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South Main Innovation District In Midtown


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On 5/5/2021 at 9:23 AM, rechlin said:

Looking good at night from Wheeler Station, all lit up:

zR3e4Fe.jpg

Nice.  However, I've heard complaints from friends living in the high-rise at Montrose & Hawthorne that the light around the roofline is extremely bright and glaring.

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52 minutes ago, clutchcity94 said:

Anyone else notice the drastic increase in homeless population near and underneath the Spur recently?

Yep I noticed that the other day. It had been clear of homeless for a while. 

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10 minutes ago, clutchcity94 said:

On the east side of 288?

The article doesn't really specify, but there does seem to be concern of rising rents and property values displacing long term, minority residents in the general vicinity. 

Of course, where the Ion is currently was technically Third Ward under the historic definition (everything east of Main and south of Texas). I know the Midtown Management District is active with some projects east of 288 as well. I think the borders between Midtown and Third Ward which are commonly recognized are beginning to blur a bit. 

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2 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

The article doesn't really specify, but there does seem to be concern of rising rents and property values displacing long term, minority residents in the general vicinity. 

Of course, where the Ion is currently was technically Third Ward under the historic definition (everything east of Main and south of Texas). I know the Midtown Management District is active with some projects east of 288 as well. I think the borders between Midtown and Third Ward which are commonly recognized are beginning to blur a bit. 

that's being a bit kind, my understanding is that the Midtown TIRZ has purchased a lot of land East of 288.

 

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10 minutes ago, samagon said:

that's being a bit kind, my understanding is that the Midtown TIRZ has purchased a lot of land East of 288.

 

They don't take care of the lots they own at all and leave all the houses abandoned. I feel they are responsible for half the blight of the 3rd ward. Literally make the area look like crap and then say they are needed to "fix" it.

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24 minutes ago, samagon said:

that's being a bit kind, my understanding is that the Midtown TIRZ has purchased a lot of land East of 288.

I guess the way I framed that was a bit too diplomatic. I had that other thread you identified and prior articles on the subject in mind when I made that comment. 

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7 hours ago, samagon said:

a topic for another thread, but allowing a TIRZ (and whatever associated redevelopment authority they set up) to buy land that is outside of its official boundary should be against the rules of the TIRZ system.

You can thank the combination of Garnet "Not in my Neighborhood" Coleman and the Midtown RDA for piling up lots of land East of 288. Coleman is vehemently against gentrification, and thinks that he is the only thing standing between the Third Ward and a bunch of new people buying townhouses there. Personally, I want Coleman to just go away. I am annoyed that tax dollars have been used to accumulate several million square feet of land that is sitting there doing nothing and not contributing to the tax base. A quick search on HCAD shows 474 properties owned by the Midtown RDA. That's ridiculous. Maybe Coleman will work with Rice to use some of that land.

https://kinder.rice.edu/2016/05/25/third-ward-looks-to-shift-the-gentrification-conversation

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112888084

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

You can thank the combination of Garnet "Not in my Neighborhood" Coleman and the Midtown RDA for piling up lots of land East of 288. Coleman is vehemently against gentrification, and thinks that he is the only thing standing between the Third Ward and a bunch of new people buying townhouses there. Personally, I want Coleman to just go away. I am annoyed that tax dollars have been used to accumulate several million square feet of land that is sitting there doing nothing and not contributing to the tax base. A quick search on HCAD shows 474 properties owned by the Midtown RDA. That's ridiculous. Maybe Coleman will work with Rice to use some of that land.

https://kinder.rice.edu/2016/05/25/third-ward-looks-to-shift-the-gentrification-conversation

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112888084

How does that even fit the description of a TIRZ? Isn't it suppose to promote improvements within the district? 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, urbanize713 said:

How does that even fit the description of a TIRZ? Isn't it suppose to promote improvements within the district? 

Apparently, by law, all TIRZ are required to allot a certain amount of their funds to developing "affordable housing" and they're free to spend that money and develop that housing anywhere within the county, even outside of their TIRZ. George Coleman has used this as a loop hole to buy up large amounts of land in the Third Ward, ostensibly to set it aside to develop affordable housing. However, truthfully, he's used it in his own personal crusade to fight gentrification by holding land in perpetuity, then deed restricting it when it does get redeveloped so that only low-income housing ever gets built there.  If you wanna know why Third Ward isn't seeing large scale redevelopment, like Montrose, the Fourth Ward, and other such Inner Loop neighborhoods, that's why.

