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Everything posted by s3mh

  1. Long ago there were plans to build a huge retirement community on the land where Astroworld used to be. That blew up for many of the same reasons a lot of pie in the sky development ideas went down in flames in the early 2000s. Not sure why the land still hasn't been redeveloped other than it is a lousy location. Otherwise, there are a couple of superfund sites around Wildcat Golf Club. I think a lot of the land around there has too many environmental issues to allow it to be redeveloped.
  2. s3mh

    1223 W 11th

    They are selling spicy chicken sandwiches less than a mile from another and very popular place that sells spicy chicken sandwiches and right across the street from a fast food restaurant that sells a very cheap spicy chicken sandwiches. I am thinking that going cheap on building costs is a smart move for this restaurant.
  3. Good question. They closed unexpectedly a few weeks back and took down the big tent they had up. But they reopened for a few days and then closed up again. I wonder whether the city came down on them for the tent. They had live music on weekends and may have pissed off some neighbors. Just speculation at this point.
  4. Turner's recent fumbles are garden variety City Hall stuff that the average voter doesn't care about. And the election isn't until 2023. The city of Houston is decidedly blue and it would take extraordinary circumstances for a Republican to win a mayoral race. And the Republican bench for Mayor is not deep and is mostly old white guys. Anyone remotely aligned with Trump would be DOA. Anyone from the Tex Leg who voted for the abortion ban is DOA. The only shot would be a more ambiguous center right candidate from the business community or a former pro athlete, etc. who has never run for office. Self funded would help too.
  5. This is soooo City of Houston. Inspector No. 1: "Everything looks good. You just need to do A, B and C." A, B, and C completed. Inspector No. 2: "D, E, and F don't meet code. You need to fix that and pull all new permits." And on top of that permitting at CoH is grinding to a halt due to COVID. I know people trying to finish a huge project that is very time sensitive who had to send new plans back to engineering and were told that the reviewer had 600+ plans on his desk and could not even guess at an ETA on approval. I wouldn't be surprised if the connector is completed long before the bridge.
  6. Someone is building a new deck in front of the former El Gallo de Jalisco. No idea who or what is planned. No TABC notice.
  7. The world just kind of sucks today. Golden Bagels is closing. And Angela's Oven is closing their retail cafe on Harvard and will only be at farmer's markets. I think Angela's scaled back because of family reasons (kids who worked in the store going off to college). But no clue why Golden Bagels is closing. https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/09/08/beloved-bagel-shop-closing-in-the-heights/ https://www.facebook.com/112451162140402/photos/a.1730145393704296/4528110877241053/
  8. Yeah. You are correct. No one wants to live in a 1,000 sq ft 2/1. Only option is to knock it down. Nothing else can be done. I have heard about scientists at MIT experimenting with next generation technology where they are able to use state of the art materials like wood, nails and Hardie plank siding to enlarge an existing house. But this is cutting edge stuff that won't be ready for commercial use for another 10-20 years.
  9. Calle Onze closing, but another Mexican concept is taking its place. I thought Calle Onze was great when it first opened, but quality sank like a stone and the crowd after 8 pm would pull a bit too much from Midtown. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/food-culture/restaurants-bars/article/Calle-Onze-in-the-Heights-to-become-Chivos-under-16431145.php
  10. The discussion was about whether the property had any potential to be flipped not whether the owners had any intention to flip it. I am sure you feel special that you know something about the owners and we are all eternally in your debt for such magnificent insight. But your comments are a non sequitur. Niche and Red Scare are gone. Fighting about whether something is actually in the Heights or not because it is a block or two outside the original plat for the Heights is so over even for HAIF.
  11. So, you are saying that a house that was well maintained for decades by someone who lived in it as their residence was never intended to be residential because whether a house is suitable to be flipped or not depends on the intent of the property owner and not the condition of the house. That is a new level of developerspeak that is even a stretch for HAIF. And calling out properties as not being "technically" in the Heights is also so 2000.
  12. House was very well maintained cared for and would have been an easy flip. Location is not the best, but people are beating each other with sticks to buy in the Heights and someone would have been happy to live there. Losing a nice bungalow to nail salon parking is so 2000.
