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Montrose Collective: Office Building with Retail Coming to 888 Westheimer

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1 hour ago, bategeler said:

I believe this is a second building that is also part of the project. Looks to be located on the surface lot just north of Uchi. Word on the street is the second and third floors will house the Freed-Montrose Public Library. This seems to be confirmed in the rendering, if you look closely there appears to be book shelves in both floors. 

 

That would explain the "LIBRARY" sign. 

8bb064_8daa15211f8348bcb7cdd313af6416b1~mv2_d_1955_1201_s_2.jpg

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Guess I should share that I heard that quite a few “public” parking is to be incorporated..... maybe left over from “ outreach” of the Montrose Special Parking District or what ever but seems like dozens of spaces will be incorporated. The talk now is about charging for those spaces so cost can be recuperated—

 

one last note of concern on my part - the huge trees on Grant street across from Uchis parking lot have spray painted pink dots on trunks. Hope that doesn’t mean demolition.  While I might be okay with the topiary  horse  in front of Greek restaurant being torn down, I don’t want to lose shade canopy from trees on Grant.

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I'm puzzled that there are no parking structures included. At the Montrose TIRZ a request was made about sharing cost (additional spaces for public use) of building parking structure, then finding a way to charge and recoup that cost.

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Looking at the renderings, the back portion of the back building on the main property appears to be a 6 story parking garage. It's also always possible they do a couple of levels underground. 

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Hmmm Random hasn’t approached Avondale—It has been my experience that developers go to Neartown first. 

Now I suppose approaching the Montrose TIRZ will become the norm.

I try very hard to attend every Neartown and as many TIRZ as possible— so when I explain I am puzzled most likely the TIRZ I attended had discussion on parking structures plus underground parking from this developer. But you are correct in advising me that a final plan hasn’t be presented yet.

 

 

Btw

when those pictures were taken along Grant and California streets,

were the large trees along Grant still marked with pink spray  paint dots?

My worry over the tree canopy disappearing is intense.

Edited by trymahjong
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46 minutes ago, trymahjong said:

Hmmm Random hasn’t approached Avondale—It has been my experience that developers go to Neartown first. 

Now I suppose approaching the Montrose TIRZ will become the norm.

I try very hard to attend every Neartown and as many TIRZ as possible— so when I explain I am puzzled most likely the TIRZ I attended had discussion on parking structures plus underground parking from this developer. But you are correct in advising me that a final plan hasn’t be presented yet.

 

 

Btw

when those pictures were taken along Grant and California streets,

were the large trees along Grant still marked with pink spray  paint dots?

My worry over the tree canopy disappearing is intense.

 

Interesting perspective.

 

I know from observation that if trees are being marked then that means something will happen soon.

 

In your experience, which do you think welds more authority at this moment. Neartown, or Midtown TIRZ?

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I'm not sure I'd call it a back street, and it's half a block from both Westheimer and Montrose. All it needs is a sign on both streets. Besides, there would be lots of stuff around it if this project moves forward as planned. I actually think this is about as close as ideal of a location for a library as possible.

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Guess Ellen Cohen is up for hosting an "Everything you've always wanted to know but were afraid to ask"

Town Hall about this bit of Development in MOntrose.

 

Thursday September 26

Scanlan Room

2nd floorJerabeck Athletic center

St Thomas

6-7:30pm

 

 

 

about that authority question concerning Neartown or Montrose TIRZ-- I haven't a clue

Edited by trymahjong
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If Random does follow the details of this thread ........Maybe Random will send a rep to Avondale’s big National Night out event Oct 1 upstairs at The Eagle.Lots of Avondale should be there.

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Well now we know why this is in the current state its in. Anytime a project starts negotations with a TIRZ it can sometimes be a crap shoot. Remember Fairview District? Hopefully all parties involved learned from the mistakes of the Fairview District both on the public and private side. The parking situation is interesting for me as a resident to listen too because I don't really drive anywhere in this district, I walk, but I trust that this area has a problem with parking considering the historical districts next to them. Hopefully this can get past all the bureaucracy.

