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The Great Hizzy!

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Posts posted by The Great Hizzy!

  1. Root Memorial is quite attractive. They've done a pretty good job of maintaining it so far. I wonder if it's the city itself or the Toyota Center staff who maintains it. I also like that a lot of local youth groups make it a point to play ball there at different times during the week. Keeps the park relevant during non-Rockets games.

  2. The sitelines for Ford Field were absolutely abysmal. If you buy tickets for seats located that far away from the court, then you have to be going just for the event itself. It's a good thing the NCAA only tries this for the tournament games because doing this for a full season (like it used to be with the NBA's Spurs, Sonics and Pistons before they settled into new arenas) would be a nightmare for the fan. FYI, I think only Syracuse plays a full season inside a "football" stadium, although the Carrier Dome is relatively small by football standards, and the bleacers are arranged in such a way as to maximize the viewing quality for the fans.

    But I digress.

    I could see the NCAA eventually making these regional final and Final Four games more premium draws by going back to the traditional type basketball arenas (like Toyota Center or AT&T Center, for example) and charging higher prices for those seats rather than opening up the Superdome and sitting people as far back as the dome holds.

    And the raised basketball court along with the black backdrops behind the basketball goals were points of contention by not only the fans but the teams as well. The NCAA decided to try this new setup (for whatever reason) this year, and it may continue on into next year's Final Four in Detroit and the ones proceeding them, including here in Houston in 2011.

    We'll see how it turns out.

  3. Putting the buildings close together, limiting driveways and replacing lawns with public greenspaces don't automatically eliminate the potential for ghettos. New York is filled with them. So is Chicago. So is New York. So is Boston.

    Economics and human social interactions are often better instigators of so-called ghettos than the amount of acreage surrounding a singular dwelling or whether someone takes a car or public tranist to work, the store or the next U2 Concert.

  4. I never noticed it before since I've only really seen the building in person from the ground level as I'm looking upwards at the top half, but now that it's been pointed out, the garage's design really detracts from the building. I mean REALLY detracts from it.

  5. what day of the week were these taken?

    i was at another urban project in ft worth recently. it looked nice but the stores were sure dead. i was surprised how few people were at super target at 1130 on a sat morning.

    Since those weren't my pics, I can't say for sure when they were taken. However, I've been to AS on a Friday night, a Thursday afternoon and I believe either a Monday or Tuesday night. Friday night had decent activity but not much foot traffic. There was absolute no foot traffic on the Mon or Tues night. On the Thursday afternoon I went, there was a bit of a mix but traffic build up from vehicles was pretty noticeable around 4:00PM as people were heading from the offices built within and headed towards Midtown.

    There's still another few thousand residential units to go, so like I said, we'll see where they are ten years from now.

  6. I like the fact that we can actually count cranes by district here in Houston:




    Upper Kirby

    Rice Military

    Memorial City/Town & Country

    The Energy Corridor


  7. I have been to Atlantic Station three times over the last five years (and have been to Atlanta at least a half dozen times over that period) and have seen it evolve from messy construction site to prospering new community. Here are some pics (that are not mine; credit goes to, of all places, http://www.detroitrising.com ) to showcase where the development is as well as some critiques of mine:


    This gives you an idea of a great deal of AS's residential component. Dense by nature, but I take issue with the design of these dwellings, as I don't care for the narrow patios that overhang the main entrances. In fact, it makes the front not look like the front at all, but like a small patio overhang that overlooks a small backyard.


    Another view. Some other issues (for me) include the fact that there needs to be a break in the string of townhomes. Visually, things become repetitive and not especially attractive. More landscaping would've been nice as well--something to break up the monotony.


    Here's Twelve Atlantic Station. It bares a considerable resemblance to the Mosaic Tower(s) here in Houston. Very clean looking and well positioned within AS.


    I generally like the way the retail component is designed and implemented. This section looks like a cross between Dallas' West Village and Sugar Land Town Square.


    More residential. Again, the sidewalk treatment leaves a lot to be desired.


    Although this Fox Sports Grill looks a bit more inviting than the one at our Galleria, both are difficult to get to on weekends given that most people who would visit are more likely to drive, and parking sucks (Atlanta, for all its recent efforts to centralize things, is still a city dominated by its suburbs).


    This IKEA looks very out of place, doesn't it?


    Publix groceries. They've fallen on hard times in certain areas of Florida but the ones in Georgia are still good. Obviously, having a grocery store within walking distance helps to sell these types of developments.


    Again, the retail component looks fresh. This section has office space mixed in. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out in other threads here at HAIF, many new urbanist projects spread across much of the Sunbelt suffer from a lack of pedestrian activity relative to what is/was desired by their planners. It's not by accident that a lot of these pictures don't show a lot of foot activity. I suppose you could give it more time but this seems to be a common problem here at the onset.

    Anyway, AS is an attractive and imposing development, particularly given its history as a former steel works plant that went under back in the 90s. Still, even with the building of the 17th Street Bridge (the main street that runs through AS) across I-75/85 to help connect the development to Midtown Atlanta located to the east, AS seems a bit disconnected from the city. In fact, a few blocks to the near west is a pretty depressed area of decaying warehouses and public housing. Nevertheless, over time, AS could be the very type of stimulus to help continue to transform areas on the near northwest side of Atlanta that have been festering in neglect and abandoment for the last 30-40 years.

    Just get more trees and widen the sidewalks, wouldya! ;)

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