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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 6:10 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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Demand for the area along MLK will be for student housing, perhaps a hotel for state/university visitors and maybe office buildings for private firms that do business with the state or university.

What is desired are museums... big difference between demand and desire.

A agree with above poster... not sure student housing is wrong for this area. Student housing will acquire funding. Museums require long fund raising periods. I personally prefer a taller, denser structure than a mid rise for student housing... but its not wrong.
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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 6:34 PM
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I have no problem with student housing (as long as I don't have to live by it. ) A huge university like UT needs to have it nearby, and UT has been a huge part of Austin's growth engine. So I don't begrudge anybody who tries to build it by UT.

But back to my comment of not wanting to live by it. In a previous life before I was fortunate enough to be able to live in a decent neighborhood, I lived in an apartment complex in the Riverside/Pleasant Valley area. My building had a lot of UT students. They tended to get way too drunk on weekends and smash light fixtures, punch holes in the sheet rock in the hallways. The place was always littered with beer cans on the weekends and there was no sense of community because people moved in and out so frequently.
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  #23  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 6:46 PM
MichaelB MichaelB is offline
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I love un-empathtic discussions. All development affects people, business and property value. We all fight for our property value. If this was "your" ( the generic you) neighnorhood I guaranty you would not be so "objective" about this. This was a property value fight plain and simple. When you move into a neighborhood you have a reasonable interest in how that neighborhood develops. DOWNTOWN IS NO DIFFERENT. It is a neighborhood. For people who are just observers it is easy to forget that and think residents downtown have less rights for some reason to protect property values.

I live in Cambridge. My view is not affected, but what affects anyones property value in my building affects mine. Having Student housing next to our building , especially built in the manor proposed would demisih my property value. Anyone would, believe me, take up the same fight. Funny this was we asked the developer if they had property value studies based on their building programs. They wouldn't answer! LOL!

There are areas near campus that are appropriate for student housing and areas that are not. This , is was argued is an area that is not. I happen to agree. As has been stated. It is in the State Complex, While there is a desire for housing, this neighborhood is better served in terms of stability by less transient residents who might actually contibute to the area. This is in an area that is being touted as a muesum district. There is much better use of that land. Lets get into proximity. They were proposing to build in such a way that exterior space would have been closer to existing property than any where in west Campus. ( yes really). Parking, they were not building enough spaces for all the residents. They were also so arrogant as to come to a meeting with neighboring residences with no idea of how thier development would impact our aminities area. They basically really didn;t care to play good neighbor. SO they get what they get.

Skip that. You are on an architectual forum for Christ sake. This was suburban apartment construction at its worse being built in the CBD! That should offend you enough. Yes , they had initial renderings at their presentation. It was awful. You should be up in arms for that.

Height. You need to be fully aware that lot is in one of the most cherised views in Austin . If you don't care about that, I invite you to leave Austin. I won't miss you. They were within the CVC. However, what no one has really looked at until now, it that, the height restrictions protect the view from the steps of the tower to the capitol. But any where below that.. including the fountain and all of University Drive, would have the Capitol cut off. Worse the view of the Capitol.... and all photographs from here on out would have had said crappy apt building..... rather, dorm.

So there are many reasons that an interested party in the development of the CBD, The Capitol Complex and the Museum district should be concerned even if you don't have empathey for the affected neighbors.

An office building or Condo would be great.

BTW... one branch of the State gov wants to dump this and another wants to keep it. Somehow Perry decided to change his mind this year and not object to the sale. We have severl Rebup officials in the building who are scratching their heads at this.

BTW ... as long as I am putting my neck out here. It also made me laugh that said Republicans who are suppose to be all about property owners rights were the first to fight this proposal. Stange bedfellows indeed!

Fire away!
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  #24  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 7:13 PM
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Well you are off base on two key things. A: Her view is not affected. THat was a misquote.She lives on the other side of the building. B: She is an Arch Conservative Republican. I live in the same building. There were many more offensive issues with the project that you can do your homework and search for in earlier posts.
MichaelB, I can honestly say I support you 100% on this matter out of respect to you and because I have no real vested interest. I did my homework, thanks LoneStarMike, and this still all boils down to what you and your neighbors don't want built next door to you. I like your explanation better, honest and to the point. After reading the AAS article where Riddle is quoted a few times, I was annoyed the way she stated her points. Just my opinion and that's what prompted my post. Ok, Riddle's not a Liberal. But she lives in your building and coming and going, decisions made on that parking lot will effect her view even if not from her balcony. Just don't sell the public on it being a "treasure" and some BS about grandma's ring and Walmart, Riddle. But...spoken like a politician. Personally, I would like to see a well defined museum district so if I was at one, I can cross the street to get to the other, and then to the next one... If that was feasible and in the not too distant future, then I would be against adding mixed use amenities like student housing to the area. I do like the idea for a sculpture park, with underground parking as Riddle suggested for that lot as a good resting spot between museum visits and for viewing the surrounding area, but wouldn't that be like raising millions of dollar for a piece of land just to put a Walmart on it? oops...

