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zaphod

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Everything posted by zaphod

  1. This is probably a really dumb question, but do these TMC developments which are private sector oriented and not necessarily just hospitals pay normal property taxes? To the city? Just curious.
  2. I suspect that the traffic people are concerned about there is east and west, not north or south. There is really nowhere to put such a thing that wouldn't involve condemning large amounts of private property or ruining the natural amenities that make The Woodlands desirable in the first place. The idea is a nonstarter.
  3. The latter thing is Colony Ridge. It was fairly controversial. The guy who bought all the land and built it is a libertarian of sorts and his arguments in favor of his right to build it are sound. It's just that he's going to create a concentration of like 50,000-60,000 extremely poor people a large proportion of which are undocumented, don't speak english, have no education, etc in a location that's extremely far away from practically everything. It's going to be weird. Also not a lot of long term provisions to pay for services and infrastructure. Understandable why so many, especially in today's economy, would take the offer to buy a cheap lot and put up a trailer and DIY yourself some kind of homestead, but man, I think going forward 20-30 years that place is going to be rough. I think the only other similar places in the US would be the deserts north of LA, where there are huge settlements of people living in trailers and it's really bleak and weird.
  4. To save money they should close down their offices in Midtown. That would be a big space to be redeveloped that's not a ugly wall on the sidewalk. Crime Stoppers would be a better fit for Greenspoint, I think.
  5. The mall looks like it was pretty nice up until a few years prior to its demise. I had a thought, it seems like nowadays the "pace of change" for places like malls is slower. Like, many malls of the 1960s and 1970s only lasted about 30 years. 30 years ago was 1992, there aren't as many dead shopping centers from 1992 around today. I wonder if the retail industry was more volatile back then, when it was a new and growing thing. Nowadays there are only a handful of major chains, a lot of malls have vanished, so of course that means what remains are regional or flagship stores operated by giant publicly traded corporations that have deep pockets. Kind of like how when the internet was young there were a lot of different search engines and a lot of major websites and a lot of different brands of PC's and early smartphones and many of them came in a flash and vanished. Now there's just a few giant social media platforms, and a handful of companies that sell the majority of mobile devices.
  6. That's a pretty heavy duty phase 1. It looks like they shifted from being many small buildings to being a handful of big ones?
  7. So, actually there is a severe paucity of publically accessible ones outside the city proper. The HOA pools, which are residents only, tend to dominate. I disagree completely. Other metro areas usually have municipal or county run aquatic facilities.
  8. So it's like a normal apartment complex, but with big chonker 6 story buildings. Interesting.
  9. I feel like I am raising the dead here, but I have a similar childhood memory and associate those things with Kmart too. Also older Krogers would have the intake vents in the middle of the store that would suck up all the mylar balloons that escaped the floral section. They'd float there and spin around helplessly like prey.
  10. They have an ongoing project (recently went through permitting phase, no ground broken yet) in central Fort Worth to build three individual midrise apartments and then an 8 floor garage shared amongst them https://www.dfwi.org/go/1000-weatherford https://www.fortwortharchitecture.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6596&page=5#entry138136 I would expect this thing in Houston would be very big with loads of units.
  11. I love it, it kind of takes density in that area to the next level and hopefully there will be more. I'm glad its modern looking and not some "old timey heights" design.
  12. That fedex used to be a kinko's and had a subway conjoined to it. Oh well, a highrise would be much better.
  13. Seems like a way to just suppress wages and allow some native populations (like black males with minimal education) to continue to languish. We should be encouraging people to take these jobs by making them less awful. Also, here is another thought. Maybe having labor get more expensive would be a way to disrupt the industry into being more efficient? Like what if houses were more modular or partially prefabricated in a factory? https://www.economist.com/business/2017/08/17/efficiency-eludes-the-construction-industry
  14. I actually like the typeface and color scheme. It's clean and minimalistic. What I don't like is the light rail livery. Bring back the all silver trains
  15. Couldn't disagree more. For one, Italy being the sick man of Europe is a complicated story but I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with urban density. Otherwise you'd expect Japan and Germany to be just as behind and their not. Also I may be wrong but someone told me that Italians do in fact make cars.... and therefore have "auto plants". And factories making everything else. Italy was Europe's place to "nearshore" a lot of manufacturing prior to the EU making places like Poland and Bulgaria just as appealing, and it's still where a lot of appliances and other "white goods" like fridges and ovens sold under a variety of brand names get made. Maybe if you opened up Google Maps in your web browser you'd notice that country has a massive highway network and that cities like Naples have bypasses and ring roads with elevated structures and tunnels ducking below hills that have stuff developed on them. And that outside of these old cities are no shortage of industrial zones, big box stores, outlet malls, and all the other stuff we have here. I don't see what's so outmoded about affordable housing where people can enjoy common areas and walk places and interact with their community while exercising? Also unsure about your comment on opportunity related to land use. Actually, given Italy's demographic decline some of those old villages are emptying out and therefore very cheap places to live. Unlike Texas they don't have a housing shortage. You know maybe it's convenient that people there can be happy living in dwellings that are smaller and simpler and can devote their income and money and efforts into other economic activities. We take for granted our roads and freeways and the extra miles of sewer lines and water pipes we have but all those things are very expensive. One day when the US is over the demographic hump due to low birth rates and limited immigration, there will be fewer people paying more in taxes to sustain those things. Formerly middle class subdivisions with HOA's funding and maintaining aging infrastructure are going to be in pain in another 30 years when those areas are as old as neighborhoods in Cleveland and Detroit are now. Think about it.
