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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/07/10 in all areas

  1. Distance needs to be put in context of density. We have both a Home Depot and a Lowe's bordering the Heights, and stores like C&D and Buchanan's are still around. (Have you ever tried going to Buchanan's on a Saturday in March? Packed.) It's very difficult to compete with Walmart on price. Smart businesses find other ways (selection, service, ambience, etc.). If Heights residents truly value the small businesses in their neighborhoods (that is, enough to actually buy things from them), then these small businesses have nothing to fear from Walmart. But even if it were the case that Walmart would put half the stores on 19th street out of business, asking the city to impede the construction of a Walmart on this basis is to advocate that the government interfere with one company in order to benefit another. Either so that HEB could get the site at below market price, or so that other businesses can continue to charge above market prices for their goods. Bureaucratic interfere in the free market with the intent to benefit one company over another is often called cronyism. As much as I'd prefer something else on that site, I can't condone these kinds of methods to prevent Walmart from building here. If Walmart can be convinced to go away of their own accord, so be it. But the talk of getting the city involved is the kind of meddling with the property rights of others that strikes me as distasteful.
    6 points
  2. There will be plenty of government intervention on behalf of Wal-Mart (feeder road, piles of variances needed, increased demand on water, sewer, electrical grid, police and fire). All of that will cost tax dollars. Tax payers have every right to have a say on land use issues. We live in a democracy, not a plutocracy. I just saw on the Free Press website that Wal-Mart is also planning a store at I-45 and Crosstimbers. That would mean that people living from about 20th st. northward in the Heights will either be closer to that location or have better highway access by either just hopping on 45 or 610-45 rather than rolling along at 35 mph through the Heights. For those south of 20th, we are talking about a difference of a mile or two between the two locations. Thus, this whole argument about depriving low income people of a convenient Wal-Mart location is simply crocodile tears. The benefits of having the Wal-Mart at Yale and I-10 are virtually non-existent if there is also going to be a location at 45 and Crosstimbers. This is just about Wal-Mart using its corporate largesse to cram an unwanted, unneeded store down our throats so they can take a shot at Target's market share. I would bet that the revenues for a Yale store would not come close to stores in the burbs. I would also bet that in less than 10 years, Wal-Mart would dump the location, as they have done in many other powerplays when the competitive justification for the store was lost.
    2 points
  3. I am late to this thread but just finished reading it. I have never lived paycheck-to-paycheck. I've never lived under the poverty line. I won the lottery at birth and have been afforded all sorts of great advantages in my life time. That said, I've never shopped at Wal-mart. Not because I am a snob, but because I am unapologetically opposed to their corporate policies. You can call me an elitist or just lucky to be able to afford to make such decisions, but I don't give a rat's poopy head. What I do care about is the greater well being of our City and World. You may disagree with me, but it is my opinion that Wal-Marts create more harm than good at the end of the day. Oh, and don't tell me to cite something. It's super easy to do a google search. There's lots of information out there. Besides, I base most of my opinion on personal experience when Wal-Mart moved just OUTSIDE (to avoid taxes) of the city limits of my small college town into an unincorporated section of Ontario County.
    2 points
  4. Given that a Pew Research poll found that 84% of Americans have shopped at Walmart in the past year, and that 138 million Americans shop there every week (60% of the adult population), it is unlikely that potential Heights residents would be offended at a Walmart that is not located within the Heights, but nearby. In fact, a nearby Walmart will likely improve property values, as an overwhelming majority of Americans (69%) hold a favorable view of Walmart. A review of the Target thread on this forum reveals the preference for big box retail stores near, but not within, the Heights by Heights residents. While there are without doubt some vocal opponents of Walmart, their numbers are small, and the number who would not buy a home in the Heights simply because a Walmart is located on the other side of a major freeway is virtually non-existent. Note that I own a house in the Heights that may be put up for sale in the not-to-distant future. The historic district is a much more direct concern than a Walmart over a mile away. As for strip centers, none of the new strip centers along Washington seem to have hurt property values in the Heights, mostly because, like Walmart, they are not in the Heights. Neither have the big boxes in Sawyer Center. Sawyer Heights Village is an interesting comparison to Walmart on Yale. When it was proposed, the same concerns about traffic were raised. Studies showed that little extra traffic would travel on Watson through Woodland Heights due to the center, and the last 3 years bear that out. What is even more interesting is that the proposed Walmart is 152,000 square feet, just 28,000 feet bigger than the Target. In fact, the Target, the 28,000 square foot Petsmart, and the 20,000 square foot Staples combined are 15% larger than the proposed Walmart, without even considering the 2 dozen other stores on the property. Traffic concerns are much ado about nothing. Again, I'm not telling you whether to like Walmart. They aren't my favorite retailer, either. I'm simply pointing out that property value and traffic fears are misplaced. The recession, the oil spill, and the impending loss of new Heights construction are much bigger threats to your property value than Walmart. Remember, there are no less than 3 Walmarts within the Woodlands itself. And that is one of the few growing areas in the metro right now.
