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Great_Hizzy Oct 9, 2006 5:42 PM


According to the HBJ, the Pavillions is set to break ground on Nov. 6.

Get ready for even more dust downtown near Main Street Square and Houston Center.

NYC2ATX Oct 9, 2006 6:16 PM

The pavilions are beautiful, but the tower is a bit cookie-cutter. Still, the Houston downtown is cleaning up nice. :dancing:

Trae Oct 9, 2006 6:41 PM

Good news Great Hizzy!


Houston Pavilions lands $140M construction financing

Houston Business Journal - 11:09 AM CDT Monday
by Jennifer Dawson
Houston Business Journal

Developers of the Houston Pavilions downtown mixed-use project have secured $140 million in construction financing from North Houston Bank.

The transaction makes it possible for construction to begin on the ambitious three-block development bounded by Dallas, Polk, Main and Caroline. Groundbreaking is set for Nov. 6.

It will take two years to build the $200 million project, which will contain roughly 800,000 square feet of retail, office and high-rise residential space.

William Denton and Geoffrey Jones of Houston Pavilions LP are the developers behind the project, which has already secured the House of Blues and Lucky Strike bowling lanes as tenants.

Jones says it was important to use a local bank on the project, which has been supported by North Houston Bank since it was conceived in July 2003. North Houston Bank is the Houston-based banking affiliate of FBOP Corp.

Mark Sixour, a managing director in the Houston office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, arranged the loan.

In addition to bank financing, the Houston Pavilions has lined up an $8.8 million development grant from the City of Houston, $5.5 million from Harris County, $1 million from the Downtown District and an undisclosed amount from partner Houston Catalyst LP. The project will be part of the Main Street/Market Square Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.

Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc. is the architect on the Houston Pavilions. Houston-based D.E. Harvey Builders will serve as general contractor for the project. Construction activities will be coordinated and supervised by the Wells Partnership of Denver.

Houston Proud Oct 9, 2006 11:56 PM

Excellent news! The Pavilions will be one of Houston's great destinations. But, I have one question. Why do they say it will be 800,000 sf of retail? I thought it was around 300,000 to 350,000 sf at first? Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaning about it

Shasta Oct 10, 2006 12:10 AM

They didn't say that. They said 800,000 square feet of retail, office, and residential space.

There's a 15 story condo tower and an 11 story office loft tower as part of the project. Rumor has it that a third tower is back on the board as another condo project...

Shasta Oct 10, 2006 12:11 AM

Does anyone have more information on this project by Fairfield Residential? It's a planned 25 story tower with 274 condos...

Cory Oct 10, 2006 4:57 AM

Kind of off topic, not really, but the new MHMP has some awesome views.

Great_Hizzy Oct 10, 2006 2:52 PM

That is a nice view, WG.

Re: the Pavillions... based on the image that Trae provided, it looks like the two condos (assuming the rumor about the second tower is true) will be on blocks 1 and 3 while the office tower will take up block 2. True? I mean, looking at the designs of the three buildings would suggest that to me.

Re: the Fairfield proposal... I heard about this a few months ago but haven't found any news links. Where is it supposed to be located again? Uptown?

texasboy Oct 10, 2006 9:21 PM

Great news about Pavilions, but I guess we'll see. Also, I may be comparing apples and oranges but the Westfield Center in Downtown San Francisco opened a few weeks ago and the sidewalks have been jammed pack ever since it opened. Granted, SF's downtown retail district is more established than Houston's non existant one but if Pavilions could create a third of the foot traffic that I have seen with the new Emporium Building in SF, I would be happy. Here is one pic that does not do the area justice as far as activity.

Also, I have a friend in Houston that lives near Shepherd that tells me the 2727 Kirby Building has a nice sales office out there. Can anyone expand on the activity happening there. He also told me he heard some of the employees at Central Market speaking of the new Whole Foods opening on Post Oak. I am sure this has to do with Boulevard Place.

Houston Proud Oct 10, 2006 10:59 PM


Originally Posted by Shasta
They didn't say that. They said 800,000 square feet of retail, office, and residential space.

There's a 15 story condo tower and an 11 story office loft tower as part of the project. Rumor has it that a third tower is back on the board as another condo project...

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Shasta. I was so excited that I didn't see the other two they mention.

Trae Oct 11, 2006 1:45 AM

Photos of the Downtown Park courtesy of Daniepwils at HAIF:

When do they announce the winner for this thing?

Xeelee Oct 11, 2006 3:54 AM

How does mayor white plan to deal with all the homeless people there?

Von Oct 11, 2006 6:10 AM

omg i didn't realize of what is happening infront of G.R.B. when are they suppose to be finish with the park plans??

