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Realty News: Multifamily Occupancy Up Sharply in Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston has more than 8,000 residents, up from 3,800 in 2012 when the city began its Downtown Living Initiative, according to a new report by the Central Houston organization.

 

Midtown: A Place For Millennials To Eat, Play And Sleep

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/multifamily/midtown-a-place-for-millennials-to-eat-play-and-sleep-91201?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

...Midtown absorbed roughly 1,400 apartment units in the last year, which represents roughly 10% of all multifamily absorption in Houston during the same time period, according to JLL. Developers expect the demand to continue. JLL reports there are about 2,400 units under construction in Midtown to be completed by early 2021.   ...

 

Not necessarily corroborated by these articles, but it feels like the Main St spine has finally started filling in the huge gaps right along the rail (especially in Midtown).

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On ‎8‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 11:03 AM, Houston19514 said:

2nd Quarter, 2018:

A net 502 units were absorbed in the CBD, while 220 new units were delivered.  Absorption accelerated from recent quarters (1st quarter absorption was 205).  (Assuming 1.4 people per occupied apartment, downtown added almost 250 people per month during the 2nd quarter.) Occupancy rate increased to 78.5%.  At that pace of absorption, and including the 271 units that were under construction, we only have about 3 quarters' worth of inventory. Time to start building some more! 

 

The "Central Houston" market (downtown, Montrose/Museum/Midtown, Heights/Wash Ave., Highland Village/Upper Kirby/West U, and Med Center/Braes Bayou) delivered 410 new units during the quarter, with 1,097 units net absorption.

 

Thinking further on how this went from 205 units absorbed in Q1 to 502 units in Q2... I can't help but think that the start of baseball season had something to do with it. Everyone goes downtown to see the champs, discovers all these new towers that weren't there the last time the Astros were good, nightlife that wasn't there either, and decides this wouldn't be a bad place to live.

 

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So I spent the day in downtown Austin last weekend.  It was super packed and felt like a different city than it did even 3 or 4 years ago.  It was prior to pride festival which likely helped but either way, they are still WAY ahead of us.  I think that they have about 5,000 more people living downtown and that they are at about 13k.  I wonder as we reach that number in the future if that alone will drive the type of retail development that Austin has here.

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2 minutes ago, kbates2 said:

So I spent the day in downtown Austin last weekend.  It was super packed and felt like a different city than it did even 3 or 4 years ago.  It was prior to pride festival which likely helped but either way, they are still WAY ahead of us.  I think that they have about 5,000 more people living downtown and that they are at about 13k.  I wonder as we reach that number in the future if that alone will drive the type of retail development that Austin has here.

I wonder if the age demo is different than that of DT Houston. Austin definitely has a younger vibe DT and just a better one all together 

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4 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

I wonder if the age demo is different than that of DT Houston. Austin definitely has a younger vibe DT and just a better one all together 

 

Downtown Austin is a recreational downtown, downtown Houston is a business downtown. We have arrived late at adding the recreation component, mostly because the demands of handling 150,000 daily workers commuting mostly by car put a burden on everything else in terms of busy streets and endless parking needs. We also had some big city issues of blight and urban decay to overcome, which Austin never dealt with because they were never a big city.

 

But everyone on here needs to take a deep breath and stop making yourselves miserable. If you could trade downtown Houston for downtown Austin right now, and the trade is permanent, would you do it? You are permanently out of international top rankings for tallest skylines. You don't have any famous architecture to speak of. Philip Johnson, SOM, I.M. Pei, Cesar Pelli never came to your town. Instead of great performing arts companies and concert halls, you have a lot of bars with Indie bands. Instead of a great baseball park, you have Whole Foods. Your idea of a major office tenant is a back office for a Silicon Valley company. Hip, yes; important, not really. You have a lot of bars and grocery stores and restaurants, more than the other guy, but you know what? They're gaining. The other guy is gaining. You've been at this a long time. They're just getting warmed up.

 

 

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I love that post. LIKE! Sometimes the internet people forget there is more to life than getting high and listening to some bad garage band in some local divebar.

