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shasta

Will The Houston Pavilions Become Bayou Place South?

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I'm sure many of you will agree that the Houston pavilions suffered a major blow when the developer decided to pull out the residential portion of this project due to financial reasons. The residential portion would have at least guaranteed that someone would have to been there 24/7 and if reasonably priced may have attracted the type of resident downtown Houston desperately needs. This would have really made this project as a true mixed use center for that side of downtown and created synergy.

Knowing that the residential portion will not be included we have to wonder- How will the Houston Pavilions fare? Will it be an entertainment and restaurant Mecca as envisioned by the developers or will it be Bayou Place South and face sparse crowds at certain hours?

WHY IT WILL SUCCEED

1) Disco Green - This is going to be a blessing for this part of downtown and the day crowd around the park may lead to the night crowd frequenting the Pavilions a few blocks away. The question that remains to be answered will be how consistently will this occur?

2) Metro Rail- The location of the Pavilions is along the rail line and this is a great location for the current line and those heading to the Pavilions from the future rail extensions.

3)Lunch Time Crowd- The lunch time crowd in both the neighboring skyscrapers and the office component of the project will sustain the success of the restaurants at lunch time Monday through Friday. Hopefully, the trend here will not be like almost all of the rest of downtown- restaurants will have limited hours and very short hours on the weekends.

4) Houston House Apartments- News of a developer intending to spruce up the Houston House may be good for the Pavilions. The more reasonably priced housing near this project the better.

5) Future Development- This portion of downtown has plenty of room to grow and if designed intelligently this area could grow into a nice neighborhood and the Pavilions could definitely be a big part of it.

WHY IT WILL FAIL

1)No Residences. As stated before this will have a HUGE impact on the project and having so many people anchored to the project because they lived there would have turned this from a place you visit to a place where you call home. All of the tenants would have benefited from this in some way.

2)Location -Let's face it. the location as it currently stands is not the safest and most inviting spot in downtown.

3) One Park Place -True we are getting a new residential tower in close proximity to the project but I don't think a luxury apartment will have a significant impact on it. I doubt the resident of a second home 6,000 square foot penthouse in downtown Houston would be someone who contributes to the downtown Houston night life of the Pavilions on a frequent basis.

4)Houston Shops- This is a great parallel for the Pavilions. It involves restaurants, retail, is close to many offices and is very busy during the weekday lunch hour but is DEAD come late afternoon. Even the fronts facing the street are dead after 5. Of course the pavilions will have more of an entertainment flavor to it as Bayou Place does but will it be enough?

5) Not enough destination retail.- Do any of the tenants really excite anyone? Some of the restaurant and dining tenants are unique but again the Bayou Place also has unique dining and entertainment options and that has not reshaped that part of downtown as it should.

Of course I would love to see the Houston Pavilions become a huge success, spur development, and fuel an renewed interest in downtown never seen before but I'm just trying to play devil's advocate here. What do you guys think?

Edited by shasta

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What do you guys think?

it's more simple than that. if the businesses there are good (have good food, drink, entertainment) it will succeed. if the businesses are mediocre, like bayou place, it won't take off.

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I agree that the Pavilions would have been a little more self sufficient if there were actual residents on the property 24/7, the hotel would have helped also, but I do not believe it will be "Bayou Place South" simply because of its location. There are NO residents that live in the vicinity of Bayou Place and the I-45 location is not exactly inviting either which makes it a pretty dead spot in downtown. Pavilions will not succeed on its own. That is why I like the fact that there will be other soft good retail places opening in the near vicinity. The only reason this area of downtown is not the safest is because there was no Houston Pavilions there to begin with. I am looking at what Houston Pavilions will spur in its vicinity. Too bad most of the historic commercial buildings were torn down and replaced with office buildings with nothing but lobby space on the bottom floors so we will be limited on how much retail will open around the Pavilions. By the way Disco Green does not seem as connected to this development as some make it out to be. That's just my opinion.

