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Meyerland/Willowbend/Westbury Future


slck2

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I'd like to get some feedback on the future of Meyerland specifically, and the inner southwest near the loop in general (Woodside/Woodshire, Meyerland, Willow Meadows/Bend/Brook, Westbury). We purchased a home in the area within the last few years, and from our viewpoint (at least in Meyerland), there has been a lot of money reinvested in the ranch houses (of course with a few teardowns and McMansions). It seems that a lot of young professional couples are moving into the area to support this change.

On the flip side, however, many articles have referred to the demise and deterioration of the "first ring" suburbs over the next decade to twenty years (that has already begun in some places). Granted, these articles typically are focusing on Eastern cities, but it seems that Meyerland (and further, places like Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, Briarmeadow, etc.) fit the definition, but are the areas more likely to suffer in Houston places one "pass" further out (e.g. more like the ring near Beltway 8)?

So let's keep it wide open. Any thoughts?

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Of course when it comes to growth and decline patterns, it seems like Houston sets its own path and doesn't always follow other cities precedents.

I think a lot of Houston's "first ring" suburbs have already "cycled" through their decline and have bounced back, with the decline and stagnation then moving to what I guess you would call a second or third suburban ring.

Inner-loop Southwest on thru Meyerland is extremely strong, pushing any ring of decline arguably out as far as Fondren and beyond. Northwest is similiar. Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, Spring Branch all saw declines in the past, and while parts of Oak Forest and Spring Branch can look a little sketchy, they are rebounding nicely, or already have rebounded, pushing the ring of decline out to starting more at Inwood & stretching to parts of FM 1960.

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Thanks for all of your comments. It seems we all share the same opinion and the strength of the areas mentioned; I believe they will hold their value as the decline pushes out further.

On the interesting topic of comparing revitalized close to the loop neighborhoods with the suburbs, what do you think about the first developments in areas such as Kingwood, Pearland, and Sugar Land? Will those areas ultimately see decline as well? Clearly they are still building homes in those locations, but many of the initial builds are 20+ years old. As those homes begin to dilapidate, I can't see a lot of money being sunk in to redo them (aka Meyerland, Oak Forest, etc.), since 1) your still way out in the boonies in terms of commute, and 2) you could just buy a new tract home 5 miles (even further) out.

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This topic hits home because I live in the Meyerland Westbury area just outside of the loop. We bought our house in 1997 when the new home suburbs were thriving as home buliding was being done as fast as they could do it. Sales in this area at the time were not crazy. In the time I've been in my home both of the homes that sit next to mine have changed hands a few times. I've also noticed a trend of younger buyers coming into the area. Back in 1997 there were mostly retirees and you never saw school buses in the neigborhood bcause no one had children that age.

The early 30 something couple that moved in next door stayed only 2 years because they ran out of money to pay the house note. The guy was a professor at UH and the wife was a stage actress so they were not uneducated people who could have anticipated a budget. I just think most first time buyers do not realize the expenses the 1950s ranch homes require. Foundation work, re-pipe jobs, and repaving have set us back over $20,000 in the past 5 years alone. I've now got a plan to change out all of the windows and do the roof in the next 3 years. The houses are a money pit but you can at least go at your own pace if you are patient and do one thing after another instead of going into debt trying to do it all at once.

A few people have indeed been buying homes in poor condition and doing a total demolition to do a total rebuild. I think that is fine but there should be restrictions on how big the new hosue should be. There are currently 2 homes that stand out in my mind which are wrong for the area. One is just past the rail line on Willowbend going west past Stella Link while the other is at the corner of Willowbend and Chimney Rock. Both of these homes are close to 4000 squarefeet and have that cookie cutter look of Sugarland/Cinco Ranch with medium red brick and keystone design. The houses in the area ar all around 2000 square feet. If it affects the neighbor's property value that a bad thing.

Besides that, the one thing I LOVE about these areas are the fully mature trees and the shade they provide in the bilstering summer time. To build a 4000 square foot home on a lot made for a ranch home you pretty much have to level everything including the trees to make it fit. There is another rebuild home on Willowbend past the tracks but on the east bound side which is an example of how it should be done. The house is one floor like all of the others and they have maybe made it 2500 square feet so they still have greenery.

The fact of the matter in this area is that the retirees are slowly dying off so yes the area will in the next 15-10 years be transformed by new younger 30something buyers coming in. I hope they don't all decide to go cookie cutter and try to preserve the 1950s Americana feel of the areas which are away from the main roadways.

God willing, I would like to eventually move back inside the loop in the future. The greatest area in Houston will always be River Oaks and that does not mean you have to live on River Oaks Blvd. even though that white house on the north bound side just before the country club is perhaps the mostly lovely home I have seen in Houston. There are still a few homes in Rievr Oaks which are still under a million dollars. All of them are 100% custom built with design that is the complete opposite of cookie cutter. If I could get into that place I don't think I'd like to go out anymore because being at home would be so intresting. I'd research the house like crazy and be very much into the trivia and tid bits of the house. The Memorial Area is also excellent for houses with a history and the plant life. I know a family that bought a house out there and found all sorts of treasures in their house. They have a room with a marble floor which was once in the Shamrock Hotel. How cool is that?! I'm so much in envy.haha.

I highly doubt that the delapidated areas in the SW and pretty much all of Houston will ever change. It is very easy for the people in higher income brackets to look down upon those people who live in the bad areas but without them things would just not be able to work. Someone is needed to do the jobs they do, buy the things they do, and just be a part of things to keep the city moving. Just think of how much money the area from 59 and Westpark down to 59 and the Belt would be worth if there was "urban renewal". It has stayed the same for years sans the car dealerships that have sprung up by 59 and the belt.

One thing I have never been able to figure out is why Ferrari of Houston is located where it is by being next door to a flea market on the 59 bend before Westpark. It seems as if they would have been better off moving by the Rolls Royce dealer on the loop next to the Landry's building.

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I highly doubt that the delapidated areas in the SW and pretty much all of Houston will ever change.  It is very easy for the people in higher income brackets to look down upon those people who live in the bad areas but without them things would just not be able to work.  Someone is needed to do the jobs they do, buy the things they do, and just be a part of things to keep the city moving.  Just think of how much money the area from 59 and Westpark down to 59 and the Belt would be worth if there was "urban renewal".  It has stayed the same for years sans the car dealerships that have sprung up by 59 and the belt. 

Well, couldn

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tw2ntyse7en,

I agree!

When these homes were built it was the rich part of town. Meyerland and Westbury were made for people with money in the 1950s. In fact, my neighbor across the street lives in the house the Weiner's family had built after their now defunct store was makeing money back in those days. He has llived there for about 30 years and loves it so much he says they'll have to carry his cold dead body out before he would consider leaving.

