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s3mh

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s3mh last won the day on January 10 2013

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  1. An entity that looks to be connected to Hansen Partners owns the collection of little cottages at 513 E. 20th (I believe they were all demo-ed) and another lot to the north of that on Oxford. Some sort of small condo/apartment complex is in the works.
  2. Oh come on. The Heights was built out mostly from 1910-20 and is largely Craftsman with some older Victorian homes. The spectrum of the original architecture is not that wide and the McVics, Fauxorleans and especially the $%&@ing modern Victorian farmhouse new builds that have infested the neighborhood stick out like sore thumbs. Of course, everyone who is at all connected with the builders, realtors and architects in the Heights thinks that it all looks great, but that is just because they want to put their own architectural stamp on the neighborhood. But it is totally easy to build consistent with the original architecture and a good percentage of the recent new builds have paid attention to the original craftsman architecture. The Broadstone Waterworks does a good job of respecting the original architecture of the Heights. Brick with some stucco and some Art Deco ornamentation. You can clearly see that they were thinking about what would fit in well in a historic neighborhood. Greystar just came in and basically dropped an architectural f-bomb. They didn't even try. It is boilerplate in a way Craftsman architecture never was. Craftsman architecture was part of a significant artistic movement and the architecture is celebrated and preserved for its brilliantly simple variations on common architectural elements. Greystar's design is just another modern multi-family going for the "Urban Elegance" look. It is stale, out of place and just lame. We are long past the days when we had to thank our lucky stars whenever a developer was willing to put up anything new in the Heights. This neighborhood is in National Geographic. Property values are off the charts. Retail developments are everywhere with every restaurant in Austin and Dallas looking for a spot in the Heights. We deserve much better than this.
  3. Density is fine for that part of the Heights. 12 stories is pushing it, but not so bad considering that it will be almost completely blocked from view from the north by the 8 story Alliance Broadstone and won't be hovering over 19th street. But I would be concerned that it opens the door to go up 20+ stories on the few big lots left to redevelop in the Heights. That would not be good. But just because there are architectural duds from the past along 19th st. doesn't mean that anything goes. We should be trying to undo the crud that was built back when no one wanted to live in the Heights and replace it with good architecture that reflects the history of the neighborhood.
  4. If the only substance of your posts is to attack me, get a day job and go away. They are drilling piers for the foundation already on this one. It is on W 20th at the corner of Nicholson. Nothing has happened to the old Chase bank building yet.
  5. Shit sandwich. The Alliance Broadstone at least paid some lip service to the historic architecture in the Heights. This is just generic modern multi-family infill that you can find in Dallas, Washington DC, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix and so on. I wouldn't be surprised if the design was 100% recycled from another project (or two or three) that has already been built somewhere else. At least it will front 20th St. instead of 19th. But Greystar will also build another building where the old bank currently sits. Knowing Greystar, it will be another boilerplate modern design.
  6. Wines containing more that 7% ABV are governed by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and are outside of the FDA's ingredient labeling jurisdiction.
  7. TABC notice up for Taqo Mexican Kitchen + Tequileria. Not sure whether the spelling is Taqo Tago Togo or whatever. Handwriting on the sign is a bit messy (not one to talk myself).
  8. Weekly finally closes on the property. https://www.chron.com/business/bizfeed/article/David-Weekley-Homes-buys-land-near-Heights-13900663.php?fbclid=IwAR0wDvKOB2AR8DyyB5rkoVDJdT9TByirxNb31ba288zPW-DS6eUH1fZe5Gs
  9. http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Commissions/docs_pdfs/hahc/App_Materials_2018/june/D6_1606_HEIGHTS_Relo_NewCon_DRAFT.pdf There was a plan to move it to next to the Masonic Lodge on Heights Blvd. A COA was submitted to HAHC, but I have never heard anything further about it. I certainly hope that it is still in the works.
