Time to Put the Park in Midtown Park Now That Parking Is In

Midtown Park Site Plan, Early 2015, Midtown, Houston, 77006

Some permits came through last week for the apartment-straddling park planned for the Midtown Superblock (the long and mostly-long-vacant 6-acre stretch between McGowen and Anita on the west side of Main St.). Freshly permitted structures on the docket include a 4,297-sq.-ft. pavilion, a ticket canopy, and a bathroom building. Broader sitework has also been given the go-ahead, as has a foot bridge (possibly over the wetland area previously mentioned in announcements for the project).

The spotlight-heavy rendering above shows the park from Anita St., looking north at the ghostly form of the Camden McGowen Station apartments currently on their way up in the middle of the site. The park’s largest greenspace and lawn will spread out atop the underground parking garage that’s wrapping up, once it’s fully underground. HAIF user hindesky snapped a recent photo of the burial site, also showing the Camden building starting to rise in the background to the north under the guidance of the remaining crane:

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Midtown Park Construction, March 2016, Midtown, Houston, 77006

The ladder-accesible concrete box sticking up on the left looks to be the parking garage’s lobby and elevator, according to the siteplan passed around in 2015. Here’s the whole plan together, followed by some zoom-ins down below:

Midtown Park Site Plan, Early 2015, Midtown, Houston, 77006

The Camden building is shown as a white schematic between 2 greened-up park sections. Here’s the south end of the siteplan as it stood when work on the park broke ground last May — north-south-oriented Travis St. is shown at the top of the frame, and the elevator lobby is marked as structure G:

Midtown Park Site Plan, Early 2015, Midtown, Houston, 77006

Depicted next to that lobby is a stage and events pavilion (marked C, with water feature B shown alongside) — perhaps the one that’s been OK’d to go up by last weeks permits. O marks the spot for the ‘bayou landscape and waterway’ that may be getting the footbridge.

Here’s the north end of the plan for the block, showing plans for structures and greenspaces along McGowen (which runs along the right edge of the frame below):

Midtown Park Site Plan, Early 2015, Midtown, Houston, 77006

The red box marked U was slated as a restaurant space; the red W marks a kiosk. T depicts a “glass stairway and branding opportunity”.

Images: Midtown Redevelopment Authority (renderings), hindesky (photo)

Midtown Superblock

25 Comment

  • Midtown finally getting a large park is great news! Bagby Park and Baldwin Park are nice but this will be even better. Now if the Greyhound station would relocate that would really improve the part of Midtown along Main St. between Elgin and Pierce Elevated.

  • What a nice connection between Midtown and Mid-Main! I am also impressed with the renovated property at 2100 Travis. They even saved the digital clock… Things are looking up for the area.

  • Amen, Greyhound needs to go!

  • Re: Greyhound relocation –but then where am I supposed to get a delish double cheeseburger at 3am?

  • The park is depicted at a much larger scale than reality. The southern park is roughly 100ft making up ~10-15% of the whole block instead of the 1/3 or larger in the image. It will still be a welcomed addition to the neighborhood.

  • How will this park keep the bums out? The abandoned building across the street (on Main between Tuam and Drew) is already a major homeless hangout, and one block south is a building that has an admonition “No Sleeping Standing in Doorway” painted in one of the Main-facing doorways. A few weeks ago, a guy who works in my building saw a totally nude man walking up Dennis towards Main with a crack pipe in his mouth. That’s emblematic of the colorful characters in this neighborhood who will soon be enjoying the amenities of a new public park

  • Re: bums. City needs to sell an inexpensive park pass (i.e., $5.00 a year would be enough) to keep the bums out of city parks. Fence up the city parks and put scanner access points where you need to have the pass to enter. I don’t live in midtown but you can’t walk downtown on a daily basis without getting approached by the same people all the time asking for money. I assume it’s the same in midtown.

  • Anyone know the est. completion timeframe for this?

  • Haters. Why should a park keep bums out? Parks are great for bums.
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    #NoHoboBro

  • Commenter7: Having a pass to go to the park, even $5 lifetime fee, would cause liberals to have their heads explode. Isn’t going to happen

  • @Commenter7 @Cody I see where you’re going…

    http://topgolf.com/us/houston-west/pricing/

  • Cody, agree but this doesn’t stop our liberal city hall from sending cops out to prod them along out of the downtown parks. We can see them having these discussions just like we could see a fence up. How would it be different than charging admission to the zoo or any other amenity? I don’t understand…

  • Re: Midtown park, bums, and park pass idea
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    I see lots of bums hustling up a good chunk of change standing in the middle of city intersections. $5 will be easy for them to get so I don’t think cash money is the way to screen them out.
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    Like the library asks for proof of residency before issuing a library card, we should show proof of city residency for access to the parks – no residency, no park access.
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    And, for the record: as a social liberal/fiscal conservative, my head wouldn’t explode at a $5/annual park fee. $500: yes. $5: no.