The thing that bothers me the most about local govt. is the lack of zoning laws to keep business out of these residential areas. I'm sure you've driven tons of streets in these areas and seen C-stores, liquor stores, and gas stations separated from a house by only an 8 foot wooden fence. I was aware of this problem before we even started looking at homes but it makes me feel horrible to think that some homeowners have to live next to this. Pure residential areas are much safer because people tend to learn which people and vehicles come and go. With business there is constant flow of traffic and with it comes crime and pollution. I do not mean emissions for trafic but problems with litter and graffiti.

We also have this huge problem in Westbury with auto repair shops that have used old shut down gas stations to work out of. Auto repair involves all sorts of nasty chemicals, waste, and it just looks really bad to have a lot full of cars parked for long periods of time. HISD recently invested a ton of money into rebuilding Westbury High School and they did a good job. The concrete is new, they built a huge solarium, added an electronic sign out front, and basically brought the place into this century. BUT if you look across the street there is a car repair shop like the one I metioned working out of what used to be a Texaco. The place looks like a junkyard with chianlink fence and barb wire. It's just so unfortunate that this occured right next door to a brand new post office that looks immaculate. These areas out be spectacular if they just fine tuned things by zoning.

As for ths lower income areas of SW Houston; well they will always be in bad shape because of the fact that the crime and deviant activity is done by a few low income folks and the majority of the ones that like nice and tidy yards and homes can not afford to fight back. Before you jump on what I just said be assured that rich people are just as likley to have a desire to be malice but they do not need to do crime to get what they want. Many homes in Sharpstown are examples of where the owners have lost their will to keep things up. The paints are chipping and sun burned, the yards are overgrown, and many have junk cars parked out front.

The apartment communities in the area will also always lack the motivation to improve things. I've worked in the industry for 6 years and seen what the scam is when it comes to rental property in bad conditon. Usually owners will get a property and maintian it at bare minimum levels for a few years until they can get a new buyer to take it off of their hands for a handsome profit. Usually I've seen about $75,000 in profit made for each year the property is held by one owner. Talk about easy money. The units are usually leased by illegal aliens who remain silent about violations or abuse for fear of the law getting involved.

I think things will just continue to get worse in those areas as time marches on. Gillman Mitsubishi/Honda used to located across the street from Sharpstown Mall until about 2 years ago. I'm surprised they held on that long. Now if you go in the area it looks like a total slum with weeds growing out of conrete, abandoned buildings, and just this bad vibe to it all. Sharpstown Mall needs to be put out of its misery. It would be a mercy killing if they just leveled the whole thing.

Another intersection that has gone bad is S. Post Oak and W. Belfort. The AMC theater that is loacted there was the best in town in the late 80s. On the other side the Kroger that opened in the early 90s was also a big deal back in that day. The whole areas was wonderful until the mid 90s when it was developed with the wrong things. Walmart came in around 1999 and it was in the toilet. There used to be a big hill at the corner of the loop over there and some sort of golf practice range was located on it. Walmart came in and attracted a lot of the criminal element. Jus this past summer some old lady was shot in the Randalls parking lot during a robbery for her purse. She later died in the hospital. These types of things were unheard of in the area just 10 years ago.

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Speaking of the Wal-Mart, I live just inside Meyerland off of W. Bellfort. I have been to that store twice, and I felt like I was going to get shot both times. The first time I was in between two cars yelling at each other over a parking space, and the second when walking from my car to the store. I won't go back now, but unfortunately I doubt the store will be leaving. Any suggestions on what to do about that (other than convincing WM to move the store down to Post Oak and West Orem?).

I am excited about the Target opening in Meyerland Plaza; hopefully, it will serve the needs of the Meyerland, Bellaire, and Westbury communities without bringing in a bunch of riff-raff.

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I think things will just continue to get worse in those areas as time marches on.  Gillman Mitsubishi/Honda used to located across the street from Sharpstown Mall until about 2 years ago.  I'm surprised they held on that long.  Now if you go in the area it looks like a total slum with weeds growing out of conrete, abandoned buildings, and just this bad vibe to it all.  Sharpstown Mall needs to be put out of its misery.  It would be a mercy killing if they just leveled the whole thing.

I would like to know your reason for putting Sharpstown mall out of its misery. I go to the Foleys there alot which is pretty good and has muuuch better prices than the Galleria one. Also many new stores have opened up in Sharpstown mall, and when I am there it usually has a good amount of people there.

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The last time I went to Sharpstown was back in the spring of 2003 when a relative who used to live in Houston in the mid 80s came to see me and wanted to tour the places that were his hangouts back when he was in college. It was scary in the mall becasue very few cars were in the parking lot. I did not like the thought of just leaving my car unattended in the parking lot when we went inside.

Once we got inside the mall seemed to be mostly independent retailers that bought their stuff in bulk and were reselling it at high profit margins. It was most all off brand stuff and not many people were buying it. Their renovation inside was good enough but the stores and buyers were just not there. I used to go to the mall as a kid in the mid 80s when they had the dark brown and circular red tile scheme going on and it was a different mall completely. Wards and JC Penny used to be around and there were so many shoppers back then. I can still recall the Petland they had on the second floor full of people of whom many were buying and not just looking. The whole environment of the mall has died. Sharpstown was never a mall meant to compete with the Galleria. It never had Dillards, Neiman Marcus, etc...but it did have a strong exchange of money for goods going on for middle class people. Those middle class people are no where to be seen now. It's mostly young kids and a few 20somethings wandering around in there and many stores are vacant.

Why the Foleys has stayed is a mystery to me. They are the only anchor store left and they have that parking garage to boot. This is just as big a mystery as why Sears has stayed in the old Westwood Mall lot.

Don't get me wrong, Sharpstown was a part of my childhood even though I grew up inside the loop in the Greenbriar Area. I would like to in 20 years take any future children I have and show them where we used to go when I was their age and have some nostalgia in town so I can visit my roots at will but I also think progress is not a bad thing at all. The mall was the first air conditoned one in Houston when it was built in the 60s. It saw the glory days and many happy memories were made there for lot of Houstonians. I just think it is time to let it go with whatever dignity can be managed. Perhaps HISD should build a school there or HCHD should make a hospital on the site. I know it is almost impossible for a private firm or investor to build a new establishment on the land due to the surroundings. Well, I may be wrong on that since HEB seems to have an art to building stores in what many would consider a slum but making it profitable. So maybe HEB could do something with it.

Now about that Walmart. I think we are stuck with it for decades simply because business is so good for them over there. It is the only Walmart store that covers every area inside the loop all of the way from that southwest corner of the loop to the 610 and 45 interchange. The customer base is not just Meyerland, Westbury, and Med Center and that is the problem. There are just too many people from too many neighborhoods going to the store. To top that off, the store is not one of the giant ones that has wide isles and mega square footage. They have intentionally made narrow isles and packed the stuff in tight to be able to better monitor what is going on inside. Walmart is not stupid. I know they did market research prior to opening this store and knew it would draw riff raffs hence their selection on layout and the tons of security cams inside for shoplifters.

