Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is not unusual. HFD, or pretty much any large fire department, will dispatch what is known as a "box alarm" for anything that implies a building may be on fire, e.g., "smoke in the building" qualifies (usually these turn out to be things like burned food on the stove). A box alarm ("1 alarm fire") consists of numerous pieces of apparatus. I don't know the HFD dispatch protocol off hand but it's probably something like 4 engines, a ladder truck, ambulance and district chief. If it's a "high rise" building then even more apparatus will be dispatched. Most of these calls turn out to be nothing and the units are quickly placed back in service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Communication has been poor. I learned about the sale via the Houston Chronicle. A letter in the mail or an email would have been better. The new manager comes from Austin. The property she last managed has positive reviews about the property itself but negative reviews about the management. The notice I did get about the new owner was poorly written. On one page it says to make payments out to The Rice. The Rice underlined for emphasis. On the next page it says to make payments out to CH Realty/MF Houston Rice VI, LP. Seems like there is no online payment of rent available. No online capabilities at all for that matter.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Communication has been poor. I learned about the sale via the Houston Chronicle. A letter in the mail or an email would have been better. The new manager comes from Austin. The property she last managed has positive reviews about the property itself but negative reviews about the management. The notice I did get about the new owner was poorly written. On one page it says to make payments out to The Rice. The Rice underlined for emphasis. On the next page it says to make payments out to CH Realty/MF Houston Rice VI, LP. Seems like there is no online payment of rent available. No online capabilities at all for that matter.

"The Rice"? For some reason, that sounds worse than "Post Rice Lofts".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ugh. I can imagine the scene now! A group of knuckleheads in a room filled with crumbled up paper with name ideas.

 

Knucklehead Eins: "Guy's we been at this for hours. Y we no have name yet!"

 

Knucklehead Zwei: "Idea! Might be a risk, but....what if we just keep the old name???"

 

Knuckleheads: "YOU FOOL!" *everyone throws papers*

 

Knucklehead Drei: "STFU everyone! I know. How about "The Rice"???"

 

Knuckleheads: *all let out uhhh's and ahhhh's*

 

*sigh* -.-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Rice Urban Lofts? Is that necessary? (the urban addition)..

 

It is, because the corner of Main St. and Texas Ave. could be interpreted as Suburban or Rural by some people. With "Rice Urban Lofts," they are capturing that portion of the market that can afford to live in a prime spot downtown and has an IQ below 70.

Edited by H-Town Man
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in the Bayou Lofts and face south, towards the Rice.  I noticed lately that there are some stringed lights on the roof there at night that I don't think I noticed before.  They doing some sort of roof-deck improvements?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

1920x1920.jpg1920x1920.jpg1920x1920.jpg

 

The new owner of the former Rice Hotel is launching a major renovation project at the building, intending to give it a more modern look as developers start or prepare to break ground on gleaming residential towers around it.

Renderings for what has been recently rebranded as "The Rice" show a redesigned lobby with sleek new furniture in earthy tones beneath a contemporary chandelier glowing in the two-story space.

"The entrance and lobby space will be totally reinvented," Clay Hicks, managing director of real estate for property manager Greystar, said in an email.

The 308 units will be transformed, as well.

Kitchens will get islands, marble countertops, tile backsplashes and stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms will have frameless glass showers, dual marble sinks, tile floors and linen closets. Each unit will ultimately have new paint, light fixtures and full-size washer and dryers.

Valet parking for the residents will be a new service that will be introduced next month, Hicks said.

The upgrades are being made amid a boom in downtown residential construction.

Aiming to bring more vibrancy to the urban core, the city has been offering developers up to $15,000 for each unit they build in a multifamily complex of at least 10 units. The idea behind the incentive was that it would reduce the financial hurdles of developing in the central business district.

A dozen residential projects - amounting to more than 3,800 units - are now planned or under way.

They include two towers off Market Square Park, a pair of twin buildings branded as SkyHouse on the southern end of downtown, and the renovation and addition at the old Texaco building.

At The Rice, the lobby and common area renovations are expected to be completed by next spring, and interior unit renovations will begin before the end of the year.

The Page architecture firm designed the renovations for the owner, Dallas-based Crow Holdings Capital Partners, which acquired the building earlier this year from Post Properties.

Marissa Yu, a principal at Page, said the goal of the design project was to make the space feel more modern and bright while respecting the historic character of the building.

She described the new chandelier, a custom-made Plexiglass piece that will replace a stained-glass element that resembles a skylight, as "a metaphorical representation of what was there before, but interpreted in a new way."

