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jt16

Warehouse Next To Specs

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I'm not sure if this is already a topic, but I was in Midtown last night and noticed that the warehouse south of specs was half torn down. There's been a sign on that block for years with a restaurant/retail build to suit. I just passed it off since every block in Midtown has a similar sign. Does anybody know what's going on?

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I'm not sure if this is already a topic, but I was in Midtown last night and noticed that the warehouse south of specs was half torn down.  There's been a sign on that block for years with a restaurant/retail build to suit.  I just passed it off since every block in Midtown has a similar sign.  Does anybody know what's going on?

Might be where they are putting a Walgreens

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you are JOKING right?

I know there is a Walgreens going into Midtown....In fact it is one of Heather Chappel's Properties (I think she is Westside properties, but I am not 100% sure)

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we should act now if you guys want an urban design

I will find out the exact location of the walgreens today....if it goes in then another strip center across the street is going too.....

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I have confirmed that the Walgreens is going in on McGowen/Smith/Brazos...right by the Specs. It will be a wrap around style like the CVS. We can all thank Westside Properties for selling out on Midtown again. This is another example of them selling out the Urban design several of us would like to see for Midtown.

Also, as I said before by doing this is will force another company to put a strip center I believe across the street.

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well, walgreen's is no stranger to urban environments...i can't help but wonder if the ordinances requiring huge parking lots (and the variances that would be required to build it any other way) are what's making the developer build it like that. i mean, it's tough to fault them for taking the path of least resistance. if only the mayor would hurry up with those revised ordinances and 'planning guidelines' before any more damage is done.

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WTH???!!!  There's already a CVS like only 5 blocks away from there!  This really sucks...

seems a bit ridiculous to me as well. stuff like this makes me question wtf is going on in midtown.

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WTH???!!! There's already a CVS like only 5 blocks away from there!
They build 'em like that in the suburbs, too.

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Wow. I'm late on this thread, but I'm STUNNED that the suburbanization continues. Well, it's started. Midtown is becoming Sugar Land.

I can't believe this. I am not buying in midtown.

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Then again, maybe I SHOULD buy in midtown. That area needs a strong group of pissed off, fed up owners with a stake in things to shake up the managment district. As a renter, my influence only goes so far. This is getting outrageous. I moved to Midtown for a specific reason, to experience urban living.

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Then again, maybe I SHOULD buy in midtown. That area needs a strong group of pissed off, fed up owners with a stake in things to shake up the managment district. As a renter, my influence only goes so far. This is getting outrageous. I moved to Midtown for a specific reason, to experience urban living.

Midtown guy, please don

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Houston Retail,

Great point. I am a midtown resident, which is enough to give me a voice. Maybe I will show up at a meeting. I think t here's one in april.

Thanks for the kick in the ass.

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Houston Retail,

  Great point. I am a midtown resident, which is enough to give me a voice. Maybe I will show up at a meeting. I think t here's one in april.

  Thanks for the kick in the ass.

Perhaps those who cannot attend the meeting can try emailing them. They have listed email addresses at:

http://www.houstonmidtown.com/midtown.cfm?a=cms,c,34,

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who the hell put them in charge anyway? how can we replace the idiotic members?

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who the hell put them in charge anyway? how can we replace the idiotic members?

It amazes me that Walgreens is going in right there. When it is fiished there will be 3 Walgreens within 1 mile of my house and 7 within 3 miles. The one on West Gray and the one on Montrose are equidistant. And now they are going to build another one. The new CVS in Midtown is always empty. I never see anyone in there. I asked the Pharmacist about the traffic and he told me that business was in fact real slow. I think he liked that, he was moving pretty slow. Something has to give.

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in san francisco, they have nine walgreens within a one square mile area in a part of the city.

it does not bother me that all of these new pharmacies are being built. what does bother me is the lack of design and reluctance to mold these stores into more than the typical suburban outfit.

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I agree with elecpharm. I no issues with a CVS or Walgreens on everyblock. If they make money or not, it is there investment and they have right to try. My biggest beef with them is that they can easily design these stores to be more urban. They can stay one floor, but just put the parking lot in the back of the store with a back entrance. The fron of the store can front the primary street the borders the lot. The street entrance takes pedestrian traffic, the back takes the patrons who park. Very similar concept to River Oaks Shopping center and the Alabama shopping center on Shepherd.

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The street entrance takes pedestrian traffic

That's All well and good in the textbook, but Houston is a city of automobile drivers. Pedestrian traffic pretty much comes to a halt by July.

I think the Walgreens on Lovett at Montrose is a great example an suburban store in an urban environment.

So what if they would have placed a parking lot in the back? I just don't see how that really changes anything in a city full of drivers.

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It's mostly for appearances. Everbody always harps on street front retail. In reality, the business still needs to provide some parking. Most New Urbanist believe in the concept of putting the business up to the street with the parking in the back. It'll just hide cars. That's all. Look at the little shopping center at the corner southwest corner of Hazard and Westheimer. All the parking is in the rear. The front of the place is pedestrian friendly even with a coffee shop and outdoor seating.