LouisianaRush Oct 12, 2006 3:58 AM


Originally Posted by Xeelee
How does mayor white plan to deal with all the homeless people there?

They have just as much right to be there as you or I do.

mikecolley Oct 12, 2006 3:21 PM


Originally Posted by WesternGulf
New rendering for mixed use replacing the Westcreek apartments. Next door to High Streett.(?)

Hey, I live in Westcreek apartments. Hope they don't start bulldozing it down soon! :)

Do you have an additional information on when this project will begin?

I was also wondering about the construction on the corner of Richmond and Weslayan. Does anybody have any information?

Shasta Oct 13, 2006 4:25 AM

The 13 floor 24 Waterway under consturction in The Woodlands

Xeelee Oct 13, 2006 4:38 AM


Originally Posted by HoustonRush
They have just as much right to be there as you or I do.

That's beside the point. Who's going to go there if they're to be accosted by a homeless panhandler?

LouisianaRush Oct 13, 2006 1:24 PM

I lived in downtown for over a year and was never "accosted".

Double L Oct 14, 2006 3:47 AM

Well Mayor White wants a panhandling law for one thing.

Xeelee Oct 14, 2006 7:19 PM


Originally Posted by HoustonRush
I lived in downtown for over a year and was never "accosted".

Clam down there, tiger. I lived in downtown for just under a year. I was almost assualted once when I was photographing the then new 5 Houston Center. Some guy thought I was stalking him and was getting pretty upset. He even went as far as taking down my Lotus's license plates. He was staying in the park across the street. Clearly, it was time for me to leave as I was doing so, I noticed he had roused his mates and they were starting to walk in my direction.

Xeelee Oct 14, 2006 7:19 PM

I also can't wait for this new res tower to go under const. :)

Cory Oct 16, 2006 12:47 AM

Oh, yeah. Seems like the new Vistas at Midtown are living up to their name.

Great_Hizzy Oct 16, 2006 1:05 AM

Nice view. Those top units run for well over $300K, though.

guess Oct 16, 2006 1:56 AM

Anyone know what is going up behind the new Homewood Suites across from the galleria?

Trae Oct 17, 2006 1:58 AM

Shasta Oct 17, 2006 6:30 AM

Some new infill condos around town...

Sawyer Heights in the Washington St. area

St Charles Townhomes and their view from the Eastside

The Flats at Jackson Hill off of Memorial and view

8 new townhomes on Leeland just on the other side of 59 from downtown

Cory Oct 17, 2006 6:47 AM

Great pics. It seems like the East End, particularly in the Warehouse District are getting the best designs when compared to similar infill happening in other areas. Yeah they all pretty much have fences and narrow sidewalks, but I guess that is a given in the area regarding the fences. As Hizzy said earlier, the area probably has more potential than midtown currently. I won't even comment on the Near Northside where the Sterret Street project is located. The slowness of that area being developed might be the best thing though. Thank God Rice Construction Company stepped in on developing that block. We all know we could have got some half assed three story feaux stucco townhomes between those warehouses.

Trae Oct 17, 2006 7:07 PM

Discovery Green Park is the name of Houston's downtown park.

Bailey Oct 17, 2006 7:20 PM

Downtown Park
So, the name of the new downtown park is.....DISCOVERY GREEN. :jester:

Diddle E Squat Oct 17, 2006 7:40 PM

Disco Very Green Park!

Trae Oct 17, 2006 8:19 PM

Vintage Park News:


Former HP Land Transforms into Upscale Retail Development
By: Valerie Clifton, Staff Writer

Gone will be the days of driving to The Woodlands' Market Street, when in the summer of 2007, Interfin will take the northwest Houston shopping experience to the next level.
The land, once owned by Hewlett-Packard, was purchased by the development company who brought Uptown Park the Galleria area.

At present the 500,000-square foot open-air retail center has 25 future tenants nailed down, including a 105,000-square foot HEB superstore.

The mammoth center will be conveniently poised on the southeast corner of Louetta Road and SH249.

"The location of the development will be on the right side of the road on the drive home for in-town commuters," Waller said.

Mediterranean-style architecture will provide residents of Vintage Park with a European "old world" ambience, Waller said.

"The project will look old the first day it's opened," Waller said.

To create this impression, architects will include hand-laid pavers, for a cobblestone effect, 12 stucco buildings, stone column walkways, clay tile roofs and Italian-style mosaic detailing.

While eating near the Piazza, Vintage Park's central core, diners will have a view of a series of fountains and gardens.

