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H-Town Man

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H-Town Man last won the day on November 2 2017

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  1. Ok, I overlooked where you said ground floor. Regardless, for a building to look inviting, the full fa├žade matters, not just the ground floor.
  2. Dang, are these things normally that thick? It looks like they are going to fill it all the way to the surface with concrete!
  3. lol, that comment seems to have really gotten to you! Keep it in its own thread... and grow a thicker skin. Not everyone will have the same aesthetic judgment.
  4. I've seen the renderings and am aware of the glass. Interaction with the outside world is a judgment. You can have your judgments and I can have mine. I find this to be a much more inviting exterior. The glass on the new MFAH building does not look very transparent to me (especially with a concrete wall behind it), but maybe we have a different idea of "transparent." In terms of form it reminds me of brutalism and does not open up spatially the way this one does. That being said, I expect it will have a breathtaking interior and am optimistic on that point. I think you are overdoing your role of HAIF Positivity Police a little bit.
  5. Agreed that if this area needs more parking, this is about the best block you could put it on. But to Texasota's comment, the issue likely isn't how much parking exists, it's how it gets utilized. You have massive garages for Houston Center that pretty much sit empty in the evenings, as far as I'm aware. If there were some way to get those spaces into the market, you probably wouldn't need this. Skanska would do themselves and the world a favor if they built a multi-block, underground garage on their land like the theater district has. But with sewers and utilities under all those streets, that would probably cost a ton.
  6. But those different sensibilities and developmental practices have a basis in attitudes and mindsets. And our attitude and mindset, on the whole, is still thinking everything newer and bigger is better. We are much better than we were a few decades ago but have a long way to go before we stop seeing wasteful atrocities.
  7. I was talking to a lady in Dallas recently who sold an old house in University Park to a buyer who demolished it and she was explaining, "Well, the floors upstairs sloped an inch from one side of the bedroom to the other. You can't renovate a house like that!" And I'm thinking, "Have you ever been to England?" Stayed at a hotel in the Cotswolds that probably dropped six inches from one side of the bedroom to the other - on the third floor. No one cared. Face it, we are living in a land of Philistines. There have been some improvements in historical consciousness the past 20 years but even if it keeps improving at this rate, we will still see dumb decisions the rest of our lives. Gotta have laser-level floors or it's just unlivable!
  8. Well, it wasn't a great location considering that it faced three other parking garages and a power station. Perfect spot for some loser to come along and build yet another parking garage. Some people raise the bar and some people just serve the most basic element.
  9. So entrepreneurialism-by-committee hasn't worked anywhere else, but it will work in Houston because we have some special, "local" brand of activism that's different from the usual kind? By the way, this sort of thing is pretty new to Houston. Our past development has not been a combination of "activism, progress AND development in a carefully thought out environment." About 99.9% of it was pure self-interest on the developer's part, which has been good for everyone, since it's in a developer's interest to build something that people want.
  10. The question was whether the people of Clear Lake could tell NASA what to do on land that it already owned. If they are buying up all the land around your house, I would have to wonder why all the land around your house is selling. If your house is in the middle of a bunch of parking lots and a derelict department store, you probably aren't going to be able to influence how it is developed. No, business interest and community interests are not "co-equal" on land that the business owns. There is a pretty strong tradition of property rights in this country, especially in Houston. Most of our great buildings were not built by developers who asked local residents what they thought beforehand. The guy who built Greenway Plaza spent years buying every house in the neighborhood that was there and then tearing them all down. No tears were shed. If you didn't want to sell, you didn't have to. This can be tempered in some cases by the desire to avoid bad press. If Rice were to build something really ugly in the middle of Third Ward on an otherwise nice street, they would get some bad press, and people on here would probably be sympathetic. But putting something where there was nothing - especially something that is going to bring jobs to the area - should not be met by a parade of demands such as, "There better be some cheap groceries! You better hire us, instead of just hiring the best applicants like any normal employer! The people who do the construction better have a certain skin color!" And if there are such demands, those demands should be resolutely ignored, unless you want to set a precedent that will turn Houston into the next Chicago.
  11. Value of community? What community? This is a bunch of parking lots and an old Sears building that apparently wasn't supported by the "community." The only community in this area is homeless people living under 59 and yuppies living in the apartments to the north. Who decides what the community is? And even if there was a community, why should they get to dictate development on land that someone owns? Does the Humble community tell the airport how it should design the new International terminal? Does the Clear Lake community tell NASA what it should do on its campus? No. You don't get to demand groceries from a developer. There are plenty of other grocery stores in the area.
  12. Everyone should carefully read that article, especially the part where it says that this will be "the first CBA in Houston." What you will see in that article is a prime example of how development takes place in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, etc. Cities where activism has replaced entrepreneurialism, and grievance has eclipsed growth. Cities that other cities look upon with fear and describe with terms usually associated with the toilet. Cities that have been sitting ducks for Houston over the past 50 years as we've surpassed one after the other. If this kind of thing takes hold here, bid a fond farewell to the growing, dynamic boomtown that we've been. The most worrisome part of all of it is the role that academics are playing. No one understands economic reality less than an academic, with the possible exception of business and economics professors (emphasis on possible). These are people who generally have stayed in school their entire lives, whose advancement has depended on their ability to flourish inside of a kind of mandarin system of groupthink, where any time spent in the "real world" is looked upon with skepticism and distrust, where any pushing against settled academic norms and conventions is swiftly and viciously (and often silently) punished, usually with loss of opportunity to advance further. Academic involvement in real estate development is like putting sugar in a gas engine or salt in a garden. They are the antibodies of progress, total agents of destruction. They would probably laugh giddily, print it out, and post it in their department hallway if they read this post. And it would be the only tangible thing they accomplished in the entire week. Next post I'll tell you what I really think.
  13. It took either 2 or 3 years. It started in either 2001 or 2002 when Metro decided it would use its own funds to build it after Tom DeLay blocked federal funds. It opened for service in January 2004.
  14. Vacant lot at the corner of Dennis and Helena is going to get a 13-story tower called Pearl Rosemont (instead of Mont-rose, get it?), which will begin in December 2019 or 1Q 2020. Originally proposed in 2015. Will include 298 units on top of a parking podium and total 260,000 SF. Referred to as Pearl on Helena in planning documents with the city. Will have nicer finishes than Pearl Marketplace; they think the neighborhood is better here. Name could change again. That's all the interesting stuff.
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