  • Looks like an awesome spot for the homeless to sleep.

  • Welcome to Houston. Oh, you’re visiting? No parks for you!

    Do people not understand what “public space” is, or value it?

  • I cannot believe we live in a country where even the idea of paying for use of public space is even an idea. You would literally pay even $5 just so you don’t have to see what you deem undesirable, and $500 ludicrous. What makes you more deserving to be there than he/she just because you have paper money. They don’t even have homes and now you say they can’t even utilize a public space, a space created for the public, is just cruel. There will be a day your money will no longer spend. And to make matters worse is that you complain about raising taxes but essentially you’ve created a direct seperate tax, to utilize something your taxes already pay for. Just so you can have a better view and you feel safer. You’ll never be safe using money as security.

  • I don’t think homeless people will be sleeping in this park at night since like all parks, it will closed at a certain time at night. I think the sleeping in the neighborhood will be done in shelters like Magnificat Houses or the U.S. Veteran’s Initiative on Main, or flophouses like the one on Fannin.

    I mentioned the bums because they are a real presence in Midtown. They will use the park just like the guys napping on the benches outside the Walgreens on McGowen. The question is whether this park will be a Discovery Green (welcoming to everyone) or a hardcore bum park like James Bute Park.

    I suspect it will be more like Discovery Green because there will be too many people walking their dogs and taking their kids to play there to allow it to become a permanent campground. Naked crack smokers will be flushed out and arrested quickly, and word gets around.

  • I think the easement and sidewalk outside Adoile’s residence would be a great homeless campground. It sounds welcoming.

  • A tax to use the parks is probably in our future. The government has run amok in this country, state, county, and city with taxes to support their salaries and pensions and corruption. I have lived in Shady Acres for 35 years and the taxes have increased ten-fold, plus there are 4 times as many houses, but open ditches and no sidewalks are the same as before. All of these mothers walking their baby carriages in the street. Little or no police protection unless you want to pay more for constables. I could go on and on, but a park fee….why not?

  • Several people above mention that this is a “public space” to be utilized by anyone and everyone. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a private space, wholly owned by Camden? And if so, don’t they have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason?

  • Charging any amount for a public park is an idea worth considering in an online forum and dismissing immediately. I would argue it is a crazy idea.
    .
    As far as the homeless issue, people should tell the folks asking for money at intersections to get help and access the services at the various charity organizations in the city instead of giving them money. The latter approach only perpetuates the situation.
    .
    The new park should be fenced and have hours of operation like the Centennial gardens. In addition to this, police or private security, should patrol the park and look for unruly and/or uncivil behaviour. If anyone violates the park rules then they’d be asked to leave or get escorted out of the park, homeless or not.

  • Will there be limits imposed?
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    Texas Correctional Facility>Greyhound Bus Terminal>Inviting Midtown Park
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    Uhm, yes.

  • It doesn’t matter if Camden is paying and it is their land. Matter of fact is its being poised as a public park and wether it has gates around it or not it’s public domain. And yes if a bum wanted to sleep infront of even my cookie cutter, matchbox material made, 400k home in Katy, if he’s sleeping on that public sidewalk and not causing me any issues or any REAL issues in my neighborhood he can snooze all thru the day if he pleases for all I care. I don’t give a crap about property values and peoples opinions on what’s safe and what’s not. The real issue is how can a multi million dollar apartment building even go up in a city where the poverty rate is well over 20%! And 8% of children won’t even eat today. CAPITILISM at its best.

  • As long as he’s not causing any real problems. I like that. As long as he’s snoozing and not actually needing anything, asking anyone for money or walking near kids it’s all cool. A 400k house in Katy sounds pretty sweet. Awfully selfish of you to just let him sit outside. Get with your neighbors and discuss temporary housing options in your own unused rooms. Surely you’ve done that.

  • Public park fees – what?!? – I’m already paying for this with taxes and I don’t mind sharing with those who don’t or who may be visiting from out of town. Gee, who do we think we are–NYC–oh, wait, I didn’t have to pay to stroll through Central Park.
    .
    People now have to pay to park their cars to go to public places like Discovery Green. However, I am getting old and I remember when one could park pretty much anywhere within a few blocks of the Children’s Museum for free if you didn’t want to pay for parking (it was like 3 bucks for non members – members were free)