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Great_Hizzy
Oct 9, 2006, 5:42 PM
BTW,

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

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2006/10/09/daily3.html?jst=b_ln_hl

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.

http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/5305/awr9.jpg

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...
http://www.hayneswhaley.com/project_images/MemorialCondos.jpg

Cory
Oct 10, 2006, 4:57 AM
Kind of off topic, not really, but the new MHMP has some awesome views.

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/3707/asr2.th.jpg (http://img168.imageshack.us/my.php?image=asr2.jpg)

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.

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/2771/westfieldyl2.jpg

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
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:


http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e178/Daniepwils/Park%20Pictures/DSC00008.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e178/Daniepwils/Park%20Pictures/DSC00007.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e178/Daniepwils/Park%20Pictures/DSC00003.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e178/Daniepwils/Park%20Pictures/DSC00001.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e178/Daniepwils/Park%20Pictures/DSC00002.jpg

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

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/7558/ago3.jpg

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

http://www.hayneswhaley.com/project_images/PLAZAVIEWcrop.jpg

Xeelee
Oct 13, 2006, 4:38 AM
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
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.

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1166/aaiv4.th.jpg (http://img97.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aaiv4.jpg)

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
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1166/aaiv4.jpg

Shasta
Oct 17, 2006, 6:30 AM
Some new infill condos around town...

Sawyer Heights in the Washington St. area
http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/07/hr1787407-1.jpg

St Charles Townhomes and their view from the Eastside
http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/64/hr1785364-1.jpg

http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/64/hr1785364-2.jpg

The Flats at Jackson Hill off of Memorial and view
http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/35/hr1785935-1.jpg

http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/35/hr1785935-2.jpg

8 new townhomes on Leeland just on the other side of 59 from downtown
http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/72/hr1787072-1.jpg
http://harpictures.marketlinx.com/MediaDisplay/57/hr1787057-1.jpg

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
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.


Link (http://www.hcnonline.com/site/news.cfm?new...33558&rfi=6)

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.

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/3344/alr1.jpg

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/7015/aaym0.jpg


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.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/3922/aa7tj1.jpg (www.discoverygreen.com)

Oct. 17, 2006, 2:37PM

New Houston park's name: Discovery Green

By MIKE SNYDER
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.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4265563.html


Some additional renderings I found of the park:

http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/3948/aa2bc8.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/2563/aa3ex1.jpg

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/1946/aa4iq1.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/7466/aa5cm4.jpg

Hopefully the future of this area:

http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/2587/aa6bx1.jpg

Trae
Oct 18, 2006, 12:27 AM
http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/2587/aa6bx1.jpg

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
Restaurants

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.

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/high_st_development1.jpg

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/high_st_development2.jpg

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/high_st_development3.jpg

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
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
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."

more (http://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/othercities/houston/stories/2006/10/16/story5.html?b=1160971200^1360541)

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
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
http://www.drakedevelopment.com/images/Galveston/GalvestonArt/galvestonpicturesphase.jpg

http://www.drakedevelopment.com/images/Galveston/GalvestonArt/Map.jpg

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

http://img277.imageshack.us/img277/2811/arc2.jpg

Developer of Bolsover site gets approval from Houston council


By JENNIFER FRIEDBERG
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.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/bellaire/news/4269484.html

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.

Cory
Oct 19, 2006, 9:22 PM
Is it me or does it appear that they've changed the color scheme? Seems more ivory than beige now.

Maybe it is just this rendering.

I agree with texasboy somewhat, but the people that will take the bus to the Village are a strict minority in Houston and I think traffic would still be just as bad if bus service was better and I think even the residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the Village will even continue to drive. (sorry for the run-on.) Bus service down Kirby sucks so I don't blame them. That does not mean the P.T. should stay the same especially when you have developments like this adding about 500 new residents to the block. Maybe 73 will speed up its service one day.