Interfin's Uptown Park was used as a model for Vintage Park. By learning from their experience with the Galleria area retail center, the company was able to work out any possible kinks Vintage Park may have.

"We've been able to improve on a lot of what you see there," Waller said. "The project adapted accordingly," Waller said.

They are adding more arches and more outdoor eating space to the concept than is available in Uptown Park.

"It's considerably bigger," Waller said. The project has been in the works for two years.

"Hewlett Packard kept it as inventory for a long period of time," Waller said. "There were a lot of people interested in buying and our partners were instrumental to the acquisition."

Waller believes there is a necessity for a development of these proportions in the northwest area.

"I think it's demand-generated," Waller said.

The average house hold income in a three-mile radius is $105,265.

Vintage Park will enhance the community by enhancing the park and lake to the south of the development and providing copious recreational green space for residents, Waller said.

The community surrounding the development has taken notice of the proposed plans.

"They have been very responsive and interested in what's going on," Waller said.

Some residents have expressed environmental concern. Waller says any fears activists may have are unfounded.

"We're putting back more and better trees than what we're (cutting) down," Waller said.

Retail development in Houston is very fragmented, Waller said. Measures have been taken to prevent this flaw in Vintage Park.

"Everything will have a set of deed restrictions for homes and shops," Waller said.

Uniformed way-finding signs and landscapes will be a key feature of the property.

"Everything will have a "vintage" adjective, lending a sense of identity," Waller said.

The tenants are slated to occupy their spaces in April to begin preparations for a 2007 summer opening.

Trae Oct 17, 2006 8:22 PM

Maybe the "Park Tower" will now be called "Discovery Tower." That actually isn't a bad name. Maybe this whole area will now have a "Discovery" theme to it. Something like Dallas' Victory.

Cory Oct 18, 2006 12:07 AM

Here are some new renderings for the new Faculty Tower going up in the Medical Center. 324 ft. 21 floors.

Also since the new park name is in the news, here is the article:

Click the logo for the new website. Not too much new information or renderings.

Oct. 17, 2006, 2:37PM

New Houston park's name: Discovery Green

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Houston's showcase downtown park will be called Discovery Green, officials announced at a groundbreaking ceremony today.

The name was selected from among 6,200 entries in a public contest, said Guy Hagstette, park director for the Houston Downtown Park Conservancy.

The conservancy has raised most of the projected $81 million cost of the project, mostly from private sources. Parts of the park are scheduled to open next fall, with the entire park open by January 2008.

The 12-acre park near the George R. Brown Convention Center will include an outdoor amphitheater, a large pond with an area for operating model boats, a putting green, an interactive fountain and two restaurants.

The winning name for the park was submitted by Kim Borja, a manager in the accounting department of Pappas Restaurants, conservancy officials said.

Some additional renderings I found of the park:

Hopefully the future of this area:

Trae Oct 18, 2006 12:27 AM

This will be the future of this area. Hopefully the buildings are a little higher. When this happens, do you think it could compare to Dallas' Victory?

Trae Oct 18, 2006 12:42 AM


When the time came to determine the personalities of the restaurants that would occupy Discovery Green, there was little hesitation as to whom the Houston Downtown Park Conservancy should consult. For more than 25 years, Houstonians have enjoyed the signature, regional flavors and culinary innovations of the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group. Locally based and nationally known, this group of restaurateurs was the natural choice.

The Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group built its culinary reputation at Cafe Annie and the less formal, Bar Annie. The group was a pioneer in the “fast casual” arena with Cafe Express and Taco Milagro. At Discovery Green, the group will create and operate a signature destination restaurant, as well as a casual, self-serve lakeside concept. Both are sure to add to the park’s opportunities to discover.

mikecolley Oct 18, 2006 1:05 AM

Destruction has finally begun on the long abandoned Ford dealership on Westheimer, between the Galleria and Highland Village. This will be the site of the new High Street development. Sorry I couldn't find any additional information.

Cory Oct 18, 2006 1:08 AM

Thanks for the pics. I work in Highland Village so I could probably keep an eye on what is going on there but I am still looking for a new camera. :(

Trae Oct 18, 2006 1:30 AM

Can't wait to get Houston's first W-Hotel in High Street.

Cory Oct 18, 2006 2:23 AM


Originally Posted by TraeSlab713
Can't wait to get Houston's first W-Hotel in High Street.

