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guess Jan 11, 2007 12:31 AM

Orion to finally blast off as Asbury at River Oaks apartments

Great_Hizzy Jan 11, 2007 4:30 PM

Just so people aren't confused, the new development will be midrise buildings and not the oppulent twin giants originally planned. Disappointing on one end but a positive impact overall, as it shows the continued movment towards multi-unit living inside the loop.

Cory Jan 11, 2007 7:45 PM

I actually can say I'm not mad about the Orion.

Shasta Jan 11, 2007 9:37 PM

I liked the look of the towers.

That said, I am glad the project flopped. That would have been a disaster to the area. There is just ONE way in and out of Asbury and that is Memorial Drive. The traffic is already wicked bad and I was never too keen on what would have been the impact on the Buffalo Bayou.

A midrise is a much better solution.

guess Jan 13, 2007 7:36 PM

some recent stuff

Anyone know what this is. East side of downtown

Near Mosaic??

LordElPaso Jan 14, 2007 12:21 AM

oh man - i hope they made that train crossing a quiet zone

Xeelee Jan 15, 2007 4:32 AM


Originally Posted by LordElPaso (Post 2563730)
oh man - i hope they made that train crossing a quiet zone

I doubt it. I sometimes drive through there and if it's not the blaring train alarms, it's the thunderous massive train itself. Trains are no quiet beast.

LordElPaso Jan 15, 2007 6:55 AM

yeah, i lived on the east side for a year - until i got an awesome little sound machine about 4 months in, living there was a nightmare - blaring trains at 4/5am, some nights every hour!

rdavis4559 Jan 16, 2007 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by jmancuso (Post 2526567)
i wasn't aware we were in a race but i will say this...we have way more corner drug stores than you guys in miami could ever hope for. :frog:

"Since the middle of 2006, the frenzied condominium market here [D.C.] and in several other big cities like Las Vegas, Miami and Boston has collapsed. Once roaring sales have slowed to a trickle, sparse inventory has mushroomed into a glut and soaring prices have flattened out and started falling."

Cory Jan 16, 2007 3:02 PM

Thanks for the updates. The East DT project is the Canal Street apartments I believe.

rdavis4559 Jan 18, 2007 1:53 PM

Heres another shot of discovery green from the roof of the magnolia hotel
and heres two pics just for fun

Xeelee Jan 20, 2007 7:31 AM


Shasta Jan 20, 2007 6:42 PM

The people who are developing the Endeavour Clear Lake in Pasadena (a 30 story tower with 80 condos) are going to be busy. The Endeavour Clear Lake will be finished in mid 2007. Here's the rendering...

Adjacent to this property, the Endeavour Group has already broken ground on the Endeavour Marina at Parkside. This will be a mixed use development with close to 100,000 square feet of space and plenty of boat storage capabilities. In April of 2007, they will break ground on The Endeavour Parkside. The E.P. will be 34 floors tall and house 146 condo units. Completion is anticipated in late 2008. Here's the rendering...

Now the group is planning to develop another marina with mixed-use space, including to residential "loft" towers. No details have been announced on the towers but here's an early rendering. This will be located on Clear Lake but in the town of Seabrook...

Finally, the group is proposing a $100 million development called Endeavour Poretto Beach in Galveston. This multi unit condo/hotel project will be located on the Seawall. No other details have been released yet though.

texasboy Jan 22, 2007 8:56 PM

Nice stuff coming to the lake. ^^

WesternGulf, empty out some of your private messages so I can write you back. I'm giving you my cell # and tell me the exact date your coming to town.

Cory Jan 23, 2007 3:49 PM

It only makes sense being on the Fannin South station and all.

Jan. 21, 2007, 9:05AM
AstroWorld site's transformation surges ahead
Group seeks city designation to aid in acreage's development

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

The investment group that bought the former AstroWorld site is moving forward with plans to redevelop the 104-acre property.

Angel/McIver Interests is seeking the creation of a municipal management district for the site.

The special district would help finance infrastructure, such as roads and drainage systems, as well as parking facilities, landscaping and security, according to Robert Randolph, an attorney working with the Conroe-based company that bought the acreage last summer.

The investment group is planning a mixed-use transit-oriented development for the former theme park land. It would include high-density residential units, offices, shops and a hotel.

