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Hey guys, I'm hoping someone can provide a link or pics of the just released plans for the new downtown park/GRB.

I searched other threads for info and I've found nothing.

Thanks- Tejo

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Hey guys, I'm hoping someone can provide a link or pics of the just released plans for the new downtown park/GRB.

I searched other threads for info and I've found nothing.

Thanks- Tejo

Here's all I've come up with so far: http://www.pps.org/info/projectexp/houston_park

Originally, if I remember correctly, this new GRB fronting park was imagined to be similar to Bryant Park in Manhattan. Bryant Park is roughly a great lunchtime gathering spot with a patch of grass for free concerts, lined with trees around the park's perimeter, adjacent to the main branch of the NY Public Library. It works really well there, and that concept could also work really well at our convention center since it is adjacent to the office buildlings and would attract office workers of Houston Center buildings and the conventioneers from the GRB and Hilton Americas Hotel. It may also spur residential high-rise growth along it's borders. There is a small rendering on the above website url link. Hope that is helpful.

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Great, a new place for all the bums to sleep, maybe it'll take them from in front of the Toyota Center.

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That area is covered with people who harras me everytime I'm there. If I don't give them money, they spit on me, and curse like god doesn't exsist. Infact, I had to -run- away from one of them, who basically threatened me. I let an HPD horsie know about em'.

*I hate to say it, but I think there from Katrina.

Edited by Montrose1100

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I have worked downtown since 1996, and I have never had a single bum harrass me other than the obligatory request for change. If I don't have any, I have never had one get upset with me. No yelling. No threats. I wonder what you are doing that provokes such a different response.

The only New Orleans resident I've met was on Gray in Midtown. He asked me for a smoke. He was so friendly about it, I gave him the rest of my box, which had 4 more in it.

One guy, possibly a Katrina evacuee, told me his entire disabled vet story. I explained to him how he would get more change with less effort by shortening his sales pitch. He thanked me for the advice.

I suggest either saying nothing at all, or, if that is unavoidable, just reply that you are out of change, maybe with a shrug. These guys know the drill. You do not need to say any more than that.

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I'll tell you about the day I quit giving money to panhandlers, I was at a red light at kirkwood and westheimer. I was between jobs, and literally down to my last few dollars. A bum at the corner knocked on my window, I roll it down, he asks for money, I look down to see I have about $1.00 or so of loose change. I figure i need some good Karma, I scoop all the change and hand it to him, and roll up my window. He knocks on the window again, and says, " I have plenty of change, here." and hands me back the money. I ask him, "Oh, you want the folding kind of money ?" he says, "well, yeah !" I tell him to go "F" himself and throw the change at his feet as the light turns green, I then drive off staring that jackass in the eye. I was completely taken aback by this. This occurred in 1996 or so, and since then, only give "homeless" food, not leftovers or doggybags, I usually buy an extra burger, just in case. ;)

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Well it's good you've had pleasant experiences with the homeless, but I was harrassed going to a Rockets game, and no, I didn't do anything to provoke it, besides saying I don't have any change. So running into the homeless downtown is not always a pleasant experience for everybody, and I'm not saying they are all a nuisance, but they're not all delightful either.

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Back on topic, here is a new rendering that was posted at SSP.

g0lu.jpg

Just to clarify, where would parking be for the convention center once this park is underway? Is there a parking garage there? (stupid question :( )

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I beleieve there is still plenty of parking around the convention center. The parking wouldn't be right up front like it was prior to the park. That just means people would have to walk, which might just mean a bit more pedestrian traffic.

Which is always good.

Edited by Houstonian in Iraq

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The plan includes underground parking, underneath the park. and of course the new Toyota Center parking building adds additional parking available to convention center attendees.

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The plan includes underground parking, underneath the park. and of course the new Toyota Center parking building adds additional parking available to convention center attendees.

That's a A+! Underground parking.

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There's also the additional parking garage that was built during the construction of the Hilton Americas and GRB expansion. That garage is connected to both buildings by skywalks and was designed to have enough space to accomodate both the hotel and the GRB, as well as overflow for the Toyota Center.

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The plan includes underground parking, underneath the park. and of course the new Toyota Center parking building adds additional parking available to convention center attendees.

