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Downtown Demo Plans

Houston Club demolition begins as developers promise eco-friendliest skyscraper

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The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering Gensler Skanska downtown Houston
Skanska's Capitol Tower makes tunnel access a central feature of its ground floor lobby space, flooding the often dark corridors with daylight. Courtesy of Skanska
Skanska’s Capitol Tower First in Houston rendering January 2014
The tower received LEED Platinum pre-certification, the highest rating currently offered by the U.S. Green Building Council. Courtesy rendering
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering travis entry
Entrance from Travis Courtesy of Skanska
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering Milam Rusk entry
Tower entry from corner of Milan and Rusk Courtesy of Skanska
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering lobby
Office elevators in lobby Courtesy of Skanska
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering Gensler Skanska downtown Houston
Skanska’s Capitol Tower First in Houston rendering January 2014
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering travis entry
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering Milam Rusk entry
The Capitol Tower Houston Club rendering lobby

While it has yet to determine an official groundbreaking date, Stockholm-based development firm Skanska announced a rough 2014 outline for its proposed Capitol Tower project on the site of the now-defunct Houston Club building at 811 Rusk.

Michael Mair, executive vice president of Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston, tells CultureMap that demolition crews will spend much of year taking down the old club headquarters, which itself is comprised of three distinct structures spread across much of the block. A forthcoming structural analysis will decide whether the building will be imploded or removed piece by piece.

 For safety reasons, workers will suspend tunnel access to the area starting in May. 

For safety reasons, workers will suspend tunnel access to the area starting in May. Once the site is cleared, construction will begin on a parking garage at the southern side of the block.

Mair says Skanksa, which has major projects in both the Energy Corridor and the Galleria area, has solidified the project's pre-development timeline and will set a start date for tower construction as company officials get a better sense of the evolving downtown market. Names of possible future tenants were not revealed.

Designed by Gensler, the Capitol Tower made headlines this month with the announcement that the 35-story skyscraper is now the third project in the nation to receive LEED v4 Platinum pre-certification, the most stringent criteria established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

"Skanska is proud of its position as a good steward to the built environment," Mair notes, adding that the project he oversee in the U.S. always begin with a minimum LEED Gold rating.

"Right now, we're very focused on urban infill in Houston, which is a movement you see all over the country. With so much residential development coming to downtown, we feel the Capitol Tower and its location along the light rail fit perfectly into the city's future."

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