One of Swamplot’s best tipsters forwards a link to a website featuring lovely renderings of a family of glassy office buildings and blocky parking garages squatting on the former AstroWorld site — along with a rather direct question: “Is this real???”
Well, the Crosswell Torian website is a real website, where the development company proudly presents its AstroWorld tower roundup under the name SouthPointe: “a hundred+ acre, transit-oriented mixed use development.” But a brand-new 13.5-million-sq.-ft. project doesn’t exactly seem tailor-made for today’s cautious real-estate market.
If the SouthPointe design isn’t real, though, it’s a brilliant parody — down to the ultra-generic name and its not-so-silent extra vowel. It expertly answers this question: How might a bunch of suburban developers — some of them from, say, Conroe — make a complete mockery of Houston’s highest profile and best connected redevelopment site?
To be fair, the former AstroWorld site brings with it a number of problems: It has far-too-easy access to Houston’s major employment and activity centers by freeway, light-rail line, and even pedestrian bridge. In less deft hands, the development might make it too easy for people to transfer from one transportation method to another. Fortunately, the designers of SouthPointe have avoided that sort of nonsense with their clever plan, clearly modeled after several better-known suburban office parks.
Except this office park appears to be built out of several smaller office parks, each of which is labeled with a separate theme: “institutional/medical,” “office/corporate,” residential, or “mixed use/urban.” A collection of separately themed office parks — on the site of a former theme park. Get it?
Just like it says on the Crosswell Torian home page: “Piece of dirt? Piece of cake!”
- SouthPointe [Crosswell Torian]