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Angostura last won the day on July 7 2010

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  1. This is an under-appreciated fact that often goes overlooked by "new urbanists". The long-term quality/walkability of an area is to a very large extent determined by two factors: effective street width (distance between opposite fa├žades, not just roadway width), and average parcel width. The former provides human scale and a sense of enclosure, the latter provides granularity and variety as you walk along it. This development is better than most with respect to street width, (it's probably about the minimum the city will allow), but each blockface is a single building in most cases
  2. There's a soft spot in my heart for all of Houston's legacy zero-setback buildings.
  3. Would love to see Yale redone as a 3-lane street (like Studewood) with wider sidewalks. Barring that, I'd like more people to take advantage of the fact that on-street parking is legal on Yale for most of its length during most of the day. Speed limit on Yale is 30 mph, but drivers routinely go 45. Speed limit on Heights is 35mph, but drivers routinely go 25. Road design does more to limit traffic speeds than speed limit signs do.
  4. If you have a convection toaster oven (or air fryer), throw your take-out fries in there for 3-5 minutes. They crisp right back up.
  5. Assuming steel-and-brick construction is $400/sf and stick-built SFH construction is $200/sf, you can calculate the breakeven floor-area-ratio for a given land value. For condo FAR of 4.0 and SFH FAR of 1.0, land values above $270/sf would favor condo construction. There are very few places in Houston where dirt sells for that much. Having lived in mid-rise condo buildings in a neighborhood in an (actually dense) city where that type of construction is typical, I can tell you I couldn't have afforded the same square footage in a standalone house. FWIW, I love these kinds of building
  6. I understand the dynamic, it's just the opposite of the way things work in (actually dense) cities where land value drives the economics. In places where 90% of the population lives in a multi-family building, where floor area ratios are seldom below 4.0, an apartment being more expensive than a standalone house would be unthinkable. I'm guessing the demand curve is very steep. Doing a very small number of these probably means each one is very profitable (that penthouse alone is probably a 7-figure profit to the developer), but once you get beyond the people for whom it's a lifestyle cho
  7. I know there's a market for these units at this price point, but the price per s.f. on these developments never ceases to amaze. At $4.3M for 4300 sf, you're paying almost twice the going rate per s.f. for single-family houses on generously sized lots within a couple blocks. And for the $2600/month in condo fees, you could pay someone to pick up the mail and handle the yard work.
  8. From here. "as soon as this summer" probably means, "maybe this time next year."
  9. I wouldn't say it's purely decorative. Sett paving can last a lot longer than concrete or asphalt (centuries in many cases). And it has the beneficial side effect of slowing down vehicular traffic. On sidewalks in places with street trees, brick pavers (or, even better, Portuguese stone) undulate naturally with growth in the trees' root system, whereas concrete sidewalks crack. The material is ubiquitous on the sidewalks of residential neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, for example, for exactly this reason.
  10. There's an easy solution: make rights-of-way narrower. In EaDo, for example, something like 40% of land area is public right-of-way. If you increase the ratio of taxable land to paved surface by a factor of 3X or so, you could afford a lot nicer paving.
  11. The principals appear to be the same team behind Tikila's on Shepherd.
  12. I'm surprised they can add that much square footage without a parking structure. Though by the looks of the new buildings, it looks like there's a significant non-retail portion.
  13. The rendering looks great, but the most important thing to save from that building is its zero-foot front setback.
  14. Unfortunately, every concept is now a take out concept. IIRC, since the acquisition CB's baked goods are now done from a central commissary, so this should be a relatively easy concept to replicate, especially if they can lock in attractive lease terms.
  15. Commercial MBS markets are completely frozen. Commercial leaseholders will struggle to make lease payments, which means property owners and developers will struggle to make loan payments, which impairs the associated commercial MBS assets. For the most part, banks and other holders have foregone margin calls, and Fed is backstopping, but don't hold your breath for new funding.
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