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Discovery West: Skanska Downtown Mixed-Use Development


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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Discovery West: Skanska Downtown Mixed-Use Development
2 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

This leaves Baker Botts as the only law firm of Houston’s Big 3 not moving to a new tower in the next few years.

Just a matter of time. There’s a certain stench that permeates from their offices when the elevator door opens. That said, one shell has done a good job of staying competitive after Shell left.

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23 minutes ago, LBC2HTX said:

Just a matter of time. There’s a certain stench that permeates from their offices when the elevator door opens. That said, one shell has done a good job of staying competitive after Shell left.

Do they occupy the middle floors that noticeably have not switched over to LED bulbs? I have always wondered this, lol. 

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1 hour ago, Avossos said:

@CREguy13

is this the big news you were referring to?

Yep! Or at least I hope this was big news...  no idea what is on tap for the remaining blocks, but looks like they may reveal more information later this year.  Having BIG involved is absolutely huge and gives us a lot to look forward to.

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1 hour ago, urbanize713 said:

Do they occupy the middle floors that noticeably have not switched over to LED bulbs? I have always wondered this, lol. 

Hmm they’re on the upper middle floors, something like 30-42 (of 50). Their office are nice, you just get a whiff of retirement home  when you walk in. 

Edited by LBC2HTX
There vs their
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The office building is part of Skanska’s larger plans for the Discovery Green area. In early2020, the developer andBIG completed a master plan for a 3.5 acre mixd-use district calledDiscovery West, which will includerestaurants retail and green space 

Know what block would be perfect for green space? 

The CenterPoint lot (Block 277), perfectly situated in between Discovery Green, Toyota Center, Hilton Américas, and 1550 On The Green. Abandon the sparsely used Crawford St and you could probably extend the Pappasito’s to have patio that opens up to the park. This lot have become too valuable based on its proximity to many things.
 

What are the chance CNP buries or relocates it’s transmission facilities to allow for development here?

Edited by tigereye
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On the ground floor, tenants and guests will have access to 7K SF of retail as well as a lobby with touchless security turnstiles, app-based guest registration and destination dispatch elevators. The building’s floor plates will range from 16K SF to 26K SF.

Austin-based architect Michael Hsu has been tapped to design the interior amenity spaces, which include a fitness center, rooftop event space and terrace on level 28, and community spaces throughout the property. 

 

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Skanska drew inspiration from Bank of America Tower for new downtown Houston project

By Jeff Jeffrey  – Reporter, Houston Business Journal
Jan 14, 2021, 2:29pm CST

The design for Skanska USA Commercial Development’s new 28-story office project adjacent to Discovery Green in downtown Houston was influenced by the company’s experience building Bank of America Tower, executives with the company told the Houston Business Journal during a Jan.14 interview.

Matt Damborsky, executive vice president for Skanska USA Commercial Development’s Houston market, said after seeing how successful Bank of America Tower’s amenity terraces were with tenants, the company made sure to include similar terraces that overlook the 12-acre Discovery Green park in its new project, dubbed 1550 on the Green. Skanska’s new 375,000-square-foot office tower will be located at 1550 Lamar St.

“We learned while we were building Bank of America Tower, as well as similar projects across the U.S. and around the world, that tenants really like to have that third place where they can work,” Damborsky said. “In this case, the entire building overlooks the park, so we wanted to make sure we were doing what we could to bring the park into the building.”

Bank of America Tower, which opened at 800 Capitol St. in May 2019, has an outdoor amenity deck on the 35-story building’s 12th floor, as well as a retail and restaurant lobby on the bottom floor, which the company named Understory.

The plans for 1550 on the Green include two tenant-only terraces and an additional terrace on the roof deck that the public will be able to rent as an event space, Damborsky said.

While the plans for 1550 on the Green are still being finalized, Skanska and its design team are also considering ways to activate the building’s lobby to make it more inviting to tenants and members of the public who might be looking for a place to grab a bite to eat.

“We’re considering various uses,” Damborsky said. “The obvious component is food and beverage. We’re open to everything from a fast-casual restaurant to fine dining. But we might be also do something like the walk-up food and beverage places we have seen be successful at other downtown buildings.”

The design team making those decisions includes the BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, an international design firm that chose to make 1550 on the Green its first project in Texas, as well as Austin-based architect Michael Hsu, who was brought on to design the interior amenity spaces. Hsu also designed Bank of America Tower's Understory culinary market.

“We are very excited to have Michael Hsu on board because he’s known for creating interesting retail and amenity spaces that become a destination,” Damborsky said.

That said, Damborsky noted that Bank of America Tower’s influence on 1550 on the Green wasn’t just limited to the layout of the building. The project will also have many of the touchless technology systems that Bank of America Tower incorporated into its design — systems that took on new importance in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Not only do those systems provide an additional level of convenience, they are important to protecting the health and wellness of the employees working there,” Damborsky said. “We want to make entry into the office as easy as possible. As with Bank of America Tower, we want to include systems that call the building’s elevators as soon as an employee badges into the building. We also want to have systems in place, so that planned visitors can be put on a list to make their access into the office as easy as possible, as well.”

