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I think they should put a Signature Bus line down there, not BRT. There isn't much of a difference between the two though. I like that website Highway 6. Are those lines listed at the bottom really going to be LRT?

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I think they should put a Signature Bus line down there, not BRT. There isn't much of a difference between the two though. I like that website Highway 6. Are those lines listed at the bottom really going to be LRT?

It is Christof's representation of Metro's stated goals as expressed in their Metro Solution when it was initially released. So, think of it as Metro's dream vision.... but the extents of each line, exact location, LRT vs BRT, etc. is up to the financial realities. I think given enough time, since Metro is putting the tracks down on all the BRTs planned for the current phase, and given ridership increases... i think Metro plans to eventually convert all BRT to LRT.. otherwise its a big waste of infrastructure...

Enough rail discussion in this thread though, we got plenty other threads for that.... i only responded initially to show that rail down Dallas to Allen House is a far-fetched dream at this time.

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Surprised I'm the first to post this revelation (at least I think I am), but the Allen House is slated to be re-developed. Notices were on the doors of 3535 and 3505 Dallas and 3601 Allen Pkwy. June 1 closing.

Mixed used development planned...kind of explains all of the recent structure torn down in the area.

Surely the Chronicle will be on this news.

As for me, well its been home for a bunch of years...

Regent Square will do wonders for The Royalton or will it?

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The area is now fenced off, and it looks like demolition should begin soon. I also noticed some signs regarding a public hearing, but I drove by too fast to notice a date.

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The area is now fenced off, and it looks like demolition should begin soon. I also noticed some signs regarding a public hearing, but I drove by too fast to notice a date.

The hearing was the 19th. Basically they want to get an allowance around setback and visibility triangles and want an exception to the maximum fire hose drag (will be sprinkled-entirely). Also, I think they wanted to re-plat the whole property in one piece from thirty.

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The hearing was the 19th. Basically they want to get an allowance around setback and visibility triangles and want an exception to the maximum fire hose drag (will be sprinkled-entirely). Also, I think they wanted to re-plat the whole property in one piece from thirty.

This is truly going to be massive. I wonder if the design differs much from renderings we have on here. I'm also curious to know as to how the phases are going to be constructed out.

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If we forget, maybe you could post the video link after they run it?

Thanks for the info

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Demoliton of the Allen House is soon approaching in a couple of weeks but one pretty cool thing about it is that the developers have teamed up with Historic Houston to preserve some of the finishes like doors, fountains, hardware, etc from the old Allen House apartments to be recycled and used for other projects (Habitat, etc). Channel 11 (Doug Miller) did a story on it 2 weeks ago this Friday as his last on-air piece since he got a promotion and is now "behind the scenes."

On another note, about 50+ architects from all 5 of the national firms who are collaboratively working on the project and the developer got together in Houston a couple of weeks ago for a "design charrette" to make final design decisions on the new Regent Square mixed-use project such as brick, windows, etc. From what I saw it looks really good and is going to be a very unique "PEDESTRIAN FOCUSED" development.

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I noticed on my way to the airport today that the buildings fronting Allen Parkway are nearly 100% demolished now too. Surprised there isn't more chatter about this project. This is my absolute favorite of all the new projects because the scale and location are top notch.

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Driving along West Dallas this morning, it looked like the bulldozers were in action on the blocks on both sides of the street. Shouldn't be too much longer until both blocks are cleared out. I'll try to get some photos soon.

I don't think this has been posted, but check out this site which shows some of the outlines and leasing plans.

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Demoliton of the Allen House is soon approaching in a couple of weeks but one pretty cool thing about it is that the developers have teamed up with Historic Houston to preserve some of the finishes like doors, fountains, hardware, etc from the old Allen House apartments to be recycled and used for other projects (Habitat, etc). Channel 11 (Doug Miller) did a story on it 2 weeks ago this Friday as his last on-air piece since he got a promotion and is now "behind the scenes."

On another note, about 50+ architects from all 5 of the national firms who are collaboratively working on the project and the developer got together in Houston a couple of weeks ago for a "design charrette" to make final design decisions on the new Regent Square mixed-use project such as brick, windows, etc. From what I saw it looks really good and is going to be a very unique "PEDESTRIAN FOCUSED" development.

What a great idea to use some of the old finishes and fountains from Allen House. I am really impressed with the developers' vision. I thought the plans what were posted at the beginning of this thread were a pipe-dream, but I believe now! B)

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Whats new with this?

