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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I have to respectfully disagree. I went to San Antonio recently and that place is boring. I love what San Antonio is doing outside of the Riverwalk but the Riverwalk itself is outdated imo. They need to revamp that entire area. 

I think the main tourist area of the Riverwalk downtown is outdated as well, but there is a synergy that extends outside of the immediate downtown core that I personally find very attractive. What, if any, city would you like Htown to move towards or take inspiration from?

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Did some quick photoshop during my break of both Hanover and GID put together.   Existing Conditions:     Full Build Out of both Develepments:     Now

New Master plan with a number of tenants in mind   http://www.wordsearch.co.uk/work/regent-square/  

Website finally updated!!   http://regentsquarehouston.com/

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33 minutes ago, Triton said:

I'm excited we still have these towers but are they going for a clash of different architectures?

Different architecture makes it look like the buildings weren't all built at the same time. It helps make it feel more like a natural neighborhood. 

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29 minutes ago, SMU1213 said:

Different architecture makes it look like the buildings weren't all built at the same time. It helps make it feel more like a natural neighborhood. 

 

26 minutes ago, Timoric said:

I think different is good - ever tried to match granite on a project to existing?

Good points. Guess it will feel more natural. Hopefully we do actually get those buildings close to the bayou though. Love that older 1920s feel.

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So, how many new residential/hotel units are we adding along Allen Parkway, in the next 5-10 years?

 

Regent Square- 600 Apartment Units, per article

 

The Allen-  ?# Condo Units

The Allen- ?# Apartments Units

The Allen-  ?# Hotel Rooms

 

Hanover- ?# Apartment Units 

Hanover - ?# Hotel Rooms

 

Ismaili Center- ? Any residential units or hotel rooms as part of this project?

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15 minutes ago, shasta said:

So, how many new residential/hotel units are we adding along Allen Parkway, in the next 5-10 years?

 

Regent Square- 600 Apartment Units, per article

 

The Allen-  ?# Condo Units

The Allen- ?# Apartments Units

The Allen-  ?# Hotel Rooms

 

Hanover- ?# Apartment Units 

Hanover - ?# Hotel Rooms

 

Ismaili Center- ? Any residential units or hotel rooms as part of this project?

That is just Phase II of Regent Square. There are two more phases. You also have Wood Partners deal next to Hanover's. And the JLB site that burnt down that is under contract to another apartment developer. The corridor between Allen Pkwy and W Dallas has to have over 3,500 units planned. 

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2 hours ago, Triton said:

I'm excited we still have these towers but are they going for a clash of different architectures?

 

I think I've said in another thread that "Life is about tradeoffs". Fine-grain development is what we are after at this point, but this will lead to a "clash" of different styles, but this can lead to interesting variations in the environment that would make a walk in this environment more pleasing and interesting. Coarse-grain is also fine in certain instances when you want to holistic and integrated look. At this point we have enough coarse-grain development, and its time to start getting/accepting more variation. At some point we will want to switch back to coarse-grain when the variations get too chaotic to stomach. Normally from my experiences in Europe, fine-grain is great in areas which embrace variations, and non-conformity. They also work well for most situations in a given city (like your typical neighborhood block or street). Coarse-grain is great in areas that are centralized, or areas which are meant to convey a sense of authority or prominence. These areas embrace conformity, and consensus because its more about the integration of the whole rather than the sum of its parts.

Edited by Luminare
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For the next phase, which apparently is heavily office focused, does anyone know the stats on the office market in Houston right now and what trajectory it is headed right now?

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whatever happened to the second tower behind the Sovereign? @SMU1213

 

I imagine if this is phase 2, Phase 3 and 4 are the blocks bound by W. Dallas / Dunlavy / Allen Parkway / Tirrell and the block by the remaining Allen House...  Not sure what phase the 2nd Rochow St tower fits in?..

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12 minutes ago, Avossos said:

whatever happened to the second tower behind the Sovereign? @SMU1213

 

I imagine if this is phase 2, Phase 3 and 4 are the blocks bound by W. Dallas / Dunlavy / Allen Parkway / Tirrell and the block by the remaining Allen House...  Not sure what phase the 2nd Rochow St tower fits in?..