I go in maybe a few times a year for household things like landry detergent, motor oil, etc...and the people I see in there are not the same ones that live in our neighborhoods. In the 4-5 years it has been there I have never been and ran into someone I knew. That is to be expected I suppose. The signage on the loop makes it easy to get some to just take an exit and be there. The near by park and ride also attracts tons of people for Reliant Park events and makes them aware of the store. Many stop by and buy stuff for tailgate parties and such.

BTW, have you ever been to that duck pond just next door to the Walmart?

I've seen some famlies out there a few times so it looked okay but I've never been there myself.

I am also thrilled about the target coming to the other retail center on Beechnut and 610. That area seems to be better in all ways because of the proximity of Bellaire and the combined effects of 2 police forces and good shopping center security. I was sad to see the General Cinema demolished since it was built like a vintage movie theater instead of the mega 30+ screen things they have these days. It was a perfect movie house for the vintage feel of the area. Circuit City opened a store on the site recently and that is okay. Thank God it was not a Best Buy cause that would have had the same Walmart effect. Target seems to sort of not cater to the riff raff element so I think we dodged a huge bullet on what came to live in the area.

Ideally, I would have liked to see Home Depot be where the Walmart is now located because people who go to the store just get what they need and go. Home Depot is not for people just hanging out or packs of delinqiuent people. It would have been great for competition with the Lowes a few miles away.

The Home Depot which is currently at Chimney Rock and W. Belfort is okay because it has that get it and go thing going on but the mall in front of it just saw the HEB close and a 99 cent only store move in. It remains to be seen what will come of this but I have a bad feeling about it. Again we get back to zoning. All of that area would have been much better off being all residential with a light commercial zone on the main roads. The north bound side of Chimney Rock in that area is okay. There is a realitor's office, a tailor, a Chinese food place, and some small offices with tax services and such. These sorts of offices are what the community needs. I also like the light commerical on the west bound side of W. Belfort in that area where there is a 2 story building full of small offices for insurance, a dry cleaner, a driving school for teens, etc. Mega chain stores belong only on mega highways or roads with 3 or more lanes going in each direction where there is no threat to the peace of residential areas.

Houston needs zoning and while existing business should be grandfathered there should be strick provisions that require the new laws to be followed once a lease expires. Base it on a lease not a structure.

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Best Buy seems to attract more of the criminal element because there are far fewer sales people on the floor which makes for easier oppportunities to do illegal things. This store also seems to be geared more towards the teen to mid 20s crowd cause they make most of their money selling low price high volume stuff like Cds, blank media, software, and computer peripherals. Best Buy also has music playing really loud when you walk in. I'd speculate its some subliminal way of saying welcome to the kiddies.

Circuit City is very different. There are tons of sales people and the sections are better divided for better monitoring purposes. For someone who is a paying customer this is great cause you can get help if you need it or just find your stuff quickly cause you know where to go. For someone wanting to steal this sucks big time. These guys also seem to be more focused on selling higher end stuff to older buyers. Their TV/video seems to be the most important area whereas Best Buy usually builds the store around Cds.

I am also very thankful that Fry's did not open a store where the Target will be located. Have you ever been to the one on West Rd and I-45? I thought it would be okay since they seemed to be primarily making money on computer stuff for people in the computer industry. I went in once figuring I'd see people who know all about servers, bluetooth technology, and such. What I saw was...um...er.....it was bad.

I dunno how Fry's stays in business if they just rely on stores sales to make the rent. Surely they must have some corporate supply contracts. The shoppers in the store do not seem to be buying much at all. Most are just there to get out of the house and look at stuff. Fry's does have some higher end things like Mark Levinson audio, Bose speaker systems, and a selection of dvd players which is perhaps the largest in town. Again, you would expect people who actually buy this stuff to be there but it is not the case.

I recently was on 59 going down to Sugarland and saw that Fry's has built a store on W. Belfort and 59. OMG!!! WTF are they thinking?! The guy who does market research has got to be on a crack pipe to put that store there. The squarefootage in the building seems smaller than their fisrt Houston store so maybe it will be like a Best Buy wannabe with a main focus on selling cheap items in high volume to make a profit. You can pretty much bank on this place being a haven for crime.

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^^

Especially in that area, which is close to the "ghetto" areas. It is too far from most of Sugarland to be THE place to buy electronics and stuff (standard issues, at least) while a "safer" environment is readily available and closer, in the area where Best Buy and Circuit City are. Fry's IS good if you want to get a good deal on some stuff, and some special items ( ex: computer parts, esp if you want to build it yourself) but, when I went to the one at 45and west, something just felt...weird...about it. I hope the Stafford location will be better.

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I actually like Fry's, recently I bought a turntable there that I could not find at Circuit City or Best Buy. That is the thing I like is that you can find almost anything, but that is the drawback it is so big it is sometimes hard to find anything.

Does anyone else feel the new Circuit City in Meyerland took the Best Buy approach to design, with the CD's and DVD's in the middle and with music blaring. I hope that the new Circuit City in Sharpstown keeps with the design of the store it is replacing across the freeway.

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion so I will never make a personal attack on these msg boards.

If the tennats of Sharpstown want to do business there and the patrons like the mall then more power to them. A demo. of the mall is just my opinion of how to re-do the area and start from scratch. I don't advocate gentification of the area but rather a different type of structure to serve a different purpose to the residents.

As for Fry's I am not qualified to make a 100% always true generalization about their custoemr base because I have been to the north store only about 4 times since it opened up. I do notice how they bait people in the Sunday paper with the limited quantity off brand stuff that is a very low price. Usually the stuff is not geared towards the IT community or computer nerds. It is usually stuff for the riff raff crowd that likes hi tech but just to use as a stutus symbol. It's sort of like the guys that install 4 TVs in the car and have them all on while going down the street at night so everyone can see that they had the cash to buy the stuff. The rear seats are not even occupied so it is purely conspicuous consumption. I would say that was the crowd in the store when I visited it.

The loaction of the new store is a mistake in my opinion because it will noty be appealing to the very people the store is supposed to attract. The people that live in Sugarland live their manly so they do not have to deal with or come into contact with the "outsiders". You can rationalize it all you want and say they like the clean area, the good schools, and general atmosphere but having known people who live there and a few real estate agents I can tell you with great confidence that a main selling point of Sugarland is that if you live there you will not see or come into contact with poor people of all races. All of the master palnned communities have this feature but I guess they forget to print it on the brochures.