Houston Proud
Oct 19, 2006, 11:15 PM
I read on Chron.com about the new park. They mention that it also going to have a ice skating rink. Is this true?

Furthermore, did anyone hear about the $1.4 billion dollar devepolment Texas Children Hospital is planning? That info and graphic designs is also on Chron.com

Boris
Oct 20, 2006, 1:28 AM
Here are the designs/renderings of the new Childrens' hospitals:

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/19/a10_19___a1019medcen/a10_19___a1019medcen.jpg


Texas Children's West Houston campus will be located at a 55-acre tract at I-10 and Barker-Cypress and start with 96 beds.

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/18/3862887/600xPopupGallery.jpg


The Neurological Research Institute will consist of research labs and a vivarium encompassing 15 floors and 400,000 square feet of space.

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/18/3862796/600xPopupGallery.jpg


The $575 million maternity center is the most expensive piece of the Texas Children's Hospital initiative.

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/18/3862787/600xPopupGallery.jpg

Here's the Houston.chron article:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4270485.html

Shasta
Oct 20, 2006, 3:56 AM
It looks like the shuttered hotel (Holiday Inn?...the one on top of the garage) may give way to the new Maternity Center. The skywalk would attach it to the West Tower and Clinical Care Center that already exist across Fannin.

Seems as if the Neurological Center will be on Baylor's campus?

I like the looks of the med center buildings.

Trae
Oct 20, 2006, 3:09 PM
http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/18/3862887/600xPopupGallery.jpg

That, along with the St. Christus Catherine hospital exapansion on Fry Road, plus the new Med Center on IH-10 and 99, then the 500 foot Medical Tower near Memorial City Mall will give this area its need for hospitals.

Great_Hizzy
Oct 20, 2006, 4:03 PM
I really like the graphic of that last Texas Children's project. Has a bit of flare to it.

Trae
Oct 20, 2006, 9:02 PM
I read on Chron.com about the new park. They mention that it also going to have a ice skating rink. Is this true?

Furthermore, did anyone hear about the $1.4 billion dollar devepolment Texas Children Hospital is planning? That info and graphic designs is also on Chron.com

A skating rink? Wouldn't it melt most of the year. I mean its not indoors.

Trae
Oct 20, 2006, 9:05 PM
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
http://www.drakedevelopment.com/images/Galveston/GalvestonArt/galvestonpicturesphase.jpg

http://www.drakedevelopment.com/images/Galveston/GalvestonArt/Map.jpg


So, is Phase II not going to be built, or is it depending on sales.

Great_Hizzy
Oct 20, 2006, 9:27 PM
Probably depends on sales.

guess
Oct 21, 2006, 5:52 PM
http://www.wulfe.com/images/PagePhotos/BoulevardPlace_Lg.jpg

New Video
http://www.wulfe.com/BoulevardPlace.asp

Shasta
Oct 21, 2006, 7:55 PM
That will be such a HUGE improvement over what currently exists. It also looks like there will be FOUR hi-rises in the complex. Also interesting to note that there will be boutique office space added. That is a sign that the local market is doing quite well. This is expecially good news considering the Uptown/Galleria office market had been rather dormant for quite awhile.

Can't wait to see it happen!

Great_Hizzy
Oct 23, 2006, 3:44 PM
Any news on the site across Post Oak from Blvd. Place? IIRC, the owners of the current shopping center announced a similar plan for that site as BLVD Place, but it would be smaller in scale. I haven't heard anything else about it in months, however.

Boris
Oct 23, 2006, 11:25 PM
Restaurants confirmed for Houston Pavillions:

____________________________

Houston Pavilions adds upscale eateries
Houston Business Journal - 4:42 PM CDT Mondayby Allison WollamHouston Business Journal

Houston Pavilions has secured six new restaurants to add to a lineup of tenants that already includes Houston's first House of Blues and Lucky Strike locations.

