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Houston Press - Midtown Perry Homes Article


midtown_resident

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great link! i wish we had our discussions from the old site on this very subject.

i realize that the houston press has political motives behind this article, anti-republican motives. however, as a republican i'm deeply offended by someone like perry being unconcerned with the homeowners who have made him wealthy. i'm disgusted with the lack of care, style, attention to detail, neighborhood considerations, etc. these slums of tomorrow are a reality happening much sooner than anyone expected.

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great link!  i wish we had our discussions from the old site on this very subject.

i realize that the houston press has political motives behind this article, anti-republican motives.  however, as a republican i'm deeply offended by someone like perry being unconcerned with the homeowners who have made him wealthy.  i'm disgusted with the lack of care, style, attention to detail, neighborhood considerations, etc.  these slums of tomorrow are a reality happening much sooner than anyone expected.

Buying his own pet committee really makes the guy look like a jefe-head. Time will tell on how well those townhomes hold up but it's hard to imagine the areas that they're building them in "ever" becoming slums since their locations should only become more desireable with time. However, their "useful life" might just be shorter than average and, in the next few waves of revitalizing, could end up being torn down for the McMansions of the future.

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As a graduate of UH's Hines College of Architecture, I was not at all suprised by the comments of the instructers that were interviewed. What Perry builds is the antithesis of EVERYTHING students are taught at the college. Perry's products are and have always been substandard. Perry sells amentities (granite countertops, whirlpool tubs), not design, and definitely not architecture. It's all so incredibly poorly designed and built, I do not know anyone who would buy one.

As a partner in the community, Perry has for years been the enemy. Thier developments all over Montrose have desecrated entire blocks. It took them more than 10 years to "discover" that a garage doors didn't have to line the streetscape.

I used to pity people who bought Perry Homes, people who moved into Montrose in townhouses behind "security gates" as if they needed protection from us -thier neighbors, people who still are trying to recreate the suburbs inside the loop. I no longer pity these people. A home is the biggest investment most people make and it wouldn't take much research to uncover the questionable history of Perry in Neartown.

A realtor took me to see a particular townhome a few weeks ago. It sounded good, but upon arrival I immediately recognized it as a Perry product and told the realtor that I was not interested. She remarked that I was not the first client to refuse to view a Perry resale.

Perry's political patronage is just another reason for me not to even consider the purchase of one of his products. Furthermore, I agree that his developments, because they are so poorly designed and lack any "community" value are destined to be the slums of tomorrow. Drive around Sutton Place, where Perry overbuilt to such a degree that there is practically no greenspace, no street parking (driveways negate most street space), and what seems like thousands of utility poles and wires. Perhaps Perry thinks the poles are a good substitute for trees. Ugly and depressing are the two most applicable terms that come to mind.

Townhouses vs. homes is not the issue. Lovett, City Construction, mgdi, and others build more responsibly, more genuinely, and better designed townhouses that are certainly better investments for the homebuyer and for the community than Perry's.

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In the article, the actions of Perry anger me, and the actions of people who are moving into the inner-city that still want their suburban lifestyles anger me. If you want the suburban lifestyle, stay in the burbs! Don't ruin everyones hardwork and the look of the whole city, just so you can leave your McMansion 20 miles from the city and come and build a new one in the innercity. It goes against everything urbanity stands for.

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Check out the article...it's too long to cut and paste, so try this link:

http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/current/feature.html

This link will be outdated after next wednesday, 3/2/05

I posted a permanent link in a related thread here.

Also in that post are links to 2 sidebars from the article; one about Perry's political donations, and one about alternatives to Perry-type homes.

Informative and interesting reads!

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Townhouses vs. homes is not the issue. Lovett, City Construction, mgdi, and others build more responsibly, more genuinely, and better designed townhouses that are certainly better investments for the homebuyer and for the community than Perry's.

I too have heard good things about Lovett. It's good to see that they're developing more of a presence along the Washington Avenue corridor. Hopefully, they'll start to make an impact in Midtown and east of downtown.

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We never had a single problem with our Perry townhome.

The Houston Press is the most negative rag in the world. A glorified Futon and cell phone add, with a dash of rage journalism.

Don't belive their hype.

And if we want to talk about bad design, how about Urban Lofts and their slash and burn architecture?

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We never had a single problem with our Perry townhome.

The Houston Press is the most negative rag in the world.  A glorified Futon and cell phone add, with a dash of rage journalism.

Don't belive their hype. 