The businesses are also carfully zoned to keep out the undesirables as much as possible. Where they houses are you will never find gas stations, fast food joints, and walmarts. All of those things attract outsiders and they can't have that. Some people I know are as blunt as to say they want to keep out the blacks and mexicans. Well, there are blacks and mexicans with money who are home owners in there and I'm sure the community does not want poor whites in there just as much so I have to disagree with the blacks and mexicans line of thinking on that.

Anyway, the typical Sugarland dewller is not going to exit into an enthnic area like W. Belfort and 59 to get to Fry's. Maybe they would in the day time but I highly doubt they will at night.

The store they have on 45 south is a different animal completely. You are comparing apples to oranges there because that store is very much stand alone on the feeder and there is very little development around it. There are no apartments whatsoever in the area and it lacks a Metro bus line on which "outsiders" commute in a greater proportion. To the Clear Lake suburbanite it is an ideal store because it requires a private car to get to and it is located in a newly developed area which lacks natives if you will.

The Fry's on 59 will make money if it copies the Best Buy format and sells stuff to the young kiddies in volume at low prices. Fry's shoud not bank on the savvy info-tech big spender at that store. On a purely business standpoint it would have been more wise for them to have put that thing in the shopping center on either side of Hwy 6 and 59. The traffic is like crazy over there and suburbanites feel comfortable in the area. There is nothing personal in such a decision it is just bad business to build a store in a bad area and expect strong sales.

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I do notice how they bait people in the Sunday paper with the limited quantity off brand stuff that is a very low price.  Usually the stuff is not geared towards the IT community or computer nerds. It is usually stuff for the riff raff crowd that likes hi tech but just to use as a stutus symbol. It's sort of like the guys that install 4 TVs in the car and have them all on while going down the street at night so everyone can see that they had the cash to buy the stuff.  The rear seats are not even occupied so it is purely conspicuous consumption.  I would say that was the crowd in the store when I visited it.

Sorry, but I think you're talking about two totally different groups of people.

I'm a regular semi-shopper of Fry's and they USUALLY have the item on sale listed. The CD-Rs and some consumables are no big deal at bargain basement prices. The electronics at a lower price are ideal for people that are just getting into it and need some minor upgrades or those that don't have the cash to spend money on a high-end video card.

The ones that you see for "status" electronics are available at other stores, probably a bit cheaper, then at fry's.

I buy electronics and computer components at fry's, if they just don't have the part I want for a reasonalbe price, I go elsewhere. That's part of being an informed consumer. IF someone is going there strictly for the price and buy something strictly on price, then more power to them.

Sorry, Larry. your post almost border on being inflamatory to a number of people on here, including me.

Next time you make a post along those lines, I would seriously re-read the entire text and read it as a disinterested 3rd party. We wouldn't want to start calling you "Jack".

Ricco

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Houston needs zoning and while existing business should be grandfathered there should be strick provisions that require the new laws to be followed once a lease expires.  Base it on a lease not a structure.

In another thread you told us that it was wrong to "force" businesses out just to satisfy some desire to gentrify or improve an area. How is what you are proposing here any different or less "wrong"?

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We're getting a little off thread here...

On another topic, I ventured into the Randall's on Bellfort at S. Post Oak, and I was actually pretty pleased. I previously shopped at the Kroger on the other (west) side of Post Oak, and it seems the Randall's is much nicer. In fact, I think the Randall's is nicer than the old Randall's Flagship on W Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway.

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We're getting a little off thread here...

On another topic, I ventured into the Randall's on Bellfort at S. Post Oak, and I was actually pretty pleased.  I previously shopped at the Kroger on the other (west) side of Post Oak, and it seems the Randall's is much nicer.  In fact, I think the Randall's is nicer than the old Randall's Flagship on W Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway.

yes, I have also noticed that Randalls us nicer and cleaner than Kroger.

By the way, I checked out Walmart store in Sugarland yesterday. I must say this is one the cleanest and most organized Walmart stores in Houston. They have even tried to make the floor look like a hardwood floor. Well, it is just a minute step towards beautification and the overall design of the store is the same old boxy and uninspiring theme, but to get even that much out of Walmart is a win.

I cant tell if that is because they are required to do so by the city or because the staff thinks they are in a nicer area so they should keep the store nice or because their customers dont create too much mess.

In any case, Houston could learn much from smaller cities like Sugerland or Woodlands since they have done all what we have been talking about. Their roads and sidewalks are well-built and generally clean. They have planted plenty of trees or didnt clear what were already there. They have done a lot of landscaping. The stores/commercial properties are better looking and cleaner even though many of the businesses are the same that you see elsewhere in Houston.

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What do you think the residents of Sharpstown & Gulfton want there?

The residents who are taxpayers because they own property in that area all want something which will make their neighborhood more appealing. I made suggestions of a school or hospital but maybe they have something else which is even better in mind. I doubt they want to keep a mall way past its prime with several dead businesses around it in place. That sort of thing makes new investment into the area more challenging and risky.

But I'm sure the riff raffs in Sharpstown and Gulfton LOVE the mall so you have me there. :D

It sounds like you've been 4 different Sundays and each time they were already sold out of the 100 pack DVD-R's for $19.99 that you were looking for. Go ANY other day of the week. Sunday is a marquee shopping day for them as Saturday is for ANY mall. I could easily place your statement about the type of people in Fry's on a Sunday in front of the Galleria, Memo City or Willowbrook on a Saturday. People windowshop. The reason it's noticable in a Store like Fry's is because there are no windows - just isles.

The weekend is a time for higher traffic in any business but the Best Buys and Circuit Cities often sell more big ticket items during those 2 days. And BTW, I never said anywhere that I went each time on a weekend day to cash in on that bait ad. You made an assumption. I've been both weeknights and once during a Saturday afternoon and seen the same just looking thing going on. The lines for checkout at Best Buy are usually about a 3 person wait during weeknights and 5 person wait during weekends. Nothing like that at Fry's.

I will try not to attack your statements here, but jeez - you're basically saying the Sugarland residents hate everyone outside of Sugarland. And why you think Sugarland residents never leave Sugarland is beyond me. You make Sugarland sound like a bunch of scared white people This might be true for New Territory - but not Sugarland. Check the stats (2000 census), because Sugarland is ethnic. It's the most ethnicly diverse community in the Houston Metro area.

It's not just Sugarland but all of the masterplanned communities that dislike outsiders. And I NEVER said they do not leave Suagrland. I DID say they would not be likley to leave Sugarland to go into a neighborhood of outsiders. Sugarland dwellers would leave to go to other upscale areas like the Uptown Mall, the Woodlands, etc..

Also, please re-read my post right before this one. Sugarland is not a bunch of scared white people. It is a bunch of people of all races whodo not want contact with the outsiders who are not like them meaning income mainly. Just because Sugarland is diverse does not mean there is this Martin Luther King Dream going on in there. You kind of seem to imply that upscale suburbs are going to be white only. Sure Sugarland may be diverse but that does not mean as a collective population they do not look down upon others with lower socio-economic status.

