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wxman

Med Center...top 10 Business Districts In 7 Yrs?

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I'd like to apologize right from the get go. The following info. may have errors. I had on local 2 this evening listening to the news and they had a story about the Texas Medical Center. I heard Bill say that within the next 7 years, the med center will undergo a building boom turning into one of the top 10 largest business districts in the U.S. Has anybody else heard this?

I apologize again if any of this info. is wrong or misinterpreted. Again, I heard the information this evening (Nov. 21) on KPRC Local 2 News.

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Here's the Fox News version of the story.

7 years

30,000 new jobs on top of the 73,000 already there

Doubling the land area

$7 billion investment

Unfortunately, if you check out this ranking of CBDs on p.11, with 103,000, it looks like it would ranked around #13 - similar to Minneapolis or Cleveland. And that's without considering non-central business districts, like Uptown/Galleria, which is still larger.

Still very impressive. Hope the LRT picks up a lot of that, because I'm pretty sure the street grid can't handle it.

Here's a post I did a while back, showing the combined job growth forecast for our core triangle - downtown + uptown + Greenway + TMC - would put us just behind NYC and Chicago if it were considered a single CBD.

Edited by ToryGattis

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Doubling the land area

Doubling the land area is sure mindboggling. We'll have to see what areas/buildings are acquired to make this happen. The land owners will surely make a hefty profit. but i'll bet it doesn't bode well for the old Presidential Bldg on Holcombe

Edited by musicman

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Doubling the land area is sure mindboggling. We'll have to see what areas/buildings are acquired to make this happen. The land owners will surely make a hefty profit. but i'll bet it doesn't bode well for the old Presidential Bldg on Holcombe

Do I smell any highrises in there?

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Here is the AP story on it:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5321166.html

There is more construction going on at the medical center than the rest of Houston combined, with about 60 percent of the construction cranes in the city at the world-renown facility.

It ranks 17th on a list of major downtown business districts nationally, just below Los Angeles, and would shoot up to seventh with all the planned construction, said Richard Wainerdi, the president and chief executive of the medical center.

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I kind of wish the Med Center had a bit more residential. I kind of doubt that will happen though, but I would like to live there if it did. And I'm not talking about the Astrodome area that people call "Medical Center" when they are trying to sell condos and apartments.

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Do I smell any highrises in there?

Personally, I'd like to see them try to outdo the St Luke's Tower. A giant catheter, maybe? :P

I kind of wish the Med Center had a bit more residential. I kind of doubt that will happen though, but I would like to live there if it did. And I'm not talking about the Astrodome area that people call "Medical Center" when they are trying to sell condos and apartments.

Yes, I agree; I love the "unique" energy and vibe the Med Center has. perhaps a mixed use development of some sort would be proper (I've seen some proposals a while back, but they never really took a foothold; one of particular interest was at the intersection of Fannin and Braeswood, if that's close enough to the TMC).

Furthermore, I hope they integrate more retail space into the new buildings, as the options seem to be far and few at the moment; AFAIK, the only real "retail hub" seems to be where the Starbucks, Subway, Chipotle, etc are.

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I notice that the retail at Dryden Station is absolutely packed at lunch time, and I've never seen it empty, even at off times. You have to wait 30-45 minutes sometimes to get a Chipotle at noon. I think more retail (especially restaurants) would do really well. I know for a fact that the Rice CRC will have ground level restaurants, not sure about the rest though.

Edited by Jax

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I kind of wish the Med Center had a bit more residential. I kind of doubt that will happen though, but I would like to live there if it did. And I'm not talking about the Astrodome area that people call "Medical Center" when they are trying to sell condos and apartments.

IMO if TMC is going to double its size, sounds like hospital space is going to be the norm. for someone to built residential some BIG bucks would be necessary. maybe doctors with no lives would be interested but most others would find the location to be too crowded to handle. just imagine trying to have a party.

Edited by musicman

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You have to wait 30-45 minutes sometimes to get a Chipotle at noon.
you must like chipotle. most taco stands make a better burrito.

