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Posts posted by luzr

  1. Bizjournal article. (paid subscribers only).

    "The University of St. Thomas has made an unprecedented purchase to ensure future expansion.

    On Feb. 1 the school bought two Montrose-area office buildings and a long-time retail site where the popular Black Labrador Pub has operated for the past 21 years.

    The seller was a partnership led by John Hansen of John Hansen Investment Builder, a veteran Houston developer who constructed the office buildings and renovated the retail site dating back to 1945.

    It is the largest such acquisition in the university's 60-year history, and the first time St. Thomas has purchased commercial property. The institution is spread over a portion of 19 blocks and bought the adjacent properties in anticipation of future growth. "

    The rest of the article says that they bought a 5 story and a 4 story building and plan to use them for faculty, administation and classrooms. They'll honor the existing leases and move in slowly as the leases expire. The Black Labrador is expected to pour beer for another 5-7 years, according to a university official.

    ....Hmmm, I've always wanted to grab a cold one @ the Black Lab, so guess I need to get over there sometime in the near future!

  2. Beyond the beauty of the plants themselves, urban gardens are valuable habitat for hundreds of species of animals.

    I'd never seen one of these until a couple of days ago. My old double-strip driveway is muddy in the center so I've been parking up closer to the gate where I've got masses of Purple Trailing Lantana planted and so lately, when I get home from work and get out of my car, I've been seeing many of these hovering and noticed that they weren't hummingbirds at all, but moths.


    Add to that all of the butterflies and weird insects, like stink bugs, walking sticks, cicadas, assassin bugs and the other creatures like toads, geckos, anoles, snakes, lizards that look like snakes and having a simple garden in Houston is to invite an abundance of bizarre beauty. I even saw a tiny owl perched on a pecan branch peering at me on my porch one dusky evening. And I never tire of seeing the cardinals and lately, the Monk Parakeets have been flying over.

    Call me a tree-hugger, but we're losing yard space in Inner-Loop Houston as quickly as the Amazon is losing jungle.

    Long live yards in the city!

    Nice photo Dan! Did you take this one? I'm right there with you hugging those trees.

  3. I finally ate there for lunch today, had the vegetable medley with ginger sauce, which I enjoyed but it's probably too subtle/bland for those cruising for a taste bud orgasm.

    The high point though was the jasmine tea. So smooth and fragrant. I've drunk tea for awhile but obviously I'd never had the good stuff before. Fresh brewed on the table with such a beautiful jasmine smell and taste.

    ..."taste bud orgasm"....or lack thereof has got my interest. I'll have to check it out sometime soon! I'll be sure to order the Jasmine tea too.

  4. Anyone know why almost all of the businesses in Chinatown/Asiatown only take cash? I'm assuming for tax evasion purposes since any cultural tendencies would seem to be easily overcome due to the potential for increasing sales.

    I've only bought tea at the Teahouse in the Hong Kong Mall before, and they took my card, but last weekend, I went to several shops and restaurants along Bellaire and none accepted credit cards. I finally found one restaurant that did and it was by far the most expensive.

    Hmmm, I'll have to ask my Asian co-worker whose husband owns a business in the area. I haven't been out that way in a while and might have to go and check it out soon--but not before I make a stop @ the bank! :lol:

  5. 34fmrsn.jpg44ryauc.jpg

    Are TJ and I are the only ones with minds deranged enough to see it?

    I think there will be a strong subminial cute factor at work here which could result in a high level of attraction to the female homebuyer. Obviously that wasn't your intent but, if it had been, you couldn't have come up with a better creature to use to acheive that. They won't be able to resist and won't exactly know what hit em! They'll be wondering why they have the uncontrollable urge to throw shrimps on the barbie up on the terraces while chugging Fosters.

    You've unwittingly embarked on a psychological marketing experiment. Let us know JS if women indeed flock to buy here.

    Quirky is Houston's forte so these have a chance to become minor East End landmarks over time if others see the koalas. Who knows, animal-themed architecture might even catch on. There are some on McKinney right now that I have been calling dogs for months. The location should turn out to be right in the thick of things too as that area densifies.

    The place will be a real zoo in a few years.

    Ummm, I see the resemblances ---so no you and TJ are not the only ones with minds deranged!

  6. Ahhh, but there were reporters there to greet him as reported on the evening news! He's sporting a long ponytail! He mentioned that his first line of business while in Houston is to repair his relationship with his family!

    Link to article here.

    No brass band will welcome him, just some reporters and some regular clothes to go with a prison ponytail.

    8 years in prison is not anything to wish for, but I am guessing the experience has been valuable. Things have changed quite a bit in the past 8 years in his former East End District I, which might stir him from the lethargy of his recent life of leisure.

    Past or future politics aside, here's hoping he does well and has his best days ahead of him.

  7. I travel to Austin a few times a year and I must say that I miss the quaint charming Austin. The housing market has exploded there in the past few years and has drastically changed this city. While driving through the outskirts, I was amazed at the monstrosities that were being built to feed the the egos of the new home owner. Even here in Houston, while driving through West University I've seen several homes swallow up the next home/property just to have a bigger home with a huge playground/pool/backyard. Too many McMansions taking over IMO! Well, that's my two cents!

    Article link here.

    This is not new news but I just heard about it. Atlanta passed a similar ordinance but it was later overturned due to it being unfair to builders/property owners in the specific neighborhoods that the law covered, so the same thing could happen in Austin.

  8. I had also heard at one time that the land was offered to HCC. I'm suprised it's still standing and that nothing has been done to the property.


    What can anyone tell us about this structure/complex. Was this originally built for Schlumberger? The complex behind the offices is huge, stretching back almost to the Brays Bayou.

    I would place the architecture at mid-late 50s, although it has some very late Moderne lines, so late 40s-early 50s wouldn't be a complete surprise. Quite a striking piece now that time has changed the rest of the city.

    One wonders how long/if this set of buildings will survive. The location, being 5 minutes from DT is bound to undergo redevelopment soon, not to mention the possibility/inevitability of the widening/reconstruction of the Gulf Fwy a la the Katy Fwy, which would gobble up much of the businesses lining it.

    Among the feeder road fungus, this should be considered a flower.

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