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X.R.

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  1. John's giving me major mid-90s/early 00's Houston mayor vibes. If you view Houston from the typical older Memorial resident's lense, I feel like alot of his decisions make sense. I met him through the years at the burger place in the memorial's golf club. He's probably going to look to "build partnerships" with the corporations to sponsor stuff, which will be fine, but their upper management is going to be like "hey we really hate xyz about X part of Houston" and it will leave alot of Houstonians miffed as to why things are changing that weren't explicitly part of his platform.
  2. Am I missing something or is Houston not on there? Or is the point that the Astros are still so far away that they aren't even considered to be under consideration yet?
  3. Agreed. From a real estate play standpoint, it makes sense however. As any development with heavy upfront capital costs they want to people who can sign 5+ year leases with great credit. They got those leases signed at a very respectable clip, and the lease rate is good. Real startups unfortunately do not have great credit and sometimes do not finish their lease. But I think the potential is still there. They've gotten good leases, still attracting bigger name restaurants (a good barometer for the underlying economics being provided by the brokers), and their strategy guys probably have told them the land's value is going to jump with 59 buried, so there is comfort there. Money is probably stable. Now is the time to really see where it goes. Who knows, they could offer exactly what real startups would want in phase 2. The problem @bobruss, is if it doesn't fit in the direction Rice wants to go, you can't just sit on your hands and you certainly can't sell for a while since TxDot is about to goose their property's value via the 59 work. If you stall out the project, or mismanage it, the midtown malaise will hit the development and then it REALLY wouldn't fit Rice's vision. If they don't want to set fire to their money, they will continue to develop and maintain and curate, just in a slower fashion. Edit: By far the saddest outcome would be if they sold it to some Rice alum private equity people, but the funniest is they sell it to UoH who only can buy it with partial funding/support from Tilman. The Ion, brought to you by Landry's.
  4. Sorry for the long post. I agree to an extent it was a real estate play by Rice, you got a sense from the interviews that there was a bit of "how can we expand the campus in a way that makes sense for us, while generating cash from using the endowment." From the brokers they've worked with that I talked to, I get a sense they aren't just handing out leases wanting just about anyone, but generally know what type of business/restaurant they want. So I disagree there was a lack of real vision. Now, if that vision leads them to eat poo, I can't speak to that. We talked about it earlier in this thread, but this is still a Rice project and it still has to serve their interests, which is interested (to me) in maintaining or improving their current stature so to continue to attract the best talent. They have robust access to O&G and the med center is on their doorstep but their students miss out on Houston-based tech and startup scene. So they created it. What they are doing to Rice Village I think is indicative of where they are going with the Ion. The village is being molded into an area that serves a particular type of Houstonian (think West U resident and successful rice alums), after decidely not being that for a long time. Similarly, the type of companies/startups they want to attract for the Ion to expose their students to is not your bootstrapped, could go bottoms-up startup but the types of companies their alumni are most familiar, and that compliments the types of opportunities they already offer students. I think thats reflected in the current mix of clientelle as @CREguy13highlighted, private equity, VCs, and the clean energy offerings from the O&G comapnies. Rice MBA funnels people into consulting, wouldn't be suprised if we see a Big 4 consulting open up there and the focus of that office is startups. Even the restuarants and bars have more in common with Rice Village than the offerings in Midtown. There is a vision, its just more Rice-centric than we had thought.
  5. Wait so someone has already put 2121 Main St location under contract? And I'm assuming such entity will be leasing at least part of the space out to Metro via @Brooklyn173's post? If so, Metro has their own police so that corner will be much different going forward, in addition to what @McD.land said. If not, still a huge deal that its already under contract, did not expect that.
  6. I've been thinking about this development for a while, basically every time I went to the stadium this year and walked through those parking lots, and listened to all the interviews, and want to get my thoughts out. I think y'all are right about them looking at all those other development, the Astros are very diligent both on the field and off. Plus, Astros management and Crane are extremely great at making money (breaking MLB retail records and then using a bit of that money to improve the stadium every year to put in the ticket emails) so I think we are in good hands regarding the development getting done sooner than later. There's just too much money on the table and they know it. But its because he's so good at making money that he will default to the best way to make money while doing it in the most-cost efficient manner. None of this sounds like an overly urban development: "The development would include a high-end, four-star hotel. It would also include restaurants and an indoor tailgating area to be open year-round. In addition, it would include a walkway above the street, which would take people directly to the club level of the ballpark. " He mentioned the indoor tailgating area in two different interviews, and to me that sounds like leasable, rentable stalls ala Texas Live. Crane loves money, I don't blame him for that, and making one of the lots the "indoor tailgate" way maximizes the return on capital the fastest while providing the average sports bro with what they love: food, alcohol, and giant TVs in a place that doesn't make them sweat. Cheaper initial investment for the Astros, they just build a few different shells in the interior, provide the TVs, get a couple anchor bars/food places, bing bang boom. Reserve an area for fans tailgates, maybe (probably not). I think at the end of the day its going to be much better than what was there ala Home Plate Bar and tha other place, but I'm imagining more Biggio's/Texas Live/Golen Nugget (in Lake Charles) Sports Book and less a cool walkable experience. Tbh, I hope I'm wrong, because I love the areas around Wrigley, Fenway, Yankee Stadium, and Camden Yards. Yall are making me think theres hope for a cool experience.
  7. I don't think the Astros are looking at the Cardinals and others more established baseball "villages" when it comes to the buildings. I'm sure, 100% would bet money, that they are looking at Texas Live and how that is structured. Texas Live is like 150k (maybe a bit less) retail space that basically looks like a casino sports book but with individual spaces within that are leased out to various food/drink vendors. Texas Live is heavily tied to the hotels they've built there along with stand alone restuarants to service people who don't want the party/drink vibes that comes with the Texas Live building. I say party/drink vibe because that place is, at times, the biggest producer of DUI's in the state. If you watched this MLB postseason, Texas Live was that indoor, 2 floor space with the wall of TVs. So, think less urban and organic looking growth (the stuff people have been citing as potential influences), and more Hotel/Conference with a lot of parking Jerry Jones-style type development. Edit: I personally enjoyed my two trips to Texas Live this year, but Camden Yards it is not.
  8. Tom's did a soft, soft opening on Saturday night as said by their bar manager. Went there after the Rockets game. You don't know how nice it is to be able to walk three streets and find a place to hang out with TV's facing the street and people sitting on the patio with generally good vibes. Food was fine, typical bar fare, burger was good, etc. Good/great drink specials. The bar facing the street/patio has a great view. They will be announcing this later, but they are going to be in partnership with the Rockets and will have the official pre-game location. Wish Crane and Co would hurry with the minute maid bars, the ability to make money is so clear. It was a clear funnel from Toyota Center to the bar, and about 30 mins after the game there were tons of people from the game there checking college football games, talking, etc.
  9. What are those buildings right now? I always wondered. Are they for-lease residential spaces? If so, I can't imagine those are long for this world given the money flowing into the village, indicated by the remodeling and newer concepts coming in now versus 5 years ago. I'm assuming the parcel is non-Rice, privately owned?
  10. Golfstrommen is genuinely a good concept and I am glad they are doing well enough that they are doing improvements. Given how expensive some of their items can be I had my doubts, but this is a testament to Post if they are able to support a restaurant like that.
  11. X.R.

