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New Development on the University of Houston Campus

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Niche, what would you rather have, just a stand alone parking garage? That's ugly, at least with retail/services on the ground floor/second floor, it makes it more usable as an urban space. FYI, there are actual University offices at the UH1 Garage, not just retail.

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Adding in retail also gives people choices. With 50,000 visitors a day to campus, it's pretty smart to offer eating establishments, copy/fax services, dry cleaning, etc...

Yeah, I'm not opposed to that. I'm just critiquing the style.

Niche, what would you rather have, just a stand alone parking garage? That's ugly, at least with retail/services on the ground floor/second floor, it makes it more usable as an urban space. FYI, there are actual University offices at the UH1 Garage, not just retail.

Too many architects think that they're urban planners. They confuse land use with style.

And the office component is in a retail shell space.

Edited by TheNiche

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Niche so you're an urban planner? Please tell us what should UH do with that parking garage?

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Niche so you're an urban planner? Please tell us what should UH do with that parking garage?

As I said in the last post, I'm only critiquing the style. The contrast in streetscapes there and anywhere else on campus makes the parking garage look like a giant cliche is all, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

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So they get rid of surface parking and charge more for parking in the garage that it replaces? That's just wrong.

edit: I just did a quick look at the rates, its not a lot more to park in the Garage compared to regular parking, a difference of $77/year or $38/semester. That's cheap compared to all the other fees.

Student Parking Permits Annual Semester Spring/Summer

Garage $200.00 $120.00 $200.00

Resident Hall $172.00 $103.00 N/A

Student $133.00 $79.00 $133.00

Economy $50.00 $50.00 $50.00

Economy Plus $75.00 $75.00 $75.00

Disabled $124.00 $74.00 $124.00

Motorcycle $50.00 $50.00 $50.00

The value is worth it because the garages are patrolled and have security cameras. Even before the one garage, there was never enough parking for all of the students. UH main has about 35,000 students, and only 4,000 or so actually live on campus, or within walking distance. Mass transit users is at best about 2500, and there were never 27,500 surace lot parking spaces. Garages are the way to go for several reasons: bottom floor retail and office space; increased security for the vehicles; an ability to provide more spaces per student; and increased revenue to the university (once they're paid for). It's the only sensible option in my opinion. The administration is also going to beef up the campus shuttle systems so students remember to utilize them.

Back to the other developments... the whole campus is going to look and feel very exciting in the next few years. The master plan has already been amended for the rail station, so we'll have a lot more retail to work with in the Wheeler area.

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The master plan has already been amended for the rail station, so we'll have a lot more retail to work with in the Wheeler area.

Any new renderings? Where can we see the amended masterplan?

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Actaually I believe the board (under the new president's suggestion) are re-doing the plans again for the Wheeler and Scott area. The dorms progress is pretty slow (I'm there everyday and they're stalled out on foundation work). My worry is that UH will try to hard to save a buck and build a complex with no endurance ability

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Actaually I believe the board (under the new president's suggestion) are re-doing the plans again for the Wheeler and Scott area. The dorms progress is pretty slow (I'm there everyday and they're stalled out on foundation work). My worry is that UH will try to hard to save a buck and build a complex with no endurance ability

I worry about that too, but that may be part of why Dr. Khator is having them re-do the plans. Not that she's an expert on development, but you'd be suprised how much administrative mindsets can affect things in a very physical way at UH. Let's hope they make the right choices from the beginning, even if they are a little more expensive at first.

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Technically, Robertson Stadium was completed in 1941. It may have been a WPA inspired building, but I don't think it was actually built by the WPA.

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You guys are making things a bit uneasy for me. First I would like to wish the new prez good luck in delivering UH to Tier 1 status and becoming the next flagship university in the state of Texas.

I was quietly thinking to myself that the building was coming along very slowly and that 2009 was indeed a long time coming. However I am not in the developement field and have no idea how long such a project should take.

Moving on, I had to get my fix of UH information somehow and ran across a couple of documents on the web. I was estatic to read the strategic initiatives that were layed out for UH, namely the work in the medical center and wanting to become "The University of the medical center". Other items that I was equally excited about was wanting/needing to establish a UH System health science center in TMC, continued M.D. planning discussions with Cornell University and the Methodist Hospital, expanding other TMC facilities, new park and entrance at Wheeler and Calhoun, developing Scott street properties, Pearland activity, Cy-Fair activity plus the potential City of Houston Health department building purchase. Whew! It was a lot. Here are the links to the documents

http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/sysplanning/UHS%20S...ples%20FY08.doc

http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/sysplanning/Strateg...0FY2007%202.doc

Please note the documents are dated 10/2007 so the strategy was developed before Renu Khantor came into the prez postion. I hope she can build upon this. However this was a great find for me and I am glad to see UH has some great ideas about the future.

