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Coronavirus Delays

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Has anyone heard any info of projects being delayed or pushed back due to the pandemic with the Coronavirus? I figured I’d post here since Going Up is the most frequently viewed of all the threads. 

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Just now, j_cuevas713 said:

Has anyone heard any info of projects being delayed or pushed back due to the pandemic with the Coronavirus? I figured I’d post here since Going Up is the most frequently viewed of all the threads. 

All the projects I rode by today except one had workers on site on Saturday.

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Anecdotal, but I have one renovation project in San Antonio so far has been put on hold. For my projects that are under construction, most of the contractors are implementing cleaning regimes, spreading out the workers, and then one project of mine split their workforce into 3rds and put them on day shift, evening shift and night shift. 

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I work at a major refinery/chemical complex and they had a large lay off on Thursday which included hundreds of people. All those let go were contractors which is what I am too. Lots of those projects were new construction projects that were postponed. Many more hundreds are going to be let go next week. I'm lucky so far and have survived the first round of layoffs but with oil prices tanking on top of the virus, who knows how much longer I might survive. 

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I am keeping my eye on Two Hermann Place and Phase II of Caydon’s development. Nitya Capital’s post last month indicated they were looking for another $5MM in equity for Two Hermann Place. If they couldn’t find it before March, I doubt it breaks ground.

 

Caydon’s second phase is supposed to be anchored by a hotel, which is one of the last things I’d expect anyone would want to fund right now.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

I am keeping my eye on Two Hermann Place and Phase II of Caydon’s development. Nitya Capital’s post last month indicated they were looking for another $5MM in equity for Two Hermann Place. If they couldn’t find it before March, I doubt it breaks ground.

 

Caydon’s second phase is supposed to be anchored by a hotel, which is one of the last things I’d expect anyone would want to fund right now.

Don't really see Caydon stopping rn. Even if the hotel market takes a huge dip, by the time this is built (2 years?) the market will definitely be back to normal or above average.

I agree with you on Herman Place, but in terms of construction cost 5 mil isn't much for a highrise like this. If it doesn't break ground because of that, then it should in the near future. 

I would say most of the major mixed used developments happening rn will keep going, since a lot of them have been in planning for years and have significant financial backing. In the end i'm hoping things don't go nuclear, and they go back to the norm after this virus leaves. 

Edited by TheSirDingle
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What I said in the East River thread this past Wednesday. Still holds true:

 

Quote

Depends. It varies wildly between different sectors of the industry, the type of project, the financing for the project, etc...

 

Anyone out there that says otherwise is trying to sell you something, or in this case with it potentially being a down market...buy something.

 

Most projects already under construction will keep going as long as there is financing already wrapped up in contracts. Most will simply push ahead because we have to remember most of your projects last anywhere from 1-2 years on average. These are already long term investments. While this virus could affect us into the summer or even next year (worst case scenario), its more likely we will have to all just suck it up at some point after we flatten the curve and go back to work. The world can not handle just saying...yeah lets just call 2020 in the books. That just won't happen and with the infection rate and death rate so low for this and where it hits a particular age range it will actually be more responsible to just keep moving forward. The biggest reason for these pauses in the economy is again to "flatten" the curve because while the death rate is low the hospitalization rate is high (20%) and nobody can handle that at all.

 

I've been walking around and people are still building houses, doing interior work for renovations, and one person down the street from where I live just started pouring a new driveway.

 

Where you will see slowdown is in planned projects. Spec projects in most sectors will slowdown.

 

Again though, we need to take projections with a grain of salt. Nobody has a clue how long the world will be in this state, and nobody really knows how serious this all is. Some of the overreactions is because nobody knows what to do. We haven't had any real problems with anything in a very long time, so people are definitely spooked, but its probably needed. So if the projections are wild, and nobody knows what they are going to do then that creates volatility because there is just so much uncertainty. I think we all just need to take these next two weeks see how it plays out and then I think we will really know what is going on. My gut feeling is that after these two weeks we will have a moment of clarity where we all accept that this might just be the new normal (living in the world with this virus till a vaccine is made), and just continue on living, and start things back up again. I'm think probably mid-April things will get back into form. All of this mayhem has been started not by bubbles or minerals, or money, but because of one thing we have no clue what to do with.

 

 

Long story short, its complicated, its context dependent, we will be fine as an industry in the end as its not an industry fault or a markets fault, but just plain bad luck. Oh well. But the Economy after this is done...wow that will be a fun ride to get on.