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Actually there are more residences closer to Bayou Place. I lived at the Rice Lofts and walked to the movies at Bayou Place among all of the other places around that part of downtown. There are other lofts within blocks such as Hogg Palace, Sabine Street, Franklin Lofts, St. Germain, Keystone Building and several others on nearby streets. I just wanted to point that out. I'm not sure how the Pavillions will do, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I work in a building one block from the Pavillions, so I can tell you that there aren't many restaurants in this part of downtown. We have the Park Shops and a few little quick casual restaurants in the tunnels, but there are only 3-4 actual restaurants to have lunch meetings or take clients to. We usually have to go to the other side of downtown. Some decent restaurants in the Pavillions are much needed.

I agree that the Pavilions would have been a little more self sufficient if there were actual residents on the property 24/7, the hotel would have helped also, but I do not believe it will be "Bayou Place South" simply because of its location. There are NO residents that live in the vicinity of Bayou Place and the I-45 location is not exactly inviting either which makes it a pretty dead spot in downtown. Pavilions will not succeed on its own. That is why I like the fact that there will be other soft good retail places opening in the near vicinity. The only reason this area of downtown is not the safest is because there was no Houston Pavilions there to begin with. I am looking at what Houston Pavilions will spur in its vicinity. Too bad most of the historic commercial buildings were torn down and replaced with office buildings with nothing but lobby space on the bottom floors so we will be limited on how much retail will open around the Pavilions. By the way Disco Green does not seem as connected to this development as some make it out to be. That's just my opinion.
Edited by ArchitecturalPRGirl

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With the release of the new metro rail maps and seeing how HP is currently on rail it surprises me that a Theater is not included in the project.

1. University students and near by area residents could hop on the rail when it is completed and go downtown and to a movie

2. Businesses could rent the theaters for meetings or presentations during the day.

3. Being a East End resident the nearest "true" movie theater is the Edwards off Weslayan and 59, it would be nice to have another choice which would then pull us downtown more often. Edwards at Weslayan does not have any additional draws or places to go near by unless you consider the Mercedes dealership a draw!!!

I believe a movie theater is warranted in this location and would help the surrounding area, building tenants, and downtown. After all the theater at Bayou Place is an ok "art movie theater" but it's not what I would phrase a "true" movie theater showing just released mainstream movies.

Regardless I hope that HP is a Great Success,

Scharpe St Guy

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I know, i'm frustrated that this developent is not including a movie theater in it like they have in Denver Pavilions. Angelika Movie Theater isn't really a movie theater to me, its an art show!

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Why this infatuation with a dying industry? Movie theaters havie been hemorrhaging attendance for years, and it will only accelerate with the advent of HDTV, DVDs, digital cable and satellite and inexpensive home electronics. The biggest demographic for movies is teens, not a desired group for a downtown entertainment center. And worse, the insistence by people of using cell phones in the theater makes it unenjoyable.

It makes no sense for a developer of an entertainment center in a high dollar real estate market like downtown to waste money on an expensive, space hogging, teen drawing, declining business as a theater. AND, there is already one a few blocks away, doing mediocre business....even if you don't care for it. In fact, Angelika would be exhibit number one why they should NOT put in a theater at HP.

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I know, i'm frustrated that this developent is not including a movie theater in it like they have in Denver Pavilions. Angelika Movie Theater isn't really a movie theater to me, its an art show!

I actually really enjoy the Angelika... it's in downtown so it's close to home, plenty of restaurants (not Bennigans, etc.) around it, not very many screaming kids, reasonable prices, etc... It's our new favorite theatre.

Ok, it may not have every latest blow-em-up "blockbuster" flick, but we've seen a lot of regular release films there this year including Ocean's 13, The Simpsons, Harry Potter and Knocked Up. Add the new east end rail coming near there and we're all about it.

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Of course I would love to see the Houston Pavilions become a huge success, spur development, and fuel an renewed interest in downtown never seen before but I'm just trying to play devil's advocate here. What do you guys think?

There is one variable you left out:

The fine visitors to our grand city that are staying at the various hotels. You would be amazed how often I'm asked if there is something closeby. There are also complaints that the Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, and the Doubletree are in the middle of nowhere when the businesses close down.