  13. Tommie Vaughn dropped a pretty good bag of cash on upgrading its showroom and moving a franchised dealer can trigger protest right from other nearby dealers and long proceedings before TxDMV. Tommie Vaughn is here to stay. There are a bunch more retail projects like this coming on the Shep side. It will be interesting to see where the market saturation point is on retail space along Shep. So far, there hasn't been much trouble filling these projects but a bunch are in the pipeline.
  14. Sorry. I guess "Moon Rabbit" is a pretty popular restaurant name these days. The Houston version is doing take out only right now. Here is the menu: https://www.ubereats.com/store/moon-rabbit/aMQB24p0TjyT6HRIVCJPnQ
  15. Moon Rabbit is replacing Vietnam Restaurant on 19th. Contemporary Vietnamese and much more high end/night on the town place compared to its predecessor. https://www.moonrabbitdc.com/
  16. I like the MCM quotes on the design. Surprisingly good article from the Leader on how the City screwed over the immediate neighborhood on SMLS on this lot. https://www.theleadernews.com/real_estate/city-amends-smls-policy-after-unique-case-in-heights/article_043908f4-fae2-11eb-97b2-e7f5aa70d2d7.html?fbclid=IwAR0nft5VTYDlGAVyt8eziujRxFsk_2ckDoJI92ogEf1yAAwC00FRdNc76mU
  17. The lawsuit is ongoing and has a September trial setting (courts are pretty log jammed due to COVID, so odds aren't very good that trial will happen in September). HOA's argument is pretty thin. The tract with the Tanglewood Corp building has an exception to the deed restrictions and specifically says that the tract can be used for commercial purposes. The HOA claims that the tract is also subject to the deed restrictions that restrict using property for apartments, etc. There were also attempts in the 2000s to amend the deed restrictions to make it clear that the tract could not be used for an apartment/condo tower. The owner of the tract argues that the clear intent of the deed restrictions was to exempt the tract from the residential only restrictions and the subsequent attempts to amend did not follow the property code. Just to make things fun, the owner hired Rusty Hardin, although Mr. Hardin probably isn't doing much of the legal leg work. This kind of dispute would usually be resolved on summary judgment motions, but the judge in this case does not like to rule on anything because she gets reversed a lot on appeal. I don't see the HOA prevailing. It is pretty hard to argue that a commercial use exception does not apply when the property has been used for commercial purposes for decades. And that is the fun part about Houston's lack of zoning and dedication to deed restrictions. Developers can stomp on the rich and poor alike.
  18. Chef announcement with rendering. Guess we now know why Michael Hsu opened an office in the Heights. https://houstonfoodfinder.com/news/austin-based-loro-announces-chef-for-houston-restaurant-in-the-heights/?fbclid=IwAR1H5YxwhgvgFYrFPANpt-ag9_dpXomQE_BaQEwlosm5YgsZv7M3LKPgl9s
  19. This is a rare time capsule Midcentury Modern over in Lazybrook. No info on the architect. But almost everything looks to be original. https://www.har.com/homedetail/2442-brooktree-dr-houston-tx-77008/7911476
  20. Culberson and TxDOT were able to keep light rail from becoming an effective alternative for commuters in Houston. Culberson submarined significant federal funding and TxDOT kept rail off the Katy freeway expansion. Light rail is effectively just a centralized alternative to a few bus lines. So, the light rail has no sort of nickname because it is just an alternative for bus riders. Downtown was blossoming in a big way before COVID and will hopefully come back quickly if the Delta variant doesn't send everyone back to working at home. There are a number of food halls downtown that are pretty amazing and some big developments (Post office and a few towers) that are going to continue to transform downtown. Energy prices in Houston are the result of the deregulated energy market. Had you moved to town several months ago, you would have had the pleasure of sitting in the dark while your thermostat sank to 37 degrees. Deregulated energy markets have resulted in higher prices and near third world service. The apartment scene is odd due to overbuilding of high end units. CoH gave out millions in tax incentives for developers to build apartments downtown. All those units are pretty high end. Most of the other new apartments inside the loop are fairly similar. Everyone is trying to maintain a floor of $1,500 a month for the smaller one bedroom apartments, but the market has been so volatile that no one wants to put out that much info about pricing.