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Of interest from kyle's link:

"The board also voted unanimously to allow UH President and UH System Chancellor Renu Khator to negotiate a land purchase near campus. The 43 acres of land, located along Martin Luther King Boulevard, Spur 5 and Old Spanish Trail, is up for sale through commercial real estate company McDade, Smith, Gould, Johnston, Mason and Company for a minimum bid of $25 million.

The board said that acquiring the land would help the University expand in the future and that it had no immediate plans for it, if obtained."

Unless I'm mistaken, this is the old MacGregor Park land that the MacGregor family took back from COH.

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's

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That is the McGregor Park land and I heard there is going to be some real competition for it.

Of course UH seems like they could make the best use of it.

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Bravo, bravo, bravo to UH! Looks like someone finally realized that building dorms to apartment like standards doesn't cut it in a college setting. Upgrading the construction standards for the new lofts is definitely a step in the right direction. Too bad those other dorms built in the past 10 years didn't get the same treatment.

If you ask me, you need to build dorms like jail cells. CMU and concrete and metal. Not sheetrock or carpet or ceiling tiles! These are housing college students for crying out loud. Basically, they need to be able to hose down the rooms after every semester!

Edited by texas911

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Also from the above-linked Daily Cougar article:

There will be an opportunity to move students from substandard housing to this new project," Vice President for Finance and Administration John Rudley said.

Translation: once these dorms are done, we're moving students out of Cougar Place, and it is going bye-bye.

Edited by The Voice of University Oaks

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Cougar Place is sitting on land that would be better used as part of the LRT stadium area they have mentioned before (if not directly, as subsitute parking for the chunk of the lot that will inevitably be taken up).

I like that MacGregor area best as a park, but who knows what they could do with it in the future.

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If you ask me, you need to build dorms like jail cells. CMU and concrete and metal. Not sheetrock or carpet or ceiling tiles! These are housing college students for crying out loud. Basically, they need to be able to hose down the rooms after every semester!

They used to. I lived in one for a semester at SWT. Interior walls were cinderblock covered by what I'm sure was a thick coat of lead-based paint. Peeling linoluem over concrete floors. It didn't even have air-conditioning. The men's building was known as ''Beirut". Good times.

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No, I believe that's Cullen Oaks. It's fairly new, within the last 5-10 years. I like the layout for them much better than the Cambridge Oaks apartment-style housing just north of Cullen Oaks.

Cougar Place is at the link below...it's just north of Cambridge Oaks, just south of Robertson Stadium. They're all efficiency apartments...and crappy ones at that. They'll be gone in the next year or two.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...9&encType=1

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I understand that they are interested in creating and "end zone" facility at Robertson. Is there any chance that they might implode the old building and create a new 30-35K facility? Robertson is way past its prime.

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No, I believe that's Cullen Oaks. It's fairly new, within the last 5-10 years. I like the layout for them much better than the Cambridge Oaks apartment-style housing just north of Cullen Oaks.

Cougar Place is at the link below...it's just north of Cambridge Oaks, just south of Robertson Stadium. They're all efficiency apartments...and crappy ones at that. They'll be gone in the next year or two.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...9&encType=1

Oh, ok. Thanks. That's what I thought. I had a friend that lived in Cullen Oaks a few years back and I thought they looked fairly new. I didn't know the other ones in the new link were UH's.

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If you ask me, you need to build dorms like jail cells. CMU and concrete and metal. Not sheetrock or carpet or ceiling tiles! These are housing college students for crying out loud. Basically, they need to be able to hose down the rooms after every semester!

Insulation and metal costs are a problem with your design, but perhaps a student housing developer could take your ball and run with it by contracting with Igloo Corp. to prefabricate 12-foot wide and 8-foot high single-piece fiberglass inserts that just slip into CMU structures and have built-in plumbing/electric hookups and metal fixtures. Then spray foam with insulating properties in between the CMU structure and the fiberglass insert.

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You guys are making things a bit uneasy for me. First I would like to wish the new prez good luck in delivering UH to Tier 1 status and becoming the next flagship university in the state of Texas.

...I hope she can build upon this. However this was a great find for me and I am glad to see UH has some great ideas about the future.

No pessimism was intended. I'm quite pleased with the new prez and share your optimism. Go Coogs!

Especially what you said about Tier 1 Status--WORD.

Edited by mojeaux131

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Insulation and metal costs are a problem with your design, but perhaps a student housing developer could take your ball and run with it by contracting with Igloo Corp. to prefabricate 12-foot wide and 8-foot high single-piece fiberglass inserts that just slip into CMU structures and have built-in plumbing/electric hookups and metal fixtures. Then spray foam with insulating properties in between the CMU structure and the fiberglass insert.