I would think it's probably still in the process of being demo'd. It hasn't been that long since they began.

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only 2 small sections left to take down; the rest of it is just dirt at this point. I've got a perfect view of the entire site out my office window. If I remember will take a couple of pics before it's completely gone. I worked in the same location 12 years ago and just recently returned. The velocity of change is amazing. Of course then the north side of the bayou was still grain elevators and abandoned industrial. Cool stuff.

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A look at the blocks involved, taken today...

Allen Pkwy/Dunlavy/W. Dallas/Tirrell

East View

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South View

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W. Dallas/Dunlavy/W. Clay

East View

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Up Dunlavy

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A remaining portion of the Allen House Apartments on the W.Dallas/Rosine/W.Clay/Dunlavy Block

DSC01960.jpg

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A look at the blocks involved, taken today...

There were apartments there before? I didn't know grass could grow over so quick.

Hey, I know me and others really appreciate the pics you take. thanks again

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Bad news, folks. Forget everything you've seen, heard or read about this project. The developer has gone back to the drawing board. The numbers didn't work. We'll have to wait and see what they come up with next.

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No offense bpe3, but why would a highly regarded development team not know that the numbers wouldn't work PRIOR to tearing down hundreds of occupied units?

Wouldn't the numbers have needed to be crunched before lending was secured? Wouldn't lending be needed in order for eviction and demolition to occur?

I hope you are just the bearer of a really bad rumor.

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No offense bpe3, but why would a highly regarded development team not know that the numbers wouldn't work PRIOR to tearing down hundreds of occupied units?

Wouldn't the numbers have needed to be crunched before lending was secured? Wouldn't lending be needed in order for eviction and demolition to occur?

Numbers are re-crunched about a dozen times before a project breaks ground, and any one iteration of a financial model can kill the project as proposed. The capital markets just tightened up over the last several months, and it caught a lot of folks by surprise. If the rumor is true, I'll bet that the culprit is either difficulty getting debt financing or a sensitivity analysis that revealed insufficient profitability given updated financial projections.

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I'm sure the website is the last thing on their mind if a rumor like this is true, but for what it's worth, it's still up.

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This isn't a rumor. I live near this project. I want it to work more than anyone. The numbers don't work though. The original assumptions were way off. They bid it to their GC's and the costs were too high to justify the project based on the rents or sales prices they think they can get. End of story.

There wasn't much risk tearing down the existing buildings. They are going to build something here. It's just going to be different than what we've seen in the renderings to date.

Note to readers: This is where the facts end and my personal speculation begins ----------------------

My guess is that they will shrink the size of the residential structures to the same four-story, podium-style construction we're seeing elsewhere. The cost difference between stick-built vs. mid-rise is substantial. It's very hard to justify mid-rise construction with rents where they currently stand. Yes, there are some condo deals getting done, but it's much harder to finance a condo deal than a rental deal. A deal this big would need a huge amount of pre-sales (time consuming and speculative) or a huge equity investment (expensive) to get financed. The project, as origianlly concived, doesn't work as a rental.

The retail componenet will shrink. There was a lot more retail in this deal than the development itself could support. Retailers here would have to draw from a large area to be successful here. Yes, the surrounding area is fairly dense, affluent and growing. Yes, these are strong retail site characteristics. Accessability is a problem here though. Buffalo Bayou is a barrier to the north and northeast. River Oaks doesn't have enough rooftops. Memorial Park has no residents. The area to the south is fine. Without a doubt, this a fantastic neighborhood. You have to admit though, it's not exactly easy to get to, unless you're already in the neighborhood. There are also visibility issues. This isn't the Rice Village. This isn't Highland Village. This isn't the Galleria. There is clearly some retail demand, but it's much less than they drew into the original plans.

The hotel portion will be axed. This isn't a hotel site. High end hotels in Houston need to be in the Galleria, Downtown or the Med Center. IF the rest of the project had penciled out as designed, the incredible development itself MAYBE could have made a hotel deal work. Maybe. Still a stretch though. A hotel will never happen here now. Forget about it.

I think when it's all said and done, we'll get a very nice project here that will be welcome addition to the neighborhood. It's just going to look a lot more like Post Midtown and less like the drawings they've put forth to date.

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Guest danax
I think when it's all said and done, we'll get a very nice project here that will be welcome addition to the neighborhood. It's just going to look a lot more like Post Midtown and less like the drawings they've put forth to date.

