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Crane going up this weekend according to the FAA filing.  

Well since these models have been revealed, I guess I can probably post the renderings...

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More on the rumors of Whole Foods abandoning Ed Wulfe's BLVD Place. Evidently, retailers across the street are telling people that Whole Foods has pulled out of the deal.

If by "retailers across the street" you mean retailers at Post Oak Plaza -- haven't the owners of that location been trying to compete with BLVD Place for some time now? I think I remember something in the Chronicle a while back about competing for tenants. Could this be a deliberate misinformation effort? If a prospective tenant was choosing between signing a lease now in Post Oak Plaza and waiting a year or two for BLVD place, they might swing towards Post Oak Plaza if they heard the anchor was about to pull out of BLVD Place.

(I'm not suggesting that the rumor is right or wrong -- I'm utterly clueless -- just thinking about the source though)

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If by "retailers across the street" you mean retailers at Post Oak Plaza -- haven't the owners of that location been trying to compete with BLVD Place for some time now? I think I remember something in the Chronicle a while back about competing for tenants. Could this be a deliberate misinformation effort? If a prospective tenant was choosing between signing a lease now in Post Oak Plaza and waiting a year or two for BLVD place, they might swing towards Post Oak Plaza if they heard the anchor was about to pull out of BLVD Place.

(I'm not suggesting that the rumor is right or wrong -- I'm utterly clueless -- just thinking about the source though)

I was thinking the exact same thing.

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I've never heard that The Woodlands was to get a store.

Its still on there construction website to be coming Fall 2008. A Wild Oats, of course it got bought out by Whole Foods but its still up on it. Of course this site is notorious for saying really neat things are going to come, and then it folds. <just looked at the site again> And now its not listed.

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I hope the above is true but based on some comments i've read on this forum regarding Nancy Sarnoff's lack of accuracy, i question if her information can really be trusted.

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I hope the above is true but based on some comments i've read on this forum regarding Nancy Sarnoff's lack of accuracy, i question if her information can really be trusted.

Nancy is far from perfect, but my experiences in dealing with her have been far better than with her collegues. It's the difference between a small specific error or lack of grammatical clarity and having what you've said torn apart, words reconfigured, meanings butchered, all within what was supposed to be the safety of quotation marks.

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Nancy is far from perfect, but my experiences in dealing with her have been far better than with her collegues. It's the difference between a small specific error or lack of grammatical clarity and having what you've said torn apart, words reconfigured, meanings butchered, all within what was supposed to be the safety of quotation marks.

In an email that I received from Nancy Sarnoff today:

Ed Wulfe says they have not pulled out. But I haven

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Nancy is far from perfect, but my experiences in dealing with her have been far better than with her collegues. It's the difference between a small specific error or lack of grammatical clarity and having what you've said torn apart, words reconfigured, meanings butchered, all within what was supposed to be the safety of quotation marks.

what? :blink:

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Niche, maybe you need a publicist!

I only ever seem to interact with Chronicle people anymore, and I've learned from experience how to keep them on a short leash. Nancy is the exception. She won't burn me and has always acted in good faith. This is a good quality for a beat reporter to have; otherwise nobody would tell her anything.

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I think Niche is black and white in terms of what constitutes 'journalism' and has been quoted incorrectly in the past, but Nancy merely lacks attention to detail.

I understood the first sentence of Niche's paragraph but i couldn't relay the last part when he was talking about what i said being torn apart. I wasn't meaning to be difficult but i just wanted him to clarify what he was saying at the end.

Black and White..!! :rolleyes:

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I understood the first sentence of Niche's paragraph but i couldn't relay the last part when he was talking about what i said being torn apart. I wasn't meaning to be difficult but i just wanted him to clarify what he was saying at the end.

Black and White..!! :rolleyes:

You're not alone C2H, i couldn't relay that last part either. Too wordy!

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  • 2 weeks later...
So what's the status on this? Is the 66 story Ritz still in the works?

My source is telling me that the Ritz in in the works but is more than likely not going to be 66 floors, it is probably going to be two 30 story towers, one for hotel, and one for condo.

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My source is telling me that the Ritz in in the works but is more than likely not going to be 66 floors, it is probably going to be two 30 story towers, one for hotel, and one for condo.