Thanx dudes :)

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The plan includes underground parking, underneath the park. and of course the new Toyota Center parking building adds additional parking available to convention center attendees.

Underground parking is awesome. I park in Theater District Parking at Bayou Place and enjoy the walk underground (totally climate controlled). Of course, I have the option of going outside as well. Bayou Place and a park are above the underground lot. It prevents the surface lot unattraction.

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The underground garage is a bit unnecessary if you ask me.

This park is turning into an overblow production.

As I have said before; Level the lots, plant some grass and tress and start simple. Then add on to the park.

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The underground garage is a bit unnecessary if you ask me.

This park is turning into an overblow production.

As I have said before; Level the lots, plant some grass and tress and start simple. Then add on to the park.

My thoughts exactly. How many surface spaces are going to be eliminated to create the park? There doesn't seem to be a lack of parking in that area even with those spaces gone.

While I think the park needs a plan, let's not overengineer it. I would rather have a basic park space with benches, paths, trees, and water fountains, and spend the rest of the money on whatever infrastructure improvements are necessary to attract residential development adjacent to the space.

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Could tree growth in the park be impeded by a concrete parking garage underneath it's soil base?

most definitely - depends on what type of trees and how much of a buffer there is

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I disagree. I think a large underground parking garage is ideal for this part of downtown. Surface parking = bad. Underground parking under a park = good.

Kudos to the City Council for their vision for this part of town. I mean come on, there is the GRB, Toyota Center, Hilton Americas, Houston Pavilions coming online in the near future.

Good job City Council

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Well the entire idea of a park is to have green space.

Green space that connects to the Earth. Would it be too much to ask for rain from the park to make its way back into the water table vs. off into a storm drain?

This is like making a park in a planter or container.

Might as well put a freeway under Herman Park.

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Oh goodness. I see nothing wrong with this and I am usually critcal of this city but this was a smart move. What do we want for that area? Another garage? I also cannot wait for this park. The plans are exciting. Some of the preferred plans in here sound like an extension to that boring park west of this location near Houston Center which has not done a darn thig for the cbd. Time to try something different which I find Houston has been scared to do lately.

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Well the entire idea of a park is to have green space.

Green space that connects to the Earth. Would it be too much to ask for rain from the park to make its way back into the water table vs. off into a storm drain?

This is like making a park in a planter or container.

Might as well put a freeway under Herman Park.

It's important to remember that we're talking about downtown here, and not virgin national park land. I mean, keeping the surface park connected to the water table may be ideal, but I don't think building subsurface parking is a bad alternative should parking become necessary. It certainly beats the popular Houston alternative of paving the whole thing under and putting up a strip center. Furthermore, subsurface parking, tunnels, and freeways are done all of the time in other major cities. How many subway tunnels would you bet run under Central Park in NYC, for example? My point is that underground parking in this location, or even a freeway tunnel under Herman Park, wouldn't exactly be the end of the world if those things were to become necessary. Besides, how much downtown runoff water would you really want in the water table anyway?

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I disagree. I think a large underground parking garage is ideal for this part of downtown. Surface parking = bad. Underground parking under a park = good.

Kudos to the City Council for their vision for this part of town. I mean come on, there is the GRB, Toyota Center, Hilton Americas, Houston Pavilions coming online in the near future.

Good job City Council

I'm with you West Grey

Fewer surface lots the better. Parking especially as that area gets more and more developed will be a

problem. Seeing that they will be tearing up that space for the construction of the park we might as well take care of potential parking problems now than later. Will the garage revenue go towards the building of the park and the up keep? If so yeah I

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I have seen simultaneous events at Toyo, MMP and GRB on the same day and never had a hard time finding a parking spot.

All the while, somebody is making money on this little deal.

And I still think the approach to this park is flawed. Let it grow (feature wise) and develop organically over time.

Otherwise, it'll end up feeling like some fake lifestyle center you see in Sugar Land.

Who wants a park where everything was dedicated in 2006?

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It's important to remember that we're talking about downtown here, and not virgin national park land. I mean, keeping the surface park connected to the water table may be ideal, but I don't think building subsurface parking is a bad alternative should parking become necessary. It certainly beats the popular Houston alternative of paving the whole thing under and putting up a strip center. Furthermore, subsurface parking, tunnels, and freeways are done all of the time in other major cities. How many subway tunnels would you bet run under Central Park in NYC, for example? My point is that underground parking in this location, or even a freeway tunnel under Herman Park, wouldn't exactly be the end of the world if those things were to become necessary. Besides, how much downtown runoff water would you really want in the water table anyway?