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Very solid post.  My thought is not that we are down in the dumps though, I am just wondering if Austin’s 13k residents is close to a critical mass that we can shoot for in terms of reaching a level of recreational downtown to where it feels like a completely different place.

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3 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Very solid post.  My thought is not that we are down in the dumps though, I am just wondering if Austin’s 13k residents is close to a critical mass that we can shoot for in terms of reaching a level of recreational downtown to where it feels like a completely different place.

 

I'm shooting for around 50,000.

 

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17 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Downtown Austin is a recreational downtown, downtown Houston is a business downtown. We have arrived late at adding the recreation component, mostly because the demands of handling 150,000 daily workers commuting mostly by car put a burden on everything else in terms of busy streets and endless parking needs. We also had some big city issues of blight and urban decay to overcome, which Austin never dealt with because they were never a big city.

 

But everyone on here needs to take a deep breath and stop making yourselves miserable. If you could trade downtown Houston for downtown Austin right now, and the trade is permanent, would you do it? You are permanently out of international top rankings for tallest skylines. You don't have any famous architecture to speak of. Philip Johnson, SOM, I.M. Pei, Cesar Pelli never came to your town. Instead of great performing arts companies and concert halls, you have a lot of bars with Indie bands. Instead of a great baseball park, you have Whole Foods. Your idea of a major office tenant is a back office for a Silicon Valley company. Hip, yes; important, not really. You have a lot of bars and grocery stores and restaurants, more than the other guy, but you know what? They're gaining. The other guy is gaining. You've been at this a long time. They're just getting warmed up.

 

 

Very well stated. 

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Remember too that Austin has a large university very close to  its "downtown" which I am sure has much to do with the nature of the night life in the district. I don't believe that the night scene in Austin would be sustainable if not for the steady influx of new patrons from the University of Texas.

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On 8/15/2018 at 6:07 AM, kbates2 said:

Very solid post.  My thought is not that we are down in the dumps though, I am just wondering if Austin’s 13k residents is close to a critical mass that we can shoot for in terms of reaching a level of recreational downtown to where it feels like a completely different place.

 

austin's downtown resident population is actually around 15K (probably a bit more) so essentially double Houston's. right before (or maybe after) i left their mayor established an initiaitve to increase their downtown population to something like 20 or 25K within 10 years. this would've been a good 4 or 5 years before our DLI so they had a decent head start. due to their zoning they definitely have a more cohesive downtown but we'll get there with time. we'll never have as strong a recreational/nightlife component, particularly from a restaurant/bar and hotel perspective but they'll never match our arts and professional sports scene either. they're also light years away from being the professional hub that Houston has downtown, but they've made great strides there due to the tech boom.

 

basically both cities are kicking ass... austin may always be hipper but houston can't be overlooked anymore as it's traditionally been. if only we could create some sort of large semi-natural water oasis near downtown... that is so desperately needed.

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1 hour ago, swtsig said:

 

austin's downtown resident population is actually around 15K (probably a bit more) so essentially double Houston's. right before (or maybe after) i left their mayor established an initiaitve to increase their downtown population to something like 20 or 25K within 10 years. this would've been a good 4 or 5 years before our DLI so they had a decent head start. due to their zoning they definitely have a more cohesive downtown but we'll get there with time. we'll never have as strong a recreational/nightlife component, particularly from a restaurant/bar and hotel perspective but they'll never match our arts and professional sports scene either. they're also light years away from being the professional hub that Houston has downtown, but they've made great strides there due to the tech boom.

 

basically both cities are kicking ass... austin may always be hipper but houston can't be overlooked anymore as it's traditionally been. if only we could create some sort of large semi-natural water oasis near downtown... that is so desperately needed.

 

I am not sure about 'large' but the bayou and park should be continually invested in, improved, maintained, etc... the connectivity park wise is already badass and it will only get better!

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6 hours ago, swtsig said:

if only we could create some sort of large semi-natural water oasis near downtown... that is so desperately needed.

 

Moving I-45 will let us do something nice with the bayou right there, but then there's the downtown connector, expanded from four lanes to six lanes, with shoulders... oh well.

