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  #381  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 6:41 PM
SAtown SAtown is offline
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Originally Posted by JRG1974 View Post
This is a blatant attempt by Zachry Hospitality to protect their asset, the Hilton Palacio del Rio. Most design proposals (even theirs) called for a large, tall hotel on the Northwest corner of the property. This would have obscured the view of the Hilton, not to mention the ability of people to see it (red and green lights at Christmas). Now this revised design comes out. The building is shorter, and the massing is moved to the south, and it is bent back away from the street on the north end. I am sure that this will ensure that most, if not the whole Hilton will continue to have a view of the tower and the park for events like new year's fireworks. Zachry also owns the tower life that is so prominent in the main picture. I had hopes that the selection of Zachry would be a good choice. I am sure that the office space that was shown on the north end, as part of the future development, will end up being shorter than was originally indicated to protect the view of the Hilton as well.
I'm making inferences here--but the biggest complaint I hear (and have personally) about the Grand Hyatt is that it is a giant wall blocking the Tower of the Americas. It's also ugly, but I digress... If the buildings on Hemisfair were all high rise, it would create a wall around the Tower and Park from the North and West.

Consider this: the developer is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build this project. Maintaining the view of the Hilton not going to be a driving factor, that would be incredibly irresponsible of them. But, making sure they are building a project that is viable and can get financed is an important consideration and could be why the buildings aren't 30 stories high. While I would love the buildings to be taller, at this height, I THINK there might not be a shadow covering the Civic Park in the afternoon, which is cool.

This is a skyscraper forum, so it's on topic to be concerned with the height of new development, but the ground level is what we are going to experience as visitors/residents and from what I've seen the ground level is going to be interesting and vibrant, with a lot of paseos and TREES and more ground level retail than anywhere else in San Antonio. And can we talk about the fact that parking will be UNDERGROUND?!?! That's major.

I also really like the curved hotel design--it doesn't feel like the Grand Hyatt "wall" and it looks like it visually pulls you into the park.

Typically, I'm pretty pessimistic about developments in San Antonio, but I really like this one and am looking forward to visiting once it's finished.
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  #382  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 8:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
Please just stop with the all or nothing, us against them statements like this. This forum is to discuss buildings and developments. People are allowed to have opinions... that's what half of the discussions are comprised of. You can disagree with others, or you can choose to possibly be a little enlightened by something someone else says. In any case, please be civil about it.
This.
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  #383  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 8:34 PM
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I agree with everything SApride said. But I don't hate it either. Just wish it was more.

Maybe the HDRC will tell them something along those lines. They told the Durango to make it taller than it is wide... maybe they'll do the same?

EDIT: nvm... they recommend it be approved.
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  #384  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SA_Pride28 View Post
As a person passionate about urban design, and a long-time (every day) reader of this forum, this particular topic has caused me to finally weigh in with my two cents.
I think these designs would be a huge mistake. Upon first glance, I thought these were renderings for a suburban office park or other low-density development. In fact, they would actually work really well as such. But they don't belong in this space. This design should be world-class, cutting-edge, inspiring. Not all designs need to be, but this one, which represents Hemisfair Park and the future of San Antonio, definitely should. And this plays it too safe, to say the least. It's just all-around disappointing. Also, why are they cheating us on the height again? Not that it needs to be a skyscraper, but once again here we see a plan for a shorter, fatter, wider building that obstructs views instead of something more slender that adds to the skyline. Why?? The previous rendering showed a much better design IMO. Don't get me wrong, I actually kind of like the glass designs, especially the shorter marketplace building, but I'd like to see it maybe on Broadway or somewhere in the museum reach, somewhere to add to the surrounding density. But this is the wrong place to put these designs. I hope HDRC rejects this and seeks something with more character, integrity, and impact on the downtown image.
I agree. This project should be bold, not pedestrian.
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  #385  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 11:50 PM
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Q: what is the best downtown building constructed after WWII?











A: it's still under construction (it's the Frost Building) (maybe the library)

San Antonio has a really poor record of aesthetic building design for the last 75 years. The Hemisfair Park redevelopment had so much potential to build some new shining jewels in a beautiful setting and they chose some really bland crap instead, with the implied justification that the buildings are designed to fit in. On top of that, the whole redevelopment is a shady deal with a private construction company (I honestly wouldn't care about this if the designs were even slightly interesting).

I'm gonna be mad about this for a while. If those buildings were bold, innovative, or just cool-looking it would make a difference in how people, locals included, perceive our city. That particular location is (will be) vital for downtown.
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  #386  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 2:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoiler View Post
Q: what is the best downtown building constructed after WWII?











