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X Houston: Residential High-Rise At 5501 La Branch St.


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Looking forward to this one ramping up soon and progress being made, instead of all the talk year after year and nothing changing.  Wonder if it's this nimby-ism that rears its ugly head from time to time in our city of no zoning laws (per se) ?

 

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Developer: https://xliving.co/communities/ Architect: https://theljc.com/        

https://xliving.co/communities/x-houston/ MUSEUM DISTRICT, HOUSTON 5501 La Branch St. OPENING SPRING 2022 722 BEDS Live the high (rise) life at X Houston. Locat

More info. https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/TABS/Search/Project/TABS2020012182  

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22 hours ago, HNathoo said:

 

They are asking for a very minor variance to reduce the building setback lines 5’ above the second floor for the garage and balconies. The neighborhood can only really chime in due to the request of the variance. The thought within the neighborhood is that if the variance is denied, the developer won’t be able to build the desired project and will drop the deal. They’ll do whatever they can at the hope the developer just goes away.

 

 

I think the reason the setback requirements haven't been revised/eliminated is so that the Planning Department can use the variance process to extract improvements to the pedestrian realm. A very high percentage of setback variances get approved, almost always accompanied by wider sidewalks, landscape buffers, etc. not otherwise required.

 

 

23 hours ago, Nate99 said:

 

Yep. Up in Kingwood when the plans for the ridiculously overwrought development on the lake came out, everyone was instantly convinced of any and every calamity that they could imagine ruining their lives because of the impact of towers, offices and some shopping.  There were even some high school kids looking to burnish their college applications trying to "organize" the noble opposition. 

 

It's a cultural thing, what will we accept happening around us and what rights will eventually be legally recognized if they are not delayed and harassed out of feasibility.  There are many places in this world where laws are vague and what will be permitted is anyone's guess. This dynamic is on a spectrum, but unless you are that incumbent in a comfortable position or become wildly rich elsewhere and like the scenery,  you don't go anywhere near the least predictable jurisdictions and they stagnate or bifurcate into extremes of luxury and poverty as a result. 

 

There are two kinds of people: those who think it's a question of WHETHER homes will be built, and those with understand it's a question of WHERE. In places where building activity is well-controlled, density prevention results in sprawl. In places where building isn't well-controlled, it results in favelas and shantytowns.

 

(BTW, aside from a lack of adequate wastewater infrastructure, favelas are an urbanists wet dream: low-rise, high-density, mixed use development; zero setbacks, narrow streets, and entirely pedestrian oriented.)

 

 

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Deferred two weeks for additional information.

 

- Coordinating with the developer regarding the city-owned trees on site

- Gaining more info from CenterPoint regarding the power lines along Calumet

- Gaining more info regarding the drop off area along Calumet

 

A number of residents are against the project, some things that were mentioned:

 

- not in the transit corridor

- building is too tall for the immediate area

- site is too small for the building

- drop-off driveway along Calumet

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1 hour ago, Urbannizer said:

Deferred two weeks for additional information.

 

- Coordinating with the developer regarding the city-owned trees on site

- Gaining more info from CenterPoint regarding the power lines along Calumet

- Gaining more info regarding the drop off area along Calumet

 

A number of residents are against the project, some things that were mentioned:

 

- not in the transit corridor

- building is too tall for the immediate area

- site is too small for the building

- drop-off driveway along Calumet

 

The last three complaints don't seem like real issues, I'm glad its not earth shattering stuff that could really derail the project. But what does "not in the transit corridor" mean? Meaning, not near the rail? Its actually less than a 5 min walk from the museum district station going northbound so...

 

My only thing is that the energy and internet infrastructure are both weirdly shitty for such a nice area (going toward the "gaining more info from CenterPoint" item). If the weather is pretty bad, you have a decent chance that you'll lose electricity for a while. And internet speeds in the area from all providers are fairly atrocious. I've had both centerpoint and at&t people remark about it. Maybe all this increased density means improved infrastructure, that would be nice. 

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2 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

The last three complaints don't seem like real issues, I'm glad its not earth shattering stuff that could really derail the project. But what does "not in the transit corridor" mean? Meaning, not near the rail? Its actually less than a 5 min walk from the museum district station going northbound so...

 

My only thing is that the energy and internet infrastructure are both weirdly shitty for such a nice area (going toward the "gaining more info from CenterPoint" item). If the weather is pretty bad, you have a decent chance that you'll lose electricity for a while. And internet speeds in the area from all providers are fairly atrocious. I've had both centerpoint and at&t people remark about it. Maybe all this increased density means improved infrastructure, that would be nice. 

 

The transit corridor technically stops at the opposite corner of la branch and calumet - about 50’ away. 