And if we want to talk about bad design, how about Urban Lofts and their slash and burn architecture?

I think you are probably one of the lucky ones. I know someone whoworks for Perry Homes and witnesses the construction first hand. All I know is after talking with him I would never purchase a Perry Home. He told us that he we ever considered buying a home that Perry was building then tell him because he would make sure that they built it right.

He told us it was about the numbers. It was about taking shortcuts and using shoddy materials to increase profits and decreasing the amount of time from start to finish.

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We never had a single problem with our Perry townhome.

The Houston Press is the most negative rag in the world.  A glorified Futon and cell phone add, with a dash of rage journalism.

Don't belive their hype. 

And if we want to talk about bad design, how about Urban Lofts and their slash and burn architecture?

i do think the article was a bit over the top - the truth of the matter is that there are many that are very happy with their purchases - but these horror stories are tough to stomach. I do wish perry was a better partner for midtown and didn't just homogenize block after block...but i hold the MMD/MRA accountable more for that fact.

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We never had a single problem with our Perry townhome.

The Houston Press is the most negative rag in the world.  A glorified Futon and cell phone add, with a dash of rage journalism.

Don't belive their hype. 

And if we want to talk about bad design, how about Urban Lofts and their slash and burn architecture?

What is funny is that I have had only one problem with Midtown Perry Townhouse (5 years old) and Perry was amazing at fixing the problem. The outer staircase (built on a seperate slab) had shifted a tad bit from the house and there was a quarter inch gap between the house and the staircase. They came out, dug a hole under the mini slab and stabilized the staircase. In the process they ripped out some of my landscaping. Without me even asking they replaced with similar (and actually nicer) planters. All this work was completed within a week of my initial request free of charge. 12 months later I have seen no shifting of the slab.

I am not even the original owner and I had little paper work. They could have fought it a little while, but they chose to fix the problem ASAP.

My only problem with our home is the plain vanilla interior. But I am upgraging so that problem will soon be fixed. I am also concerned with Re-sale as it pertains to Perry Homes.

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You can't blame Perry homogenizing block after block.

Until we have guidlines on property use, or some form of zoing, we will get what we deserve.

Speaking of homogenizing, check out the hoods east of Sheppard (Hazard, Driscol, Morse). Those town homes look like a ship's butt, are built out the the curb, and really add nothing to the hood.

But I don't hear anyone griping about those eyesores.

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Speaking of homogenizing, check out the hoods east of Sheppard (Hazard, Driscol, Morse).  Those town homes look like a ship's butt, are built out the the curb, and really add nothing to the hood.

But I don't hear anyone griping about those eyesores.

The reason you don't hear people compain about the other builders is because, with the exception of Urban Lofts, they are only building here and there--in much smaller numbers. I can stomach offensive architecture in small doses. With Perry, as with Urban Lofts, the sheer number of townhomes exacerbates the problem.

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small doses is debatable.....that hood is ruined forever.

Anyway, one problem Perry does have is all their green behind the ear Aggie Construction Management graduates.

Seems like they graduate with a tooth pick between their teeth and an attitude.

We did have to shut one down a copule of times.

It's hell arguing with a 24 y/o PM.

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Yeah, I've heard that HHN homes are pretty good, and are fairly priced.

www.hhnhomes.com

I'd like to point out that Perry townhomes tend to be more affordable than those from HHN, Lovett, etc. Not everyone can afford $300-500K townhomes. It would be great to have nothing but world-class architecture in Midtown, but most of us would be priced out of the market.

With that said, it would be nice if Perry would vary their designs beyond vanilla and brick, include more green space, and make them more neighborhood-friendly.

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With that said, it would be nice if Perry would vary their designs beyond vanilla and brick, include more green space,  and make them more neighborhood-friendly.

I am part of my area's SuperNeighborhood group, and for a time Perry was planning on putting in a large development in the 'dead zone' between Idylwood and Eastwood (it would have been their largest to date). Representatives from Perry approached us and attempted to work to create townhomes that weren't so cookie-cutter, and most of us appreciated that. What I thought was interesting, however, was how they plan their large developments: Picture single family, semi-attached, and fully-attached homes as puzzle pieces, all stock floorplans identical to every other Perry development. Then arrange these on various-sized lots until you find the right combination that (1) puts as many homes as possible in the development all while (2) meeting the demographics of the market area (fully-attached all-hardiplank=$; full brick, single family=$$$). It was pretty amazing, and shows why the company is so successful.

Ultimately they decided that this part of the East End wasn't ready for $200k townhomes (you can get a single family home for that) so they put the property on the market.

