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Everything posted by ConstructionManagerMAS

  1. They've begun clearing trees at the southeast corner of the 1488 and Kuykendahl intersection. I assume this is where the new HEB is going; I didn't think they'd begin this soon. Has anyone heard whether this new store will be similar to the one at Woodlands Parkway and Kuykendahl, with expanded produce, etc? Also, Kuykendahl was cleared in the fall but no construction has begun. It's only about 1,000 feet of road; I wonder what the holdup is?
  2. I'm with Mom22. I'm surprised they didn't mention Research Forest to FM2978. That seems logical considering the new Westwood Village shopping center.
  3. Well, ROW clearing on the first part of the FM1488 widening is done. Let's see if they can get the telephone and cable lines relocated before they just build the highway around them. As a note, it appears from the commissioner's court meeting minutes that there is a design contract already underway for the widening of 2978 from 1488 south to the Harris County line. Didn't see anything about construction funding though (looks to be another pass-through tolling project however). Some of the new Woodlands homes being built north of Woodlands Parkway already back up very close to 2978, so those buyers will have a nice four lane highway right behind their back fence.
  4. I drove by the development this evening and noticed that the name has been changed once again, to Westwood Village. At least that makes some sense because most of the parcel was actually an undeveloped part of the Westwood subdivision. I'd have to agree though that there's still an identity crisis. We've lived in the area for ten years and I'm happy with saying I live in "Magnolia". At least there's a city associated with the name. When we first moved here it was sort of referred to as the "Bear Branch" area because of the elementary and junior high school names. In the absence of any overall regulation and zoning I wish the county commissioners took a more active role in steering developers toward appropriate names for areas. But then again, this is "Greater Houston" so what can I expect. As for Starbucks, I wouldn't count them out. They're probably making plans now to put one on the north side and one on the south side.
  5. I did a recount and came up with seven existing branch banks near the intersection of 1488 and 2978 (I might have missed one, not sure). RedScare, Bum**** Egypt is appropriate, since the area at 1488 and 2978 used to be the Egypt Community (its on the old maps). Unfortunately there are a heck of a a lot of people who have found the area in the last ten years (since we moved out there).
  6. There may be a more logical thread to the name than it seems. This new Woodforest development in Montgomery County is being built around what is now the Woodforest Golf Club. I believe the Golf Club gained that name after Woodforest National Bank took at least some ownership of it due to default by the previous owners. It wouldn't surprise me if Woodforest National Bank has some sort of financial interest in the development. We've been banking with Woodforest National Bank for about ten years and if memory serves me correctly their first bank location (maybe 25 years ago) was on Woodforest in east Houston, which brings us full circle.... Woodforest National Bank is sort of the Starbucks of Montgomery County banking. There are three branch locations within about 300 yards of the intersection of FM1488 and FM2978. Seems a bit much.
  7. Some of the tracts they are building on are very small also. One of them can't be more than about 20 acres with room for maybe 50 houses (since all of the trees are gone). They just put in a "U" shaped street, ran the utilities, and away they went. Since everything is unzoned, your future next door neighbor could be a plastics recycling plant. There's no way to know. There are a bunch of these developments in North Houston area now. It's very inexpensive to get in, but I read a story in the Chronicle about a year ago that they generally have some of the highest foreclosure rates in the Houston area. My wife's friend lives in one of these neighborhoods and their resale value (on a brand new house) has actually fallen in the last two or three years!
  8. Well, tree destruction at the site is almost complete (only took them about two weeks to accomplish that). We'll see how they do on the rest of the project. Plenty of sitework is going on. The project is now listed on the regencycenters.com website as "Woodlands West Village", giving a Montgomery address and zip code (somebody needs to do a little homework; its in Magnolia). The only two tenants currently listed are: Target and Starbucks. I'd be very surprised if Research Forest is not extended to the west very shortly. The development has to be counting on those Woodlands demographics.
  9. Has anyone heard what is happening with the commercial development by Regency at the SE corner of 1488 & 2978? I've heard they've actually purchased about 80 acres total now and I've seen a preliminary site plan by the civil engineer. I'd hoped that because of the proximity to The Woodlands they would try to do something fairly "nice". From the site plan, I don't know if that's going to happen. Looks like just a fairly typical large commercial development at this point (trees just screw up the site work and drive up the cost and all that). I'm sure there is plenty of talk between Regency and The Woodlands Development Corporation to extend Research Forest to the west since it would go directly through the Regency development. In fact, the site plan shows a Research Forest right-of-way along the current southern edge.
  10. Does anyone know exactly where this 400-acre parcel is? From looking at the map of Sterling Ridge it seems it must be south of Woodlands Parkway on the east side of 2978. This would be Magnolia ISD. At least 15 years ago I understand that some state legislation moved some undeveloped Woodlands property from Magnolia ISD into Conroe ISD (this must have been on the west side of Sterling Ridge) with a lump sum payment made to Magnolia ISD. Don't look for that to happen again too easily. The surrounding districts now know the tax value of their land near The Woodlands.
