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-   -   HOUSTON | Development Thread II (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114123)

JManc Jan 9, 2012 3:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasPlaya (Post 5542580)
Well Houston isn't NYC or similar city where space and land values are high enough to justify pouring the money into restoring older buildings. This building, along with the old YMCA were simply way too expensive just to bring up to code. Far cheaper to just demo and rebuild here.

and that's why this city has almost zero character left to it.

chrisherber Jan 9, 2012 6:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5542833)
and that's why this city has almost zero character left to it.

I wouldn't go that far...maybe not as much character as some other cities, but still up there!

TexasPlaya Jan 9, 2012 6:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5542833)
and that's why this city has almost zero character left to it.

I disagree.

Double L Jan 9, 2012 8:33 PM

I'm glad they are tearing down this building and the YMCA building. Both were ugly buildings, the buildings replacing them will be much better. Especially the new YMCA building.

JManc Jan 9, 2012 8:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisherber (Post 5543035)
I wouldn't go that far...maybe not as much character as some other cities, but still up there!

sure, there are a few areas around the city, the heights being one of them, that still have character but Houston is largely bland due to the fact that anything is up to being bulldozed for the sake of progress. The Water Wall was even in danger of being torn down until the city stepped in and bought the property.


@ Double L, they were knocked down for surface lots. There are long term plans for new buildings on those sites but downtown is full of surface lots that once had structures cleared for development that failed to come to fruition. Remember Shamrock hotel? There's a parking lot there.

Ed007Toronto Jan 9, 2012 9:12 PM

Great photos though a shame for the building. It looked pretty good.

YakuzaIce Jan 9, 2012 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Double L (Post 5543173)
I'm glad they are tearing down this building and the YMCA building. Both were ugly buildings, the buildings replacing them will be much better. Especially the new YMCA building.

I'm guessing this is a joke. Both replacements were built at different locations, and neither site has anything planned for the foreseeable future. Also I certainly don't share your love of the new glass box that is the YMCA building.

photoLith Jan 9, 2012 9:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Double L (Post 5543173)
I'm glad they are tearing down this building and the YMCA building. Both were ugly buildings, the buildings replacing them will be much better. Especially the new YMCA building.

Are you kidding me, have you seen the new YMCA building? Its terrible looking and is only 2 stories tall. The Franzheim Building was not a gem, but it was an historic building and nearly 11 stories tall. The former location of the YMCA and the Prudential Life Building will sit as parking lots for the foreseeable future. The old YMCA spot will probably be a parking lot for decades I would imagine.

AviationGuy Jan 10, 2012 1:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacktrojan3921 (Post 5542608)
I don't really think most people in Texas really give a crap about architectural style in all honesty, especially when you consider they're very fiscally conservative and don't want to waste any "Taxpayer" money on restoring some old building.

You just characterized a large part of the U.S. Perhaps it's not that way in Canada.

AviationGuy Jan 10, 2012 1:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Double L (Post 5543173)
I'm glad they are tearing down this building and the YMCA building. Both were ugly buildings, the buildings replacing them will be much better. Especially the new YMCA building.

You can't be serious. The old Prudential Building, with the Rock of Gibraltar emblem, was a gorgeous structure in its prime.

As an aside, I saw on the news today that the main reason the building was demolished was that the foundation was failing, and it would have been prohibitively expensive to repair it, if possible at all.

photoLith Jan 10, 2012 1:55 AM

^
Yes, unfortunately the foundation had settled poorly and big cracks had formed in it pretty much screwing the building. But most of the old buildings in Houston have been destroyed needlessly.

glowrock Jan 10, 2012 2:42 AM

Those are simply amazing photos, PhotoLith! Too bad they are now a sad reminder of what was once a wonderful old tower... :(

That being said, I do understand that sometimes, no matter how beautiful a historic structure might be, structural problems can forcefully render them into demolition. In this case, that does appear to be the situation, unfortunately.

Aaron (Glowrock)

Double L Jan 10, 2012 3:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AviationGuy (Post 5543549)
You can't be serious. The old Prudential Building, with the Rock of Gibraltar emblem, was a gorgeous structure in its prime.

As an aside, I saw on the news today that the main reason the building was demolished was that the foundation was failing, and it would have been prohibitively expensive to repair it, if possible at all.

You're talking about this?

http://www.houstontx.gov/histpres/ar...ntial_Bldg.jpg
http://www.houstontx.gov/histpres/ar...ntial_Bldg.jpg

Demo it.

blacktrojan3921 Jan 10, 2012 3:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AviationGuy (Post 5543544)
You just characterized a large part of the U.S. Perhaps it's not that way in Canada.