 

 

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Not familiar with the phrase "transit corridor". Does a  it mean rail or bus, or just rail? Or does it just mean a busy street? Would FM 1960 be a transit corridor even though parts have no mass transit but tens of thousands of cars?  How is the width defined and by whom? Questions, questions. 

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5 hours ago, Twinsanity02 said:

Not familiar with the phrase "transit corridor". Does a  it mean rail or bus, or just rail? Or does it just mean a busy street? Would FM 1960 be a transit corridor even though parts have no mass transit but tens of thousands of cars?  How is the width defined and by whom? Questions, questions. 

 

As of now, I believe it’s just rail - see below link. 

 

https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/_urban/TransitCorridorStreet_Main_020110.pdf

 

 

The new new ordinance being worked on by the walkable places committee also includes bus, but that hasn’t been approved yet. 

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The Property Market Group, developer behind X Houston, will be holding a meeting at Hotel ZaZa, Imaginiation Board Room on July 23rd, from 6 to 7pm. I wonder if they got wind of all the whining and decided to have this townhall meeting. I'll probably go just to ask if we can get some retail, or something like a yoga studio, or anything really, on the first floor. If they say no, I'm gonna tell them that I hate the development and that I might protest outside the development 😁

 

In the words of my friend in commercial real estate "Its time to find out how many cat ladies live in the neighborhood and how many people will be watching your day to day construction just to complain."

 

 

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54 minutes ago, X.R. said:

The Property Market Group, developer behind X Houston, will be holding a meeting at Hotel ZaZa, Imaginiation Board Room on July 23rd, from 6 to 7pm. I wonder if they got wind of all the whining and decided to have this townhall meeting. I'll probably go just to ask if we can get some retail, or something like a yoga studio, or anything really, on the first floor. If they say no, I'm gonna tell them that I hate the development and that I might protest outside the development 😁

 

In the words of my friend in commercial real estate "Its time to find out how many cat ladies live in the neighborhood and how many people will be watching your day to day construction just to complain."

 

 

 

I plan on bringing some tiki torches.

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5 hours ago, X.R. said:

The Property Market Group, developer behind X Houston, will be holding a meeting at Hotel ZaZa, Imaginiation Board Room on July 23rd, from 6 to 7pm. I wonder if they got wind of all the whining and decided to have this townhall meeting. I'll probably go just to ask if we can get some retail, or something like a yoga studio, or anything really, on the first floor. If they say no, I'm gonna tell them that I hate the development and that I might protest outside the development 😁

 

In the words of my friend in commercial real estate "Its time to find out how many cat ladies live in the neighborhood and how many people will be watching your day to day construction just to complain."

 

 

I'll see you there, buddy. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 7:58 AM, Angostura said:

(BTW, aside from a lack of adequate wastewater infrastructure and the bullets whizzing by, favelas are an urbanists wet dream: low-rise, high-density, mixed use development; zero setbacks, narrow streets, and entirely pedestrian oriented.)

 

 

 

FIFY

 

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For those of you that were planning on going:

 

Quote

 

PMG, developer for the proposed 5501 La Branch project, informed us that today's meeting (July 23, 6:00 p.m. at Hotel ZaZa) is by invitation rather than open to the public.  This meeting is not the community meeting that MPNA and MPSN have requested numerous times. We are disappointed and apologize for any inconvenience due to prior meeting notification.

CM Boykins, Museum Park Super Neighborhood, and Museum Park Neighborhood Association remain committed to broader community engagement on this project that will have significant impact on our neighborhood. 

We look forward to your input at the Planning Commission meeting, Thursday, July 25, 2:30 p.m., City Hall Annex, 901 Bagby Street.  Anyone who did not speak on July 11, may speak at the July 25 meeting.  Please contact info@museumparkna.org or president@museumparksn for further details.

Sincerely, Museum Park Neighborhood Association

 

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48 minutes ago, nate said:

For those of you that were planning on going:

 

 

 

A great laugh out loud moment. When read their first email, I did wonder why X Houston chose hotel ZaZa. I was like "damn, they are going all out, hope theres a free drink or something." But now we know why.😅

 

People probably had canceled their mid-afternoon tennis match to make this. 😂

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5 hours ago, X.R. said:

 

A great laugh out loud moment. When read their first email, I did wonder why X Houston chose hotel ZaZa. I was like "damn, they are going all out, hope theres a free drink or something." But now we know why.😅

 

People probably had canceled their mid-afternoon tennis match to make this. 😂

 

And now they are going to raid the planning commission meeting. I'm sure that will be successful (says no one). There a few select times NIMBYS have a real legit complaint, but what are they going to do when they are at the commission meeting. 'Hey commission, we are here to tell you to vote against the cities interests (growing its tax base), so we don't have a shadow cast over our lawns in the afternoon.....and traffic.....and homeless.....we don't like it!" I mean really? What do they expect the commission to do for them in this circumstance that is so similar to nearly every other highrise development that is happening in the city that they approve of. What do they think makes them so special or the exception to the rule?

