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Everything posted by HoustonIsHome

  1. I actually don't mind Randall in midtown. My grief with the superblock project was that it was a super block and it got squandered. The Aussie took 3 separate blocks and proposed a district. It's like they wanted the super block to match the Camden Travis development instead of a development geared to the future of the area they developed to what was there years before.
  2. Really? That's my point again. Disney is located in proximity to many municipalities but it's not in the middle of the 4th largest municipality in the country and along a a heavy economic stretch that is the Fannin South to UHD. Like I said it is a convenient patch for parking but it is such a poor use considering how the area has blossomed. Looking at pictures of the area when the astrodome was built, the area was very out of the city in looks. I have a feeling though that the treed areas and industrial sites south of the Astroworld plot will be developed more before that location is used for something other than parking. Justification? See downtown Houston
  3. It looks so. It looks like the podium and 2 towers are north of the current construction and separated by a promenade with a food truck. Does that count as ground floor retail? Anyway this looks really good. They should have been in charge of developing the property across the street. A couple towers well integrated with the park would have looked so much better
  4. Indispensable? What did they do before this was a parking lot? What do other cities without an abandoned theme park do for parking? This thing is the most convenient and cheap option but it is far from indispensable. NRG is on the rail line. The more urban (expensive) solution would be parking structures near the rail line. But with cheaper parking so close to the park if these structures are built they won't be utilized unless Astroworld parking is no longer available. BTW, there is quite a lot of developable land south of 610. Lots of industrial sites and virgin land. Heck NRG can stand to convert some of the surface parking to garage. I know that the norm for football is vast lots for parking. But this sport complex is in the middle of the city. It's not like Gillette in foxboro or Hard Rock in Miami Gardens. The better examples are Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Both are in a more urban location with a lot less surface parking. There are lots of potential around NRG but little incentive
  5. Y'all are missing the point. The point is not locating the terminal at the center of population. The point is locating the terminal at the epicenter of transit so that they have immediate access to the rest of the metro. Park and Ride buses all head down town. Metro rail branches from downtown. The bus network webs from downtown. Someone mentioned that they can just build a rail to downtown. But what if you are not heading that way? If in am going to westchase I would be highly irritated taking a rail 20 minutes east just bro hop on a bus to head back west. Now you guys will say well we can build a line from the terminal going to westchase. Ok so you are taking about a new route to down town and a new route to westchase but what if I'm going to greenspoint? Build a new route there too? The woodlands? Clear lake? I guess we are going to build a new transit system to connect this new hub? Doubt it. The terminal is never going to be as great as you think it will be for anyone not intending to drive, get picked up, or take a cab. This Post location is good because the transportation hub is already built in
  6. Can I ask the anti greyhound crowd a question? What do you think makes the greyhound station a must move but the Megabus station is ok? Greyhound does not create the problem and removal will not cure the problem. The problem is the homeless people way of life thrives on pedestrian traffic. The key to disperse the homeless gathering is not to decrease pedestrian activity but to increase. Take away the spot with the most activity and they will simply move to the next most activity which might be your front door. We need to increase pedestrian visibility throughout midtown instead of becoming more and more insular. It is laughable that you think that you get rid of greyhound and all of a sudden the homeless will disappear. Create more active areas in midtown and I assure you the homeless people will be spread out among these areas. A greater threat to your Utopia are those churches and charities. The benefits that are provided by greyhound is nothing compared to that provided by the numerous churches and charities in the area. I would rather the churches move any day instead of the greyhound which is a great amenity. I have seen the homeless massings move throughout the years, but not disappear. There is nothing about greyhound in particular that creates the homeless problem. The problem will get better when the homeless have more areas that they can gather and if the charities themselves disperse. Fill River oaks with charities and pretty soon u will be championing the demolition of the River Oaks mall even tho it is not the cause of the problem.
  7. Let's face it; mass transit like bullet trains work best if it is in conjunction with other transit options. The biggest mistake they will make is not stopping downtown. That 290 terminal is nice in paper but less practical than a downtown location. The web of public transit from downtown is so fast it's just unimaginable that the terminal won't be in the thick of all of that. There is a reason why the word Central usually preceded the word Station in many terminal names. NASA tourist numbers were never good because it is not convenient to get to via PT. Getting to downtown from most areas is easy. Getting to 610 and 290 is never easy. Not even by car. The Post office site with Greyhound, MegaBus, light rail and Metro buses connections would be an awesome development for Houston. Imagine you are in Dallas heading to Houston for a football game. It would be nice if you could hop on DART, zip down to Houston, hop on the Red line at UHD down to the Stadium. Another thing we should consider is impression. Stepping off a train in downtown and soaking up your first experience with Houston is a lot different than first experience being a less attractive area out of the way area. Coming in from Hobby has improved but still it's horrible. Coming from IAH isn't much better either. The bus goes through greenspoint and then through billboard corridor down 45. But my biggest worry is accessability.
