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rdavis4559 Jul 24, 2007 4:13 PM

At least the pavilions, discovery green, and park tower are making great progress

Xeelee Jul 24, 2007 6:21 PM

I know... We need to force them to make haste.

CALMSP Jul 24, 2007 9:17 PM

yeah, i wish they would keep moving would think that could be done in a year.....heck, they built the Empire State Building in 13 months way back when.

weatherguru18 Jul 25, 2007 7:22 AM

New info. on the gigantic lot being cleared at Greenspoint!!

It will be a office complex that will include a total of four office towers and two parking garages. I know for a fact that one of the buildings (One Greens Plaza) will have 555,000 sq. ft. of office space and will stand 21 stories tall! It will also be a LEED certified building. There are some nice additions in the works for Greenspoint.


Xeelee Jul 25, 2007 6:33 PM

Not bad.

rdavis4559 Jul 26, 2007 5:04 PM

Saw this on HAIF....
It is so far fetched but would be awesome if Houston was picked, or even if the project went through in any city

Houston Proud Jul 26, 2007 6:39 PM

Do you really think this going to be built in Houston? Please, I can't laugh at the moment cause of my sore throat. Most likely this world largest tower will be set in L.A. or Chicago. Houston?! Houston?! World largest tower in Houston?! You kidding me! Houston?!

rdavis4559 Jul 26, 2007 6:46 PM

Thats what I would have said about Dubai when the Burj Dubai was announced.

Trae Jul 26, 2007 8:14 PM
Zaya Younan wants to build the world's tallest building — in Los Angeles, Houston or Chicago.

Towering ambition,CS...ounan26.article

July 26, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times

Zaya Younan is not crazy. Since starting a real estate business in 2002, he has become one of the largest office landlords in Texas, and accumulated property worth about $1.5 billion, claiming strong and steady returns for investors.

Now he wants to build the world's tallest building. He wants it in Chicago, Los Angeles or Houston. He wants it for the glory of the United States of America, and to take advantage of long-term trends that he said will lead to more vertical living in major cities.

And he doesn't want a building that will barely rate a mention in the history books, a delicate titleholder surpassed in some Asian capital before its paint dries. "I want it to be the tallest for as long as I am alive," Younan told the Sun-Times.

He's 44.

The chairman of Younan Properties Inc. said that to build something with a lengthy hold on the record, he'll need about 500 feet of cushion between his building's height and any probable competitors.

By today's standards, that means going up about 3,000 feet. It's Sears Tower times two. It could cost $4 billion.

All of which might cause builders and property investors to wonder if Younan is conversant with reality. He insisted his own company can finance most of the project and that it can acquire the engineering and architectural know-how it needs.

Younan is a buyer, holder and renovator of office buildings, with about 10 million square feet nationwide, with some 20 percent of his portfolio in the Chicago area.

He said he emigrated from Iran at age 13, and loves the U.S. for its freedom and opportunities.

"The U.S. is the country with the largest economy in the world, and it's shameful that we don't have the tallest building,'' Younan said. "My mission in life is to bring that crown back to the U.S."

As for where to put it, he said he wants to decide the location by yearend. Los Angeles, where his company is based, is an early favorite because he sees it having a large unmet demand for cutting-edge office space. But he likes Chicago for its vibrant downtown and sustainable expansions in the office market.

His options include buying a site or building on property he already owns.

In Chicago, Younan controls buildings at 200 N. La Salle and 211 E. Ontario, plus several buildings in the northwest suburbs. Most of it he acquired in 2006 in a $175 million deal with Transwestern Investment Co.

He declined to discuss likely sites for his project.

The world's tallest building is under construction in the United Arab Emirates. Burj Dubai's final height is a secret, but the developers are believed to be aiming for 2,300 feet.

The Santiago Calatrava-designed spire proposed for the Chicago lakefront would measure 2,000 feet.

Sears Tower, once the record holder, has been surpassed by the twin Petronas Tower in Malaysia and the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan.

Younan's expertise is the office market, but he said he'd like a range of uses within the building. It could be a self-contained center, "a city within a city," he said, complete with condominiums, a hospital and a museum or other attractions.

