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20 Years of Development Downtown/CBD


Montrose1100

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Wow, thanks. Pretty much confirms that Discovery Green is the greatest idea anyone has had for downtown in the modern era. I am rather surprised that more has not been done in the Historic District, which is most likely because there are few sites large enough to build a large building with a parking garage. We need to learn how to do fine-grained development.

 

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2 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

Looking at this I’m actually disappointed in the development around MMP. 

I'll be interested to see how that land ends up developing around there. I mean, it really is only a matter of time before we get some awesome development over in that direction

With the Theater District Master Plan being implemented as we speak and the Post development, I wonder if that's going to be the next area to pop off, or will whoever's holding land around MMP get moving now that the land surrounding DG is getting filled in with denser and denser development? On the South side, I'm guessing Trebly park will have some influence on the immediate blocks surrounding it (save for the surface lot that will never die, lol *cries*), though I wonder how much of an influence a not-even-city-block-sized park can have on an area. But who knows? If it's a well-programmed, well-maintained space, that will certainly help bring some life to that side of Downtown, it feels kinda quiet down there, and I think it's largely due to a lack of any real draw right now. Maybe Trebly will help liven it up a little :P

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9 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

Looking at this I’m actually disappointed in the development around MMP. 

There was at least one other DLI building that was axed when we had the downturn that would have taken out a surface lot, but north of the ballpark is still a blend between the courthouse stuff (bail bond shops) and the Salvation Army/Star of Hope/underpass encampment traffic, that's going to make things lag.  DT as a whole had that whole feel and dynamic in the 90's, I think it will come around. 

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2 hours ago, Nate99 said:

There was at least one other DLI building that was axed when we had the downturn that would have taken out a surface lot, but north of the ballpark is still a blend between the courthouse stuff (bail bond shops) and the Salvation Army/Star of Hope/underpass encampment traffic, that's going to make things lag.  DT as a whole had that whole feel and dynamic in the 90's, I think it will come around. 

I'm curious if this part of downtown will change with the NHHIP project dropping the highway underground etc. If they do successfully make that a multi-block park hopefully the area will be a destination instead of a section to avoid.

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12 hours ago, BEES?! said:

I'll be interested to see how that land ends up developing around there. I mean, it really is only a matter of time before we get some awesome development over in that direction

With the Theater District Master Plan being implemented as we speak and the Post development, I wonder if that's going to be the next area to pop off, or will whoever's holding land around MMP get moving now that the land surrounding DG is getting filled in with denser and denser development? On the South side, I'm guessing Trebly park will have some influence on the immediate blocks surrounding it (save for the surface lot that will never die, lol *cries*), though I wonder how much of an influence a not-even-city-block-sized park can have on an area. But who knows? If it's a well-programmed, well-maintained space, that will certainly help bring some life to that side of Downtown, it feels kinda quiet down there, and I think it's largely due to a lack of any real draw right now. Maybe Trebly will help liven it up a little :P

I completely agree. Really the development the last 20 years helped us catch up for the prior 20 that we were falling apart. It’s really just a matter of time. With Frost Town brewery and 2 more residential properties opening, this area is going to explode. We still have yet to find out what Jim Crane has in store for his property. The Elysian Viaduct just opened so traffic will begin to flow better through downtown. I see a lot more residential in this part of the city center. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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What the above shows is how a great urban park can spur development.  It is still a shame that the Superblock park in Midtown wasn’t completely realized!

Thanks @Montrose1100!  I used to love getting the development maps from DowntownHouston back in the early 2000’s.

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On 7/15/2021 at 10:06 PM, nate4l1f3 said:

Looking at this I’m actually disappointed in the development around MMP. 

Would you want to live next to MMP? Every other night for 6-7 months of the year you have dramatic spikes in traffic and crowds; the rest of the time you have a giant dead zone next to you. Tons of parking lots everywhere. You can't see into the park, and after a few weeks the whole "Wow! That's Minute Maid Park!" feeling wears off. It's not like there's a good bar district now that the only neighborhood sports bars next to MMP have been bulldozed. I don't see any advantage to living there, unless you're right on Texas Ave. or between it and Discovery Green. If you want to watch games, live somewhere near Main St. and walk to games.

 

 

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I suppose one could look to Petco Park in San Diego as an example of the sort of neighborhood you could hope would build up around a MLB ballpark.  I think once you have enough critical mass that it would be a fun neighborhood, developments would have cafes and bars built in.  As for living there… I would think avoiding the traffic downtown wouldn’t be nearly as hard as avoiding it around NRG.  Night games aren’t every day during the season, and even day games on the weekends wouldn’t be too bad if there was enough parking available that it’s spread out away from the immediate couple of streets around the park.  I could also see the merit to building another city/sports authority owned garage with the possibility of another hotel and/or offices above nearby.

[edit: you could nitpick anyplace to pieces.  The theatre district doesn’t have any buildings with interior visibility from the outside. There is also traffic associated with that.  I think living in a downtown you just accept there is a near constant expectation of activity.]

 

Edited by arche_757
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49 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

Would you want to live next to MMP? Every other night for 6-7 months of the year you have dramatic spikes in traffic and crowds; the rest of the time you have a giant dead zone next to you. Tons of parking lots everywhere. You can't see into the park, and after a few weeks the whole "Wow! That's Minute Maid Park!" feeling wears off. It's not like there's a good bar district now that the only neighborhood sports bars next to MMP have been bulldozed. I don't see any advantage to living there, unless you're right on Texas Ave. or between it and Discovery Green. If you want to watch games, live somewhere near Main St. and walk to games.