Don't be so sure :9 The historic Gordon Block just on the north end of Victoria Park in my city may be slated for demolition since it's next to a set of three towers called McCallum Hill centre, but who knows they might keep the exterior for a future high-rise office plex.

http://www.prairiedogmag.com/?p=31744

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...ordonblock.jpg

JManc Jan 10, 2012 3:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Double L (Post 5543635)

yes, because a parking lot is going to prove to be far more aesthetically appealing than that building ever could.

Double L Jan 10, 2012 5:16 AM

A new more modern building will be built at some point.

JoninATX Jan 10, 2012 9:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5543659)
yes, because a parking lot is going to prove to be far more aesthetically appealing than that building ever could.

The news said they already have plans to build something on the site. But I still think it could have been renovated.

photoLith Jan 10, 2012 2:41 PM

^
It could be a decade before anything is built there.

pacarlson Jan 10, 2012 3:08 PM

I loved that beautiful building. My dad worked in it from 1957 through 1969. He took me to his office several times when I was a kid. It was built to last, except for the foundation I guess.

AviationGuy Jan 11, 2012 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Double L (Post 5543635)

This photo was taken after the Rock of Gibraltar emblem was removed, and after the trees and other vegetation on the setback were gone. There were also large flags at the top. At one time the overall package was very good looking.

TexasPlaya Jan 11, 2012 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5543659)
yes, because a parking lot is going to prove to be far more aesthetically appealing than that building ever could.

Yes, non profit member institutions of the TMC should pay an exorbitant amount of money in bringing this building up to code in order for something aesthetically pleasing.

JoninATX Jan 11, 2012 5:32 AM

Goodbye Post Oak health club. Hello office tower?

Quote:

The 24 Hour Fitness at 1550 Post Oak Blvd. is closing permanently on January 27, according to a club employee who referred our inquiry to the corporate office.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who follow commercial real estate. There have been plans in the works for some time for a new office building on the site.

If it happens soon, it would be the third new tower to break ground in the Galleria area the past year.
http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/...-office-tower/

JoninATX Jan 11, 2012 5:37 AM

City to plant 25,000 new trees for Arbor Day

Quote:

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Houston landscape has changed dramatically in the past few months because of the drought, but now there's an effort to plant 25,000 trees in one day.

Four parks are being targeted -- Memorial, Hermann, MacGregor and Mason. They've lost thousands of trees and could lose more if we don't get more rain.

Dead trees have cut down from one Houston park to another.

"I don't like it. I like more trees," said resident Willie Bailey.

He and generations of his family have played at MacGregor Park, but tree stumps have replaced where lush urban forests used to be.

"I remember when I was young there was trees; that really attracted me to the park," Bailey said.

Because of the drought, city foresters estimate 11,000 dead trees have already been removed. Even as that process continues, the city of Houston is making big plans to replace the lost canopy.
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?se...cal&id=8492011

TexasPlaya Jan 11, 2012 6:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoninATX (Post 5545175)
City to plant 25,000 new trees for Arbor Day



http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?se...cal&id=8492011

Great news, glad they are hitting the major parks. But we certainly got rain this Monday, quite a bit too much as it caused massive flooding throughout the city. At the least, the ground got a very thorough soaking.

BevoLJ Jan 11, 2012 1:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoninATX (Post 5545175)
City to plant 25,000 new trees for Arbor Day



http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?se...cal&id=8492011

That is great. Good for Houston!

I read that 35% of the trees in the entire state of Texas are expected to have died due to the drought the past year or two. :(

weatherguru18 Jan 11, 2012 4:35 PM

No way it's that many. Texas Forest Service estimates up to 10%...or 500 million trees. It is hard to say until the Spring comes around and they can view satellite photos of the canopy's to see which trees are blooming and which ones aren't.

JManc Jan 11, 2012 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasPlaya (Post 5545053)
Yes, non profit member institutions of the TMC should pay an exorbitant amount of money in bringing this building up to code in order for something aesthetically pleasing.

As if maintaining such a building would put a major dent into MDA's budget. Though I can understand if the foundation was shot. No much you could do unless the building had some significant historical value to it.

As for 24 on post oak, i will miss that location.

