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We've heard the "everything on schedule, groundbreaking is coming in a few months" for over a year now. I wouldn't get your hopes up, especially in this environment.

This is an interesing one because my understanding had been that these guys had lots of equity in this thing and were somewhat buffered from financing issues. And everything has also pointed to these guys being longterm holders of this property. Obviously I'm hoping that the fact they are looking well down the road will keep them on schedule. Who knows what things will be like in a couple years when this thing is ready to go -- being the only mixed use development ready to take people on if the economy is on track would be a stellar position. But that's a lot of ifs.

One thing I did notice is that two lots of townhouses, four units, have now been fenced off along West Clay. I don't know when the developers acquired these, but I think the chainlink fencing around them is new.

The marketing building is a big project -- much more than the standard mobile home setup. I just hope that all of these steps mean that if this thing is delayed, it is just a delay and not the end of it. I think this thing can be great.

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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

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

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

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The marketing building is a big project -- much more than the standard mobile home setup. I just hope that all of these steps mean that if this thing is delayed, it is just a delay and not the end of it. I think this thing can be great.

Let's not forget about Turnberry's office.

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This is an interesing one because my understanding had been that these guys had lots of equity in this thing and were somewhat buffered from financing issues. And everything has also pointed to these guys being longterm holders of this property. Obviously I'm hoping that the fact they are looking well down the road will keep them on schedule. Who knows what things will be like in a couple years when this thing is ready to go -- being the only mixed use development ready to take people on if the economy is on track would be a stellar position. But that's a lot of ifs.

Yes, but unfortunately even with a lot of equity financing has dried up in a lot of cases. It may be that neither the developers or the bankers want to risk it right now. I hate it that projects like this appear to be canceled, leaving plots of vacant land scattered about.

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THIS needs to happen. I've said it before but I'll say it again, this is the BEST project to hit Houston in quite some time. The team behind it is A+ all the way. I've been in some of their projects on the East Coast. Good stuff and a HUGE improvement over Allen House.

It's a shame the overall US economy is so terrible. Institutions just aren't lending right now despite the "bailout." Wasn't that the point of giving them all that money?

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THIS needs to happen. I've said it before but I'll say it again, this is the BEST project to hit Houston in quite some time. The team behind it is A+ all the way. I've been in some of their projects on the East Coast. Good stuff and a HUGE improvement over Allen House.

It's a shame the overall US economy is so terrible. Institutions just aren't lending right now despite the "bailout." Wasn't that the point of giving them all that money?

agree with you 100000%... easily my favorite project

i have faith that the economy can start making a recovery by the end of next year, and if the price of oil increases back to $70+ range (and with what the fed is doing the dollar, it should) a lot of these projects will see the light of day.... just not for another couple of years

but perhaps i'm just being optimistic because i want to see this thing get off the ground in the worst way (along with BLVD place, highstreet, and river oaks shopping district)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Strictly for what it's worth...

I emailed the developers and asked when they expected to start construciton and they told me...this year.

Speculate away.

I still see work going on at the leasing office, and they have certainly turned that old warehouse into quite a space. I also see people out on the site itself so it's not like the property is sitting itotally idle ala High Street, Sonoma, Titan... Keep your fingers crossed.

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Strictly for what it's worth...

I emailed the developers and asked when they expected to start construciton and they told me...this year.

Speculate away.

I still see work going on at the leasing office, and they have certainly turned that old warehouse into quite a space. I also see people out on the site itself so it's not like the property is sitting itotally idle ala High Street, Sonoma, Titan... Keep your fingers crossed.

Thanks for sharing. The leasing office bears little resemblance to what it looked like 2 months ago.

An opening in early- to mid-2011 would seem like a reasonable bet. The fact that they have owned this property for 20+ years and plan to keep it for the long term future bodes well. Also, as a nearby resident, I think their plans fit the area perfectly and would be very successful in the long-term.

That said, I would be surprised (very happily so) if this actually broke ground in 2009. Just my pure gut feeling and nothing else.

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With the amount of money these guys have made off of Allen House over the last 20-30 years. They have enough equity to build probably 200 of these type of projects. Unlike Sonoma and Titan, I believe these guys are professional and they sure seem to be in this thing for the long-haul and not just to make a quick buck. My bet is that they can make this one happen even in this bad economy.

