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BLVD Place / Hanover Towers / Apache HQ News & Pictures

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I looked at the plan; this will be on their existing land; the track will be where the baseball field is, it doesn't go all the way to S. Post Oak.

That was meant to be in response to Skyline's question about the work on the St. Michael property. When the capital campaign was kicked off a few years back the church looked into purchasing the lot directly behind the ball field and adjacent to S. Post Oak. Apparently, the owner was willing to sell, but wanted upwards of $7 mil. Not sure if Wolfe owned it at that time or not.

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Looks like they are indeed preparing the area for demo work. A truck is there right now loaded with what looks like chain link fences:

DSC_0650.jpg?

Sorry the picture isn't too great, I need a better lens.

Personally, I'd like to go over and as if they'd let me like throw a brick through a window or something as they are starting demo work, 'cause I mean, when else would you get the chance to smash the front window to a store and not get arrested? ;)

Yes!!! went by there just now and there is indeed a chain link fence encasing the entire old complex...so looks like this is being torn ASAP!!! AWESOME!!!

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Demolition has officially begun. There's an excavator tearing apart one of the walls right now. I'll try to get some pictures up later today,

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Oh man. It's across the street from where I live, and it's 4 days after I leave the country. :/

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gosh now i know how those flying monkeys felt when water was thrown on the witch...! goodbye ugly old building!!!!!!!!!!!! haha!!!

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Thanks a bunch for the pics! I walked by last week and the progress wasn't as evident, so I kinda despaired about whether it would happen or not.

I think highly of Mr. Wulfe. Hope he hits a home run with this next phase ...

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The thing that gets me about that is that they say "...located at the intersection of Sky Lark and Post Oak Lanes..."

Why not say the intersection of Post Oak Lane and San Felipe? Nobody knows Sky Lark, and everyone knows San Felipe.

But I take it that's the new design of the residential tower. Certainly not as nice as the original. :/

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I believe it means they're looking for people willing help to finance it through a loan (debt) and cash (partner equity.) Basically advertising investment opportunity.

But yeah, this building is... not a looker.

Edited by woolie

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I believe it means they're looking for people willing help to finance it through a loan (debt) and cash (partner equity.) Basically advertising investment opportunity.

But yeah, this building is... not a looker.

Actually, after looking over their website, it looks like it means they have the partner equity already, but are looking for the debt financing.

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Hanover's website replaced the rendering with "Coming Soon." I remember when ChannelTwoNews found the "Another Hines DT Project" rendering from an engineering company website involved with the project and they took it down. I don't understand why they publish it if they don't want anyone seeing it. I can understand the engineering company mistake, but not so much Hanover, unless it's an old rendering.

Edited by lockmat

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Hanover's website replaced the rendering with "Coming Soon." I remember when ChannelTwoNews found the "Another Hines DT Project" rendering from an engineering company website involved with the project and they took it down. I don't understand why they publish it if they don't want anyone seeing it. I can understand the engineering company mistake, but not so much Hanover, unless it's an old rendering.

Well everyone said their rendering looked like shit, that is probably why they took it down!

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They made some serious progress today:

DSC_0674.jpg

DSC_0676.jpg

They've also got a large pile of debris in the center atrium, and have taken out almost all of the windows:

DSC_0679.jpg

DSC_0680.jpg

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Both previous renderings looked much better. Maybe they'll put up a better one.

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I just figured out why that less than stunning Hanover tower is listed as Sky Lark Ln. and Post Oak Ln. rather than San Felipe and Post Oak Ln: It's not going on the site that we thought.

It's not going in the middle island thing created by Sky Lark Ln, San Felipe, and Post Oak Ln. It's going around the outside of the corner of Sky Lark.

From Swamplot:

hanover-blvd-place-revised.jpg

hanover-blvd-place-revised-skylark.jpg

You can tell it's also nicer than was initially shown, but on the second picture, the little park in the front left is the area that was originally set as the site for this tower:

hanover-blvd-place.jpg

This is fantastic news, IMO. I was wondering what they were going to do with that little strip of land, and this I think fits it perfectly. Also, it keeps that center block open for future development.

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7263869540_523186dac5_z.jpg

Screen Shot 2012-05-24 at 3.53.05 PM by wools, on Flickr

Yeah, from the renderings, this is clearly going on the red lot above; the green lot will still be available for future high rises. Great news! And the new renderings look much better. Still not great, world-changing, visionary architecture.. but perfectly OK.

Also, amusing -- I guess they don't own that parking lot and no one would sell. It's in the renderings.

Edited by woolie

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Is that where the psychic was located? I think that parcel was condemned by the city and was supposed to be public park but maybe Wulf bought it? Maybe someone here knows the details on this parcel.

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More pictures from today. Around 4:30 I saw a very large cloud of dust come up form the site. I imagine it was either the roof or a wall falling in.