  8. The purple and green lines end at strip center type areas that has lots of parking. As for the people who make arguments that Houston is not San Francisco and people want homes with space, let's not forget there are many many vacant single family homes or lots within the city and many tracks of undeveloped land. You do not need to live in Katy to have a house with a yard. Whole subdivisions are still being built along 288 within the city limits with no consideration to mass transit. All these new residents added to the highway is going to make current expansion obsolete before it is even completed. I am not a fan of driving, but to those of you who are, why would you be against a good chunk of knuckleheads taking transit instead of clogging up your path? I would think that if I was an avid driver I would want as many people on trains as possible so the road can be mine
  9. That's why Houston is struggling to build up density. We have a building surrounded on all sides with empty lots and the one building onsight has interest because it's different and hold done nostalgia for many Houstonians and y'all wanna flatten. I could understand if this was not structurally sound and the area is running out of space but there is nothing around this thing. And soon too be more nothing once 59 construction gets on the way and I hear it tear it down. At least if they restore the store fronts there will be some appeal from the train. The vast majority of new buildings have little ground floor appeal. Even attractive buildings such as 609 main. An attractive mixed material midrise ( think Aris) can go up on the parking lot north of this building. They can continue the theme across the street to the east with similar materials. This lot is huge and could accommodate another large midrise on top of parking. Then the same can be done for the fiesta site. Or something completely different as a building on the middle lot would totally obsucure the Sears building. Anyway these three sites can accommodate 5 hilcorp sized buildings. That's a lot of space. I don't know why can't we retain a little bit of nostalgia
  10. If I lived downtown I would not need a supervisor anything. We are used to the suburban style Walmarts do we are used to buying 48 rolls of toilet paper a bucket of laundry soap, 4 chickens, a pig, half a cow, a Bail of peanut butter, 4 gallons of milk, a barrel of ice cream. In a more urban lifestyle more frequent visits to the store would be easier so there would be no need to buy in bulk so the stores would not need to stock a lot of the bigger items. A smaller but well stocked store is what is needed. It's a shame that mom and pop stores can no longer survive in today's markets
  11. I don't mind taking the wind out the sails of new residential if it means new office. Imo the crappiest new office building looks better than just about all the new residential except maybe Aris. And let's be honest. With our track record it's surprising that buildings like 600 Jefferson was given a facelift instead of a demolition. It's nice having cheaper options but a building the size of Exxon sitting empty is a huge strain on vacancy rates and a reboot back to office dont help the prospects for new office construction. I would place more faith in rapid spikes in increase in demand for residential than a large spike in demand for office. Unless the flight to cheaper areas reverses or the city comes up with more ideas such as the innovation corridor idea then downtown growth in office isn't going to be all that exciting. Here's to $9/ a gallon gas
  12. I'm hoping for a cool crown too. Something not too eccentric but modern. As far as vacancy I'm hoping some of the older buildings can be repurposed to residential ala Texaco/Star. Htown I'm with you on the Texas street pedestrian thoroughfare. Love The Rice verandah idea. As for the buildings south of the Enron buildings all 6 or so should be converted to residential. That includes the Exxon, Continental, KBR, 500 Jefferson, 600 Jefferson/ 1801 Smith, 701 Jefferson Garage, Hell on Earth.... Would be nice if all of them were converted to residential. That should be more than 4M SQ alone.
  13. I'm wondering the same. Architecturally it looks just like a regular strip box with a facade. Might be more interesting in a more urban setting, but many strip center occupants try to add a more visual facade
  14. used to take greyhound almost every weekend when I was in school along the corridor from San Antonio to New Orleans. San Antonio's station is downtown caddy corner from Travis Mark and St Marks Church. The park is incessantly filled with homeless because they are fed there but the Greyhound is transient free. Lafayette's is in the middle of town by the post office and again no Homeless problem. Baton Rouge's is next to a halfway house and again very unlike Houston's. New Orlean's is a hub for both greyhound and Mega bus in addition to Amtrak and local buses and street cars. It is in between the Super Dome and the CBD. Again no big homeless problem. I have said a zillion times it's not the greyhound giving the area a bad name but rather it's circumstances giving greyhound a bad name. 1. There are countless programs geered to the poor, homeless or addicted in the area. Greyhound is just a hangout. Move greyhound and they will simply find a new hangout. 2. There are many churches in a half mile area that feed the homeless under Pierce. Move the greyhound and the homeless will still be fed under the Pierce. 3. People released from Huntsville are released there. Many have no where to go and simply stay. Moving the Greyhound may help in this case but it may not as these people get fed, and helped with services in the area so even though they may be dropped off at another location, like pigeons they will still zoom in where the food is being doled. Wheeler station is just the same. Daily food drop offs, churches in the area and that employment service just creates a system to grow these homeless camps. In fact half I see many of the patrons of the greyhound area commuting from that homeless camp near Fiesta.
