Not your average sandcastle
Forget the plastic buckets and shovels. Houston’s A/E/C industry is known for amazing design, engineering and craftsmanship. Teams in the annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition unleash their creativity, producing sand sculptures ranging from the fanciful to the frightful. PRISM sponsored two clients who brought home awards this year. Kirksey, along with Metzger Construction, won the coveted first place Golden Bucket award for their re-interpretation of a Disney film, Finding Gory. Ziegler Cooper Architects won the Best Costume award and a fourth place Honorable Mention design award for Game of Bones. Congratulations to all!!!
The Sandcastle Competition is a major fundraiser for AIA Houston and Architecture Center Houston Foundation. Their shared mission is to promote awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the ways architecture and urban design influence and enhance the quality of life in our community. PRISM was proud to be a part of this event and support this work.
Experience now, live later
How is it possible to sell what can’t be seen? The scale and location of Market Square Tower in downtown Houston make it hard to miss. But developers are promoting something more, what they call “the gold standard for extraordinary living.” The PRISM team worked closely with developer Greystar and interior designer M. Ford & Associates to develop more than 35 interior and exterior renderings. The details in the renderings evoke the opulence and luxury in every facet of the facility, from the 40th floor glass-bottom infinity pool, to the virtual golf range and the poker suite. We recently visited the Market Square Tower leasing office to learn about the effectiveness of the renderings.
Not only are the renderings a critical component for pre-leasing on the project website, they are also used as physical displays in the leasing office. Oversized door clings and posters hint at the grand scale of the tower. A touch screen monitor features thumbnails of building amenities that prospective residents can quickly scan and click for larger images and more details. Leasing agents told us they are on target for pre-leasing goals! Construction is ahead of schedule, with some units available as soon as November 1.
New Generation for Houston
You know the story – new development in Houston has slowed to a crawl since the oil pricing free fall. There are some bright spots however, as we found out when we were a sponsor at the Bisnow New Construction and Development Summit earlier this month. Considerable focus was on McCord Development’s massive new masterplanned community, Generation Park. With no substantial supply of any particular building type, McCord commissioned a utilization study and now has plans for the 2+ million square-foot mixed used Redemption Square project. Other panelists offered this advice:
- Archcon’s Michael Scheurich said this is the largest retail boom he’s ever seen, with more big box developments that are not grocery anchored.
- Jim Carmen of Howard Hughes warned that developers should be careful in thinking that every project is unique and different, and instead, take a hard look at the numbers.
- DC Partners’ Acho Azuike continues to court foreign inventors and is leveraging EB-5 capital to develop a new hotel in San Antonio.
- Bruce Thompson of Thompson Knight shared that he’s seeing many developers holding on to their land. He speculates 2020 will be the right time to develop some areas.
Overall the panel agreed that in this market, there has to truly be a need in brand new markets, the numbers have to be just right, or the project has to be unique enough to prosper.
This event was the perfect opportunity to unveil the new “PRISM Experience”. Our interactive display now includes a digital portfolio viewer, digital animation slides, and VR (virtual reality) goggles for experiencing our newest 360-degree VR service offerings.
ICSC deal-makers unite
Calling all our retail industry friends! For everyone planning to attend the ICSC Texas Conference & Deal Making event in Dallas next month, please stop by our booth and say hello. PRISM will be unveiling our complete new, interactive display in booth #1330. We will also have a drawing for a free rendering, so be sure to drop off your business card!