HP will be within easy walking distance from the following hotels:

Club Quarters

Magnolia Hotel

Alden Hotel

Hotel Icon

Holiday Inn Select

Hilton Americas

Hyatt Regency

Doublegree

Mariott Courtyard

Residence Inn

Four Seasons

Embassy Suites (If built)

Omni (when renovations are complete)

In addition to this are the various people that will hit HP after the various conventions.

As you can see, this is a substantial number of potential users of HP, its a safe assumption that at least 10-20% of the hotel residences will hit HP at least once during their stay.

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I don't really understand why people get so bent out of shape about eliminating the residential. There will be other patrons close by like: One Park Place and other venues. Yes, i would've loved to see the residential with this development too, but either way, i think the development can only help downtown for the better in the long run. This will be a catalyst for other retail and help spur further residential development down the road.

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I actually really enjoy the Angelika... it's in downtown so it's close to home, plenty of restaurants (not Bennigans, etc.) around it, not very many screaming kids, reasonable prices, etc... It's our new favorite theatre.

I agree with you about Angelika, I love it too. You can't beat Monday nights for students. Free popcorn and soft drinks :), and the tickets are way cheaper than anywhere else, and it's convenient (at least for Rice students).

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I agree with you about Angelika, I love it too. You can't beat Monday nights for students. Free popcorn and soft drinks :) , and the tickets are way cheaper than anywhere else, and it's convenient (at least for Rice students).

Not too long after the Angelika opened, they were the only theater in town showing the restored print of "Citizen Kane". That's my favorite movie. I've seen it at least a hundred times. I was very excited. I went on opening day.

They showed it at the wrong aspect ratio. It's Academy -- they showed it at 1.85:1.

I asked the manager to fix it and he told me that was impossible. He said that they didn't have the right lens (which was a lie, since they were using a spherical lens) and that there wasn't a theater in the entire southwest that could show a film in Academy aspect ratio. I tried to explain how he could reframe the image, but it was clear that he wasn't going to do anything.

If you're going to be an art house, don't butcher the movies.

I hate the Angelika. There are some sins that can never be forgiven.

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They showed it at the wrong aspect ratio. It's Academy -- they showed it at 1.85:1.

I asked the manager to fix it and he told me that was impossible. He said that they didn't have the right lens (which was a lie, since they were using a spherical lens) and that there wasn't a theater in the entire southwest that could show a film in Academy aspect ratio. I tried to explain how he could reframe the image, but it was clear that he wasn't going to do anything.

Huh, learn something new every day. I had to wikipedia half of what you were talking about. Also, I just watched Citizen Kane for the first time last weekend. Rosebud!

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I agree, no main stream theatre is a good idea. I don't want to have something that ends up becoming a daycare for teens like the MarqE is. Anyone notice the large number of vacancies at that place?

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I agree, no main stream theatre is a good idea. I don't want to have something that ends up becoming a daycare for teens like the MarqE is. Anyone notice the large number of vacancies at that place?

The way i see it, patrons are patrons. There needs to be a good mix of teens as well as adults to give the impression of an urban city. (No i'm not a child molester)

Hell, even new york is not exempt from having its share of teens on the block.

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There needs to be a good mix of teens as well as adults to give the impression of an urban city.

That sentence sums up a lot of my distaste for these developments. Are we trying to make believe that Houston is an "urban city"? Is this all just a game of dress-up?

If Houston isn't an "urban city", then what is it? And why should it try to give that impression?

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That sentence sums up a lot of my distaste for these developments. Are we trying to make believe that Houston is an "urban city"? Is this all just a game of dress-up?

If Houston isn't an "urban city", then what is it? And why should it try to give that impression?

Hmmmm....i don't think you understand. :mellow:

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I think memebag understands perfectly well. Some glossy building with overpriced t-shirts targeted to a fickle market somehow magically qualifies as urban, and therefore good?

