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About TonyM

  • Birthday 03/19/1986

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  1. I will be interested to see how this turns out still having the shotgun houses right behind as well as backing up to that section 8 complex. I think it's a bit of a gamble not getting the entire block with the shotgun houses. I like that this is taking development down Gray, only a few big plots left to have things pretty continuous all the way to Taft though. That big section 8 complex may suppress development on the west end of the old 4th ward for quite some time.
  2. Perhaps so but if you saw the condition of sidewalks (where they exist) on that corner you'd realize that this is a welcome improvement.
  3. There's also been a lot of work to install benches and complete the crosswalks. Previously they were all just asphalt fillers but now they're a concrete mix with a bit of exposed aggregate. Look quite nice and are much better to drive over than the fillers. Just need them to finish all the street lights and new traffic lights and we'll be set!
  4. Awesome news, that will make the whole stretch much nicer.
  5. Seems to be so but we'll have to see how quick they get on to that light steel erection in the renderings. That work goes pretty quick most of the time. Still think there's no way it gets done by end of April but we'll see . . .
  6. By the date on that drawing (Jan 2012) it looks like they've been thinking about this for awhile.
  7. Man they can pack those units in. But I am glad to see Sudden Impact going away, the redevelopment of that plot will make a nice addition to the Midtown/W Gray corridor.
  8. Thank god, hope it goes through. The sidewalk from the edge of Front Porch's property to Helena St is practically non-existent. And Helena itself is a complete pit, that road needs a serious rebuild.
  9. It's a pretty simple formula folks, retail follows residential, not the other way around. I think people have a utopian vision of "ground floor retail" that it will somehow transform the inner loop into Manhattan v2.0. Not going to happen, and frankly I don't want it to, if I wanted that I'd move to NYC/Chicago/etc. Fact is, Houston's inner loop real estate boom is already pricing many smaller retailers out of the market and the only folks who can afford it are the big chains (which everyone decries). You can't have it both ways. As Midtown's residential density increases, the retail WILL fill in. Why? Simple economics, if you have a TON of residents within a short distance of your business the higher cost of entry becomes more palatable. Right now, the cost of entry is still high, yet the residential density is not yet at the tipping point that demands retail in fill.
  10. Executive Director Janet Donath said in a statement. “While we couldn’t be more grateful to the city for their support, we have always known that we needed to return to the heart of the community.” I fail to see how the corner of W Gray and Taft is the heart of their demographic. Long term the 4th ward is being redeveloped with the rest of midtown. This location makes little sense beyond a 10 year window, it would be much more appropriate nearer Gray and 59 with the rest of the social services buildings.
  11. Construction seems to have slowed a little bit. Work crews were going gangbusters before the New Year, there every morning 6:30/7:00, but not much visible progress the last month or so. Appears much of the work has been going into stabilization of the remaining church structure/bricks. To me it doesn't seem like it'll be ready in March but that's just based on the recent slow pace I've noticed.
  12. This area is already getting busy (trying to grab lunch is fun). Should be even busier after Noble moves into the twin 10s in May . . .
  13. Saw some site clearing on the little lot next to the church the other day. Don't know what anyone would do with that plot right now. Can't imagine the church being too many years away from a sale either. Eh, there's nothing wrong with the houses themselves (at least nothing more or less wrong with them than the rest of the cheaply built townhouses in the area). Main thing is that many of them are poorly landscaped or not really well taken care of because the original owners don't have the funds to keep them up. Housing "initiatives" never cease to amaze me. People can't afford houses to begin with so we subsidize the purchase. Then we're shocked to find out that unreliable buyers don't have the funds and can't keep them up either, and they subsequently fall into disrepair. A few of the houses that I know have turned over to new ownership are quite nice and well taken care of. Personally I like the two stories much more than the overly abundant three stories that dominate the area, a little variety never hurt. Would like to see some start coming up for sale to young buyers who can put a little money into them and keep them viable.
  14. Excellent news! If this comes to fruition, everything from Bagby to Taft will be pretty much built out except for the body shop/Baptist church plot. Gray seems to becoming the Main St. of Midtown. They were subsidized by the City of Houston when the HUD/section 8 compound on Allen was reduced in size. Activists wanted to keep the neighborhood "as it was". The homes were built at price points of $52k/72k/92k depending on one's need. Applicants were also given $20k downpayment assistance. The HCAD valuations were frozen for 7 years and the original owners must keep the house for 10 years or payback the down payment assistance on a prorated basis. Valuations starting moving around last year and some properties turned over or went into foreclosure. Not much action on them in the last 12-18 months but some have fought HCAD to keep the values low for now, perhaps until their 10 year down payment period is up. I think the next year will be telling in that regard as many of these homes were built in the 2003-2005 time frame.
  15. Agreed. They've got a few nearer the Baptist church that are being "preserved" for now, and that's adequate. Keeping these shotgun houses does nothing to lend history to the neighborhood, it's just holding it back. 4th Ward Redevelopment Authority needs to get their act together . . . I really wonder where most of that money is actually ending up. Street improvements have been a line item in the budget for at least the last two years and nothing but a couple surveys have happened yet.
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