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Maybe, but you're missing the point. My point is that there are few restaurant options in that part of the med center for the number of hungry people, which means huge lines. Maybe somebody should open a taco stand. :)

Edited by Jax

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Maybe, but you're missing the point. My point is that there are few restaurant options in that part of the med center for the number of hungry people, which means huge lines.
life is such a struggle sometimes, i really feel for the people that don't have enough restaurant options. :o

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I'm sure we'll see much more residential built around the medical center, like Mosaic or whatever, but I doubt we'll see any residential actually built in the TMC. Unless maybe they do a hotel/residential combo thing. Does anyone know if the TMC would even allow residential to be built within the campus borders?

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There's currently one residential building on the TMC campus (Laurence H. Favrot Tower) which is only available to doctors and students. I know a lot of people who live/lived there. It's kind of old and not such a great place (besides the location),and I think it would be great if there were more places like that for international students and visiting doctors / interns / residents in the hospitals/universities.

A lot of people move there because they don't know Houston, don't have a car, and basically want the convenience of living on campus. Despite being old and out of date, the occupancy rates have to be extremely high. If there was a more modern apartment building on campus for TMC people, it would be extremely popular. And it would give visiting doctors/students/interns/residents a better impression of the TMC.

Edited by Jax

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life is such a struggle sometimes, i really feel for the people that don't have enough restaurant options. :o

You know, more eating establishments ARE nice. Some of my clients that are located in Methodist would love to get something to eat so they can walk a bit on their own and get "normal" food when they're stuck there for 3-4-5 months at a time.

While to you, not having more eating options isn't much of an issue, tell that to the poor schmuck stuck in the hospital who would like to simply feel like a normal person and go get some some normal comfort food.

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Musicman thinks everybody can just drive somewhere every time they're hungry.

I think the med center has some decent restaurants, just not enough for the volume of people. Long lines aren't necessarily because the food is good (musicman made a comment about being surprised people are lining up, because he doesn't like Chipotle) but because the options are limited. When thousands of people are hungry and driving isn't an option, and there are only a few places you can walk to, its going to get packed. The next person to open a decent restaurant at Dryden station is going to make a fortune. Let's just hope it's something better than McDonalds.

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Musicman thinks everybody can just drive somewhere every time they're hungry.
some don't have the option of leaving their desk. others are just lazy and not bring their lunch. if i know i can't leave me desk, i bring my lunch. most working people don't have time to stand in line for 40 mins like you do jax. Edited by musicman

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Here is the AP story on it:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5321166.html

There is more construction going on at the medical center than the rest of Houston combined, with about 60 percent of the construction cranes in the city at the world-renown facility.

It ranks 17th on a list of major downtown business districts nationally, just below Los Angeles, and would shoot up to seventh with all the planned construction, said Richard Wainerdi, the president and chief executive of the medical center.

Ahh, I get it now. I think they're ranking based on square footage - not jobs. And, of course, with all the space for patients, medical facilities will tend to have a higher ratio of sq.ft per job than a typical cluster of office buildings.

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most working people don't have time to stand in line for 40 mins like you do jax.

Then why are there so many people standing in line? Maybe it's not most of the workers in the Med center who walk to lunch, but it's enough people to make it crowded and warrant more restaurants in that area. Keep in mind its not only working people waiting in line but patients too (although looking at the amount of scrubs in line, there's a significant number of doctors/nurses/med students). It's not like everybody eats at their desk every day. Even if 1% of the med center employees didn't have time to pack a lunch on any given day, that would still be enough people to make it crowded and warrant more restaurants.

As I said before, whoever opens the next restaurant in that area is going to make a fortune. Despite what musicman says, there are still lots of hungry people in the medical center at lunch time, and there will only be more with the new maternity center, pediatric center, the new Methodist outpatient center, and the Rice collaborative research center within a block of Dryden station. Plus everything else that is going on in the med center. I highly doubt that all of the employees and all of the patients and students at all of these new facilities will eat at their desks/beds every day.