In all seriousness, I do not think we know what hotel will occupy the site and the hotel you are speaking of is not in the High Street development. It is next door at Westcreek which is farrrrrr from being re-developed.

mikecolley says he lives at Westcreek and it seems like he has not even heard of the development.

guess Oct 18, 2006 2:38 AM


Originally Posted by WesternGulf
In all seriousness, I do not think we know what hotel will occupy the site and the hotel you are speaking of is not in the High Street development. It is next door at Westcreek which is farrrrrr from being re-developed.

mikecolley says he lives at Westcreek and it seems like he has not even heard of the development.

speaking of that

New developer to add ripple to crowded Creek

" Austin-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors intended to create midrise and high-rise residences, retail space and a boutique hotel on the 29-acre Westcreek site, just inside the 610 Loop between Westheimer and San Felipe. (See "Mixed-use project flows to Westcreek," April 28, 2006.)

However, Cypress executives have decided the complicated mixed-use project required a particular skill set they do not possess, says Cypress Principal John Kiltz, who notes that the firm primarily builds residential units if and when it develops properties.

As a result, the 15 acres closest to Westheimer is under contract to an undisclosed buyer that plans to begin working on a mixed-use project with a strong retail component as soon as the deal closes later this year."


texasboy Oct 18, 2006 3:40 AM

vjhe, clear out some of your pm's, I cannot even send you a message.

By the way, I need to stay updated some more. I had no idea that park actually started.

vjhe Oct 18, 2006 6:05 PM


Originally Posted by texasboy
vjhe, clear out some of your pm's, I cannot even send you a message.

By the way, I need to stay updated some more. I had no idea that park actually started.

Whoops, sorry about that texasboy. I have just taken care of it. Try to send it now.

Hey Traeslab713, I can't wait until we get our first W-Hotel either. Then we will be just like Dallas and Atlanta.:banana: ;)

Xeelee Oct 19, 2006 2:20 AM

It was a pleasure - whilst sippping my rum and coke - to read this thread. cool pics. I'll try to take a few pics of my own. :)

JManc Oct 19, 2006 3:00 AM

i bought my truck at the dealership. :(

Shasta Oct 19, 2006 6:28 AM

The word is out about Galveston.

Drake Development of South Carolina is proposing a 38 story, 366 condo unit tower for Galveston's East Beach. Drake has a stellar reputation for getting projects up on the coast with numerous projects in Myrtle Beach. The prices for this one start at $700,000. That seems to be a reach but we'll see...

East Beach Resort and Spa

JManc Oct 19, 2006 7:05 AM

what is this "need not be built" thing?

Great_Hizzy Oct 19, 2006 2:23 PM

Meaning it's not an essential piece to the project's initial success. The profit margins aren't predicated on what happens with Phase II.

Cory Oct 19, 2006 7:09 PM

Oct. 18, 2006, 6:19PM

Developer of Bolsover site gets approval from Houston council

Chronicle Correspondent

Houston City Council voted Wednesday to move forward with sale and abandonment of the 2400 block of Bolsover Street in Rice Village to make way for a condominium and retail development.

Developer Lamesa Village Ltd. intends to create a project with an open pedestrian plaza. The next step is to get an appraisal of the street, after which the final contract would go back to council for final approval.

A group of nine residents and Rice Village business tenants attended council's Tuesday public comment meeting to oppose the abandonment.

The project on Bolsover between Kelvin and Morningside streets would have retail stores facing into the plaza. Above the shops would be 230 to 250 condo units costing about $500,000 each.

Julie Tysor, vice president of developer The Appelt Co. and of the general partner of Lamesa Properties, described the plan as, "a true mixed use development similar to East Coast and West Coast developments you've seen in dense urban areas."

Parking would be hidden behind the stores and underground with 500 spaces for residents and 400 spaces for retail visitors. There also would be some street parking.

As the plan stands, Lamesa is creating 160 more parking spots than what is required by city ordinance.

"We are long-time owners and landlords in the village," Tysor said. "It is a unique community in Houston that isn't replicated anyplace else. It is ripe for redevelopment to benefit the surrounding residents as well as the University and Medical Center. The current trends in Houston all call for a development like this."

At the Tuesday meeting, residents said parking and traffic were among their primary concerns.

Ronald Stein, a 30-year tenant of the village with a real estate office in the 2400 block of Times Boulevard, told council the development was a detriment to traffic and safety of the village.

"It's a very, very unique and very, very small parcel of Houston. It's two blocks by five blocks," he said. "This large project proposed on Bolsover will do nothing but harm.

"I don't think an adequate study has been done regarding traffic, safety and parking," he said before the meeting.

Resident Sallie Hightower of the 2200 block of Robinhood Street said she has lived in the Rice Village area for 40 years and would like to see the developer do the right thing for the community.

"I understand that individual rights are important and the developer does have the right to develop that property," she said. "Just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."

