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  #61  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 5:58 AM
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Originally Posted by the Genral View Post
Except for the indentation, it looks like an old tube tv on a tv stand.
Or a tube TV that was showing the rendering of that blank wall, and is now a victim of a remote being thrown into it.
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  #62  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 4:04 PM
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I can understand the acrimony toward the parking, my guess is that the tight site doesn't lend itself to an efficient parking scheme which has resulted in the entire building getting bumped up. My question, when does all of this parking inventory become obsolete and what will be the best way to repurpose it?

At least it is a unique design.
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  #63  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 4:10 PM
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Last edited by the Genral; May 14, 2016 at 11:51 PM.
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  #64  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 4:23 PM
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Originally Posted by the Genral View Post
Except for the indentation, it looks like an old tube tv on a tv stand.
lol Yeah, it does. You reminded me of my grandparents' television back in the day. One of those huge tvs surrounded in wood sitting on a solid oak pedestal. I always marveled at it as a kid that anyone could actually pick it up and set it there.

Actually, besides the seemingly cheating ways this building is achieving height and that blank wall, what's bugging me even more than that is I'm wondering if we've hit a plateau of possibilities with these office/parking combo towers. I remember someone mentioning that we'll never see something truly tall until these parking podiums are dealt with. For one thing, adding on 100 to 150 feet in height is going to eat up some of the possible height a building can have depending on where it is. If it's in a capitol view corridor, then forget about it. If it's outside of downtown in a relatively dense place like the Domain, they would need to get approval for the extra height there, too.

I don't think that having a parking limit would be a good idea, though, because it would discourage development. They should remove parking requirements altogether instead.
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  #65  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 4:59 PM
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Okay, so this design is goofy and kind of ridiculously stupid. It almost feels like it actually is a joke...like if I were to design a building for Austin that blatantly and purposely mocks the reliance on cars and excessive parking requirements downtown, this would be it.

I mean, the split design is poorly executed here, but it's not even what I hate the most about this. We've seen mixed-use structures (i.e. hotel and condo) that have a similar setup, where the division is visually apparent. It's the parking...14 floors. FOURTEEN. ..and more floors of parking than there is office. We've seen this already with 5th and Colorado, but maybe because that was a shorter building, it was less of a stab. I recently learned that the new UT office building on 7th has a similar setup, where nearly half the building is parking.

This is a symptom of a greater problem in Austin than just traffic. And I NEVER thought I would say this.. but Austin is not handling its growth properly. Not by a long shot. They are cheering this city as an economic miracle, but it's beginning to feel more and more like a façade. Like the façade of this 14-story parking garage. They should just build a 400-foot parking structure with car elevators like the some of the fanciest condos in Miami have.

Austin, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. You cannot be the Millennial darling you want to be and only make a feeble, passing attempt to improve your public transit. I have no problem with wrap-style apartment buildings, because it's easier to cover/mask the parking structures, but quite honestly...Austin will never see, cannot sustain, and perhaps doesn't deserve as of now, taller office buildings the likes of which Dallas and Houston have.

Okay. Rant over.
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  #66  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 5:00 PM
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Nice height for such a small lot.

So the UT office building is like 20 stories and only 270' high but its a half block. 9 floors garage the rest lobby and office if I remember right.

So this may be 12-15 floors garage and the same 12-15 floors office on a quarter lot. 100' higher.

I just think the 3 elevators located at the front of the building is interesting, odd placing or maybe glass ones to ride in and see out?

Remember the north wall should be blank and ugly, the alley wall likely not much better.
So I will gloat a little and say I called it on the elevators at the front being glass and see through up the building.

This should have been half underground parking, this is just a ugly podium!

The top glass is cool, I like it, it should have continued down around the podium maybe like 5th/Colorado does but with the angular glass.

I give them props for not making another skinny 5th/Colorado but come on make the podium look better.

The north wall is blank and ugly because it abuts another property that can be torn down and build touching it. Think Plaza Lofts near Republic park, their East wall is what this North wall has to deal with. At least they put a design on it a little.
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  #67  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 5:05 PM
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I don't think that having a parking limit would be a good idea, though, because it would discourage development. They should remove parking requirements altogether instead.
Agreed. Let the capitalist private market system deal with it.
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  #68  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 5:14 PM
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Originally Posted by NYC2ATX View Post
Austin will never see, cannot sustain, and perhaps doesn't deserve as of now, taller office buildings the likes of which Dallas and Houston have.