Musicman: Why do you always have to be so argumentative? Do you work in the medical center or do you just like to argue? It's not as much about "life being such a struggle" (although I wouldn't mind more eating options), as much as it's about the market having an opportunity for somebody to capitalize on.

Edited by Jax

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Then why are there so many people standing in line? Maybe it's not most of the workers in the Med center who walk to lunch, but it's enough people to make it crowded and warrant more restaurants in that area. Keep in mind its not only working people waiting in line but patients too (although looking at the amount of scrubs in line, there's a significant number of doctors/nurses/med students). It's not like everybody eats at their desk every day. Even if 1% of the med center employees didn't have time to pack a lunch on any given day, that would still be enough people to make it crowded and warrant more restaurants.

As I said before, whoever opens the next restaurant in that area is going to make a fortune. Despite what musicman says, there are still lots of hungry people in the medical center at lunch time, and there will only be more with the new maternity center, pediatric center, the new Methodist outpatient center, and the Rice collaborative research center within a block of Dryden station. Plus everything else that is going on in the med center. I highly doubt that all of the employees and all of the patients and students at all of these new facilities will eat at their desks/beds every day.

Musicman: Why do you always have to be so argumentative? Do you work in the medical center or do you just like to argue? It's not as much about "life being such a struggle" (although I wouldn't mind more eating options), as much as it's about the market having an opportunity for somebody to capitalize on.

As I have said a couple of posts ago, the patients are always clamoring that they need more food options. The med center may not seem like it, but there are people there 24hrs a day. Not only are they working, but there are patients and their visitors.

While it would seem that the space is at a premium for medical facilities within the confines of the Medical Center (duh), there is an increasing need for other services for the patients and doctors that don't have as much time on their hands. M.D. Anderson alone is almost an island of activity with no eating establishments, aside from the McDonald's over in the St. Lukes Hospital basement, that is nearby or within a proper walking distance.

Musicman, as its been discussed many times on this system over a variety of topics, we all don't have 9-5 jobs. In your case in particular, you literally have to go a good distance to get a decent meal which involves going through security several times.

Cut the rest of us little people some slack?

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I think the new collaborative research center building with Rice - at the corner of University and Main - is supposed to have a large first-floor food court.

This press release says "10,000 square feet of retail space for a restaurant and shops".

OK, here's more.

You know, I think I remember reading something once about a mega-food-court in the works for the TMC, with a more upscale sit-down restaurant on top. Can't remember where I saw it though.

Edited by ToryGattis

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Then why are there so many people standing in line? Maybe it's not most of the workers in the Med center who walk to lunch, but it's enough people to make it crowded and warrant more restaurants in that area. Keep in mind its not only working people waiting in line but patients too (although looking at the amount of scrubs in line, there's a significant number of doctors/nurses/med students). It's not like everybody eats at their desk every day. Even if 1% of the med center employees didn't have time to pack a lunch on any given day, that would still be enough people to make it crowded and warrant more restaurants.

it is lunch time jax, many places are busy. when the market warrants more restaurants, they restaurants will emerge. many restaurants don't have the capital to build in TMC because of land prices and rents are high. places like this are usually popular during lunch time but in the evenings, they close because of lack of patrons. when they can't make money all day, they can't pay the higher rents. hence, fewer choices.

Despite what musicman says, there are still lots of hungry people in the medical center at lunch time

Jax i didn't say there weren't hungry people in the med center.

Musicman: Why do you always have to be so argumentative? Do you work in the medical center or do you just like to argue? It's not as much about "life being such a struggle" (although I wouldn't mind more eating options), as much as it's about the market having an opportunity for somebody to capitalize on.

Jax i think you have it! it IS about opportunity, for the restaurant developer! when the appropriate time comes, so will the restaurants!

Life is struggle for most everyone, including myself. luckily lack of restaurant choices in TMC and difficulty in determining which LRT door will open when, isn't on my list.

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many restaurants don't have the capital to build in TMC because of land prices and rents are high.