The nearly 800,000-square-foot entertainment complex, located in downtown and bounded by Dallas St. to the north, Polk St. to the south, Main St. to the west and Caroline St. to the east, is slated to open in October 2008.


New restaurant tenants at the Pavilions include:

Lawry's, The Prime Rib: The restaurant will feature prime rib specialties in what will be its first location in the Houston area and only its fifth location in the U.S.

Tuscany: The old world gourmet coffee shop's third Houston location is headed for the Pavilions.

Yao's Restaurant and Bar: The second Houston location for the sports-themed restaurant, owned by the family of Houston Rockets superstar Yao Ming.

Antica Osteria: One of the most popular Italian restaurants in the city, will serve northern and southern Italian delicacies that its loyal patrons have enjoyed in the restaurant's existing location on Bissonnet for years.

Red Cat Jazz Cafe: Already one of the top live music venues in Houston, Red Cat Jazz Cafe will feature soulful blues and cool jazz with its Creole and southern cuisine at its second downtown location.

McCormick & Schmick's: The Pavilions will be the second Houston location for this nationwide seafood restaurant.


http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2006/10/23/daily17.html?jst=b_ln_hl

Shasta
Oct 24, 2006, 2:24 AM
Interesting... When I first read the Red Cat Jazz Cafe I just assumed they would be closing their original location just a few blocks away. Will be curious to see if they can pull off two locations.

This is a good mix of local and national chains. Downtown is lacking on the national side so it is nice to see McCormick & Schmick's and Lowry's on that list. This project is going to make such a huge difference for downtown. I'm really excited about the whole deal!

Shasta
Oct 24, 2006, 2:50 AM
Downtown might be getting a BIG office tower (up to 1,000,000 square feet) according to the latest Houston Biz Journal...

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2006/10/23/story13.html

Von
Oct 24, 2006, 4:49 AM
Downtown might be getting a BIG office tower (up to 1,000,000 square feet) according to the latest Houston Biz Journal...

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2006/10/23/story13.html
wat do u guys think about this it's not such a big report :shrug: would be nice though

Great_Hizzy
Oct 24, 2006, 2:26 PM
Well, I'd like to think that any firm that's aggressive with buying commercial real estate property would be planning for the possibility of building a new highrise (makes good sense) but of course the reality of bringing such a project into fruition depends on whether or not the CBD's currently estimated 14.5-15.0% vacancy rate will go down another two points.

Typically, 12.0% is a pretty healthy point to bring in a new highrise on such a level (1,000,000 square feet or more). Keep in mind that the Pavillions will add around 300,000 feet of office space once its completed.

Trae
Oct 24, 2006, 10:26 PM
Current downtown buildings in that square footage range include the following buildings containing between 900,000 to 1,100,000 square feet;

Center Point Energy (741 feet)
Continental Center I (732 feet)
Three Allen Center (685 feet)
ExxonMobil Tower (606 feet)
Two Houston Center (579 feet)
KBR Tower (550 feet)
Devon Energy Plaza (521 feet)

Would be a tower (or two) that would change our skyline.

Cory
Oct 24, 2006, 11:14 PM
I am sure I am not the only one who was confused by how the mixed use above the TMC Transit Center would work out, a very nicely designed transit stop by the way, since it is pretty much surrounded with new development. Here is a more revealing rendering of the transit oriented project on Fannin.

http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/8519/asp4.jpg

Also, across the bayou at the southwest corner of South Braeswood and Fannin is the proposed Slosburg Medical Village. 1.8 million square foot transit oriented development. It's about time somebody notices the TMC's potential outside of its campus' borders.

http://img124.imageshack.us/img124/323/afc9.jpg

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/4593/aazo0.jpg

http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/2419/aa2ky8.jpg

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/6687/aa3ms3.jpg

It seems like there will be a nice urban corridor from the Museum District to the TMC Transit Center. All stations are properly developed in my opinion or will be in the near future. The MFAH station could use a similar mixed use near MFAH on Binz but I would not be surprised if that will be used for expansions.

texasboy
Oct 24, 2006, 11:29 PM
Great updates everyone. I am amazed at all the stuff that is continuously coming to the TMC. I guess we can see the differnece between sprawl and good land use now dealing with the Barker Cypress Texas Children's and the TMC's. 55 acres? Unnecessary. Looks like that will be a nice walk from what looks to be the parking garage.

