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The RO: Mixed-Use Development At West Alabama And Buffalo Speedway


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On 11/20/2020 at 10:39 AM, Geoff8201 said:

So there is some activity, but I believe it has to do with groundwater cleanup....

 

They are digging towards the south end of the property. A notice went out to residents nearby indicating a Microsoft Teams meeting in the near future concerning groundwater contamination.

Correction, the groundwater cleanup online meeting I was referring to is for 3509 Texas Street.

 

The digging goes and is progressing slowly. I’ll post a photo from atop the Lamar Tower when it looks more progressed. Feel like I’ve posted enough pics of an empty lot for now. Highrises’s photos nailed it.

Edited by Geoff8201
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Heard through the grapevine not to expect anything happening here all through 2021. A big scale back may happen cutting the building heights in half, or potentially combining their functions and cutting the number of buildings down. But in the age of Covid, for a giant site that was going to house restaurants, a hotel and an office building, is anyone surprised.

I personally hope the wait and see method pays off, and post covid the demand for everything comes roaring back.

Edited by Geoff8201
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  • The title was changed to The RO: Mixed-Use Development At West Alabama And Buffalo Speedway
  • 2 months later...
On 12/22/2020 at 4:17 PM, Geoff8201 said:

Heard through the grapevine not to expect anything happening here all through 2021. A big scale back may happen cutting the building heights in half, or potentially combining their functions and cutting the number of buildings down. But in the age of Covid, for a giant site that was going to house restaurants, a hotel and an office building, is anyone surprised.

I personally hope the wait and see method pays off, and post covid the demand for everything comes roaring back.

Site is dead. I don't see any heavy equipment, no activity, nothing has changed in months. I look down on this, and use my binocs to search for signs of life. There's more activity on Mars than The RO.

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21 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Even if this has fallen through, this tract of land will become something incredible regardless. Houston is developing and changing for the better. We may just have to wait another year. 

I wasn't saying it's fallen thru, I have no insight into its development. Just that it's dead, no activity at all.

100% agree on the land. It is *prime* inner-city real estate. 

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18 hours ago, toxtethogrady said:

Until office leasing picks up, I wouldn't expect this anytime soon...

If it were some spec office building in some random place in the city, than I would agree with you, but we have seen with the building of the Texas Tower, and Discovery Green West that it really doesn't matter whatever the vacancy rates are like if the building is designed for a specific purpose and for a specific client, and designed with other things around it in mind then they will build it. This project is being built with a particular aesthetic, and clientele in mind. All they need is one or two big tenants and this will get built pretty quickly.

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On 1/3/2022 at 4:50 PM, astrohip said:

It's alive!!!

Activity has started at the RO. Today there were a couple of heavy-duty electric utility trucks (eg, Centerpoint) inside the fenced in compound. Another truck or two on the outside, including one with a trailer with a backhoe. And all along the Buffalo Spdwy sidewalk, outside the fence, there are utility flags in the ground.

Any pics?

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A quick and somewhat irrelevant question. Is this large development considered to be part of the Greenway Plaza area? Visually it looks connected to the Greeway plaza area and not quite close enough to Upper Kirby. Our great city is tough to define it being multivarious.

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14 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

Any pics?

Funny you ask... I was driving by it again this week (I live practically next door) and noticed nothing going on. The flags are still there, but no trucks, no people, no nothing. 

I'll try to get some pics in a few days. I'm always driving when I go by, and try to focus on driving and not other distractions. But I should be able to pull over and get some.

As far as what it's part of, since everything (according to Marketing) that's inside the Loop is "River Oaks", I'm sure that's the main focus. It is (IMHO) closer to Greenway Plaza than RO.

There was a news story earlier this week about a shooting at a "River Oaks apartment complex". But in digging down, it was located at San Felipe & 610. But hey... that's River Oaks! 🙄

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1 hour ago, astrohip said:

Funny you ask... I was driving by it again this week (I live practically next door) and noticed nothing going on. The flags are still there, but no trucks, no people, no nothing. 

I'll try to get some pics in a few days. I'm always driving when I go by, and try to focus on driving and not other distractions. But I should be able to pull over and get some.

As far as what it's part of, since everything (according to Marketing) that's inside the Loop is "River Oaks", I'm sure that's the main focus. It is (IMHO) closer to Greenway Plaza than RO.

There was a news story earlier this week about a shooting at a "River Oaks apartment complex". But in digging down, it was located at San Felipe & 610. But hey... that's River Oaks! 🙄

This is an example of "concept creep" which happens when small or minor shifts in semantics ends up pushing or expanding the boundaries of a defined concept, idea, word, etc... If River Oaks is the place that many people want to be, but the space available is limited then overtime you will have those on the periphery who will then attempt to link themselves with River Oaks by simple association just so they can say they "live in" River Oaks. Over time as more and more people start naming themselves as River Oaks the boundary that once was the actual River Oaks begins to be diminished. As the name River Oaks expands the name will get further diluted over time to a point where nobody really understands what River Oaks even means anymore, and its at that point you would then start to see a shift or change. Its a natural and emergent phenomena that's really interesting once you look into it.

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1 minute ago, Luminare said:

Well I don't remember there being a lake on site, so I guess thats progress?!

I believe those were old fuel/chemical tanks used for chemical experiments after all this was the old Exxon Chemical offices/labs.