GID designed too expensive of a building so it is on the back burner for now.

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On 5/17/2019 at 12:53 PM, wilcal said:

 

Was curious so had to look it up.

 

HCAD just has 5 years of values... but OUCH.

 

3gB7tzh.png

 

2019 is almost $4,000/day in property taxes. 

 

So how much property tax has been "squandered" since 2007? $10 million? 

 

 

Apparently they weren't high enough. 

 

Our valuation system fails to discourage under-development. If instead we had a land-value tax, sites like this would be developed a lot faster (and we'd have a lot fewer surface parking lots downtown).

 

 

 

 

Also, looking for the parking in the rendering and I can't find it.

Edited by Angostura
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1 hour ago, Angostura said:

 

 

Apparently they weren't high enough. 

 

Our valuation system fails to discourage under-development. If instead we had a land-value tax, sites like this would be developed a lot faster (and we'd have a lot fewer surface parking lots downtown).

 

 

 

 

Also, looking for the parking in the rendering and I can't find it.

 

Why should the government be able to force you to develop something?

 

That's like taxing people who don't study for not "developing" the full potential of their mind lmao.

 

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5 minutes ago, iah77 said:

 

 

Why should the government be able to force you to develop something?

 

That's like taxing people who don't study for not "developing" the full potential of their mind lmao.

 

It doesn't seem like anyone is suggesting the government should force anyone to develop something.

 

The idea of property taxes being shifted to more land-based and less improvement-based is not a new concept, or an illiberal concept.  Land is scarce and finite; improvement is not.  Because taxes can be seen as a discouragement to do certain things, it makes sense that it's in the public interest to focus more on taxing the land than the improvement.  The Economist newspaper has advocated for this, too, as I recall.  To avoid vacant properties from increasing sprawl, which makes costs go up for everyone, some jurisdictions charge higher taxes for some vacant properties, too.  This is all a system of encouragement; nobody is forcing anything.

 

The Regent Square property has been a blight on central Houston for a long time now -- a giant fenced off field that is serving no use to anybody, aside from a small amount of vacant-land property taxes being paid.  Perhaps it would make sense for Texas to charge higher property tax rates on vacant or unused urban properties (like Regent Square and the old Holiday Inn downtown) to minimize blight and encourage investment.

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1 hour ago, iah77 said:

 

 

Why should the government be able to force you to develop something?

 

That's like taxing people who don't study for not "developing" the full potential of their mind lmao.

 

 

It's not about forcing anyone to do anything. It's about aligning the incentive structure to favor things we want and disfavor things we don't.

 

Taxing improvements and land equally disincentives investment, and encourages land speculation. As long as land appreciation exceeds the taxes, it can be profitable to sit on vacant land. Even more so if you get some parking revenue on it, which is why so much of the most valuable land in the city (downtown) is used for surface parking.

 

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4 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

 

Apparently they weren't high enough. 

 

Our valuation system fails to discourage under-development. If instead we had a land-value tax, sites like this would be developed a lot faster (and we'd have a lot fewer surface parking lots downtown).

 

We already have a land-value tax.  Apparently, you want more.

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2 hours ago, rechlin said:

It doesn't seem like anyone is suggesting the government should force anyone to develop something.

 

The idea of property taxes being shifted to more land-based and less improvement-based is not a new concept, or an illiberal concept.  Land is scarce and finite; improvement is not.  Because taxes can be seen as a discouragement to do certain things, it makes sense that it's in the public interest to focus more on taxing the land than the improvement.  The Economist newspaper has advocated for this, too, as I recall.  To avoid vacant properties from increasing sprawl, which makes costs go up for everyone, some jurisdictions charge higher taxes for some vacant properties, too.  This is all a system of encouragement; nobody is forcing anything.

 

The Regent Square property has been a blight on central Houston for a long time now -- a giant fenced off field that is serving no use to anybody, aside from a small amount of vacant-land property taxes being paid.  Perhaps it would make sense for Texas to charge higher property tax rates on vacant or unused urban properties (like Regent Square and the old Holiday Inn downtown) to minimize blight and encourage investment.