  Is it your opinion then that all the residents on the southwest side, NORTH of Sugarland, are not computer & home electronic savvy? So you want Fry's to build in Sugarland so everyone from Downtown to Katy would have to drive to the end of Sugarland to go here? Might as well not build it and make them-- excuse me, "us" drive to the one of 45 @ West. How is BW8 & 59S not one of the busiest areas on the southwest side? Have you actually went shopping in any of the stores here? I know people, VERY affluent people, that live in West U & the Village, that drive down to that shopping center all the time because of a nice baby store. Maybe we should move that to Sugarland too? Maybe it's too nice for the trashy no-computer using hoodlums of the SW side?

Glen, the most important thing is location, location, location.

What stores are you talking about on the SW side that are such a draw that people from the Village and West U go out to them? By that logic then wouldn't those same people drive to a Fry's located on Hwy 6 and 59?

It is a fact that buyers of the big ticket items are going to be in a higher proportion in the suburbs. If you did a comparison of how many of some "x" expensive computer product sold in the Gulfton area vs. a Sugarland one while keeping the area of square miles the same I'd guess Suarland would come out ahead even though Gulfton would probably have more people per square mile due to higher apartment content. Sure there might be some techy big spender in Gulfton but the 20 or so mid-level users in Sugarland would trump what a biz would make selling just to that one guy in Gulfton.

Ricco,

I made no derogatory comments towards any group of people. I'd say I wasn't even politically incorrect at all. People just seem to get bent out of shape when they see words like "blacks and mexicans" because they have been conditioned to have red flags go off when they see that. Go back and look at the other posting and you will find nothing "inflamatory" in it.

In another thread you told us that it was wrong to "force" businesses out just to satisfy some desire to gentrify or improve an area. How is what you are proposing here any different or less "wrong"?

Glad to see you brought this up. On the other thread I said gentrification done by forcing business out is wrong but legal. S. Main construction was started about 3 years before the New Stadium was complete. In that time the whole road was left a dirt and mud mess which was detrimental to the business on S. Main north of Murworth. As the road was built at a slow pace the business suffered.

That sort of conicidental completion of the road and the stadium at the same time was...ugh...ahem...odd to say the least.

If zoing is done it would require a propositon to pass during an election. That is democracy where the people decide what will be. South Main was an example of those who had in interest in the Reliant Park got to decide what will be.

If the people chose to zone then the rules will have to be followed. I go a step further to say that existing business should be grandfathered and allowed to remain undisturbed until a lease expires. That sort of provision would give the business lots of time to consider what to do about the future. It would be nothing like S. Main where they tore up the street and made mud driveways so the business would die off.

BTW, the big box retailers usually sign leases for decades if they invest in bulding a multi-million dollar store on a plot of land. If we passed zoning we would not see the effects of it for maybe 20 years.

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Oh, yes, how could I have forgotten about that grand conspiracy whereby the city of Houston, the road construction contractors and all of their subcontractors, probably TxDOT, Harris County, Harris County/Houston Sports Authority, Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, the Houston Texans, and the evil Reliant Energy all got together with the grand plan of tearing up Main Street three years before the completion of Reliant Stadium and leaving it torn up until the completion of Reliant Stadium, all for the purpose of driving out certain businesses. Whatever, man. That is just looney. Again, it's not like delays in road construction projects are unusual... Are all such delays part of some grand conspiracy, or was there something unique about this one? (In spite of your track record on "facts", I'm just accepting your recitation of the time it took to conduct the Main Street widening and improvements)

And for what it's worth, it's also a democracy that decides who our elected officials are going to be. And it was those democratically-elected officials who conducted the Main Street widening/improvement project. That is no less legitimate than a democratically-imposed zoning.

It appears that "gentrification done by forcing business out is wrong but legal" unless it fits into LarryDallas' master plan.

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And for what it's worth, it's also a democracy that decides who our elected officials are going to be. And it was those democratically-elected officials who conducted the Main Street widening/improvement project.

Not so fast! METRO pretty much ran that project, and we don't vote for METRO positions.

Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

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At the risk of REALLY getting off topic, I'll repeat that I don't think METRO should have anything to do with road building/repairs unless it ties directly into one of their capital projects (such as a new park & ride lot, transit center or rail line).

Speaking of which, the West Loop Park & Ride lot in Meyerland has, at times, had an issue with flooding. I thought the redesign of the lot was supposed to fix this--or was the previous lot so flood proned that what exists now really IS an upgrade?

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It isn't financially viable to demolish Sharpstown mall for a few reasons. It just isn't cost effective. The structure is sound, and with some revamping (not just remodeling) it could be a GREAT shopping center. It gets tons of foot traffic, although most of it is now of an urban nature. It is safe and it makes money.

It needs some work (a lot actually), but it is a very viable market place and with the right owner and specifically management, it would be a GREAT mall.

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Maybe its a devil's advocate kinda thing? :D

I welcome the opposing perspective. I was on a jury once that was ready to convict as soon as we hit chambers. One little old lady played devil's advocate and really got us all thinking about it. We still convicted but I'm very appreciative for the chance to debate the issue at hand instead of complacent acceptance.

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Oh, yes, how could I have forgotten about that grand conspiracy whereby the city of Houston, the road construction contractors and all of their subcontractors, probably TxDOT, Harris County, Harris County/Houston Sports Authority, Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, the Houston Texans, and the evil Reliant Energy all got together with the grand plan of tearing up Main Street three years before the completion of Reliant Stadium and leaving it torn up until the completion of Reliant Stadium, all for the purpose of driving out certain businesses.  Whatever, man.  That is just looney.  Again, it's not like delays in road construction projects are unusual...  Are all such delays part of some grand conspiracy, or was there something unique about this one?  (In spite of your track record on "facts", I'm just accepting your recitation of the time it took to conduct the Main Street widening and improvements)

Now you are just adding names of entities which I NEVER singled out. Please stop making it seem as if I said things which I didn't. Delays in road construction projects do occur but 3 years of dealys for a roadway which at the time was not even a very heavy traffic area is much more than a delay. When Westheimer was redone with from Sage all of the way down to the loop in 2000 they worked around the clock to get it done fast and avoid disruption of business. By that token, the shop keepers on S. Main should have been extended the same policy. Westheimer was done in under 2 weeks. S. Main was a different type of project with a major re-design and widening so of course it would have taken longer to do but 3 years is a hell of a long time. It took construction crews under 2 years to widen Hwy 59 from the Westpark bend to where the belt is in the late 80s.

And for what it's worth, it's also a democracy that decides who our elected officials are going to be.  And it was those democratically-elected officials who conducted the Main Street widening/improvement project.  That is no less legitimate than a democratically-imposed zoning.