That's really disappointing. Sounds similar to what the Ritz did in Dallas....not really a meaningful addition to the skyline. I think we'd all have preferred the taller, single tower. Any idea why they would change it up? Just too expensive to build one single tower?

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I would figure that it just makes more sense to build two of the same height if the land is available. Since others have said the higher you go, the more expensive, seems like an easy decision.

The only reason I could see them doing it in one is for recognition, which they probably don't need.

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That's really disappointing. Sounds similar to what the Ritz did in Dallas....not really a meaningful addition to the skyline. I think we'd all have preferred the taller, single tower. Any idea why they would change it up? Just too expensive to build one single tower?

I believe it has to do with financing the buildngs with the sales from another. Condo sales could finance the building of the second tower and visa versa if you build two instead of one. That is my assumption.

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Here are some new pics, the first is from 2/28 and the second is from this morning. They have now filled in all the old basement level parking with dirt to raise it to street level. That's at least 8 feet of dirt across the entire construction area (excluding the southern most 20% which was already at grade. The plumbing is going in now and I would expect we'll really start seeing marked progress soon.

IMG00081.jpg

IMG00082.jpg

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I would figure that it just makes more sense to build two of the same height if the land is available. Since others have said the higher you go, the more expensive, seems like an easy decision.

Unless of course you just want to make a daring piece of architecture that will stand out and be a landmark. But no one has done that with a skyscraper in Houston in 25 years.

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Brothers say City Hall trying to pull a fast one

They claim their nest egg is being scrambled to help developer

Instead of enjoying the proceeds from their investment, however, the 75-year-old twins are locked in a battle with the city of Houston. In an unusual use of its eminent domain authority, the city has condemned the property to develop a small "pocket park" on the edge of a large, upscale redevelopment project.

The brothers are challenging the city's action in court, arguing that the park is a pretext for the city's true purpose: to assist a prominent local developer who has amassed most of the property around theirs for a 21-acre mixed-use development known as BLVD Place.

No one mentioned the idea of a park on the site, they said, until after they stopped negotiating with Wulfe.

full article

this is sad. the brothers refused to sell to wulfe AND the uptown district. then the city claimed eminent domain to get the property.

Edited by musicman
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Joe Turner, the city's parks and recreation director, acknowledged that it is rare for the city to use its eminent domain authority to acquire land for parks. But in this case, Turner said, the action was justified.

"We have a shortage of parks in that area, and the Uptown District has done a good job of maintaining parks," Turner said.

Well, maybe a shortage if you ignore Memorial Park, one of the largest urban parks in the US, and Grady Park, just a couple blocks to the west on San Felipe (east of Yorktown.) In fact Grady Park is less than a 1/3rd-mile walk from the BLVD Place site, sidewalks all the way, much of it shaded. Grady Park is much larger than this stolen parcel, and any rationalizing that residents would need a closer park to walk their dogs also seems bogus, given all the shaded greenspace frontage and pockets of the high rises next door and across the street.

Edited by pestofan
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Wow... This story is kind of sad.

On one level I think a park in BLVD would be a nice addition.

On another, it seems the brothers are the victim of a government screw-job. They bought the property in 1982 for $360K. The city offers them $398 in 2004. Wulfe $1.4 mil in 2006. The city $433 in 2007.

Something doesn't seem right.

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My God, did you really just say that? Wow, that's just... wrong.

What? It's just an honest evaluation. Nothing against the men. But are they being greedy or just need to maintain an extravagent lifestyle? Seriously, they look at least 80. If I were them, I wouldn't be thinking I have a ton of time left on this earth. I'd say 1.4 should be plenty. Another half a mil won't buy them more life.

Edited by lockmat
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What? It's just an honest evaluation. Nothing against the men. But are they being greedy or just need to maintain an extravagent lifestyle.

what gives you any indication they are being greedy or they live extravagantly?

Seriously, they look at least 80. If I were them, I wouldn't be thinking I have a ton of time left on this earth. I'd say 1.4 should be plenty. Another half a mil won't buy them more life.

adolf are you against jews and other immigrants too?

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what gives you any indication they are being greedy or they live extravagantly?

