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IronTiger last won the day on December 5 2014

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  1. "Why Houston Sucks"

    Ike also came at the same time as a major recession, which hit areas like Florida pretty hard. That was one of the big shocks to me was how Galveston was almost worse in 2012 than 2008. The trolleys weren't operating anymore, stores like the Peanut Butter Warehouse (antiques, fudge) had closed, H-E-B Pantry was gone, and the beach seemed shockingly empty for Spring Break (the weather was pretty awful for doing much, with it being cloudy and windy, but still). At the time, Pleasure Pier hadn't opened yet either.
  2. There were a few crossing areas that were taken out because they weren't really meant to have overpasses to begin with (generally, the ones that were supposed to have full interchanges had turnaround lanes and were perpendicular to the frontage roads, whereas the ones that were temporarily weren't). As an example, the crossing between Canyon Gate Pointe Drive and 3 Lakes Blvd. was temporary. As to why the stoplights are still there, I don't know. Just eyeballing it on Google Earth, the only new stoplights added were two for Grand Parkway, which is standard for intersecting freeways in Houston. Looks like they have the right of way cut out for the eventual five-stack ramps.
  3. Amazon HQ2

    Correct. I don't know what KBR or its predecessor companies used the industrial part for but given how well-integrated it was (the railroads to the south were connected via a long-gone bridge, probably dismantled after logistics of street-running on Commerce Street, and integrating with the railroads to the west as well). Some of the first new townhomes (Plaza Del Sol) appeared on Clinton and Sydnor as early as 2002 (just south of Kennedy Place, public housing). Since they were completed in 2004, the townhomes in that part of the Fifth Ward have hextupled. Restaurants will probably follow anyway, and that part of Houston will probably completely change.
  4. The Randalls there at Bellfort and Post Oak is far smaller than what H-E-B wants. To occupy it would basically involve tearing down the adjacent strip mall area at least and terminating those leases, and the actual store would be have to be gutted to a shell to begin construction, if that. I don't think they would. I think that an additional 80,000 square foot store in that neighborhood is wishful thinking, and they're just going to have to settle for the new H-E-B at Bellaire, or take the Kroger and Randalls down south. It's possible that some independent will look at it. As for the old Kmart on Beechnut, I did find an article that it was purchased in the mid-1990s and converted into an Asian interior mini-mall that reached 80% capacity if briefly. (Yes, I am aware that the presumed replacement Kmart at Beechnut at Beltway 8 did ALSO become an Asian mall, but no, this is the one at the Southwest Freeway)
  5. 59 - 610 Interchange Partial Rebuild

    A bit late, but I think I have an idea of how that ramp can be improved to prevent backups onto Southwest Freeway. It's easy. They close off Newcastle Road north of the eastbound frontage road. It's already not a highly-used intersection anyway (no ramps to the west of the road anymore, and a wall was installed at Newcastle and 59 north of the freeway some years ago). They add one lane to the south of the existing westbound US-59 frontage road, putting plastic bollards between the frontage road and the exit. Then that ramp elevates back up to the current level of the exit ramp, and connects to it. Done. It prevents traffic from backing up on Southwest Freeway by having them exit earlier, and it eliminates an extra exit. Traffic would be informed to access Newcastle via Westpark Drive.
  6. I'd be surprised if they took the JCPenney space, they would have to do a tremendous amount of work to reconfigure the parking lot. The JCPenney was designed for parking on all three sides, not parking for one. Personally, I just don't think they'll replace it. They have a tendency to replace smaller stores with bigger ones, and I think the rebuilt Bellaire store will fit that bill.
  7. Hardy Yards Development

    Sad to say that's not too surprising. There was another topic where Toddle House was discussed near the intersection of Murphy Road and US-90. It was neither torn down for Jack in the Box nor the overpass...there was an incredibly short-lived building that was built at the tail-end of 2003 and completed in early 2004 (if it all) but totally torn down by spring 2005.
  8. 11-story apartments for N Braeswood at Main

    Seems suspect for flooding. That's possibly why it has remained unoccupied. I took notice of the palm trees and the plot seems to be a restaurant torn down sometime between 1995 and 2001 but searching for it has yielded very little (a zero address on HCAD, with only vague indications that about a decade ago, CVS was considering it for a store). The best guess I have is La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant at 7525 Main Street.
  9. 610 West Loop Express Lanes

    From TXDOT's page Looks like they'll basically build two new ramps to and fro 610 (basically the "left turns" off of 610), possibly to reduce the sharp curves of the two. I'd also reckon that it's the "level" at which a HOT/bus compatible 610 will be rebuilt at...that was one of the things about that intersection, where 610 was at the peak of the hill. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I found that the construction wouldn't convert it to a flavor of 5-stack, but there are several factors that prevent that from actually coming true.
  10. The Houston Chronicle reported in 1998 that the Hardy Toll Road was still not paying for itself and indicated with their numbers that there needed to be about a 50% increase in toll-paying drivers for it to break even. However, by 2002, the Hardy Toll Road traffic had increased by 50% and has been rising since. (source: Houston Freeways by @MaxConcrete) So are correct if you were using data from two decades ago. As for your other claim, HCTRA is still a government agency and is eligible for disaster recompensation.
  11. Roads (or any transportation network) aren't just "build once and ignore forever" no matter how you slice it, because once you take a road off of funding, it will fall apart. Imagine the Houston freeways having the sort of potholes some of the late 1970s/1980s roads have gotten prior to rebuilding. Richmond, Broadway, maybe Gessner north of I-10, all that. And of course, maintenance for emergency situations. They repaired Beltway 8 south of I-10 following damage from Harvey. Imagine if they didn't repair it or just scrounged up enough cash to plug the most problematic areas with asphalt. Or expansion, like how Beltway 8 and 288 is getting a shiny five-stack, or at least the first phases of it.
  12. House of Pies Third Location

    A bit of an old bump, but the Antoine location seemed to exist in the mid-1990s, given that it is listed in my "Mariner's Guide" list. The fact that they list Daddy Did It, a West Houston seafood restaurant and many others seem to date it to the mid-1990s. Same address.
  13. Amazon HQ2

    Yeah, I know I wrote "k" but in my head I still meant million. Everything else is correct though. At one time, there was a fast food restaurant at the corner of Hirsch and Clinton, though by the mid-1990s that had gotten absorbed into Brown & Root's property with a new building occupying the premises.
  14. Midtown Sears

    It was time, and the flooding events do provide nice bookends to its history. The Fiesta probably will close, doing archive searches reveal that the property was sub-leased by Sears and now Rice can (and likely will) boot it out. Coincidentally, Sears Canada announced closing all of its stores, but even if Sears dies as a whole, Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown are a separate company now.