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  1. Does anyone know how much of the phase 2 is funded yet? The massive garage they're working on certainly seems ambitious. But what are chances of this actually coming together on this timetable? If this is more than just a paper project, I can see this spurring a lot more residential development in midtown, which is a happy thought.
  2. Wow. The Bayou is looking pretty lush and green. It's been a while since I've been to that bridge. I think the banks were still somewhat scoured from Harvey last time I went. Anyways, Cityliving, thank you for the steady stream of impressive images. I always look forward to your posts.
  3. I see that they're doing something. I hope they're doing more than just patching the patches. One issue that I see (mostly between the Barnaby's and Taft) is that it seems like street parking crowds the sidewalks because there's no real curb. There are a lot of pedestrians pushed into the street. More development will just exacerbate it until that's fixed.
  4. Hopefully this will push the city to upgrade Fairview between Montrose and Tuam. It drives like a war-torn, bombed-out rural road in Eastern Ukraine. Curbs and decent sidewalks would be nice too. You know...like you find in cities.
  5. It does seem odd to me. Though, it is the only thing that I can think of to explain the ridiculous amount of sand that came up with the water in the video that's going around.
  6. It's no wonder that there was a busted floor. Given the design requirements for standpipe systems, it's easy to imagine that standpipe would exert well over 14,000 pounds per square foot of hydraulic pressure (assuming no other easy outlet for that pressure) on the underside of the floor. It's also easy to imagine pressures multiple times higher than that. Nothing that is not already designed as a pressure vessel is going to provide the least amount of resistance. The main limiting factor is going to be flow rate. But, looking through NFPA requirements, I don't think that's going to be a factor in any confined space. I still think that maybe this could have been caused by soil subsidence on the exterior of the building. Shr.Technical.Rar.110.pdf
  7. From Wednesday: A burst standpipe on its own is plenty reason to evacuate the building. Likely their fire suppression and alarm system will have to be recertified before the building can be occupied. https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2022/08/12/suspected-pipe-burst-prompts-evacuation-at-high-rise-condo-in-river-oaks-officials-say/
  8. I wonder if it's nothing more than a water main busted under a basic slab floor due to subsidence outside the building (this drought has been wreaking havoc on the city's roads and pipes). If there was no easy way for the water pressure to be relieved, it could exert several thousand pounds of upward pressure on that floor slab. All of the sand in the video would seem to indicate that the slab is just sitting on a supporting graded sand base and is not likely designed to support multiple tons of unsupported pressure. Hopefully they got the water main shut off quickly. If they did, I wonder if the damage is minimal- limited to an interior floating floor slab and interior partition walls.
  9. Hey, my lurking on this forum is important housing-market research which will be used to support our company's nation-wide recruiting efforts.
  10. That would be an issue if the tax was not structured properly. If it was structured how I think it could be, you'd see a significant increase in tax rates on unused lots or lots with nothing but large parking lots. Almost identical tax rates on single-family housing on small lots, and a decrease in rates on multi-family development. It would require some serious modeling to get it right. But at the end of the day, it's all math and data. It can be done. The goal would be to make it revenue neutral while somewhat shifting the tax burden onto owners of undeveloped or underdeveloped lots.
  11. The hard reality is that Houston just doesn't have the density to make robust mass transit entirely practical yet. If you look internationally at cities where it does make sense, you'll see much higher densities. I don't think mass transit is entirely a "build it and they will come" sort of proposition. It certainly does spur a degree of development to lay down a light rail line. I'm certain that much of the development in Midtown is because of the existence of the light rail. However, my wife and I have been searching for housing for months. With her working in the Medical Center, finding something within a couple of blocks of the rail was something we were indeed interested in. However, we did not like the very limited options we found. Houston has been and still is a low-density city. Development inside the loop in the last decade has begun to change that, but it's not nearly enough for most people to want to give up a car or two. I don't know that simply adding mass transit will spur further development on its own at this point. My wife and I would have liked to have found a condo inside a mile from the Medical Center. But there were no options suitable for us. For now, we will be dependent on our car. If other incentives would work in concert with transit to spur density- to build more mid and high-rise housing close to where people work and shop and eat, then I think transit solutions would be more obvious and straightforward. The ridership would be there. The demand would be there. I wish that the state would reexamine how property taxes are structured. For example: Right now, taxes are based simply on the property's assessed value. I think there should be separate assessments for the land and for improvements, with the land being taxed at a higher rate than improvements in major cities. A restructuring like this could incentivize developers to maximize improvements on more limited tracts of land because it would result in low-density developments like parking lots being taxed at a higher rate than high-density developments. This would also address some of the negative externalities that low-density development imposes on city infrastructure. And, I'm sure that a plan like this could be developed in a revenue-neutral way so as to not further increase the high-property tax burden that Texas already has. Freezing tax assessments on a property 10 years after major developments could negate the downsides of gentrification that this sort of restructuring would spur. Just a thought...something like this would obviously be a low priority for a legislature that is too busy fighting politics.
  12. I agree that it is tacky. In fact, I find the whole building to be gaudy and ugly. However, Houston has no shortage of sterile glass boxes. I think the city could stand to have a few tasteless, garish, and cheesy buildings. Over the coming decades, for better or worse, this building will be a landmark. No doubt.
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