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I used to live on Stanford. Parking in the area is fine. I never had to park more than a couple blocks away, and that was only when I was foolish enough to come home on a Friday at 8. 

 

People will argue with me on this. People will always argue that there's not enough parking. But parking just takes the place of actual buildings where people live and work and eat and drink and talk and live. Occasionally having to walk a few blocks to your car is a more than reasonable trade-off.

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1 hour ago, Texasota said:

I used to live on Stanford. Parking in the area is fine. I never had to park more than a couple blocks away, and that was only when I was foolish enough to come home on a Friday at 8. 

 

People will argue with me on this. People will always argue that there's not enough parking. But parking just takes the place of actual buildings where people live and work and eat and drink and talk and live. Occasionally having to walk a few blocks to your car is a more than reasonable trade-off.

 

Not to mention if you trade out driveways for alleyways then you would gain more street parking. We lose a lot of street parking because each property has an individual drive. A shared alleyway that connects to everyones garage in the back would not only be more efficient, but would also be safer because everything is out of view from the front.

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I know quite a few people who own homes on south side of Avondale blvd where there is an alley— not much talk about the advantages of that route to their garages. But there is a lot of grousing over criminal mischief in the alley and vagrants setting up camps there.  I’m not sure why the rest of Avondale wasn’t platted to have alleys in 1907,  plus I wonder why Avondale blvd wasn’t  platted for a median like Lovett blvd. Why were some of the street names changed? it’s hard to get into the mind set of developers in 1907.

 

Still today parking is a HUGE point of contention within Avondale. The HPD parking officer must carry a windup measuring tool as tickets are not only given if you are less than 18 inches from curb but also if you are less than 15 feet from stop sign. . Towing occurrences  were so numerous a contract from COH was issued to a particular tow company to prevent the kazillion other tow trucks from idling in Avondale waiting for their prey.

 

none of this was a big secret......so the owners of the wine bar should have been aware and should have alerted staff. Getting a towed vehicle back is a big chunk of a waitress salary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ellen Cohen is the sponsor of this Town hall along with developers of 812 Westheimer. Q&A about parking, relocation of Freed Library, HPD storefront as well as actual proposed building. Upstairs at Jerbek Building at St Thomas. In Scanlan room- Thursday September 26 —-5:50 pm

parking entrance on Graustark

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1 hour ago, trymahjong said:

Ellen Cohen is the sponsor of this Town hall along with developers of 812 Westheimer. Q&A about parking, relocation of Freed Library, HPD storefront as well as actual proposed building. Upstairs at Jerbek Building at St Thomas. In Scanlan room- Thursday September 26 —-5:50 pm

parking entrance on Graustark

 

Merged with the existing thread.

 

Link: http://www.ellencohen.org/2019/09/public-meeting-new-montrose-library/

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On 9/17/2019 at 9:33 AM, trymahjong said:

I know quite a few people who own homes on south side of Avondale blvd where there is an alley— not much talk about the advantages of that route to their garages. But there is a lot of grousing over criminal mischief in the alley and vagrants setting up camps there.

The disputes about alleys and who's allowed to use them have been going on for years. In the Heights, people have gone so far as to make them part of their back yard, and erecting fences or gates to prevent their use as a public ROW. 
As you note, much of the early development in Houston was done in a pretty haphazard way, and there may be legitimate questions as to whether the alley ROWs are still in place, depending on when and where they were established.
This screenshot from Google Street of the alley off Stanford (just south of Westheimer) seems to sum it up perfectly.
 

alley.PNG

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Beyond a certain density, alleys make a lot of sense, as anyone who's had the misfortune of strolling around Manhattan on trash day can tell you.

 

 

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As someone who lived in the only Houston subdivision with COH regulated (and platted) active alleys for 30 years, they are the greatest invention ever. Trash goes out back, no pesky driveways when you walk the dogs, houses designed without having to put garages in front... not a single regret.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, CrockpotandGravel said:



So the town hall is tonight? I thought it was yesterday.


From Community Impact yesterday:

 

City officials are holding a town hall this week to gather input on the possible move of the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library.
 