Shasta
Oct 25, 2006, 12:52 AM
Texas Southern University's new Public Affairs Building
http://www.satpon.com/images/tsu-publicaffairs.gif

Here's a link to a rendering for The Wesleyan. I think this is going up at Wesleyan and US 59 on the site of the old motor hotel. Anyone know for sure?
http://www.meekspartners.com/projects_detail.cfm?proj_id=290&nav=ontheboards&pos=1

Cory
Oct 25, 2006, 1:10 AM
Here's a link to a rendering for The Wesleyan. I think this is going up at Wesleyan and US 59 on the site of the old motor hotel. Anyone know for sure?
http://www.meekspartners.com/projects_detail.cfm?proj_id=290&nav=ontheboards&pos=1

I drove by that site yesterday and although I did not know it was going under development I do not remember seeing any type of activity as far as signs. Just a decaying Comfort Inn I believe it twas.

Derek
Oct 25, 2006, 2:56 AM
im just curious...but can anybody tell me the location of the williams tower in relation to downtown houston?

Cory
Oct 25, 2006, 3:19 AM
im just curious...but can anybody tell me the location of the williams tower in relation to downtown houston?

About 8 miles west.

Derek
Oct 25, 2006, 1:58 PM
wow....thats a lot further than i thought...

Houston Proud
Oct 25, 2006, 11:10 PM
Shasta, what is the web site for the new Texas Southern Public Affairs building?

Great_Hizzy
Oct 26, 2006, 2:13 PM
Re: Williams Tower

Actually, not to nitpick, but it's closer to six miles west of downtown. But either way, it's further than most outsiders believe, sure.

And great updates Shasta and WG, especially those TMC project renderings. I've always wondered how the proposed Transit Center mixed-use development would "look" in relationship to the transit platform. Looks like an 8-10 story building with ground retail.

Cory
Oct 28, 2006, 5:40 AM
Anyone hear about the new Alexan apartments going up on the 2000 block of Westheimer, west of Hazard? There is a rendering on site. The current property, Westheimer Square is suppose to be demolished next month for the 244 unit building. It's a six story building. Four floors on top of two story garage.

Trae
Oct 28, 2006, 10:44 PM
Ricco67 at HAIF put up this photo on the new 42 story high-rise next to the Williams Tower Waterfall:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l151/ricco67/DSCN0355.jpg

JManc
Oct 29, 2006, 12:16 AM
holy crap, that will dramatically alter the area!

c4smok
Oct 29, 2006, 5:32 AM
can't put my finger on it but the setup so far looks like a small hotel then a 42 story condo tower =X

Shasta
Oct 29, 2006, 6:15 AM
I am fairly certain that is just the sales center for the Turnberry proposal. There is no way that a 42 story tower would have a wood/fiberboard base!

c4smok
Oct 29, 2006, 6:24 AM
Now that is some sales center lol

Shasta
Oct 29, 2006, 6:57 PM
Nancy Sarnoff is back at the Chronicle. She's doing her weekly real estate column on Sundays again. Yippee.

This week's had a blurb about another hi-rise proposal on Clear Lake in the town of Seabrook.

The Marriott Apollo
17 floors
8 floors containing 225 hotel rooms
9 floors of condos

Will be located on NASA Parkway.

Cory
Oct 30, 2006, 1:54 AM
I knew i was not crazy when i thought the Vistas at Midtown finished up pretty quickly. Seems like their second project, Piedmont in River Oaks, is just about done.