 

What is different here than in any other Economic downturn is that this is all self-imposed. Even during a recession or depression markets are still functioning just at a handicap. I've never seen it where literally everything is shutdown. Not to mention this is the first time I've seen a downturn due to something non-economic in nature. If it were just the whole Oil thing there might be a dip, but not enough to most halt operations in this town or the nation at large. I'm onboard with this two week plan just to see if it has any effect, and I'm sure this was done with the best of intentions, but I don't think any of our political leaders knew just how many people perform paycheck to paycheck (bi-weekly) and at many different income levels from the very poor to the upper middle class, and even hitting into the upper class. Many businesses function bi-weekly as well. Its ridiculous that what will be the most disastrous thing to happen from the virus isn't the infection of people, or even the number of deaths but the loss of jobs. If we go beyond 2 weeks I can only see it as irresponsible to not let people work. Especially when 75-85% of jobs can not be performed remotely.

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

So was in a meeting yesterday, and apparently after Houston was placed on lockdown, it seems many contractors were contacting people asking if construction was an "essential" industry. Apparently it is. So construction will continue during all of this. Just thought y'all should know.

 

What will be interesting is that with so many cars off the road, it would be a good time to do a lot of infrastructure projects. Could be a great way of hiring people who just lost their jobs in all of this.

Based on the Houston Chron article I read the other day, this will actually speed up transportation projects across Houston since they have less traffic to worry about now. They can shut down an entire highway and have minimal issues. 

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3 minutes ago, Triton said:

Based on the Houston Chron article I read the other day, this will actually speed up transportation projects across Houston since they have less traffic to worry about now. They can shut down an entire highway and have minimal issues. 

Lower Westheimer Corridor, Lower Westheimer Corridor, LOWER WESTHEIMER CORRIDOR!

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It would be a perfect time to build a cut-and-cover subway down Westheimer 

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Posted (edited)

Here's a form letter that sent out by the AIA to offices:

 

DgZixyn.jpg

 

Here's an excerpt from the County regarding this:

 

7rh4Fba.jpg

 

EDIT: In other words, technically architecture isn't included in this, but since Construction Documents are by their definition legal documents, this means that Architects will still be working due to their nature as consultants not only for their clients, but also for the documents that they draft. For construction companies to comply with the law, both regarding documents and the contracts that they sign this will keep architects at work during this whole thing. This is why in legalese it has in there "when necessary" as its not necessary that architects remain working but because they are consults which are required to be contacted when questions about documentation arise this means this thereby brings architects back into the equation as "essential" work.

Edited by Luminare
clarification

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One important thing about the Houston AIA guidance - if you're in some exotic locale YMMV.  Austin and Travis County issued similar orders, but then Austin came out that afternoon with a guidance document that appears to clamp some significant limitations on the broader reading of the order.  As of lunchtime there was still some back and forth going around about how to interpret things up there.

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1 hour ago, mollusk said:

One important thing about the Houston AIA guidance - if you're in some exotic locale YMMV.  Austin and Travis County issued similar orders, but then Austin came out that afternoon with a guidance document that appears to clamp some significant limitations on the broader reading of the order.  As of lunchtime there was still some back and forth going around about how to interpret things up there.

 

I'm sure they will try, but there is already a lot of micro managing during this pandemic trying to keep people from becoming sick. I think it would be ridiculous for them to try and create more detailed guidelines to try and close up logical loopholes when they should be focused on other things. I call a logical loophole since its one which can be inferred once you read the legal language and you take that language to its logical end. If they want construction to actually run properly, and done legally then that means they will have to follow the project documents, which means that they will eventually have questions on those documents which means they will need architects for help to follow them, make changes, etc... I totally get where you are coming from though, but thats when bureaucrats just need to gtfo since they don't understand the process enough to really understand that there are a lot of symbiotic relationships, and synergies that happen during construction, and during the design process, and any effort to try and tightly regulate that will only make things worse for everyone. Especially when these are only temporary measures. I don't want my civil servants wasting time and tax payer money working on guidelines, and procedures which are suppose to be temporary, and try to micro-mange and close every potential logical loophole imaginable.

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Hotel occupancy has collapsed:

 

HotelMar262020.PNG

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I have a tiny repair project at a hotel. They are Howling about price for the repairs and trying to equivocate whether the repairs are needed. I imagine this is related. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/25/2020 at 5:12 PM, Luminare said:

 

I'm sure they will try, but there is already a lot of micro managing during this pandemic trying to keep people from becoming sick. I think it would be ridiculous for them to try and create more detailed guidelines to try and close up logical loopholes when they should be focused on other things. I call a logical loophole since its one which can be inferred once you read the legal language and you take that language to its logical end. If they want construction to actually run properly, and done legally then that means they will have to follow the project documents, which means that they will eventually have questions on those documents which means they will need architects for help to follow them, make changes, etc... I totally get where you are coming from though, but thats when bureaucrats just need to gtfo since they don't understand the process enough to really understand that there are a lot of symbiotic relationships, and synergies that happen during construction, and during the design process, and any effort to try and tightly regulate that will only make things worse for everyone. Especially when these are only temporary measures. I don't want my civil servants wasting time and tax payer money working on guidelines, and procedures which are suppose to be temporary, and try to micro-mange and close every potential logical loophole imaginable.