The new location could be within a proposed mixed-use development near the 800 block of Westheimer Road—the future site of the Montrose Collective, a new project by Radom Capital, the same developer behind Heights Mercantile and other area projects. The site is currently occupied by a strip center that houses a Greek restaurant and a Houston Police Department storefront, both of which would have to be shuttered or relocated once the project gets underway.
 

Houston Mayor Pro Tem and District C representative Ellen Cohen will host a public meeting about the project from 6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 26 at the Scanlan Room of the Jerabeck Athletic Center at the University of St. Thomas.
 

The Freed-Montrose Library’s current location, a former church building from the 1940s at 4100 Montrose Blvd., may potentially be sold to the University of St. Thomas, a District C spokesperson said.
 

If the library does relocate into the new development, it will not do so until construction is completed, officials said.
 

The Montrose TIRZ has been asked to consider contributing funds for a parking garage at the new development to mitigate parking availability concerns, although that decision is not yet finalized, Montrose TIRZ administrator Damon Williams said.
 

More details will be shared at the Sept. 26 meeting, which will include presentations from Cohen, the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff James Koski, Houston District Police Chief Troy Finner, Montrose TIRZ representative Sherry Weesner and a representative of Radom Capital.

https://communityimpact.com/houston/heights-river-oaks-montrose/city-county/2019/09/25/town-hall-freed-montrose-library/

 

Thanks for the heads up. If this is tonight I think I'll try to swing by. St Thomas is really close to my work.

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I attended the Town Hall meeting. Thought it was going to be another KumByYah  thingy like the Metro Q&A

but then some 3-piece-suit-dufess-anti-LGBTQ goes to the microphone and explains that if this is a family friendly development no PRIDE art should be displayed.  I think I threw up in my mouth.

 

 

 

 

However, before that it was a great presentation: lots of light, green spaces, permeable sidewalk, natural plantings, 24/7 security ( actually walking through not viewing security cameras.saving the heritage Oak trees, free parking for Library and 45+ public parking spaces.

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Ugh. Why do these awful people always show up.

 

Him aside, this is sounding really well thought out. I just want to see drawings! Plans! Sections! Hopefully it shows up on the Planning Commission agenda soon.

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Just now, danielsonr said:

I believe Steve Radom said about 2 1/2 years.  They are still negotiating the lease terms with COH for the library space and the parking agreement with Montrose TIRZ.

20190926_191643.jpg

 

2 1/2 till they start? or 2 1/2 years to complete?

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5 minutes ago, danielsonr said:

I believe Steve Radom said about 2 1/2 years.  They are still negotiating the lease terms with COH for the library space and the parking agreement with Montrose TIRZ.

 

Montrose TIRZ still a thing?

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25 minutes ago, danielsonr said:

I believe Steve Radom said about 2 1/2 years.  They are still negotiating the lease terms with COH for the library space and the parking agreement with Montrose TIRZ.

20190926_191643.jpg

 

I love this. The building on the right echoes the architecture of Philip Johnson's University of St. Thomas campus. Not crazy about the library design on other posts, just not my architectural cup of tea.

 

This might be the best neighborhood infill project I've ever seen in Houston.

 

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Montrose TIRZ still a thing?

 

 

 

yes— meeting 3rd Monday’s at St Stephan’s 

 

Lots of negotiations for TIRZ will help fund public parking spaces which could increase in number to up to 100- available after the business there close for the day.

 

for myself, it surprised me that COH actually owned that part of strip mall housing the HPD storefront. Apparently that ownership set the whole new library idea in motion. Radom build the shell of the new library building instead of outright purchase of land, I guess.There is a piece of land in Midtown that COH was considering since current Freed building needs $$$$ repair.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

.

Do you do this so you get notifications to the thread? You do realize you can subscribe and get email alerts when new posts are created in a thread, right? That's supported natively by the forum software.

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This is great, but I really hope they plans for the old library. 

I'm just gonna suggest a food hall. There's lots of parking and Montrose doesn't have one yet.

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20 minutes ago, Texasota said:

This is great, but I really hope they plans for the old library. 