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/6840/aki9.jpg

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/3059/aaom4.jpg

Great_Hizzy
Oct 30, 2006, 7:51 PM
Good to see the Chronicle has a real estate beat writer again, especially with HBJ charging you to view featured stories.

And that is definitely the sales office for the proposed Turnberry condo. Shasta is 100% right.

Xeelee
Oct 31, 2006, 1:54 AM
Good to see the Chronicle has a real estate beat writer again, especially with HBJ charging you to view featured stories.

And that is definitely the sales office for the proposed Turnberry condo. Shasta is 100% right.
Holy carp. I almost spillrd my coffee... :(

mikecolley
Nov 1, 2006, 2:58 AM
Here's an update on the destruction of the Central Ford dealarship on Westheimer. It's now completely gone!

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/old_ford1.jpg

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/old_ford2.jpg

Now you can see what a great location it is: notice the uptown skyline in the background. You can also see part of the Westcreek apartments, which will eventually be torn down as well.

Sorry if this is a re-posting, but here's an article about the development in case you missed it.


Mixed-use project flows to Westcreek
Aging Galleria-area complex to be razed to make way for potpourri of
upscale uses
Houston Business Journal - April 28, 2006
by Jennifer Dawson
Houston Business Journal

Developers are planning to tear down more than 1,000 inner Loop apartments
near the Galleria and replace them with a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use
development containing specialty retail space, a boutique hotel and residential
units in midrise and high-rise buildings.
The redevelopment is planned for 29 acres just inside the 610 Loop between
Westheimer and San Felipe where the Westcreek Apartments are located.
Westcreek is adjacent to the old six-acre Central Ford dealership site on
Westheimer, which is earmarked for a mixed-use redevelopment as well.
The parties that control the Westcreek and Central Ford sites are considering
doing a joint development, according to sources.
Officials at the controlling companies would not confirm a possible partnering
effort, saying that an announcement could be forthcoming within a few days.
The Westcreek complex, which dates back to the 1960s, is owned by a Cypress
Real Estate Advisors partnership. Redevelopment plans for the 1,229-unit
multifamily complex are described on the Web site of the Austin firm, which
made local headlines last November with its purchase of the 46-acre Hardy Yards
property north of downtown for a proposed redevelopment.
John Kiltz, a principal with Cypress Real Estate Advisors, says it's too soon to
comment on the plans for Westcreek.
"We're kind of right in the middle of trying to structure a deal with somebody,"
Kiltz says.
Those talks, say sources, are ongoing between Cypress and Fort Worth-based
Trademark Property Co., which secured a ground lease on the nearby Central
Ford site at 4410 Westheimer last August. Trademark, which also built the
Market Street retail center in The Woodlands, announced plans to redevelop the
six-acre Central Ford tract into retail, residential and possibly office space. (See
"Car dealership gives way to urban infill," Aug. 12, 2005.)
Trademark has not yet taken possession of that property due to complicated lease
arrangements, which are expected to be worked out soon.
Trademark Principal Tommy Miller says via e-mail that he does not have an
update on the Central Ford project, but might have news within a few days.
Whether the Central Ford and Westcreek projects are done jointly or separately,
a large amount of new residential and retail space seems destined for the Galleria
area.
The developers are considering adding 300,000 square feet to 400,000 square
feet of retail space at the Westcreek site, which is located between the Galleria
and Highland Village. Despite its proximity to those retail powerhouses, at least
one real estate expert believes the area can support more stores.
Retail broker Nick Hernandez of Page Realty Partners Ltd. says there are a
number of retail concepts -- such as soft goods clothing stores, couture fashion
boutiques and restaurants -- that have not yet made their way to Houston that
would be likely tenant candidates for a new project.
Hernandez, whose leasing team represents Trademark on Market Street and the
Central Ford site, says existing retailers interested in changing the look of their
stores may also consider new developments. And retailers in nearby shopping
meccas may want to switch to a new location, or open a second site in the same
general area, Hernandez says.
"They may want to come out and do a store on the street," he says. "You could
attract other retailers in the area to relocate."
Looking westward
Although the Westcreek Apartments occupy some of the most high-profile real
estate in Houston, some portions of the mammoth complex are almost 40 years
old. The 1,229-unit project was developed in two phases -- one in the 1960s, and
one the following decade.
The original section containing 814 units is called Westcreek at River Oaks. Built
in 1967, that phase is located at 2049 Westcreek Lane. The second phase,
constructed in 1971, is called Westcreek at Highland Village. Those 415 units
carry a 4444 Westheimer address.
Now considered to be one large multi-family complex, Westcreek is 93 percent
occupied, according to statistics from O'Connor & Associates. Units in the
complex rent for an average of 98 cents per square foot per month.
The Westcreek complex last changed hands in November 2005 when it was sold
by Houston-based M. Kaplan Cos. LLC. The complex was sold into a partnership
with Cypress Real Estate Advisors as the general partner and Kaplan as a limited
partner.
Richard Zigler, president of Kaplan Acquisitions, says redevelopment plans are
preliminary, but the project is envisioned to be similar to the upscale Victory Park
development in Dallas that encompasses retail shops, residences, a hotel and
entertainment venues.
Kaplan originally purchased the Westcreek complex in 2002 from the
predecessor of JP Morgan Chase for roughly $68 million. Kaplan did a
renovation of the property in 2002 and 2003.
Jeff Hollinden, managing director of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which
represented JP Morgan in the 2002 sales transaction, says the property is prime
for redevelopment.
"It's a great chunk of land," he says. "It's always had the potential to be
converted."
jdawson@bizjournals.com • 713-960-5935