 

Philosophizing notwithstanding, Austin's guidance basically shuts construction projects down, period, unless they fall within one of six fairly specific exceptions (public works, for example).  Linkage:

 

http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ConstructionGuidance-Stay-Home-Order (003).pdf

 

http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Order 20200324-007 - Stay Home - Work Safe.pdf

 

AIA Austin is trying to get an exception for general residential and commercial construction, but didn't get it as of noon Friday:  https://www.aiaaustin.org/aia-austin-and-covid-19

 

Anecdotally, it looks like a lot of projects and borderline "exempt" businesses here are shutting down for the duration - probably something to do with wanting to keep people healthy.  Until there is a blanket order, people are going to have to research locality by locality to know what the rules are.

 

Sorry for the slow reply, but I've been socially distant (actually, answering clients' phoned and emailed questions and moving most of my office to my house).

Edited by mollusk
edited for clarity
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7 hours ago, mollusk said:

 

Philosophizing notwithstanding, Austin's guidance basically shuts construction projects down, period, unless they fall within one of six fairly specific exceptions (public works, for example).  Linkage:

 

http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ConstructionGuidance-Stay-Home-Order (003).pdf

 

http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Order 20200324-007 - Stay Home - Work Safe.pdf

 

AIA Austin is trying to get an exception for general residential and commercial construction, but didn't get it as of noon Friday:  https://www.aiaaustin.org/aia-austin-and-covid-19

 

Anecdotally, it looks like a lot of projects and borderline "exempt" businesses here are shutting down for the duration - probably something to do with wanting to keep people healthy.  Until there is a blanket order, people are going to have to research locality by locality to know what the rules are.

 

Sorry for the slow reply, but I've been socially distant (actually, answering clients' phoned and emailed questions and moving most of my office to my house).

 

Do you know if 6X Guadalupe ever started, other than demoing the previous building? That could be a huge casualty of this virus.

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12 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Do you know if 6X Guadalupe ever started, other than demoing the previous building? That could be a huge casualty of this virus.


I think it had started.  

I believe they had reached the point where the crane base was installed in the last week or so.

 

 


 

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If we are being brutally honest, I think that proposed tower in Austin is ugly. It's all the stuff I don't like about modern architecture trends. It's weirdly eclectic and blocky and asymettric and dysharmonious. A generous take would be that form reflects function and that some mixed use areas need different floor plans, but then why arrange it in that particular way? Big towers should have more grace since they are going to be a huge landmark that's going to stick out. It's like if a bunch of kids had access to infinite legos and decided to build a skyscraper.

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22 hours ago, zaphod said:

If we are being brutally honest, I think that proposed tower in Austin is ugly. It's all the stuff I don't like about modern architecture trends. It's weirdly eclectic and blocky and asymettric and dysharmonious. A generous take would be that form reflects function and that some mixed use areas need different floor plans, but then why arrange it in that particular way? Big towers should have more grace since they are going to be a huge landmark that's going to stick out. It's like if a bunch of kids had access to infinite legos and decided to build a skyscraper.

Its being built that way because of the of the Texas Capitol View Corridors, which forces the taller buildings to be built with these weird shapes so as not to obstruct views of the Capital building.

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3 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Franks Backyard has permanently closed

I think we could very well witness the closure of some local Houston bars and restaurants. These places function on small margins.... any major event like this can be death for those type of businesses. Highly encourage people to read a recent Houston Chron article about the restaurants that had to leave Finn Hall. Gives you some good incite about the middle men that some restaurants have to work with which further cut into their margins. 

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24 minutes ago, Triton said:

I think we could very well witness the closure of some local Houston bars and restaurants. These places function on small margins.... any major event like this can be death for those type of businesses. Highly encourage people to read a recent Houston Chron article about the restaurants that had to leave Finn Hall. Gives you some good incite about the middle men that some restaurants have to work with which further cut into their margins. 

Can you post the article? I was just thinking about Finn Hall today. Is it empty now?

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12 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Can you post the article? I was just thinking about Finn Hall today. Is it empty now?