I'm just gonna suggest a food hall. There's lots of parking and Montrose doesn't have one yet.

 

St. Thomas University has already expressed interest in buying the old library, so it would be part of their campus.

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44 minutes ago, Texasota said:

This is great, but I really hope they plans for the old library. 

I'm just gonna suggest a food hall. There's lots of parking and Montrose doesn't have one yet.

 

They can make it their on-campus church.. administration building... barnes and noble for books. Anything but tearing it down.

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About that HPD storefront removal...........

 

In our fast moving digital age an HPD store front with limited hours ( no ability to confront nor relay instantly “call in”active crime happenings either) limited person collecting paper citizen complaint forms.....seems pokey and superfluous. However there is something  intangible about relations ( both the sergeant that passed and current patrol officer had been assigned at least since 2005)with actual nearby residents. Not to mention the patrol cars comings and goings that does have a positive beneficial impact on local neighbors.  Yes of course there are a kazillion antidotes where the storefront “dropped the ball” and solid reasons why a short staffed HPD should consolidate storefronts downtown. Still, those patrol cars coming from everywhere 24/7 to use that storefront as a way station was invaluable— actual  HPD patrols in our neighborhoods helps prevent crime!

 

I am not hopeful with the arrangement for ALL storefronts to move Downtown.

 

I was hoping for a space in the new Radom development ( Radom indeed make a tentative provision in early talks)for an unmanned space where officers could continue to drive to 24/7 and perhaps unknowingly  patrol our neighborhood. HPD is indeed short staffed and getting HPD permission for increase in dedicated patrols for a specific area are hard to obtain. So I am wistful for those patrols that were “ happenstance” but now gone. 

 

 

Edited by trymahjong
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12 hours ago, Triton said:

Do you do this so you get notifications to the thread? You do realize you can subscribe and get email alerts when new posts are created in a thread, right? That's supported natively by the forum software.

 

I made a post, then decided it didn't strike the right note so I removed it.

 

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I made a post, then decided it didn't strike the right note so I removed it.

 

Oh ok, just seemed to be a common occurrence among your posts so I wasn't sure if you were just doing it for notifications.

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48 minutes ago, Triton said:

Oh ok, just seemed to be a common occurrence among your posts so I wasn't sure if you were just doing it for notifications.

 

I think I've done this like twice in the past year or so?

 

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

Oh ok, just seemed to be a common occurrence among your posts so I wasn't sure if you were just doing it for notifications.

 

You might be refering to Timoric who sometimes posts when he is...well...under the influence (apparently) haha.

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3 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

You might be refering to Timoric who sometimes posts when he is...well...under the influence (apparently) haha.

Yea, I reached out to H-Town Man privately. Think I was confusing him with someone else.

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That's very disappointing. That's by and far my favorite Houston Public Library location to work and it's in a great location. Damn. Houston strikes again. 

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https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Developer-books-library-for-lower-Westheimer-14490487.php

 

The developer of Heights Mercantile is bringing its penchant for walkability, leafy landscaping and urban design to lower Westheimer, where it’s planning a multi-building complex with a mix of high-end shops, restaurants and office space.

The proposed project, called Montrose Collective, will have a unique twist. Developer Radom Capital has been working with the city to relocate the Montrose branch of the Houston Public Library to the development. An agreement with the city is still pending and would need to be approved by Houston City Council, but it would entail the Freed-Montrose Library relocating from its longtime home at 4100 Montrose Blvd.

As part of the move, the city would take an ownership stake in the new library space and would swap a small parcel it owns on Westheimer that would become part of the development site. That parcel, at 802 Westheimer, is now a Houston Police Department storefront, which would close.

Montrose Collective is planned as a 150,000-square-foot project of three buildings of three to six stories along the north side of Westheimer on either side of Grant Street.

Steve Radom, the development firm’s managing principal, said the design team thought careful about the placement of the buildings and their scale in relation to the neighborhood.

“We were like, how do we make it to where off the street we’re not overpowering, but we’re fitting into the community?” he said.

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, which designed Heights Mercantile — a collection of restored and new buildings along Heights Boulevard and a hike and bike trail — designed Montrose Collective. OJB Landscape Architecture is also involved in the design.