Okay. Rant over.
Exactly what MSAs the size of Austin have tall office buildings the likes of which Dallas and Houston have (I.E. over 700')? None. Okay. Did Dallas and Houston when they were Austin's size? Nope. Didn't think so.

Okay. Rant over.

I agree with the fundamental argument of the rest of the post, but taking it this far insinuates that Austin is behind the ball game compared to other similarly populated cities, when it isn't. It is far and away ahead of other similarly populated cities, and you and I both know it. Does it necessarily need tall office buildings? Austin's economy doesn't revolve around the types of businesses that historically locate their offices in larger towers*, so expecting towering sole-office buildings anytime in the future in an economy that doesn't currently and probably won't for a long time have demand for that kind of space is, frankly, misguided. Yes, we'll have some office development (most of which will likely be the scale that we're currently seeing between 10 to 30 stories), but our downtown game will continue to be dominated by mixed-use, hotel, and residential. And what's wrong with that?

*note that the only similarly sized cities to have tall office buildings akin to Dallas and Houston (again 700' or over) all have economies dominated by industries that traditionally locate in larger towers: Charlotte, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and OKC. That's it. There are 16 other MSAs besides Austin in between Charlotte and OKC in size that lack any tall office office buildings. In fact, Austin's tallest office building (Frost at 515') is taller than the tallest office buildings of Orlando (441'), San Antonio (444'), Sacramento (429'), Vegas has no major office buildings over 400', San Jose has no buildings at all over 300' and it's economically a powerhouse for the same reasons Austin is (tech), Norfolk has no buildings over 400', Providence (428' and vacant), Memphis (403', a taller building was office but is being converted to residential, technically smaller than OKC but essentially the same population) comparable to that of Portland (546'), and only truly shorter than that of Cincinnati (660'), Kansas City (624'), Columbus (629'), Nashville (617'), Milwaukee (601'), and Jacksonville (617'). To recap: that's 5 cities in between 1.3 million and 2.5 million in the with office towers over 700', 6 cities without tall office towers whose tallest tower is taller than Austin, 1 whose tallest is comparable, and 8 whose tallest is shorter. So... tell me again why Austin should be seeing these super tall office buildings?

Last edited by wwmiv; Mar 29, 2016 at 5:39 PM. Reason: added the note at the end
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  #69  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 5:32 PM
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Continuing to study the renders I noticed that the glass elevators would likely not continue up in to the office sections because of the sloped architectural glass in the office area. So That might mean that that raised amenity floor is also the main lobby. Now in the site plan there is a small corner lobby but I bet its a security desk and that it.

There are two other doors facing each street that would likely be for retail/restaurants. These take up most of the ground floor, leaving only the small lobby and garage entrance and back of house loading dock area.

So I find it interesting they went with a raised Lobby that could be used as party space That level might require a transfer to office elevators, maybe placed along the back wall near where the two service elevators are on the ground floor shown in the site plan.
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  #70  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 6:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
Exactly what MSAs the size of Austin have tall office buildings the likes of which Dallas and Houston have (I.E. over 700')? None. Okay. Did Dallas and Houston when they were Austin's size? Nope. Didn't think so.

Okay. Rant over.

I agree with the fundamental argument of the rest of the post, but taking it this far insinuates that Austin is behind the ball game compared to other similarly populated cities, when it isn't. It is far and away ahead of other similarly populated cities, and you and I both know it. Does it necessarily need tall office buildings? Austin's economy doesn't revolve around the types of businesses that historically locate their offices in larger towers*, so expecting towering sole-office buildings anytime in the future in an economy that doesn't currently and probably won't for a long time have demand for that kind of space is, frankly, misguided. Yes, we'll have some office development (most of which will likely be the scale that we're currently seeing between 10 to 30 stories), but our downtown game will continue to be dominated by mixed-use, hotel, and residential. And what's wrong with that?
Fair enough. The Dallas/Houston comparison was rightly inept. Rereading what I wrote I realize it was a somewhat poor execution of the argument I was attempting to make (and perhaps I might have been in Austin long enough now to become a little jaded about certain aspects of the city).

I think I just have an issue with buildings going up downtown that are organized this way because it exhibits, to me, a fundamental and willful lack of concern for planning with regards to the city's future. Office buildings with garages this massive to me is this city saying "yes, we're going to keep building, and no we don't care about the ripple effects of stacking 14 floors more of cars downtown."