  21. https://www.har.com/homedetail/1435-rutland-st-houston-tx-77008/2969610 Only non-historic home I have put on this thread. I have to say that the interior is a bit underwhelming, but that may be more due to the random updating. I am sure whoever buys this will rip everything out and completely redo the interior. Gary Eades designed it and I always liked the building. The many McVics that came after and the current awful fad of the modern Victorian farmhouse look very cheap compared to the well thought out homage to classic Victorian homes that Eades did here.
  22. Probably never, but not a bad idea as W 8th St. ends up being a cut-through for people driving between Shep and Heights. When they did the detention pond, there were plans floated to turn it into a park with a water feature. The soil pollution at the site was so bad from prior use as a refinery and city incinerator that they could not afford to dig any deeper than what was necessary for the detention pond. I would assume that any attempt to build a bridge across the pond would be prohibitively expensive due to having to disrupt the soil to build supports.
  23. If Tillman ever got his way and got casinos on Galveston, there might be enough demand to make a commuter rail line make sense. But there really aren't that many people flying to Houston to vacation in Galveston. I remember when I was a little kid in the 70s, on the Price is Right showcase showdown there was always one really great prize package and one lousy one. On the lousy one, they would have a trip to Galveston. I love going to the beach in Galveston, but it is pretty obvious why people would choose to go to Florida or Mexico instead of Galveston. Houston needs commuter rail for commuters. There should be rail from the Woodlands, Sugar Land, Cypress, Pearland, Clear Lake and Katy to downtown as well as connecting the energy corridor to the Woodlands and Sugar Land. That would be an amazing option for commuters to save money and time in traffic.
  24. Same author wrote an article urging politicians to build an Ike dike, citing the prospect of a 20 ft storm surge tossing around giant oil tanks along the Houston ship channel and creating an epic environmental disaster. Houston real estate will always be cheaper than Austin because everything floods here. Even if you luck out and live somewhere that doesn't flood, you just have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to lose your car to a flood. My house in the Heights does not flood. But I parked around the corner one afternoon and a sudden downpour filled the street with water flooding my car. The desirable neighborhoods in Houston are not far off from the pricing in the hot neighborhoods in Austin. Same for the burbs with the top schools and neighborhood amenities. Houston really only looks significantly cheaper when you throw out statistics like median home price. Austin's gentrification has gone farther and wider than Houston's. So, Austin's median is much higher. But the reality on the ground is that there are no big housing bargains in Houston, unless you want to live next to an oil refinery or in a 60s rambler with a wavy foundation and crappy schools. Yes, Austin's real estate market is hotter than Houston's right now and if you are a young attorney at a big law firm you have a better chance at finding a nice house in Houston than having to compete with Silicon Valley tech millionaires looking for a second home in Austin. But for everyone else, there really isn't a huge difference that would justify fleeing Austin for the swamp.
  25. Been here for 21 years. When I first got here in 2000, everyone was talking about how much Houston had changed over the past 20 years. So, this city is certainly dynamic. I like living in Houston. I take my family to the beach on the weekends. Road trips on weekends to Hill Country for camping, tubing etc. Very diverse city. My white kids are at best a plurality in their schools and often a minority. The city has come a long way with new bike paths, park improvements and lots of great restaurants. My favorite thing about Houston is that it is mostly a laid back, come as you are city where everyone has room to be who they want to be. I am originally from the East Coast and all everyone does is talk about getting their kid into an Ivy and working for the top law firm, corporation, or medical practice. I have had bbq's with an O&G engineer, artist, pastor and environmental non-profit organizer. I am concerned about the future in Houston. I have been through Allison, Ike, Harvey and all the other big floods and hurricane near misses. I am concerned we are living on borrowed time with a direct hit that could destroy the ship channel refineries and cause an environmental disaster that would take years to recover from. I hope the winter freeze is a once in a lifetime event, but I am concerned that we are going to have another grid failure either in the summer or during another cold snap. I am lucky to live in the Heights and to have flood waters flow quickly down towards the bayous. But it is hard to see so many people get hurt and have the city paralyzed during Harvey, Ike, etc. And it has been almost 13 years since Ike and the Ike dike is still in the planning stages.
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