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I am part of my area's SuperNeighborhood group, and for a time Perry was planning on putting in a large development in the 'dead zone' between Idylwood and Eastwood (it would have been their largest to date).  Representatives from Perry approached us and attempted to work to create townhomes that weren't so cookie-cutter, and most of us appreciated that.  What I thought was interesting, however, was how they plan their large developments:  Picture single family, semi-attached, and fully-attached homes as puzzle pieces, all stock floorplans identical to every other Perry development.  Then arrange these on various-sized lots until you find the right combination that (1) puts as many homes as possible in the development all while (2) meeting the demographics of the market area (fully-attached all-hardiplank=$; full brick, single family=$$$).  It was pretty amazing, and shows why the company is so successful.

Ultimately they decided that this part of the East End wasn't ready for $200k townhomes (you can get a single family home for that) so they put the property on the market.

It's too bad that project got scrapped as it would've really helped jump start the area. At least you guys let them know that there are alert, active residents on the East End that care. I also wonder if the railroad tracks that border that land had them second-guessing that location. Hopefully, it won't turn into a pile of apartments.

As far as the 200K townhomes, the Perrys at Woodridge (Gulfgate) go for more than the homes in that area and they are selling, albeit slowly.

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This is a complicated issue. Clearly, Perry homes are bland and look like crap. Whether they're poorly-constructed, I have no idea.

However, they are offering some semblence of affordability in the Inner loop area. One of my co-workers just bought a perry townhome (weeks ago, before the article) and I teased her for "selling out."

But, as she pointed out, if you are a single person with one income, you will soon be priced out of living within 610. So she felt like she didn't have many options.

She's right.

The Inner Loop of Houston is getting more and more exclusive. Within 3 years, we will all be priced out. It's depressing. I live in Midtown, and like it, but if I don't buy something soon, I'm screwed. Soon inner loop houston will be filled with 300k townhomes.

And yes, I agree with the poster who was angry and suburbanites who want to bring their blandness to the city. But that's another issue.

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As a graduate of UH's Hines College of Architecture, I was not at all suprised by the comments of the instructers that were interviewed. What Perry builds is the antithesis of EVERYTHING students are taught at the college.  Perry's products are and have always been substandard.  Perry sells amentities (granite countertops, whirlpool tubs), not design, and definitely not architecture. It's all so incredibly poorly designed and built, I do not know anyone who would buy one.

As a partner in the community, Perry has for years been the enemy. Thier developments all over Montrose have desecrated entire blocks. It took them more than 10 years to "discover" that a garage doors didn't have to line the streetscape.

I used to pity people who bought Perry Homes, people who moved into Montrose in townhouses behind "security gates" as if they needed protection from us -thier neighbors, people who still are trying to recreate the suburbs inside the loop. I no longer pity these people. A home is the biggest investment most people make and it wouldn't take much research to uncover the questionable history of Perry in Neartown. 

A realtor took me to see a particular townhome a few weeks ago. It sounded good, but upon arrival I immediately recognized it as a Perry product and told the realtor that I was not interested. She remarked that I was not the first client to refuse to view a Perry resale.

Perry's political patronage is just another reason for me not to even consider the purchase of one of his products. Furthermore, I agree that his developments, because they are so poorly designed and lack any "community" value are destined to be the slums of tomorrow.  Drive around Sutton Place, where Perry overbuilt to such a degree that there is practically no greenspace, no street parking (driveways negate most street space), and what seems like thousands of utility poles and wires. Perhaps Perry thinks the poles are a good substitute for trees.  Ugly and depressing are the two most applicable terms that come to mind.

Townhouses vs. homes is not the issue. Lovett, City Construction, mgdi, and others build more responsibly, more genuinely, and better designed townhouses that are certainly better investments for the homebuyer and for the community than Perry's.

Funny thing though, every ward left neglected all these years, and people careless what happens to the inner city neighborhood. suddenly after develpers get their hands on these lands and start redevelopment, people cares? OMG.squaking about historical significance. I see nothing historical before when left neglected and uncared for. you see streets full of trash, roads ruined, homes falling apart. Give me a break.

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Regardless if the Press has an agenda or not, Perry Homes are terrible. Their cheap quality and design are remarkably pathetic, even in a city like Houston. I lived in one for four years and had a number of problems. The customer service was a joke. When I had a major leak due to poor craftsmanship it took a couple of weeks for them to respond. When I look back I cannot believe I bought into the hype. Believe me, if Perry wants to go and build quality townhomes with quality designs I'll be 100% behind them. Until then I wouldn't even reccomend them to a homeless person.