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10 hours ago, swtsig said:

 

austin's downtown resident population is actually around 15K (probably a bit more) so essentially double Houston's. right before (or maybe after) i left their mayor established an initiaitve to increase their downtown population to something like 20 or 25K within 10 years. this would've been a good 4 or 5 years before our DLI so they had a decent head start. due to their zoning they definitely have a more cohesive downtown but we'll get there with time. we'll never have as strong a recreational/nightlife component, particularly from a restaurant/bar and hotel perspective but they'll never match our arts and professional sports scene either. they're also light years away from being the professional hub that Houston has downtown, but they've made great strides there due to the tech boom.

 

basically both cities are kicking ass... austin may always be hipper but houston can't be overlooked anymore as it's traditionally been. if only we could create some sort of large semi-natural water oasis near downtown... that is so desperately needed.

Depends on the circle you hang with as far as Austin being hipper than Houston. I don't think it is in ny opinion. 

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3 hours ago, kennyc05 said:

Depends on the circle you hang with as far as Austin being hipper than Houston. I don't think it is in ny opinion. 

I was walking slightly in front of a gaggle of 20 year olds 6 months ago and I could overhear them.  They were from Austin (students?).  Anyway, one of the gaggle postulated:  “downtown Houston is way better than downtown Austin.......”.   The gaggle quickly agreed.

 

 

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A lot of the buzz in downtown Austin is the incredible amount of tourists the city attracts and the proximity to UT and the capitol. 

During the legislative session restaurants and hotels get much busier. If it wasn't for UT, they would'nt have a museum. It took forever to develop a true concert hall.

The arts have come a long way in Austin, but light years behind Houston. It doesn't hurt that they have a controlled river that runs right through it.

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Also worth noting that our urban core (3 mile radius) is far denser than Austin's and is the densest in Texas. When you leave downtown Austin you fall off a cliff in most directions. Lack of zoning helps us with this.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 3:54 PM, swtsig said:

basically both cities are kicking ass... austin may always be hipper but houston can't be overlooked anymore as it's traditionally been. if only we could create some sort of large semi-natural water oasis near downtown... that is so desperately needed.

 

On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 11:53 AM, bobruss said:

A lot of the buzz in downtown Austin is the incredible amount of tourists the city attracts and the proximity to UT and the capitol. 

During the legislative session restaurants and hotels get much busier. If it wasn't for UT, they would'nt have a museum. It took forever to develop a true concert hall.

The arts have come a long way in Austin, but light years behind Houston. It doesn't hurt that they have a controlled river that runs right through it.

 

Wouldn't it be great to create Lake Barker and Lake Addicks. We would end up having a much more controlled Buffalo Bayou much along the lines of what Austin has with it's river. Imagine how much more could be done if you didn't have to worry about flooding. Our reservoirs are actually larger in land area than Lake Travis (26k vs 19k), but only hold about a third as much water (~400,000 acre feet vs ~1.1M acre feet). We'd be much more prepared for the next Harvey. Sure we don't have the topography that accompanies Lake Travis, but who cares. Get digging.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sparrow said:

 

 

Wouldn't it be great to create Lake Barker and Lake Addicks. We would end up having a much more controlled Buffalo Bayou much along the lines of what Austin has with it's river. Imagine how much more could be done if you didn't have to worry about flooding. Our reservoirs are actually larger in land area than Lake Travis (26k vs 19k), but only hold about a third as much water (~400,000 acre feet vs ~1.1M acre feet). We'd be much more prepared for the next Harvey. Sure we don't have the topography that accompanies Lake Travis, but who cares. Get digging.

 

 

 

But if we put water in it then we lose storage capacity for heavy rains. I think there must be a reason they didn't do this already.

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13 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

But if we put water in it then we lose storage capacity for heavy rains. I think there must be a reason they didn't do this already.

 

You could always dig them out deeper with the existing floor being the new lake level; I'm sure the civil engineers could come up with something given enough funding. The creeks that feed into Barker and Addicks are pretty tiny outside of flood events, that might make these lakes semi-stagnant, though one might say the same of the existing bayous. 