Edited by Big E
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MRA is currently claiming they don't have the funds develop all the land they hold and aren't willing to work other affordable housing organizations.   Maybe they would have the money if they hadn't spent several million dollars on an affordable housing think tank...

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20 hours ago, Ross said:

You can thank the combination of Garnet "Not in my Neighborhood" Coleman and the Midtown RDA for piling up lots of land East of 288. Coleman is vehemently against gentrification, and thinks that he is the only thing standing between the Third Ward and a bunch of new people buying townhouses there. Personally, I want Coleman to just go away. I am annoyed that tax dollars have been used to accumulate several million square feet of land that is sitting there doing nothing and not contributing to the tax base. A quick search on HCAD shows 474 properties owned by the Midtown RDA. That's ridiculous. Maybe Coleman will work with Rice to use some of that land.

https://kinder.rice.edu/2016/05/25/third-ward-looks-to-shift-the-gentrification-conversation

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112888084

I am a long-time resident of Third Ward and disagree with your characterization of Garnet Coleman who I know and who is my state Rep. Vacant lots aren’t unique to TIRZ zones and holding them for extended periods of time until suitable development is reached isn’t either. Your definition of suitable development (e.g. gentrification) doesn’t override the development wishes of current Third Ward residents who also have agency and some power in the area, which seems to vex some non/recent residents.
 

Additionally, wanting Coleman to just “go” doesn’t rest with you, but with the majority of voters who overwhelmingly support him. 

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22 minutes ago, quietstorm said:

I am a long-time resident of Third Ward and disagree with your characterization of Garnet Coleman who I know and who is my state Rep. Vacant lots aren’t unique to TIRZ zones and holding them for extended periods of time until suitable development is reached isn’t either. Your definition of suitable development (e.g. gentrification) doesn’t override the development wishes of current Third Ward residents who also have agency and some power in the area, which seems to vex some non/recent residents.
 

Additionally, wanting Coleman to just “go” doesn’t rest with you, but with the majority of voters who overwhelmingly support him. 

We are all Houstonians and no group should have power to exclude anyone from "their" neighborhood. For some reason diversity doesn't seem positive with your connotations. Under Coleman the area has only gotten worse and can say that also as a long-term resident lmao...

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3 hours ago, quietstorm said:

I am a long-time resident of Third Ward and disagree with your characterization of Garnet Coleman who I know and who is my state Rep. Vacant lots aren’t unique to TIRZ zones and holding them for extended periods of time until suitable development is reached isn’t either. Your definition of suitable development (e.g. gentrification) doesn’t override the development wishes of current Third Ward residents who also have agency and some power in the area, which seems to vex some non/recent residents.
 

Additionally, wanting Coleman to just “go” doesn’t rest with you, but with the majority of voters who overwhelmingly support him. 

Coleman was my State rep during the 5 years we lived in Midtown. He was worthless then too. I could never get a rational explanation for anything from his office.

Banking 80 acres of land using tax dollars is reprehensible, especially when there is no plan on developing the land. None of that land is paying taxes, it's not serving a useful purpose, and it's annoying. At a minimum, the derelict buildings should be demolished, and the grass and weeds cut regularly.

 

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Getting back to topic, I’m curious what the longer term plan for the Jack in the Box will be. When the current lease ends, I’d think Rice could repurpose the site similar to the former Shipley’s site (which will now be Stuff’d wings).

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22 minutes ago, Ross said:

Banking 80 acres of land using tax dollars is reprehensible, especially when there is no plan on developing the land. None of that land is paying taxes, it's not serving a useful purpose, and it's annoying. At a minimum, the derelict buildings should be demolished, and the grass and weeds cut regularly.

 

There is/was so much corruption surrounding MRA I'm surprised charges haven't been filed.  They were paying 2 million a year to maintain lots(mow and pickup trash) and $45k+/month demo housing(most lots they own are empty) to contractors with no accountability.  MRA couldn't purchase housing lots at tax sale but a single family managed to have almost every property they acquired bought by MRA for above market rates.

I'm sure Coleman still mad he didn't get the globe building with his name plastered on it.