  11. I think that picture is in Stafford. Still a TXDOT project, but I wonder if anyone else contributed funds. What you don't see is the extensive landscaping and hardscaping under the overpass. More Pavestone retaining walls with crushed rock infill than I've seen anywhere else. Makes you wonder if they could have spent the money on a place where people could have actually seen it, rather than driving by at 40 mph because you missed your exit and had to make a U-turn under the freeway.
  12. I really get a kick out of those old photos that show the newly built freeways just after they opened. A few 50's and early 60's model cars flowing smoothly in each direction. No delays in sight. Progressive engineering has conquered the traffic monster. Doesn't happen that way anymore, it appears.
  13. Ashikaga, did you add that last paragraph just to see if you could get a rise out of someone? I've heard the standard arguments from the "outdoor advertising" industry: private property, free speech, "we do some public service advertisement so we're good guys". But I've never heard anyone say that they are visually appealing.
  14. Tallows are definitely a non-native pest tree. There are some areas around that have tallow eradication programs.
  15. Just checked the TXDOT website again. The FM1488 widening date has been slipping. Now I see that the bid date was slipped off the end of the FY2006 letting schedule (so the bid date is no sooner than fall of this year). So much for politicians' promises.
  16. In some areas around The Woodlands there are also some pockets of iron ore on the surface. Most of these were stripped a long time ago for road material and all that is left is very infertile subsoil, so there will be patches where nothing will grow (my house sits on one of them).
  17. My mistake. You have to be careful not to get whiplash on that underground train too.
  18. The IAH Terminalink (basement) train is something like the third incarnation of the original train that ran between Terminals A&B when they opened in 1969. It uses a linear motor that is based on magnets in the railway pulling on steel plates mounted in the bottom of the cars. Its certainly an old technology with a lot of maintenance issues, but it's the only way for non-passengers and airport employees to get around the airport, which someone mentioned earlier. The new APM is much faster with more up-to-date technology, but since it is behind the security checkpoints, only passengers can really use it. This has become a real problem for various airports after 9-11. You almost have to have two separate systems, one secure and one non-secure. By the way, the original IAH train (the 1969 version) was designed by the Disney Company, I guess because of their experience with similar technology at Disneyland.
  19. From the TXDOT website, it looks like the FM1488 widening let date has been moved up to March, 2006. Looks like the fun is about to begin. I just posted a reply to myself. That's pretty sad...
  20. Haven't seen any posts about Boston yet. That is a terrible place to drive with terrible drivers. For example, two odd things about Boston: --The Boston Left Turn - If needing to turn left onto a busy street without a signal, simply pull out slowly to cut off the traffic from the left, then wait for an opening in the traffic from the right. Ignore the honking horns because they do the some thing to you. --The Flashing Green Light - I think it means watch for pedestrians. I guess at other times there is no need to watch.
  21. The county also has a constable for each precinct, along with deputy constables. I've always been a little confused by the jurisdictional boundaries between the sheriff's office and the constable's office. I would sure think there would be a sizeable number of peace officers patrolling The Woodlands. There is a deputy constable who frequents our subdivision (just outside The Woodlands). My one experience with calling the sheriff's office (for a fairly serious incident) was less than satisfying. I was hoping that there would be a change with the new sheriff. Maybe time to put some political heat on the whole bunch.
  22. I see that TXDOT has now revised the first phase of 1488 widening to be from SH242 to FM2978 only. It originally went all the way to I-45. The bid let date is still listed as next June. Wonder if there are some issues that we don't know about east of 242? I know that is red-cockaded woodpecker habitat.
  23. I live just outside the Woodlands in Magnolia. I lived in the Heights until I "compromised" when I got married. So what if my bungalow in the Heights had a marble cutting shop on one side and a tenement on the other? Now they've torn in down and built a $500,000 "victorian" on half the lot. But that's another story....
  24. Katie, I have noticed that you Woodlands people have started going to Rancheros on 2978. There's even a line now sometimes (darnit). I new Japanese place called Kobuto (sp?) also opened on 1488 west of 2978 a couple of weeks ago. It replaced another Japanese place that was there recently. We'll see if this one lasts. The food was pretty good.
  25. Hey, I wasn't complaining about the 100 yards, i was just saying that it's 100 yards across an asphalt parking lot, which is akin to having to go into a mall, which I avoid whenever I can. Unfortunately, unless you live on the waterway, you still have to drive to Town Center in most cases. By the way, I lived in Boston and Providence, RI for quite a while so I was really spoiled by easy access to most things, either by walking or public transportation. In that part of the world at least public transportation is not a dirty word, as it seems to be here. People definitely need to get out of their cars more.
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