Hicks said the apartments will be upgraded as they turn over. He declined to provide a project cost, saying the full scope of the renovation project is still being finalized.

Rents on the remodeled units, Hicks said, will be commensurate with other high-end downtown apartments.

Rents have risen sharply across Houston as job growth has bolstered demand.

As one of the strongest apartment markets in the country, the Houston-area vacancy rate was 5.1 percent at the end of June, according to data from CBRE.

The average rent was $939, up almost 5 percent from a year earlier.

Downtown units are generally much higher.

Jay Simmons pays $1,550 a month for his one-bedroom unit in The Rice. His apartment has not yet been renovated.

He hopes he doesn't see a big increase, but he knows rents are rising all over the inner city.

"I'm not going to find an $800 apartment like I did two years ago," said Simmons, 28.

The historic Rice building, originally a 1,000-room hotel, was constructed in 1913 on the site of the former Texas State Capitol building before the Legislature moved to Austin. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At 909 Texas, between Main and Travis, the building is well known for being the place President John F. Kennedy spent time the day before he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963.

The hotel closed in 1977 and sat vacant until developer Randall Davis and Post Properties, in partnership with the city of Houston, took on the redevelopment of the 18-story building in the late 1990s.

It contains studios, one- and two-bedroom lofts and penthouses ranging from 485 to 2,452 square feet. It has a basement swimming pool and a fitness center that will move to the second floor.

When Post Properties put the building up for sale around the beginning of this year, the company said the property was about 95 percent leased and the average unit rented for just under $1,700 per month.

Over the years, Post had made improvements to the building's exterior and common areas to freshen up the space, but the units have not had any major renovations since the project opened.

The building's first floor houses restaurants and bars.

The operator of Sambuca, a longtime tenant, has leased the former State Bar space on the second floor of the property and plans to open a new concept there, a bar called Lawless.

Simmons, who has lived in The Rice about four months, said he moved downtown in part because of all the new bars and restaurants that have recently opened.

When he's not traveling for his job in chemical sales, he works from home. He likes the lifestyle and doesn't plan on moving from downtown any time soon, even if it gets more expensive where he lives now.

"It would be disappointing if rents go up," he said, but with all the residential units going up, my hope is that I'd be able to find something else."

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Modern-changes-planned-for-historic-downtown-Rice-5815285.php#/4

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

This makes me sad, but it's another symptom of our growing wealth gap (currently about 9% of Americans control 50% of the wealth). When the upper class views the lower class as a completely separate society, they have no incentive to enjoy mingling with them in shared spaces.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/The-once-open-Rice-lobby-now-a-private-space-6350230.php?t=578f70d002&cmpid=twitter-premium

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This makes me sad, but it's another symptom of our growing wealth gap (currently about 9% of Americans control 50% of the wealth). When the upper class views the lower class as a completely separate society, they have no incentive to enjoy mingling with them in shared spaces.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/The-once-open-Rice-lobby-now-a-private-space-6350230.php?t=578f70d002&cmpid=twitter-premium

 

I would think it unusual if any residence-only building allowed the general public to go in and out of its lobby space without a reason to be there.  Given their location, I'd be surprised if they did not get a lot of coffee shop/Chipotle patrons and homeless wandering in and making themselves comfortable that they would have to ask to leave on a very frequent basis. 

 

I don't see it as a shared space, it's a private business that doesn't get any bump from foot traffic.  But then again, I don't get much out of mingling with anyone regardless of class.

Edited by Nate99
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its not exclusive to Houston too, or that building. I was just in New York for a week, and most residential buildings and even big commercial highrise you couldn't access the major portions of the lobby. It is a shame though. I think there could have been a compromise where the bottom floor was a public access lobby and the 2nd floor was an exclusive lobby for the residence, but oh well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think it unusual if any residence-only building allowed the general public to go in and out of its lobby space without a reason to be there.  Given their location, I'd be surprised if they did not get a lot of coffee shop/Chipotle patrons and homeless wandering in and making themselves comfortable that they would have to ask to leave on a very frequent basis. 

 

I don't see it as a shared space, it's a private business that doesn't get any bump from foot traffic.  But then again, I don't get much out of mingling with anyone regardless of class.

 

Fair enough, except it's not strictly speaking a residence-only building. The Lawless bar on the second floor (formerly the State Bar) is open to the public. And as mentioned previously, there are several street-level businesses adjacent to the Rice that don't have restrooms, so the only way they're allowed to operate is if their patrons have access to the restrooms in the lobby. I wonder how the Rice plans to identify patrons of those businesses as opposed to _verboten_ commoners intent on loitering in the lobby until they can plant an Occupy flag in a potted ficus? Maybe via restroom/hall passes, like in high school?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think it unusual if any residence-only building allowed the general public to go in and out of its lobby space without a reason to be there.  Given their location, I'd be surprised if they did not get a lot of coffee shop/Chipotle patrons and homeless wandering in and making themselves comfortable that they would have to ask to leave on a very frequent basis. 

