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Angostura last won the day on July 7 2010

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  1. The visibility barrier that (I presume) the city made them put on the south wall is hideous.
  2. It looks like this puts a sharper segregation between the wholesale and retail portions of the site. If this first phase is successful at turning this site into a destination, the days might be numbers for the wholesale warehouse on the north edge of the site.
  3. Yes, but all the incentives run the other way. In order to open a restaurant, you need a space, a concept, and money. All of these are finite resources. Sometimes the space drives the concept, but more often, the money does. It's a far less risky proposition to invest in a proven concept (or chef, or partnership) than an unproven one, so the incentive for investors is to replicate existing successful concepts. The incentive for the chef/operator is the same. It's a lot higher return on effort to establish recipes, processes, systems, training, etc. once, and then replicate it than it is to create a new concept for every new location. Back-of-house staff work long hours for a long time for not much money, so when they get a chance to provide for themselves and their families by opening 2nd and 3rd and 15th locations of a successful concept, they have every right to take it. Every wish that a chef-driven concept remain a single location with the chef in the kitchen in reality puts a ceiling (and a pretty low one) on that chef's income. While I love new and interesting and unique restaurants, I'm more interested in getting delicious food made from quality ingredients in a pleasant atmosphere at a reasonable price. If that's in the 2nd Bernie's, or the 2nd Cloud 10, or the 2nd Helen, or the 3rd Superica, or the 5th Hopdoddy, or the 17th Snooze, I'm OK with that.
  4. Personally, I'd much rather have more street parking and fewer surface lots. However, most residential streets in the Heights are not quite wide enough to accommodate street parking on both sides and still allow two-way traffic to flow normally. This is not normally a problem when only 1/4 to 1/3 of the available street spaces are in use, since there's usually enough room for one car to pull over and let an oncoming vehicle pass. However, when parking volumes are high, navigating these streets becomes difficult. There are three potential solutions to this: 1 - Repave streets with curbs and gutters to allow more space for street parking. This is the most expensive option. 2 - Restrict street parking to one side of the street only. This eliminates half the on-street spaces, including spaces that residents use on a regular basis. Often spaces they've paid money to improve (like placing a culvert in the drainage ditch). 3 - Convert streets in the Heights from two-way to one-way. This maintains all the on-street spaces and eliminates any issues with flow of vehicles during peak parking demand. Many urban neighborhoods with a high usage rate of on-street parking have one-way side streets. In Houston, a big chunk of the 4th ward (the area bounded by Gray, Taft, Dallas and I-45) is laid out with one-way streets to allow on-street parking despite the narrow right-of-way. In this particular area, the N-S streets are mostly OK for street parking (except Nicholson). Converting the E-W streets to one-way from 16th to 28th (maybe with the exception of 19th and 20th) would resolve the problem. East of Heights Blvd, I think you could make an argument for converting the entire street grid, from I-10 to 20th between Heights and Studewood, to one-way traffic.
  5. There are provisions in the ordinance for shared parking requirements, but, effectively, if the restaurants open before 5PM, they can't use that garage to meet any of their minimum parking requirement. They CAN, however, lease up to 50-70% of the parking spaces for overflow after 5PM, depending on the actual use classification of that building.
  6. I don't have any issue with street parking. It's just that of the 3 streets bordering this development, 2 don't have any. I think the missed opportunity is that instead of 3 surface lots (this development, NW corner of 19th and Ashland, SE corner of 20th and Ashland) we could have one parking structure and two new developments, bringing a lot more density to this retail corridor. Between the waterworks and whatever goes on the Chase site, we could finally have a continuous corridor of street-facing buildings from Yale to Shepherd.
  7. 39,000 pounds sounds like a lot. 19.5 tons sounds like a lot less.
  8. Both Nicholson and 20th are no-parking. 19th has a couple dozen street spaces, but probably not enough to absorb demand, especially with the 40% break they'll get for re-developing historic buildings. So some of the people that park on the street will have to do so on 18th and 21st. There are also surface lots for the hospital at 19th & Ashland and 20th & Ashland that could be developed if Braun were to go vertical here.
  9. That's a pretty impressive set of tenants so far. It looks like they're meeting their parking requirements fully on-site. Depending on the final square footages and use classifications, with the 40% break for historical buildings (provided they get a CoA), they'll need something between 120 and 130, which is about what's on the site plan. I was hoping for structured parking here, as it would let them re-purpose some of the land used for parking at the Harold's development, but I guess they couldn't make those numbers work.
  10. It's roughly a third of the total land area, but it's the third that's closest to the rail stop, and potentially creates a barrier between the rest of the development and the rail line. It also means they can't connect Leona St all the way to Chestnut St. It's the street grid that makes this a potential extension of the neighborhood instead of East Katyville, which is what it runs the risk of becoming. Counterpoint: If you look at this image of the Fulton St cross section, and this map of a potential future connection to San Jacinto, they may just see (potentially widened to 6 lanes) Fulton St as being too difficult to bridge, making it difficult to integrate the eastern third of the site with the rest.
  11. IIRC, a city-wide family membership to the YMCA is around $100/mo. Westside is around $300/mo. Both of these come with a lot more than just a pool. If you price membership at $80/mo, 6 months/yr (~$500 per family), you need ~600 families to cover the OpEx, plus $7500 in CapEx per family (which would probably be some mixture of cash and debt). I think they'll struggle to get this to work unless the land is donated (or acquired at significantly below market price).
  12. I'm guessing this is a result of the traffic impact analysis. What I think they'll do is: extend the left turn lane that allows cars to enter the Kroger development from SB Studemont provide a right turn lane for cars on NB Studemont to turn onto the EB 1-10 feeder re-configure the median on Studemont to extend the left turn lane (from NB Studemont to WB I-10) provide a right-turn lane for those entering the development from the EB I-10 feeder
  13. In a 7-yr stretch, from say 2014 to 2021, the 10-block stretch of Shepherd from 14th to 24th, stands to be one of the most radical transformations of any stretch of major thoroughfare inside the loop. There's still a lot more to come, I think, from small infill developments to whatever will replace C&D on 22nd.
  14. More than the city requires, yes. But once in place, it allows them to develop the land just west of the Tacodeli building (currently parking for that development), using the more valuable Wash Ave frontage for retail rather than parking. It also would allow them to lease space to B&B, allowing THAT parking lot to be further developed. Could be similar to what's happening on Fairview with the new parking structure there. It may even give them critical mass to apply for a Special Parking Area, which would release individual businesses from having to provide their own parking, allowing it to be shared across the SPA.
  15. I understand what you're saying. However: you can only appeal on one of two grounds: unequal appraisal, or market value. While we're over-appraised w/r/t market value in our current neighborhood code, the houses in 8305.1 are probably under-appraised. A market-based appeal would lower our appraisal, but only to about where it's capped at anyway. Also, we're not, strictly speaking, in a townhouse. It's a house on a sub-divided lot, but our land area is at the upper end of the range for these kinds of houses. What's frustrating is that of the other two pretty-much-identical houses that were built together with ours, one is in 8305.06 like ours, but the other is in 8305.10, and pays thousands less in taxes.