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houston_urban_fan

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  1. Or they could just wait because the commercial property market is going to experience its own correction in the next few months. Its going to be a buyers market.
  2. The other magnet for transients are the 3 bunkhouses in Midtown. Do a sex offender search on their addresses and you will be surprised. Midtown is now a magnet for the homeless. You would think the management district would care since the tax-paying residents fund them, but based on what I witnessed during the last evening meeting they do not. Yet another example of an unaccountable (quasi) government agency.
  3. On the contrary I know pre-2000 Midtown very well. I spent countless time both day and night in Midtown eateries and nightspots. Homage, Emo's, SOME, Rich's, Saigon Cafe, etc, ring a bell? Unfortunately if I had known that land was going for $2 a square foot I would have purchased some land to park my car vs. taking up a bums offer to watch my car for me. (you know, to keep the bad guys away) Do you work for HCAD, because you sound suspiciously like the people appraising Midtown this year. "bigger lack of knowledge about one's neighborhood....." ha! your THAT guy! RedScare and Brian123, keep in mind that Midtown was once a nice neighborhood for decades before it needed to be revitalized. The city should ask itself what type of resident it prefers. Homeowners or the Homeless? Yeah, it is that simple.
  4. I also sense the excitement on Washington Ave. Things are popping up so fast its mind-boggling. The question that begs to be answered is how and why of the development. I could be wrong, but I'm not aware of any central authority tasked with getting the word out and revitalizing Washington Ave. It appears that this has occurred organically, without the "assistance" of a revitalization org or management group. Hmmmmm. On the other hand we have a centralized revitalization and management district that we support via our tax dollars and annual assessments. Yet somehow Midtown struggles to attract the vibrant businesses we see popping up in Washington Ave and beyond. Kudos to the district and TIRZ for repairing Midtown streets, but unfortunately you still have empty buildings and retail adjacent to the new streets. I think the management district and the TIRZ can spend millions fixing streets, adding planters, logo signs, on street parking, but they will still lose out to other areas until they get serious about what causes prospective investors to turn the car around and leave Midtown. (for Washington, upper Kirby, etc) I think the laissez faire attitude by the district, the city, and HPD towards the ever-increasing homeless problem is single largest detriment to Midtown's success. The problem as I see it is that the various homeless groups are very effective at Guilt Marketing. Every town hall I've attended with the homeless as a topic has ended up as a masterful spin-job by the various homeless groups and capitulating public official of the month. Income Guilt is the opiate of the young urban Midtowner who walks in fired up about their property rights taking a backseat to the rights of the homeless and leaves feeling guilty or shouted down by the professionals at Homeless-Outreach Inc. How ironic that the homeless and homeless outreach both utilize guilt to either obtain your money or your silence. The facts are you work hard for your income and home. You spend 50+ hours working to pay your mortgage and taxes, yet you
  5. I noticed the bulldozer this morning on the way to work. Pretty gutsy of them to leave it there even if you remove the key. I'm tempted to start it up later this evening and take out the building across the street! Every time I drive by the abandoned MHMRA building I notice that the water-chiller on the roof is slowly vanishing. Anyone have a building or two in Midtown that they would like demo'd?
  6. Can anyone afford to buy items at Berings? At one time I had a little sympathy for mom and pop stores when people ranted about how big evil stores like Wal-Mart moved in and killed them all. After shopping at Berings I'm more inclined to view stores like Berings as equivalent to places that gouge on bottled water and plywood when a Hurricane is headed our way. You could say that the personal attention and guidance you receive makes up for the difference, but if you are receiving personal attention at Berings it
  7. Ahh, that must have been the "New" Tokyo Studio on Chenevert? (The old name was Chop Stix, which I'm sure received a few calls a day for delivery or carry out) So that leaves Midtown with only one remaining Modeling Studio? (Aloha on Bagby, assuming those EVIL developers haven't already bulldozed it) Darn Gentrification is killing the neighborhood! Next thing you know they will convert the Midtowne Spa bath house on Fannin and Elgin into some sort of hipster lounge.