A: it's still under construction (it's the Frost Building) (maybe the library)

San Antonio has a really poor record of aesthetic building design for the last 75 years. The Hemisfair Park redevelopment had so much potential to build some new shining jewels in a beautiful setting and they chose some really bland crap instead, with the implied justification that the buildings are designed to fit in. On top of that, the whole redevelopment is a shady deal with a private construction company (I honestly wouldn't care about this if the designs were even slightly interesting).

I'm gonna be mad about this for a while. If those buildings were bold, innovative, or just cool-looking it would make a difference in how people, locals included, perceive our city. That particular location is (will be) vital for downtown.
2nd place IMO is BofA.


https://www.emporis.com/images/show/...tin-street.jpg
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  #387  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 3:03 AM
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Look at these images of inspiring, forward thinking developments built around public green spaces. It can be done.

Why not here in San Antonio?










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  #388  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 3:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
2nd place IMO is BofA.
A scathing indictment.
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  #389  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 8:37 AM
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Remember back in the summer of 2015 when Gomez Vazquez International from Mexico teased us with this:



Powerbrokers involved in the Hemisfair redevelopment publicly shot the GVI fantasy sketch down pretty quickly, as if to reassure the buzzing general public that they would never dare to break away from normative conventionality. A dangerous weed of an idea had to be pulled out before it had time to take root and spread. I knew then that we would not be getting anything at all daring.

Costs, economics, and the reality that our city is not quite the hyper-progressive, world-class, globally-connected megacity we hope for it to be all keep the more glamorously sexy designs away. Safe, boring, and cheapest will almost always be the plan we fall back to until we actually have a core density with enough capturable income to justify the investment risks of greater and grander architecture. However, what also hurts us is a broad public outlook that at knee-jerk is still largely dominated by the suburban, provincial, familiar, and conventional, and all this to a level such that we were actually reassured that the designs would not be as dramatic as GVI's. They couldn't even pretend to call it something to aspire to.

Ah well, much of this is about skyline imagery. What might matter more is what actually happens at ground level. What details, materials, amenities, connections, and spaces do they offer that enliven this areas as an urban civic park such that we would want to walk around and filter through their buildings to the park and not instead relegate it all to an office park campus or an outdoor megamall?
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  #390  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 4:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoiler View Post
Don't count on it. The park redevelopment is all an inside job, with no obligation to public accountability. Quoting a comment somebody wrote about this development on another website:

"The Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC, the corporation the City of San Antonio created to oversee the development of Hemisfair Park in 2009) awarded this development contract to a partnership between Zachry Hospitality and the NRP Group. David Zachry, current CEO of Zachry Hospitality, sat on the original board of directors of HPARC.

I’ll repeat that: HPARC awarded this development contract to the company of one of its former board members.

Additionally, I’m sure this part is just a coincidence but I’ll go ahead and mention it here anyway: Zachry Hospitality (an organization within the Zachry Corporation) was formed in 2009, the same year the City organized the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp. and named David Zachry as a board member."
If this true... Can't we like... tip the express news to investigate and have them cause a scandal so maybe we can get something new?
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  #391  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 6:23 PM
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https://www.expressnews.com/real-est...photo-12296029
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If this true... Can't we like... tip the express news to investigate and have them cause a scandal so maybe we can get something new?
One was already done. Nothing happened. In all I don't have any real issue with Zachry doing this work. This work was going to go to someone. I think that it is all the better that it went to someone local.

To me it is not that Zachry is the company doing this, it is that the design they are showing now is so different than what they showed when they won the bid. So what was the point of the bidding process. The only element that they seem to have retained, is that there are two main structures and the purpose of each.

I really liked the initial design. It got me excited about the park redevelopment and made me feel better about voting for the bond package. This feels like the Alamodome all over again. Back then it was sold that if you voted for the tax increase, we would get a duel purpose football-baseball stadium. I could care less if there was ever any baseball played there, but there a lot of people in San Antonio that did. They voted for the tax increase with the idea that pro baseball would have a chance of coming to San Antonio. When the final designs were shown, no baseball. Yes they do some reconfiguration to squeeze a baseball field in there, but it is an after thought.

That is how I feel here. I was excited about the initial concept and design, and now you give me something completely different. I FEEL CATFISHED!!! It was mentioned that they wanted to "link the development with surrounding neighborhoods such as La Villita and Lavaca and to match the scale of nearby buildings". I don't see how this design does that any better than what they originally proposed. Why did the completely throw the previous design away? Was that design not a part of why they won the bid?