BevoLJ Jan 11, 2012 11:50 PM

My sister works at MD Anderson and her office looks out at where that building was. I had seen the videos this past weekend, but forgot to mention it, and when talking to her Monday night she said, "You know I got to work today and this big building outside my window is gone..." lol. Gave me a good laugh. She is one of those people who is incredibly smart with off the chart IQs, however completely oblivious to anything that is going on around her. I was quite surprised she even noticed the building was gone. lol. Anyway, I emailed her one of the videos posted in this thread. =P

TexasPlaya Jan 12, 2012 5:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5546287)
As if maintaining such a building would put a major dent into MDA's budget. Though I can understand if the foundation was shot. No much you could do unless the building had some significant historical value to it.

We've already move past maintaining this building so that is a moot point at this time. I would have loved to see have seen this building properly maintained but obviously that wasn't the focus of the owners.

Keeping with this demo of "historical" buildings trend, a chunk (balcony or cladding, can't remember) of a mid-century mid-rise near Montrose @ Westheimer fell onto the sidewalk/street a few months. The building wasn't properly maintained over the years and will most likely be demoed.

Quote:

As for 24 on post oak, i will miss that location.
It had a certain charm to it.

JoninATX Jan 12, 2012 5:14 AM

I am glad that Houston replanting the trees that were once lost by the drought, and with that I am hoping Austin and Bastrop gets on board and does the same.

weatherguru18 Jan 12, 2012 11:30 AM

Well you will be happy to know that fire is a great way to replenish nutrients into the ground and forests often times grow back denser and thicker than ever. Any botanist would tell you the same thing.

BevoLJ Jan 12, 2012 1:40 PM

As a kid we used to go to Yellowstone every summer. I remember the year we went after the fires and it was the most devastating sight I have ever seen. You can't help but cry when seeing such devastation. From horizon to horizon, all those huge mountains burned to the ground, with not a tree left anywhere. It was more like being on the moon than on earth and as a kid, my mind was completely unable to understand such ruin. But our fishing guide we always used who's real job is working on little critters in the park, tried to explain to me how it is healthy, and how all of them at the park just let the fire burn rather than try to put it out, because it is a part of the natural process for the ground there. I still don't understand it, but it is just something that the ground needs to be able to keep growing more trees, and healthy trees all over again. Sure enough the following year after the fire, many millions of little baby trees were popping up everywhere. And while that was decades ago and you can still see the obvious effects of that fire all over the park, life has very much returned and it is like earth again. Well it is as much like earth as such a strange place as Yellowstone ever can be. :P

I know in Austin they are planting trees again, but I don't know they will in Lost Pines. I think they just let them grow back by themselves? Not sure.

photoLith Jan 12, 2012 3:07 PM

^
Its easy to understand. Many of the pine trees in the west actually require fire to unleash their seeds from the pine cones. Some species pine cones only open up when heat from a fire occurs. When the vegetation burns also this releases tons of nutrients into the ground. Forest fires were a huge natural process that was very very important before Europeans came to America and tried to control them. Most forests, especially on the east coast are incredibly dense compared to what they would have looked like 400 years ago. Fires have been controlled and the forests have grown very dense with undergrowth. In the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas for example, trees in forests that havent been burned are mere feet apart and block sunlight from reaching the forest floor. They are now doing controlled burns and clearing out forests of excess trees in many national forests. When you do this, you allow sunlight to reach the forest floor and flowering plants flourish as do insects, which then provide food for birds, and so on. Forest fires and grassland firs are incredibly important to the health of said habitat.

JManc Jan 12, 2012 7:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexasPlaya (Post 5546795)

Keeping with this demo of "historical" buildings trend, a chunk (balcony or cladding, can't remember) of a mid-century mid-rise near Montrose @ Westheimer fell onto the sidewalk/street a few months. The building wasn't properly maintained over the years and will most likely be demoed.

this thing?

http://swamplot.com/wp-content/uploa...0-montrose.jpg

if so, yeah, it is in pretty rough shape but would have made great lofts.

AviationGuy Jan 13, 2012 3:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by photoLith (Post 5547093)
^
Its easy to understand. Many of the pine trees in the west actually require fire to unleash their seeds from the pine cones. Some species pine cones only open up when heat from a fire occurs. When the vegetation burns also this releases tons of nutrients into the ground. Forest fires were a huge natural process that was very very important before Europeans came to America and tried to control them. Most forests, especially on the east coast are incredibly dense compared to what they would have looked like 400 years ago. Fires have been controlled and the forests have grown very dense with undergrowth. In the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas for example, trees in forests that havent been burned are mere feet apart and block sunlight from reaching the forest floor. They are now doing controlled burns and clearing out forests of excess trees in many national forests. When you do this, you allow sunlight to reach the forest floor and flowering plants flourish as do insects, which then provide food for birds, and so on. Forest fires and grassland firs are incredibly important to the health of said habitat.

