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wilcal last won the day on May 25

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  1. Got a reply to my email and this is why it is important to go to the source. 48 units planned!!! One parking spot per unit, so that is a 33% reduction at least. Small retail space on first floor. He said to think coffee-shop sized. Currently going through bidding.
  2. I guess I assumed improperly that non-profit owned land, even if owned by an endowment, would not be paying property taxes like the university-specific sites. Well, there's a difference between paying taxes on the profits and paying property taxes, right? Evidently they may be paying property taxes.
  3. A healthy mix would be good. Looks like there is an atrium in the middle, so if you build around that you get 5-6 units/floor if you assume that the 3 balconies facing out are separate units. Maybe 4/floor if you go slightly larger. Traditionally, 2 bedroom apartments require 1.666 spots and 3+ bedrooms require 2.0, so that would be a range of 16 3BRs to 24 2BRs, so 32 to 40 parking spots typically required. At 250ish sf/spot, it looks like they could make 30ish work in the bottom level. Maybe I'll email and ask nicely for some more details.
  4. Shouldn't be too bad. All of the signaled intersections have unprotected lefts and two lanes, so giant backups don't really happen.
  5. Love the density of this project! I have some friends that live in a townhome within a block, and they are looking forward to continued infill. Of course, this is a market-based parking area, so will be interesting to see how many spaces they choose to have. Looks like parking will be limited to the first story, so maybe only 1ish per unit?
  6. The parking/drive through setup is kind of interesting. I wonder how much room there will be for the people that park across the aisle from the drive through to back out. Also, looking like no direct entrance from the garage to the other retail spots, which I think is kind of good because it forces the exterior-facing entrances to look nicer since they are the main entrance.
  7. Hey, just because Rice is asking for tens of millions in tax money for beautification while not paying property taxes themselves doesn't make them grifters.
  8. Well then. That certainly levels my theory. Can't imagine it'll be something too large unless they have an off-site parking solution :/
  9. Another item I unfortunately didn't have time to get to in on my project that was on my list! Would be relatively easy to figure out which parcels you could sell alcohol on, but I couldn't easily get a list of churches/schools/etc that trigger the alcohol restrictions. FWIW, Houston actually has a more stringent requirement than the state requires and they have loosened it in some areas. Also, CoH made some adjustments to development rules, related to flooding, to get the HEB project built. The federal funds were going to expire, so I'm glad they used them, but it did result in HEB closing their store on OST. Fortunately, I think the Aldi was already in development. The other thing I wish I could see research on is how successful online grocery order and delivery has been in food desert areas. Both Amazon and HEB take SNAP for curbside/delivery. Would be interesting to look at the pros/cons of subsidizing grocery store construction when you might just subsidize the delivery fee. Hurts older/less tech savvy people, but nothing ever is 100% good.
  10. The spending is not even about social justice. Yes, parking garages should be greener, but what do you think is more effective? Spending 6.6 million on planting more trees in the area or sticking them to the side of a parking garage? Remember this is tax revenue we are talking about! Three TIRZ is going to be subsidizing Rice's green choices instead of Rice paying for it themselves. Is any property tax even being paid on these lots? $6.4 million could have made an actual park instead of paying for Rice to develop their own private plazas. Gentrification and displacement are two different things. If people choose to leave then that is mostly fine. If they are forced to leave their communities then I don't think that is right. Significant portions of the Third Ward were redlined, people weren't able to buy property, and there are low home ownership rates as a result. Because there are a decent number of renters, they can be displaced much easier. I'm not saying you're wrong as I think it is a valid POV, and honestly I felt the same way about the CBA before I dug into the reasoning and looked at how these communities have basically had the rug pulled out, and what I'm hearing from you and IAH77 is that communities should be happy to become more multi-racial because segregation is over, and again that doesn't sit right with me.
  11. Good news, I actually did my summer GIS class project on this very topic. On the images below, the blue census tracts are ones designated as a low-income census tract. The orange areas are designated as food deserts not because of low-income, but because of low transportation access. This is the before: And this is the after (current day): The higher-end areas of Riverside Terrace did gain significantly more access because of the HEB, but it did not much for the poorer areas. Transit access to the new HEB is lower than the old Fiesta, although I do not have any visualizations to show that. Although, the HEB is a more pleasant walk because of the Columbia Tap trail that connects to the bayou. As I mentioned before, several of the northern census tracts don't have a car, so they did not see any improvement from the new HEB being added.
  12. Lights were on and some people inside this morning. Looked like construction workers. Not sure how the building is divided up, but from Polk it looked like I was able to see about halfway into the structure.
  13. The reason for doing it with the community is so the city isn't involved with enforcement. Breach of contract would be handled by a court. If the CBA is with the city, the city does what the mayor wants, so he/she can choose not to enforce it. CBAs are traditionally made bypassing the city because of this. $6.6 million for parking garage vegetation? $6.4 million for two "public plazas" that will be on private property? IDK about all that. The TIRZ could do so much more with that money. I think the bolded statement is completely disingenuous, and really doesn't even make sense. The Fiesta was by far the most convenient grocery store for a large portion of the Third Ward (with some portions having car ownership rates in the 60%s), so it isn't just about "potential benefits". Some of the leaders aren't even directly affected by this, but are trying to help support voices that are typically squashed. As has been talked about earlier in the thread, Rice's interaction with the black community in Houston isn't exactly a positive history. Several of the members are Rice students that want to see more equity from their university. So yes, it is expected that there hasn't been a continuous push by some of the members in this one specific area. Sears had also been sitting on a what, 50 year lease? And that is something that did help serve needs in the community whereas the Ion might not. And in terms of Third Ward, yes, the highways have re-edged the borders of neighborhoods, but you have to also see that there are areas of strong black culture and residents, like along Almeda, still exist in those parts that are outside the "modern" boundaries. The Kwik Kopy building is up for sale at like 7-10X its appraised value. There will be ramifications felt by local residents because Rice decided to make such a significant change. CBAs are definitely a new thing for Houston, but to claim that a grassroots org is just demanding handouts when they see their neighborhood continuing to change, and not to benefit long-term residents is not a great take imho.
  14. Several of the stops in Montrose on Montrose Blvd already have the BOOST improvements completed. I belive the stop in front of Brookstreet BBQ two blocks north of Westheimer has it completed.
  15. I once was talking with a flustered guy down by the subway at D/E who was making a connection for BA (LHR-IAH) to AA and didn't realize he missed the bag re-check and was mad that he was going to have to walk the 1 mile to Terminal A with his 5 bags. I told him just to squish his cart on the train and sorry. He told me "this would never fly in London" and I told him about the last few times I've flown into LHR, even on a widebody, we've had to bus to the terminal.
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