The management district would sell bonds to build the facilities, as well as collect taxes, user fees, parking revenues and potentially levy special assessments on property owners to pay for the bonds.

Part of the plan includes a proposal to reroute the light rail line through the property.

A Metro spokeswoman said the Metropolitan Transit Authority has requested a proposal from Angel/McIver, but it has not yet received it.

Management districts are meant to promote employment, economic development and public welfare in commercial areas.

Other Houston-area districts include downtown, Uptown, Greenspoint, Upper Kirby, Westchase and the Energy Corridor.

The Legislature approves the districts and initially appoints their boards.

Angel/McIver could not be reached for comment.

AstroWorld closed in 2005 after 37 years in business. Park attendance had been waning, while the value of the real estate had risen.

Angel/McIver signed a contract last year to buy the site from Six Flags for $77 million.

To be sure, the area has been in transformation.

While there are still numerous industrial developments there, townhome builders have been adding new housing and investors have been snapping up parcels and betting on the area's future potential.

Located just outside of the 610 Loop between Fannin and Kirby, the former AstroWorld site is near Reliant Park, the Texas Medical Center and Metro's light rail line.

Reverberation Jan 23, 2007 4:05 PM

Great news! The city pushes south.

Great_Hizzy Jan 23, 2007 5:09 PM

That would indeed be a great stimulus for southern development. It would help increase the city's overall density and provide infrastructure to an area that sorely needs it.

And it could lead to the eventual development of yet another skyline district. Of course, it all depends on how it's handled both by the city and the private group seeking to redevelop the land.

Houston Proud Jan 23, 2007 8:36 PM

Will there be a theme park in 2010?
I don't know this true, or not. But, I've heard Astroworld, or some other theme park brought over one hundred of acres out in Katy and it will be finish by 2010.

Where I got this source? From my brother that works for Chervon downtown. They told him about what's going on with Astroworld, and the reason why they moved.

Mopacs Jan 23, 2007 9:11 PM


Originally Posted by Houston Proud (Post 2584183)
I don't know this true, or not. But, I've heard Astroworld, or some other theme park brought over one hundred of acres out in Katy and it will be finish by 2010.

Where I got this source? From my brother that works for Chervon downtown. They told him about what's going on with Astroworld, and the reason why they moved.

Weren't there also rumors of Disney gobbling up some land in or near Katy? Of course there are rumors of Disney just about everywhere (including Austin, some years ago).

However, I have no reason to doubt the posibility of a Six Flags near Katy... lots of available land, good access to an interregional freeway, and plenty of young families to draw from on the west side. Time will tell.

Houston Proud Jan 24, 2007 8:43 AM


Allen House, long a local residential icon, will soon be gone, replaced by a mixed-use project of housing, offices and retail
From the ground up

ALONG scenic Allen Parkway and five minutes from downtown, the Allen House Apartments are a local institution, a place college students, seniors, actors and journalists have called home.

The owners of the property want to make it a different kind of local landmark.

On Tuesday, residents there were told that the Boston-based real estate firm that has owned the complex for two decades plans to turn the 24 acres of prime land into Regent Square, a mixed-use urban village housing apartments, condominiums, shops and a boutique hotel.

For Houston, known for its suburban sprawl, Regent Square will be something different: an open, walkable neighborhood for living, working, shopping and dining.

The developer, GID Urban Development Group, a division of the General Investment and Development Cos., has hired seven architecture firms to design the project.

GID owns 12,000 apartment units nationally.

The first phase, scheduled to start construction in September and to be completed in 2010, will offer 740 apartment units, 230,000 square feet of retail, 60,000 square feet of office space and a hotel on two city blocks.

A future phase of the project GID hopes to complete by 2014 could have 1,000 more residential units, including three condominium towers, more apartments and another 100,000 square feet of retail space.

Other plans rumored
It's not the only major mixed-use project being proposed locally. Wulfe & Co. already announced its plans for a 21-acre BLVD Place near the Galleria, and others are rumored to be in the works.

Even among such projects, however, Regent Square may be unique. Most local mixed-use proposals are to be on massive square-block sites, whereas Regent Square is on an irregularly shaped property that aims to blend into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.

