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Everything posted by rechlin

  1. Car lots all over the country are emptying out due to lack of supply of new vehicles, so it's also possible they may be consolidating their car lots. This is a good time to do the move to the South Loop when they are down on inventory.
  2. That was exactly my point. I'm glad you understand it. This should have been built before prices went up as much as they did, and they should now build this before prices go up any more. Rail projects in the US are gradually becoming more and more unaffordable every year (and getting much much worse than most other countries, for a variety of reasons), so that's why I think we need to build this before it becomes completely unfeasible. Doing the math, as it is, I have trouble seeing how investors can even justify $24b for this project with the expected ridership. If they wait any longer, I can't see this ever getting built.
  3. A 13' travel lane makes it so that cyclists can legally take the lane, so they no longer have to hug the right side for cars to pass like they do with a 16' wide lane.
  4. They need to hurry up and build this before the cost goes up even more. First they were saying $12b, then $15b, then $18b, and now $24b. And no word on whether they are lining up any new investors. Interesting to see they are now asking for federal loans when previously it was going to be privately funded. I too am surprised that there are at-grade crossings. I'm assuming these are probably going to be things like farmers' driveways and not roads with any real traffic? I hadn't noticed them when I looked at all the maps on the environmental study back when that came out, but I wasn't specifically looking for them.
  5. Might it have been summer 1984? Is it possible Heritage Plaza was that far along by that point? He says that his family left Houston in 1984, and I didn't think he moved back to this country until much later so it seems unlikely it was after 1984. But maybe he's remembering wrong when he moved away, because it doesn't seem likely it would be that far along by even the middle of 1984. TC Energy Center, Wells Fargo Plaza, 1400 Smith Street, and the JPMorgan Chase Tower are all complete in this photo, but all of those were finished in 1983 so it's really hard to date this, because I can't identify anything other than Heritage Plaza that was completed over the few years following 1983.
  6. I thought this project wasn't really adding lanes, except bus lanes which is what we do desperately need to improve mass transit?
  7. Wow, Rice Military, Sawyer Yards, and Downtown are all different neighborhoods yet they say it's in all three. My guess is this is actually in Sawyer Yards (which some people seem to think is part of Rice Military). Interesting that we are getting a Putt Shack in downtown and a Drive Shack from Puttery not far away, at about the same time.
  8. Those look like renderings of 3D models rather than photos. There is something eerily unreal about them. Very cool.
  9. No photos, but last week it was still unchanged from before, just with a "For Lease" (or similar) sign in front. Still boarded up, still with the original façade partially exposed.
  10. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Spanish-rail-giant-tapped-as-operator-of-planned-16314681.php
  11. Concrete is far stronger now than it used to be, and these bridges are quite old. If you look at concrete bridges in general, there has been a trend in a reduction of columns over time, especially comparing bridges built in the 1930s (my guess on the age of this bridge) to those built today.
  12. We had something like that at Fannin and Capitol for about 10 years until the parking garage for the Star (former Texaco) was built. Not quite as deep, though.
  13. Had a good view of this during the broadcast of the fireworks finale:
  14. According to that article, design won't even start until next month (with construction completion still 3 years away), so I wouldn't expect renderings for some time.