Of course restaurant owners can't afford to build a free standing restaurant building in the TMC, but many of the new developments will have the option of adding ground level retail space. I read in a 'master plan' document that Fannin and Main were to be the mixed use corridor of the TMC.

places like this are usually popular during lunch time but in the evenings, they close because of lack of patrons. when they can't make money all day, they can't pay the higher rents. hence, fewer choices.

Not true, you'd be surprised but these places aren't empty after 5 pm like places downtown. Hospitals are always open, and doctors work weird hours, unlike other businesses. I ate at the sushi place once at something like 8:30 or 9 pm, and it wasn't empty.

Jax i think you have it! it IS about opportunity, for the restaurant developer! when the appropriate time comes, so will the restaurants!

It seems like we agree to some extent then. I'm just saying that now is an appropriate time, with all of the new developments having the opportunity to add retail/restaurant space, which I believe it's needed.

it is lunch time jax, many places are busy.

You keep making comments which seem to be attacking my ideas, yet your comments don't really detract from what I am trying to say. Of course some people will eat at their desks, but that doesn't really change the fact that the restaurants are busy. Of course life is hard, but that doesn't change anything. Of course restaurants are always busy at lunch, but when they are so busy that some people have to wait 30 minutes and can't even get a seat, that's a sign that market will support more restaurants.

Edited by Jax

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I think the new collaborative research center building with Rice - at the corner of University and Main - is supposed to have a large first-floor food court.

This press release says "10,000 square feet of retail space for a restaurant and shops".

You're right. And it's going to be very successful. This is what I have been trying to say. The demand for more restaurants over there is more than what Musicman would have us believe. I hope the CRC has some real restaurants, unlike the places on the Rice campus though.

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Isn't there some mixed-use development possibilities around the Smith Lands station?

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I heard something mixed use is possibly going to happen at TMC Transit Center and Kirby@OST too... Don't know all of the details though.

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Of course restaurant owners can't afford to build a free standing restaurant building in the TMC, but many of the new developments will have the option of adding ground level retail space. I read in a 'master plan' document that Fannin and Main were to be the mixed use corridor of the TMC.

the hospitals will dictate what goes in. i know tx childrens has a food area, st lukes has a cafeteria, smith tower,etc...but they all can't be accessed from the street. is this what troubles you?

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Dont you people have leftovers to eat and football to watch ??

Not I.

I ate it all yesterday and I'm not into football.

the hospitals will dictate what goes in. i know tx childrens has a food area, st lukes has a cafeteria, smith tower,etc...but they all can't be accessed from the street. is this what troubles you?

I've never eaten at St. Luke's but TCH food sucks. Obviously the TCH cafeteria hasn't reduced the demand for restaurants in the area, otherwise the line-ups would not be so long everywhere.

I agree that the hospitals will dictate whether there is retail space or not. As I said previously, nobody is going to construct a free standing restaurant in the TMC. I'm just saying that I think they need to include retail space in their plans. We'll see how it goes. At least Rice is going in the right direction, as did Memorial Hermann with their new tower.

Edited by Jax

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some don't have the option of leaving their desk. others are just lazy and not bring their lunch. if i know i can't leave me desk, i bring my lunch. most working people don't have time to stand in line for 40 mins like you do jax.

Personal attacks are not permitted on HAIF. Tone it down or take it elsewhere.

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Ahh, I get it now. I think they're ranking based on square footage - not jobs. And, of course, with all the space for patients, medical facilities will tend to have a higher ratio of sq.ft per job than a typical cluster of office buildings.

That's too bad. I've always felt the Medical Center was underappreciated on a national scale when it comes to urban density. Still, however it's done a little attention for Houston is always nice.

Not to derail the thread, but I wonder if the Medical Center would make a good location for a light rail nexus. I have a sense that people who work there would support it and are a little more accepting of mass transit than people in some other parts of the region. Though I still expect the docs and admins to drive to work in their fancy luxury SUVs, I don't think rail would get as much opposition there as it does in other places.

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Dont you people have leftovers to eat and football to watch ??

Nothing to do with this thread, but I am having a big ass piece of apple pie with some vanilla ice cream on top, while watching the crazy Tenn and UK game.