Or maybe they'll just sell since money has tightened up and use the cash for another project. They bought this in the 80s so there's some profit there.

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Although this project looked pretty cool, a similar project closer to the Metro Rail (Downtown or Midtown), or close to one of the proposed lines would be more exciting.

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As the developer of Regent Square, I assure you Regent Square is on track. We are on schedule to meet our original opening date of Fall 2010. We have been honing the design to improve efficiencies as all developers do. We have found ways to build the project faster which has allowed us to push back our start date to third quarter 2008.

It is the same project as we announced in January 2007. The facades, architectural styles, wide sidewalks, street trees, narrow driving streets with parallel parking and overall pedestrian orientation are the same. The building heights are the same, a mix of 4, 5, 8 and more stories, with residential and office over groundfloor retail. The scale of retail, residential and office remain the same. The West Dallas park is the same. The six design firms are still fully represented, including David Schwarz, Robert AM Stern.

We are barreling forward to deliver the most walkable and most loved urban mixed use neighborhood built in Houston in the next 50 years.

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Thanks for the update RegentSquare! I am excited about the project but am also curious about how well the hotel portion will do. While the I am sure the residential/retail will be a hit, not so sure about how much traffic a hotel would get.

Edited by jayshoota

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Yeah, it kind of looks like bpe3 didn't have as much insider knowledge as he thought. Thanks for the update.

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Yeah, it kind of looks like bpe3 didn't have as much insider knowledge as he thought. Thanks for the update.

Unless RegentSquare is a poser.

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Yeah, we heard all about how Mosaic was not going to be built for all kinds of reasons and 2727 Kirby was dead in the water. I see no reason why someone would be a poser on the board. Of course, there are a lot of crazies out there; but if RegentSquare is the developer ... :wub:

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I went to their website and emailed their info person. They said everything is on track.

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As the developer of Regent Square, I assure you Regent Square is on track.

It certainly is nice to hear things straight from the mouth of the purported horse. Make it happen RegentSquare!

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I REALLY want this thing to happen. I hope to be proven wrong.

I guess we'll wait and see what happens when the 3rd quarter rolls around.

Statements like this don't make a lot of sense to me though.

We have found ways to build the project faster which has allowed us to push back our start date to third quarter 2008.

If you can build it faster, build it faster. Start now and finish sooner. If the plans are set, and the financing is set, pull the trigger. What benefit comes from waiting??? .....unless you're not really ready.

It's great to know the design firms are still involved, but that really means very little at this point. Have they selected a GC? Is the contact signed? Who's making the contruction loan? Is the loan commitment signed? Are all the loan contingencies met? I assume GID is thowing in the land as their equity? Is that enough? Are there other equity partners? Who are they? How committed are they?

For the record, I have no direct connection to this project at all. But I think my information (and speculation) is pretty good.

We'll see.

bpe3

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I REALLY want this thing to happen. I hope to be proven wrong.

I guess we'll wait and see what happens when the 3rd quarter rolls around.

Statements like this don't make a lot of sense to me though.

If you can build it faster, build it faster. Start now and finish sooner. If the plans are set, and the financing is set, pull the trigger. What benefit comes from waiting??? .....unless you're not really ready.

It's great to know the design firms are still involved, but that really means very little at this point. Have they selected a GC? Is the contact signed? Who's making the contruction loan? Is the loan commitment signed? Are all the loan contingencies met? I assume GID is thowing in the land as their equity? Is that enough? Are there other equity partners? Who are they? How committed are they?

For the record, I have no direct connection to this project at all. But I think my information (and speculation) is pretty good.

We'll see.

bpe3

Your information and speculation make a decent bit of intuitive sense, but that doesn't mean that it has to play out that particular way. For something this large, it could be that they need to time completion of their project with the market, and waiting to break ground for another nine months will give time to their many competitors to lease up any excess new Class A supply...and there'll be plenty of it coming to market pretty soon. In contrast, the pace of new groundbreakings will likely peter off through the first part of this year since the capital markets have tightened up so much, so when they do deliver, it could be in a very favorable competitive environment.

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Let me join in the chorus of those who really want this to happen and, as someone who lives in Montrose, I hope they get a hotel. Since the demise of the Allen Park Inn it has become painfully obvious that there is nothing to serve the neighborhood. I realize that ZaZa and downtown aren't painfully far away, but my mom doesn't want to stay at ZaZa, staying downtown is kind of depressing, and I hate driving her to the Omni. So there. I think there is a niche. And I miss Prime Rib at the API at 1:30 a.m.