Southampton resident Robert Glaser of the 2100 block of Tangley said, "I understand there is urbanization going on but there is no way the infrastructure in place can handle the increased density in this area."

Judith Snively, a lawyer whose practice is located in the 2400 block of Times, said she also doesn't trust the traffic study Lamesa had done.

"I'm on that street almost every day myself right now," she said. "I don't think we're against a building being put in, but closing a street that is so precious to us ... how is that going to benefit the city? That is just going to make traffic worse."

Lamesa hired Traffic Engineers Inc., a 35-year-old Houston company, to perform a study as part of the abandonment request. The Department of Public Works and Engineering asked for a supplemental study, which was done.

After reviewing both studies, the department recommended abandonment, given several conditions.

The conditions include:

•Installing left-turn lanes on Kelvin and Morningside at the Rice Boulevard intersection;
•Adding right of way space to the east side of Kelvin Street and west side of Morningside Street, where angled parking spaces would be added; and,
•Constructing a four-foot wide sidewalk on Kelvin and Morningside between Bolsover and Dunstan streets to comply with American with Disabilities Act standards.
District C council member Anne Clutterbuck said not closing Bolsover Street would make for a very different development without green space.

Of the study she said, "I'm satisfied the counts were accurate. Traffic is always going to be a problem in the village and it will continue to be whether we approve the abandonment or not."

Bolsover would not be the first street in Rice Village the city has abandoned to a developer. Part of Amherst Street was ceded to Weingarten Realty for parking.

Clutterbuck cited the Amherst Street abandonment Tuesday in promoting her amendment to the motion for abandonment, which allows council to specify the approved use of Bolsover. The amendment passed.

"We have been burned in the past," Clutterbuck said of Amherst Street.

She said Weingarten originally told council the parking garage would be free to the public, but it is now paid parking.

Clutterbuck said there also would be provisions in the contract for the sale and abandonment, saying if Bolsover Street were not used as specified, the city would get to keep the money from the sale and get its street back.

"This amendment amplifies that," she said.

Tysor said the amendment is fine with her.

"We intend to build what we've proposed to the community so this doesn't present a problem to me," Tysor said.

Before the vote Wednesday, at-large council member Peter Brown said he supports the project because it "provides some civic public space that we need so desperately in our city."

Clutterbuck said the issue was of particular interest to her not only because Rice Village is in her district, but also because she lives five blocks from the proposed development.

"I have put more time into this particular issue than probably any other since I've been on City Council," she said. "When I look at this project, I look at what is in the best interest of not only Rice Village, but also adjoining communities and the city as a whole."

She explained why she supports the project saying City Council cannot regulate the height or density of developments, but it can regulate parking, green space and setbacks.

Given those limitations, Clutterbuck said this proposal exceeds the city's requirements for parking, meets the setback and "I like that it's going to turn a large portion back into green space."

Clutterbuck said density is coming to the inner core.

"(The development) will satisfy an increasing need for density and may forestall additional development," she said.

Tysor said tenants of the current building on Bolsover are being relocated and some might come back to occupy the new space.

Current tenants include Nit Noi Thai Restaurant, Café Rabelais, Creations From the Heart Flowers and Gifts, and the Eastern Carpet House.

Tysor said Lamesa would not have commitments from new retailers until the plans are finalized, but the space would include approximately 100,000 square feet of retail space, which could hold about eight to 10 businesses.

She said she expects, "a few restaurants, hopefully a boutique, a grocer and some high-end soft goods retailers" such as shoe or clothing stores.

Once the appraisal is done, the proposal goes back to Houston council for final approval.

Tysor said construction would likely begin in spring 2007 and it would take 18 months to complete.

texasboy Oct 19, 2006 9:04 PM

This makes me wish even more that light rail was more closer to say Morningside than on the eastern edge of Rice. I know that would have been impossible or complicated because it is a must to connect the TMC but that area is starving for better service when dealing with public transportation. I use to rent a duplex near Bayard Lane in the Museum District and almost any sort of retail or groceries were in the vicinity of the Village and Kirby. If I did not want to drive to the Village and I had some time on my hands, sometimes I would have to take the rail to the TMC Transit Center and catch the 73. Which was slow but fast for Houston standards I guess. Walking down Bissonet to University was a pain and the walk from the Dryden/TMC station down University was not a walk in the park either. After a while of testing METRO, I just started to drive. This development would be a nice additon to the area though but I say traffic is a mess in that area for a reason.

Great_Hizzy Oct 19, 2006 9:14 PM

Is it me or does it appear that they've changed the color scheme? Seems more ivory than beige now.

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