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This project reminds me a lot of The Woodlands Market Square or whatever its called, just on a much grander and sexier scale. This project NEEDS!!!! to happen. It doesnt sound like its lost steam, maybe just delayed but it will get done since these guys seem to have invested a lot of time and effort into this project.

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  • 2 weeks later...
This project reminds me a lot of The Woodlands Market Square or whatever its called, just on a much grander and sexier scale. This project NEEDS!!!! to happen. It doesnt sound like its lost steam, maybe just delayed but it will get done since these guys seem to have invested a lot of time and effort into this project.

This is definiely the best project to come to Houston since the Midtown Post development which created (renewed) a whole neighbordood in Houston (It is another story how CVS, Chase & Wachovia strip malls killed off it's expansion). This project will happen but the only question is how much this project will change before construction starts. Initial grand scale was nicer than this current version.

Anyways, this project has to happen because my money went to paying for this for 3 years via Allen house! :o

Irfan

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. . . the only question is how much this project will change before construction starts. Initial grand scale was nicer than this current version.

I agree that the initial version was better, but just for clarification, the change wasn't really one of scale was it? For instance, the buildings didn't seem to be altered much did they? The major changes I noticed were a repositioning of the streets and what looked to be a little less green area.

Ultimately, the actual "scale" of the project didn't seem to change much to me.

Old Swamplot article: http://swamplot.com/the-kink-is-gone-those...5-14/#more-2004

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  • 3 weeks later...
Photolitherland said on SSP that they need 30% leased before beginning construction:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=164775

We don't speak of the others from SSP.

But 30% is reasonable, but I don't think that it will happen with such a low rate. Seems too good to be true. Usually 50% or more is the cut off.

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Photolitherland said on SSP that they need 30% leased before beginning construction:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=164775

I wonder if that's 30% of the office building (which by the way is listed as Phase I; not sure what else is part of that) or 30% of the entire development. My guess is the office building.

Edited by lockmat
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I wonder if that's 30% of the office building (which by the way is listed as Phase I; not sure what else is part of that) . . .

Regarding Phase I, the initial plans were for everything West of Dunlavy to be Phase I (with perhaps the exception of residential highrise(s), which wouldn't be built until market conditions are right). Everything East of Dunlavy was to be Phase II.

Now the economy has tanked, who knows what their plans for Phase I are. I'd just be thrilled if there ever is any sort of Phase I...

Edited by uhlaw09
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wow, "Going up" needs to have a sub-thread....."Going Down"

I know that architecture people like little models of buildings almost as much as the building themselves, so the next time any of you are over this way be sure to stop by the new leasing office (in the old warehouse on Dunlavy) and be sure to check out the model of the development in the front window. It would be such a breath of fresh air to see it come to fruition...

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  • 1 month later...
To be eligible for the money, the development company must begin making public improvements to underground utilities and streetscapes by Oct. 1, begin work on the private aspects of the development by Oct. 1, 2010

Oct 2010? This tells me they're thinking this will be a very long recession.

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Well this blows. I don't think a "stimulus package" would be the answer, either. That land is too valuable to sit vacant for that long. We don't need city dollars to pay for another half-built Allen Parkway version of the Pavilions. Just wait 5-10 years for the right thing to come along.

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I hope the stimulus package works. I've had a few friends that have worked on this Regent Square project and they all swear it is the coolest thing they have seen planned for Houston in a long time. This is NOT a Houston Pavilions type of deal. This is much more like West Ave (live, work, play) but ten times the scale and with MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer public spaces and parks that will integrate into the parkways along the bayou.

This is the ONE project that I have wished for more than any other because it could really set the tone for future inner loop development.

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Yeah they really need to make this happen. Damn Boston people, they suck more than just being annoying red sox and patriots fans.

So has anyone done the math on how much rental revenue they lost by tearing down so quickly and not doing a damn thing? It would make me sick to hear, I can only imagine how it makes the property owners feel.

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I hope the stimulus package works. I've had a few friends that have worked on this Regent Square project and they all swear it is the coolest thing they have seen planned for Houston in a long time. This is NOT a Houston Pavilions type of deal. This is much more like West Ave (live, work, play) but ten times the scale and with MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer public spaces and parks that will integrate into the parkways along the bayou.