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I think memebag understands perfectly well. Some glossy building with overpriced t-shirts targeted to a fickle market somehow magically qualifies as urban, and therefore good?

To some, apparently yes, just as some think lighting on buildings is more important than businesses actually working in them. It is symbolic of the ongoing HAIF struggle between those who define cities by who lives and works in them, versus those who define them by how they look as they drive by them on the freeway.

Style over substance, I suppose.

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I think he understands perfectly.

What I meant when I said that was........I think thats the wrong way to look at it....He asked why should houston play dress up if thats not the true character of the city......and i disagree with the playing dress up part.....Playing dressup would be equivelent to sprucing a city up two week before the superbowl and pan it off as if it was a clean sparkling city 365 days a year and in reality it will go right back to being the same gritty city it was before the event....or renting a BMW for the weekend and drving it around showing people your new car ....The HP situation is very different........I think it is part of a foundation thats needed to create a natural feel of vibrancy that we all desire......for example....instead of renting the bmw...its more like starting a savings account to hold the money that u are saving to PURCHASE the BMW..so it will become a rightful part of you....you then wont have to PLAY DRESS UP like you have a BMW...it will really be yours..........To make a long story short.......Houston won't be playing dress up ...they would be setting a foundation to build a natural vibrancy that all us Texans dearly seek.......Thats what I meant.......Oh and REd I hope I didn't bore u wit this one..... :rolleyes:

Edited by Dallasboi

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I'm beginning to get this style/substance divide on HAIF.....

Wacky metaphors aside, I get your point, Dallasboi. But I couldn't disagree more. I've already got natural vibrancy to spare, and it didn't come from a shopping mall or a destination restaurant. Those are just as transient in a downtown showcase complex as they are in a strip center off 1-10.

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What I meant when I said that was........I think thats the wrong way to look at it....

I was responding to C2H's statement about mixing teens and adults "to give the impression of an urban city". That sounds like C2H is more interested in how Houston looks to outsiders than how Houston functions. It also raises the question of what makes a city an "urban city".

I'm a big fan of organic, distributed, chaotic systems. Central planning, long term vision, and all that jazz bums me out. I love pedestrian friendly cities, but I don't think Houston will be one as long as private transportation is within the budget of the average citizen. I have a perverse fondness for the 80s downtown landscape that seemed designed to threaten pedestrians, as if one could easily be electrocuted for stepping out of your car.

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I was responding to C2H's statement about mixing teens and adults "to give the impression of an urban city". That sounds like C2H is more interested in how Houston looks to outsiders than how Houston functions. It also raises the question of what makes a city an "urban city".

I'm a big fan of organic, distributed, chaotic systems. Central planning, long term vision, and all that jazz bums me out. I love pedestrian friendly cities, but I don't think Houston will be one as long as private transportation is within the budget of the average citizen. I have a perverse fondness for the 80s downtown landscape that seemed designed to threaten pedestrians, as if one could easily be electrocuted for stepping out of your car.

Completely agree. I am about to declare war on "urban", "mixed use", and even "pedestrian friendly". These terms, when grabbed and used by developers and suburbanites to describe some faux downtown, or even a real downtown that they wish to sanitize, become just so much Disneyfication. While I am very pleased that HP is being built, the real reward will be the revitalization of the surrounding blocks by smaller groups, more so than HP itself. The bigger project may entice the mindless hordes with credit cards, which are needed to fund the other projects, but the best finds will not be in the bright and shiny shopping center at all.

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Speaking of Bayou Place, as I type I see they are hanging a new business sign up. Looks like it will say "Merril Corporation". So a new tennant is good news. This is in the new part called "The Planet".

I wonder if this is the same Merril that used to be at Jackson @ McGowen?

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I have a perverse fondness for the 80s downtown landscape that seemed designed to threaten pedestrians, as if one could easily be electrocuted for stepping out of your car.

Why?

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Why?

Refreshing honesty, I suppose. There's something disgusting about a city built in a mosquito infested swamp for the purpose of refining and distributing petroleum products trying to present itself as a green oasis of foot friendliness.