The project would be built around seven live oak trees that will be preserved on the site. The space between the buildings would include greenspace, combined with pavers, colorful tiles and acidized concrete. There will be a courtyard with a half-acre of public space.

Radom Capital assembled multiple parcels to form the 1.8-acre site east of Grant, along with another parcel of about 30,000 square feet in the block just to the west. The acquisition included the Uchi building, which will remain intact, and the property next door, which houses Rosemont Social and Hue Salon, each of which will stay in the project. Theo’s Restaurant on the block east of Grant would close when construction begins, Radom said.

The library would occupy 12,000 square feet on the second and third floors of a three-story building behind Uchi. The city would be responsible for the interior build-out and would have a so-called condominium interest in the building.

Parking will be in a garage at the back of the property. Though garages are not the favored way of parking among Houston shoppers, the building will be customer-friendly, Radom said, with 12-foot ceilings, an electronic system showing available spaces and colorful graphics marking the stairs and elevators.

“People don’t like parking in garages ever in Houston,” he said. “But as areas densify, that’s no longer a choice.”

Despite its abundance of space for cars, “we want this to be destination everyone walks to,” Radom said, adding that there will be ample bicycle parking as well.

The project will include 110,000 square feet of office space in two of the buildings’ upper floors. Retail space will cover 40,000 square feet.

Construction could start early next year on the new project, which is expected to take about 30 months to complete.

The city hosted a public meeting last week at the library, which is in need of repair, to discuss the possible relocation.

The public response was positive, said James Koski, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s deputy chief of staff, who attended the meeting. There were, however, questions about what closing the HPD storefront would mean for policing the area and how parking at the new building would be handled.

If the library relocates, its building would be sold. The University of St. Thomas, which is based in the neighborhood and owns the property that houses the Black Laborador restaurant adjacent to the library building, has approached the city about buying the property, Koski said, but there is no deal currently.

Koski said the parties involved expect to have a final agreement to bring to City Council by the end of the year.

 

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On 10/1/2019 at 5:02 AM, CrockpotandGravel said:

A 600+ space below-and-above ground parking garage is planned to serve the Montrose Collective, with 25 spaces reserved exclusively for library patrons. The Montrose TIRZ is in discussions with Radom Capital LLC for a development deal that will allow for an additional 100 spaces within the garage to be open to the public as well as streetscape improvements. Additional public meetings are planned to discuss this opportunity to fill Montrose’s long-known dearth of public parking.
 

 

Wait, 600 parking spaces?!?!?

 

That seems crazy excessive. 

 

Evidently 2 floors underground and 5 floors above. 

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4 minutes ago, Toopicky said:

 

The sad part is that of those 600 parking spaces, ONLY 25 are reserved for the library.

Reserved just means dedicated, there are still 575 other spots lol. The garage probably won't even be that busy during the hours the library is open anyways

 

Plus isn't the whole point to encourage walkabilty anyways?

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Yeah, I don't see them ever getting that full unless some major stuff moves in afterwards on westheimer. Maybe a good comparison is that Shake Shake. It has a large lot for its size (it seems) especially when compared to the lot shared by blacksmith and hay merchant. The Shack's lot is like half full at most on busy days. Went last night at 7 and it was a quarter full but a ton of people eating, so obviously they all did not get there by car. 

 

Its actually pretty forward thinking, because now they have all this parking just in case the area explodes in terms of development (it already is, but just more) instead of having a bunch of surface lots. 

 

16 hours ago, danielsonr said:

“People don’t like parking in garages ever in Houston,” he said. “But as areas densify, that’s no longer a choice.”

 

Lol that is a ridiculous statement. "people care about the housing of the concrete they park on" 

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2 hours ago, Toopicky said:

 

The sad part is that of those 600 parking spaces, ONLY 25 are reserved for the library.

 

It talks about how the TIRZ may fund part of the garage to have 100 spaces open to the public. 

 

I honestly wish that they would just charge for parking for all of it. Maybe exempt the 25 library parking spots. 

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