mikecolley
Nov 1, 2006, 3:03 AM
The new condos on Briarglen on nearly complete. Too bad they're tucked away on a street that most Houstonians have never heard of.

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/briarglen.jpg

Cory
Nov 1, 2006, 3:20 AM
The Briarglen actually turned out pretty nice. We need more infill like that in some older areas of Houston and not so hidden.

Here is an update on the two twin tower condo projects going up in the area. Palisade Plams and Mosaic.

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/4598/ati2.jpg

http://img285.imageshack.us/img285/5536/aabu9.jpg

Anyone know if the plan for four towers to be built at the Palisade Palms was scrapped.

messerproperties
Nov 2, 2006, 6:47 PM
I know this is a little old, and it might be posted on here, but has anyone heard of any new high-rise development proposals for that piece of land in Clear Lake that Hakeem "THE DREAM" Olajuwon purchased. Man, I bet that strip of Nasa RD 1 will soon be full of high-rise residential. If Endeavor is successful, then you know this will happen sooner than later.:tup:

Here's the article....

Former Rocket acquires historic site along Clear Lake
Olajuwon scores again

By NANCY SARNOFF
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Former basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon has purchased the historic West mansion along Clear Lake, a Mediterranean-style estate on 41 acres of prime property.

Built in 1929 and designed by prominent architect Joseph Finger, the home at 3303 E. NASA Parkway was built for the family of oil, lumber and cattle baron James Marion West. His son, Jim West Jr., was a colorful millionaire known as "Silver Dollar Jim" because of his penchant for showering silver dollars on those around him.

Olajuwon, who bought the property for an undisclosed price, is planning to sell it to developers, who could build high-rise residential buildings, retail centers or medical facilities there.

"It's a typical Hakeem move of buying the primo site," said David Cook, a real estate broker with Cushman & Wakefield who represented Olajuwon in the purchase and is now marketing the property for sale. Olajuwon bought the property from the Pappas family of Houston, which owns restaurant chains.

Although he no longer lives in Houston, Olajuwon has become an active real estate investor in the city.