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4 hours ago, Nate99 said:

 

You could always dig them out deeper with the existing floor being the new lake level; I'm sure the civil engineers could come up with something given enough funding. The creeks that feed into Barker and Addicks are pretty tiny outside of flood events, that might make these lakes semi-stagnant, though one might say the same of the existing bayous. 

 

I think that given the cost to dig them deeper and the other flood-mitigation projects we need, the only way this gets done is if we dig them deeper out of necessity, i.e. to hold more flood water, not to provide a scenic feature and hold the same amount of flood water. Benefits of having lakes there are reduced given that you won't see the lake from I-10 due to the high berm so it won't impact the city's image as much as a Lake Ray Hubbard would, the lake won't have a natural shape, and with there being high earth walls around it, you won't be able to do the normal marinas and stuff. You could do them on the inflow side but then everything would get flooded whenever there's a big storm. Plus you'd lose major forested parks that that part of town needs as much or maybe more than it needs a lake.

Edited by H-Town Man

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I think that given the cost to dig them deeper and the other flood-mitigation projects we need, the only way this gets done is if we dig them deeper out of necessity, i.e. to hold more flood water, not to provide a scenic feature and hold the same amount of flood water. Benefits of having lakes there are reduced given that you won't see the lake from I-10 due to the high berm so it won't impact the city's image as much as a Lake Ray Hubbard would, the lake won't have a natural shape, and with there being high earth walls around it, you won't be able to do the normal marinas and stuff. You could do them on the inflow side but then everything would get flooded whenever there's a big storm. Plus you'd lose major forested parks that that part of town needs as much or maybe more than it needs a lake.

 

Right. I'm certainly no visionary, but it seems like it would be more trouble than it is worth. 

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They could always dig an over flow channel that runs southerly and flood Sugarland instead of Houston :lol:  

 

Would the berms have to be that high of your holding the water in the ground instead of above? 

 

Wouldn't it be better to mitigate flooding by having the detention basin deeper in the ground anyway than having high berms? 

 

Wouldn't letting the water slowing steep into the Ground help? Unless we have back to back extreme rain events before the level in the lakes decrease, a temp lake may help. I dunno :blink: the current set up is no longer working. Extreme rain events send to be a yearly occurrence so I dunno maybe it's fine to get creative. Aerial views of this thing during Harvey is crazy: 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wired.com/story/houston-dams-probable-maximum-flood-vs-500-year-flood/amp

 

What would they do with all the excavated dirt? Houston Hills? 

 

I'm thinking that for most of the year the water levels in the lake would be a lot lower than we are all imagining.  

 

How deep would it go before it gets too cost prohibitive? How much volume would it increase by if it was dug.   Talks of a 3rd reservoir have been carrying a $500M price tag. $2.5B was just approved for flood mitigation projects

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On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 1:42 PM, HoustonIsHome said:

They could always dig an over flow channel that runs southerly and flood Sugarland instead of Houston :lol:  

 

Would the berms have to be that high of your holding the water in the ground instead of above? 

 

Wouldn't it be better to mitigate flooding by having the detention basin deeper in the ground anyway than having high berms? 

 

Wouldn't letting the water slowing steep into the Ground help? Unless we have back to back extreme rain events before the level in the lakes decrease, a temp lake may help. I dunno :blink: the current set up is no longer working. Extreme rain events send to be a yearly occurrence so I dunno maybe it's fine to get creative. Aerial views of this thing during Harvey is crazy: 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wired.com/story/houston-dams-probable-maximum-flood-vs-500-year-flood/amp

 

What would they do with all the excavated dirt? Houston Hills? 

 

I'm thinking that for most of the year the water levels in the lake would be a lot lower than we are all imagining.  

 

How deep would it go before it gets too cost prohibitive? How much volume would it increase by if it was dug.   Talks of a 3rd reservoir have been carrying a $500M price tag. $2.5B was just approved for flood mitigation projects

 

The high berms are already there. We are not going to move them when they are protecting the central city. If we dig deeper, it will be so we can hold more water in major rain events. We would not pay all the money to dig deeper, then pay all the money to remove the berms, only to have no net gain in water holding capacity.

 

Also, I think there are problems with a deeply dug lake if you are wanting something aesthetic. Steep banks and deep earth clay do not make for a pretty lake.