To draw what might be a better comparison, when planners in the know talk about adding lanes to a freeway as an attempt to alleviate traffic, they mention induced demand as an argument as to why this actually solves nothing. Such parking structures as these demonstrate the exact same thing. They aren't pulling cars out of street parking spots. They're just giving 14 floors worth of cars an excuse to also now choose to drive downtown and further congest the neighborhood.

Don't get me wrong, I love Austin and I'm sure that I'll be excited for the construction of this building in whatever its final incarnation is. I'm concerned for the future though. When Austin chokes on its own spectacular growth due to concern only for picked-and-chosen aspects of the city's future, then what?
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  #71  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 7:01 PM
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And I agree with all that 100%.
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  #72  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2016, 3:15 PM
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Sorry, but the lack of rail isn't entirely the fault of the city council. There was a decent rail proposal back in 2000. I know some of the minutia wasn't there, but it was vying to be a complete rail system. It ran most everywhere that everybody wanted to go. It would be in full operation by now. The primary blame is on the people who voted against the rail proposal back in 2000.
Yes, I am painfully aware of the very narrow loss back in 2000 and what lead to that narrow defeat (and one was completely out of Austin's hands). It was a really good plan and would be packed to the gills if it were in use today. That said, our city has grown a lot since then and now have big city traffic woes, I directly blame the current CC for not having the vision to bring forth a new plan basically mimicking the 2000 plan and I blame the last CC for being fooled into choosing that alignment.

Great points above by wwmiv and NYC2ATX.
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  #73  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 2:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 427MM View Post
My question, when does all of this parking inventory become obsolete and what will be the best way to repurpose it?
Very pertinent question. Ride-sharing is still in its infancy and people are loving it, and in a few years we'll see Austin becoming an early adopter of self-driving vehicles. We're not going to need the parking spaces for anywhere near the life of these buildings, so the owners of these towers will have a lot of stranded assets on their hands in a decade or two. Also, as long as we're making it this inviting to drive downtown, we're going to need all the lanes on downtown streets. But if we want a more beautiful, walkable city, we need more 2nd Streets, two-way streets with one lane in each direction. It would be loverly to repurpose the outer lanes of the Congress Ave. bridge for wider, landscaped sidewalks, bike lanes, and viewing areas. But this is a topic best suited for its own thread someday.

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Austin's economy doesn't revolve around the types of businesses that historically locate their offices in larger towers...
Solid argument. Google occupying a downtown office tower is a fluke, an exception that points to the norm. We can anticipate more Oracle-type campus developments. It will be interesting to see if the Google tower is a trend-setter or if it remains an outlier. I'd love to have been in the meeting where they made their decision. Or any Google meeting. After all, they're going to own our brains fairly soon, so it would be nice to know if they have benign intentions.
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  #74  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tech House View Post



Solid argument. Google occupying a downtown office tower is a fluke, an exception that points to the norm. We can anticipate more Oracle-type campus developments. It will be interesting to see if the Google tower is a trend-setter or if it remains an outlier. I'd love to have been in the meeting where they made their decision. Or any Google meeting. After all, they're going to own our brains fairly soon, so it would be nice to know if they have benign intentions.
Don't forget there are quite a few tech companies with offices DT which has set the trend over the past few years, though none of them warrant a single large high rise tower on their own. I am guessing Google will be the largest in DT in terms of number of tech workers.

This 4th @ Colorado rendering just gets worse and worse every time I look at it. I just can't get past the parking garage, I can't do it.

If we really have had an influence with getting some developers to alter their final designs with a couple recent buildings as some have theorized, then I hope someone who may be involved with this proposal is monitoring the thread....

It's hideous! Change it!!!
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Last edited by Jdawgboy; Apr 8, 2016 at 9:38 PM. Reason: Wording changes
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  #75  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 6:59 PM
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This looks like a bad architect got tired of the project and hired his three-year-old to finish the design.
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  #76  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 9:41 PM
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This looks like a bad architect got tired of the project and hired his three-year-old to finish the design.


Good one haha!
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  #77  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 11:47 PM
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Last edited by the Genral; May 14, 2016 at 11:49 PM.
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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2016, 2:58 AM
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There's some truly enjoyable insult comedy in this thread. I'd love to see Triumph the Insult Comic dog do a bit on this. Not even gonna try to guess what he'd say, other than that he'd be intrigued by its unique back side and would try to sniff it.
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2016, 3:20 AM
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2016, 4:59 AM
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Man, if the designers of this thing are reading this thread, then I hope they have a box of tissues next to their mouse.
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