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About Sparrow

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    Spring, TX

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  1. High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle

    Whoa, whoa, whoa y'all. Move Amtrak to the NW Mall site?? No. Y'all are missing the easy solution that is beneficial to many folks at the least possible cost. Move the Amtrak station a few hundred yards east to the Post HTX site. It'd be great for Post HTX because they'd charge Amtrak rent, they'd have more customers are their shops and restaurants, and they'd have a train station at their development so surely they could increase retail rents. It'd be great for Amtrak because, hey, they'd have bathrooms now... They also wouldn't have to spend very much to move the station--just make a new waiting area in Post HTX. If they own the land the current station is on perhaps they could even sell that. Let someone buy it to make a parking garage. The thing is, there already will be transit buses going from the new NW Mall high speed rail station to Downtown via the HOV lane. It's quick. It's easy. It's already a sunk cost--NW transit center/NW Mall HSR station to Downtown. So what if Amtrak customers have to hop on a bus for a 10 minute drive--if you're taking Amtrak already anyway, what's 10 more minutes? And of course they're bound to be the nice park-and-ride buses anyway. Spend a little extra to make a pedestrian connection to the UHD light rail station. Put some moving sidewalks on it too. Maybe even get the Post HTX folks to chip in for the walkway that will surely be to their benefit. Suddenly Post HTX is a multimodal transit center--Amtrak, park-and-ride, light rail, and high speed rail connections all at one place. Perhaps the folks at Texas Central could even do a little PR magic and have a Post HTX High Speed Rail station (****that you happen to have to take a 10 minute bus ride first). Get enough interest after a while, if the economics make sense, just put in a people mover like AirTrain to the NW Mall station.
  2. Don't put this in Kingwood--build it at the KBR site.
  3. High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle

    For all of the why-not-downtown folks, I'd offer encouragement in that slight angle the track takes into the NW Mall station. Extrapolate that out and guess where you end up--north Downtown. If the HSR is met with a high degree of success, perhaps TCP is already setting up the possibility of extending to a second Houston station located Downtown. (You might also want to buy one of Mr. Musk's Boring hats to help the cause).
  4. Amazon HQ2

    It sure would be a boost for the high speed rail folks for Amazon to build on North Post Oak where they plan the rail station. Perhaps the best real chance of landing HQ2 in the Houston area would be Springwoods Village up in Spring--they already have ExxonMobil (not HQ, but 10k strong), HP, ABS, and Southwestern Energy.
  5. Ya, straight on thru. It's where one of the garage entrances was.
  6. Not sure about the big project, but last time I was over there they were in the midst of creating a new vehicle and pedestrian connection from the north side at S. Post Oak Ln to the already existing retail at the center of the property. A wise and important visual connection to the development at Blvd Place and the neighboring residential highrises going up. Perhaps there is more to follow? I know, I know, no pictures... Sorry y'all.
  7. 1) Connect Benmar Dr to the 45N feeder road by knocking down the portion of the mall in front of Dillard's. Let Dillard's and the others stay. Future connection of Benmar and Gears on the other side of 45 next time construction takes place. 2) Give Wal-Mart and HEB deals of a lifetime on land deals on opposite ends of the property. To rejuvenate an area you must bring in the people. HEB and Walmart will bring in the retailers that follow them everywhere. The area is in desperate need of grocery options. 3) Develop a park fronting Greenspoint Dr and the office buildings. Food options at the park for the daytime office workers a must. Add jogging trails that course throughout the property. Plant a ton of trees. 4) Make the big development money building 4-5 story apartment wraps with structured parking and office buildings as the market dictates. Don't try to do it all at once. Don't try to kick out the retailers that want to stay.
  8. I would think one of the main concerns is reducing the 100-year/500-year flood plain in the northern section of Downtown. They've had quite a few events over just the past 20 years.
  9. My issue with the expansion of 45 north of 610 is adding more capacity here, while local thoroughfares still lack continuity and while other roadways could be improved to take pressure off of the North Freeway. Why has 249 not been made a controlled access freeway all the way from the Beltway to 45? Seems like this would provide a more reasonable alternative for much traffic eventually headed west of 45 further north if folks didn't have to sit through so many stop lights. Maybe even extend 249 eastward to the Hardy Toll Road or even 59/69--give drivers a reasonable alternative to find another route into town. How about completing the missing segments of local thoroughfares such as West Gulf Bank, Richey, Ella, TC Jester, West Road, Fallbrook, Gessner, Greens, and Hollister? If I still have weeds growing in my lawn after giving it water and fertilizer and so much other care maybe my problem isn't my lawn needing more attention, perhaps it is my neighbor's lawn that is overgrown with weeds three feet high. Treat the problem, not the symptoms.
  10. I don't know of any studies, but during the construction time frame one would sure believe taking 610 around the city will sure be faster than venturing anywhere near Downtown. Construction will be a nightmare.
  11. Seriously, 288/69/59 between Elgin and McGowen seems like it'd be a no brainer. How many soccer or baseball fields could you add to that expanse? Add to that why only cap part of 69 south of Midtown? Why not all the way to Almeda? Why not add in capping 69/59 from Hazard to Montrose as well? If others would have to provide the financing TxDOT might as well "plan" to deck park as much as they possibly could.
  12. Holiday / Days / Heaven On Earth Inn (801 Calhoun)

    I've thought it would be rather creative to use taxation to incentivize greater use for underutilized properties such as abandoned buildings and parking lots. Perhaps the tax code can be rewritten so that you pay the same tax per acre as all other acreage in the same district no matter the improved value of the land. If you operate downtown as a parking lot on an entire city block you pay X dollars in tax per year. If you operate downtown as a 100 story skyscraper on an entire city block downtown you still only pay X dollars per year. Determine what X dollars is due based upon the mean property value of the entire district. If the owner of a parking lot or abandoned building is paying the same opportunity tax as a skyscraper the owner of the lot would either be incentivized to increase his property's income with a more appropriate use or sell the land to someone who would be inclined to do so. If the owner of this eyesore wants to pay their fair share of X dollars in taxes to "operate" an abandoned building all the more to them.
  13. Montgomery County study recommends creating a loop road around The Woodlands to combat thru-traffic. It also recommends expanding Sawdust to 8 lanes. Perhaps expediting the connection of Holzwarth and Sawmill over Spring Creek would help reduce the traffic that exits I-45 at Rayford/Sawdust.
  14. Does anyone know if Houston's BRT will be just like light rail except on rubber? (ticketing, low-floor, compartment layout, etc...) If the user experience is the same for the rider, who cares if it's on wheels or rails. With proper bushes and other vegetation alongside you couldn't tell anyway. Drop the L or the B and just call it RT.
  15. The design from the corner entrance of the store to the street intersection is nice. Let's not be too greedy with getting rid of the ease of access parking. Businesses have to provide the quick stop easy-in, easy-out parking option to keep shoppers happy. The Whole Foods on Post Oak has parking in front (in addition to structured) and that doesn't seem to diminish the more urban feel of Blvd Place. The parking lot may have to do with required setback as well--if you can't build your building there because of planning standards, you might as well put parking.