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Angostura last won the day on July 7 2010

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  1. It makes a lot more sense to combine the water works site w/ another retail or mixed-use building across Nicholson, rather than the catty-corner site on the NW corner of 20th and Nicholson, since a lot of the parking for the restaurants/retail on the waterworks site would have had to go on the companion site. Best case scenario is that the Chase branch is a GFR tenant of a residential building on that site, not a standalone building. Other potential use would be another medical/professional building.
  2. Setbacks alone aren't as big a problem as setbacks PLUS parking minimums, but they're still a problem. Think of a walkable area in this city or any other that has 25 feet of space between the sidewalks and the buildings. There aren't many. There are some areas where the zoning code lets the builder trade setbacks for height, but even then, the podium tends to come right up to the building line. If you have minimum setbacks, AND don't allow parking in them, then you've effectively reduced the value of the land (since a good portion of it can't be built on). Reduced land value leads to reduced density, which means less walkability.
  3. Most likely outcome is a few-hundred units of MF residential, but maybe we'll get some retail, too.
  4. There's also a strong bias in favor of doing nothing, especially in the case of family-owned properties. As long as the status quo is financially tenable, there's a fair amount of emotional inertia to overcome before these properties move.
  5. At least someone at CoH now realizes that setbacks and parking minimums have ruined the streetscape of the city. Let's hope they do something about it.
  6. Carrying costs are one part of the equation; opportunity cost is the other. It's not inconceivable that they could sell a location on 19th and buy 3 others in less expensive parts of the city. However, in close proximity to these two, there's a relatively new Goodwill on 20th, the Value Village on 23rd, and any number of "antique" shops that aren't too far removed from the same business model. I suspect there's value to both customer and proprietor in this kind of clustering, and wouldn't expect these stores to go away anytime soon.
  7. So... There are for sale signs up for the areas currently occupied by the Chase drive-thru and associated 2-story building (essentially the entire block bounded by 19th, Lawrence, 20th and Nicholson, except for the two properties at 527 and 527 w 19th) as well as the Chase parking lot on the south side of 19th. There is also a for-sale sign up for the former Water Works tract, though NOT for the empty tract at the NW corner of Nicholson and 20th. My guess is that, rather than develop the two catty-corner sites they acquired at auction from CoH, Alliance will develop JUST the empty site, and try to sell the site with the water works buildings to be co-developed with the Chase site.
  8. They basically want to be the Shake Shack of chicken sandwiches. Very ambitious, and I wish them good luck.
  9. Same owners as the dentist's office/retail center on the other half of the block.
  10. Fourth Ward? The 4th used to span the west half of what we now call Downtown and Midtown (Main was the boundary), and all of what we now call Montrose. But I think that part of the city that's south of Buffalo Bayou, outside the Pierce elevated, too far north to really be called midtown, and too far east to really be called Montrose, can accurately be called the Fourth Ward. Just like the Sixth Ward covered all the way out to Camp Logan and Cottage Grove, we now generally understand the OSW to mean that area along Washington between the bayou and the rail line, from downtown to, say, Studemont.
  11. Didn't get close enough to GRB to say, but Bayou and Bottle (in the Four Seasons) was doing very brisk business (at $8 for draft beer and $16 for cocktails). Reservations at Brasserie du Parc could be had pretty easily. It was almost-but-not-completely full on Saturday night, but since it's around the back of OPP, and you couldn't get there without going past security, I don't think they got many walk-ins. Restaurants and bars along Main St were doing good business in the early evening, and probably picked up as the night wore on. We snagged the last two seats at Tongue-Cut Sparrow around 5:30, and they had a wait list from then on (which is not bad for a bar with no signage that had been open less than a week).
  12. Construction underway.
  13. Yeah, that's the same sign. The old sign said "Fried Chicken" on the lower left, and "Chirps" (and some other text) on the upper right.
  14. I'd read that, but I'd guess that Canard was probably at least breaking even on its own, considering it only really occupied ~1500-1800 s.f. of the space. Add in another $8-10k per month in lease cost for the FC part of the space, plus the fact that the parent company has zero cash reserves, and there's no way Canard could stay open. That said, given how co-mingled the two spaces and operations were (they shared the same walk-in and prep area as well as bathrooms), it's not clear how well the parent company knew the true profitability of each concept. Additionally, it seemed like a lot of the customers in Canard were either coming from or heading to FC (or maybe a lot of the customers in FC were either coming from or heading to Canard). Ultimately I think a concept like Canard could be successful on its own, but we may never get a chance to find out.
  15. Not surprising. If they could carry the lease for the whole space, Canard would (probably) still be open pending a new concept for the FC side of the space.