’t really mesh well with the surrounding “historic” neighborhood. I feel since this current design trend took hold, we have become very closed minded to all other styles. The modern trend just doesn’t translate well in every location, this to me being an example. The height is okay considering there are other tall buildings nearby. 

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Posted (edited)

YTI7HJ9.gif

 

I literally have no clue what is going on this thread. How this thread is progressing makes the quote from my boss remain all too true and not only is it hard to legislate taste, it also seems impossible for others here to even define what the "taste" of this neighborhood is and why it so important to this particular instance, and nobody here can seem to give a solid answer why any of this matters in the grand scheme of things. Of all the places to make a stand aesthetically, this is an odd moment to do so, especially after how much has been built and changed in this hood for the past 10 years. NOW its going to far? Really? Oh well.

Edited by Luminare
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About the only high rise building that I can think of that manages to successfully blend in with a historic area's aesthetics is Aris at Market Square - but this ain't a Hines project, or apparently even a high end one.  Whether this building is attractive or not is a matter of taste (I don't much care for it personally).  Regardless, we're stuck with it, and it's not a chicken farm or a trash transfer station or some such so I'm not going to go all Abe Simpson and yell at the clouds.

 

Frankly, as a long time Heights homeowner, I'm more concerned by the sudden onset of fully fenced McTexasModernFarmhouses on slab, with crummy build quality and drainage issues out the wazoo for the immediate neighbors.  That, and I kinda liked the po' folks (as in, not a 7 figure housing budget) better.

 

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Also I looked on streetview - this is across the street from a strip center, not the historic 0' setback buildings

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Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2019 at 2:12 PM, cspwal said:

Also I looked on streetview - this is across the street from a strip center, not the historic 0' setback buildings

The best word for this immediate area going back 50 years is "dump" not "historic" in any sense.  It was very 50s-60s era commercial industrial mix with a railroad spur right through the middle of it. 

 

The only thing memorable or consistent about the area that felt like they tied together were the two big water tanks, they were very similar to each other...they had a nice giant water tank-ey aesthetic that really tied everything up in a beautiful bow.

Edited by JJxvi
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Posted (edited)

Looks like a tower crane base to me.

EEy4Kul.jpg

zUEFYdc.jpg

GFKNGgG.jpg

Edited by hindesky
Edit: Added the TPDES Permit
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2 hours ago, hindesky said:

Looks like a tower crane base to me.

 

 

GFKNGgG.jpg

 

 

That actually looks like a deep foundation tensile load test to me.  (pdf of ASTM test http://www.centurionfondation.com/fr/pdf/ASTM-D3689_07.pdf )Next to the machinery are helical piles. So they might installing helical piles for the crane, and then subsequently load testing it? Either way, its a little odd to me. 

 

Normally I see those tests done if 1) theres a problem with the foundation you just placed. or 2: you're reusing the "deep foundation" of a previous or existing building. Code requires a load test. I'm skeptical the old chase bank had deep foundation thats useable for a much taller building. 

 

Maybe they want to load test their helical piles... I dont know. Curious images. 

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Purdueenginerd said:

 

 

That actually looks like a deep foundation tensile load test to me.  (pdf of ASTM test http://www.centurionfondation.com/fr/pdf/ASTM-D3689_07.pdf )Next to the machinery are helical piles. So they might installing helical piles for the crane, and then subsequently load testing it? Either way, its a little odd to me. 

 

Normally I see those tests done if 1) theres a problem with the foundation you just placed. or 2: you're reusing the "deep foundation" of a previous or existing building. Code requires a load test. I'm skeptical the old chase bank had deep foundation thats useable for a much taller building. 

 

Maybe they want to load test their helical piles... I dont know. Curious images. 

 

 

 

 


To my knowledge the chase building is still there. 

The part of the block where they're drilling had a small pavilion but was mostly just paved over. No large building was on it. 

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1 hour ago, Purdueenginerd said:

 

 

That actually looks like a deep foundation tensile load test to me.  (pdf of ASTM test http://www.centurionfondation.com/fr/pdf/ASTM-D3689_07.pdf )Next to the machinery are helical piles. So they might installing helical piles for the crane, and then subsequently load testing it? Either way, its a little odd to me. 

 

Normally I see those tests done if 1) theres a problem with the foundation you just placed. or 2: you're reusing the "deep foundation" of a previous or existing building. Code requires a load test. I'm skeptical the old chase bank had deep foundation thats useable for a much taller building. 

 

Maybe they want to load test their helical piles... I dont know. Curious images. 

 

 

 

 

You know more about this than I do, I'm sure you're right.

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1 hour ago, EllenOlenska said:


To my knowledge the chase building is still there. 

The part of the block where they're drilling had a small pavilion but was mostly just paved over. No large building was on it. 

Odd. Maybe a procedure they have in place for temporary foundations/Helical Piles. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2019 at 11:38 AM, intencity77 said:

The front corner and balconies in the rendering look alright but the many repetitive cut out windows just really kills it for me. It immediately reminded me of the same cut out windows on The Hampton/Homewood Suites Hotel downtown. Also, the modern yet bland minimalist look doesn’t really mesh well with the surrounding “historic” neighborhood. I feel since this current design trend took hold, we have become very closed minded to all other styles. The modern trend just doesn’t translate well in every location, this to me being an example. The height is okay considering there are other tall buildings nearby. 

My first though seeing the rendering was a Holiday Inn. 

Edited by SMU1213

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4 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

02.jpg?sfvrsn=c3d71cff_2

 

03.jpg?sfvrsn=632235da_2

 

04.jpg?sfvrsn=d9c67dc9_2

 

 

So in the background is another multi-family development?

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1 minute ago, Triton said:

 

So in the background is another multi-family development?

Phase 2 I think.

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Tuesday, while visiting a friend in The Heights, I saw this. I think this one next to the Greystar is also getting started.

 

7D4RreT.jpg

 

gpMVaw8.jpg

 

This is the one by Meeks & Partners. Do we know if Greystar is doing this one too or is it another developer?

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