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Refreshing honesty, I suppose. There's something disgusting about a city built in a mosquito infested swamp for the purpose of refining and distributing petroleum products trying to present itself as a green oasis of foot friendliness.

When was the last time you were bit by a mosquito? It's been quite a while since I have.

The heat and humidity of Houston surely doesn't exceed that of New Orleans, yet the French Quarter continues to draw people who enjoy walking its streets.

To take pride in Houstonians wallowing in their own filth seems peculiar.

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I'm beginning to get this style/substance divide on HAIF.....

Well my frustration with the style/substance divide on HAIF is the tone that they both cannot coexist in Houston. It seems it has to be either one or the other. Why can't a office tower in Houston be full of tenants and have an illuminated fin at the same time? I believe it is indeed possible for a city to LOOK exciting as well as BE exciting. It does not have to be a situation of it being either one or the other.

I also agree with Dallasboi in that HP can help set the foundation for that vibrant downtown we desire, despite all of the vibrancy some residents already have inside of them. Will HP suddenly thrust Houston into the stratosphere of cities like Tokyo, Paris, or New York City, of course not but it can lay the groundwork for Houston becoming a better city by becoming a more dynamic city through a choice of diverse offerings. Personally, I love the clean manicured look of Post Oak in Uptown with the Space Age Arches and suspended street signs. But you know what, I love the Montrose with it's organic chaos and funkiness, just as well.

Also, memebag why can't Houston be a place where a automobile is still in the budget for most but can still offer up pockets of high density pedestrian friendly enviroments connected by rail as well if some of it's citizens desired? Besides, how much longer will the automobile be in the budget of Houstonians? Tolls are continuing to be raised on top of more than our share of new tollroads are being planned and rolled out. Plus I predicted $5.00 a gallon gas on this website a couple of years ago, and as of today it looks like we are well on our way. :)

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When was the last time you were bit by a mosquito? It's been quite a while since I have.

My last mosquito bite was about 3 weeks ago. Are you constantly covered with petrochemical by-products?

To take pride in Houstonians wallowing in their own filth seems peculiar.

Who's wallowing in their own filth? The people who walk about and breathe all that benzene?

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Also, memebag why can't Houston be a place where a automobile is still in the budget for most but can still offer up pockets of high density pedestrian friendly enviroments connected by rail as well if some of it's citizens desired?

It sounds nice, I just don't think it will work. Without natural barriers to confine sprawl and cheap private transportation, there aren't enough incentives to maintain high density.

Besides, how much longer will the automobile be in the budget of Houstonians? Tolls are continuing to be raised on top of more than our share of new tollroads are being planned and rolled out. Plus I predicted $5.00 a gallon gas on this website a couple of years ago, and as of today it looks like we are well on our way. :)

I don't know. I think Houston attracts people who don't want high density residences and good public transportation, people who enjoy a yard with a fence and sitting alone in their car for a couple of hours each day with the AC at full blast. My gut tells me the love of the private automobile is so deep we'll always figure out a way to keep them.

If I really wanted to live in a pedestrian friendly city, I know of several good ones I could move to.

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Refreshing honesty, I suppose. There's something disgusting about a city built in a mosquito infested swamp for the purpose of refining and distributing petroleum products trying to present itself as a green oasis of foot friendliness.

I'm sorry but [EDIT] I have to disagree [/EDIT] .

I disagree that just because the city is a business city as opposed to a tourist city that it's disgusting for it to have a pleasant pedestrian environment. There are plenty of people who would love to move to another more pedestrian friendly city, but end up here for one reason or another. People don't just move to another city because they would like to walk more - they move because of jobs. You may not see it, but there is a demand for better public transportation and a higher density environment (look at Post Midtown Square).

I don't know a single person who enjoys long commutes. I also don't know anybody who would prefer the city center to be dull, lifeless, and hostile. Everybody I've met since I moved here, whether longtime residents or visiting students, wishes downtown was more vibrant, not less.