I don't know if replying to my own reply is against the rules, but I had another thought occur to me on this subject. It seems ironic that in posting after posting on this site, everyone complains about the lack of urban-style development and growth in the center city, but when something does happen everyone complains about the type of development that is taking place.. It seems that we can't have it both ways; either we leave lots of open green space and put up with the resulting sprawl or we go dense with urban walking environments by building vertical and digging underground to conserve space.

Houston is getting bigger by the day and it

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Otherwise, it'll end up feeling like some fake lifestyle center you see in Sugar Land.

Who wants a park where everything was dedicated in 2006?

I don't know about all that. Have we seen a project of this status anywhere else around town that we can autmatically have all these mental pictures in our head? We have seen what you are proposing in this city, and I wouldn't call it a succes by any stretch of the imagination. People have had several meetings thorughout the entire year to come up with this park and I have not seen another project where the citizens of the community were so involved, atleast that's what my mom says. I hate to bring another city into this but Millenium Park in Chicago is just what you described as everything dedicated in one year. As far as my eyes can see, the citizens of that town could care less. Well I cannot speak for them but that is what I saw when I visited. Do I even need to mention how much a success that park is? Maybe editor can speak for me on this.

Edited by WesternGulf

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I have seen simultaneous events at Toyo, MMP and GRB on the same day and never had a hard time finding a parking spot.

All the while, somebody is making money on this little deal.

And I still think the approach to this park is flawed. Let it grow (feature wise) and develop organically over time.

Otherwise, it'll end up feeling like some fake lifestyle center you see in Sugar Land.

Who wants a park where everything was dedicated in 2006?

Yes. That's true for now, but if dense development does occur around the park (and that seems to be the consensus of what most people on this site want to have happen), then the parking situation will inevitably tighten up. It's infinitely better (and cheaper) to plan for the development we hope will happen by building the appropriate infrastructure up front. Otherwise, we'll just end up having to go back in 10-20 years later to destroy what will have become a local landmark in order to build in what should have been there in the first place. Furthermore, building the infrastructure up front will itself act as a catalyst to spur development that is currently lacking around the park. Developers are infinitely more likely to build around areas where people have adequate access than in areas that may be more ecologically sensitive but lack basic infrastructure. Isn't a lack of planning and foresight why people are always criticizing the city in the first place?

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This is not going to be anything close to MP. It's basically just an extension of the existing park in front or GRB.

And only becuase some developers sold parking lots in the hopes of making their adjacent properties more valuable in the future.

I think the park is a nice idea, but I smell a boondoggle in the works here. I have provided my feedback to the developers of this park many times, and each time I tell them to keep it simple.

At least those comments made their Web site.

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Isn't a lack of planning and foresight why people are always criticizing the city in the first place?

Thank you.

It's just that in this city, people's excuse or defense is "I don't care what other people or cities think."

edit: and yes I know this park is no MP.

Edited by WesternGulf

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Otherwise, it'll end up feeling like some fake lifestyle center you see in Sugar Land.

Not to be facetious, but would that be so bad? From an economic standpoint at least, the Sugar Land town center is a thriving commerical center with lots of potential for pedestrian traffic flow around it, while downtown struggles to maintain a Foleys and a CVS. Perhaps downtown has something to learn from the 'burbs.

Edited by mike1

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I agree, I think there are many things Downtown could learn from the burbs considering theres a big portion of Houston's population that live in the burbs. I also think the park is a good idea because any green space that can bring quality to life in an urban setting is a good thing. The garage I also think is a good idea because it took one ugly surface lot and turned it into a park, and took away no parking spots. I just think its neat a park over a parking garage. It dose sound almost like putting a freeway under a park. Could That Happen?

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I have had that mindset for too long. Downtown can learn from the burbs but just with smart growth. Downtown could pretty much learn from the Galleria area just with responsible city planning which Uptown lacks, but they do have the population and visitors that keep that area busy while downtown is a ghost town on a Saturday from morning till about 7 in the evening.