It is less legitimate and I can point out the democratically elected Mayor Bill White's tow rules which started on the 1st. Mayor White is an elected official so by your logic what policy he imposes is the will of the people. Why then do we see stories in the Chronicle and broadcast news about people opposed to this tow policy and even state senator Whitmayer calling for a suspenison of it?

Elections only decide who gets to take an office. What they do after they take the office is a different matter because there is sadly very little accountability in govt.

A direct proposition puts the decision of an issue in the hands of a voter and like they say if you don't vote you should not complain.

It appears that "gentrification done by forcing business out is wrong but legal" unless it fits into LarryDallas' master plan.

Oh come on. Please, are you next going to resort to your Houston19514's "I'll ask the moderator to censor this thread" policy?

An elected official is only a representative of the people and will almost never be able to represent all of the stands of an individual voter on every issue. That is precisely why we need propositions to be voted on in general elections. Trivial things should be left to elected officials to decide on. But, things that have a major impact on peoples' lives should be decided directly by the people.

We need to have a vote on zoning and we should have had one on the tow policy.

Glen,

I'll have to agree to disagree.

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Not so fast!  METRO pretty much ran that project, and we don't vote for METRO positions.

Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

If you're referring to the South Main widening, between Kirby and the South Loop, that was a TxDOT project, NOT a Metro project. The only work Metro has done on Main St. in the last five years was the light rail project. Main St. south of OST is TxDOT's responsibility, as it is a signed highway (US 90A).

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On another topic, I ventured into the Randall's on Bellfort at S. Post Oak, and I was actually pretty pleased.  I previously shopped at the Kroger on the other (west) side of Post Oak, and it seems the Randall's is much nicer.  In fact, I think the Randall's is nicer than the old Randall's Flagship on W Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway.

That Randall's was renovated this past summer. That's why it's so nice. I agree that it's nicer than the Flagship store on Holcombe at Buffalo Speedway. I've been in a couple of other Randall's stores that were renovated in the last twelve months and they all have the same look as the West Bellfort/S. Post Oak store. Interestingly, Safeway is using that same design in other states as well. This summer I was in Anchorage and shopped in a recently renovated Carr's store that was almost identical to the Randall's you referred to.

While the Holcombe Flagship store is a lot closer, I usually make the drive down to the West Bellfort store becuase I find it more pleasant to shop in.

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While I'm at it I might as well toss in my opinion about Fry's. Like any other store, including the evil Wal-Mart, they are not and will never be the cheapest on everything they sell. But as another poster mentioned, part of being a shop smarter is recognizing when you're getting a good deal and when you're being taken to the cleaners.

I've only been in the North Freeway Fry's about four or five times since it opened. Every time I've gone there to get computer parts that no Best Buy or Circuit City stocks. I've always been pleased with the store's service and enormous selection of computer components. And every time I've made a purchase, I've waited in a fairly long line (which fortunately moved quickly due to the large number of cashiers working), so people are making a lot of purchases there. I think if the North Freeway store was doing poorly after over three years in the Houston market that they would have just opened two new stores here. If they weren't making money they would have probably closed shop and left Houston already.

That said, I do question the location of the Southwest Freeway store. I do so only based on the history of the retail establishments in that section of the freeway, which have historically had a high turnover rate. However, that seems to have stabilized somehwat since the Fountains opened on the opposite side of the freeway a few years ago. I'm not saying that Fry's is in a bad location, but I do think there are locations along the Southwest Freeway outside the beltway that are somewhat better.

As for Sugar Land people not driving north, that is a legitimate issue. I've know some people that lived in Sugar Land who acted like there was nothing on the Southwest Freeway north of US 90A worth going to. However Fry's is a destination type of store. It's not like Circuit City or Best Buy which will build 15-20 stores in a Metro area. Fry's usually only has a handful of stores in the markets they enter, and those stores usually draw people from miles around. My sister in League City and some of her engineer friends were thrilled they got a Fry's down there because they had been making the long trip all the way up 45 to the North Freeway store. So while I don't think the Southwest Freeway Fry's is in absolutely the best place along that freeway, it's probably going to do fine given that there are probably a lot of people within a 15 minute drive of it who've been driving a long way to go to the existing store on 45.

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While I'm at it I might as well toss in my opinion about Fry's. Like any other store, including the evil Wal-Mart, they are not and will never be the cheapest on everything they sell. But as another poster mentioned, part of being a shop smarter is recognizing when you're getting a good deal and when you're being taken to the cleaners.

I've only been in the North Freeway Fry's about four or five times since it opened. Every time I've gone there to get computer parts that no Best Buy or Circuit City stocks. I've always been pleased with the store's service and enormous selection of computer components. And every time I've made a purchase, I've waited in a fairly long line (which fortunately moved quickly due to the large number of cashiers working), so people are making a lot of purchases there. I think if the North Freeway store was doing poorly after over three years in the Houston market that they would have just opened two new stores here. If they weren't making money they would have probably closed shop and left Houston already.

That said, I do question the location of the Southwest Freeway store. I do so only based on the history of the retail establishments in that section of the freeway, which have historically had a high turnover rate. However, that seems to have stabilized somehwat since the Fountains opened on the opposite side of the freeway a few years ago. I'm not saying that Fry's is in a bad location, but I do think there are  locations along the Southwest Freeway outside the beltway that are somewhat better.

As for Sugar Land people not driving north, that is a legitimate issue. I've know some people that lived in Sugar Land who acted like there was nothing on the Southwest Freeway north of US 90A worth going to. However Fry's is a destination type of store. It's not like Circuit City or Best Buy which will build 15-20 stores in a Metro area. Fry's usually only has a handful of stores in the markets they enter, and those stores usually draw people from miles around. My sister in League City and some of her engineer friends were thrilled they got a Fry's down there because they had been making the long trip all the way up 45 to the North Freeway store. So while I don't think the Southwest Freeway Fry's is in absolutely the best place along that freeway, it's probably going to do fine given that there are probably a lot of people within a 15 minute drive of it who've been driving a long way to go to the existing store on 45.

Well said! This is what I had in mind too. While I think that there could be better locations for Fry's store as in a nicer area, I do not think that potential customers avoid it just because of its current location. I say this simply because those customers simply do not have a better choice. Fry's is unlike Best Buy/Circuit City due its large selection of merchandise. Now if there were another Fry's store in Sugarland, then most residents of Sugarland would surely prefer that one. I think Fry's chose its current location simply because of higher exposure and accessibility (close to two freeways and central location in SW Houston to draw customers of all kinds, rich AND poor).

However, I also think that people who live in nicer areas generally do have a tendency to avoid shopping or going into areas with questionable reputation. However, they have that option only with regards to places like Kroger/Randall, Barnes & Nobles, Best Buy, and Starbucks etc because of increased availability of those businesses.

As for a specialty store like Fry's on SW freeway, people from Sugarland would still go there because there are only a few of them, it is located right on the feeder road and people go there strictly for business (better prices, larger selection) and not for shopping experience/hanging out (as in a mall or restaurant).