    Montrose TIRZ

    I don't really understand how people who live on or near the affected streets think those streets in their current form are condusive to a neighborhood. As of now, they are car-centric thoroughfares. If Skanksa attended a meeting to make the street more human friendly, keeping in mind that developers in Houston are typically supportive of better car infrastructure, and said yes they like it these people need to understand how rare that is in Houston (ahem, Midtown Whole Foods). Feels very much like the stuff that went on in the Heights over the bike lanes, with a few hundred grasping for straws to prevent change...for the sake of preventing change.
  12. They are really flying on the dog park construction. I rode by on Monday and they were working on the water feature already and completing the large outer fence. I know I dogged (😉) Hermann Conservacy for not meeting initial (admittedly ambitious) deadlines for the kids section and dog park, but man the park has been putting in work. People are typically out there working and significant change ever couple of weeks. So impressive. Maybe a little more than a decade ago you'd read World News and Report rankings about Rice and in the interview section Rice students would say they love the campus, but don't go too far beyond the hedges because it gets rough. Obvious exageration, but Its so cool to see how much has changed since then. Like an almost completely different park.
  13. I would say that first paragraph of your outweights the second to me. Add in some semblance of retail and the podium isn't too bothersome. But I do generally agree with the second paragraph, podiums suck and I'm hoping they cover the other side (after talking to some people at the project while walking by, I think they are?). Boone Manor's landscaping and dog friendliness changed the neighborhood, at least in my eyes. Lots of people dog walking, kids playing, and people stopping and talking to each other. That did not happen when old lady boone's hostel/bike shop/etc was there. Boone is a magnet for people interactions. If the landscaping is even just passable at the X, again, its better than what was there before, and if there is retail then we add another potential magnet for people interractions. Layering different walkable experiences on top of each other to make a neighborhood. Hoping the X does that. Just finish that podium 🫠
  14. Is there retail on this one? I thought there was? I only ask because the glass kind of has that storefront type look to it.
  15. Based on the latest drawings by @Paco Jones I believe they have already deviated from designs with the way they have done the garage, I am sure there other changes they have made to the building. That's a lot of masonry/bricks to add to the product. Also, I wonder if they will cover the other side of the garage or leave it open. Kind of looking forward to seeing what else they have changed as they build this thing up.
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