Younan pointed to his acquisition of a Dallas building, the 30-story One Dallas Centre, as a small-scale test of that vision. He's rebranding the building as Patriot Tower, and plans a museum dedicated to American veterans.

Around Chicago, some real estate executives familiar with Younan said he has strong analytical skills and access to capital, but also an excessive ego and a need for self-promotion.

He knows he has his detractors, but he said his instincts usually prove them wrong. "People have always told me in this business, 'Wait a minute, slow down, think about it again.' I'm generally glad that I didn't take their advice," he said.

As much as I would love new supertall in Houston, this idea is a little out there. I would much prefer short towers than this one. If he wants to build a 1100-1400 foot tower in Houston, go for it, but 3,000 feet is a bit much. Even if it was built I wouldn't want it Downtown, or Uptown. I would much rather have it out by NASA or on the Bay somewhere and let it be some sort of tourist attraction.

Derek Jul 26, 2007 8:48 PM

Too bad the FAA would probably never allow that, regardless of where any airports are.

rdavis4559 Jul 27, 2007 12:46 PM

Does the UAE equivalent of the FAA have lax regulations? Dubai has a very busy and growing airport now (9th busiest by passenger traffic in 2006 and 17th busiest by cargo traffic 2006, both ranks are higher than IAH) yet they are building the Burj Dubai. Also note that Dubai's major airport is much closer to the city center than IAH or Hobby are in Houston.

KevinFromTexas Jul 27, 2007 1:15 PM


Originally Posted by Derek loves SD (Post 2974042)
Too bad the FAA would probably never allow that, regardless of where any airports are.

You maybe right about that. The Chase Tower, the tallest in Texas in downtown Houston at 1,002 feet tall with 75 floors, was originally supposed to be 80 floors tall, but the FAA chopped the height because of Hobby Airport I believe.

Trae Jul 27, 2007 2:56 PM


Originally Posted by rdavis4559 (Post 2975192)
Does the UAE equivalent of the FAA have lax regulations? Dubai has a very busy and growing airport now (9th busiest by passenger traffic in 2006 and 17th busiest by cargo traffic 2006, both ranks are higher than IAH) yet they are building the Burj Dubai. Also note that Dubai's major airport is much closer to the city center than IAH or Hobby are in Houston.

Dubai isn't busier than IAH. I looked on Wiki, and it was at 33 million last year. IAH was well above that (mid-40's).

rdavis4559 Jul 27, 2007 3:34 PM

Woops. Dubai is rated higher on international traffic, Houston on total traffic. Dubai is still higher on cargo tonnage though. And like I said, Dubai's airport is much much closer to the city center than Hobby... so I don't see what the problem is. The angles of descent are comparable to Houston too. In fact, it looks like many flights from Europe would have to either fly around the city center of Dubai or go over it to be able to land...

Trae Jul 27, 2007 4:54 PM

It is kind of obvious why Dubai is higher on international traffic. The country its in only has about four million people.

rdavis4559 Jul 27, 2007 5:06 PM

Dubai's spot for cargo tonnage and passenger traffic jumps a few spots every year too, if you look at the historical charts.

CALMSP Jul 27, 2007 10:45 PM

driving down richmond after the simpsons movie i saw some construction going up at Dunlavy and Richmond..............anyone with any info?? Right after La Tapatia

toxteth o'grady Jul 30, 2007 1:41 AM


Originally Posted by rdavis4559 (Post 2975192)
Does the UAE equivalent of the FAA have lax regulations?

Dubai's runways don't point in the direction of the taller skyscrapers, hence less of an issue. Hobby, unfortunately, is on almost a straight line from Downtown.

Complex01 Aug 2, 2007 5:16 PM

Here is a link to a site that has a nice number of projects going up around midtown. Looking good. Hope they all get built. Midtown will be something else...