  10. i have had an office downtown for over 16 years. I really haven't seen any significant change in the homeless population other than changes in where they congregate (which is mostly due to the location of soup kitchens, where mobile services drop off food and redevelopment of buildings that used to be spots to sleep at night like the Le Meridien). I think there are more visible homeless encampments because a lot of vacant property in and around downtown and inside the loop has been redeveloped or just torn down. So, the squatters have nowhere to go and are forced into the various tent encampments. I think this article is a pretty good analysis of the causes behind homelessness in the US. I have always thought that there should be a federal housing assistance program to provide rent or mortgage payments for a period of time when people lose a job. On occasion, I have had to go to JP court and had to sit through the eviction docket. I would say that 75% of the people who show up tell the judge they lost their job or got hurt/sick and missed a lot of work. Compared to the costs of incarceration, rehab, and other social services that are needed to deal with homeless, paying someone's rent or mortgage for a while to give them a chance to get back on their feet seems like a very inexpensive way to prevent a lot of homelessness. It would also be a good way to promote affordable housing because landlords would save a ton of money not having to deal with so many evictions and could keep rents low and afford to build new units. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/homeless-utah-end-america-salt-lake-city_n_5cd1cac0e4b04e275d511aba
  11. Go on facebook and join Supports of HISD Magnets and Budget Accountability. There are tons of parents, educators, administrators and even some trustees (current and former) in that group. You can post asking people to message you for advice from recent experience. There have been big changes to the magnet system and even bigger changes are probably on the way. HISD wants to eliminate vanguard magnets. This article has a decent summary of the latest proposals: https://theleadernews.com/new-proposal-would-overhaul-hisds-magnet-program/ Again, that facebook group knows as much about the proposals as anyone in Houston as the group was formed in response to some pretty terrible proposal that would have axed a lot of great programs. HISD also wants to give low socioeconomic status families preference in the magnet lottery. I thought that was getting phased in this year, but it did not seem to affect the lottery that much. I guess there just aren't that many low SES families who are interested in the Heights area magnet schools. However, it could significantly affect sibling preferences depending on how it is implemented. Either way, demand for magnet spots is still off the charts. Harvard got a new principal a few years ago and some parents have not been happy with the transition. It is an IB school, but IB will no longer have magnet status. So, it is supposed to become a STEM magnet. I assume that they will continue with the IB curriculum as it took a lot of effort to establish. But that is something to watch out for. Travis is great. They no longer have separate classes for the vanguard kids. Vanguard kids are in classes with non-vanguard kids. That is an HISD-wide change. I am not sure exactly what they do for vanguard kids at Travis, but generally at HISD teachers will give the vanguard kids some harder assignments or special projects. All HISD schools are supposed to have vanguard programs. But the extent to which you kid gets advanced work to do can vary tremendously from school to school and teacher to teacher. My kid is at on of the Montessori magnets. One teacher let him get pretty far ahead in math, to the point where he was on pace to be a grade level ahead. The next year, another teacher wouldn't let him do extra math work because she thought he was neglecting other subjects. Of course, my kid hated that and started being a jerk in class. We had to move him to another class. That teacher let him get ahead in math and everything was fine. So, you really have to keep on top of things at HISD and cannot assume that because your kid is in the vanguard program everything will be fine. For what it is worth, I really do not think that academics in elementary school matter so much that there would be any difference between sending a kid to Travis versus Harvard really matters. I think it is more important for kids to be happy and see school as a positive place to be. We had our kid spending a few months coming home saying that he hated school because of his teacher and some bullying. And this was at a school that gets a zillion magnet applications every year. Fortunately, we got past it. But if your kids are going to be happier going to Harvard and seeing the same kids at school that they play with in the neighborhood, it may be worth it to skip Travis even if the program is a bit better over there.
  12. A while back, someone riding their bike on that bridge got pushed off the bridge by a motorist. It is unbelievably dangerous. If you are on the hike and bike path and want to get to Stude Park, you can't without either taking White Oak across Studewood or taking Studemont over that bridge. Otherwise, you have to take the trail all the way down through 1st Ward, under 45 and back along the bayou. But the real reason there needs to be a safe connection between the hike and bike path and Stude park is give people 100% bike path access from the Heights to the bike path on the north side of the bayou by Stude Park. That lets you go downtown without having to have to go through the Target shopping center (which is terrifying when riding with kids).
  13. https://houston.eater.com/2019/5/8/18536965/taco-stop-tacos-tierra-caliente-houston-heights-open You know your neighborhood is a foodie destination when the Exxon station has some of the best tacos in the city.
  14. Uncle Bean's coffee in Woodland Heights is doing a soft opening and will be open regular hours starting May 20. It is the conversion of the dry cleaners that was a conversion of a gas station on Houston Ave.
  15. For some reason the section of the White Oak hike and bike path near Stude Park seems to attract the occasional pervert. There have been a couple of incidents on the north end of the White Oak trail near Greater Inwood with gang members trying to mug cyclists. But that is well outside the loop. Overall, the White Oak trail from Heights to downtown has totally transformed the area thanks to all the added traffic from cyclists, runners and walkers.
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