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  1. Third Ward Building Setback Does anyone know if variances can be granted to building setback/building line requirements in Houston generally and the Third Ward specifically? Want to buy a house in the area and build an attached garage where the driveway is, but want it to bump out past where the current house is. All help appreciated.
  2. I noticed that Jack Yates High School recently got a new Principal in Tiffany Guillory. The big question is whatever happened to Kenneth Davis ? If anybody who is an alumnus of Yates High School knows the situation. Let me know what happened ? https://www.houstonisd.org/Yates
  3. from COH enewsletter Street Name Change Public Hearing Dowling Street to Emancipation Avenue October 13, 2016 at 2:30 PM City Hall Annex - Public Level 901 Bagby Street The City of Houston is considering a proposal to rename Dowling Street to Emancipation Avenue . The Houston Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Thursday, October 13 th at 2:30PM. You may submit comments on the proposed street name changeonline prior to the October 13th public hearing. For additional information, please contact Brian Crimmins or Teresa Geisheker with the Planning & Development Department at planningdepartment@houstontx.gov or (832) 393-6600.
  4. "A Transit Oriented Development located in the heart of Houston's historic 3rd ward district. University Place encompasses 8 blocks of redevelopment and will be phased for incremental completion. The redevelopment area is uniquely situated between 2 major universities. The University of Houston and Texas Southern University which include a daily population of over 70,000 students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the location is conveniently situated for access between major highways I-45 & I-59 as well as the newly constructed light rail line." http://www.laidesigngroup.com/mf_univ.html Read more about the project here: http://www.laidesigngroup.com/gallery/articles/mixeduse.pdf
  5. As Houston is now the most diverse city in the country, I hope our inner-loop neighborhoods come to reflect new residents who add to the existing community, infrastructure and institutions, rather than negate what's there in favor of sterilized versions of what hip urban neighborhoods are "supposed" to be like. Changing neighborhoods are inevitable; however, cookie-cutter gentrified communities don't have to be. Here's a snapshot of my community (Third Ward)...Would love to see pics from other historic inner-loop communities as well.
  6. Does anyone remember the old Wheeler Pharmacy? It was at 4401 Dowling, southeast corner with Wheeler. My mother used to take me there in the early nineteen fifties, after nursery school, for a BLT sandwich at their lunch counter. For decades, post-nursery school, it sat there, unchanged. I never had any reason to venture back into it, till one day, maybe in 1997, I stopped in. It was exactly as I remembered it: the old-fashioned soda fountain/lunch counter taking up the north wall; shelves full of drugstore stuff such as you could still see until not so long ago at the Buffalo Pharmacy and at the Avalon Drug; a pleasant oldish woman at the ornate, ancient cash register; and a very old gentleman seated in a chair in the center, watching the passing scene. I had my small daughters with me, and I bought them each a popsicle. As I paid, I remarked to the lady that I hadn't been inside since about 1954. She said that the drugstore had been new then; it had belonged to the elderly gentleman seated nearby, her uncle. I remarked on the picturesque cash register (The link below is to a picture of a reasonable faccimile, if memory serves): http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0192/4284/products/m2800-1_1024x1024.jpg?v=1391026517 . She said that it had stood them in good stead during a recent blackout. Not long after, it closed, changed hands, and went through several incarnations, including a stints as Global Pharmacy, Alternative Medicine and Pharmacy, and other businesses, each one resembling the old drugstore less and less. I'm glad I went in that day in the late 1990s and ate popsicles with my little girls, seated on stools at the no-longer-operational lunch counter, and in memory I smelled the makings of a BLT sandwich and saw my mother out of the corner of my eye, on the stool next to my four-year-old self.
