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Everything posted by Texasota

  1. What? Why? Regardless of how I feel about the hideous architecture of the condo building, residential makes perfect sense for the area.
  2. ew, Sawyer Park. I would hate to live across the street from ...that.
  3. The Smokestack would also be a pretty good name for a bar. This is an industrial city- refineries and smokestacks are a part of life and keep this city in business. What bars do you go to that are nice and clean anyway?
  4. Well, I'm not sure what your last post had to do with anything. Yes, a big part of lower Westheimer's appeal is its (somewhat diminished) authenticity, but authenticity is something that comes with time. Pretty much by definition, new construction is "inauthentic" because it has no history. How is a mixed-use apartment building with retail on the first floor less "authentic" than a strip mall? How is a 0' setback less authentic than a 25' setback? Westheimer has a long history of both strip malls and more traditionally "urban" construction; why would one be any less true to the street than the other? I ask this as someone who has a soft spot for certain strip malls in this city. I *like* the strip mall at Westheimer and Montrose. I like River Oaks Shopping Center. I like the little strip that houses Poscol. Hell, part of me even likes the faux-deco strip mall on Studemont just south of Washington. I don't think strip malls are the worst thing in the world, but I do think they're, at best, an awkward compromise. I happen to like an occasional awkward compromise, but in a city full of them, I'd like to see something more pure in new construction.
  5. "Setting retail along Westheimer back from the street even just a little makes it safer and more accessible..." How exactly does it do that? Because this sounds more like your opinion based on your preferred method of navigating that part of town. I would argue that, in one respect, Westheimer is actually safer than surrounding streets because of high pedestrian activity and visibility. Drivers *have* to pay more attention. Do drunk drivers and people from out of town cause problems? Sure, but there's enough traffic on Westheimer to create a de facto maximum speed, particularly with the amount of street parking. Ultimately I think we might just completely disagree about what we want from this city. I love Westheimer and I think it's beautiful. I love its diversity, its density, and its general liveliness. I'd like to see that increase in fact. Jaywalking does not equal Calcutta. It's a normal part of a dense, mixed urban environment. Not to say I wouldn't support changes to Westheimer to mitigate it, but increasing setbacks would not be helpful in that regard.
  6. Eh, I don't think your experience is typical, Niche.\ I wouldn't describe lower Westheimer as either loud or ugly, and I see plenty of pedestrian activity along it at all hours of the day. I personally prefer to walk along Westheimer itself because it is much more active than nearby neighborhood streets. As for traffic calming? The shape of the Westheimer curve combined with street parking actually do a pretty good job of that. Plus I've noticed that jaywalking seems to be becoming way more common in the area which is actually helping as well.
  7. Eh, you specifically had to specify "multi-tenant" retail, Niche, because areas like Westheimer @ Dunlavy are mostly 1-3 tenants per building. Again though, why is "that's the way its generally been done before" a good excuse not to do better today? I respect your dedication to contrarianism, but it this development could easily have been built with exactly the same amount of surface parking AND a stronger relationship to Westheimer.
  8. I didn't say it was the worst thing ever, Niche, but I'm not sure why settling for "better than a strip mall" makes sense in this case. Its relationship to Westheimer *is* a strip mall.
  9. eh, i think it depends on location somewhat. I'd argue that this development is just close enough to Highland Village to be quasi-walkable, but it's not like it's in Rice Village or lower Westheimer or Midtown. Of course, the only way to fix that is to actually build developments with a better relationship to the street.
  10. Taking out mature live oaks without an extremely good reason is, in this city, unforgivable. Nothing is more important than shade, even if you're just walking from your parked F-750 to Wal-Mart to buy 10 pounds of butter and 3 cases of bullets. That devolved into an elitist rant waaaaay too quickly.
  11. Well. I'm definitely not in love with this development's relationship to Westheimer, but other than that it's really not bad at all. But honestly, why even do that weird little strip of parking lot? They could just as easily have integrated surface and head-in parking throughout the development, which would have preserved the development's relationship to one of the most important streets in Houston.
  12. Unfortunate? I beg to differ. Don't get me wrong- I like what Post is doing, but if a little old lady doesn't want to sell, more power to her. Besides, I like that house. It could make a great little restaurant or bar.
  13. Pretty much all contemporary high rises are curtain wall lockmat. That just means the exterior wall (generally glass) is hung outside of the structure. Think of any tower in "uptown" or, more attractively, the new building that looks like a lighter downtown. Or any number of other buildings really.
  14. Ah, I see- I looked at the wrong picture and assumed a really tall first floor. Bah.
  15. It looks like the existing building is 8 stories, so hopefully were talking about a major renovation, *not* another teardown.
  16. need for it? I'm generally the first person to advocate for street-level retail, but that seems like really odd wording even to me. Dallas is *not* a major retail street, and it's in such an ...incoherent part of town that I'm not sure it makes sense to talk about retail as a "need." As ...whatever we want to call the part of Montrose north of Gray continues to develop retail along dallas might make sense, but i think residential development has to happen first t provide a consistent customer base.
  17. Is it ok if I don't like Wal-Mart OR Apple?
  18. "that will make it extremely difficult to stock anything from a forklift"- huh?
  19. A "simple verdant green" sounds an awful lot like a vacant lot. One of the reasons that Discovery Green has been succesful is that it was heavily programmed and has maintained a steady, almost daily stream of various events.
  20. San Antonio would, much like College Station, add too much time to the trip. A line connecting Austin and San Antonio would make more sense, making Austin a bit of a centrally-located rail hub.
  21. Houston is in a weird position- parking is so incredibly easy in every single part of town that even those of us who would prefer to use public transportation largely can't justify it. I would be happy to take a bus or train to get around, but I'm a 15 minute walk to my bus stop and I find the bus routes to be ...odd. If I lived in Midtown I would be riding the rail regularly, and if the University line gets built I will be all about that. The University line might actually get me to go to the Galleria every once in a while.
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