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Funny thing though, every ward left neglected all these years, and people careless what happens to the inner city neighborhood. suddenly after develpers get their hands on these lands and start redevelopment, people cares? OMG.squaking about historical significance. I see nothing historical before when left neglected and uncared for. you see streets full of trash, roads ruined, homes falling apart. Give me a break.

You see nothing historical because you don't have any knowledge of this history of the area. You probably don't know how developers got thier hands on so much property in the area. You probably don'y know the scandals that resulted from the waste (theft) of millions of dollars of tax-dollars to agencies that were tasked with rebuilding and preserving key parts of the area in the 70's and 80's. I'm not going to give you a history lesson, but before you declare that some of us who do know the history, who were there, are just "squaking", you should educate yourself on the subject matter.

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Houston Press has their own agenda, to be sure.

Thank goodness, some media in this developer-controlled city has the guts to disclose issues that others will not. The Houston Press's agenda is disclosure at the very least. I suppose that people who have invested money in Perry Homes will surely want to find fault with the message and the messenger of the story that this topic is about.

I stated earlier that no one I know would buy a Perry Home. Wrong. I good friend announced this weekend that he was planning to purchase a Perry Home, despite all he's read and heard, especially from me. His reason; he can get 2000 sq. ft. for the same price as other builders in the area charge for only 1600-1800 sq. ft.

This brings up other subjects, such as Americans obsession with size, but I can't argue with that particular fact. Perry provides more quantity than some other builders for the dollar. The question many of us are posing is the degree of quality that is provided. Everyone has different values and different needs. Perry clearly meets the needs of many buyers.

Those of us who dream of a time and place when consumers value quality over quantity in buildings can only keep trying to educate those that we can. Afterall why does my single friend with no children, and no plans for children - ever, believe that he needs 2000+ sq. ft. of space in his residence.

Architecture has the responsibilty of educating consumers of design and construction to understand that a properly designed facility can meet their needs and desires in ways other than forever increasing the size of the space.

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Thank goodness, some media in this developer-controlled city has the guts to disclose issues that others will not.  The Houston Press's agenda is disclosure at the very least.  I suppose that people who have invested money in Perry Homes will surely want to find fault with the message and the messenger of the story that this topic is about.

I stated earlier that no one I know would buy a Perry Home. Wrong. I good friend announced this weekend that he was planning to purchase a Perry Home, despite all he's read and heard, especially from me. His reason; he can get 2000 sq. ft. for the same price as other builders in the area charge for only 1600-1800 sq. ft.

This brings up other subjects, such as Americans obsession with size, but I can't argue with that particular fact. Perry provides more quantity than some other builders for the dollar.  The question many of us are posing  is the degree of quality that is provided. Everyone has different values and different needs. Perry clearly meets the needs of many buyers.

Those of us who dream of a time and place when consumers value quality over quantity in buildings can only keep trying to educate those that we can. Afterall why does my single friend with no children, and no plans for children - ever, believe that he needs 2000+ sq. ft. of space in his residence.

Architecture has the responsibilty of educating consumers of design and construction to understand that a properly designed facility can meet their needs and desires in ways other than forever increasing the size of the space.

I prefer quality over quantity. Could you or someone provide a ranking of home builders in Houston area, ranked according to the design and building quality? I wrote off Perry and KB from my list the moment I walked into one of their models. So far, the following builders are in my list:

David Powers

David Weekely

Newmark

Trendmaker

Plantation

Conventary (sp?)

I wasnt too impressed with Emerald and Beazer but they are certainly better than KB and the like. These are just those builders whose models I have seen.

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I prefer quality over quantity. Could you or someone provide a ranking of home builders in Houston area, ranked according to the design and building quality? I wrote off Perry and KB from my list the moment I walked into one of their models. So far, the following builders are in my list:

David Powers

David Weekely

Newmark

Trendmaker

Plantation

Conventary (sp?)

I wasnt too impressed with Emerald and Beazer but they are certainly better than KB and the like. These are just those builders whose models I have seen.

The problem is that it isn't what you see in the models that says quality, it is the infrastructure (what's underneath your feet and behind the walls). Any of these builders could build a terrific house or a shoddy one--it's all brick, wood, mortar, pipes, and wiring. An AC unit itself is about the same as any other, but if installed correctly, then it is quality. Otherwise it will run, but never be efficient.

