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Alta Washington: 7story Midrise by Wood Partners (6400 Washington)

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55 minutes ago, HNathoo said:

That's some pretty impressive density.

 

Yeah they aren't exactly the most innovative, but the amount of infill projects they are currently pumping out will only be a benefit bringing more and more people inside 610.

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11 hours ago, InTheLoopFromNYC said:

Some indication of curbside retail would have been nice, but not guessing they're planning anything here.

 

There's a reason these all look the same, and there's a reason there's never any GFR.

 

Five floors is the limit of what you can build with this style of construction. Any taller, you need to go steel frame or concrete. Five floors of apartments over two floors of parking means that for every 1000 sf of apartment, there's 400 sf of parking (let's assume the space for leasing office, amenities, hallways, etc. cancel each other out). Depending on the mix of 1BR (which require 1.33 spaces per unit) to 2BR (1.66), and the size of the units, that's about the ratio you need to meet the parking requirements.

 

Once you add GFR, those numbers all change. Let's say they add 15,000 s.f of GFR, which means they lose 45 or so parking spaces, but generate a requirement for at least 60 more. Adding GFR will generally mean building a third layer of parking structure, all for the privilege of managing an entirely different set of tenants for a very small return (since it isn't really that much space).

 

(Also, based on my experience from living in cities with a high proportion of GFR, when the option exists, people generally prefer to live a block or so away from major retail corridors rather than directly above.)

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Every time I see an EDI International rendering that looks like it was done on a 386 computer in 1995 I wonder why on earth people would hire them.  They must be cheap beyond cheap.

Edited by mattyt36

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 4:26 AM, Angostura said:

 

There's a reason these all look the same, and there's a reason there's never any GFR.

 

Five floors is the limit of what you can build with this style of construction. Any taller, you need to go steel frame or concrete. Five floors of apartments over two floors of parking means that for every 1000 sf of apartment, there's 400 sf of parking (let's assume the space for leasing office, amenities, hallways, etc. cancel each other out). Depending on the mix of 1BR (which require 1.33 spaces per unit) to 2BR (1.66), and the size of the units, that's about the ratio you need to meet the parking requirements.

 

Once you add GFR, those numbers all change. Let's say they add 15,000 s.f of GFR, which means they lose 45 or so parking spaces, but generate a requirement for at least 60 more. Adding GFR will generally mean building a third layer of parking structure, all for the privilege of managing an entirely different set of tenants for a very small return (since it isn't really that much space).

 

(Also, based on my experience from living in cities with a high proportion of GFR, when the option exists, people generally prefer to live a block or so away from major retail corridors rather than directly above.)

 

This is another of those things that makes me feel like the major thing holding Houston back from urbanization and better neighborhoods is parking requirements.

 

It's curious to me that more people do not enjoy living directly on a retail corridor. I personally have loved being able to open my window and hear the street conversations float up, when I lived in such a place. Of course, this was on low-traffic (two-lane) streets; doubt Washington Avenue would be as appealing.

 

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6 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

This is another of those things that makes me feel like the major thing holding Houston back from urbanization and better neighborhoods is parking requirements.

 

It's curious to me that more people do not enjoy living directly on a retail corridor. I personally have loved being able to open my window and hear the street conversations float up, when I lived in such a place. Of course, this was on low-traffic (two-lane) streets; doubt Washington Avenue would be as appealing.

 

Houston tenants (both residential and retail) would demand parking even if the city did not. If you can prove to the city that your utilization is below their standards either due to being mixed use, shared parking, or just prior history they are usually pretty good about giving you a variance. Developers build for today, not for what might be there in 10 years. 

 

The only place parking requirements are a major issue are the suburban cities that require around 1.7 cars per unit whereas only 1.5 cars per unit is probably plenty. Getting them to budge is much more difficult. 

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On 1/30/2019 at 11:43 AM, mattyt36 said:

Every time I see an EDI International rendering that looks like it was done on a 386 computer in 1995 I wonder why on earth people would hire them.  They must be cheap beyond cheap.

Im not super familiar with EDI international, but that rendering looks like standard Revit Model (which is a commonly used construction drawing software) that they plopped on a google maps satellite view. I dont think the rendering is cheap. Just their texturing and the ground come off as bland. 

 

my two cents at least. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, SMU1213 said:

Houston tenants (both residential and retail) would demand parking even if the city did not. If you can prove to the city that your utilization is below their standards either due to being mixed use, shared parking, or just prior history they are usually pretty good about giving you a variance. Developers build for today, not for what might be there in 10 years. 

 

The only place parking requirements are a major issue are the suburban cities that require around 1.7 cars per unit whereas only 1.5 cars per unit is probably plenty. Getting them to budge is much more difficult. 

 

Heights Mercantile was denied a variance when the developer argued that people could park on the street instead of in developer-provided parking. This happens frequently in Dallas in areas like Lower Greenville or Bishop Arts, where the character of the little urban districts has been maintained. I doubt that there is any sociological difference between here and there. Would it work for retail tenants in a mixed-use building? Maybe in a few locations where there is already pedestrian traffic, such as along 19th Street in the Heights or parts of Main Street in Midtown.

 

 

 

 

Edited by H-Town Man

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 4:26 AM, Angostura said:

 

There's a reason these all look the same, and there's a reason there's never any GFR.