Ah, it was Culture Map actually. It's a great article with the inside complexities of this food hall. The interesting parts are further down in the article with the disputes and Finn Hall's future:

 

https://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/03-06-20-finn-hall-downtown-food-hall-new-vendors-lit-chicken-papalo-taqueria-pho-binh-david-buehrer-midway-lionstone-investment/

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2 hours ago, Triton said:

I think we could very well witness the closure of some local Houston bars and restaurants. 


 

As someone who has worked in that industry for awhile now this is a massive understatement. If we have to socially distance past May there won’t be many restaurants left unless the government really steps up to the plate. 

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Yes it is truly a sad state of affairs...

I am seeing so may friends already struggle and that was in hopes of tomorrow being the last day of the stay at home order...but now that this has been extended until the end of the month, it is truly frightening.

I have also gotten a handful of emails from various clients saying goodbye from having to close or those being laid off...

what is this world now? wow...

thoughts (or prayers) for everyone...

xo

 

 

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12 hours ago, Big E said:

Its being built that way because of the of the Texas Capitol View Corridors, which forces the taller buildings to be built with these weird shapes so as not to obstruct views of the Capital building.

 

True to a point, but they could have made the different components more homogeneous. Of course, some people like the look they chose.

 

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25 minutes ago, gene said:

Yes it is truly a sad state of affairs...

I am seeing so may friends already struggle and that was in hopes of tomorrow being the last day of the stay at home order...but now that this has been extended until the end of the month, it is truly frightening.

I have also gotten a handful of emails from various clients saying goodbye from having to close or those being laid off...

what is this world now? wow...

thoughts (or prayers) for everyone...

xo

 

 

 

I am guessing the places that have been successful and well-run will be able to get loans to make it through. When I see a place like the downtown Hard Rock Cafe already closing, it makes me think they weren't that successful and knew the writing was on the wall.

 

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4 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I am guessing the places that have been successful and well-run will be able to get loans to make it through. When I see a place like the downtown Hard Rock Cafe already closing, it makes me think they weren't that successful and knew the writing was on the wall.

 

I dont known ...I think 20 years for a concept that was played out 19 years ago...can be considered successful 

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16 hours ago, Triton said:

I think we could very well witness the closure of some local Houston bars and restaurants. These places function on small margins.... any major event like this can be death for those type of businesses. Highly encourage people to read a recent Houston Chron article about the restaurants that had to leave Finn Hall. Gives you some good incite about the middle men that some restaurants have to work with which further cut into their margins. 

 

The middle-man was apparently intense there but, to be honest, I think a lot of the closings there came as a result of the lack of quality overall of the food.  Mala was still pretty legit but a lot of people can't handle sichuan spice and so they need a lot of traffic in the place to get enough people that can.  There were a lot of subpar food options there.  I live and work downtown and barely went.  My coworkers who went said the food was bad.  I think that the management group that charged all of that money failed good places like Mala by surrounding them with options that wouldn't increase traffic.

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Nitpicky sidenote - this thread's title is "Coronoavirus Delays" but it's spelled "Coronavirus" also I've ordered out more in the past 3 weeks than I feel like I did all of the rest of the year

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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

Nitpicky sidenote - this thread's title is "Coronoavirus Delays" but it's spelled "Coronavirus" also I've ordered out more in the past 3 weeks than I feel like I did all of the rest of the year

Simple typo on my end. I was typing fast.

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On 3/28/2020 at 11:25 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

Do you know if 6X Guadalupe ever started, other than demoing the previous building? That could be a huge casualty of this virus.

Yeah, they started column construction and the first crane was scheduled to go up the weekend after the City's SiP Order shutdown construction.  It may start up again because the State order is more favorable to construction and supercedes the City order. 

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17 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Mala was still pretty legit but a lot of people can't handle sichuan spice and so they need a lot of traffic in the place to get enough people that can.

 

I would say the opposite.  Rather than being like the other Mala Sichuan restaurants (which are excellent, or at least the Chinatown location was), they had a greatly reduced menu that had too much American Chinese food and very few of the offerings that made their other locations great.  There were only like 2-3 traditional dishes on the menu.  I was really looking forward to them opening, because downtown had no proper Chinese food, meaning they had the potential to fill a very valuable niche, but instead all we ended up with was basically another American Chinese place but with prices far too high to compete with the others downtown.  Look around town and fairly authentic Sichuan-style places are opening up everywhere -- Cooking Girl, Pepper Twins, Spicy Girl, etc -- so there is clearly a lot of demand, but so far nobody has attempted this downtown.

 

Now that the middleman has been removed at Finn Hall we might finally see prices adjust to be more reasonable, because despite working across the street from it, I very rarely went because their prices just weren't competitive.

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:41 PM, Triton said:

Hotel occupancy has collapsed:

 

HotelMar262020.PNG

 

April update:

 

HotelApr92020.PNG

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