  8. Agreed. That was not my point. My point was money should be spent along the lines of what it was intended for, i.e. improvements. What is occurring is land assemblage that far exceeds the amount of space required and cost required to build homes. If you can build affordable housing anywhere then it
  9. I'm glad you made the point about many being renters because when you realize the degree of renters in the 3rd ward you begin to gain additional insight into how people are displaced. One of the biggest lies told by those crying Gentrification is that the developers force people out of their homes. This is an often repeated misrepresentation that displays a level of ignorance about the market and tax system. With the fervor this lie is repeatedly told you would think that developers are showing up with bullhorns announcing that you have 15 minutes to vacate the premises! Taxing Authorities, Building Code departments and Courts are some of the entities that force people out of houses not developers. The homeowner that is delinquent on their taxes or neglects to maintain their property is solely responsible for this. A quick scan of www.publicans.com will demonstrate tons of delinquent properties in 77004 nowhere near redevelopment. Who do you blame for these? Even if developers build new homes in the area your taxes to a large degree are still based on the size and condition of your home. A one-story 2 bedroom home built in the 1920's may have little comparable properties if the nearest homes are 3 story townhomes. The choice to accept and not contest an over-valued property tax appraisal rests solely on the homeowner. Don't blame the developers for you lack of self-preservation. Furthermore you have the homestead exemption and the over-65 exemption that combined take a sizeable chunk out of ones tax bill. Ideally I think that the best approach would be a 100% property tax exemption for those 65 and up who have remained and maintained a home in decent repair in a redeveloping neighborhood. Given that individuals meeting this description already have a fixed and limited income, and the property is no doubt worth less than newer homes the loss of this tax income will be minimal. Politian
  10. Yes infrastructure has been improved, thanks in a large part to Federal Matching funds. Just imagine how far along the process would be if the funds AND Federal Matching funds had been utilized. I'm sure that the people on the two Midtown boards who actually care are doing their best despite the actions of those angry at how far Midtown has progressed. I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of a diverse population, that is why I moved to Midtown. So if one of the charters of the neighborhood is to create a diverse population, what do you say to a person, especially a Politian who seeks to maintain a neighborhood's racial purity? That is sick.
  11. Sorry but that is a logical fallacy. By using that logic you are saying that a politicians constituents approve of all actions regardless of if they are public or private. Even if the actions are public maintaintaing your elected office is not proof of unanimous constituent approval. Garnet once punched a principal of a Montessori school. Should I deduce that the public is okay with punching principals (at least in Garnet
  12. No, Garnet wants this. This is not a debate of where the 30% should be it
  13. Sure. But take it a step further and help individuals develop skills that will prevent the re-occurrence of homelessness. The definition of homelessness is not the absence of a home, but a break in the process of ones ability to generate the income needed to provide basic needs and desired items. Sometimes this is based on misplaced priorities and sometimes its unavoidable circumstances that contribute to the loss of income or re-direction of income to other areas. Placing someone in a free home does not break the cycle. I think many groups like to paint people with the same brush and think that the solution is just to find them a job in a Fast Food restaurant and call it a day. I think you serve the individual and overall society in a much better capacity if you listen to the individual's personal story so that you can gain a better insight into what fits them the best. My beef with many homeless groups is that they fail to see that for a 50 year old homeless man there may be more dignity being homeless than being yelled at by your 21 year old boss at McDonalds because you did not mop to his standards. Yes, the correct choice in that matter would be to keep you cool and not take it personally, but for many it
  14. Thank you for posting the link to the story on Garnet. This more than confirms what I have been saying. I want diversity in my neighborhood, versus domination by a single group. Garnet appears to be lost in time and locked into a very narrow viewpoint that a neighborhood is either a white, black, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Jewish, or etc neighborhood. He is failing to see that neighborhoods come and go and often make radical changes with the times. If I were to publicly state that I want a particular neighborhood to remain all Asian, all Hispanic, or all white I would be branded as a racist. How is it that an elected public official can say that he wants to keep an area black and remain in office? His statement: "You can tell a neighborhood's turning,
  15. You do realize that the San Jose will be predominantly a Free Clinic. Oh, rest assure they offer for-pay services so we have been told. (most likely in the hope that this will somehow diminish the fact that this is a Free Clinic.) You bet there is a stigma surrounding Free Clinics, and that stigma is grounded in reality. I've spoken with more than a few law enforcement personnel about the San Jose clinic and they all shake their head at what it's going to do to the neighborhood. Where are the leaders of Midtown? What happened to the "Organized" and "Managed" institutions that were tasked with bringing new business into Midtown and revitalizing what had decayed? I drive down Washington Avenue and I see new businesses opening right and left regardless of the economy. What I don't see is Free Clinics popping up in an area that is being revitalized. Yes there are new businesses popping up in Midtown, but it's at a slower pace, and it is with much caution. There is a great deal of "wait and see" in Midtown surrounding such areas as the superblock, Main St, property surrounding the Greyhound station and so on. Free Clinics such as the San Jose drastically impact and limit the plans of both residential builders and new businesses. Suddenly it becomes a much greater risk building spec properties when this type of institution is built. Developers are very hesitant to make significant capital investments if there is little to prevent a nuisance business from popping up next door. While some may point to zoning as the answer I'm afraid that due to the already plentiful numbers of social service agencies in Midtown, we just might become THE social services Zone. I am rather tired of all these tax-exempt social-service agencies in Midtown contributing to the need for greater policing costs yet contributing nothing in return. Beyond expressing my opinion on this forum I intend to ask those tasked with "managing and re-developing" Midtown to represent the best interests of the very individuals they take money from. I suggest others paying Midtown assessments do the same. I would also suggest looking at who is on the various Midtown boards and how they are connected to Midtown. It may prove to be very eye-opening experience.
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