Headlines: Enhancing Galveston’s Dunes with Seaweed; Naming the Space Shuttle Replica

Photo of power plant at Howe and Pease: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

7 Comment

  • I knew it. The five story downtown apartments are made possible by the incentives that were designated to create mixed use developments over by George R Brown and Minute Maid. They did the same thing with SkyHouse.
    Neither of these projects are in the designated area— http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/print-edition/2012/09/07/are-developers-interested-in-downtown.html. And neither of them meet the original requirements of the inventive, which mandate ground floor retail so we have a chance at a downtown people don’t cringe at walking in.
    If Houston ever looks back and wonders why they couldn’t get the east side of downtown going, it’s because they squandered all the incentives on projects outside of the incentive area that didn’t bother to meet the incentive conditions.

  • SkyHouse does indeed have ground floor retail, saw it on site plans. Don’t know about Alliance.

  • Skyhouse has ground retail–Source: (http://wulfe.com/Realister/Manager/Property/Skyhouse%20Houston/PDF/Skyhouse.pdf).

    And I think it remains to be seen if this other project will or not. The renderings appear to show very retailish friendly first block.

  • Folks you are incorrect. West of Fannin is covered by the TIRZ 3 incentive program, which mirrors the one east of Fannin. So the project is definitely within an incentive area.

    The incentive programs do NOT mandate retail use. No one wants a bunch of new retail space sitting empty along downtown’s sidewalks for extended periods of time, not to mention discouraging developers which would be counter-productive for the purpose of the incentive program anyway. What the programs DO require is a relatively “transparent” ground floor along public sidewalks with an “active” use – a classification within which retail would certainly qualify but so could the leasing office, party room, tenants’ fitness center, etc. Just not a blank wall, downtown already has plenty of those.

  • Glad to see SkyHouse has added retail since I last saw info on the project. I hope it stays in through construction, unlike a number of other projects that have been approved with renderings including such, then been built without it.

    @Local Planner
    Thanks for clearing that up. I didn’t realize there was a separate, but similar program for the western part of downtown.

  • Glad to see yarnbombers making it happen again!

  • @ Densify
    To be specific, it’s only the area covered within TIRZ 3. In this part of downtown I believe it’s just the blocks either side of Main, so most of western downtown is not included; that area is much more likely to be future office towers anyway as tunnel connections are more convenient.