This is the ONE project that I have wished for more than any other because it could really set the tone for future inner loop development.

yeah, i have some friends who have done a lot of urban planning and development work for this project and they have all gushed about it... pretty much the ideal mixed-use development that would thrive in that part of town.

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I hope the stimulus package works. I've had a few friends that have worked on this Regent Square project and they all swear it is the coolest thing they have seen planned for Houston in a long time. This is NOT a Houston Pavilions type of deal. This is much more like West Ave (live, work, play) but ten times the scale and with MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer public spaces and parks that will integrate into the parkways along the bayou.

This is the ONE project that I have wished for more than any other because it could really set the tone for future inner loop development.

its funny how we all respond on here (for the most part wanting it) and how they respond on the Chron (not wanting it). Its hard for the regular Houstonian to understand the value of this type of development. Okay, the economy is not doing well know, but it eventually will be doing good. They look at the HP development and say okay that isn't doing so well at the moment so we don't need another like it when that is really not the case. I believe this development will help bring Houston up, giving it a new urban area outside of downtown which Houston doesn't have much of. Once people actually see this place, I guaranty it will be in high demand.

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Once people actually see this place, I guaranty it will be in high demand.

The total number of apartment units was supposed to ultimately be 1,740, and you can be sure that they would all be priced at very high rental rates. Projects like this aren't cheap, after all. The question is not whether there is demand; I'd live there at a certain price but would never under any circumstances live there if I'm charged rental rates that realistically reflect the costs of construction. So the question is not whether there is demand, it is how much demand is there, how quickly can it be achieved, at what rental rates, and whether it is sufficient to justify the capitalized cost of construction as well as the property's operating expenses.

Honestly, for a project of this scope, a $10 million subsidy arranged by the City may as well be loose pocket change. Unless GID is just following the advice of its political consultants and trying to squeeze every last dime from the City before they resume progress towards a groundbreaking (one way or the other), it's not likely to change anything.

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its funny how we all respond on here (for the most part wanting it) and how they respond on the Chron (not wanting it). Its hard for the regular Houstonian to understand the value of this type of development.

I think a lot of folks on here are developers, afficionados of architecture, construction folks, etc. Audience is important.

I once heard the president of a large engineering firm say he'd never put an engineer in charge of bidding turn-key jobs. His reasoning was that engineers want to build things. Because of that, they are sometimes blinded by that desire and it influences how they evaluate the economics and viability of the project. I think developers do that too. Like engineers they want to build things that make their fellow developer friends and associates go "ohh, you worked on that!?" or "ohh, look how neat that is". It's only natural.

At the end of the day, no matter how cool it is... if the market demand isn't there it won't end well. And the mass market a project this size requires isn't fellow developers. That mass-market includes most a LOT of those Chron readers.

Edited by Gooch
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Honestly, for a project of this scope, a $10 million subsidy arranged by the City may as well be loose pocket change. Unless GID is just following the advice of its political consultants and trying to squeeze every last dime from the City before they resume progress towards a groundbreaking (one way or the other), it's not likely to change anything.

That's what I thought when I heard about it... $10M seems like a drop in the bucket. But do you think the city would really be pushing for this deal publicly if they didn't already have some kind of tacit agreement that it would make a difference? There'd be egg on their face if they approve it but the developers still walk away, no? (I'm asking... I'm not expressing an opinion.)

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That's what I thought when I heard about it... $10M seems like a drop in the bucket. But do you think the city would really be pushing for this deal publicly if they didn't already have some kind of tacit agreement that it would make a difference? There'd be egg on their face if they approve it but the developers still walk away, no? (I'm asking... I'm not expressing an opinion.)

If the developers walk away the infrastructure and streetscape improvements aren't done.

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If the developers walk away the infrastructure and streetscape improvements aren't done.

Ten million doesn't seem like much, but I have a hunch that is misleading. There might be a $10 million stimulus push to get them rolling, but I bet the long-term tax benefits are much greater than that. To someone like GID, who appears to look at this as a long-term holding and not a flip, that could be very appealing. I would think they would have a definite advantage positioning themselves in the market if the TIRZ funds went back to them and not to the TIRZ generally as it would for their competition, which is my understanding.

I think that was a good observation about a tacit agreement before the City announced it. I too would be surprised if the City threw that carrot out there knowing the backlash they could face without having any idea if it would be accepted. Interestingly enough, the vote yesterday was postponed by a weeke, presumably to let the story wither in the Chron...