John Darrah, vice president, GID Urban Development Group, said he hopes to create a "symbiotic relationship" with nearby River Oaks Shopping Center to encourage shoppers to visit both districts on the same trip.

Regent Square will be bordered on the north by Allen Parkway, south by West Clay, east by Dunlavy and west by Tirrell.

Darrah would not disclose the project's cost.

Conventional wisdom
A mixed-use project like Regent Square goes against the conventional wisdom of Houston developers, said Michael Swartz, a project manager at David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, the Washington, D.C., firm that is doing the master plan.

"In Houston, there's a mind-set of: You make your return on investment in three years," but with Regent Square, Swartz said, "you have an owner who's committed to a project for a very long term. They've owned the property for 20 years
and expect to keep it for
20 years or more.

"An early exit strategy wouldn't work with a project like this."

Schwarz has designed other mixed-use projects in Texas. They include West Village in Dallas, Southlake Town Square outside Fort Worth and Ameriquest Field/Ballpark in Arlington.

Houston-based Morris Architects is the project's executive architect. It will oversee the design and construction of the project in collaboration with design firms, including Schwarz, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Aponwao Design in Miami and B&D Studio in Parma, Italy.

In the first phase, most of the buildings will be traditionally styled, between four and eight stories, while a few prominently featured structures will be contemporary.

Urban mixed-use projects reflect a national trend and are increasingly popular among empty nesters and young professionals, particularly those who are tired of long automobile commutes, said Michael Beyard, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute.

Regent Square's location "couldn't be much better" for an urban-style mixed-use project, said Kent Dussair, president of CDS Market Research, a Houston-based professional consulting firm. "Allen Parkway is one of Houston's gems."

Right circumstances
Many people want to live near downtown, given the right circumstances and environment and residential unit price, he said.

"I think it will be very exciting for the northern end of Montrose. The design, from what I saw, is really very exciting," said Sue Lovell, at-large city council member.

The city will likely have to grant variances for the project, she said. It will look at potential negative effects from the new development, such as more traffic congestion.

"The beauty of their project is there's a lot of entrances and exits, as opposed to other projects in Montrose sending lots of traffic out one way into very busy streets," she said.

New streets will be constructed on the site: a main north-south thoroughfare and another going east-west, parallel to and south of Dallas.

About 30 percent of Regent Square will be devoted to public space, such as wide sidewalks and a public square.

There will be underground, street level and above-ground parking.

The 896 units in the Allen House complex are nearly full.

Christine Covelli, who rents a one-bedroom apartment at Allen House, said she'd live there forever if she could.

"At least now it's moderately priced," she said.

Allen House, which was built in the 1960s, has been a close-knit community, she said. The six-year resident often barbecues in the courtyards with other tenants.

Notices of the impending apartment demolition were sent Tuesday to the 600 residents in the part of the complex that will be developed first.

They will not have to move out until June, Darrah said, and longer-term residents will receive various move-out benefits, relocation help and discounts on rent if they choose to move into Regent Square.

Cory Jan 24, 2007 2:26 PM

Great news. Love the rendering.

Also, High Street definitely looks like its a go. Seems like they are trying to lay out the "streets" on the site.

Here are some new renderings.

Complex01 Jan 24, 2007 5:23 PM

They look like really nice projects. I likes them very much...


Shasta Jan 24, 2007 6:29 PM

The Regent Square is really nice. I love how the taller buildings look like they will front Allen Parkway and offer Buffalo Bayou views. Should make for a nice little cluster with the Royalton, America, Wortham, and other towers nearby. Also, Stern architects here in Boston builds some amazing projects. Their work is top notch and I am glad to see them come to Houston. Maybe they will show Houston developers how to build a high quality mixed-use project.

My other thought on the matter was that with this much retail built into the project, hopefully some of the West Gray shopping center (River Oaks Theater) can be saved...

Great_Hizzy Jan 25, 2007 4:05 PM

Boy, Regency Square really does look impressive by design. However, I'm already prepared for the scaled down version. I can't imagine the project looking like that from day one. Maybe eventually, though, in stages.

KevinFromTexas Jan 26, 2007 9:43 AM

Hey, Houstonians, TraeSlab713 wanted me to do a compilation list for Houston like what I did for Austin and San Antonio.