 

 

on the plus side, you get fireworks every Friday and Saturday night for almost the whole summer.

traffic isn't that bad before games, as people seem to trickle in, it's when games are over that it can get frustrating with traffic. if I were in the apartment market, and looking to live downtown, I would pay a little extra to be in one of the apartments facing MMP, with a balcony. from people watching before/after the game, to listening to the roar of a game on the rare occasion that the roof is open.

I was shocked and disappointed to see that the bars across the street became a parking lot. with the bars gone, and the old mansion moved, that stretch of Texas St feels a lot less like Houston, and at the same time a lot more like Houston. :lol:

hopefully that parking lot is a short term addition to Houston's street scape.

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1 hour ago, arche_757 said:

I suppose one could look to Petco Park in San Diego as an example of the sort of neighborhood you could hope would build up around a MLB ballpark.  I think once you have enough critical mass that it would be a fun neighborhood, developments would have cafes and bars built in.  As for living there… I would think avoiding the traffic downtown wouldn’t be nearly as hard as avoiding it around NRG.  Night games aren’t every day during the season, and even day games on the weekends wouldn’t be too bad if there was enough parking available that it’s spread out away from the immediate couple of streets around the park.  I could also see the merit to building another city/sports authority owned garage with the possibility of another hotel and/or offices above nearby.

[edit: you could nitpick anyplace to pieces.  The theatre district doesn’t have any buildings with interior visibility from the outside. There is also traffic associated with that.  I think living in a downtown you just accept there is a near constant expectation of activity.]

 

Yes, traffic is better there than around NRG. But I am comparing living at MMP to other parts of downtown, which is the more pertinent decision if you are a developer or someone looking to live downtown. Right now if you could live near Main St./Market Square or Discovery Green and walk to MMP, this seems like the better deal. Petco is a little different since everything is full thanks to the waterfront so you're not living in an empty zone.

Also, the point about interior visibility is that the attraction to living next to a ballpark in some cities is getting to watch the game from your balcony, but it wouldn't work at MMP since the roof is usually closed and the site across the street from left field has been developed. But you are right, it is impossible to see inside the theatre buildings.

Edited by H-Town Man
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The Petco Park neighborhood before/after.

I feel that folks in virtually any city that do not live immediately adjacent to a ball park are likely not able to see the action very well if at all.

CAA2BCCB-2DE4-4140-8ABA-0D812684F761.jpeg
 

[edit: of course we do not have the San Diego harbor front for our downtown…unfortunately!  That said, 59/69 is nearly as effective in serving as a point of demarcation!]

Edited by arche_757
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2 hours ago, arche_757 said:

The Petco Park neighborhood before/after.

I feel that folks in virtually any city that do not live immediately adjacent to a ball park are likely not able to see the action very well if at all.

CAA2BCCB-2DE4-4140-8ABA-0D812684F761.jpeg
 

[edit: of course we do not have the San Diego harbor front for our downtown…unfortunately!  That said, 59/69 is nearly as effective in serving as a point of demarcation!]

I'm not sure what you're driving at. My point is that, right now, most people would probably rather live close to Main St./Market Square or Discovery Green and walk to Minute Maid than live next to Minute Maid. From the photo you post of Petco, the view into the park is gorgeous and has attracted highrises with that view as a selling point. With Minute Maid, views into the park aren't much of a factor for development outside because the roof is almost always closed. I'm not sure whether it is common for ballparks to offer views to outside buildings. Some ballparks do. But not Minute Maid.

Why do you think more development has happened in other parts of downtown than around Minute Maid? I've attempted to offer a few reasons. What do you think?

 

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Not to continue arguing for the sake of arguing…

Your point (as I see it) is that any ballpark isn’t a decent catalyst for development because of traffic, noise etc.  I just posted a picture of a vibrant (looking) neighborhood next to a ballpark.  Now, San Diego had development prior to Petco Park, yet much of the neighborhood that grew around the ballpark there was vastly underdeveloped.  This is despite the great views, and no doubt strong zoning/planning ordinances to push the very type of development that had yet to occur around Petco.

That is all.

Why has it taken longer? I’d guess: adjacent land prices too high, too many other neighborhoods in town where that sort of development is easier, oil price recessions…etc.

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4 minutes ago, arche_757 said:

Not to continue arguing for the sake of arguing…

Your point (as I see it) is that any ballpark isn’t a decent catalyst for development because of traffic, noise etc.  I just posted a picture of a vibrant (looking) neighborhood next to a ballpark.  Now, San Diego had development prior to Petco Park, yet much of the neighborhood that grew around the ballpark there was vastly underdeveloped.  This is despite the great views, and no doubt strong zoning/planning ordinances to push the very type of development that had yet to occur around Petco.

That is all.

Why has it taken longer? I’d guess: adjacent land prices too high, too many other neighborhoods in town where that sort of development is easier, oil price recessions…etc.

No, my point was that Minute Maid Park hadn't been a good catalyst for development, because of a combination of those factors and the fact that there are better areas of downtown that lack some of those drawbacks. Petco has enviable development and shows that factors such as parking and dead days can be overcome, but Petco is not a good comparison because it offers great views to nearby highrises (almost as nice a visual amenity as Discovery Green) and doesn't have a roof that closes over it.

 

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