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I received this email from an assistant VP at JE Dunn this morning.

It was in response to a question on if the project is still happening.

"Off site utility work is scheduled to begin late summer or early fall of this year. The main project is schedule for late summer or early fall of next year. The country's banking situation is to blame for the delays to date. Hopefully things will continue to improve allowing the project may start sooner than later (maybe second quarter of 2010)."
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The story seems quite vague; did they approve the tax incentive, or did they approve the actual project? Eh?

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The story seems quite vague; did they approve the tax incentive, or did they approve the actual project? Eh?

Haha. That 3-sentence story is uninformative, to say the least. The meeting was to approve the tax incentive.

The Chron.com article is much better:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6365125.html

Regarding whether this means that Regent Square will go forward or not, the article states:

In exchange, Boston-based GID Urban Development Group, which had been on the brink of putting the project on hold indefinitely, has agreed to begin work on the public improvements by Oct. 1, and initiate the private aspects of the property by Oct. 1, 2010. It also will provide 150 free parking spaces and rehabilitate a nearby historically black cemetery.

Personally, I don't think this approval means anything definitive about whether Regent Square will actually break ground or not. It seems as though they have to start the public improvements by Oct. 1, 2009 if they want the tax incentive, but we really have no way of knowing whether they are actually going to do so.

Edited by uhlaw09
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Well, since there is some reason for renewed optimism, here is the Phase I model in the Leasing Center:

W. Dallas at Dunlavy, looking Westward:

regent_square_2_fs.jpg

Allen Parkway at Dunlavy:

regent_square_march_2009_fs.jpg

W. Dallas at Dunlavy:

regent_square_5_fs.jpg

Regent Park (off of W. Dallas):

reget_square_6_fs.jpg

W. Clay at Woodhead:

regent_square_3_fs.jpg

W. Dallas looking Eastward from River Oaks:

regent_square_4_fs.jpg

These are available here: http://www.naberkowitz.com/leasingcenter.shtml

Edited by uhlaw09
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Im pretty sure the tax incentive, the actual project has been approved for maybe a year now.

Exactly. While there may, in fact, be revisions and redesigns of the project requiring city approval, this is dealing more with the financial incentives.

Heh.

Not that I'm trying to belittle the project (believe me, I think it's very exciting), I can't help but think of the opening to Mister Roger's Neighborhood when I see this image.

reget_square_6_fs.jpg

Edited by The Great Hizzy!
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Not that I'm trying to belittle the project (believe me, I think it's very exciting), I can't help but think of the opening to Mister Roger's Neighborhood when I see this image.

That's exactly what I was thinking! haha, and apparently urbanerd too.

You rock Uhlaw, thanks

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Allen Parkway at Dunlavy:

regent_square_march_2009_fs.jpg

I don't see any of the towers in these shots. There should be a mid sized one at the bottom right side of this picture.

Edited by lockmat
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I don't see any of the towers in these shots. There should be a mid sized one at the bottom right side of this picture.

Maybe they made the model before they redesigned Regent Square and/or the towers are not part of Phase I.

Edited by UpuPUp!
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If I am not mistaken, the proposed highrise is a ways off from the sites shown in the model. Perhaps it is a different phase?

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I don't see any of the towers in these shots. There should be a mid sized one at the bottom right side of this picture.

I remember an article stating that the condo towers being discussed here would not be built in Phase I, and instead would be built on an ad hoc basis only if, and when, the market conditions are right. I think the office building at Allen Pkwy and Dunlavy was the only 10+ story building that they confirmed would be built in Phase I. That seems consistent with the model.

Along those same lines, I stumbled across this online recently. An international architecture website published it, but I can't find any renderings online. Surely this is describing the proposed large condo tower on W. Dallas:

UNITED STATES

Highly-anticipated designs for a 28-storey residential tower in Houston have finally been revealed. The Regent Square tower will include 150 condominiums, a 1,400 square metre amenity deck and 930 square metres of indoor amenity areas. The design features floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive views of downtown Houston. The development is part of a broader plan to transform the area to a vibrant urban community and promote a mixed-use neighbourhood.

http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/article/Global-round-up/473808.aspx

Edited by uhlaw09
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