  15. I'm not a suburbanite (I've lived inside the loop for the last >20 years), but I want this project to happen. Why? IH-45 is one of the most dangerous highways in the country, and there are so many problems with its current implementation that this project addresses. Most of TxDOT's plans for this project are to increase safety. People keep naively going on and on about induced demand, but that isn't even relevant here, because in many sections, this project doesn't even add more regular lanes. It does add bus (+HOV/HOT) lanes, but improved mass transit is something we should be celebrating, not opposing. The number of people being forced to move is exaggerated by most opponents of this project as well. Regardless of whether this happens, many of the units at Clayton Homes have already been torn down (so the residents already had to move) thanks to damage from Harvey, and it seems the rest will get relocated to a less flood-prone development regardless of whether this goes forward. And at Kelly Village, the housing authority has voluntarily wanted to tear down more than is necessary to make more greenspace for its residents -- again, it seems the housing authority would rather have more residents elsewhere (as has been determined from the failure of low-income tower blocks, it does not make sense to have a large number of low-income residents in one small area, but it's better to spread them around to give them more opportunities). And at the Lofts at the Ballpark, this move has been expected anyway, and my impression is that the owners are welcoming this buyout. Many of the businesses cited by articles in opposition to this as being in the way of the project have either already closed or will soon close anyway (such as Fry's Electronics and Kim Son), so the buyouts are likely to be appreciated as well. And the renters of business properties in the way have known about this project for many years, probably even before they signed their leases for the property, so many have always been prepared for this day. If this project goes forward, it will mean safer travel, thanks to fewer (and less tight) curves, broader shoulders, and less dangerous merging. Road capacity will increase as a side effect, allowing more people to get to their destination with the same traffic speeds as today. It will also mean fewer problems from trucks striking low bridges. The West Dallas and Houston Street bridges are infamous for being struck regularly, and this project addresses those. It will also mean fewer problems with flooding, because this project calls for massive retention/detention ponds and pumping systems, to ensure that both property around the project and the roadway itself can avoid flooding as often. And by having the segment east of downtown below-grade, in Biblical floods (think Allison, Harvey), they could be setup to fill with water to help protect the property around them, because nobody should be traveling on the roads during events like those. Yes, it sucks for the people who will be forced to move, especially for those few who own homes that they've lived in for decades. Few people want that. But the plans call for very generous relocation assistance (even going as far as rent and mortgage subsidies, not just moving expenses), and we can't let a few people stand in the way of progress. There are some negatives to this project, and of course the massive cost, but it seems the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.
  16. I don't understand why the floor-to-floor heights won't work for residential. Usually commercial has the greatest heights, then residential in the middle, and then hotels at the bottom. Unless it's a very old commercial building with low ceilings that only work well for hotels (like the Carter Building that became the JW Marriott), a residential conversion of a moderately-old commercial building usually has perfect ceiling heights. I believe 800 Bell has approximately 13 foot FF spacing, which would be low by today's commercial standards (the towers built in recent years are all over 14 feet and some of the newest with in-floor HVAC are closer to 15 feet), but is plenty for residential. Remember the office buildings that were used for recent hotel conversions have spacings under 9 feet. The spacing of 800 Bell is actually enough for premium residential with "high" (by residential standards) ceilings, with 10 foot floor-to-ceiling heights if you want to match the ceiling height with the window height for floor-to-ceiling glass, and you could probably get a bit higher if you want more of a "loft" aesthetic.
  17. Am I remembering wrong, or wasn't the IH-610 southbound to IH-69 northbound ramp formerly 2 lanes? Cutting it from 2 lanes to 1 lane seems like very backwards thinking. Though I guess that goes with the views of many here who think that roads should be made smaller to encourage public transit. And yes, I too have now found that exiting to Westheimer and getting back on to get from 610 south to 69 north is quicker. I'm pretty sure that's not something that TxDOT wanted to have happen with this project. i doubt there is a conspiracy here, though; I think it is just incompetence. Thinking that TxDOT is intentionally doing it so that cronies can profit from accidents is totally ridiculous nonsense.
  18. The BRT line is not planned to go through Afton Oaks. It would drop down from Richmond in the Greenway Plaza area to follow Westpark. Even the last designs for the LRT line weren't even planned to go go through Afton Oaks. After the neighborhood made a big stink about it, Metro moved the planned route from Richmond to Westpark. The biggest difference I am seeing between the proposed BRT route and the formerly proposed LRT route, in the Wheeler to Uptown section, is that it now appears to cross IH-69 at Edloe instead of just west of Edloe (Timmons maybe?). Also, if they are only planning to do Segment 2 initially, I hope they at least do two more stops into Segment 1 to connect it with the Westpark / Lower Uptown Transit Center instead of dead-ending at the railroad tracks.
  19. That looks amazing. Houston could never get anything this cool. It would get value-engineered into a box covered in fake stucco. I could see something like this being built in a more innovative place like China, though.
  20. Those don't look very dead to me. Look closely -- there is lots of green hiding behind the dead branches. If they clear out the dead vines on top, they will grow back.
  21. And another building with cohesive architectural style made incohesive in the name of modernization. Looks as silly as 811 Louisiana and 2 Houston Center. Pity.
  22. Yes, the new façade has gone up to match the renderings:
  23. That was the first thing I thought of when I heard Abercrombie was being torn down. So glad the art is being saved.
  24. Looking good at night from Wheeler Station, all lit up:
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