The Economist over the years had drifted leftwards and I think most people would agree there is no "shortage" of land in Texas. I would argue the opposite, that there is plenty of land and the problem here is improving it. The main cost of most project is the improvements and not the land.  Here we have a labor shortage and now materials have gone up with Trumps tariff along with insurance. The government here subsidizes sprawl via cheap highways and FHA loans which highly favor new homes and almost never fund condos or older homes. 

 

Augostura who is the "we" in what we want? I promise you your ideal city looks very different from mine lol. Is the land truly valuable if the owner has decided to leave it as parking? Most of the city I can guaranty you does not want to work in downtown and I'm not even sure the roads can handle more cars into it at peak hours. Real estate is very cyclical and your idea mainly only functions in an up cycle. Your idea might actually encourage the demolition of historic areas as many times the land value is so high to you it might not justify having a nice historic home on the very valuable lot etc but anyways just playing devils advocate since I don't mind either much. 

 

People don't seem to get that taxes discourage everything period. 

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Between taxes and pref, developers have plenty of incentive to put shovels in the ground as quickly as possible already. The exceptions are groups that have owned the land for decades (Regent Square) and their cost basis is so low they can afford to be patient or religious institutions (Islamic center) who don't pay taxes and have bottomless bank accounts. 

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16 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

We already have a land-value tax.  Apparently, you want more.

 

We currently have a property tax, not a land-value tax. That is, we tax a dollar's worth of land at the same rate as a dollar's worth of improvement. I'd prefer we lower the burden on improvement and raise it on land, but keep the total tax the same.

 

 

16 hours ago, iah77 said:

Angostura who is the "we" in what we want? I promise you your ideal city looks very different from mine lol. Is the land truly valuable if the owner has decided to leave it as parking? Most of the city I can guaranty you does not want to work in downtown and I'm not even sure the roads can handle more cars into it at peak hours. Real estate is very cyclical and your idea mainly only functions in an up cycle. Your idea might actually encourage the demolition of historic areas as many times the land value is so high to you it might not justify having a nice historic home on the very valuable lot etc but anyways just playing devils advocate since I don't mind either much. 

 

People don't seem to get that taxes discourage everything period. 

 

I don't think I'm along in thinking that having a lot of vacant lots in the CBD is not ideal. And there have been enough land transactions in the CBD to indicate that land there is pretty valuable. $15 to 40M per block, it seems. Maybe more in some parts of downtown. (The Chronicle building apparently went for north of $50M.)

 

Our current tax regime has actually been pretty effective at shifting some land in some neighborhoods to higher-value uses. The de-industrialization of the outskirts of the Heights in the last 5-7 years is an example, but the fact that there are so many surface parking lots downtown indicates that we can do better. An office tower on a full city block downtown might be assessed at $300M or so, while the surface lot across the street is assessed at less than a tenth of that. If we assessed both at (the equivalent of) $160M, many of those lots would cease to be vacant.

 

BTW, a lot of those empty lots are owned by a single entity connected to a Taiwanese oil company that seems perfectly content to sit on the land indefinitely. Click around the HCAD parcel map and look for land owned by "Golconda Venture". It's the equivalent of about 11 blocks, all vacant.

 

(W/r/t to demolition of "historic" areas... moo. With a few notable exceptions, most of what we currently call historic preservation is really just density prevention by other means. But that's a discussion for another thread.)

 

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8 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

Our current tax regime has actually been pretty effective at shifting some land in some neighborhoods to higher-value uses. The de-industrialization of the outskirts of the Heights in the last 5-7 years is an example, but the fact that there are so many surface parking lots downtown indicates that we can do better. An office tower on a full city block downtown might be assessed at $300M or so, while the surface lot across the street is assessed at less than a tenth of that. If we assessed both at (the equivalent of) $160M, many of those lots would cease to be vacant.

 

So you want a bunch of vacant building instead of a bunch of vacant lots. Because if you do what you are stating, I'd rather build a building and have it be 10% full so I'm bringing in some revenue to offset my taxes that are fixed whether the building is built or not. 

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3 hours ago, jgriff said:

 

Only real relevant info: ""If you look at the downsizing of some of the oil and gas companies, we’re not seeing the job growth in the 'A category' right now. And we’ve still got a significant number of units that are under construction to be delivered in the next 18 months," Greystar's Stacy Hunt said in a recent interview. "Today there are still a lot of properties, particularly inside the Loop, that are giving two months free rent."