Example, Austin:

And San Antonio:

What do you think?

Great_Hizzy Jan 26, 2007 3:43 PM

Sure, that'd be cool. I don't know how long it would take you, though.

buildergeek Jan 30, 2007 11:53 PM


Originally Posted by Great_Hizzy (Post 2547769)
Courtesy of Shasta on the Texas / South Central thread:

New Houston Residential Tower:

The Sterling Memorial Villages -

27-story tower located in West Houston (Voss Road) will be a condo project for seniors and retirees. 166 units starting at about $400,000. The project is expected to be done by 2010.

Full rendering from sign on the property

Trae Jan 31, 2007 1:15 AM

Doesn't look bad. We need to get more projects off the ground.

And thanks Kevin for the soon to be new look!

Shasta Jan 31, 2007 9:01 PM

Big HOTEL news
MetroNational's remake of the Memorial City area had a huge announcement today. Two new hotels will be built and the old Radisson will be renovated and rebranded.

The biggest news is the announcement of The Westin Houston Memorial City. This hotel will feature 250 hotel rooms and 65 for-sale condos to be built on the top floors. Ground breaking is set for summer 2007. This will be built next to the new 35 story Memorial Hermann Tower that is now rising.

The second new hotel will be the Sheraton Houston Memorial City. This 155 room hotel will be built next door to Baseball U.S.A.

The Radisson will be renovated and turned into a Four Points by Sheraton Houston Memorial City. The renovated hotel will feature 170 rooms.

No word yet on building heights but I'd imagine the Westin to come in at 20 plus floors and the Sheraton around 12 floors.

Also, the old Warwick Hotel in the Museum District is now officially the Hotel ZaZa Houston. Rooms are available for reservation. Can't wait to try it out on my next trip down there.

Trae Jan 31, 2007 9:44 PM

Where did you get the news from? And Memorial City is forming a new skyline.

Shasta Jan 31, 2007 9:56 PM

as well as at...just click on the first story unders news...

Great_Hizzy Feb 1, 2007 9:58 PM

MC's developing quite the little skyline now. Still not quite at WC's level but not far behind. Perhaps MC will eventually be taking Greenspoint's place in the overall Houston Skyline Hierarchy.

BTW, has anyone noticed the new projects in Chinatown? In addition to the office building already going up, I believe they've broken ground a new hotel as well.

Complex01 Feb 1, 2007 10:17 PM

Well it is nice to see more stuff going up around MC. I only really drive by that area, once in a great while. But its nice the way that area is turning out...

Complex01 Feb 1, 2007 10:53 PM

I just saw this and wanted to share.

Houstonist Flickr Photo of the Day - Houston Rush Hour

The shot from flickr user and Houstonist photo contributor deneyterrio.

"Sometimes these long-exposure shots of traffic seem gimmicky. Not in this case. It is a great angle and captures I-45 looking northeast towards the Lyric Center. Also, the hazy orange coloration that is sometimes created in foggy/misty situations is a common part of the Houston rush hour experience for many people. The only thing about this shot that seperates it from being completely iconic is that, unlike most rush hours, the cars seem to be moving."


Trae Feb 2, 2007 3:43 PM

WesternGulf said on another site that the three-parking lots will be closed for good after this afternoon. Pavilions ground breaking on Monday maybe? Also, here are some House of Blues renderings from the House of Blues website:

From Carolina St.

From Dallas St.

From inside the Pavilions

Complex01 Feb 2, 2007 10:51 PM

Very nice, they look great...

Cory Feb 5, 2007 3:12 PM


WesternGulf said on another site that the three-parking lots will be closed for good after this afternoon
Well I woke up early Saturday morning to catch the train to downtown and those mofos, the cars, were still there. So I thought I would wait 'til this morning to see and it is the same sight as Friday.

Great_Hizzy Feb 5, 2007 8:06 PM

Clearly, no ground breaking today. Personally, I'd stop driving myself crazy trying to anticipate an actual date. It's like a watched phone.

Also, the Feb. 5, 2007 date was never concrete. It was a "scheduled" ground breaking.

Although, I can understand how annoying it is to keep waiting for a project of this size and impact to get going. I'd focus on Discovery Green for the time being (even with the controversial name).