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3 hours ago, houstontexasjack said:

Getting back to topic, I’m curious what the longer term plan for the Jack in the Box will be. When the current lease ends, I’d think Rice could repurpose the site similar to the former Shipley’s site (which will now be Stuff’d wings).

Stuff’d Wings is moving in to that Shipleys spot? 

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Quote

I did not love the Churches chicken in the Fiesta cuz it was either way too fried or under-fried and soft. I'd rather get the fried chicken at 8pm at Krogers that they made at like 11am. 

This is the kind of extreme detail that i come to HAIF for!  

Sometimes the tangents on here annoy me but for some reason this is just mint!!

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7 hours ago, Andrew Ewert said:

I'm just sitting here wondering where in that area you're supposed to get a clear view to the horizon

The rendering doesn't show that the structure is actually on top of a 900 foot spire, with a spiral roadway going up the middle. At that height, you can see the horizon.

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Third Ward group slams Rice's plan for new Ion tech hub amid gentrification concerns

Quote

Sam Dike, manager of strategic initiatives for Rice Management Co., said members of the coalition were offered four spots on the working group that drafted the CBA recommendations. The coalition responded by asking for eight positions on the group and for an exclusive agreement with Rice in place of the city.

 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Sam Dike, manager of strategic initiatives for Rice Management Co., said members of the coalition were offered four spots on the working group that drafted the CBA recommendations. The coalition responded by asking for eight positions on the group and for an exclusive agreement with Rice in place of the city.

 

If they would have offered two, they would have demanded four. Gotta know how to deal with this stuff.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, BeerNut said:

Why do these guys even care? The Ion isn't even located in the Third Ward, but Midtown. I know that areas was historically considered the Third Ward, but that area hasn't been part of the "Third Ward" in over half a century at this point.

Edited by Big E
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Big E said:

Why do these guys even care? The Ion isn't even located in the Third Ward, but Midtown. I know that areas was historically considered the Third Ward, but that area hasn't been part of the "Third Ward" in over half a century at this point.

I take it you don't live in the area. That area isn't wholly Midtown or Third Ward. It's a transition area that encompasses both communities. 

Edited by JLWM8609
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, aachor said:

Sorry, I just read this as:

"Third Ward group slams private institution for spending money on building nice things, instead of on Third Ward group."

That's exactly how I read it. This area has been a hell hole for a long time, so it's very ridiculous that any group would now complain that they aren't getting a cut. The opportunity has been there. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
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31 minutes ago, iah77 said:

This is clearly just a shake down bc this group didn't seem to care at all about what happened there when it was a Sears and open air homeless center. This area clearly needs mental health assistance and not affordable housing as no one has been priced out of parking lots.

This group doesn't care what MRA does with all their properties in Third Ward.  They said as much when they spent several minutes in one meeting praising all the work Coleman through MRA.

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Posted (edited)

You know how wild it is to get more than 1 or 2 spots on a committee like that, much less 4, just by asking for it and with limited leverage/negotiating power? Even if 4 isn't enough to be a majority or to be most of a majority, it at least lets you have multiple voices when putting together plans of action. 

The response letter from the Third Ward group, HCEDD is well written. However, the justifications for their request makes sense if Rice was the City, but they aren't and shouldn't be treated as this malevolent entity here to right any perceived wrong in relation to the direction of development in the area. Also, thinking the CBA agreement should primarily be with them and not the city isn't the best idea since Rice says its up to the contracted entity to keep them bound to the promises. I don't think the HCEDD has the pockets to employ the types of attorneys needed to keep Rice honest. Just getting any attorney wouldn't work on Rice, the letterhead matters. 

"RMC's focus on "minority and women-owned businesses,” for instance, is misaligned with HCEDD's goals. Our coalition, which extends far beyond the Black people of Third Ward, unanimously centers the Black community in our priority areas because we know that Black communities will be most impacted by the development of the Innovation District. Our coalition believes that this “umbrella term” will in fact make more probable the displacement of Black businesses surrounding South Main."

Dunno my guys, I think the boat sailed on saying this development will hurt anyone's business like 20-25 years ago, and specifically this part of midtown hasn't been part of anybody's community for a while. 

Edited by X.R.
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21 hours ago, iah77 said:

This area clearly needs mental health assistance and not affordable housing as no one has been priced out of parking lots.

Why not both? 

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