Over the years, the retired Houston Rockets center has purchased many high-profile sites, including the southwest corner of Kirby Drive and the Southwest Freeway, the city's former Federal Reserve Bank building, the old World Trade Center building near Minute Maid Park and a historic downtown bank building, which he turned into a mosque. He's made millions on the sale of many of these properties.

Olajuwon, who now lives in Jordan, could not be reached for comment. It is expected that the property will be divided and sold in parcels, similar to what he did with land he acquired at Kirby and the Southwest Freeway, according to Cook. What was once the Westheimer Transfer & Storage facility is now a CVS and Chick-fil-A.

A 35,000-acre spread
Surrounded by mature trees and Spanish moss, the West estate was part of 35,000 acres that the family patriarch assembled in the 1920s, according to the Houston Architectural Guide. A portion of that property is now the Johnson Space Center.

Located in Pasadena, the entire property is appraised at just over $3 million, according to the Harris County Appraisal District, but its market value is much higher.

Property along the water in this rapidly growing area is selling for an average of between $25 and $30 per square foot, according to the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

Developers have been grabbing land around the lake for high-rise residential, hotel and other real estate projects.

"There's a bunch of people that would love to have that mansion," said Barbara Cutsinger, marketing manager for the Bay Area group. "It's one of the most beautiful settings."

Immediately adjacent to the estate, a developer is selling upscale townhomes for between $300,000 and $500,000.

The company says on its Web site that the project's "Italianate-styled architecture" was inspired by its neighbor, the West mansion.

The house has been vacant for many years and is in need of serious renovations.

Legend has it that the family moved to River Oaks after Jim West Sr. died, stipulating in his will that the home on Clear Lake would never be used as a residence again. It stayed vacant for decades and was often the target of vandals.

It later became the Lunar Planetary Science Institute, and some of its interior architectural charm was replaced by commercial embellishments like acoustical tile ceilings.

What's next?
Now that it has a new owner, the property's future is unclear.

Its designation as a recorded Texas Historic Landmark and its placement on the National Register don't preclude it from being demolished, according to the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. It does, however, allow for substantial tax benefits if someone wanted to restore it.

"The West mansion is the most significant and visible historic landmark in that part of Harris County," said Ramona Davis, executive director of the alliance. "We're encouraged that the West mansion is now owned by someone who has the resources to restore this beautiful house to its former grandeur."

citykid09
Nov 4, 2006, 8:25 PM
The new condos on Briarglen on nearly complete. Too bad they're tucked away on a street that most Houstonians have never heard of.

http://mcolley.myweb.uga.edu/briarglen.jpg
What part of the city is this in?

Xeelee
Nov 5, 2006, 6:19 AM
What part of the city is this in?
it's on woodway or memorial drive i think. my new job is near there.

Shasta
Nov 5, 2006, 6:24 AM
The Briarglen is located on Briarglen Drive. It's just South of San Felipe between San Felipe and Westheimer. It's Inside the Loop but West of the railroad tracks.

Xeelee
Nov 5, 2006, 6:57 AM
The Briarglen is located on Briarglen Drive. It's just South of San Felipe between San Felipe and Westheimer. It's Inside the Loop but West of the railroad tracks.
there you go. :)

Xeelee
Nov 5, 2006, 6:58 AM
Sorry but im usually on my third beer by that time... i keep a cold six pack in the trunk of my car. :)

Cory
Nov 6, 2006, 7:20 PM
Boutiques to give downtown retail a new charge
Houston Business Journal - November 3, 2006by Allison WollamHouston Business Journal

The Central Business District is in line to get an influx of trendy retail boutiques, thanks in part to a nearly two-year-old grant program that has kicked into high gear.

Local retailers AA Concepts and The Tipping Point have landed grants from the Houston Downtown Management District, making them only the third and fourth projects to receive the monetary incentives since the program was started in early 2005. Meanwhile, Austin-based Factory People is also in the early stages of a planned expansion into Houston's CBD.

