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Warehouse District: Mixed-Use By Urban Genesis


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On 4/15/2021 at 4:21 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

This area is about to explode. So happy to see developers not just tear down the charming buildings in this area. The Warehouse District should be a destination for people. 

I think they are already ruining it. They just tore down a building that they can't really replace that well due to the lot size... what in the world can they put there that will have the same patina effect? The area is full of empty lots and they tear down structures still lmao.

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2 minutes ago, iah77 said:

I think they are already ruining it. They just tore down a building that they can't really replace that well due to the lot size... what in the world can they put there that will have the same patina effect? The area is full of empty lots and they tear down structures still lmao.

Well yeah you can't save every little building. But the overall plan for this area is to reuse many of the old buildings or incorporate them in to part of the design. They haven't done much to say it's ruined. Some of those plots are up for sale.

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that building wasn't worth saving.

Here's a pic from the best show they ever had there, Genitortures in Oct 2015. After the show, I was headed towards the stage to grab my stuff when I walked by Gen and the sound guy. She was SCREAMING at him, telling him he sucked, he ruined the show, he should stop trying to be a sound guy and go get a real job.. I was like, wtf... then she saw me, grabbed me, stuck her tongue in my ear and started cooing sweet nothings in my ear, telling me how she loved my work, I made the show worth doing, etc.

We did a photoshoot later, can't post any pics (none are x-rated, but, still, they're not fit for a family friendly forum..lol)

genitortures.jpg

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Looks like Urban Genesis owns these 2 portions of land. I'm willing to bet that they use the demoed land for a laydown yard while they convert the large warehouse.

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Edited by hindesky
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21 hours ago, hindesky said:

Small building between McKee St. and Hardy St is gone. The warehouse just west of this is now surrounded by a fence, except for a small portion on the southwest corner.

My old building 😢😢.

That small portion is actually a separate building, both structurally and (at one time, maybe still) per HCAD. When I owned that warehouse (813 McKee), that small building in the corner was not part of it. It was built/added after the original building (which dates to the 1920s), and stands on its own. I tried more than once to acquire it, but the owner had no interest in selling. Even though it was vacant 90% of the time we were there.

 

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I'm glad that corner building is not included. It is a neat little store, called Black's Bodega, that adds to the character of the area. I'm sure it will benefit greatly from the construction workers for this project and the future influx of residents once the apartments are completed. 

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The small structure on the roof is the top of a freight elevator. This thing was huuuuge, probably 20x20, or larger. Another weird factoid: both floors of the brick structure building are wood. Huge beams of wood, maybe 12"x12". They date back to the original construction in the 1920s, when it was built by Houston Sash & Door.

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24 minutes ago, astrohip said:

The small structure on the roof is the top of a freight elevator. This thing was huuuuge, probably 20x20, or larger. Another weird factoid: both floors of the brick structure building are wood. Huge beams of wood, maybe 12"x12". They date back to the original construction in the 1920s, when it was built by Houston Sash & Door.

That is great, Houston has hardly any heavy timber warehouse buildings, which are all over the Northeast. But if they add three floors to this building as shown in the rendering, I'm not sure if that internal structure will be kept.

 

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@astrohip I'm sorry to say this but I talked with the guy on the right and asked him if they were just taking down the metal framed building between the Black Bodegas and your old warehouse and he told me they were going to demolish everything but the Bodega. I think they started here because it's probably the easiest to bring down.

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Just now, j_cuevas713 said:

I knew Blacks Bodega wasn't going anywhere but are you saying that red brick warehouse isn't being incorporated in to the design? 

Their renderings made it look like they were going to use it and build up. Maybe they found that wasn't feasible.

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Yeah, those renderings definitely made it look like it was to be saved.

I would love to have some of those old timbers. Make great landscape timbers. I'll have to drive by on Monday when I'm back in town and see what's going on.

Thanks for the updates @hindesky.

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16 hours ago, hindesky said:

The metal clad building in the middle is the one coming down. They seem almost done with it just loading out the scrap steel.

Ah, so they are keeping the brick part of the building? That makes sense. That metal part was junk when we were there, and that was decades ago. The only good part of it is the huge concrete slab it sits on.

I'll try to drive by this week, and see what's going on.

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6 hours ago, astrohip said:

Ah, so they are keeping the brick part of the building? That makes sense. That metal part was junk when we were there, and that was decades ago. The only good part of it is the huge concrete slab it sits on.

I'll try to drive by this week, and see what's going on.

The one guy I talked said they were removing everything. I just think the metal building is just easier to take down first. The workers were off on Sunday and didn't finish loading out the scrap metal.

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On 4/16/2021 at 9:03 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

Well yeah you can't save every little building. But the overall plan for this area is to reuse many of the old buildings or incorporate them in to part of the design. They haven't done much to say it's ruined. Some of those plots are up for sale.