Why does the fact that the city's main industry is petroleum make having a pleasant downtown "disgusting" to you? Do you seriously think other residents of Houston are disgusted by the idea of having a pleasant downtown?

Edited by Jax

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I love my 3000 sq foot home, my 60'X60' backyard that backs into the bayou, and my big F250 diesel. If being "urban" requires that I densify my living space, I say screw it.

Oh by the way... I recycle plastic and am looking into diesel bio-fuels. Does that help make me less of a environmental thug?

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I don't really think this discussion is about eco-thugs, big houses, or big cars. It's about downtown.

I don't think anybody is seriously talking about densifying already existing residential neighborhoods. This discussion is more about getting rid of the empty space downtown and turning it into a more pleasant environment (ie: Houston Pavilions).

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That sounds like C2H is more interested in how Houston looks to outsiders than how Houston functions. It also raises the question of what makes a city an "urban city".

Well, yes and no. True, I have a lot of respect for Houston and I do want it to get more recognition for the great city that it is. But i think you're wrong about Houston functioning one way. Houston is a plethora of many different cultures, people, and ways of living. You can't put a stamp on Houston and brand it as strictly business professional when other parts of the city don't function that way. I hear people saying that the thugs come in and chase people away from downtown. Or downtown should just be for adults and no children.

Downtown has been doing all these rennovations to help it become more urban, to help establish a sense of place. Houston isn't just one way and if downtown is to become more urban, it has to accept all kinds of people, race, agegroups, skinny, fat, short, and tall.

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Downtown has been doing all these rennovations to help it become more urban, to help establish a sense of place. Houston isn't just one way and if downtown is to become more urban, it has to accept all kinds of people, race, agegroups, skinny, fat, short, and tall.

But what do you mean by "more urban"? What scale are you using?

Edited by memebag

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It sounds nice, I just don't think it will work. Without natural barriers to confine sprawl and cheap private transportation, there aren't enough incentives to maintain high density.

I don't know. I think Houston attracts people who don't want high density residences and good public transportation, people who enjoy a yard with a fence and sitting alone in their car for a couple of hours each day with the AC at full blast. My gut tells me the love of the private automobile is so deep we'll always figure out a way to keep them.

If I really wanted to live in a pedestrian friendly city, I know of several good ones I could move to.

OMG, I hate to even say this for a number of reasons, but I think Atlanta is doing a better job at creating a environment for itself to maintain higher density and some would argue they don't have natural barriers to confine their sprawl either. I know the city overall is a sprawling monster and sprawls even moreso than Houston if I am not mistaken. But from what I see, they are really putting effort into making high density lifestyles work. I know Houston is a different animal, which is why I think strong pockets of it here would be more effective.

I understand what you mean when you say Houston attracts people who don't want high density, in fact I am one of them to a degree. Believe it or not, I have no problem with Houston's density overall. My thing is, high density should be available in this huge metropolis that we call Houston........for those of us who would like that type of lifestyle. Houston is diverse enough now for me to believe there are those who want it. Look at the Post Development in Midtown.

Though I enjoy and prefer my lifestyle at the moment, I lived in St. Louis in another life in a "urban" environment and there were aspects of that lifestyle that I really enjoyed and wouldn't mind having that option again maybe later in life, but in Houston. And with all due respect memebag, whenever this subject comes up, the first thing some suggest is moving. "Houston should have a rail option".....move! "Houston should have more entertainment options for families".......move! "A metro area of this size should have a theme park".....move! "Billboards on the North Freeway make it look tacky".......move! It really does nothing and is a distraction from the subject, so stop it or move! :)

Some may interpret what I'm saying as I want Houston to be Manhattan and that is far from the truth. Houston will never be Manhattan and most of us don't want that anyway. However, again my ideal is to have pockets of areas that can offer a similar style of living if it is desired.

People in Houston will always have private transportation. The same is true for most other cities. And I'm not against that. But hypothetically speaking, if I could take a bullet train from the Galleria to Intercontinental in 10 minutes.....guess what. I would leave my car at home and do it. The only reason I don't do it now is NOT because I love my car so much, but because I don't have that option.