  7. Looks like a new apartment complex for students will be built close to UH.-Exterior-1-Email.jpg-1-Email.jpg http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2013/06/university-of-houston-expands-student-housing/
  8. Another multi-family unit next to the University of Houston: I imagine this won't be at the Fingers Furniture location. Perhaps it is at where the Bestway Motor Inn/vacant lot is currently located. Can't find anything on Gross Mgmt... they are the same group working on the Drake Downtown. Possible location: https://www.google.com/maps/place/1999+Cullen+Blvd,+Houston,+TX+77023/@29.7321589,-95.3418768,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x8640bef9dc9d121d:0x31bd6bcff84ad71?hl=en
  9. Was wasting time on Google Earth the other day when I noticed on Francis St. what appeared to be an interesting row of rooftops in Third Ward. Went to streetview and had one of those beautiful, exhilarating moments I sometimes have when I discover something that's been built in Houston I had no idea about, and that gives me hope that new development can sometimes get it right. I have generally not been a fan of what is considered innovative residential architecture in this town, especially as regards townhomes. Whether it's the tin houses in 4th ward or the ultra-minimalist houses that some big-name architect did in the Heights and all the local highbrow press swooned over, I frankly think most of it is ugly, and springs out of some postmodern desire to attack conventional ideas of beauty (mission accomplished). Not so these. (I like the plain white ones even better) The simple wooden materials awaken a feeling of Texas history in me, reminding me of vintage homes in my favorite rural towns, like Round Top or Montgomery. The minimalist detailing bears no trace of ostentatious European design elements, but nor is it so minimalist as to give a stark or inhospitable feeling. Rather the open, almost modernist (think of the Univ. of St. Thomas campus) framing of the porch seems to embrace the outdoors while inhaling deep drafts of fresh air for the inside. And the fact that they are duplexes suggests a communal, urban living style. It reminds me a little of the old Rhinelander Row in New York: As I was reading the article on Project Row in the Chronicle today I put two and two together - this is actually a spinoff of that project, an affordable housing venture called Row House CDC. They are designed with the collaboration of Rice architecture students, showing that something at least is coming out of there besides the culture-cleansing postmodern stuff. Here's hoping that we see a lot more of these going up in the Third Ward.
  10. Yeah, I've always wondered what this neighborhood looked like back in the day. When i moved here in 1995 (i was about 3 years old) ,there used to be a library that stood about 30-40 feet, a parking lot with a visible foundation and a lot of trees where Concord/Sky View apartments are now. There are apartments called "Royal Palm" and I was wondering, where they always this bad? There's an old sign near there that says "Mexican Restaurant" with a red arrow. Looks cool. Thanks so much. I'm trying to dig up information about the ongoings in this neighborhood, historically of course.
  11. Can someone confirm if this is true or a joke? This sign is now posted at the corner of Dowling Street and Holman Street in the Third Ward.
  12. I'd like to talk about the Third Ward. Particularly the northern part. The northern half is dominated by shotgun shacks and has a very low income, poor population. The northern half is roughly bounded by Truxillo, I-45, 288, and Cullen. This contrasts with the southern half, along the Brays Bayou. The southern half is majority African-American, as is the northern half, but the southern half is wealthier. The northern Third Ward has faced continuing problems with crime. It mainly consists of low income shotgun shacks owned by absentee landlords. Area politicians took notice when many of the rental housing units of the Fourth Ward were sold to create new upper class housing, displacing poor people living in the units. Representative Garnet Coleman wants to keep the Third Ward the way it is, and he's tried to stop gentrification. While I understand why Coleman is acting that way (nostalgia for the neighborhood, desire to protect voting base), I do not agree with him and believe that it is for the best to gentrify the area and to remove low income housing units. In the wider schemes of things, neighborhoods change over time. Also, having low density low income rental housing is not an efficient use of land that close to Downtown Houston or UH. Business leaders made the same argument regarding the Fourth Ward, and I agree. I believe that Houston's model should begin to resemble less the models of traditional US metropolitan areas (poor people in inner city, wealthier people and middle class in suburbs) and more like continental European metropolitan areas (wealthier people in innermost city, poor people in inner suburbs, middle class and wealthier people in outermost suburbs). The Houston Housing Authority should sell Cuney Homes to a private university developer (American Campus Communities or Campus Living Villages) and/or to a retail developer company. To compensate, the housing authority should construct (a) new housing unit(s) in the Sunnyside and/or Hiram Clark areas of town. Every former Cuney Homes resident should be guaranteed space at the new southern Houston housing units. As for Cuney Homes, it could become housing for students, or it could be redeveloped into retail. Some (perhaps the best preserved) shotgun shacks may be preserved to be rental housing for university students and/or as low income housing controlled by the Housing Authority. The majority of the land needs to be dedicated to retail, high-rise student housing (think around UT Austin), and/or housing for higher income residents. The authorities should take great care to ensure that historic African-American cultural institutions (churches, schools, etc.) remain preserved. It may be possible to market new housing units for wealthier individuals to African-American professionals so that the area retains an African American character, even when the economic demographics change. In the wider scheme of things, it is best served housing students and wealthier DINK/Yuppy residents. The authorities should aim to make portions of the new Third Ward more like Westwood in Los Angeles, or "the Drag" outside of the University of Texas at Austin. As the University of Houston aims to become more of a residential university, the infrastructure for businesses catering to university students needs to be made available. The institutions can also serve Texas Southern University (also in the Third Ward) students. In addition HCC Central (Midtown) and UH Downtown (Downtown) are nearby. Since enrollment in the northern Third Ward will decrease, Ryan Middle School should become a K-8. Blackshear can become an early childhood center (ages 3-4) or a magnet school. Dodson Elementary may have to be closed. To help the enrollment of Yates High School, HISD should rezone the apartments at the land bounded by Old Spanish Trail, Fannin, 610, and Almeda (currently zoned to Bellaire and Lamar) to Yates. This will be especially important when the northern Third Ward's rental housing is sold off. Also, HISD should prepare for influxes of students at Worthing High School and/or at Madison High School. In addition, HISD should seek to acquire the portion of Houston that contains Willowridge High School and its feeder schools (currently Ford Bend ISD) to accommodate new students in the Hiram Clarke area. Another thing is that Dodson, instead of closing altogether, could also become a magnet school and/or an early childhood center, instead of or along with Blackshear. Either Blackshear or Dodson could be sold to a private school (like Douglass in the Third Ward was sold).