Xeelee Feb 6, 2007 3:17 PM


Originally Posted by WesternGulf (Post 2612200)
Well I woke up early Saturday morning to catch the train to downtown and those mofos, the cars, were still there. So I thought I would wait 'til this morning to see and it is the same sight as Friday.

Somehow I knew this would happen... Ugh.

houston19514 Feb 7, 2007 2:58 PM

Houston Pavilions - Good News

Originally Posted by Xeelee (Post 2614778)
Somehow I knew this would happen... Ugh.

Good News on the Houston Pavilions project. The city approved the building permits at City Council meeting on January 31, 2007.

Great_Hizzy Feb 7, 2007 4:16 PM

Why, don't bring up actual facts, 19514. It's better to sit and fall apart because a tentative ground breaking date yielded no results.

Keep up, bub!


Cory Feb 7, 2007 10:36 PM

Courtesy of DJ V Lawrence

Rendering of AstroWord mixed use plan.

Trae Feb 7, 2007 11:19 PM

That thing looks pretty big. I hope it gets filled up and the land behind it gets developed. The south side needs some help.

Cory Feb 7, 2007 11:24 PM

I don't think you can do too much with the land of office parks.

Shasta Feb 9, 2007 6:58 AM

more good signs for downtown
A major 300,000 square foot lease in the former Texaco Heritage Plaza (called 1111 Bagby now) is just another sign that a new building may be on the way...

Great_Hizzy Feb 9, 2007 4:40 PM

12.5% DT vacancy rate! The magic number, baby!

Complex01 Feb 9, 2007 8:34 PM

Nice, maybe we can get another tall one, soon. We need another one in the DT.

Houston Proud Feb 11, 2007 7:26 AM

A couple of highly anticipated downtown real estate projects are expected to get started this month, lifting a cloud of uncertainty that often hangs over much-touted developments — some of which never see the light of day.

Finger Cos. will officially break ground in March on the first new ground-up apartment tower to be built in this area in decades with the pouring of its slab, but construction trucks were set to be on-site by today, according to Houston developer Marvy Finger.

The 37-story One Park Place will contain 346 upscale apartments overlooking the new city park Discovery Green, which is being developed across the street with fountains and gardens as well as two restaurants run by the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group, creator of Cafe Annie, Cafe Express and Taco Milagro.

The high-rise at McKinney and Austin is expected to have a specialty grocer, wine store, coffee shop and cafe.

The city has granted a foundation permit for the project and plans for the structure are still in the review process, according to Wes Johnson of the city's public works and engineering department.

A nearby development set to transform three blocks is also moving closer to reality.

The Houston Pavilions is scheduled to break ground by the third week of this month, according to its developers.

"The project will be completed in October of 2008 as originally planned," William Denton and Geoffrey Jones said in an e-mail.

It should have received a foundation permit late last week, Johnson said.

Bounded by Dallas, Polk, Main and Caroline, the project is planned as a retail, entertainment and office destination.

The developers said about half the space has been leased. House of Blues and the Lucky Strike bowling concept, along with McCormick & Schmick's, Red Cat Jazz Cafe and Lawry's, the Prime Rib, have signed up for space.

Houston Pavilions won't have a residential component as once envisioned, but another nearby property — the long-vacant Texaco Building — is said to be the next residential conversion project with more than 400 units.
The broker involved with the building couldn't be reached for more details.

Real estate observers say the new projects will give a major boost to downtown's residential market.

"It'll be a real turning point for downtown residential," said David Cook, a real estate broker with Cushman & Wakefield who's active in the area.

Houston Proud Feb 11, 2007 7:30 AM

Research building started
Construction has started on the Methodist Hospital Research Institute building in the Texas Medical Center.

The 420,000-square-foot advanced medical research facility will have five floors of laboratory space, imaging equipment and operating rooms for research.

In early 2004, Methodist's board approved $100 million to create an endowment to launch the institute.

Later that year, the board committed an additional $30 million to fund a neurological institute as part of the research center.

The project is being built next to the Methodist Hospital on Bertner Avenue and it should be completed in 2009.

Xeelee Feb 13, 2007 4:07 AM

Well blow me down!

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