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The TMC Master plan which was updated last year includes three areas of mixed use development which combine retail and residential with medical related facilities. You can find a link to the plan at this site:

http://www.texmedctr.tmc.edu/root/en/GetTo...owth/Vision.htm

Regarding current dining, the new parking garage (the one with the water wall on its north and west sides) has an upscale restaurant (Trevisio's) on the top floor and a better than average food court on the ground level.

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The TMC Master plan which was updated last year includes three areas of mixed use development which combine retail and residential with medical related facilities. You can find a link to the plan at this site:

http://www.texmedctr.tmc.edu/root/en/GetTo...owth/Vision.htm

Regarding current dining, the new parking garage (the one with the water wall on its north and west sides) has an upscale restaurant (Trevisio's) on the top floor and a better than average food court on the ground level.

Page 8.

Did anyone else look at it?

It's a map of "Planned Metrorail." They've got some interesting routes going east/west between the beltway and 610 on the north side starting at 249 and going past 59. I've never seen that anywhere else.

==========

Jackson, check out page 9. It talks about mixed-use developements for visitors, staff etc for eveneing and weekend activity. That means restaurants. :)

Edited by lockmat

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I've seen the vision PDF a few months ago and I'm quite excited about it, but it should be interesting if there is an actual plan to implement it and how. As the Med Center grows, congestion will get even worse, parking will be harder to find and more expensive (their long term "discount" is a joke, but convenient) something has to be done to allow more for than one rail line into that area.

I think a Bellaire/Holcombe Line would be awesome but a royal pain to hook up to the the Med-TC because of several challenges:

One is the CITY of Bellaire is not likely to be as cooperative to allow the rail to go through their city as they were to put in a TC in their area (why was it put THERE, BTW? Why not further up or down Bellaire BLVD?).

Second is Holcomb near 288, there is a substantial amount of 18-wheeler traffic coming from and to Grocer Supply who owns land on BOTH sides of the street. As land gets more expensive, this may not be an issue in a few years.

Whatever route they plan is going to be interesting to watch because there is a number of hurdles to jump over logistically and politically.

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Cool stuff. It's places like the TMC that make it exciting to be in Houston.

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I'm late to the debate, but I'd like to insert the point that the TMC has more dining options than what is actually visible from street level where Chipotle is. There are in fact a half a dozen other Starbucks locations throughout the TMC, for instance, in addition to the one on Fannin next to Chipotle. And there are a whole lot of delis and fast food places that are scattered all over the place.

A couple years ago, I catalogued every single retail establishment in the TMC, and it was quite an extensive list. You'd never have thunk it unless you actually walked the whole place, though, because those places just don't have the street-level visiblity or signage like they do in typical business districts. But...this is the TMC, and it is controlled by the Texas Medical Center, Inc. So what would occur in a market-driven environment cannot be expected.

Jax, I'd suggest that you take a few hours and do some exploring. There are plenty of options, sometimes below-ground, sometimes three or even four stories up. And most can be accessed without going outdoors.

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Yeah, there are a lot of delis in the TMC. When I use to have braces (my teeth were ____ed up, but are straight now), we use to always go to a deli in the TMC close to the UT Dental Branch (this was back in 2004-2005 when I went to the TMC every two weeks). Depending on what time we went, it was either packed, or just a few people.

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Not I.

I ate it all yesterday and I'm not into football.

I've never eaten at St. Luke's but TCH food sucks. Obviously the TCH cafeteria hasn't reduced the demand for restaurants in the area, otherwise the line-ups would not be so long everywhere.

I agree that the hospitals will dictate whether there is retail space or not. As I said previously, nobody is going to construct a free standing restaurant in the TMC. I'm just saying that I think they need to include retail space in their plans. We'll see how it goes. At least Rice is going in the right direction, as did Memorial Hermann with their new tower.

News Flash Jackson! the SLEH and the TCH cafeteria are the same place, or should I have said "is" the same place. Luke's operates the place (Bertner St. Cafe or something like that) but TCH employees use it and get the same discount. It's like a joint venture thing. All those other places in the CCC and West Tower are just concession stands.