 

I don't see it as a shared space, it's a private business that doesn't get any bump from foot traffic.  But then again, I don't get much out of mingling with anyone regardless of class.

 

They allowed people to walk through the lobby for twenty years after the original renovation, and I don't know of any problems that ever came of it. The spokesman of the company didn't cite any problems, such as homeless coming in.  It's true that most residential buildings don't invite the public into the lobbies, but this building was unique in that it was Houston's most famous hotel for generations, and a lot of people have memories of it. Randall Davis, who redeveloped it in the 90's, speaks with pride in the article of the lobby being a space that people could step into and appreciate. Too bad his civic spirit is not more shared.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...
  • The title was changed to Looking for a photo of the Rice Hotel
  • 1 year later...
  • The title was changed to Rice Hotel At 909 Texas Ave.
  • 4 weeks later...

Mamajuana Cafe is opening at the Rice. It's taking over the ground floor retail space at 909 Texas Avenue, Suite E. Local Japanese restaurant Azuma was the last occupant.

Mamajuana Cafe is an East Coast-based restaurant serving Latin and Nuevo Latino fare. Locations are mainly in New York and New Jersey. 

Looking at the Instagram pages of their different locations, it seems this is more of a spot for hookah and partying than dining.


https://mamajuana-cafe.com
https://www.instagram.com/mamajuanacafehouston

Edited by IntheKnowHouston
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 8/29/2022 at 12:09 PM, IntheKnowHouston said:

Mamajuana Cafe is opening at the Rice. It's taking over the ground floor retail space at 909 Texas Avenue, Suite E. Local Japanese restaurant Azuma was the last occupant.

Mamajuana Cafe is an East Coast-based restaurant serving Latin and Nuevo Latino fare. Locations are mainly in New York and New Jersey. 

Looking at the Instagram pages of their different locations, it seems this is more of a spot for hookah and partying than dining.


https://mamajuana-cafe.com
https://www.instagram.com/mamajuanacafehouston



More on Mamajuna Cafe leasing the ground floor unit at the Rice; 909 Texas Ave, Ste E. A blurb about it in today's Houston Chronicle:


"Mamajuana Café leased 4,435 square feet at The Rice, at 909 Texas Ave., in downtown Houston, for its first Texas location. Mamajuana Café has nine locations nationwide. Eric Rozelle of Chodrow Realty Advisors represented the tenant. Katherine Wildman and Bunny McLeod of Wulfe & Co. represented the landlord."

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/texas-inc/article/Retail-wrap-Gatsby-s-Fine-Seafood-debuts-in-17500319.php

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh it seems like it might actually be Dominican. That makes sense and could be a great addition to downtown.

Nuevo Latino from the East Coast sounded potentially like an awful idea, but a northeastern restaurant not understanding that you need to be more specific that just "Latin" definitely tracks.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Texasota said:

Oh it seems like it might actually be Dominican. That makes sense and could be a great addition to downtown.

Nuevo Latino from the East Coast sounded potentially like an awful idea, but a northeastern restaurant not understanding that you need to be more specific that just "Latin" definitely tracks.


Except it's not a Dominican restaurant.

The restaurant's owners are Dominican and there are Dominican dishes on the menu. However, the dishes served span various Latin countries; thus this would be classified as Pan-Latin fare. Then there are the contemporary and non-traditional takes on most of the dishes, which would lean towards Nuevo Latino. But it's most certainly not a Dominican only restaurant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Texasota said:

boo


Regardless, I get the impression Cafe Mamajuana puts more emphasis on providing a club+party atmosphere than food. My impressions is based off some of the reviews and the way the locations are promoted on Instagram and Tik Tok.

Still, I think it's possible this will be a lively spot, especially on the weekends. It will be good to see this space open again. I look forward to seeing the transformation for the restaurant.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Rice Hotel At 909 Texas Ave.
On 8/29/2022 at 10:09 AM, IntheKnowHouston said:

Mamajuana Cafe is opening at the Rice. It's taking over the ground floor retail space at 909 Texas Avenue, Suite E. Local Japanese restaurant Azuma was the last occupant.

Mamajuana Cafe is an East Coast-based restaurant serving Latin and Nuevo Latino fare. Locations are mainly in New York and New Jersey. 