 

Five floors is the limit of what you can build with this style of construction. Any taller, you need to go steel frame or concrete. Five floors of apartments over two floors of parking means that for every 1000 sf of apartment, there's 400 sf of parking (let's assume the space for leasing office, amenities, hallways, etc. cancel each other out). Depending on the mix of 1BR (which require 1.33 spaces per unit) to 2BR (1.66), and the size of the units, that's about the ratio you need to meet the parking requirements.

 

Once you add GFR, those numbers all change. Let's say they add 15,000 s.f of GFR, which means they lose 45 or so parking spaces, but generate a requirement for at least 60 more. Adding GFR will generally mean building a third layer of parking structure, all for the privilege of managing an entirely different set of tenants for a very small return (since it isn't really that much space).

 

(Also, based on my experience from living in cities with a high proportion of GFR, when the option exists, people generally prefer to live a block or so away from major retail corridors rather than directly above.)

 

How was Post able to build wood frame mixed-use apartments along West Gray? Was it by having a large centralized garage where all the parking could be placed?

 

 

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10 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

How was Post able to build wood frame mixed-use apartments along West Gray? Was it by having a large centralized garage where all the parking could be placed?

 

 

 

 

The Bagby St frontage is exempt from parking minimums, and there is a central (paid) garage for retail and visitor parking. I believe street parking in the area is metered as well.

 

That said, it's just as possible to build wood frame over three levels of parking as it is over two levels of parking, but the additional parking still changes the economics.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Purdueenginerd said:

Im not super familiar with EDI international, but that rendering looks like standard Revit Model (which is a commonly used construction drawing software) that they plopped on a google maps satellite view. I dont think the rendering is cheap. Just their texturing and the ground come off as bland. 

 

my two cents at least. 

 

 

 

This actually looks like sketchup. I can tell from the lines and the textures applied. Revit is more complex in terms of texturing and lines.

 

Its not necessarily cheap, but definitely lazy.

 

I know for me personally I would never release an image like this to the public. Hell the firm I work for would never let an image like this outside the doors of our firm. My boss would have my head on a pike. The visual representation of architecture is just as important as the building itself. This company thinks that its just fine letting an image like this into the wild, but its a bad representation of themselves (this is how all of their images look like too). In this image you see exactly what they care about most, quantity of projects as opposed to quality of projects, the quantity of money as opposed to quality of money. Just pump it out and move on. As I'm saying this though, I take no offense to this. If this is their business model then so be it. However, its possible to get a lot more financing for a project it if you dress it up a little bit, and response to the average layperson if you do as well.

 

I've come to learn during my journey through the biz just how important visual representation of architecture is, the hard way. It might be quick and easy to just do what these guys are doing, but I promise that at some point it will get stale and be a bad reflection on their business model. Direct computer images just don't age well, and at some point it will make their products look...dated.

Edited by Luminare
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15 hours ago, SMU1213 said:

Houston tenants (both residential and retail) would demand parking even if the city did not. If you can prove to the city that your utilization is below their standards either due to being mixed use, shared parking, or just prior history they are usually pretty good about giving you a variance. Developers build for today, not for what might be there in 10 years. 

 

The only place parking requirements are a major issue are the suburban cities that require around 1.7 cars per unit whereas only 1.5 cars per unit is probably plenty. Getting them to budge is much more difficult. 

 

The Planning Commission has been more reluctant to give parking variances than, say, setback variances. We also don't know how many variances are never requested because staff makes it clear to the developer that they'd be a no-go. 

 

Aside from the effects on individual projects (e.g. making housing relatively more expensive to build), the biggest problems with parking minimums for a city as a whole are:

  • Density limitation: A 10,000 s.f. standalone restaurant needs to be built on a acre of land in order to meet their parking minimums. That means the city never achieves the kind of activity density needed to make a shift in transportation modes feasible. 
  • Parking entitlement: Because of all the free parking, drivers are shielded from the economic effects of their choice to use a single-occupancy vehicle to get around. Any valuable good that is under-priced tends to be over-consumed. Decoupling parking from destination requires a market for parking to develop, so people get used to having to pay to park. 
  • Concentration of large developments: Fine-grained development is generally more pleasing than course-grained. But parking minimums make It more efficient to build larger developments. A standalone restaurant needs 10 spaces per 1000 s.f., but a strip center only needs 4, so what gets built are strip centers. Structured parking needs scale to be economically feasible, so only large developments are able to provide more space-efficient parking.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

This actually looks like sketchup. I can tell from the lines and the textures applied. Revit is more complex in terms of texturing and lines.

 

Its not necessarily cheap, but definitely lazy.

 

I know for me personally I would never release an image like this to the public. Hell the firm I work for would never let an image like this outside the doors of our firm. My boss would have my head on a pike. The visual representation of architecture is just as important as the building itself. This company thinks that its just fine letting an image like this into the wild, but its a bad representation of themselves (this is how all of their images look like too). In this image you see exactly what they care about most, quantity of projects as opposed to quality of projects, the quantity of money as opposed to quality of money. Just pump it out and move on. As I'm saying this though, I take no offense to this. If this is their business model then so be it. However, its possible to get a lot more financing for a project it if you dress it up a little bit, and response to the average layperson if you do as well.

 

I've come to learn during my journey through the biz just how important visual representation of architecture is, the hard way. It might be quick and easy to just do what these guys are doing, but I promise that at some point it will get stale and be a bad reflection on their business model. Direct computer images just don't age well, and at some point it will make their products look...dated.

 

Thanks for the perspective . . . and they're not just releasing it to the public but advertising it on their own website as a work product!

 

Oh well they seem to be getting plenty of work nevertheless! 

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