Thanks for a good explanation. Not a lot of people realize how nature works.

AviationGuy Jan 13, 2012 3:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5547500)
this thing?

http://swamplot.com/wp-content/uploa...0-montrose.jpg

if so, yeah, it is in pretty rough shape but would have made great lofts.

I wish they would demo the building on the west side of Loop 610, just south of I-10. It's somewhere between 5 and 10 stories tall and just horrid. I love that stretch of Loop 610 because of Uptown, but that building is awful. I don't know who owns it or if it has a name.

TexasPlaya Jan 13, 2012 3:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 5547500)
this thing?

http://swamplot.com/wp-content/uploa...0-montrose.jpg

if so, yeah, it is in pretty rough shape but would have made great lofts.

Would have made fantastic lofts with some ground level retail, but I fear she is going to go the way of the wrecking ball.

TexasPlaya Jan 13, 2012 4:00 AM

Some good news for DT:

Downtown parcel sold for daycare center and possibly more
Quote:

The company plans to build a 10,000-square-foot daycare center on a portion of the property for Chase. The bank’s existing childcare facility is a tenant in the Houston Club Building, which is likely to be redeveloped.

Skanska purchased the block, bounded by Main, Bell, Clay and Fannin from the First United Methodist Church.

The daycare will only take up about a third of the block, leaving room for a future development.
Seems this is a surface lot, right next to a rail station. It's a bit underwhelming that it will only take up a third of a city block but hopefully the other two thirds won't remain a surface lot for too long.

Next on to Montrose:

Apartments to replace Montrose Fiesta
Quote:

The timing for the new development is still being determined, but Finger has plans to build 390 multifamily units in as many as 8 stories at the site. The nearly 4-acre property is located at the southeast corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama, across from a new H-E-B.
This is a pretty funny situation: an old apartment complex was bulldozed to build a new HEB grocery and across the street an old Fiesta grocery store is being bulldozed for new apartments.

photoLith Jan 13, 2012 4:42 AM

^
So, the daycare center at most would be like 2-3 stories tall, if even that. But, at least that side of town is seeing development, albeit ridiculously small, but the entire south side of downtown is parking lot central, so any development is good development.

TexasPlaya Jan 13, 2012 8:03 AM

More news from Uptown:
http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/h...3_64_17810.jpg
HAIF
Goodbye Post Oak health club. Hello office tower?
Quote:

The 24 Hour Fitness at 1550 Post Oak Blvd. is closing permanently on January 27, according to a club employee who referred our inquiry to the corporate office...If it happens soon, it would be the third new tower to break ground in the Galleria area the past year.
Apparently this building has the "same curtain wall vendor, same architect, same look" as the Devon HQ in OKC per a HAIF commenter.

Now we just need to get that Uptown rail line moving in order to capture all this development going down in Uptown.

More Midtown news:

According to a commenter on HAIF the Bagby St redo is about to kick off. If you're unfamiliar with Bagby St in Mditown it's in pretty p*ss poor shape and it has a lot of Midtown's nightlife and happenings along it.

Here's a link from mid last year with an overview: Bagby St

Quote:

Estimated to cost $12 million, the project will rebuild Bagby with two southbound lanes and turn bays at Pierce, Gray, and Webster, providing parallel parking on both sides and using bulb-outs to aid pedestrian crossings. The design allows for a third lane to be added to accommodate future traffic volumes...In addition to improving the pedestrian experience through Midtown with well-placed wider sidewalks, including a shaded boardwalk between Gray and Hadley, the Bagby Street design includes a series of rain gardens, special street-side landscaping features that will help filter storm water runoff, Daza said....
University of Houston:

I'm lazy and don't feel like posting all the pics, but UH has been booming and I highly recommend it checking out HAIF: UH Development

weatherguru18 Jan 17, 2012 4:34 AM

Houston is getting a LOT of love all of a sudden. BIG projects announced or given new life. Here's a brief rundown:

The Horizon (renamed the Soverign) has a new rendering and appears to be moving forward with a 21-story condo tower off Allen Pkwy.

http://www.gid.com/development/the-sovereign.aspx

http://www.gid.com/photos/development/sovereign-2.jpg


Then there's Five Oaks Place. I believe this got the go ahead from the city last week. This is 30 stories.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/h...3_64_17810.jpg

22-story apartment tower (under construction now--tower crane up). This is at Westheimer and Sage in the Galleria area.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/h...9835_thumb.jpg