  15. Well I'm not certain that he stayed here. Legend gets twisted over time. But I do know that they hung out at Root Square
  16. This is why I am sad to lose the fiesta. Wish they can create room for it in a future building before they demolish the current fiesta building. Kinda like a transition to a new store. Fiesta is quite different from whole foods and appreciate the option
  17. I've said it before and will continue saying it there is no reason for highways to go through the core. I would remove all of them in the loop and stick to boulevards and mass transit in the loop. Even I10 should go. Trucks from Jacksonville heading to LA should not be clogging areas around downtown. 10 can be looped around 610. Trucks should definitely bypass downtown.
  18. No they are not, although birds do tend to spread Silverberry seeds I do not see the tree growing outside of people's yards. The one that seems to grow like weeds is Chinese Tallow. It grows in concrete, cracks in asphalt, salty soil, wherever. It produces massive amounts of seeds that spring up quickly. Cutting the tree down to the ground will not kill it. Even if you cut the tree and dig up the stump, each root will form is own tree. On top of being almost impossible to get rid of it, the leaf litter poisons the soil making it difficult to grow most plants in the soil beneath it. So it is easy to grow anywhere and once established, it spreads and choke out other plants from growing. It's a pretty tree with beautiful fall foliage but because of its growth the wood is really week and usually people who offer to cut trees for free never extend that offer if the tree is Tallow. Anyone wanna come cut down mine?
  19. I agree. I love Live Oaks, every street needs some but there are exotic trees and shrubs that grow really well in this part of Texas that I would like to see incorporated in parks instead of the standard fair. Kinda like Washington and the Cherry Blossoms. Bottlebrush is native to Australia but grows really well here. I love the big bursts of red flowers. They are evergreen like Live Oaks and just as drought tolerate. Vitex/Chaste Tree Are also drought tolerant. They are not evergreen but you cut them down in the winter and they shoot right back up in the spring and are covered in blue or red scented flowers in the summer. Jasmine/ gardenia/ Camelia I see the climbing star Jasmine and Confederate Jasmine all over town but these bloom in the cusp between winter and spring but are not really noticeable fit the rest of the year. Arabian Jasmines bloom all and they come back really quickly in the spring. Butterfly Weed, a cousin of milk weed, is one of those plant it and forget it plants. They have really deep and strong roots and beautiful orange flowers. Monarch butterflies and hummingbirds love them. Loropelatum/ Chinese Fringe these are over used as hedges but they do make beautiful trees. Their leaves are purple if grown in the sun and green in the shade. In the spring they are covered in bright pink flowers. They are drought tolerant too. Acacia Caven/ Espino Are very drought resistant and are covered in yellow flower balls in spring and summer and pods in the fall. The flowers have a light at scent. Other plants I would like to see more here are Oakleaf hydrangeas, mountain laurels, Altheas, Tree Roses, Thrallis, Sweet Almond Verbena, Saucer Magnolias, Silverberry, Cleyera, Peacock Tree...... I think when landscaping is done, the only considerations are drought resistance and will it keep it's leaves in the winter. But there are so many interesting plants that could be included in parks that would add more interest.
  20. There are tons of beautiful natives that they could also use. But it seems to me the same plants are planted over and over
  21. It's a really exciting project for an underutilized part of downtown. I wonder how active was that area when Clyde Barrow lived at the peacock. I heard he used to hang out at Root Square. Must have been something off a spot at the time.
  22. One issue that is never brought up when it comes to GFR. Retail is a multifaceted issue and you cannot Question the need for GFR based on vacant GFR in the area. You may want to ask other questions such as 1.) Are they vacant because people just don't want to set up shop in the area 2.) There is no market 3.) It's cost prohibitive to set up shop in that area I have no idea what it costs to rent retail space in downtown but I never here it brought up. I dunno but if I can get almost as many customers underground but pay half the rent I pay on ground level then I will go that route. This area is not yet like main around the corner. This area is just picking up in terms of foot traffic. Areas that are not as busy rely on people in the area to keep their business alive. Since these are people in the know, the retail does not have to be visual. But this area IS picking up. I am of the opinion that if there was much more competition for ground floor retail space, owners would have more incentive to drop prices which would make it more cost effective to set up shop at street level especially in a burgeoning corridor. More street level retail usually improves the street presence which reinforces the cycle of more pedestrian traffic which increases the need for more storefronts which means higher occupancy for owners. Everyone wins. The pedestrians get a better experience. The stores get more options and lower rent. The building owners get more business. The area benefits by being more active which benefits the building owners again in terms of increased property values. Again I don't know rent costs. Just a theory.
  23. I knew we had Nutria, but I didn't know we had beavers. At the end of the day we have enough flooding issues already. We do not need beaver dams showing down the path of water to the Bay
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