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zaphod

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  1. Being medical offices would this one have a better chance of making it given current events? Can existing office space get easily converted to medical use, or is it more economical to build it new?
  2. If we are being brutally honest, I think that proposed tower in Austin is ugly. It's all the stuff I don't like about modern architecture trends. It's weirdly eclectic and blocky and asymettric and dysharmonious. A generous take would be that form reflects function and that some mixed use areas need different floor plans, but then why arrange it in that particular way? Big towers should have more grace since they are going to be a huge landmark that's going to stick out. It's like if a bunch of kids had access to infinite legos and decided to build a skyscraper.
  3. I hope this doesn't get harmed by the inevitable recession we are about to have and the city needing to cut spending. Though after reading more about this project, it sounds like the funding is money that was saved or collected from different sources for several years prior. That is going to be an awesome park for people in that part of town. This makes me happier in some ways than seeing whatever new plans for Memorial Park are being released since this facility seems more about active use. I won't ever use this park but its a worthy use of tax dollars I think. Speaking solely on the grounds of the site, that pool should be a model for the aquatics facilities the city runs. The new trend among cities is to have a smaller number of very large public swimming complexes rather than many small neighborhood pools. The bigger facilities can host more programs, they can be open for longer parts of the year, etc. The small square pools have a hard time attracting visitors, have very limited hours, and are just underutilized. Also in a city like Houston many neighborhoods have private HOA pools, so the purpose of having publicly funded aquatics facility is more about ensuring everyone incl. those in neighborhoods without pools has access to the programs(kids lessons, adult fitness classes, etc) and consolidated sites work better for that. The city of Dallas sold some extra land it owned for about $30 million and is building 6 or 7 big pools in geographically logical locations so the whole city is served and will then go back and fill in the tiny old ones in neighborhood parks. I think they've managed to build most of the big facilities by now, so it has been a success.
  4. The California project was a lot different from this one too. It was supposed to traverse extreme terrain with tunnels dozens of miles long. It was also supposed to go through some of the most expensive real estate in the world. And California has a well entrenched NIMBY force which was set out from the start to sue the project into the ground. Assuming Texas Central can get off the ground, it will have a much easier time building an at-grade route with no major bridges or tunnels across sparsely populated rural areas.
  5. I would never fault a parent with a child with a disability for feeling like they have to fight for their kid. I suspect that if parents were passive and nobody ever demanded video evidence or inquiries, that the subsequent lack of accountability would indeed lead to students being abused. I understand that teachers have to put up with a lot. But compassion burnout is real, and so you cannot assume all teachers are good at their job or that they care about your kid's interests at all. And people do have high expectations for public school districts. They are huge, omnipresent things that we all had to spend 12 years attending, then we we grow up they become a huge component to the average person's tax burden.
  6. Sort of unrelated, but Taco Cabana's quality has dropped off. Last time I went there I ordered fajita tacos. I got a plate with two tortillas with a wimpy portion of super salty rubber-like cubed beef and a gloop of canned refried beans and some rice for $10. I went up to the counter to ask where my guac and lettuce was and why there weren't tomatoes in the rice. That's what I thought they served . They told me it didn't come like that. What a disappointment. I noticed that several locations have gone out of business in the last few months. If I worked there I wouldn't be able keep doing my job, too sad and cringey. That chain will be gone in 2 years, I'm calling it now.
  7. In order for prices to rise out of control don't you also need rich people who will pay them? Supply and demand issues may be the root cause but the high incomes of tech and finance people must also play a role? Houston's only forseeable driver of that kind of income tsunami is the oil and gas industry. The O&G industry in Houston is definitely cooling down, and every prediction I see is more and more pessimistic. With the concerns about climate change it will probably never boom again the way it did a decade ago, or in the early 1980s. Houston is probably peaking right now, and will never grow its economy quite as fast as it did this last decade. I think we will mature and grow less in every decade from now on, eventually settling down into a slow growth state similar to other major cities. The future of the US is demographic aging, collapsing birth rates, and harsher restrictions on immigration. So the country as a whole will not grow as much. I just don't see what would sustain the 2010's rate of expansion then. So yeah, TLDR, I don't worry about us getting too expensive. Established attractive areas will continue to go up in price and there will be more and more infill and high rise development and the western half of the regional urban core establishes itself. But areas further out will eventually just become settled and not change as much, IMO. I'm not an expert on this subject so my opinion may be worthless...
  8. Looking back at some of the ancient posts in this thread, like the one above from 2013 when Samagon talks about the decline in quality of schools in Alief... Just as things change for the worse they can also change for the better. What's Alief like now in 2020 versus 2013, or 2003? I get the feeling it is poised to be a good location in the future. Same with the Chinatown part of Sharpstown. Remember that Spring Branch was not an especially desirable area 25 years ago but has become more attractive as time passed. As for areas that will decline in the future, my money's on east montgomery county going downhill. Kingwood is proper is bourgeious and always will be, but beyond it towards Valley Ranch is either disappointing low-quality subdivisions, or endless trailer parks and rur-ban developments. Colony Ridge when built out is going to introduce a lot of low socioeconomic students to local schools and that's going to really conflict with the old school country white folk who live there. The county is waayy too conservative to put any money into infrastructure or services. It's going to be really ugly. As if it already wasn't, from an amenity point of view there are essentially zero parks, very little shopping or dining(can't keep a Sam's Club in business). I don't know why anyone would live out that way except that they really want a new build house for cheap and drive till you quality, instead of buying a house in an existing area. The growth on Northeast side is going to shift away from 69 towards the Generation Park/Summerwood area, that's my crystal ball prediction.
  9. That quad heliport on the roof looks really cool in aerial pictures...
  10. That illustration makes me concerned they would cut through the Willow Waterhole greenspace to build this. That's unfortunate. I would think there is enough room to build an elevated viaduct with support pylons down the center of Post Oak as it exists now.
  11. I think most of Austin is too low density and has too low ridership potential to support that. A LRT could be a subway from Downtown to North Lamar transit center with subway stations at the drag(UT), triangle, crestview, koenig, etc. There's some huge TOD potential there if the DPS and Department of Health and Human Services packed up and moved. But then past that it really makes more sense to run as at grade system, because that opens the potential for lines going way out to Round Rock, etc. There should also be a line going to the Domain.
  12. Is there any news about Town Centre II or whatever they are calling it(second big tower on southern edge of this development?)
  13. I think the problem with existing freight corridors is that the major railroads do not want to sell them because they do a brisk business hauling freight for the time being. And they tend to have narrow, constrained ROW's and sharp curves and grades. Not really HSR friendly, anything using them would be a slow heavy rail line like what Amtrak already operates. Texas Central seeing the potential in high voltage power line corridors is a really interesting idea that I hope catches on. There's potential there to build super straight routes between major cities.
  14. I understand why the current emphasis is on areas which are in the central part of the city. Suburban bus routes have a hard time attracting ridership. Still, I've been playing around in google maps and discovered there are some underrated transit friendly corridors that are ignored. North of I-10 in the Energy Corridor is a Park Row, which is really the western extension of Dairy Ashford. It's solid apartment complexes and office buildings all the way out to Katy. Goes past Addicks P&R. Another area like that is Northborough and Ella in Spring.
  15. I think it's only a matter of time before discover that area as being as close and as interesting as the southgate and college hills area, and you get some Bellaire/West U style teardowns for McMansion development.
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