As you can see in the pics above it always starts with one "little" building and now boom everything is being demolished lmao. People never learn... do you think it's ruined yet?

 

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1 hour ago, iah77 said:

As you can see in the pics above it always starts with one "little" building and now boom everything is being demolished lmao. People never learn... do you think it's ruined yet?

 

You saying I never learn? lol Well yeah if they aren’t incorporating that building on the corner then thats a loss. The middle building was scrap metal but that corner building is really nice. Anyone have pics from today to confirm this? Just seems weird why the rendering would show that corner building. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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13 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Well yeah if they aren’t incorporating that building on the corner then thats a loss. The middle building was scrap metal but that corner building is really nice. Anyone have pics from today to confirm this? Just seems weird why the rendering would show that corner building.

To my untrained eye, this appears to be a case of facadism. The old building is likely unable to support a new structure on top, so they would only save the facade and build a new structure behind it. This would allow them to maintain the historic feeling of the neighborhood, while also making construction simpler (see: cheaper).

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They have started demolishing the other metal clad building on the north east corner.  The old "House of Creeps". These are much easier to take down than the brick building, it will be the last to come down. I wonder if they can reuse some of the brick for their build?

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5 minutes ago, phillip_white said:

To my untrained eye, this appears to be a case of facadism. The old building is likely unable to support a new structure on top, so they would only save the facade and build a new structure behind it. This would allow them to maintain the historic feeling of the neighborhood, while also making construction simpler (see: cheaper).

I think you are correct in this case. Now that I look at the render, that makes sense. 

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On 4/23/2021 at 9:00 AM, astrohip said:

Yeah, those renderings definitely made it look like it was to be saved.

I would love to have some of those old timbers. Make great landscape timbers. I'll have to drive by on Monday when I'm back in town and see what's going on.

Thanks for the updates @hindesky.

Timbers like that have not lost any strength and could easily be used in another building. There are timber framers in Texas who would love something like that.

 

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49 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

Timbers like that have not lost any strength and could easily be used in another building. There are timber framers in Texas who would love something like that.

I would hope they could somehow incorporate a lot of the original materials into the new development, but who knows. If not, allowing salvage companies dibs before demolition would be a good secondary option.

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Quick update: I went by yesterday, and talked to the lead guy handling the demo. He said the entire structure is coming down. Every bit of it, brick, metal, etc. They're even going to be ripping out all the slabs, and scraping down to the ground. The only thing left will be that building in the SW corner, that's not part of the main 813 McKee bldg.

I'll try to post some pics later, running short on time this morning.

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35 minutes ago, astrohip said:

Quick update: I went by yesterday, and talked to the lead guy handling the demo. He said the entire structure is coming down. Every bit of it, brick, metal, etc. They're even going to be ripping out all the slabs, and scraping down to the ground. The only thing left will be that building in the SW corner, that's not part of the main 813 McKee bldg.

I'll try to post some pics later, running short on time this morning.

I am horrified they are tearing everything down? What am I looking at in the renderings? I thought it clearly shows that little brick building in the SE side?

Are the renderings dated? Are they rebuilding it?

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23 hours ago, Avossos said:

I am horrified they are tearing everything down? What am I looking at in the renderings? I thought it clearly shows that little brick building in the SE side?

Are the renderings dated? Are they rebuilding it?

I went back and looked at the renderings that were posted in this thread. They clearly show the brick sections being renovated. I know them well enough to recognize them... each window, door, overhead door, etc. Even the funky entrance on the Nance St NW corner is shown in the renderings.

While you would think the demo guy would know what he's doing, and he was VERY clear that they were taking down the entire structure, and even gave me a time frame (4-6 weeks start to finish, which is way more time than they need to remove the old metal structures), that doesn't mean he's correct. But I don't hold out much hope at this point.

I took a brick that had already been knocked loose as a memento. By my rough estimate, I spent 50,000+ hours of my life in that bldg.

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2 hours ago, astrohip said:

I went back and looked at the renderings that were posted in this thread. They clearly show the brick sections being renovated. I know them well enough to recognize them... each window, door, overhead door, etc. Even the funky entrance on the Nance St NW corner is shown in the renderings.

While you would think the demo guy would know what he's doing, and he was VERY clear that they were taking down the entire structure, and even gave me a time frame (4-6 weeks start to finish, which is way more time than they need to remove the old metal structures), that doesn't mean he's correct. But I don't hold out much hope at this point.

I took a brick that had already been knocked loose as a memento. By my rough estimate, I spent 50,000+ hours of my life in that bldg.

One would hope the guy with the big demolition machine would know what he's supposed to remove and leave behind.

Assuming he's incorrect, your quoted time frame would make sense as they have to deconstruct the interior and reinforce the remaining walls.

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I'm really having a hard time with this project. I can't believe they are leveling this. Both of those corner buildings had so much potential. They could have been renovated in to something useful but instead we're getting generic apartments. 