 

One would think this would be a great area for condos/townhome/apartments mixed development, but its mostly apartments now. It is kinda nuts that Houston will go from a smattering of apartments there to 1600 apartments within a few years. That influx, particularly since they are high-end almost exclusively, is a bit worrisome as they note because how much of Houston really has 2k+ a month for an apartment. 

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34 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 

Only real relevant info: ""If you look at the downsizing of some of the oil and gas companies, we’re not seeing the job growth in the 'A category' right now. And we’ve still got a significant number of units that are under construction to be delivered in the next 18 months," Greystar's Stacy Hunt said in a recent interview. "Today there are still a lot of properties, particularly inside the Loop, that are giving two months free rent."

 

One would think this would be a great area for condos/townhome/apartments mixed development, but its mostly apartments now. It is kinda nuts that Houston will go from a smattering of apartments there to 1600 apartments within a few years. That influx, particularly since they are high-end almost exclusively, is a bit worrisome as they note because how much of Houston really has 2k+ a month for an apartment. 

 

m.e.h . I can understand the worry. However, this is east of River Oaks, south of the Washington Ave Corridor, north of Montrose, west of Downtown, right on Buffalo Bayou, near Memorial Park, and on Allen Parkway. This area was destined to be this way. You can't tell me with everything going around it that this area will not sell and for the prices they will be asking. Along with that people also forget who normally moves into these and thats people looking to make that next jump from a so-so apartment to a nice area with a much higher quality apartment. If anything this poses a question about apartments that are older and of lower quality particular ones built 30-40 years ago. Those 30-40 year old apartments will be vacated by those moving up the ladder, and will be the new homes for those who are just moving into the city either from the outside or the burbs, or those from poor neighborhoods who want easy entry into better neighborhoods on a budget. Then the cycle repeats. This is why we have 90% occupancy, yet at the same time we keep getting more and more new people into the city. I just moved some friends into Montrose a couple weeks ago, and while perception is that its hard to find something in Montrose it really isn't because of all the new construction going on its shifting those who used to live in the older apartments because that was the only thing around, apartments wise. Build new to draw the people with money to leave older places and then the older places will market to sell to those who have little money so they can remain operation and cover costs. Rinse and repeat.

 

EDIT: Of course it goes without saying that it might be the case that even with what I just said the market might be getting a bit too hot for the actual rate at which people are shifting, and that is okay. They market will readjust and cool off and then will get hot again.

Edited by Luminare
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There are very few large complexes 30-40 years old inside the loop due to the sewage-related building restrictions in the 1970s (probably ended up being a good thing in the 1980s). I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the central core (inside Shepherd) had an dearth of real multifamily options until the last 10-15 years when compared with other cities.
 

I’d imagine the market that is going to be most pressured is the West Loop as well as some of the older Midtown units (but are there really that many?).

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14 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

There are very few large complexes 30-40 years old inside the loop due to the sewage-related building restrictions in the 1970s (probably ended up being a good thing in the 1980s). I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the central core (inside Shepherd) had an dearth of real multifamily options until the last 10-15 years when compared with other cities.
 

I’d imagine the market that is going to be most pressured is the West Loop as well as some of the older Midtown units (but are there really that many?).

 

@Luminare is right in that there are a number of much older units. Also, surprisingly(?),  there are a bunch of ooold townhomes/condos/smaller apartments all along Westheimer/Bissonnet. There are pockets of older facilities all over the inner-loop that are being targeted by real estate companies as easy acquisitions for the opportunity to update and flip. So I can see that. I agree alot of the pressure will be on the West loop where developers are really pushing for that oil and gas crowed.

 

And I also agree with Lum that you would think people would pay an incredibly pretty penny to have a house or apartment there, so I get why these are "luxury" apartments versus just regular apartments. Its incredibly puzzling that the Bayou area wasn't developed before. Having grown up on the south side of Houston, I always assumed that was where the rich people lived, but when I started to visit the park and that area more frequently I realized they were...just empty lots and fields. Weird. Just odd there wasn't significant development there before.

Edited by X.R.
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