Oh by the way, I think the HP is going to be nice. ;)

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I understand what you mean when you say Houston attracts people who don't want high density, in fact I am one of them to a degree. Believe it or not, I have no problem with Houston's density overall. My thing is, high density should be available in this huge metropolis that we call Houston

I agree. People don't say "wow, a 2 hour commute, I want to live THERE", or "wow, an empty downtown, I like this place". It's more likely that somebody gets a good job offer and ends up moving to Houston and then tries to find the best place to live that they can.

I know some people like having big yards, and space between their house and their neighbor. But that isn't really unique to Houston, nor should it be the only lifestyle in Houston. Toronto and Montreal for example both have dense downtown cores, but also suburbs that are styled very similar to many outlying neighborhoods in Houston. If Toronto and Montreal had boundaries as large as Houston, the suburbs wouldn't be called suburbs, just "neighborhoods outside the beltway", or something.

So I don't think this has anything to do with changing the style of the neighborhoods outside of downtown. I really think it is about making downtown more pleasant, more livable, more "urban" (if that's what you want to call it), and more similar to the successful downtowns of other cities. I'm not saying we should copy other cities, I'm only saying that there is such thing as a successful downtown, and there is no reason why Houston shouldn't have one.

Edited by Jax

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But what do you mean by "more urban"? What scale are you using?

Definitely not new york or Chicago. But lets face it, Currently downtown Houston is DEAD, lifeless, and empty. Its only LIVE during lunch time and business hours. I'd be happy to see downtown Houston even become somewhat like downtown Denver in terms of pedestrian activity. There may not be overcrowded people on the streets NYC style but there is enough action on 16th Street mall to go hang out and draw people there. You do see quite a bit of people walking around. So if Houston could one day match the level of downtown Denver, i'd be pretty satisfied. I just hate to see the downtown of the 4th largest city in America lack so much life.

Sorry if i offended anyone but memebag did ask the question.

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Some may interpret what I'm saying as I want Houston to be Manhattan and that is far from the truth. Houston will never be Manhattan and most of us don't want that anyway. However, again my ideal is to have pockets of areas that can offer a similar style of living if it is desired.

I just don't think "pockets" of density can survive without some pressure to maintain them. Houston's suburbs will continue to drain people as they age, build families, and get tired of drunken suburbanites pissing on their sidewalks. I speak from experience on that (I followed the Gay Trail from Montrose to the Heights to Westbury).

I with the Pavilions luck, but I don't think they will be able to change the nature of Houston and its citizens. I don't think the desire to live in a densely populated area or nice stores or pretty architecture are enough to really increase population density in the long run.

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I'm sorry but [EDIT] I have to disagree [/EDIT] .

I disagree that just because the city is a business city as opposed to a tourist city that it's disgusting for it to have a pleasant pedestrian environment. There are plenty of people who would love to move to another more pedestrian friendly city, but end up here for one reason or another. People don't just move to another city because they would like to walk more - they move because of jobs. You may not see it, but there is a demand for better public transportation and a higher density environment (look at Post Midtown Square).

if the demand for higher density projects is there, they will be built. go down to a planning meeting and see what kind of projects are discussed, i think you'll be surprised that most aren't high density enough for your standard.

I don't know a single person who enjoys long commutes. I also don't know anybody who would prefer the city center to be dull, lifeless, and hostile. Everybody I've met since I moved here, whether longtime residents or visiting students, wishes downtown was more vibrant, not less.

Why does the fact that the city's main industry is petroleum make having a pleasant downtown "disgusting" to you? Do you seriously think other residents of Houston are disgusted by the idea of having a pleasant downtown?

i know people who enjoy their long commutes. some people at work have a hard time understanding why i live "in town" and drive to clr lake everyday. my drive is on average 30 mins which is fine to me but many think that is ridiculous. they live 2 mins from work. i personally couldn't stand that. my boss drives from cypress to clr lake and has no problem. for me, the traffic is clear lake is horrible and the traffic in town (where i go) isn't ridiculous. i had a 415 appointment in the med center today. took me 15 mins to get from my house to the parking garage. not a problem.

you mentioned how longtime residents wish downtown was more vibrant. i think you'll find that most don't care either way. people on HAIF, do care to at least comment. but jax you and i and the rest of HAIF are definitely in the minority.