By the time the house is built, it is too late to know if it is worth what they are asking. I suppose the JDPower awards would be a place to start.

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The problem is that it isn't what you see in the models that says quality, it is the infrastructure (what's underneath your feet and behind the walls).  Any of these builders could build a terrific house or a shoddy one--it's all brick, wood, mortar, pipes, and wiring.  An AC unit itself is about the same as any other, but if installed correctly, then it is quality.  Otherwise it will run, but never be efficient. 

By the time the house is built, it is too late to know if it is worth what they are asking.  I suppose the JDPower awards would be a place to start.

I agree. However, the models at least reveal the designs, quality of the finish, attention to details etc. As far whats underneath, we dont know sure. So, one would have to leave that upto the track record and reputation of the builder.

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Hard to say KZ.

Many on this board may tell you to just buy a 900 sf dump and be happy with it.

Why?  Becuae it's a quality dump.

I can't think of anyone on this board who would tell someone to buy a 900 sf dump and be happy with it.

Do you ever have anything constructive, positive, or useful to add?

Maybe you don't get it, but despite the incredibly wide variety of topics on this forum, it IS the Houston ARCHITECTURE Info Forum, not the developers forum, not the business forum, not the social interaction forum, not a partisan political forum.

Some of us try to respond to the topics in some way that relates to architecture. That's not always possible, but it often is. If the issue is Perry's "architecture", there have been some very strong opinions voiced for months in that regard. If the issue is; is Perry a good business investment?, then this forum is probably not the best place for answers although obviously many posters have strong opinions on that too.

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I prefer quality over quantity. Could you or someone provide a ranking of home builders in Houston area, ranked according to the design and building quality? I wrote off Perry and KB from my list the moment I walked into one of their models. So far, the following builders are in my list:

David Powers

David Weekely

Newmark

Trendmaker

Plantation

Conventary (sp?)

I wasnt too impressed with Emerald and Beazer but they are certainly better than KB and the like. These are just those builders whose models I have seen.

Those are all primarily suburban builders who build in sections of master planned communities all around Houston. I'm familiar with reasonably good reputations for all those you list except for Conventry - never heard of them. I'm far more familiar with builders who build primarily inside the loop.

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The proliferation of bad quality buildings has helped give this city the terrible reputaion it has. I love this city, but it has MAJOR problems. One of the worst is the lack of controls put on developers. Now, we have many of the same developers that build all over the state and country. The problem here is that they can do whatever they damn well please. And probably the worst enemy of neighborhoods is the developer. So many of them just want to make quick money. They could care less about the history of the neighborhood or its fabric. They care about putting the thing up and making a killing from it. It's always going to be a losing battle with these guys because most of them just don't care.

Now that many of the neighborhoods are infiltrated with Perry junk and the sorts, it's absolutely imperative that the few precious structures left be saved. Without zoning or strong neighborhood guidelines it is up to the consumer to voice his/her opinion. Money speaks louder than words. Just don't buy a Perry!

Perry and countless other developers have helped give Houston the reputation of a city without a soul. For a city so diverse in so many other ways this title is disgraceful. This city has been all about business too long. The ill effects have shown, now is time to do something about it.

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The proliferation of bad quality buildings has helped give this city the terrible reputaion it has.

Hey largeTexas,

If, by bad buildings, you mean those ugly strip malls then you are right that they play a big role in ruining the image of the city. However, as far as the overall architecture or quality of buildings around Houston is concerned, then I am not sure if that has actually spoiled the reputation of this town. On the contrary, most external observers find the architecture in Houston "interesting" and often quote it as a positive attribute of the city. That is not to say there arent any bad quality buildings, but I doubt if they are related to the reputation of the city as a whole. One can find bad quality buildings almost anywhere.

Having said this, I do agree that developers have way too much leeway in Houston. They are essentially running this city!

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jtmbin, what gives?

you need to lighten up!

And large, tell me more about Houston's "bad reputation".

It's such a fine line between fact and opinion.

That's just it. Fact or opinion, I'm sure most of us have heard or read a fair share of negative things about Houston. The opinion has so infiltrated the country that last week when I was talking with someone from Minneapolis who had never been to Houston, they commented that they would "never" even think about visiting the city. Working in real estate trying to attract retailers to Houston, I've encountered this a number of times. Unfortunately, I've never heard anyone say they would love to visit Houston. They usually need a lot of convincing just to consider a trip down here. They would much rather go to Dallas or Austin.