  16. That's cool! Go figure Friendswood of all places would have infill like that.
  17. Campanile on Minimax is one of the weirdest, kludgiest names for an apartment complex I've ever seen but I kind of love it. I mean think about it. A campanile is an Italian word for a bell tower we associate with college campuses and old world city centers. Minimax was a grocery store that went out of business. I find it amusing and kind of cool that the name of a long defunct supermarket chain lives on just because the driveway into their distribution center back in the 1970s was a public road and got a name printed on road signs and maps. And then due to happenstance all that land is getting developed into high density residential. Eventually it will just be the Minimax District, and I actually think that's kind of cool and they should go with it.
  18. I agree with the sentiment that this is what the ruling classes want for us and it sucks. But I do think buildings like this are really needed. The low end of the market needs to be served. I think that's one of the reasons why everything seems so messed up right now. Can't build cheap houses, can't build cheap apartments, can't build cheap cars, etc. So as a consequence there's this weird income threshold where if you make above you get to participate fully in life and get married and have kids and do things, and the half of the population that earns less than $35k is going to live with their parents and be broke in their 40s and beyond.
  19. The downside is that inspection stations are usually very small businesses that would be easy to intimidate or they would motivated to flount the law to encourage more customers.
  20. Most excellent!!! I seriously hope this is a new trend where we can go beyond the 4 story donuts and go up. Think about how much more quickly that units would be added to the market and hopefully stem this rent inflation problem. Also that would be some impressive density if this was repeated. I noticed here in Fort Worth there is a building called the Stayton which looks like this except it has these connecting corridors turning it into just one building. But really its laid out in a way that almost makes it three seperate thin buildings.
  21. I think Houston probably does better on building public housing and social services facilities without a lot of NIMBYism, it has a lot of dirt cheap housing already too. Another thought is that Houston is still sort of a gritty blue collar city. There's places that will hire people with a checkered past or felonies and there's slumlords who will rent to them. Unlike in the Bay Area where you have to make a ton of money as a skilled professional and be approved by the corporations that own luxury apartment properties, just to barely get by. The people with a lot of problems don't stand a chance there.
  22. I didn't know Nova made electric buses. Most of the ones you see out there on the road are the Proterra ones.
  23. I just moved to Fort Worth, specifically the southwest side, and here Tom Thumb and Albertsons are really the only choice. There are a few nasty looking small Kroger stores that are not convenient to get to, and then Walmart Neighborhood Markets which are basically acceptable and have acceptable but not great prices and like no selection. Like 45 minutes in the car from where I live, in Mansfield and Burleson there is a Kroger Marketplace and the only H-E-B in north texas, respectively, but my groceries would melt. Grocery shopping here is kind of stuck in the 1990s. All the stores are small and have poor selection unless you go to Central Market or Whole Paycheck. Tom Thumb at it's absolute best, meaning the fairly modern store for the bougie people who live in that area off Hulen or the one on Camp Bowie near the Ridgelea theater, is like a lower-tier non-signature-store neighborhood Kroger in Houston. Like the smaller of the two stores in Kingwood, or the little hidden-away one in Spring off Treaschwig. Still small, only limited produce, no international section, not a lot of non-grocery items, etc. Albertsons is a standby, they are basically like Tom Thumb but smaller. The stores are okay but just old. I have been going to the one on I-30 and its sort of a time machine. Which is kind of cool actually. Movies and Netflix series set in the 1980s are so trendy right now, they should advertise as a filming location. It looks just like the old Randalls we shopped at when I was a kid growing up, it even has the wood panel walls around the back, the spinning carosel table where the cashier sets your bags, etc. The worst part is that everything is like 10% more expensive. A name brand frozen pizza at a Kroger Marketplace or an H-E-B in greater Houston would be 5.99, and at Albertsons or Tom Thumb or Walmart in Dallas it is 6.99. It doesn't sound like a big deal but then I noticed I spent a good amount more on the final receipt. I guess the nice thing I'll say is that least Albertsons and Tom Thumb tend to keep old neighborhood local stores open that in Houston would have been shut down or turned into a self-storage megachurch charter school. So they are convenient. Also I noticed that unlike in Houston where the full size Super Walmarts are sort of less common and always mediocre, the full sized Super Walmarts in the DFW area seem much larger and must have been remodeled recently. The one in Benbrook for example seems to have an acceptably large grocery area. I learned from someone that the first ever super walmart in the US was called a Walmart Hypermarket and is in South Arlington, and still open. Targets seem moderately more common up here too. In Houston a lot of the eastern half or north side doesn't have a Target, but in Fort Worth even more blue collar parts of the city have a Target. I swear H-E-B is going to totally pwn this place when they arrive. They are going to sweep in and totally dominate the competition because there basically is none when it comes to big supersized grocery stores like Houston and Austin have. If Tom Thumb (Albertsons Safeway Corp) wants to compete or survive in this market they need to start building the kind of stores that I've seen out west in El Paso and Albuquerque. Albertsons has a store format which looks like a Kroger Marketplace.
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