Lifestyle retailer AA Concepts has secured a $175,000 grant from the management district to open a store in the firmer Sakowitz Building, and sneaker boutique The Tipping Point received a $50,000 award for a store in the old Humble Building.

The Houston Downtown Management District, funded through taxes imposed on property owners in the district, approved $1 million in 2005 to start the grant program aimed at bringing "soft goods" retailers to downtown.

Soft goods include everything from books and music to clothing and art. Restaurants and bars are not eligible for the grants.

Los Angeles-based clothier American Apparel Inc., a cutting-edge company that caters to socially conscious buyers, was the first retailer to take advantage of the program when it landed a $150,000 grant in early 2005. The company plans to open a store in the Sakowitz Building once a certain portion of the building is leased to other retailers.

Since then, the only other grant recipient has been the planned 800,000-square-foot Houston Pavilions entertainment complex, which received a $600,000 grant for retail and $400,000 to create a streetscape along Dallas Street.

Whereas the Pavilions has already landed some big-name tenants such as House of Blues and Lucky Strike bowling alley, these two newest grants are expected to help ramp up the fledgling retail scene for boutique stores in the downtown area.

Kathy Williams, retail development specialist for the Downtown Development District, says AA Concepts -- which currently operates three stores in Houston named Wish, Fabrik and Method -- will receive its grant once the proposed 5,785-square-foot store is built out in the historic Sakowitz Building.

AA Concepts tailors its store designs and merchandise to suit the specific demographic in which the store is located. In the case of the Sakowitz Building, the retailer is planning to debut a new concept, Habita, which is described as a lifestyle store that will sell home furnishings, accessories and apparel.

AA Concepts is in the process of finalizing its lease, and Williams says an opening date has not yet been determined.

Meanwhile, Williams says, upscale sneaker boutique The Tipping Point will receive its grant when the Houston-based retailer completes construction of its store in the old Humble Building at the corner of Main Street and Polk.

The Tipping Point is a start-up company which Williams says will debut its concept with a 1,100-square-foot store by early next year.

The retailer will offer one-of-a-kind and collectible sneakers as well as apparel and branded footwear.

Meanwhile, a funky Austin-based retailer is also planning to expand to Houston with a new location in the Sakowitz Building.

Factory People caters to customers in search of hard-to-find cult clothing designers such as Evil Genius, Fred Perry, Kid Robot and Yoko Deveraux.

Although a lease has not yet been signed, Factory People Owner Thomas Popov says he hopes to open a Houston location by the second or third quarter of 2007.

He says the Houston store will be similar to the original contemporary showroom in Austin, but it will also "have more of a Houston flavor."

Williams says interest from retailers has been pretty steady since the announcement of the Houston Pavilions complex, which will be bounded by Dallas, Polk, Main and Caroline streets.

In addition to House of Blues and Lucky Strike, high-profile restaurants such as Red Cat Jazz Cafe, McCormick & Schmick's and Lawry's The Prime Rib have also signed on to anchor the development.

"The knowledge that we have the arrival of The Pavilions coming has spurred a lot of interest in the downtown area," Williams says. "The infusion of retail that The Pavilions will bring to downtown is causing a a spur of activity."

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2006/11/06/story7.html?b=1162789200^1370677

Shasta
Nov 6, 2006, 7:30 PM
That is great news about the retail coming to downtown. Those are the types of stores needed; destination places.

Back when I thought I might be moving back to Houston, I wanted to open a branch of our furniture biz in downtown or midtown.

Von
Nov 6, 2006, 11:43 PM
Nice pics! woots woots for Houston, now on a totally different subject!... I see alot of trump towers everywhere except for Houston, why's that?? :(

Houston Proud
Nov 6, 2006, 11:54 PM
I thought Houston Pavilions was going to break ground today? What happened?