DSC_1166.jpg

DSC_1169.jpg

DSC_1170.jpg

Is that where the psychic was located? I think that parcel was condemned by the city and was supposed to be public park but maybe Wulf bought it? Maybe someone here knows the details on this parcel.

I was under the impression that the park that was made there was put in so that the remaining house or two on that street could be forced to sell through eminent domain. From what I heard, the guy in the last house was demanding something like $2 million for his tiny house.

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Is that the parcel that there was some sort of scandal about the city using eminent domain? I remember a big ruckus a couple of years ago and wasn't the end result that most of the parcel was going to be left as a city park?

Or am I thinking of the wrong development totally?

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It's been awhile, but I think the psychic was located on what is now the east side of Skylark (in the area colored green in Woolies pic). I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the property taken by the city using eminent domain is the parking lot contiguous with the red area in the pic. Media reports said it was owned by 2 older guys, brothers, who said it was an investment they were counting on for a comfortable retirement.

I had a sense of deja vu when I read that. In buying up the land for Greenway Plaza, Ken Schnitzer (Century Development), had to deal with a homeowner who held out to the bitter end. In that case, the homeowner made out pretty good in the end. (Wikipedia cites him getting $350K, but from my recollection it was more like $450K. In any case, considering this was in the 70s, he did really well!)

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While this explains the recent move to demolish the Pavilion, I'm still not sure what all this means for the overall BLVD place project. Ed Wulfe states in the article that selling 6.4 acres off to Apache allows the project to move forward this summer. This almost assures the project will be revamped in some major/minor way!

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Apache-Corp-buys-a-big-chunk-of-BLVD-Place-3603732.php

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Isn't part of the new Apache parcel the same place Randal Davis wants to put up the Astoria?

Update: They are currently tearing up the parking lot between the area of the building they demolished and Post Oak. It looks like they are digging into the underground parking, which a while ago someone over at the Ed Wulfe offices said they needed to get rid of before they would be able to start working on the underground parking for Whole Foods.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to have any more pictures for you guys for quite a while. I'm leaving the country for 5 weeks in a few hours. Hopefully when I get back in July they'll be done with this and something constructive can actually start to happen on the site.

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Hopefully it means Apache builds a corporate headquarters tower in the future. Always thought The Apache Tower had a nice ring to it.

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Hopefully it means Apache builds a corporate headquarters tower in the future. Always thought The Apache Tower had a nice ring to it.

Towers.

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Towers.

Interesting.

That said, I'd prefer to see one trophy tower rise rather than 2-3 smaller towers as part of a complex in Uptown. Transco needs a northern neighbor.

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That makes sense since if they bought a third of the land. Is the land they bought inbetween the Whole Foods and the current building? I wonder if the new plans are on the blvd place website. Can't check on my slow bb.

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That makes sense since if they bought a third of the land. Is the land they bought inbetween the Whole Foods and the current building? I wonder if the new plans are on the blvd place website. Can't check on my slow bb.

Nothing on the Blvd Place website about this so far.

I just went back to review Apache's expanded lease at Post Oak Central. They lease almost 1/2 million square feet. And they only signed up through 2018. That probably gives them a couple years before they need to start construction, but also tells us it would be a pretty substantial building.

Edited by Houston19514
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Let's assume Apache stays in growth mode and that they'll need 600,000 to 700,000 square feet. In a single building with a typical floor plate, that would put it in the 5 Houston Center range (25-29 floors or so). However, if it's two buildings, then were looking at twins in the 15 floor range. Bleh.

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Interesting.

That said, I'd prefer to see one trophy tower rise rather than 2-3 smaller towers as part of a complex in Uptown. Transco needs a northern neighbor.

purely speculation, of course.

Edited by swtsig

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Some days I want signature towers, some days I want just good solid infill. Ask me tomorrow.

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Do you have a camera hidden in the hedge across the street? I'll go down and adjust the angle in you need. :P

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Nah. I wish I could set up something like that, though. lol

My mom is in Houston for a few weeks, and she knows I was following the demolition so she took it upon herself to snap a picture and email it to me. :)

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Nah. I wish I could set up something like that, though. lol

My mom is in Houston for a few weeks, and she knows I was following the demolition so she took it upon herself to snap a picture and email it to me. :)

Awesome! Way to go, Mom!

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Nah. I wish I could set up something like that, though. lol

My mom is in Houston for a few weeks, and she knows I was following the demolition so she took it upon herself to snap a picture and email it to me. :)

Your mom should join HAIF. She'd fit right in.

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7263869540_523186dac5_z.jpg

Screen Shot 2012-05-24 at 3.53.05 PM by wools, on Flickr

Yeah, from the renderings, this is clearly going on the red lot above; the green lot will still be available for future high rises. Great news! And the new renderings look much better. Still not great, world-changing, visionary architecture.. but perfectly OK.