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I'm late to the debate, but I'd like to insert the point that the TMC has more dining options than what is actually visible from street level where Chipotle is. There are in fact a half a dozen other Starbucks locations throughout the TMC, for instance, in addition to the one on Fannin next to Chipotle. And there are a whole lot of delis and fast food places that are scattered all over the place.

A couple years ago, I catalogued every single retail establishment in the TMC, and it was quite an extensive list. You'd never have thunk it unless you actually walked the whole place, though, because those places just don't have the street-level visiblity or signage like they do in typical business districts. But...this is the TMC, and it is controlled by the Texas Medical Center, Inc. So what would occur in a market-driven environment cannot be expected.

Jax, I'd suggest that you take a few hours and do some exploring. There are plenty of options, sometimes below-ground, sometimes three or even four stories up. And most can be accessed without going outdoors.

While I agree that there are are a number of eating options in Methodist, St. Lukes, TCH, BCM, and waterfall wall garage, they are only available during busines hours.

I'm not sure of the McDonald's and the Cafeteria at Methodist, but I belileve they also hold the same hours as well.

The "Garage" resturants can easy be accessed by those from BCM, Methodist, and St. Lukes, the People from MD Anderson and buildings east of there don't have as many options, particularly after hours.

The mobility (with the exception of a couple of streets) getting around has improved. Bless the men that decided to make the St. Luke/TCH Sally Port a one way street. In regards to the "people mover" I reread the document (my eyes still hurt) and it isn't specific as to what kind they are planning.

I have some misgivings as to the routes that TMC is "recommending" to Metro. The pearland route is doable, but I don't really see if a Missouri city would be viable except as a shuttle.

Maybe make a large parking "commuinty" for the area that people from that town plan on connecting to the future rail alignment?

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As for residential, what's up with the Cambridge Tower proposal? Anyone know anything?

Also, Musicman, what's your deal with following Jax around from post to post and piling on at every chance?

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As for residential, what's up with the Cambridge Tower proposal? Anyone know anything?

Also, Musicman, what's your deal with following Jax around from post to post and piling on at every chance?

I've noticed that too, and have found it strange.

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I've never eaten at St. Luke's but TCH food sucks.
so first there aren't enough options. then it is mentioned that there are numerous other options (not at street level) besides chipotle but "TCH food sucks." Should TMC limit it to only good restaurants? :blink:

EDIT: T and K that's for you.

Edited by musicman

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so first there aren't enough options. then it is mentioned that there are numerous other options (not at street level) besides chipotle but "TCH food sucks." Should TMC limit it to only good restaurants?

My point was that even with the "numerous other options", including the TCH cafeterias, there still isn't enough. Obviously, the presence of the cafeterias doesn't invalidate my observations while eating in the TMC every week.

On a side note, the quality of the food in the TCH cafeteria is unfortunately very low. I don't recommend it.

Edited by Jax

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My point was that even with the "numerous other options", including the TCH cafeterias, there still isn't enough.

understand. would it concern you IF more were built but not accessible at street level?

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The quality of these photos is pretty horrible, but I thought I would just post them for fun. Taken with my cameraphone at lunch. I wish I could carry my SLR in my pocket.

gallery_3613_37_200021.jpg

gallery_3613_37_159298.jpg

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The quality of these photos is pretty horrible, but I thought I would just post them for fun. Taken with my cameraphone at lunch. I wish I could carry my SLR in my pocket.

gallery_3613_37_159298.jpg

The women in the blue scubs thanks you for your timing. What a nice face.

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I mentioned this on another thread, but seems relevant here as well. With the increases in jobs/cars/residents likely in this area from the aforementioned development projects, how long can Holcombe between Med Center and Kirby remain something of a wasteland? There are numerous underutilized commercial lots, not to mention the eye sores such as the boarded up IHOP. Much of this isn't walking distance from the Med Center, but it seems to me like it will definitely get an uplift at some point. Too bad I know nothing of commercial real estate or I might try and invest myself.

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