CALMSP Aug 7, 2007 7:57 AM

would be nice if they went through and added these restaurants to midtown.....the more places that i can walk to from my loft is better......

missbella Aug 7, 2007 10:02 PM

"luxury on demand"
does anybody know what "luxury on demand" means? it has something to do with gas connections, but beyond that....
2727, baldwin terraces, endeavor, cosmopolitan, sonoma--yes, they all fall into the luxury category but is there something different about "luxury on demand" to distinguish it from regular old centerpoint gas?

Complex01 Aug 8, 2007 2:29 PM

Google puts Houston on camera

Houston Business Journal - 3:57 PM CDT Tuesday, August 7, 2007

by Monica PerinHouston Business Journal

Google Inc. has turned on the cameras in Houston.

The Internet company late Monday added street-level views of Houston, Orlando, Fla., Los Angeles and San Diego to its worldwide mapping project.

The company first photographed places around the globe from satellites and airplanes, but now it's getting up close and personal.

Google's trucks have been cruising streets in a dozen urban areas in the United States capturing street scenes right out the window -- including people who happen to be in front of the cameras.

This has aroused privacy concerns. But privacy lawyers say the pictures are legal as long as they are being taken in public places.

In Houston the views cover downtown and some surrounding areas, including the major freeways.

The photos can be viewed at by clicking on Street View.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., says the pictures are useful. People shopping for real estate can look at homes and neighborhoods, for example, the company says.

Houston is one of nine U.S. metropolitan areas and the only Texas city with Street Views so far.

Complex01 Aug 8, 2007 2:30 PM


Check it out, its pretty kewl...

rdavis4559 Aug 8, 2007 4:17 PM

It is pretty cool but the resolution isn't great

rdavis4559 Aug 10, 2007 2:16 PM

The pavilions are going up pretty fast...

Complex01 Aug 10, 2007 8:03 PM


We need some more updates...

Xeelee Aug 11, 2007 4:42 AM


Originally Posted by Complex01 (Post 3002921)

We need some more updates...

Yeah no kidding. I mean come on... I'm on my 5th Kirin Ichiban and no updates. I have some on my camera... I will try to upload some later. :)

rdavis4559 Aug 11, 2007 9:35 AM

I'm surprised that although One Park Place and the Pavilions are under construction, there is still no render of any of these four buildings for I would make them but I'm not artistically inclined. Any takers?

toxteth o'grady Aug 13, 2007 1:51 AM


Originally Posted by Xeelee (Post 3003700)
Yeah no kidding. I mean come on...

To give you an idea of how behind the times things are, Google Maps still has the shots of downtown Houston and the Airport from back in 2005 (the Toyota Center had no roof on it!). I guess Houston doesn't rate because it isn't changing like Beijing and Shanghai... and Madrid. Funk dat!:P

Shasta Aug 17, 2007 3:58 AM

Here is some good news from the HBJ...

Oliver McMillan LLC out of San Diego has purchased the Westcreek Apartment site for the River Oaks District. Plans call for 350,000 square feet of mostly ground floor retail, a 10 story office tower with 250,000 square feet, a luxury apartment tower with 300 rental apartments, and two 5-star hotel towers totalling 500 rooms with one of the towers also including 150 for-sale condos on top.

Ground breaking is set for Spring 2008 on the initital 15 acre phase I.

Complex01 Aug 17, 2007 2:23 PM

I read that article, its going to look very kewl...

Shasta Aug 17, 2007 4:33 PM

in some REALLY good news,

The HBJ reports today that the second tower of the Mosaic broke ground this week officially after funding was secured. The first tower has seen excellent sales (218 units have SOLD).

Other tidbits from the article,

The base structure that connects the 2 towers will contain a Yapa Prepared Food Store, Unity Bank, a Dry Cleaners, and a 4,000 square foot restaurant/bar. Tower II will contain a sushi bar, a day spa, and a postal store. Great to see well planned ground floor retail in that area!

Trae Aug 17, 2007 5:09 PM


Trae Aug 17, 2007 5:10 PM

Glad to hear this!

Trae Aug 17, 2007 8:28 PM

Oh, and the Turnberry Tower should be completed by Dec. 2009:

Shasta Aug 19, 2007 10:37 PM

A rendering is out for the Museum Place Apartments currently under construction on the 5300 block of Fannin. 219 apartments in an 8 story structure will rise on the light rail line. FINALLY.