Last edited by the Genral; Aug 23, 2012 at 7:37 PM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 8:22 PM
MichaelB MichaelB is offline
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MichaelB, I can honestly say I support you 100% on this matter out of respect to you and because I have no real vested interest. I did my homework, thanks LoneStarMike, and this still all boils down to what you and your neighbors don't want built next door to you. I like your explanation better, honest and to the point. After reading the AAS article where Riddle is quoted a few times, I was annoyed the way she stated her points. Just my opinion and that's what prompted my post. Ok, Riddle's not a Liberal. But she lives in your building and coming and going, decisions made on that parking lot will effect her view even if not from her balcony. Just don't sell the public on it being a "treasure" and some BS about grandma's ring and Walmart, Riddle. But...spoken like a politician. Personally, I would like to see a well defined museum district so if I was at one, I can cross the street to get to the other, and then to the next one... If that was feasible and in the not too distant future, then I would be against adding mixed use amenities like student housing to the area. I do like the idea for a sculpture park, with underground parking as Riddle suggested for that lot as a good resting spot between museum visits and for viewing the surrounding area, but wouldn't that be like raising millions of dollar for a piece of land just to put a Walmart on it? oops...
And yes... I thought her quotes were stupid and did nothing to help. People see thru that crap! As you did! LOL! You should have heard some of the stuff the other littl old ladies were trying to pull. It does come down to owners/ property rights and such. So, as we all will do, I will protect my property and it's value all I can. Anyone who says they would not... probably is not a property owner.
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  #26  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 9:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
And yes... I thought her quotes were stupid and did nothing to help. People see thru that crap! As you did! LOL! You should have heard some of the stuff the other littl old ladies were trying to pull. It does come down to owners/ property rights and such. So, as we all will do, I will protect my property and it's value all I can. Anyone who says they would not... probably is not a property owner.
I fought successfully each of the last 2 years I lived at my last house to keep Hart Hanks from turning the green belt behind my house into an expanded parking lot for their call center. I rallied my neighbors based on our property value dropping, safety, noise and light pollution, and surface parking wash-off pollution. A few years later, I drove by my old house and there's now a shiny new parking lot where the greenbelt once backed up to the neighborhood fence line. I don't know if I was the driving force that kept it away while I lived there, but I fought tooth and nail to protect my investment as I expect you are doing, so again...I support you 100% and wish you luck. I would not move into your building if student housing was next door.
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 9:57 PM
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I am kind of confused. Won't any building constructed on that site that is taller than one or two floors obstruct the view between campus and the capitol bldg.? For the sake of preserving a highly valued view, maybe nothing should be constructed on the site. Just a thought.
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Well, they could build something on that block as long as it doesn't block the view. Since I've been reading the site plan reviews, any time a developer is planning something for a block that sits within one of the CVCs, they have to survey the land first and get approval from the city before they can move forward. I think they have to do that before they can even apply for a building permit. Something like AMLI Downtown could be built there and still preserve the view, but add nice density, housing and street level retail to the area.
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  #29  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 10:24 PM
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I don't think anything tall should go there. Not because of the property values of those in the Cambridge possibly losing their views (that happens all the time to lots of people). But it is on one of the most important streets and probably the second most important view in the city (the view between the tower and capitol building along University). What ever goes there should not mess with that view.

To say one thing before going on to my next, to be clear before I state my point, I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to protect your property rights. Student housing would hurt that, so I get it and of course don't hold that against anyone for going NIMBY on them. But the reality is that it is literally across the street from a 50k+ student university. That there is demand for student housing across the street from one of (if not the) largest university in the nation shouldn't surprise anyone.

But here is what I think would be best there. Older style retail in 2-3 story max separate buildings, no parking, with small 2-3k sq foot offices on the second/third floors and retail on the street level. That type of office is in super high demand by young start ups all over town, and it is a perfect area for them right there. Right now their only real options is the East Side or way up north. Making some of that sized offices available in downtown right across from campus is ideal. Plus with the street retail it could help bring some vibrancy back to the area. And best of all with the smaller buildings it saves that view from the fountain between the tower and capitol.
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  #30  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2012, 10:57 PM
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Again, the REAL issue here has to do with property values being affected by student housing going in on the property next to the residential tower. To enhance the argument against this from happening and to include support from people who aren't vested monetarily into the mix, you have to talk about the other tangibles which conveniently includes an important view corridor. Technically, since a "proper" condo or office tower wouldn't affect the property value as much, assumably, and not actually be objected to, then the view issue should be taken off the table as it can be considered hypocritical to the argument. HOWEVER, if I was in that situation, I would build as much support as I could to validate my case as far beyond my inner circle as possible and that includes talking about how the immediate issue of building a crappy suburban looking student housing complex on the lot next to a residential tower can destroy a historic view corridor. You have to use politics (salesmanship) to win over the general public, win that battle, and get ready to fight the next battle, or just compromise and accept the lesser of two evils. Damn I love this one.
MichaelB, you typically won't get any empathy from anyone who isn't affected, even from this forum, when we fought to keep Walgreens from building in front of where I live now because of light and noise issues not to mention the sheer size looming over our houses, the neighbors in the back of the hood rejoiced because of the convenience of having it near to them, but not on top of them like us. They called us nimbys' and we lost, but we got some compromises with earlier than they wanted closing times, no security lights pointing our way, and large trees to screen out the structure. You'll notice I don't pick on nimbys' as much as others do on this forum. I am one.
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  #31  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 5:41 AM
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Anything higher than three floors on that site will pretty much eliminate the view from the campus to the capitol from anywhere down at street level below the UT Tower and along University. By the time a pedestrian hits the street at the edge of the campus, a taller building would cover up the view. I drove over there tonight and checked it out. The only place a view would survive with even a mid rise building would be from the terrace area underneath the UT Tower. Unless the state (or city) insists on having something low rise on that site, the view will be doomed going forward with any other kind of development.
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  #32  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:13 AM
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Sculpture garden sounds great. Umlauf North.
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  #33  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 8:05 AM
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Anything higher than three floors on that site will pretty much eliminate the view from the campus to the capitol from anywhere down at street level below the UT Tower and along University. By the time a pedestrian hits the street at the edge of the campus, a taller building would cover up the view. I drove over there tonight and checked it out. The only place a view would survive with even a mid rise building would be from the terrace area underneath the UT Tower. Unless the state (or city) insists on having something low rise on that site, the view will be doomed going forward with any other kind of development.
That's kind of what I was thinking, too - just based on the image Kevin posted in reply 9 of this thread over a year and a half ago:



Aren't we talking about that low-rise blue boxy-looking structure west of the Bob Bullock Museum and east of Cambridge Tower?

FWIW, I like the idea of the underground parking with the sculpture garden on top, too.
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  #34  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:02 PM
MichaelB MichaelB is offline
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Originally Posted by the Genral View Post
I fought successfully each of the last 2 years I lived at my last house to keep Hart Hanks from turning the green belt behind my house into an expanded parking lot for their call center. I rallied my neighbors based on our property value dropping, safety, noise and light pollution, and surface parking wash-off pollution. A few years later, I drove by my old house and there's now a shiny new parking lot where the greenbelt once backed up to the neighborhood fence line. I don't know if I was the driving force that kept it away while I lived there, but I fought tooth and nail to protect my investment as I expect you are doing, so again...I support you 100% and wish you luck. I would not move into your building if student housing was next door.
Yep, you get it! Thank you.

I have said a hundred times on here. We are all NIMBYS to some degree. LOL!
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  #35  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:07 PM
MichaelB MichaelB is offline
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I am kind of confused. Won't any building constructed on that site that is taller than one or two floors obstruct the view between campus and the capitol bldg.? For the sake of preserving a highly valued view, maybe nothing should be constructed on the site. Just a thought.
That has now beed proposed, but the state department who's job it is to profit form unused property really doesn't care. It's not how the law is set up. Perry had opposed the sale for a long time and this year for unknown reasons decided to drop his opposition.

There are folks who are trying to get this property use re-evaluated, but it has gone back up for sale already. The law would have to be re-examined ASAP. Probably not going to happen.

Folks at Cambridge can oppose building based on many things, but the CVC is not one of them. Many more folks and officials would have to be on board. So unless the state officals who are in the building can get someones ear quick.... the view will be gone. That is within the law.
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  #36  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
That's kind of what I was thinking, too - just based on the image Kevin posted in reply 9 of this thread over a year and a half ago:



Aren't we talking about that low-rise blue boxy-looking structure west of the Bob Bullock Museum and east of Cambridge Tower?

FWIW, I like the idea of the underground parking with the sculpture garden on top, too.
yes, that is correct. That is just a "massing" rendering to show what volumes could be built.

The only way to not have the view from the lower mall/ fountain /univerity drive be elimiated is not to build up at all. Sucks , but that would not happen unless The state were involved probably. The cost of the underground struture, I am guessing would not make it profitable enough for a private developer. But that is a guess.
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  #37  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 10:09 PM
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What's the asking price? Maybe Cambridge residents could buy it.
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  #38  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Isn't Cambridge sort of a ghetto by Downtown Austin standards? Who cares what those residents think?
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  #39  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2012, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
And yes... I thought her quotes were stupid and did nothing to help. People see thru that crap! As you did! LOL! You should have heard some of the stuff the other littl old ladies were trying to pull. It does come down to owners/ property rights and such. So, as we all will do, I will protect my property and it's value all I can. Anyone who says they would not... probably is not a property owner.
With all due respect, MB, I think your property value concerns are a little over blown. Property values are based primarily on comps, not adjacent properties. I am surrounded by low-rent student housing on all sides, but it hasn't affected my appraisals at all. If your immediate surroundings don't look very good, it might affect time of sale in a slow market, but will have little to no affect on a desirable location in a hot market. Well maintained, new student housing, should not have any impact at all.
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  #40  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2012, 7:39 PM
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Isn't Cambridge sort of a ghetto by Downtown Austin standards? Who cares what those residents think?
Well I live there and I care. Yes, it is a closer to aforable place to live downtown. Yeah, um , thanks for the ghetto comment. Perhaps you would like to post pictures of where you live and we can all critique it.

And gosh, thanks for the empathetic support on the forum.
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