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The Allen: Mixed-Use Development At Allen Parkway & Gillette St.


jmontrose

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Hopefully more of an Alessandra-type downgrade and not a Randall Davis, wish-it-hadn't-been-built type job.

 

Edit: Remembering some pages back, it looks like they're getting their funding from the same place as Randall Davis does.

 

 

The "D" in DC Partners literally refers to Randall Davis. 

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Hopefully more of an Alessandra-type downgrade and not a Randall Davis, wish-it-hadn't-been-built type job.

 

Edit: Remembering some pages back, it looks like they're getting their funding from the same place as Randall Davis does.

 

 

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

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56 minutes ago, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

 

That's a shame. That plot of land will still benefit from infill and it's good news to hear things seem to be moving forward, but I'm definitely concerned with how it will look now. Hopefully, they provide updated renderings come the time that leasing office opens.

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2 hours ago, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

 

From my short time in this industry thus far, this simply comes to the architect either designing something they don't know how to pull off, or not having a backbone to back up their design. On the flip side, I've been getting really pissed with just how lazy contractors have come across or the fact that they are obsessed with looking good to the client by creating fictitious "budget savings" by value engineering where it doesn't need to simply to look good to the client. In many instances a project doesn't need to be value engineered, and instead they are doing to avoid costs put onto them, or simply pocket the money as profit. Its ludicrous. This all starts, however, with architects designing with a spine, and standing up for what they want to see. 

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I'm wondering, all engineers, architects, industry, and engineer-adjacent people. 

How the hell do you "value" engineer something that's 800 feet tall? It seems like whatever materials you chose you're going to have to engineer the hell out of them. 

(Unpopular opinion: I wasn't all that crazy about the offset sections.) 

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17 hours ago, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

While, I am a huge fan of this project.  I lean optimistic that the sentiment of Houston developers you've detailed, is changing.  The amount of product put out by Hanover, Hines and others that have enhanced the skyline over these past few years has been great.  Point being, I am hopeful that financing will continue to get smarter with the spotlight on Houston investment becoming brighter, which is happening ie more investors coming to town. Flash renderings that inevitably become redrawn completely is getting old and DC/RD is starting to get a reputation for this.  I'll withhold opinion until I see the renderings, but I'm confident that this stereotype is changing as Houston becomes more attractive to global investors.

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10 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

I hope The District I and II don’t get “value engineered”.  Those and the Hines projects downtown are my favorite buildings on the drawing board for Houston right now.  I have full faith that Hines will deliver.  Hopefully Caydon doesn’t go the way of Randall Davis.

 

The renderings we saw of The District I and II looked to me like splash renderings, concept sketches to generate interest. I had the same thought when I saw renderings for the Allen. I imagine we'll get a quality product out of Caydon (not so sure about The Allen, even the name just seems weird) but the renderings we saw were beyond belief.

 

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You also need to understand how a project gets financed. The initial renderings are nothing more than marketing especially for a project like this. I'm almost 100% positive this is an EB-5 equity financed project, meaning the initial renderings are shown to thousands of wealthy Asian/African investors to draw them in. Under this program, the foreign national must invest $500,000 or $1 million in exchange for an expedited green card process, depending on where the project is located. So you are showing these renderings to nonprofessional real estate investors whose primary focus is not on their money but being allowed into the US. Now, this first phase is probably a 100-200-million-dollar project if not more, which means you have to find a LOT of foreign investors to put up money before a construction loan even becomes a possibility. 

 

Once the developer gets close to putting shovels in the ground he is 100% not going to build the marketing renderings; he has no incentive too. The great thing about EB-5 is the cost of equity is almost nothing, like a 2% return to the foreign investors with no definitive timeline on when that money will get returned. A developer like Hines or Hanover will have a cost of equity around 14-20%, a huge difference!  So you over promise and under deliver, because if you can get anything built that looks halfway decent and leases up, you as the developer, will be swimming in money once you sell.

 

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1 hour ago, C List said:

You also need to understand how a project gets financed. The initial renderings are nothing more than marketing especially for a project like this. I'm almost 100% positive this is an EB-5 equity financed project, meaning the initial renderings are shown to thousands of wealthy Asian/African investors to draw them in. Under this program, the foreign national must invest $500,000 or $1 million in exchange for an expedited green card process, depending on where the project is located. So you are showing these renderings to nonprofessional real estate investors whose primary focus is not on their money but being allowed into the US. Now, this first phase is probably a 100-200-million-dollar project if not more, which means you have to find a LOT of foreign investors to put up money before a construction loan even becomes a possibility. 

 

Once the developer gets close to putting shovels in the ground he is 100% not going to build the marketing renderings; he has no incentive too. The great thing about EB-5 is the cost of equity is almost nothing, like a 2% return to the foreign investors with no definitive timeline on when that money will get returned. A developer like Hines or Hanover will have a cost of equity around 14-20%, a huge difference!  So you over promise and under deliver, because if you can get anything built that looks halfway decent and leases up, you as the developer, will be swimming in money once you sell.

 

 

Thanks for this.

 

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Yeah never get that whole Houston is ugly thing. IMO Houston is actually a pretty nice city. 

 

I don't think Houston is a particularly naturally beautiful place. I think we've done a good job with what we have.

 

Our defining water feature being Buffalo Bayou and effectively zero discernible elevation change doesn't create much drama in our terrain. 

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7 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

I don't think Houston is a particularly naturally beautiful place. I think we've done a good job with what we have.

 

Our defining water feature being Buffalo Bayou and effectively zero discernible elevation change doesn't create much drama in our terrain. 

I guess as far as terrain then yeah we're a giant marsh/swamp. I mean I've been to LA and they have gorgeous mountains but the city itself is moo

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I agree regarding the terrain. Nevertheless as a professor in one of the biological sciences I find the Houston area and the Big Thicket amazing for its plant and animal variety. I've never seen  a metro area with what appear to be  three ecological zones: Prairie like west Houston, The Jungle like thickets of North Houston, and the marshy wetlands of Southeast Houston. Eye candy for folks in biology.

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10 hours ago, West Timer said:

^ Hey don't blame Houston if you're too poor to buy a bus ticket back to whatever shithole you came from.

 

What a enlightened, hospitable, and welcoming attitude.

 

Guess we should build a wall around Houston to keep people from crawling out of their shitholes and coming here for work.

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19 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

 

The bridge hasn't been in the renderings and maps for a little while. I think it was even discussed here as well in the past few months.

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Give it to the Vy troll. She's the one that can't stop the pointless bitching about Houston. Unlike her, I can afford to live anywhere I want and I think Houston is fabulous and getting more fabulous by the day.

 

But I guess I'm probably being too insensitive. Really, I have nothing but pity for those poor pathetic losers who are handcuffed to places they would rather not be and aren't smart enough to be able to figure out how to do anything about it except whine about it on the internet and then proceed to blame our great city for their own personal issues and shortcomings.

 

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On 12/17/2018 at 1:30 PM, swtsig said:

 

from what i can tell updated renderings haven't been produced yet but the distinctive staggered/offset design is being done away with. knowing that, it's probably safe to assume that additional exterior design elements will also be value-engineered.

 

 

there's a pervasive attitude amongst many houston developers (particularly this one) that the exterior of a building matters little, at least relative to the interior. certainly there's some merit to that, especially in residential buildings, but that attitude seems to get amplified here compared to other major cities.

 

Never ASSume.

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