Also, amusing -- I guess they don't own that parking lot and no one would sell. It's in the renderings.

If you are correct that the red shaded area is where the Hanover highrise is going, that means their old spot, which is the green shaded area, is now available again. That seems kind of weird for them to change parcels, or maybe not? I don't know, but it seems like it. The red shaded area was supposed to be a hotel per blvd place's website.

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Hopefully it means Apache builds a corporate headquarters tower in the future. Always thought The Apache Tower had a nice ring to it.

You know, Apache just renewed a lease at Post Oak Central through 2018. Why the purchase now? Just getting it cheap and holding on to it until then?

http://www.crescent.com/files/news/1-30-12%20PO%20Apache%20renewal.pdf

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/26033-apache-expands-office-at-post-oak-central/

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Out in 2018 would mean moving in 2017 would mean construction starts in 2015 which means design is done in 2014... (ish). So they have 18 months to plan their new home.

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I spoke with someone very close to the project and they gave me the following details on the sale of 6 acres to Apache:

All areas to the left of Blvd. Place Ln. (which runs through the center of the property) with the exception of Building #6 (which is where RDG, Philippe & Hermes are now located) have been sold to Apache.

This means that Buildings #4, #5 and the South Garage as illustrated in the renderings on the Blvd. Place website are no longer a part of Ed Wulfe's project.

What this means? Hermes which had signed a lease for a 2 story flagship location in the Northeast Corner of Building #4 facing Post Oak Blvd. has lost their long planned space. There is no word on what this means for the French luxury boutique which has flourished during the recession.

Additionally, other retailers "penciled in" for Building #5 were rumored to have been a new 20,000-25,000 sq. ft. Bloomingdale's location.

It makes one wonder how cohesive the development will be with Building #6 off on its own next to the Apache office tower.

As for the rest of the development, Hanover is breaking ground on a nice high-rise rental building and of course, the Whole Foods location will break ground late summer/early fall 2012 which a planned opening of February 2014.

The sale of the southern side of the development to Apache allows Wulfe to break ground on buildings #1,#1N, #1W, #2 & #3. Unfortunately, the only leases of note in the new buildings are:

Pinkberry

Ocean Prime seafood

an Aveda salon

These developments really leave me wishing that Houston could shed it's 1985 "Boom to Bust" reputation and attract the type of deep-pocketed investors who have the national and international reputation to secure a mix of "high end" and destination retail.

One has to wonder why the local leasing team has been unable to secure any high-profile leases after marketing the project for almost 6 years.

It's a shame as a prime parcel of land like this only comes into play once in a generation.

I'm pleased about the Whole Foods location, however at 48,500 sq. feet it now has the footprint of many of the suburban locations that the chain is building.

Where of where is Gerald Hines and his vision and international reputation when we need him?

Oh, that's right. He's developing a large commercial warehouse project near IAH. Things have changed so much.

Development X

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Thanks for the info DevelopmentX... I have to ask though, why is this such a prime spot for a Whole Foods? There a Rice Epicurean literally across the street, and there's a Randalls Flagship one block down San Felipe. Going the other way is another Rice, a Target (full grocery store), and a Central Market. Given that Blvd place will ultimately have traffic and (if convenient) 'complicated' parking, I just don't see how this works... unless they really do put 1,000 residential units on the west side of the development, but that seems optimistic.

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You know, Apache just renewed a lease at Post Oak Central through 2018. Why the purchase now? Just getting it cheap and holding on to it until then?

http://www.crescent....che renewal.pdf

http://www.houstonar...st-oak-central/

b/c land values are cheaper now then they will be a few years down the road and mainly b/c ed wulfe was likely desperate to sell. i mentioned this a while back but a 5 yr lease for 500K sf is nothing more than a short term renewal. a firm like apache will have no problem vacating that space well before lease expiration if they so desire. it happens ALL the time... just look at nexen or murphy oil - both have decent term left on their existing leases but both will be relocating to new buildings on I-10.

and to SkylineView... not sure if that's a serious comment or not. you seem familiar enough with the area but to question why the corner of post oak and san felipe is "such a prime spot for a whole foods" seems odd at best. it will work exactly for that reason... it is practically the nexus of high-end houston. the same traffic doesn't seem to deter any other businesses in the area so i fail to see why it would deter a flagship (read: destination) WF. to site stores like rice, randalls and target as barriers to entry is - for lack of a better word - foolish. there could be zero residential in BLVD Place and a flagship WF would still do gangbusters. i'm still holding out that WF will come to their senses and increase their footpring closer to their original plans. you seem to forget how well eatzi's did in the exact same location or how well central market does with rice, costco and target within a stone's throw.

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