No, I'm not saying they are. I'm wondering if those are possibilities.

adolf are you against jews and other immigrants too?

haha. c'mon yall. yall are bein overly pc. I see nothing wrong w/ what I said.

Edited by lockmat
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This use of eminent domain so wrong it makes me sick.

Why doesn't the COH tell the Pavillions to budget space WITH the compound, instead of taking someone's house/private property. Oh, yeah I forgot about greasing the palms..........

Edited by KatieDidIt
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What does the reason for them not selling have to do with it? Lockmat, are you in the habit of selling your property for less than it is worth, merely because a developer wants it? For that matter, why does Wulfe want the property? Is he being greedy or living extravagantly? He's getting pretty old, too. How many hundred million more does HE need?

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Amazing how the city will use eminent domain to get rid of these guys but refuses to do anything about the Central Bank building, the old Holiday Inn and the Savoy. I know that topic has been exhausted on here but just find it ironic. The purpose of eminent domain is to get rid of blight for a public purpose and I can think of plenty of public reasons that land could be used for.

Edited by jayshoota
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What does the reason for them not selling have to do with it? Lockmat, are you in the habit of selling your property for less than it is worth, merely because a developer wants it? For that matter, why does Wulfe want the property? Is he being greedy or living extravagantly? He's getting pretty old, too. How many hundred million more does HE need?
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This use of eminent domain so wrong it makes me sick.

Why doesn't the COH tell the Pavillions to budget space WITH the compound, instead of taking someone's house/private property. Oh, yeah I forgot about greasing the palms..........

I totally agree with you on this. Attached is a nice little piece by CBS.

www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/26/60minutes/main575343.shtml - 95k -

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What? It's just an honest evaluation. Nothing against the men. But are they being greedy or just need to maintain an extravagent lifestyle? Seriously, they look at least 80. If I were them, I wouldn't be thinking I have a ton of time left on this earth. I'd say 1.4 should be plenty. Another half a mil won't buy them more life.

Different people have different priorities. We don't know anything at all about these guys' financial position, so it is hard to say what their specific motivation may be for wanting to capture the true market value of their investment.

Perhaps they've leveraged the asset to support other investments. Perhaps those investments haven't gone over very well, they're upside down on a note, and a forced sale would put them into bankruptcy.

Or perhaps they're doing their best to preserve their assets so as to allow for a larger distribution to their heirs...some people value their children/grandchildren's well-being more than their own. That's my grandfather's motivation for being a cheapskate millionaire.

When it comes down to it, their motive and circumstances are irrelevant. They purchased the rights to that parcel of land, and eminent domain under such circumstances undermines the core concept of those rights.

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Different people have different priorities. We don't know anything at all about these guys' financial position, so it is hard to say what their specific motivation may be for wanting to capture the true market value of their investment.

Perhaps they've leveraged the asset to support other investments. Perhaps those investments haven't gone over very well, they're upside down on a note, and a forced sale would put them into bankruptcy.

Or perhaps they're doing their best to preserve their assets so as to allow for a larger distribution to their heirs...some people value their children/grandchildren's well-being more than their own. That's my grandfather's motivation for being a cheapskate millionaire.

When it comes down to it, their motive and circumstances are irrelevant. They purchased the rights to that parcel of land, and eminent domain under such circumstances undermines the core concept of those rights.

Yeah, I agree with all that. I wasn't trying to justify what the city did. I'm just wondering why they didn't take that nice chunk of change in the first place. But then I got to thinking about what you just mentioned. I have no idea what their intentions were. Just thinkin', that's all.

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people don't always do things for money.

That's true, and I'm not trying to say they were. I just assumed since they said they got the property for investment purposes.

Anywho...

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Actually, I thought it was. At least in terms of legal precedent, anyway. Weren't a number of high-profile cases argued that way? 'The greater good' blah blah.

The Kelo vs. New London case set a dangerous precedent regarding the utilization of eminent domain for economic development purposes, which would seem to include the elimination of what is perceived to be 'blight'. However, the Texas state legislature was quick to ban such practices.

If I'm not mistaken, the City of Freeport was the only Texas municipality able to take advantage of the brief window of opportunity, but the land owners (the Gore family) is fighting it tooth and nail.

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