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I agree, I think there are many things Downtown could learn from the burbs considering theres a big portion of Houston's population that live in the burbs. I also think the park is a good idea because any green space that can bring quality to life in an urban setting is a good thing. The garage I also think is a good idea because it took one ugly surface lot and turned it into a park, and took away no parking spots. I just think its neat a park over a parking garage. It dose sound almost like putting a freeway under a park. Could That Happen?

Instead of sticking their collective noses up at people who live outside of Beltway 8, the downtown types would be better off trying to learn what factors drive so many people to live, work, and shop out there in the first place. The market is going to ultimately drive the success or failure of any downtown redevelopment plan, and so it behooves those who promote downtown to learn what works elsewhere and to incorporate those ideas into their plans. You could build the Taj Mahal downtown, but if it doesn't take into account the needs of the people who will be using it, it will ultimately be a failure.

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I have had that mindset for too long. Downtown can learn from the burbs but just with smart growth. Downtown could pretty much learn from the Galleria area just with responsible city planning which Uptown lacks, but they do have the population and visitors that keep that area busy while downtown is a ghost town on a Saturday from morning till about 7 in the evening.

Exactly. Take a look at what those areas have to offer and make it better. Downtown needs to find and exploit niche demands that cannot be met anywhere else. I see so much demand in this town for culture, and for a sense of sense of place and history, that downtown couldn't help but be successful if only it would meet the basic needs of the marketplace.

As you mention, keeping retail open during non-working hours would be a start--a basic rule of marketing is to be available when your customer is available, which means non-working hours and weekends.

I would also add cleaning up the place so that people feel safe and secure being down there. Downtown is one of the safest areas of town, but it is PERCEIVED as being dangerous because it is so dark after hours, because there are so many panhandlers, and because there seems to be so much graffiti and litter in certain areas. Perception IS reality, so make sure the place is open, clean, and adequately lighted so that people have a reason to be there AND feel safe. Downtown development couldn't help but happen under those conditions.

maybe we can build it on the superblock in midtown.

OOPS...didn't HISD already do that!

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You could build the Taj Mahal downtown, but if it doesn't take into account the needs of the people who will be using it, it will ultimately be a failure.

The understatement of the day.

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Point well made! Downtown dose need to be just Downtown, but it would not hurt to incorporate some things to let all people of Houston enjoy Downtown. I live in South Park, but my family all lives in Katy and Cypress and they do not enjoy Downtown as much as I do.

Edited by THE CHAD IS GREAT

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I don't know if replying to my own reply is against the rules, but I had another thought occur to me on this subject. It seems ironic that in posting after posting on this site, everyone complains about the lack of urban-style development and growth in the center city, but when something does happen everyone complains about the type of development that is taking place.. It seems that we can't have it both ways; either we leave lots of open green space and put up with the resulting sprawl or we go dense with urban walking environments by building vertical and digging underground to conserve space.

Houston is getting bigger by the day and it

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I agree that the City is damned if they do, damned if the don't, and we are simply armchair quarterbacks who might not have all the details.

But my question is, who exactly is this underground parking for? The people who are (aren't?) going to drive downtown from outside downtown to go to Pavilions, GRB, Toyota, and the park itself? Perhaps in 20 years, it will be considered terrific foresight...

Empty every weekend:

GRB/Totota: have a garage

Pavilions: required to provide ample parking for their shops, right?

Park shops: have a garage

Plus all the parking on the other side of 59 that only gets used for Astros games.

During the week, I assume this will be a place for downtown workers and residents to relax, people who most likely already have their cars safely tucked away in existing spaces.

When I go running at Memorial Park, I curse the parking all the time. But I deal with it, and the situation seems to have (mostly) stood the test of time. If Memorial Park were being developed today, it would probably have a 6-story garage and complimentary golf cart shuttle.

Edited by travelguy_73

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But my question is, who exactly is this underground parking for? The people who are (aren't?) going to drive downtown from outside downtown to go to Pavilions, GRB, Toyota, and the park itself? Perhaps in 20 years, it will be considered terrific foresight...

People who work downtown. Monthy parking rates can run $200 for good, covered spaces, especially if they are connected directly to Houston Center or the Park Shops via the tunnel system. Not a bad source of revenue for the city.

Edited by mike1

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