    2 points
  5. Hines' property site only puts this about the Waterwall: The management office must be contacted at least 10 business days in advance for information and reservations to have a wedding ceremony OR photography at the Waterwall. (http://www.property-website.com/pws/sites/4/live/propertyprofile/index.jsp) I don't know anything about a city ordinance/regulation about it and can't find anything on the city web site or searchable municipal code..
    1 point
  6. My neighborhood hardware store where I grew up went out of business because Home Depot opened up SIX miles away. The guy had been there for 30 years, and in 6 months lost so much business he was forced to shut his doors. When you're talking a 152,000 square foot store (plus warehouse, plus parking), 2 miles isn't that far.
    1 point
  7. I'd much prefer an HEB on this site to a Walmart, but in order for that to happen either: a - the property owner would have to accept less for the property than Walmart is offering; or b - HEB would have to increase their offer. I have a hard time telling a private property owner that they should have to accept a lower price for their property in order not to offend my sensibilities (be they esthetic, culinary, ethical, political or otherwhise). I'd have a less hard time hoping HEB would come back with a higher offer. However, I see this as somewhat unlikely due to one inescapable fact. Consider: - A Walmart supercenter requires +/- 25 acres to be viable. The universe of such sites in the vicinity is limited. - An HEB requires significantly less space to be viable. Therefore, the universe of sites that suits HEB includes all of those that suit Walmart, PLUS any number of other potential sites. Therefore, if both Walmart and HEB are interested in developing stores in the area, Walmart should be expected to outbid HEB on any site that suits their (Walmart's) needs, since they have a less attractive "next best alternative". Put another way, HEB would expect to pay less for a site that DOESN'T suit Walmart than one which DOES (since the demand for such a site would be lower). There's therefore no incentive for HEB to get in a bidding war for this site when there are probably acceptable alternatives available. I fully expect there to be a Heights HEB within the next few years despite the fact that they lost out on this property. I wish it were sooner (I make sure to enter my zip code on the keypad at the checkout line every time I shop at the Bunker Hill store), but neither the property owner nor Walmart have an obligation to assuage my disappointment.
    1 point
  8. All your postulations and conclusions are entirely based on the assumption that "low-income inner-loop residents" don't ever shop at Walmart - I guess because there isn't one nearby (I don't know, that seems to be about the extent of the logic). I contend "low-income inner-loop residents" DO shop at Walmart already, they just drive farther to do it. As neither of these points can be proven because no evidence has ever been amassed regarding this, except by perhaps Walmart, then perhaps we should trust the anecdotes of people who are "low-income inner-loop residents" or at least who once were. Are you a "low-income inner-loop resident", or are you just another person who knows better than the "low-income inner-loop residents" about what's good for them? And N Judah, classy move, guy. You can neg rep every post I make (I think you've missed two!), but you won't bait me into doing the same to you or anyone else I disagree with. You and they are entitled to whatever viewpoint they wish, no matter how ill-conceived it is, and if it warrants any negative attention from me, it also warrants a reasoned response. N Judah: always taking the path of most passive-aggressive.
    1 point
  9. You are always right in Smugland. You're like Superman, but with a Facebook page instead of superpowers.
    1 point
  10. If Walmart were smart they would just stick a Starbucks in-store, hire some homeless looking hippie to play guitar and sing every evening, and offer 5 varieties of organic non-offensive soy milk. That'll probably quiet most of the dissenters in the area, at least until they find out the hippie works only for tips and Sam's Choice brand snack foods filled with partially hydrogenated soybean oil and artificial colors and sweeteners.
    1 point
  11. If the prevailing counterargument to extending unemployment insurance is merely that deficit spending needs to be reigned in, and unemployment insurance is a transfer payment pure and simple whereas a WPA/CCC-type program would be payment for services rendered...nah, that's a step in the direction of capitalism. It's not as though we're compelling people to work; they could exercise a choice, their own free will. This should be pretty solid middle ground. Granted, FDR's New Deal didn't make a lot of sense on the whole. Many programs hurt more than helped or created long-term problems. Even within the WPA, they very intentionally slowed down work. (There's a particular building near the turning basin that was built under the WPA, and every single window pane has a different measurement. That was done intentionally to promote waste.) Obviously that kind of thing shouldn't be acceptable.