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The developer indicated they would proceed without the variance at the hearing. Given that Councilman Boykins’ office spoke against it along with a fair number of other folks, the committee had a political disincentive coupled with a lack of apparent harm in which to deny the variance. The plat was approved without the variance as I recall. 

 

We’ll see if PMG actually moves forward sans variance.

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The plat was approved without the variance as I recall. 

 

 

For us untutored in this business, like me, I take this to mean the builders can still proceed with construction within the parameters of the plat. Just cannot stray from the plat designation. Correct? So I suppose the variance was not essential for the construction of this building.

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9 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

The developer indicated they would proceed without the variance at the hearing. Given that Councilman Boykins’ office spoke against it along with a fair number of other folks, the committee had a political disincentive coupled with a lack of apparent harm in which to deny the variance. The plat was approved without the variance as I recall. 

 

We’ll see if PMG actually moves forward sans variance.

 

Wait, Boykin's office was against the variance? Smh. But it makes sense, if his constituents didn't want it.

 

Shenanigans.

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36 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

Wait, Boykin's office was against the variance? Smh. But it makes sense, if his constituents didn't want it.

 

Shenanigans.

 

Shenanigans is right.

 

Time always wins. They can fight time all they want, but it is a losing battle. Maybe the area isn't ready for wholesale development like other areas in town, but it will come. This area is to prime of a location to stay the way it is right now (even with townhomes). While we've seen a few proposals for this area its clear that developers understand that there is very vocal group who will oppose them at every turn. Why develop here when there are other areas which will embrace their development. Let the market do its work, right? If they don't want any development then fine. Plenty of others else where do, and the opponents here can have their "quiet" neighborhood for the time they can have it. They will get nothing in return though.

Edited by Luminare
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too many nimbys, crybabies, and old conservative thinking still holding onto the development thinking in Houston.  That's why places like Miami and other large cities always out build us with new and exciting towers and ideas.  It's too bad as well, since we are a technology hub and aka "space city u.s.a." or is that now a misnomer ?  staying in middle of the road and only playing it "safe" usually tends to get one run over and out done.  Houston money people and developers take note !

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Whats weird is the neighborhood is OK with the boone property going away and becoming a mid-rise apartment complex (the Allen Harrison Complex). But the more I talk to people, its because the houses weren't well kept (but who give a F). Like, if you build two mid-rise apartments, as opposed to one high-rise, whats the difference other than that you don't get the retail that you would if you let the high rise be built. Crazy. To be fair, some of my neighbors have been in the District since 2003-4 (and they are much older than I), and they don't bother with the MPNA. When I told them I joined their collective reactions was "Why would you do that to yourself." So its not everyone, lol. 

 

I texted a friend whose firm competed for that land (the price was just too much for them eventually), and he said if X doesn't take it, they know they will. His assumption is this goes forward, its just the balconies won't look as nice (aka the stuff that juts out above the first like 6 floors). 

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4 minutes ago, Urbannizer said:

So what does this mean, larger parking garage? 😣

 

The developer mentioned it would add 2 floors to the garage and 1 floor to the residential building.

 

if he goes through with it, it’s a true lose-lose situation for the developer (extra costs)and the neighborhood association (taller building). 

 

I think the intent of having a smaller meeting was that they could negotiate with the heads of the association to offer up some concessions. Unfortunately, 50 people showed up saying this site wasn’t right and the developer should study the outcome to the Ashby high rise. 

 

The extra costs probably could’ve been shared with the neighborhood for some streetscape enhancements. Truly unfortunate outcome that helps no one. 

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Thanks for the explanation. What does this mean for the drop off driveway?

 

It's mind boggling the ones against the variance can't grasp that the denial is a worse outcome for everyone and that the project will move forward either way. 

 

Also, it is they who should study the outcome of the Ashby high-rise. The developer did win the right to build, they just have yet to do so.

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5 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

Thanks for the explanation. What does this mean for the drop off driveway?

 

It's mind boggling the ones against the variance can't grasp that the denial is a worse outcome for everyone and that the project will move forward either way. 

 

Also, it is they who should study the outcome of the Ashby high-rise. The developer did win the right to build, they just have yet to do so.

 

I think the drop off on calumet was removed from the project. The only vehicular access point is la branch.

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2 hours ago, bobruss said:

So does the patient still have a pulse, or can it be resuscitated?

I thought the developer was going through with the project even though the variance request was denied.  There would be design changes, but the project would move forward, yes?