  13. I didn't see this anywhere else, so here goes... A new folk-art inspired greenspace called Smither Park is being planned for the 1/2 acre lot adjacent to the Orange Show. The park's development is being sponsored by the Orange Show in memory of John H. Smither. The design is by Dan Phillips (although I can't tell if he's doing the overall park layout or just the pieces within the park). Here's the website: http://smitherpark.org/Smither_Park_Website/Welcome.html ... and a rendering (found on the site):
  14. Got an e-mail last night saying that the Hilton at the University of Houston is going to get a big renovation. The rooms will be enlarged by moving the windows out to the edge of the building's frame. You can see how they're currently recessed in this photo: Sample room post-renovation: More pics here: http://cnhiltoncollege.smugmug.com/gallery/8673583_Ny74a#572924712_r9p5v
  15. I have an idea: Jones High School should be converted into a magnet school complex. Its population would be redistributed between Worthing and Sterling High Schools. So, what does this mean? First let's look at the enrollment trends of the schools: * Jones: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...503/school.aspx * Worthing: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...619/school.aspx * Sterling: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...592/school.aspx And the attendance boundaries: * Jones: http://dept.houstonisd.org/ab/schoolboundarymaps/JonesHS.pdf * Worthing: http://dept.houstonisd.org/ab/schoolbounda.../WorthingHS.pdf * Sterling: http://dept.houstonisd.org/ab/schoolbounda.../SterlingHS.pdf The reason why Jones is between Worthing and Sterling like that is because Jones and Sterling were White schools and Worthing was a Black school (i.e. segregation). So, what could we do with Jones? As a regular school it is in very close proximity to two others and seems kind of redundant. Ah, but the Jones campus and name could live on. HISD has Barbara Jordan, a vocational high school, on the north side. We could turn Jones into a vocational magnet, like Jordan, for students on the south side. That way, people do not have to travel all the way north. Also, because HISD now allows out district kids to go to HISD schools for free, we could see students from Alvin, Pearland, and/or Pasadena ISDs go to this school if HISD successfully markets the school. Jones could also have an all-girls magnet school; in Austin and Dallas there have been all-girls schools established. Houston could do the same. Or Houston could establish a military academy (Philadelphia and Chicago have military academy public schools). Depending on the size of the programs, Jones could have one or more of them.
  16. I know someone on this forum will know. What is the new development being built @ 288 and S.Macgregor, behind the pschy hospital? across the freeway from Mosiacs. Think it's called "The Modigaliani"(sp) There is some advertising up but hard to read when driving. Looks like some really expensive real estate.
  17. While I am proud of the new development around Almeda and the 3rd ward area, but is it taking too much of Houston 3rd ward away? My dad, aunts, and uncles grew up in third ward and there house was just two blocks from being destroyed by 288. They don't like all the lofts and residential buildings there putting up all over third ward. They really hate it when there tearing down old building that were just eyesores to the rest of Houston but had historical significance to the people living in that area. They like, and I do to, how my Grandmothers house value has shoot through the roof because she now lives in The Museum District. But was it at the expense of Third Ward? Pretty much what is left of third ward is east of 288. But the lofts have made there way east across the freeway where TSU and UH are located. The residents have put signs in their yards saying "Third Ward is our Home" opposing the new development of Third Ward. If Texas Southern does not get its act straight the state might let UH take it over, now that might be a stretch but if that happens Third Ward will be lost forever. I love Houston, and I also love the history of Third ward. We once went down almost every Saturday to get our hair cuts. The conversations you would hear between the old and young men always made me laugh when they got louder and started yelling their points across. Now to see that barber shop is gone makes my feel upset because my son wont get his hair cut their like I did and my dad did and his dad. To go around 3rd Ward when my dad shows me his old hangouts and friends houses and their not their just gets him upset too. Houston needs to know how to preserve not just Third Ward but all of Houston's Historic Wards. If anybody has pics of the different wards in Houston they will be nice to look at so feel free to post them up.
  18. What do you guys think about the city of Houston owned housing project Cunney Homes right by TSU at Alabama and Tierwester. It has been a breeding ground for crime and drug dealing for decades but has noticeably improved over the years. What will the future hold for this and other housing projects?