3009 Post Oak. This is 22-stories (under construction--tower crane up)

http://www.bisnow.com/archives/houst...krendering.jpg

BBVA, 22-stories (under construction--tower crane up)

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/...egacy/bbva.jpg

Research Forest Development--The Woodlands. Leases pre-signed. Construction imminent.

http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/07/72/42.../4/628x471.jpg

weatherguru18 Jan 17, 2012 4:47 AM

35-story condo tower (construction imminent)

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/h...0547_thumb.jpg

The Convention District--includes the construction of a 1,000 room hotel near Minute Maid.

http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/07/44/17.../5/628x471.jpg

Then of course there is Exxon which is building a MASSIVE campus near The Woodlands and there is also talk in the pipeline of two very large towers going up in the next year or two. One in The Woodlands (Anadarko Tower 2) and Hines Development. According to a Houston Chron article, the office tower in The Woodlands is in motion. The architects have already been hired and working on the designs.

photoLith Jan 17, 2012 6:55 AM

^
My dad works right across from this Anadarko Tower 2 site. It sounds like its going to be an exact copy of the original tower, but I dont know how factual that is. Whatever the case, its good that the Woodlands is getting more urban along the waterway. I was just walking around that area a couple days ago and theres still a sign up along the waterway near where the vacant lot where the second Anadarko Tower is going to go up and it says that a 22 story or so hotel is going to start construction this year.

weatherguru18 Jan 17, 2012 1:28 PM

I find it hard to believe that they would build an exact copy of the first tower. I assume we should expect something in the 15 or 20 story range but I have NOTHING to back that up. As far as the hotel, are you referring to the Condo tower that will be built near the water feature?

photoLith Jan 17, 2012 2:09 PM

^
Yeah I guess it's a condo tower. It's on the lot to the left of all the waterfalls and fountains they have there on the waterway.

JoninATX Jan 17, 2012 7:30 PM

Direct Energy will move HQ to Houston

Quote:

By Emily Pickrell, HOUSTON CHRONICLE Updated 10:17 p.m., Monday, January 16, 2012.

Direct Energy, a retail provider of electricity, natural gas and related services, is moving its corporate headquarters from Toronto to Houston in the next 12 to 18 months.

The headquarters will be in the Greenway Plaza location where the company's residential energy and upstream business is based now, a spokeswoman said.
http://www.chron.com/business/articl...on-2573137.php

JManc Jan 17, 2012 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by photoLith (Post 5552856)
^
My dad works right across from this Anadarko Tower 2 site. It sounds like its going to be an exact copy of the original tower, but I dont know how factual that is. Whatever the case, its good that the Woodlands is getting more urban along the waterway. I was just walking around that area a couple days ago and theres still a sign up along the waterway near where the vacant lot where the second Anadarko Tower is going to go up and it says that a 22 story or so hotel is going to start construction this year.

This is the new tower:

http://swamplot.com/wp-content/uploa...cond-tower.jpg

http://swamplot.com/second-woodlands...st/2012-01-17/

TexasBoi Jan 17, 2012 11:10 PM

Does this building have something to do with Regent Square?
http://www.gid.com/photos/development/sovereign-2.jpg

Ok. Just checked HAIF and they seem to believe that it does.

Illithid Dude Jan 18, 2012 12:22 AM

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/h...0547_thumb.jpg

What is this, where is this, and any more renders? Literally have heard nothing about this until it just sort of popped up in the forums.

Also, jealous that you guys get all this construction. But not too much. After all, every city gets their hayday eventually. It's your turn now.

photoLith Jan 18, 2012 12:36 AM

^
All the construction in Houston is super spread out though, some of its close together, but lots of these projects are miles apart. But maybe in like 40 years, from downtown-midtown-medical center will all be lined with mid rises and high rises. Than I could see the Galleria area really getting dense. Its still very suburban feeling for the most part, but by like 2050 the Galleria area, if construction keeps at the pace it has in the area for the last 30 years, than it could very dense. Then, downtown by that point will be completely built out. I doubt there will be any parking lots left in downtown within 20 years... hopefully.

On another note, this church burned in 2005 or so. Its been sitting like this ever since. I have heard rumors the city is turning it into a park, keeping the churches structure and turning the interior into a park. Its in Freedmans town, on the corner of Andrews and Crosby St. Its the oldest African American congregation in Houston, the building although was built I believe in the late 40s or early 50s. All of the old beautiful shotgun houses were torn down though mostly in Freedmans town replaced by tin buildings that are atrociously ugly.

http://i527.photobucket.com/albums/c...6-DSC_0302.jpg

photo by me.


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