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  • 1 month later...

With all of this discussion about inner Southwest Houston, and particularly Sharpstown Center mall, I find it surprising that nobody has mentioned the actual Sharpstown neighborhood. I just happen to live in Sharpstown, Section One, the original subdivision from 1955 and the very first component of the overall Sharpstown master plan to be constructed. This neighborhood served as a model for most of the future growth of the Houston area.

Few today may realize this, but Sharpstown was the first master planned community in Houston, if not the nation. The amount of media attention the development received when ground first broke is almost astounding. National media and dignitaries from Washington all converged on the pasture that would become Sharpstown. Dedication ceremonies were covered in newspapers across the country, including several write-ups in the New York Times. Houston's fledgling TV stations all devoted their day's programming to the opening of the development. Developers had built large-scale suburban subdivisions before, most famously at the many Levittowns in the northeast, but nobody had ever attempted a master-planned community like Sharpstown, which included schools, churches, shopping, parks, country clubs, etc.

This neighborhood is obviously much richer in history than anyone wants to admit. Beyond being the first (or one of the first, at least) master plan community, there are other details that add to its history. The land was originally owned by a famous wildcatter (whose name fails me) whom the movie "Giant" was based upon. Construction of the infrastructure was overseen by the firm that would eventually become Kellogg, Brown and Root, which has been in the news regarding Iraq recently. The original Mercury 7 astronauts were offered homes in Sharpstown, which led to a scandal. Speaking of scandals, one of the most famous scandals in Texas government was centered around Sharpstown State Bank.

The list of significant events in the history of Sharpstown goes on and on. Ironically, Houston has largely turned its back on this incredible neighborhood. Staring down one of its streets takes you right back to the 1950s. The style, uniqueness and character of the homes is something you never see in production housing today. Beyond that, the construction standards by which these homes were built is also hard to come by today: wood floors throughout, fully tiled bathrooms and kitchens, solid framing. They're great houses, and I should know.

It's too bad that the developers allowed this neighborhood to cannibalize itself by building enormous apartment complexes on the periphery that quickly became slums. The fact remains, though, that this is a wonderful, cute, unique neighborhood that I could go on and on for hours about, but this post has to end sometime, right?

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You said it even better than I could. I like that term: "ring rot"

Glen

My bass player lives in Willowbend and I'm there at least three times a week. I can tell you that the entire neighborhood on both sides of Willowbend have been totally revitalized. He bought his home ten years ago for 60,000.00 and just got it appraised at 120,000.00. He's going to sit on it a while as the appraisal district told him it would do nothing but escalate in value. Of course that means higher taxes.

The wierd thing is that just a couple of blocks away (South Post Oak) is litteraly slum.

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With all of this discussion about inner Southwest Houston, and particularly Sharpstown Center mall, I find it surprising that nobody has mentioned the actual Sharpstown neighborhood.  I just happen to live in Sharpstown, Section One, the original subdivision from 1955 and the very first component of the overall Sharpstown master plan to be constructed.  This neighborhood served as a model for most of the future growth of the Houston area.

Few today may realize this, but Sharpstown was the first master planned community in Houston, if not the nation.  The amount of media attention the development received when ground first broke is almost astounding.  National media and dignitaries from Washington all converged on the pasture that would become Sharpstown.  Dedication ceremonies were covered in newspapers across the country, including several write-ups in the New York Times.  Houston's fledgling TV stations all devoted their day's programming to the opening of the development.  Developers had built large-scale suburban subdivisions before, most famously at the many Levittowns in the northeast, but nobody had ever attempted a master-planned community like Sharpstown, which included schools, churches, shopping, parks, country clubs, etc.

This neighborhood is obviously much richer in history than anyone wants to admit.  Beyond being the first (or one of the first, at least) master plan community, there are other details that add to its history.  The land was originally owned by a famous wildcatter (whose name fails me) whom the movie "Giant" was based upon.  Construction of the infrastructure was overseen by the firm that would eventually become Kellogg, Brown and Root, which has been in the news regarding Iraq recently.  The original Mercury 7 astronauts were offered homes in Sharpstown, which led to a scandal.  Speaking of scandals, one of the most famous scandals in Texas government was centered around Sharpstown State Bank.

The list of significant events in the history of Sharpstown goes on and on.  Ironically, Houston has largely turned its back on this incredible neighborhood.  Staring down one of its streets takes you right back to the 1950s.  The style, uniqueness and character of the homes is something you never see in production housing today.  Beyond that, the construction standards by which these homes were built is also hard to come by today: wood floors throughout, fully tiled bathrooms and kitchens, solid framing.  They're great houses, and I should know.

It's too bad that the developers allowed this neighborhood to cannibalize itself by building enormous apartment complexes on the periphery that quickly became slums.  The fact remains, though, that this is a wonderful, cute, unique neighborhood that I could go on and on for hours about, but this post has to end sometime, right?

We should talk.

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I was just being glib.....but since you ask, the 'master' plan for the city (it was self reliant when incorporated) included all police, fire, schools, retail, and an industrial base. Many of the facilities are in use today (e.g. the retail shops on 19th, the waterworks, and the fire house/jail which is owned by the Heights Assoc.). Some of the old industrial buildings are being converted to lofts.

This is way off topic so I won't expound further. For those interested, an excerpt from a book about the history of the Heights can be found at: http://www.houstonheightsonline.com/history.asp.

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  • 2 weeks later...
LarryDallas - yes yes yes yes yes yes. Everything you said: YES.

As for me personally, I don't think I'll ever move inside the loop (unless the Lottery decides to pick my numbers!) because I've fallen in love with Tanglewood. sure there are some Mcmansions, but overall the neighborhood is everything my wife and I didn't have growing up. And if we never even make it there, I know we'll be able to get into Briargrove Park, Memorial City, or even Briargrove, so I'm not that worried about it. I just love this area (San Felipe & Westhiemer from 610 to BW8).

27, where do you live now. I grew up in Briarmedow and then we moved to Briargrove Park from 7th grade until I left for college. My mother still lives in the neighborhood and has really loves it. It amazes me that I am pretty much priced out of that neighborhood right now.

I looked through Meyerland, Maplewood, Marilyn Estates this weekend and we are very interested in that area. I would hope this area will continue to appreciate.

Like you I think Briargrove is awesome. I like to call it Tanglewood Lite. I would love to get in there. I compared some prices on similar houses in Briargrove vs. Meyerland vs. Briargrove Park and In general the same house would be $450-$400 (briargrove) $350-$300 in Briargrove park and $275 - $300 in the Meyerland area. Since I work the Galleria all three would be great places to live, but I think the Meyerland area is winning out because we can afford more house there.