 

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3rd Quarter, 2018:

 

Downtown population continues to grow fast.  A net 314 units were absorbed in the CBD, while zero new units were delivered.  (Assuming 1.4 people per occupied apartment, downtown added almost 150 people per month during the 3rd quarter.)

 

The "Central Houston" market (downtown, Montrose/Museum/Midtown, Heights/Wash Ave., Highland Village/Upper Kirby/West U, and Med Center/Braes Bayou) delivered 786 new units during the quarter, with 975 units net absorption.

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

3rd Quarter, 2018:

 

Downtown population continues to grow fast.  A net 314 units were absorbed in the CBD, while zero new units were delivered.  (Assuming 1.4 people per occupied apartment, downtown added almost 150 people per month during the 3rd quarter.)

 

The "Central Houston" market (downtown, Montrose/Museum/Midtown, Heights/Wash Ave., Highland Village/Upper Kirby/West U, and Med Center/Braes Bayou) delivered 786 new units during the quarter, with 975 units net absorption.

 

Thanks. Does your source show occupancy or rent growth for downtown?

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Wow...784 total residents in Downtown in 1990. Now we have almost 10,000! Thats an impressive improvement. Especially when most of that jump has been within the past 10 years. Incredible change and it shows. The momentum is real and its now visible when you are out there at night. We can't stop here though we have to keep movin.

Edited by Luminare
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I like HTown's 50K idea, maybe inclusive of Midtown that would effectively merge at that point. 

 

Houston's sprawl is at a tipping point. It's not going to stop, but the tradeoffs of living in a denser area are meeting up with the tradeoffs of an ever lengthening commute.

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1 hour ago, Nate99 said:

I like HTown's 50K idea, maybe inclusive of Midtown that would effectively merge at that point. 

 

Houston's sprawl is at a tipping point. It's not going to stop, but the tradeoffs of living in a denser area are meeting up with the tradeoffs of an ever lengthening commute.

 

Is that 50k in Downtown alone? That would be incredible. That would be comparable to some of the densist cities in America. Do we even have areas of the size of downtown with 50,000? I think this should be the goal every district here in town. Its definitely possible for most districts to not only get that much but also maintain some cores of original single family sized homes in pockets if they desire to maintain that lineage.

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17 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

???  Parking garage at Crawford and Texas??

Page 24, 300 car garage for Incarnate Word/Church

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15 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

Page 24, 300 car garage for Incarnate Word/Church

 

That would be both hilarious and sad if they demo that great looking church for a parking garage.

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8 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

That would be both hilarious and sad if they demo that great looking church for a parking garage.

Maybe it's just the closest major street intersection and the actual site that is in question is the current surface lot along Jackson Street between Texas and Capitol.

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Just now, brijonmang said:

Maybe it's just the closest major street intersection and the actual site that is in question is the current surface lot along Jackson Street between Texas and Capitol.

 

Honestly. Would be interesting if they moved the church to that parking lot. Close down abandon Jackson Street and Chenevert St. Convert that portion of Avenida De Las Americas into a pedistrian walk. Then put the parking garage in its former location. I could then imagine putting a marquee type building on part of that block between capital and rusk and then turning the rest into a genuine square. That would be a cool idea. Hmm. Might have to do a sketch of that over lunch.

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I think if we can double that population in the next 5 to 10 years, Houston will start to get the retail and dry goods we are all wanting to see. Along with some big name companies moving here. 

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2 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Is that 50k in Downtown alone? That would be incredible. That would be comparable to some of the densist cities in America. Do we even have areas of the size of downtown with 50,000? I think this should be the goal every district here in town. Its definitely possible for most districts to not only get that much but also maintain some cores of original single family sized homes in pockets if they desire to maintain that lineage.

 

I saw an article yesterday (in Costar so not linkable) saying that downtown Minneapolis had reached the landmark of 50,000 residents and still cannot bring retail in. Blamed the Mall of America. I think there is some finagling of the borders for that stat, I do not see where 50,000 residents could fit in their downtown proper. In fact we are already even or ahead of them in luxury highrises, despite them having been at this game a lot longer. 