As far a the delay to the 3rd quarter, could one of the reasons be that they will also tear down the second section and complete all of this at once? I beleive this plan was for 2 phases, and the buildings east of Dunlavy are still standing. Is there some beneift to waiting until the remainder comes down and working on both phases at once? Just rank speculation on my part..

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Separately, since we may in fact have the developer's eyes on his thread, is there anything we can do to change the silly name before it's too late. Who came up with "Regent Square"? Did someone just pull that out of a fish bowl filled with generic real estate development names? Is there a college nearby? Who are these Regents?

How about we come up with a name that has at least some connection to the neighborhood or the city of Houston? The Allen Bros founded Houston. Allen's Landing, where it all started, is only a mile or so away. Allen Parkway follows the path of Buffalo Bayou straight upstream from Allen's Landing to the former site of Allen House Apartments. The Allen House name is familiar to many Houstonians. Why not call it Allen Square? Allen Center can be on one end of the street and Allen Square can be on the other end. Allen Parkway is one of the better known streets in the city. The name Allen Square would convey much more sense of place. Maybe call it Allen Square Park.

Who was the genius at GID that came up with the name "Windsor at Siena" for the former Siena Apartments on Studemont? The original name never had any meaning to begin with. Now you just want to put your Windsor brand in front of a meaningless name? If you're going to change it, why not change it to Windsor at Memorial Heights? At least that would give SOME indication where the property is located. How about Windsor on Studemont?

Someone has to stop these people. Who's idea was it to rename Westcreek Apartments to "Westcreek at River Oaks"? Does anyone know where these apartments are located? Hint: It's not in River Oaks. Same goes for the currently under construction Fairmont at the Museum District. Could they possibly be located in the Museum District? Unfortunately, No.

If you really intend to to build this excellent project (or even something else), please put some more thought into the name. I know you guys are from Boston, but calling it Regent Square makes about as much sense as calling it Yankees Suck Square.

bpe3

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If you really intend to to build this excellent project (or even something else), please put some more thought into the name.

bpe3

it COULD have been named after the street that goes through the development. but Dallas Square probably wouldn't work too well. ;)

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Funny to see this thread, I drove by there today for the first time in a while and the grass is THICK. It looks like a lush pasture out of a romantic painting somewhere. The novelty of the apartments being gone has just about worn off, but I couldn't get over how the lot wasn't overgrown at all with weeds or trash, it's just very very thick grass and looks quite odd to my untrained eye.

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I'd like to vote for "Yankees Suck Square" if they do indeed change the name of Regent's Square...

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Someone has to stop these people. Who's idea was it to rename Westcreek Apartments to "Westcreek at River Oaks"? Does anyone know where these apartments are located? Hint: It's not in River Oaks. Same goes for the currently under construction Fairmont at the Museum District. Could they possibly be located in the Museum District? Unfortunately, No.

I agree that real estate names often suck balls, but the intent is basically to say nothing of meaning, be consistently meaningless, and to say it nicely. Or to lie outright. The thought process works the same as in politics (i.e. "change", "hope", "we're going to pull out of Iraq immediately", etc.).

Btw, Westcreek is now the "Oaks District".

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I drove by there today for the first time in a while and the grass is THICK.

The parcel on the north side of Dallas Street has been heavily seeded with winter rye grass.

I'm sure that's the site you saw.

The parcel on the south side of Dallas Street has not been seeded at all.

It's mostly dirt with a few scattered weeds.

bpe3

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Someone has to stop these people. Who's idea was it to rename Westcreek Apartments to "Westcreek at River Oaks"? Does anyone know where these apartments are located? Hint: It's not in River Oaks. Same goes for the currently under construction Fairmont at the Museum District. Could they possibly be located in the Museum District? Unfortunately, No.

I was with you until you got to this point. Of course Westcreek isn't in River Oaks, but it's not far from it (The southwest corner of River Oaks is what, maybe two blocks up the road across San Felipe?), and Westcreek at River Oaks is a much more marketable name than, say, Westcreek at Afton Oaks, or just plain Westcreek. Picking a name is as much about marketing as it is about technical accuracy or geography. So while "Westcreek at River Oaks" isn't technically correct, I think you're kind of nitpicking.

But I'm with you on Regent Square. It does nothing for me.

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