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27, do you get any kind of special break when buying a home because you're a firefighter? I remember HUD had a program for policemen and teachers that helped them get into neighborhoods that they might otherwise be priced out of. Does this apply to you also? Just curious, I'm sure you've already checked it out.

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Where is Briarmeadow. I know that I know where its at - I'm just drawing a blank. :huh: As for being priced out of neighborhoods, doesn't it just disgust you? I wish there was some sort of application process by which personality, and not paycheck could get you into some of these neighborhoods!

Briarmedow is the small neighborhood betweem between Hillcroft and Dunvale from just South of Westhiemer to almost Westpark. It is still a pretty nice area, but the surrounding areas are tough. A good friend of mine lived there with his wife and child for about 3 years. Once they were robbed they got sorta freaked out and moved away.

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DOH! Of course I know where thats at! :wacko: Stoneybrook runs right down the middle of it. Well, I'd have to say no to Briarmeadow as the schools for that neighborhood look a little too rough for my taste.

The schools are pretty rough around Briarmeadow, but that is HISD in general. I am not sure you are going to get much better schools if you lived in Briargrove Park. I am pretty sure BGP is zoned to Walnut Bend Elementary, Revere Middle School and I guess Westide High (used to be Lee HS). I know nothing about Westside High but the other two are not the greatest schools.

I guess I need to get some more money to send those yet unborn kids to private school.

BTW, growing up Revere was a pretty good school. Lee was just turning the corner. My parents chose to send me to Private School, but my older sister went to both those schools and loved them. (She graduated in 87 so that was almost 20 years ago).

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  • 1 month later...

I find it amazing how quickly neighborhoods in Houston turn "rough." Granted, this is the largest city I've ever lived in, but everywhere else I've lived (Pensacola/Gainesville/Tallahassee, Florida - all cities of a couple hundred thousand) neighborhoods like Briarmeadow, Sharpstown, Riverside Terrace, and countless other Houston neighborhoods that "should" be nice really would still be nice. Wow, sorry for that run-on sentence. Either way, it blows my mind. I guess we can blame the rapid turnover of these neighborhoods on the abundance of flat, cheap land in the metro area; there's always a newer house to be had for not much more money. Or maybe it's the lack of zoning. Still, I think it is ridiculous the level to which people treat houses and neighborhoods in Houston as disposable. Some neighborhoods that people around here would never even consider would be running $500,000 in L.A. or D.C. these days.

Count on us to be behind the curve though, right?

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I find it amazing how quickly neighborhoods in Houston turn "rough."  Granted, this is the largest city I've ever lived in, but everywhere else I've lived (Pensacola/Gainesville/Tallahassee, Florida - all cities of a couple hundred thousand) neighborhoods like Briarmeadow, Sharpstown, Riverside Terrace, and countless other Houston neighborhoods that "should" be nice really would still be nice.  Wow, sorry for that run-on sentence.  Either way, it blows my mind.  I guess we can blame the rapid turnover of these neighborhoods on the abundance of flat, cheap land in the metro area; there's always a newer house to be had for not much more money.  Or maybe it's the lack of zoning.  Still, I think it is ridiculous the level to which people treat houses and neighborhoods in Houston as disposable.  Some neighborhoods that people around here would never even consider would be running $500,000 in L.A. or D.C. these days.

Count on us to be behind the curve though, right?

The status of some of these neighborhoods is kind of like the weather, if you don't like it, just wait a little while it will change.

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  • 1 month later...
I am pretty sure BGP is zoned to Walnut Bend Elementary, Revere Middle School and I guess Westide High (used to be Lee HS).  I know nothing about Westside High but the other two are not the greatest schools.

AFAIK students in Walnut Bend are also allowed to go to West Briar Middle School.

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  • 4 months later...
The key word is master planned. This is to include schools, churches, libraries, grovery stores, a mall, a hospital, a fire station, etc etc.

I don't think the Heights had all that on the drawing board along with the subdivision design.

I just have to get in my two cents about Frys because I build computers and wouldn't consider going anywhere else. It's not the most shopper-friendly store for those who are technically-challenged, but you absolutely cannot beat the prices. That's why they locate themselves on the outskirts of major cities. Their rent is low and I'm willing to drive for the savings.

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I just have to get in my two cents about Frys because I build computers and wouldn't consider going anywhere else. It's not the most shopper-friendly store for those who are technically-challenged, but you absolutely cannot beat the prices. That's why they locate themselves on the outskirts of major cities. Their rent is low and I'm willing to drive for the savings.

While I agree, I think you must have quoted the wrong person.

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Why it is that in this town areas go from good to bad so quickly does not havea simple answer but you touched on a great point when you said the city lacks zoning. I'd say lack of zoning and just depending on developers to have deed restrictions do the trick while city ordinance(s) also factor in is a major problem.

I live in Westbury so I can give the classic example of the Home Depot that came here in the mid 90s. Such a store has no business being located in the center of a major residential area. All sorts of trafffic that would not normally come into the area does so because of the store. Mega big box stores like that belong on feeders next to major highways. The 610 and westpark location is the way it should be done. But hey I've posted about that on HAIF before so enough of that.

A major reason for decline of otherwise good areas are high concentractions of apartment complex built in the area. The rental market has been very tight ever since loans got cheap and credit checks for buying a home became very lax. Desparate landlords have been just taking anyone with a pulse in many cases. Many of the older properties that can not get people who would want to live in a newer better place often break the rules and lease to illegal immigrants, allow too many people to occupy the units, or look the other way when renters break rules by doing stuff like drinking on property.

There is a very slippery slope when it comes to that sort of thing. I've worked in the industry for 9 years and seen that a property can go to hell very fast. If one person gets away with something then you can could on everyone who wants to do the same doing just that.

When you survey an area to rent or buy a home always drive about 3 miles in each direction to check out what sorts of business is set up around the area. If you see pawn shops, hard liquor stores, smoke shops, porn emporiums, etc....do not expect it to be a good area. There are a few odd exceptions in Houston. One that stands out is a pawn shop on Bissonett just outside of loop 610 before you get to S. Rice. That is an excellent area.

Another infamous area is known as the "Gulfton Ghetto". This was at its inception a nice place to live for working class people who wanted a safe, quiet, and clean place to live. These days there is a lot of gang activity, drug traffic, and the like over there. Sadly, it has destroyed home values in the area which is like a 5-10 minute drive from the Galleria. If that area were to be cleaned up I'd say a 2000 sq ft home would sell for around $350K easy.

Read up on it on this guy's web page:

http://www.texasfreeway.com/houston/photos...n_history.shtml

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The Meyerland area, as far as I know, has nowhere to go but "up", considering the McMansions that might go there soon. In addition Meyerland is zoned to Bellaire High.

On the other hand, many living in Westbury shun the local high school, opting for Bellaire, magnet schools, or private schools.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Meyerland/Willowbend/Westbury Future

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