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That's just it. Fact or opinion, I'm sure most of us have heard or read a fair share of negative things about Houston. The opinion has so infiltrated the country that last week when I was talking with someone from Minneapolis who had never been to Houston, they commented that they would "never" even think about visiting the city. Working in real estate trying to attract retailers to Houston, I've encountered this a number of times. Unfortunately, I've never heard anyone say they would love to visit Houston. They usually need a lot of convincing just to consider a trip down here. They would much rather go to Dallas or Austin.

This subject of Houston having a bad reputation has been touched upon before. Houston may have bad reputation but that doesnt necessairly make it a fact. Also, I highly doubt that people dont want to visit Houston because of bad quality buildings. There are other negative factors such as traffic, weather, pollution and, of course, negative media coverage. Still, the 6 millions or so people who call this place their home and a large number of corporations who have their offices seem to think otherwise. As for retailers, do we really need more? I cannot think of many other cities with as many national chain stores as Houston, all the way from very high-end to crappy ones.

What you really referring to is tourism. Houston is certainly NOT a tourist destination. It is certainly hard to convince people to consider a trip to Houston when there are so many other destinations. And, if they are going to come to Texas anyway, they would rather head to San Antonio for a taste of Texan history or River Walks, South Padre Island for a taste of Texan beaches or Austin for a taste of Texas Hill Country. Houston doesnt really have much to offer to tourists, except, unfortunately, bad reputation.

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All one has to do is look at our housing costs to see that we have a horrible national reputation.

Until we improve our quality of life issues, we will continue to lose brain power to other cities which are perceived to be more desirable. In my opinion, this factor, more than a lack of zoning, has kept our housing costs so low.

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Guest danax
All one has to do is look at our housing costs to see that we have a horrible national reputation.

Until we improve our quality of life issues, we will continue to lose brain power to other cities which are perceived to be more desirable. In my opinion, this factor, more than a lack of zoning, has kept our housing costs so low.

Right but at least part of our reputation is that we are an ugly city, which could be partly due to no-zoning.

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As for retailers, do we really need more? I cannot think of many other cities with as many national chain stores as Houston, all the way from very high-end to crappy ones.

I agree that Houston is saturated with chain retailers. What we don't have is a lot of the more creative brands that are found in, say LA, NY or Chicago. Houston doesn't have a Diesel, an American Apparel, a Rice to Riches, a Stussy, a cool exclusive sneaker store, a Top Shop, a Paul Frank, a Flight 001, an Adidas Classics, a Nike Town, a Camper, a CP Company, a Calvin Klein, a Barney's, an H&M, a Marc Jacobs, etc. These are some of the brands that I'd love to see downtown. They might not make an ouce of difference to me or any of you guys, but they are all fairly urban and give the city a type of destination-feel for shoppers that like these exclusive brands.

I could be totally crazy, but I think Houston has the potential to have a viable urban shopping district in downtown and Midtown. The brands that are going to want to go there are not your typical Gap or Anne Klein (nor would we want them). Who might want to go are these edgier brands that thrive off of trendy young customers. So far, the only place to go for trendy shopping is really the Galleria. I really think Houston deserves another place for people who don't like the mall. I might be naive, but I'd love to see downtown be that place (in maybe 10 years).

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Guest danax
I agree that Houston is saturated with chain retailers. What we don't have is a lot of the more creative brands that are found in, say LA, NY or Chicago.

Unfortunately, we don't have garment districts like LA and NY, which add a lot of retail color.

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All one has to do is look at our housing costs to see that we have a horrible national reputation.

I certainly do not believe in this fallacy! You make it seem like Houston is begging people to stay by lowering its housing cost!

The single most important factor that determines the cost of housing is available land. In Houston, there are no natural barriers to create scarcity of land. No matter how desirable it becomes, it can still swallow many more residents without making significant dent in housing cost. Imagine if Houston was instead surrounded by mountains on all side or were an island! Currently, the number of new communities and homes under construction around Houston is simply staggering. When I was looking for a house in Seattle, there were only a handful of new communities (only about 5 in the entire east side) and therefore the choices were very limited. Combine that with the recent housing boom created by low interest rate and you get fierce competition among buyers for the few choices available.

Also, Houston has one of the highest property tax rates in the nation. If the city were so desperate to lure new comers, it would reduce the tax rate or give tax incentives to those willing to relocate. In fact, there was an article in today's New York Times that some tiny towns in Midwest and Great Plains are actually giving away free land and tax break of up to two years to anyone who would relocate there. I don

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