  19. Would someone like to give me their thoughts/advice on purchasing property around UH near Scott?
  20. Has anyone noticed the new construction going on as you're driving on 59 south of Downtown? I went over and checked it out and it going to be a townhome complex called Zomper Outlook at 3408 St. Emanuel st. alongside the freeway. Here's the link to the website but you'll have to do a search to see it. Interesting that they're marketing it as Midtown. It was inevitable that someone made the first move. There are a lot of decaying buildings in that immediate area east of Dowling and, if they sell quickly and with the nice view, it could trigger a dozer frenzy.
  21. Any thoughts on this area? Anyone heard of new projects going in? The area has seen a considerable amount of change over the past 5 years that I've been through. A handful of new retail centers and redevelopments have come in, and CVS has a brand new corner new location. Crime used to be the biggest inhibitor, but that seems to be going away marginally every year. And I've seen scattered new residential single family and multi-family developments, but nothing sweeping the area as of yet. Would love to hear what everyone else knows of this area.
  22. I heard about this on the radio driving into work this morning but am unable to find any press on it. Texas Parks or some organization is going to match $500K that City of Houston will provide in order to upgrade this 110 acre park on the banks of the Brays Bayou. Tree plantings, jogging trails etc. This is great but I'm wondering if this is part of a plan, along with the Southeast Metrorail line which will run nearby, to further encourage development from factions outside that area or just a gesture to the community that already exists there. That area is generally depressed ecomically and could be a tax-base boost to the City if the Med Center and private developers move in.
  23. Open house set on plan for Third Ward Redevelopment proposal could then be submitted for city approval By FLORI MEEKS Chronicle Correspondent RESOURCES THIRD WARD PLAN
  24. Moneymakers: Alexander Muhammad Community project lets builder branch out Carlos Antonio Rios/Chronicle "A lot of people need homes, and I want to stretch more into the affordable housing market." -- Alexander Muhammad When Project Row Houses, the public art project that renovated 22 shotgun homes in the historic Third Ward to provide housing for single mothers and artists, wanted to build duplexes, it needed help. It already had a design provided and test-built by the Rice Building Workshop, which is affiliated with the university's architecture school. But the not-for-profit wanted an African-American contractor who lives and works in Third Ward to build a modified two-unit version on four adjoining lots. It found Alexander Muhammad, president of Eastern Design Homebuilders and bearer of the graduate master builder designation bestowed by the National Association of Home Builders. Last week, he took time out from inspecting the nearly complete duplexes on a mud-clogged street behind the white row houses to talk with Chronicle reporter Shannon Buggs about this job. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What else have you built or will you be building in Third Ward? A: I've built three custom homes in Riverside Terrace that cost $220,000 and up. They're all in West MacGregor Estates. I did a little refurbishing of the mosque in Riverside Terrace. And the mosque is getting ready to build a new structure for elderly housing, with businesses on the first floor that will be across the street. That should start in January and I'm going to do that. This is the first multi-unit project I've done. Q: How did you get involved with the Project Row House Community Development Corp.? A: Minister Robert Muhammad met with the project manager, Antoine Bryant, and I came to meet with Project Row House after that. Knowing that this was a community project and that they want to do more, my fees were negotiable. But I really can't discount my workers. They have to do the work for a certain price. Normally, what I would actually charge for doing a house, I really wouldn't take anything less than $25,000. Q: What was the most difficult part of the building process? A: The foundation was the most different thing that we did and the most important part. It's called an adjustable pier and beam, and it was designed by Mr. Danny Samuels at Rice University. When a house gets unlevel, you can adjust it by turning a bolt versus hiring a company to come out and jack it up. You can save a lot of money that way. Q: What happened on this project that surprised you? A: There were some design things that I had not seen before. The subfloor is also the finished floor. It's 2-by-6 tongue-and-groove treated planks. And there was not that much theft. I thought we might have a lot of stuff stolen. A few pieces came up missing, but nothing on the scale of a $1,000 or more. We were building four houses at one time, and there was a lot of material laying around all the time. But nothing big came up missing, and that was surprising. Everyone is real nice out here. Q: Will you be expanding your business to include more commercial projects? What type of construction do you prefer to do? A: Residential is what I like to do. It's what I have a lot of experience in doing, and it's what I want to master. A lot of people need homes, and I want to stretch more into the affordable housing market. A lot of people, when they want a house, they usually go to the production builders, get a brochure and bring that to me. They don't envision sketching out their own homes. But you can do that even if you don't have a lot of money. That's how I'm building my own home. It's going to be right near the George R. Brown Convention Center on Dallas at St. Charles streets. I don't know if they call that Third Ward anymore.
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