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The way I understand "River Oaks" is north of Westhimer, west of Shepherd , and east of Willowick with a further westward bulge to Inverness. All this calling areas all the way to the Loop "River Oaks" seems like to put it politely pure piffle. If you don't live in River Oaks pretending doesn't make it so. 

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7 hours ago, Twinsanity02 said:

The way I understand "River Oaks" is north of Westhimer, west of Shepherd , and east of Willowick with a further westward bulge to Inverness. All this calling areas all the way to the Loop "River Oaks" seems like to put it politely pure piffle. If you don't live in River Oaks pretending doesn't make it so. 

I have a hard time thinking of anything west of those train tracks as River Oaks, though apparently anything north of Afton Oaks and East of the loop is.

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This discussion on boundaries got covered on the previous pages of this thread.

The RO doesn’t fall within the boundaries of River Oaks, Upper Kirby or Greenway Plaza.

Google any one of those with “Boundary Map” and you will see the borders. Some maps are more accurate and detailed then others. Take Realtor provided boundary maps with a grain of salt.

With the boundary of River Oaks being a block away, and the name “The RO” not being used elsewhere it’s no surprise they used it. Maybe the initials RO don’t actually even stand for River Oaks? 🤔

Centerpoint has been doing work along W. Alabama replacing poles and aging equipment. Sanitary Sewer updates have taken place along Buffalo Spdwy and W. Alabama is supposed to get updated in the coming years on the Upper Kirby (Buffalo to Shepherd) and COH (Buffalo to Weslayan) sides. Both plans would replace storm sewers, replace the streets, add sidewalks and add bike lanes.

As for the RO, last I heard they were looking for more Capital. Bears the question if Spear Street is still on board.

I’m just hoping in the short term, they fix this leaking valve that has been pouring water since the freeze last year.

That’s it. That’s all I know for now.

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40 minutes ago, Geoff8201 said:

This discussion on boundaries got covered on the previous pages of this thread.

The RO doesn’t fall within the boundaries of River Oaks, Upper Kirby or Greenway Plaza.

Google any one of those with “Boundary Map” and you will see the borders. Some maps are more accurate and detailed then others. Take Realtor provided boundary maps with a grain of salt.

With the boundary of River Oaks being a block away, and the name “The RO” not being used elsewhere it’s no surprise they used it. Maybe the initials RO don’t actually even stand for River Oaks? 🤔

Centerpoint has been doing work along W. Alabama replacing poles and aging equipment. Sanitary Sewer updates have taken place along Buffalo Spdwy and W. Alabama is supposed to get updated in the coming years on the Upper Kirby (Buffalo to Shepherd) and COH (Buffalo to Weslayan) sides. Both plans would replace storm sewers, replace the streets, add sidewalks and add bike lanes.

As for the RO, last I heard they were looking for more Capital. Bears the question if Spear Street is still on board.

I’m just hoping in the short term, they fix this leaking valve that has been pouring water since the freeze last year.

That’s it. That’s all I know for now.

076B7B8C-8BE9-41B1-A023-EE0585BC9C6F.jpeg

1171699C-810A-4271-A0AD-AF26BF53A5C9.jpeg

Good luck filing a 311 complaint. Every time I fill one out it gets sent back that I need to take further action. It's completely ridiculous. The city never just forwards it to the proper channel. And matter's like this pic above take months to fix. It seems the people at 311 enjoy doing the bare minimum. I have a chunk of utility pole hanging above a sidewalk on W Alabama that's been sitting that way for weeks with debris from what appears to be a car accident still not cleaned up by Upper Kirby Management District. 

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6 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Good luck filing a 311 complaint. Every time I fill one out it gets sent back that I need to take further action. It's completely ridiculous. The city never just forwards it to the proper channel. And matter's like this pic above take months to fix. It seems the people at 311 enjoy doing the bare minimum. I have a chunk of utility pole hanging above a sidewalk on W Alabama that's been sitting that way for weeks with debris from what appears to be a car accident still not cleaned up by Upper Kirby Management District. 

If it's a power pole, call Centerpoint. The City doesn't fix Centerpoint's stuff.

On 1/14/2022 at 4:49 PM, hindesky said:

I believe those were old fuel/chemical tanks used for chemical experiments after all this was the old Exxon Chemical offices/labs.

A friend worked there., It was Exxon Production Research, later Upstream Research. I think the Chemicals research part of Exxon is in New Jersey or somewhere up that way.

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9 minutes ago, Ross said:

If it's a power pole, call Centerpoint. The City doesn't fix Centerpoint's stuff.

A friend worked there., It was Exxon Production Research, later Upstream Research. I think the Chemicals research part of Exxon is in New Jersey or somewhere up that way.

Yeah I know but my issue is instead of them forwarding my complaint they force you to go back and call them yourself. Of all of the issues I've reported from sidewalks to debris, I get varying answers from 311 on what the city handles and what it doesn't. 

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On 1/15/2022 at 2:58 AM, Big E said:

I have a hard time thinking of anything west of those train tracks as River Oaks, though apparently anything north of Afton Oaks and East of the loop is.

I think it's just supposed to sound "prestigious." There are businesses that use "River Oaks" in their name as far east as Montrose, and even south of 59. 

Unfortunately, I think Google uses stuff like business names (e.g. "popular opinion") in how they define an area on their maps. So, someday we may see the entirety of the west loop evolve into "River Oaks." haha

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