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Definitely not new york or Chicago. But lets face it, Currently downtown Houston is DEAD, lifeless, and empty.

I disagree. Everytime I go downtown at night I'm shocked by the large number of people and open businesses compared to how it was in the 80s and 90s. Back then it might have seemed empty, but tt was actually occupied by skaters. That probably isn't the sort of "urban"-ness you're looking for, but it was a deeply urban experience for anyone who participated.

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But lets face it, Currently downtown Houston is DEAD, lifeless, and empty. Its only LIVE during lunch time and business hours.

I just hate to see the downtown of the 4th largest city in America lack so much life.

Sorry if i offended anyone but memebag did ask the question.

Pardon me for being horrendously blunt, but just how in the hell do you know? You do not live here. You do not see downtown during the day, at lunch, or at night. You are making sweeping statements with authority....authority you flat do not have. You are either flat out guessing, or you have taken the opinions of others as your own. But, since you do not know the context of their opinions, your opinion carries the weight of a guess.

Sorry if I offended YOU, but you frankly have no idea what you are talking about....even if you happened to guess correctly....which you have not.

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I disagree. Everytime I go downtown at night I'm shocked by the large number of people and open businesses compared to how it was in the 80s and 90s. Back then it might have seemed empty, but tt was actually occupied by skaters. That probably isn't the sort of "urban"-ness you're looking for, but it was a deeply urban experience for anyone who participated.

I agree. At night on Friday, and Saturday the Market Square area and parts of Main are relatively crowded. Not so much other nights though.

Musicman: We obviously hang out with different crowds. I think the average 20-30 year olds that I talk to want downtown to succeed just as much as you and I.

Edited by Jax

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Musicman: We obviously hang out with different crowds.

that's an understatement. LOL

I think the average 20-30 year olds that I talk to want downtown to succeed just as much as you and I.

but unfortunately those are the fickle people that go to a club for a year and then move to the next one and the initial club ends up closing. that isn't success IMO.

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Yeah but we're the future... and I like to think the people I hang out with aren't the fickle types. I guess I'm talking about more along the lines of graduate students / young professionals. People who are past the partying stage and moving towards the buying a house having a family stage without being quite at that point yet. I guess nobody's sample of people can be perfect though, and it's most likely impossible to answer our questions about the future direction of Houston. It's all just speculation.

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well this thread has gotten more interesting.

Someone define for me, please, the measure of a downtown district's 'success'. Seriously.

Residential and associated amenities? Percent office space leased? Balance sheets on all the major companies HQd here?

This thinking that everything has to be a fun zone in order to rate---come on. People in town on business will find a way to spend a couple of hundred bucks. I will still go to Warren's and remember when it was un-ironic to get a cheap drunk on. I will pay parking and associated pre- and post- entertainment costs for sporting events. I will even, grudgingly, give Tilman Fertitta my money because the steak house is pretty damn good.

Assuming I don't have any desire to live there, and I don't work there, exactly how is my downtown failing me?

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Yeah but we're the future... and I like to think the people I hang out with aren't the fickle types. I guess I'm talking about more along the lines of graduate students / young professionals. People who are past the partying stage and moving towards the buying a house having a family stage without being quite at that point yet. I guess nobody's sample of people can be perfect though, and it's most likely impossible to answer our questions about the future direction of Houston. It's all just speculation.

ok i won't do any whitney houston quotes but i'm sure her prognosticator cousin dionne warwick would forecast that when your graduate students / young professionals. People who are past the partying stage actually settle down, they most likely won't be living Downtown. ;)

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No, they most likely won't be living in Downtown Houston as it is today. My point though is they want downtown to succeed. If it were like downtown Toronto, they might live downtown, or at least spend more time downtown.

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