    1 point
  12. Have been reading this forum for over a year now....ever since we leased the property discussed on this post @ 10630 Olympia in Walnut Bend. So happy to report that we are now the proud owners!! Yes, it's true, the previous owners (who never lived in the home & bought it as an investment property) did plan on adding a second floor & tons of home depot upgrades...totally heartbreaking...could not let it happen!! We have loved living in the house, flat roof & all... Homeowner's insurance was a big challenge to get & sooo expensive, but worth every cent, imho. So, my fellow mod friends....there'll be no second floor add-ons, no home depot upgrades & lots of restoration planning in the works! Buffing the terrazzo is certainly on the list....so any referrals are greatly appreciated. Just wanted to share....feel like we're "official" mod club members now.
    1 point
  13. What does any of this have to do with my ability to have an opinion on this topic? Because that's what I was responding to.
    0 points
  14. A. It certainly is an ad hominem attack now. I have lived paycheck to paycheck, lived on unemployment, and have earned less than the poverty level. When I needed to stretch my dollars, I stayed away from Wal-Mart. The local grocery specials always beat the pants off of Wal-Mart's prices. And close-out stores had much better clothing and housewares than Wal-Mart for the same or less than what Wal-Mart charged for their junk. Now that I make enough money to afford to live in the Heights (in a very small bungalow), I have the right to protect my property values and preserve the unique character of my neighborhood. Wal-Mart threatens that not because of its customer's ethnicity or economic demographic. Wal-Mart threatens the character of the Heights because the Heights is one of the few communities left in this City that doesn't follow the model of unwalkable neighborhoods with strip centers and big box stores. B. It could be said with equal force of logic that your translation of every argument into a class/race issue is nothing more than your own resentment of those who are successful. The economic fortunes of the economic and racial demographic you champion are directly tied to the ability of Houston to attract businesses to the downtown area. The availablity and quality of inner city neighborhoods for professionals has always been a sore spot when comparing Houston to other cities. The emergence of the Heights, Rice Military and other inner city neighborhoods has done a lot to improve Houston's ability to compete for business investment. Drop a Wal-Mart right in the middle of that and you have now taken a big step backwards. Sure, short term, there will be construction jobs, a few hundred low wage jobs and some cheaper goods for people in the inner loop. In the long run, Houston will lose business to other metropolitan areas because of our inability to wisely control development. In short, Houston can only grow so long as a city where we all just grin and bear it. C. The food reference is just a demonstration that you can make a fact based argument that something is bad for lower income people without being in the same income bracket. D. The bottom line to your argument is that Wal-Mart is terrible, but we all have to shut up and deal with it because Wal-Mart (allegedly) saves lower income people a few bucks (or, more specifically, a few minutes in the car). The truth is that the idea of community resistance to Wal-Mart being some sort of class/ethnic elitism or "tyranny" is nothing more than Wal-Mart PR flack. This is a battle between wealthy investors, Wal-Mart execs and shareholders and the people who live in the neighborhood, pay plenty of taxes and want to see development in Houston that is beneficial to all and not just a quick buck for developers and a chance for Wal-Mart execs to take a shot at Target's revenues.
    -1 points
  15. yes they do? i love reading your responses, especially since you DON'T EVEN LIVE IN THE HEIGHTS.
    -1 points
  16. I also forgot how to point out how amazing you are at reading minds. I think what i enjoy the most about internet forum discussions is the fact that people can read so well into a few lines of text to know EXACTLY what someone is thinking. Absolutely amazing. You lumped me into the elitist crowd after reading one post and i am starting to think you are clearly related to Miss Cleo. Anyone, even people who are practically in Dallas, can shop at any walmart or any store they want. Although there are plenty of suburban Walmarts that are closer to you that you might feel better about patronizing being how socially conscious you seem to be. This thread is about a discussion where Walmart, may or may not be building in an area that to most people is well known as the "greater heights" area of our city. I know you are not that naive and spout plenty of real estate isms day after day, so this shouldn't be a surprise - yes, most of us understand its not in THE HEIGHTS, just like Target or "Sawyer Heights" isn't either. You also understand that branding/marketing is very important for business to survive and LOCATION immensely more important. This will be the Walmart (Super or Neighborhood) located in the Houston Heights.
    -2 points
  17. absolutely nothing. you are more then welcome to post your opinion all day long, as you freely do now. just let someone else have an opinion too without point counter pointing them all day long. you either don't care or completely ignore the simple fact that this is in someones "back yard", while ignoring or not caring that that yard isn't yours.
    -3 points
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