Looking at the Instagram pages of their different locations, it seems this is more of a spot for hookah and partying than dining.


https://mamajuana-cafe.com
https://www.instagram.com/mamajuanacafehouston



BuiltNearby posted a photo of Mamajuana Cafe to its Instagram Story today. I don't know how recent the photo is, but it's a shot outside the restaurant.

According to a banner hanging outside, Mamajuana Cafe, the restaurant's grand opening is August.

Mamajuana Cafe is an East Coast-based restaurant serving Latin and Nuevo Latino fare. I think it's a supper-club or vibe dining type of dining concept. The restaurant is located on the ground level of The Rice at 909 Texas Ave, Suite E.



lKmvJjul.jpg

Edited by IntheKnowHouston
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, IntheKnowHouston said:



BuiltNearby posted a photo of Mamajuana Cafe to its Instagram Story today. I don't know how recent the photo is, but it's a shot outside the restaurant.

According to a banner hanging outside, Mamajuana Cafe, the restaurant's grand opening is August.

Mamajuana Cafe is an East Coast-based restaurant serving Latin and Nuevo Latino fare. I think it's a supper-club or vibe dining type of dining concept. The restaurant is located on the ground level of The Rice at 909 Texas Ave, Suite E.

 

I walked right by that an hour ago and didn't even notice!

Maybe I keep averting my eyes because I'm in mourning for the coffee shop with good fare and no seating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/14/2023 at 11:14 AM, editor said:

I'm in mourning for the coffee shop with good fare and no seating.

Their drip coffee was the best downtown.

Starbucks seems either burnt or sour these days, Boomtown's tastes like they ground up Starbuck's used filters and dripped through them.  Covid shutdowns killed Dunkin, and I can't keep track of who else is downtown.  These people are going to make me a coffee thermos snob. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/14/2023 at 11:14 AM, editor said:

Maybe I keep averting my eyes because I'm in mourning for the coffee shop with good fare and no seating.

campesino coffee house #2 on Prairie a few blocks over is really good. Sad about Minuti coffee (at least the Midtown location is still open). 

Hope Mamajuana Cafe does well! I'll support anything that will bring night and weekend visitors to DT!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Justin Welling said:

campesino coffee house #2 on Prairie a few blocks over is really good. Sad about Minuti coffee (at least the Midtown location is still open). 

Hope Mamajuana Cafe does well! I'll support anything that will bring night and weekend visitors to DT!

I didn't know about Campesino.  I thought that block was all the cathedral's property.  Is the entrance under the metal awning?

Screenshot 2023-07-17 at 3.23.00 PM.png

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Nate99 said:

Starbucks seems either burnt or sour these days, Boomtown's tastes like they ground up Starbuck's used filters and dripped through them.  Covid shutdowns killed Dunkin, and I can't keep track of who else is downtown.  These people are going to make me a coffee thermos snob. 

I've known folks who claim that Starbucks has always tasted burnt, and typically refer to it as "Charbucks".  I'm fairly agnostic about their coffee - although I've never been on board with the cult that sprang up around them, there's certainly worse coffee to be had, and sometimes their convenience and ubiquity trumps all other considerations.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mkultra25 said:

I've known folks who claim that Starbucks has always tasted burnt, and typically refer to it as "Charbucks".  I'm fairly agnostic about their coffee - although I've never been on board with the cult that sprang up around them, there's certainly worse coffee to be had, and sometimes their convenience and ubiquity trumps all other considerations.  

The "burned" cliche grew out of people who were used to drinking coffee not being used to espresso. 
 

When Starbucks became popular, most  people were used to Dunkin' Dishwater, and Taster's Choice. 
 

My problem with Starbucks these days is that it all tastes so sugary. I'll get one as a treat, but my go-tos these days are Three Valves, Fifth Vessel, and Day Six. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

I've known folks who claim that Starbucks has always tasted burnt, and typically refer to it as "Charbucks".  I'm fairly agnostic about their coffee - although I've never been on board with the cult that sprang up around them, there's certainly worse coffee to be had, and sometimes their convenience and ubiquity trumps all other considerations.  

Tend to agree, though for drip coffee these days, Dunkin or even McDonalds seem to do a better or at least more consistent job. To indulge off topic for a bit longer (though coffee is foundational to any downtown, I would say), I find the taste of Starbucks drip coffee to be all over the map, but I have had a bad run lately. Maybe the opening crew of the store I've been going to skipped some training or something. Their "dark roast" seems to be mercilessly overpowered by the roasting, it's the IPA of coffee.  I miss the old Yukon and Breakfast Blend.

Edited by Nate99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...