Trae Aug 20, 2007 1:11 AM

Those look pretty damn nice, and in a nice location along the Red Line. How many residential units are going up in the Museum District?

Saddle Man Aug 20, 2007 3:04 AM

Is this thing going to have ground floor retail?

CALMSP Aug 20, 2007 5:02 PM

driving by the Mosaic this morning.........looks great, can't wait for that to be up and running.
on my way back to my place in midtown, i was driving down Binz. Anyone have any info on the sign at Binz and La Branch. The pic looks to be 20+ stories.

Complex01 Aug 21, 2007 1:57 PM


Originally Posted by Trae (Post 3016402)
Oh, and the Turnberry Tower should be completed by Dec. 2009:

That is good news. There is a picture of the rendering on Turnberrys website...

Turnberry Tower Houston

Cory Aug 21, 2007 3:40 PM


Originally Posted by kingkirbythegreat (Post 3019840)
Is this thing going to have ground floor retail?

Nope but with that said, this looks a lot better than I thought. I thought we would get the same stucco midrises that we see all over the city like Ventana or something. This project and the Belle Meade(sp?) at River Oaks on Westhimer, the same company, are nice projects.

Shasta Aug 22, 2007 12:17 AM

Lots of new stuff at Rice is getting ready to come out of the ground besides the Collaborative Research Center.

McMurtry College will be the 10th and largest of Rice's undergrdaute colleges. It is scheduled to open in 2010 with around 380 students.

Duncan College will be the 11th residential college and it too will open in 2010 with 324 beds. This will be a gold-certified LEED project. Kudos to Rice!

Rice is also about to begin construction on the Shakespeare Graduate House Apartments. This 4 story building located on the corner of Morningside @ Shakespeare will house 238 graduate students.

Trae Aug 22, 2007 12:25 AM

Rice is really growing!

Shasta Aug 22, 2007 6:37 AM

Aight people, here we go...

Main Place will be the name for the new Hines office development at 811 Main. The bldg. will rise 46 stories above ground and reach 630 feet tall. It will contain 1,000,000 square feet of space and be LEED certified-silver.

In related downtown news, The Discovery Tower development will take up two blocks with a parking garage on one block and a 30 story office tower with ground floor retail on the other block. Trammell Crow intends to break ground in January 2008. Gensler will design the building and it too will be LEED certified. Located at LaBranch @ McKinney, it will contain 871,000 square feet of rentable space.

Finally, the long rumored 6 Houston Center project is starting to leak initial details. The building will be 29 floors and have just shy of 584,000 square feet. HKS Architects out of Dallas will be the architectural firm on record. Ground breaking is set for February 2008.

All 3 buildings are projected to open in 2010.

Trae Aug 22, 2007 1:31 PM

Nice. Here is a larger rendering:

Trae Aug 22, 2007 1:51 PM

Chron article:

An article from the Houston Chronicle:

Hines project hits home
The Houston-based developer's 46-story office tower is one of four being planned for downtown

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Hines, the Houston-based firm that develops real estate across the globe, is planning its newest building in the heart of its hometown.

The new project, to be called MainPlace, will be a 46-story, 1 million-square-foot office building at 811 Main St. between Walker and Rusk, the company said Tuesday.

The modern glass tower will replace a series of worn-out structures, including the Montagu Hotel, situated on "one of the most blighted blocks in downtown," the company said.

"We believe there will be a tremendous outpouring of improvement on adjacent blocks," said Mark Cover, an executive vice president with Hines.

Plans call for the building to be completed by late 2010.

As the company begins to prepare its site this week for construction, at least three other developers are moving forward with plans for their own top-class office towers.

While none of the firms has secured a main tenant for any of the buildings — once considered a prerequisite to breaking ground — each has expressed confidence in its abilities to do so.

"There's certainly enough demand to fill more than one building," said Matt Khourie, president of the U.S. central region for Trammell Crow Co., which said it will break ground early next year on a 30-story tower near Discovery Green, downtown's new park. "Whether there's enough to fill all four buildings, the market's going to have to dictate that."