Midtown would be great to have this kind of development also. Cars are a fact of life in Houston. These are just suggestions so that they can coexist with the pedestriant friendly atmosphere people want in an urban setting.

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in san francisco, they have nine walgreens within a one square mile area in a part of the city.

it does not bother me that all of these new pharmacies are being built. what does bother me is the lack of design and reluctance to mold these stores into more than the typical suburban outfit.

Right, in SF they blend into the city, and are very useful (bought groceries, toiletries, etc for 6 months there in 2004). If Walgreens can adapt there (forced b/c of real estate costs, I know, but still) they can adapt here.....

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Also, Walgreens has built facilities in the French Quarter and in Downtown New Orleans. They kept the historical qualities of the buildings and are great for workers, tourists, and intown residents to use. Wal-mart attempted to the same with a store. It would two stories and use a historical abandoned building. Who would have thought of an urban Wal-mart. I haven't heard of the progress on the Wal-Mart in a while. I think they were working with the historical commission there.

I wish the Midtown Management District and the residents would work with Wallgreens and CVS to produce some they'll like. You'd be surprise how they will work with you. Remember that these companies realized how much money they can make at the location they chose. Also, any extra construction if not too large is acceptable. After all, they can wright off the costs as a capital investment on taxes anyway.

The heights just finished working with Walgreens or CVS (i forget) to build a store that they can live with. They were smart. Instead of just opposing it, they decided to work with the store to produce results that make everyone happy.

A good example in midtown is Randalls. The minor parking in the front with a parking garage underneath.

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historical qualities of the buildings

Well this is Houston, and if it's too old, we just tear it down.

A neat idea, but not likely in Midtown any time soon.

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good point.

In Houston, it would be just build the new buildings that emlpoyed the same urban concepts. This doesn't mean they have to look historical either. They can be completely modern as for as I'm concerned.

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I do think CVS dropped the ball in Midtown. Especially with The Post getting that environmental award for urban design, etc.

And what about that strip near BW3. Seems like nothing new has opened there since last Summer. Kinda sad.

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That's All well and good in the textbook, but Houston is a city of automobile drivers.  Pedestrian traffic pretty much comes to a halt by July. 

But considering how much residential development there is just within a few blocks of this new store I'm sure there will be quite a bit of pedestrian traffic from the nearby apartments and townhomes at all times of year.

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Oh where to begin...

First, most of the basic elements of "urban design" can be incorporated into their store without any impact or cost to their typical development. Echo those comments previously about simply moving the building to the street and placing parking on side and/or behind. But, simply put they don't have to do it so they won't.

As for Houston being a City of drivers, it is obvious this is the case. But, you could argue that it is a city of drivers because the built environment was designed for and around the car, not pedestrians. If you want a pedestrian environment, you must create it with the design of the built environment. This is a self-perpetuating problem. The more you build auto dominated design, the more auto dominated you become. You have to start somewhere. Midtown is the best and only hope (outside of Downtown) for true urban development; allbeit, it is rapidly fading.

As for parking ordinances, they are a problem. The same requirement pertains to midtown as it does in Kingwood. This is a problem that must be addressed to spur more urban development in Midtown, especially as land prices continue to increase.

As for going to the MRDA meetings, it is always good to show up and speak your mind. But, the board is essentially powerless on this type issue. They have failed to pursue the ability to institute land use and/or design control. Without it, they simply ask the developers for their consideration and hope they get it. The board members are afraid to push the issue with City Council (they have to CC approval for this ability). When you ask a board member about this, they simply laugh and say it will never happen. This is the prevailing attitude of the board members that serve your neighborhood. That being said, this will only change if all of those who support urban design and/or oppose typical suburban development in midtown will organize and make their point in more public and open forums (i.e. political forums).

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organize and make their point in more public and open forums

Would be nice but such a group would have to be very organized and on top of things.

It's hard when a empty lot turns into a framed town home over night.

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If midtown develops like we want it too with as much residnetial that is expected, having this many pharmacies would be a problem. San Francisco is extremely dense, seeing the need for many locations. Houston will get to this point (maybe not San Fran dense) to where these locations are needed.

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If midtown develops like we want it too with as much residnetial that is expected, having this many pharmacies would be a problem.  San Francisco is extremely dense, seeing the need for many locations.  Houston will get to this point (maybe not San Fran dense) to where these locations are needed.

But there is already a Walgreens on W. Grey and another on Montrose. I do not think there is a need for another one anytime soon. The only reason they are building there is to try and push CVS.

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great, that's competition. If they don't do well, they'll close and somebody else would buy the property and build there.

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great, that's competition.  If they don't do well, they'll close and somebody else would buy the property and build there.

Or the property will go vacant, get boarded up and be an eyesore for the neighborhood. I would rather have a vacant tract of land.

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