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20 hours ago, hindesky said:

@astrohip are they going to let you get some of the wooden beams you wanted when they demo the brick building?

I asked him about that (he was on break, and we had a 5-10 minute conversation on all sorts of things--such as I started working there before he was born). He knew exactly what I was talking about. He said those beams were in bad shape, and were not really usable beams any more. Old, dried out, falling apart. I'll probably go back next week and see if I can check them out personally.

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11 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I'm really having a hard time with this project. I can't believe they are leveling this. Both of those corner buildings had so much potential. They could have been renovated in to something useful but instead we're getting generic apartments. 

I can see this area becoming what we'd hope would happen with the Hardy Yards. Unfortunately, at the expense of why it's called the Warehouse District.

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3 hours ago, astrohip said:

I asked him about that (he was on break, and we had a 5-10 minute conversation on all sorts of things--such as I started working there before he was born). He knew exactly what I was talking about. He said those beams were in bad shape, and were not really usable beams any more. Old, dried out, falling apart. I'll probably go back next week and see if I can check them out personally.

That may be the case but you always have to take this with a grain of salt. The normal Houston mentality is that anything old is "in bad shape, falling apart." Up in the Northeast there are brick warehouses all over the place that have heavy wooden beams and they are in use, not dried out and falling apart. You would think a humid climate like in Houston would help this sort of thing. Then again, we do have formosan termites that could have gotten to those beams. But it's just hard to trust when this excuse has been used so many times, and our city has a really low IQ in general when it comes to historic building methods.

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11 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

That may be the case but you always have to take this with a grain of salt. The normal Houston mentality is that anything old is "in bad shape, falling apart." Up in the Northeast there are brick warehouses all over the place that have heavy wooden beams and they are in use, not dried out and falling apart. You would think a humid climate like in Houston would help this sort of thing. Then again, we do have formosan termites that could have gotten to those beams. But it's just hard to trust when this excuse has been used so many times, and our city has a really low IQ in general when it comes to historic building methods.

Exactly! Pretty sure 90% of the time that line is just BS to get out of any public push back. 

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7 minutes ago, phillip_white said:

Is a Houston developer actually going to semi-preserve a historic structure? The times they are a-changin.

Not according to one of the demo guys I talked with. He said everything is coming down except for the "Black Bodegas" building in the southwest corner. They started today on the brick building on the northeast side.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, hindesky said:

Not according to one of the demo guys I talked with. He said everything is coming down except for the "Black Bodegas" building in the southwest corner. They started today on the brick building on the northeast side.

Yeah,  but it’s kinda looking like they are being pretty careful not to damage the southeast brick building in the process of demolishing the others, and that's the one that seems to be in the renderings.

Edited by Houston19514
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40 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Yeah,  but it’s kinda looking like they are being pretty careful not to damage the southeast brick building in the process of demolishing the others.

Agreed. If they wanted to take it all down, why not just come out swinging?

47 minutes ago, hindesky said:

Not according to one of the demo guys I talked with. He said everything is coming down except for the "Black Bodegas" building in the southwest corner. They started today on the brick building on the northeast side.

Is the bodega still open? That would be a major hint as to whether or not it will be demolished anytime soon. Also, technically the southeast building would be coming down... just not completely if they leave the facade (fingers crossed). 

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9 hours ago, phillip_white said:

Agreed. If they wanted to take it all down, why not just come out swinging?

Is the bodega still open? That would be a major hint as to whether or not it will be demolished anytime soon. Also, technically the southeast building would be coming down... just not completely if they leave the facade (fingers crossed). 

They don't own the bodega building, which is also a hint that they won't be demolishing it.

 

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The Bodega building has always been platted and owned separately from the main bldg. I'm not sure who owns it now, but I tried to acquire it in the late 1980s, when it was vacant, and they had no interest in selling.

I talked to the demo guys also yesterday, and he said it is all coming down (Bodega excluded). I asked him why they left the brick part standing, and he said they were tearing down the old metal part first (now complete), and then they had to load & haul it off. They would start on the brick part next week.

I also asked again about getting in to see the timbers, and he gave me a firm no. Said the brick part was unstable without the metal framework, and it could fall or collapse. No way he wanted me in there. 

I got some pics, but @hindeskyhas it covered well.

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That was fast!

Those stairs still standing in your last pic, we added those in the late 1970s. Obviously pre-ADA era. You can see it in my pic below, red circle, before they tore it down. We wanted a public entrance, separate from the main entrance on the corner, so we knocked an opening in the brick wall, added a door, and those steps.

Also, can't remember if I've mentioned this before. There is a full size vault upstairs, roughly where the yellow circle is. It was there when we moved in, 1977. Think bank vault. Full size bank vault door, vault was about 12' wide, maybe 25-30' deep. Concrete walls. Concrete columns to hold it up. My office was actually built around two of the columns.

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