 

But my takeaway from the article was that we are far from alone in dealing with this issue of bringing back downtown retail, and right now really isn't the time. The retail sector is hemorrhaging badly from Amazon and there is little appetite for trying new stores in risky locations. 

 

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3 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I saw an article yesterday (in Costar so not linkable) saying that downtown Minneapolis had reached the landmark of 50,000 residents and still cannot bring retail in. Blamed the Mall of America. I think there is some finagling of the borders for that stat, I do not see where 50,000 residents could fit in their downtown proper. In fact we are already even or ahead of them in luxury highrises, despite them having been at this game a lot longer. 

 

But my takeaway from the article was that we are far from alone in dealing with this issue of bringing back downtown retail, and right now really isn't the time. The retail sector is hemorrhaging badly from Amazon and there is little appetite for trying new stores in risky locations. 

 

Yeah but we also aren't Minneapolis. I think Houston has the advantage by simply being Houston. 

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4 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I saw an article yesterday (in Costar so not linkable) saying that downtown Minneapolis had reached the landmark of 50,000 residents and still cannot bring retail in. Blamed the Mall of America. I think there is some finagling of the borders for that stat, I do not see where 50,000 residents could fit in their downtown proper. In fact we are already even or ahead of them in luxury highrises, despite them having been at this game a lot longer. 

 

But my takeaway from the article was that we are far from alone in dealing with this issue of bringing back downtown retail, and right now really isn't the time. The retail sector is hemorrhaging badly from Amazon and there is little appetite for trying new stores in risky locations. 

 

 

There is a big Target in downtown Minneapolis 

1280px-Minnie_and_Paul.jpg

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6 hours ago, brijonmang said:

Page 24, 300 car garage for Incarnate Word/Church

 

Oh, I see it actually says Texas and Crawford  Arrrgghh...   the planned parking garage would of course be at Texas and Avenida de las Americas, not Crawford (and I think that block of Jackson would  be abandoned). 

Edited by Houston19514

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5 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I saw an article yesterday (in Costar so not linkable) saying that downtown Minneapolis had reached the landmark of 50,000 residents and still cannot bring retail in. Blamed the Mall of America. I think there is some finagling of the borders for that stat, I do not see where 50,000 residents could fit in their downtown proper. In fact we are already even or ahead of them in luxury highrises, despite them having been at this game a lot longer. 

 

But my takeaway from the article was that we are far from alone in dealing with this issue of bringing back downtown retail, and right now really isn't the time. The retail sector is hemorrhaging badly from Amazon and there is little appetite for trying new stores in risky locations. 

 

 

Yeah, it looks like they are taking in an area of about 4 1/2 square miles, including neighborhoods across the river. (In Houston, that would cover downtown, midtown, EADO, and part of Montrose)

 

Good reality check on the expectations for downtown dry goods retail. 

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21 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Oh, I see it actually says Texas and Crawford  Arrrgghh...   the planned parking garage would of course be at Texas and Avenida de las Americas, not Crawford (and I think that block of Jackson would  be abandoned). 

Was there ever any mention of GFR? Maybe facing MMP? 

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After reading the Downton Districts 2018 Update, I saw something about the mural and wanted to see for myself.

 

Produce Row,” a sprawling, 7,000-SF mural that spans three levels now adorns Main&Co mixed-use devel- opment. designed and painted by local artist duAL, and conceptualized by uP Art Studio, the mural at the intersection of Main and commerce streets is a tribute to commerce Street’s history as the site for Houston’s first farmers market in the 1870s. Main&co is home to the cottonmouth club; etRo nightclub; Lilly&Bloom; and a contemporary arts space.

 

smCfdMj.jpg

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I got a feeling good ole' Downtown Houston has passed 10,000 residents already. Considering the absorption rate of downtown apartments.

Hopefully seeing the demand for living in the core, developers will put downtown residential development into full steam. Considering what Hines is doing, I would say this is just the start. 

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According to the video posted in the 212 Milam thread, downtown is at 67,000 residents

 

 

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A quick google search shows numbers between 8k and 13k, but nothing as high as 67k. 

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