In the end, it will probably be built just as it shows now. I am just disappointed.
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  #392  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 6:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JRG1974 View Post
https://www.expressnews.com/real-est...photo-12296029

One was already done. Nothing happened. In all I don't have any real issue with Zachry doing this work. This work was going to go to someone. I think that it is all the better that it went to someone local.

To me it is not that Zachry is the company doing this, it is that the design they are showing now is so different than what they showed when they won the bid. So what was the point of the bidding process. The only element that they seem to have retained, is that there are two main structures and the purpose of each.

I really liked the initial design. It got me excited about the park redevelopment and made me feel better about voting for the bond package. This feels like the Alamodome all over again. Back then it was sold that if you voted for the tax increase, we would get a duel purpose football-baseball stadium. I could care less if there was ever any baseball played there, but there a lot of people in San Antonio that did. They voted for the tax increase with the idea that pro baseball would have a chance of coming to San Antonio. When the final designs were shown, no baseball. Yes they do some reconfiguration to squeeze a baseball field in there, but it is an after thought.

That is how I feel here. I was excited about the initial concept and design, and now you give me something completely different. I FEEL CATFISHED!!! It was mentioned that they wanted to "link the development with surrounding neighborhoods such as La Villita and Lavaca and to match the scale of nearby buildings". I don't see how this design does that any better than what they originally proposed. Why did the completely throw the previous design away? Was that design not a part of why they won the bid?

In the end, it will probably be built just as it shows now. I am just disappointed.
Would it be a crazy idea for somebody to gather up these complaints from the forum and others in the community and contact the HDRC to discuss?? Serious question. I would go do it myself but I no longer live in the state. From everything I've read the design seems almost universally panned. Takers??
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  #393  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 7:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoiler View Post
A scathing indictment.
Please explain. I can't tell if that's serious or sarcasm. I like BofA... always have.


And this, I never liked. Sorry. I'd rather have what they're going to build. Sad!

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Remember back in the summer of 2015 when Gomez Vazquez International from Mexico teased us with this:


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  #394  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 8:16 PM
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Remember what the Grand Hyatt was supposed to look like:

And the proposed Sheraton before that would have been well over 600 ft tall. You can see it on SA's skyscraper diagram. San Antonio puts too much effort in playing it safe. Which is a nice way of saying we're cheap and lack imagination. Because of that, Austin, Houston, and Dallas continue to leave us in the dust. And the "its because they have more money" excuse won't cut it. Thank God they didn't meddle with Frost's new building. I would have given up on this town doing anything remarkable.
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  #395  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 8:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
Please explain. I can't tell if that's serious or sarcasm. I like BofA... always have.
I agree that it's the 2nd or 3rd best downtown building. But it would be a very distant also-ran in any of the other big Texas cities.
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  #396  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 10:40 PM
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Does anyone know who, besides Zachry, bid on this, and/or have there pictures of their designs?

I know we've seen various designs here, but which, if any of those, were serious bidders?
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  #397  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
Please explain. I can't tell if that's serious or sarcasm. I like BofA... always have.


And this, I never liked. Sorry. I'd rather have what they're going to build. Sad!
While I don't particularly care for the Vazquez design, at least it wasn't safe. It's certainly different than anything DT now, and that includes the Frost Tower.

Now, we're apparently stuck with a design that belongs in loopland.
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  #398  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Restless 1 View Post
Does anyone know who, besides Zachry, bid on this, and/or have there pictures of their designs?

I know we've seen various designs here, but which, if any of those, were serious bidders?
It’s really not even clear to me who the various actors are here. Zachry seems to be the builder/developer/future operator, but it looks like they hired Overland to do the actual designs. Which makes me think that maybe there might be some slight room for hope, i.e., that maybe they’ll ditch them and start over with another firm, sort of like what happened with the Hays St Bridge development.
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  #399  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2018, 11:50 PM
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Okay, which one of you attended the HDRC meeting?

"A couple residents out of the 12 that testified Wednesday accused developers of corruption and mismanagement Hemisfair. Zachry’s grandson David served on the board of HPARC until 2011. Madison Smith, principal at Overland Partners, also served on the board."

https://therivardreport.com/hdrc-app...-at-hemisfair/
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  #400  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2018, 12:52 AM
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Okay, which one of you attended the HDRC meeting?

"A couple residents out of the 12 that testified Wednesday accused developers of corruption and mismanagement Hemisfair. Zachry’s grandson David served on the board of HPARC until 2011. Madison Smith, principal at Overland Partners, also served on the board."

https://therivardreport.com/hdrc-app...-at-hemisfair/
I have never seen anything go this fast with HDRC.

Designs come out, and a week later they are approved without add-ons or suggestions? Do they even have to come back to final approval?

Corruption? Nah...lol
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