Skanska plans to announce the construction timeline for 1550 on the Green after it receives all of the required permits. Records filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation show that construction of the building could begin as early as June 1, with an estimated completion date of May 1, 2023. The initial phase of the project is expected to cost $117 million, according to the TDLR filing.

Once 1550 on the Green is completed, the building will include two basement levels of parking, six levels of above-ground parking, 20 floors of office space and a mechanical penthouse. There will be 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the largest law firms in Houston, has already signed on as the first tenant in the tower. Norton Rose Fulbright has more than 175 lawyers in its Houston office and currently is based in the Fulbright Tower, at 1301 McKinney St., part of the Houston Center complex downtown. The firm will relocate in 2024 and have naming rights in Skanska's new tower, where it will occupy 32% of the office space.

Skanska acquired the property at 1550 Lamar St. in 2019 as part of a $55 million deal to buy four downtown parking lots from MIPS Investments LLC and MIPS Parking LLC, which Skanska said would be used for a then-unnamed mixed-use development. 1550 on the Green will occupy two of those parcels.

Damborsky said Skanska still has not decided exactly what the remaining two parcels will be used for, but the company plans to call its mixed-use district Discovery West.

"Right now, we're going to focus on making 1550 on the Green a truly spectacular project," he said.

 
 
 
 
 
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The first image posted above is Phase 1 with Fulbright.  Really like the initial drawings of the block West of Fulbright.  BIG is providing a natural transition from the park experience/greenspace to the project which appears to be (at least in these drawings) an office building.

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39 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

Yep I was confused as hell thinking it was a different design of the original building 🤦🏽‍♂️

Yup, so was I. 

 

But it looks like 1 of the images in that URL that was posted would be a different design than the rest we have seen. The "stair step" skyscraper design is gone in this rendering.

 

1550-on-the-green-11.jpg

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1 hour ago, Triton said:

Yup, so was I. 

 

But it looks like 1 of the images in that URL that was posted would be a different design than the rest we have seen. The "stair step" skyscraper design is gone in this rendering.

 

1550-on-the-green-11.jpg

Yeah, and I'm glad they didn't go with this. Looks like Dallas tbh.

But then, so does the one we're getting. Still better though.

Edited by H-Town Man
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13 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

Yeah, and I'm glad they didn't go with this. Looks like Dallas tbh.

But then, so does the one we're getting. Still better though.


Reminds me of the Fountain Place towers. I’m betting it was the pre-pandemic design. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 4:56 PM, Urbannizer said:


Reminds me of the Fountain Place towers. I’m betting it was the pre-pandemic design. 

If they did go with that design, people staying at Embassy Suites would at least have some view of the park.

With the stair-step design, I would pretty much demo the Embassy Suites at that point since the entire north and east sides are looking into office now. lol

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9 hours ago, democide said:

So will this office building be connected to the tunnel system via a tunnel or skywalk? 

If they could put a skybridge over to the Four Seasons from the Phase II building, that would do it via the Park Shops/Houston Center. If they did that and bridged to the Hilton, you could get from Bayou Place all the way to the GRB without ever stepping outside. 

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3 hours ago, Nate99 said:

If they could put a skybridge over to the Four Seasons from the Phase II building, that would do it via the Park Shops/Houston Center. If they did that and bridged to the Hilton, you could get from Bayou Place all the way to the GRB without ever stepping outside. 

A skybridge between the Marriott Marquis and the new Block 98 apartment tower (seen on early renderings but removed from later renderings) would achieve the same thing too.  If neither gets built, I would have to wonder if they are intentionally trying to isolate GRB from the rest of the skywalk/tunnel system.

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10 hours ago, enriquewx91 said:

Chances this actual happens? low im guessing given current events

I am not usually certain about office projects but this one is a sure bet. Already has a major tenant.

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On 2/24/2021 at 10:57 PM, democide said:

So will this office building be connected to the tunnel system via a tunnel or skywalk? 

I hope not. I know of all the convenience of the tunnels (weather and all that)  but I am hoping for less of a reliance on all that. 

Would be nice if they were used only for times of bad weather but people use those things all time making downtown seem like it has 20 employees instead of hundreds of thousands. And we demand street level retail when three tunnels make it so that 95% of the people never have to walk at street level.

Houston employee base is huge. Having that many people walking around would definitely improve the street level retail. Especially if tenants had to cross the street or exit the building to get to their cars.

Again I understand the reluctance to EVER leave our climate controlled bubbles, or God forbid, run into a homeless person

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Triton said:

I am not usually certain about office projects but this one is a sure bet. Already has a major tenant.

Fulbright we know of for Block 250. 

What is the confidence level of Block 251 tower? 

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On 2/24/2021 at 1:17 PM, Triton said:

Not sure why this one wasn't posted. This makes Phase 2 very distinct from the one we've already seen around Discovery Green.

 

image.png

Looks like there may be a third, taller building behind the wrap around in this pic (check out the very top of the building).

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21 hours ago, HoustonBoy said:

I love the steps, but I'm really not liking all the glass on these buildings 

I agree..it's looking very 80's...... and in a bad way.

A glass curtain wall is ok but I'd like to see a little variety up the building..something.

Looks like they thought they did this by stepping it up and throwing trees up there.

The monolithic glass element reads as a solid .

 

I'm also still trying to understand what is going on with their renderings...are these different phases or different schemes?

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