Or just use those shipping containers. When you graduate they slap wheels on it and off you go.

Containerhome_Container_House.jpg

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To me, university buildings should have longevity, and stick/gyp-board/carpet construction, just doesn't count as longevity.

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I like that MacGregor area best as a park, but who knows what they could do with it in the future.

Only the east half of the park is for sale. The western half with the tennis courts is still owned by the City.

The land was given to the City with a possibility of reverter that would cause the land to revert back to the MacGregor heirs if the park was ever not used as a park. Long story short, the heirs sued the City and reacquired the eastern half of the park. There is currently, however, litigation between the heirs and their former attorneys, so, IMO, it may be a little while before the land is actually sold to a developer.

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For EVERYONE on here:

Go to Dr. Khator's website and fill out a survey. She is wanting to hear from Houstonians for ways to improve UH. Info from the urban planning sector would be helpful. It doesn't take that long to fill out...

http://www.uh.edu/100days

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For EVERYONE on here:

Go to Dr. Khator's website and fill out a survey. She is wanting to hear from Houstonians for ways to improve UH. Info from the urban planning sector would be helpful. It doesn't take that long to fill out...

http://www.uh.edu/100days

Interesting:

1. How would you best describe your relationship to the University of Houston?

One of the options is, "Member of the Austin community." :huh:

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I really wish those boneheads in the legislature would wake up and get over their little crushes on UT and A&M. It's ludicrous for a state with over 22 million people to limit itself to only two flagship universities. Reason #348 the legislature SUCKS.

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A fund equal to Harvard and the two "Flagships" barely make the Top 50?

What a waste of money.

What is Harvard's enrollment?

edit: according to wiki...about 19,000 total. It's not really a fair comparison.

Edited by lockmat

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Forget Harvard.

UT & A&M can't even compete with the California Flagships.

Which proves you need more university systems in Texas to compete. Lumping so many schools under Texas and A&M has failed the state of Texas.

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Yea, let's take California as an example, they have more than 2 tier one schools, in fact they have 10! Its not wonder they produce companies like google, yahoo, Apple and HP! Texas needs more tier one funded schools so we don't get left behind. And UH is the clear choice to be the third one in Texas. It would attract the kind of students that the city already has jobs for, like NASA, engineering companies, law, medicine, etc.

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http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/hig...1.html?ana=e_ph

"The University of Houston has acquired an original section of MacGregor Park that has been tied up in ownership litigation for more than a decade. "

That's great news, can't read the full article but that's ok. If this is the land that is bordered by Spur 5, OST and MLK there the southern entrance to the campus that was mentioned before. Man this is exciting news! Anyone has any ideas what should they do with the new land? So the university has grown from 550 arces to guessing here 600? Oh I am excitied!

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That's great news, can't read the full article but that's ok. If this is the land that is bordered by Spur 5, OST and MLK there the southern entrance to the campus that was mentioned before. Man this is exciting news! Anyone has any ideas what should they do with the new land? So the university has grown from 550 arces to guessing here 600? Oh I am excitied!

Just re-read the announcement and it is 43 acres purchase. So 593 acres. Yes! Now I just hope we can create something where students want to live and hang around campus instead of commuting.

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I have always thought UH should buy that piece of land. The Southeast Line will go down there, too, so there will be a station serving that spot. I would like to see some more student housing with retail (so mixed use) there. UH needs more on-campus housing. Maybe keep some trees for just general look, or transport some of them to UH and replant them.

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UH needs more on-campus housing.

Speaking of on-campus housing, construction of the new graduate student dorm between the Law Center and the Business School is up to the second floor. Two cranes have been very active over the past several weeks.

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What's the opposite of development?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5793124.html

If this is true, which do yall think is better? To have a UH that can serve more people or one that can become a top tier 1 research institution, but serve less? OR...by becoming a tier 1 research school, more people will flock as they do to UT and A&M?

In announcing the boost in tuition, regents Chairman Welcome Wilson Sr. indicated his priorities for UH. "I sincerely feel," Wilson told the Chronicle, "we cannot be that low-cost alternative when it comes to education." Regents recruited new Chancellor and President Renu Khator last year based largely on her success in expanding the research base of the University of South Florida while serving as its provost. While Khator has said that top research capability can go hand in hand with a mass enrollment, higher tuition will inevitably discourage the latter.
In the end, the only way UH can become a major research campus and maintain its role as the educator of tens of thousands of middle-class students is for the Legislature to support it at the same level it supports the University of Texas and A&M systems.

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UH should be Tier 1 and UHD and UH Clear Lake can always fill any void in between.

Not a bad thought. It's not like UHD is that much farther than UH (closer in cases for people in the north and west of course) and it's easily accessible. Space and growth may be an issue though.

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