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4 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

I thought the developer was going through with the project even though the variance request was denied.  There would be design changes, but the project would move forward, yes?

 

That’s correct. No new information comes from the Chronicle article, just late on reporting the story (as always).

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I was just joking. 

7 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

I thought the developer was going through with the project even though the variance request was denied.  There would be design changes, but the project would move forward, yes?

 

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2 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

 



And it's why I wrote it's sort of an update. Besides the blog Virtual Builders Exchange, none of the local media reported the X Houston development being proposed. The article shared from Houston Chronicle is the first report of it from local media and the first local media to report what happened at the city planning meeting. So, with that in mind, it''s important to note because it means more Houston residents learning about it who don't follow forums like HAIF or visit the city of Houston website to read up on these items.

Yes, we all know 98.99% of the time Houston Chronicle reports news late (late like it's been discussed on this forum months or years before, or the paper reports news other local media sites reported days to months before). Outside of editorials, police & fire scans, and investigative journalism, over 90% of the news on Houston Chronicle are press releases, AP or Rueters newswires, best of food lists and slideshows from Yelp, and click-bait slideshows. 

But usually, proposed developments like this aren't reported by the big news agencies. One reason is because either editors or whomever is in charge wants their reporters to have something more concrete than a proposal. And renderings of proposed projects can't be published without permission from the developers or artists. If the developer doesn't want their renderings shared or dodge requests for comments on proposed projects, there's nothing the reporters can publish.That's why we see mostly press releases about these, because that's when the developers decide to share details.
 

Blogs or sites like Virtual Builders Exchange, Curbed, and others are the exceptions. But old-school media like Hearst-owned publications and others have stricter guidelines they adhere to. It shouldn't be that way.

 

 

Whats interesting is how the media doesn't touch buildings that have opposition to them until there is momentum by the opposition. This was the case while updating info for Aspire Post Oak on the map. Literally zero press releases by any outlet until the Cosmo legal action went into full steam, and the media were clearly on the side of the Cosmo legal action. So if you see a building that has even a minimal amount of opposition to it then it won't get coverage until the opposition grows to a point where it interests the media to cover it.

 

Just think about it there are others with this same thing happening as well. For years barely any outlet did reporting or updates on the reroute until opposition groups gain a little momentum. Its quite pathetic honestly. It shows that these people have a clear bias. Here...we clearly don't. The only agenda on this site is to be informed as much as possible whatever, wherever, and whenever something is constructed. Thats the way it should be, but oh well.

Edited by Luminare
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Not too shabby, overall everything looks pretty good besides the garage. I like the communal feeling you get from the above garage lobby. Definitely going for the younger crowds with this one, especially recent college grads. 

I'm counting around 33 floors on this building (23 for the living portion), it's going to have a pretty sizable presence in this area. In the end I like the residential part, it gives off a pretty energetic vibe, although the garage section might grow on me. 

Edited by TheSirDingle
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X-400.png

 

^^^ holy mother of GOD... i am stunned!  i am finding it somewhat difficult to PULL my eyes away from the middle section of the THREE FULL LEVELS OF GLASS outlined by neon-like LED LIGHTING.  this particular design element in itself... shall make this place an instant tourist attraction.  whomever, is spearheading the efforts of getting the X constructed in houston, must really appreciate our wonderful and fair city.  we are just not accustomed to such magnificent and totally original design elements... regarding prospective condominiums/apartments/hotels etc..   actually, in my view... this particular design of the parking garage (placed right in the middle of the glass levels) looks clean, precise, and ultra modern.  it seems to make the overall edifice seem less stuffy and more open to the general public ( sort of like a downtown parking garage).  i don't rightly know if i have ever witnessed a more hip, totally cool, clean, fun, and modern design before. (definitely not in our fair city)  this place reeks of youth and momentum.  i find it amazing that it's an X... when in fact, it looks like a W...       

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The top of this building is beautiful but the parking podium is hideous.  The architects haven't tried to disguise it at all.  The most beautiful skyscrapers in Texas have cladding that makes it impossible to distinguish where the parking podium ends and the intended function of the tower begins.  Austin's Indeed Tower does an outstanding job with this: Indeed Tower under construction in Austin

 

Edited by Geographer
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It's okay, if we're being honest I don't care for that kind of drab square cladding for residential towers. It's cold and plain yet at the same time not minimalistic and kind of busy.

 

But hey, its a tower, and its happening during these times so good to me.

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722 units would be a lot for a building like that, unless they are really packing them in? That figure reminds me of student housing developments in Austin's West Campus. College Station also has a couple monster-sized apartment buildings with +1,000 plus 'beds'.

 

Common sense says bedrooms, not units.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to X Houston: Residential High-Rise At 5501 La Branch St.

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