Expressing doubt

Some experts have doubts.

Given the recent credit crunch that has made it more expensive for companies to borrow money, "I think that some of these plans are being floated probably somewhat prematurely," said Ralph Howard, CEO of the Houston-based Situs Cos., a real estate consulting firm. "I would think if you had to speculate today, not all of those will get off the ground as soon as they were anticipated to."

Still, developers said downtown office buildings are running out of space, creating pent-up demand.

The vacancy rate for top-of-the-market buildings here has risen to 91.4 percent, according to CB Richard Ellis.

Trammell Crow said it will start construction in January on its two-block development at La Branch and McKinney, bordering Discovery Green.

Playing off the name of the park, the company's Discovery Tower will have 871,000 square feet of space. A parking garage will be built on an adjacent block to the north.

Designed by Gensler to attain a rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, the project will have retail space on the ground floor and is expected to have a sky bridge connecting it to another building with tunnel access.

"We really feel Discovery Green is going to be a difference-maker for downtown, just like Millennium Park in Chicago and Bryant Park in New York," Khourie said.

Downtown advantage

Despite Houston's strong economy, David Wolff, founder of Houston-based real estate firm Wolff Cos., isn't convinced that all four towers will be built, but developers with strong downtown tenant bases will have an advantage.

Paul Layne of Brookfield Properties said his firm has been meeting with companies that could be tenants in its proposed tower near its Allen Center complex.

And Crescent Real Estate Equities Co., the Fort Worth firm that was recently acquired by affiliates of Morgan Stanley Real Estate, is also moving forward with plans for a new tower at the Houston Center project on the east end of downtown.

The proposed 29-story building, designed by HKS of Dallas and to be named 6 Houston Center, will have 583,582 square feet of rentable space, said Joseph Pitchford, a vice president of Crescent.

Groundbreaking will occur in February with completion expected in the first quarter of 2010, Pitchford said.

While the national economy will be modestly affected by the tightening of credit, overall demand for energy and commodities will continue to rise, putting Houston in a strong position, Hines' Cover said.

The company is even looking into the future beyond MainPlace.

Hines is locking up a second location on Main Street, between Texas and Capitol, where it's considering another office building.

"It's a great opportunity, whether it's this cycle or the next," said John Mooz, a vice president for the company.

Meanwhile, its current focus is on MainPlace, which will be the company's "most sustainable effort in the city."

Going green

Hines said the building will be pre-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council with a silver rating through the group's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Core and Shell program. The council awards points to buildings with features such as air-cleaning systems, individual temperature controls, recycled building materials and purified water systems.

The tower will be clad in horizontal sunshades of glass and aluminum that will wrap around the buildings' curved north and south facades. The west facade will be shaded from evening sunlight by vertical glass fins, which will soar 630 feet from Main Street's sidewalk to the building's crown.

It will also have a recessed "sky garden" on one of the top floors and a parking garage with a "green" or landscaped roof.

"We want to make sure this building serves as a benchmark of what urban architecture should be," said Jon Pickard of Pickard Chilton, the building's architect.

Rental rates will be in the low $30-per-square-foot range, Cover said. Hines wouldn't reveal the project cost.

Spurring more projects

The company said it believes the project will spur further redevelopment in that part of downtown.

Wolff, who is also chairman of the city's transit authority, said the rail line has started paying off in terms of development along Main Street, which was not a "good business address" before the transit improvements.

"It was a very unattractive street, and it really divided downtown," he said. "Now it's the center of downtown instead of being a divider between east and west."

Complex01 Aug 22, 2007 1:57 PM

I just read the article online. I like it, its really nice. I love the color and the design. Very awesome...


Trae Aug 22, 2007 2:34 PM

Some renderings from the Chron:

Texas Tuff Aug 22, 2007 6:58 PM

Main Place looks great! Houston already has some of the best looking towers downtown than most cities could dream of and this one will certainly be a nice addition.

Trae Aug 22, 2007 8:14 PM

Discovery Tower rendering from the Chron:

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