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Everything posted by Ross

  1. A major oil company is one that is vertically integrated with production, transportation, refining, and marketing. Hess split off its refining and marketing several years ago, and is now an independent, which means they have production only.
  2. There are several places like Down House I miss. It seems like those places, at some point, get boring to the founder, and they close and move on to another project. It's interesting that they seem to run the places for their own reasons, and regardless of success or the customers, they just move on.
  3. 10190 Katy Frwy Building East side of Conrad Sauer at the freeway.
  4. Fixed it for you🤣 Ask the Cambodian refugees she trampled years back.
  5. So? It's not like building height has anything to do with quality of life or anything else important. Buildings over about 50 stories are not as economic to build as shorter buildings, and make lower profits.
  6. There have been people wanting the freeways through downtown demolished for some time. Their argument is that the people passing through town should take Loop 610 around to the other side of town. We use to see a lot of posts here from Slick Vik on this topic. I think the people who want to do that are all wrong, but that's just me.
  7. The urbanists think the increased density is a good thing. I can't argue with that since the market seems happy with it. The lack of zoning means that density can grow organically in Houston, as opposed to places with many square miles of land zoned as single family only, where there can be no density increase. And, the area in the picture wasn't exactly high end. It was a bunch of really run down mid 20th Century frame houses on larger lots. There were also a few mobile home parks.
  8. You would be surprised how much tooth grinding goes on over pipelines. A friend has a pipeline easement across his property. He wanted to fight it, but his lawyer told him it's not worth the effort, as pipeline companies have far too much influence. All he could do was push to get as much compensation as possible, and ended up with twice as much as the pipeline offered. Pipelines have been restrained a bit after a State Supreme Court ruling imposed more requirements than just a sign off by the Railroad Commission, which had been rubber stamping eminent domain approvals forever. Pipelines are somewhat different as well, since a pipeline doesn't build a berm that cuts property in half. You can walk across a pipeline easement at pretty much any point. That's not the case with the railroad.
  9. When Rice was built, there were no shiny buildings. Heck, most buildings in Houston when Rice was built were all wood, other than some of the Downtown buildings.
  10. Then someone needs to explain to the rural landowners why they should give up their property for the common good. If a decent argument is made, they may come around. Threatening to use eminent domain isn't going to convince the landowners of anything, except that "city folk" are jerks. It is especially hard to convince someone that they should suck it up when they get zero benefit at all. This is all too common when dealing with people in rural areas, no one makes the effort to understand their issues and speak to them in a way that doesn't just piss them off. Now, I don't have strong feelings about this project at all. I would probably never use the train, as it's too expensive, assuming the prices we've seen are anywhere close to accurate. I do think that the project's published economics are the result of too many doses of illegal drugs, but as long as it's not funded with tax dollars, that's an investor issue. It's always good to pick up a project where the original party went bankrupt, because it reduces the new operator's overall costs. That was one of the good outcomes of the Enron failure - lots of fiber run all over the place at great expense became available for 10 cents on the dollar.
  11. There is no money to find unless the revenue cap on property taxes is lifted. The HPD budget is almost a billion dollars. The budget for police and fire combined is more than property tax collections. Here's the General Fund Summary for the new fiscal year that starts on July 1 https://www.houstontx.gov/budget/23budprop/II_GFS.pdf
  12. I don't think they killed the project, but they did fight it tooth and nail, which was totally predictable. They were never asked what their opinion was, or asked for input on mitigation for the objections. When TCR popped up and used the ED words, it really raised the hackles of rural landowners who didn't see why they should have to suffer just so city folks can get to Houston or Dallas faster. I doubt the airlines lobbied against TCR, since they are apparently getting close to saturation with flights between Houston and Dallas
  13. The latest City budget has the number of patrol officers at around 3500. Some of those 5,229 officers are assigned to traffic, investigations, and other non-patrol functions. Basing the numbers on total employees is misleading, since some cities have their 911 operators in the police department, or have parking enforcement in the police department, etc.
  14. Great news! Nandos is one place I've eaten at overseas that I hoped would come here.
  15. There are street sweepers in Houston. I see them occasionally. It's been about 10 years since they came down our street, though. Here's a super useful schedule of street sweeping for 2011 https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/sites/default/files/assets/street_sweeping.pdf A search of the City's website didn't turn up anything other than some budget references
  16. My solution to cars blocking my driveway is a brother in law with a tow truck.
  17. The Catholic Church would argue about that. They use the old building for most of their education and such.
  18. Here's a PDF that summarizes permitting requirements in Houston https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/media/1881/download but it's not clear about a patio Here's a link for residential plan review https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/building-code-enforcement/residential-plan-review it has a phone number. Call them up and ask. One advantage of knowing for sure is that when you sell the house, you can truthfully answer the question on the disclosure form that you are not aware of any unpermitted work.
  19. If you know someone who is mobility impaired, have them contact the City and make a complaint. If that fails, have them file a lawsuit against the building owners, since this looks like an ADA compliance issue. Actually, first contact the building and ask them how someone in a wheelchair can get to the retail areas.
  20. Slightly OT, but 20 years makes a difference in density, doesn't it? Here's the are002.
  21. That's not feasible in many areas, especially if there are garage apartments, and the driveways are narrow. Or, there are businesses on small lots, so their customers have to park on the street.
  22. Here's the previous Federal Reserve building, now the Cathedral Center for the Houston-Galveston archdiocese. The building still has the FRB features, which is kind of weird. https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7497408,-95.3676946,3a,75y,36.22h,90.54t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sa1bYtFh15yK42gl3RAgI3A!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3Da1bYtFh15yK42gl3RAgI3A%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D82.52848%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192
  23. After doing some research, here's the location of Lock 8, in the middle of a pasture, where it ended up after a flood changed the route of the river https://www.google.com/maps/place/31°28'41.7"N+97°02'03.6"W/@31.4788742,-97.0339111,196m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x30f6542e36258603!8m2!3d31.4782612!4d-97.0343437
  24. I can imagine how thrilled all the folks who want all the power lines buried would be if there were power lines running all over the place. Like this in Bologna, Italy
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