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Big Tex Storage Montrose: 6-Story Storage At 4503 Montrose Blvd.


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7 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:

They should add some pizzazz to this building to spice it up a little, especially since it’s on a residential block. It’s looking very drab.

I could see a future mural of some kind

Edited by j_cuevas713
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Pardon my ignorance on this, I haven’t been following this thread. Is this really being built… a self-storage on Montrose next to the bridge? Honestly, this is the kind of thing that happens so often in Houston and makes me feel more a more like giving up on my hometown. 😩
 

NEVER MIND! I didn’t make it to the last page.  I see it’s already there! 

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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On 11/19/2022 at 2:38 PM, MidCenturyMoldy said:

HOLY CR@P! 

Sometimes I think Houston developers should be officially designated “domestic terrorists.”

It's really not that bad and plus you want this located along the freeway because it acts as a natural noise buffer. This is def not the only place you see this though. There's really nothing special about how Houston builds other than it combines all forms of residential as one group and commercial as another with no sub groups like in traditional zoning. Houston let's the market and the developer determine what get's built and it's actually created neighborhoods that make more sense and are more organic than over regulated neighborhoods in other cities. 

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2 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

It's really not that bad and plus you want this located along the freeway because it acts as a natural noise buffer. This is def not the only place you see this though. There's really nothing special about how Houston builds other than it combines all forms of residential as one group and commercial as another with no sub groups like in traditional zoning. Houston let's the market and the developer determine what get's built and it's actually created neighborhoods that make more sense and are more organic than over regulated neighborhoods in other cities. 

I do think it’ll look better when they actually finish construction, fix the sidewalks, hopefully plant some trees, etc.

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2 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

There's really nothing special about how Houston builds other than it combines all forms of residential as one group and commercial as another with no sub groups like in traditional zoning. Houston let's the market and the developer determine what get's built and it's actually created neighborhoods that make more sense and are more organic than over regulated neighborhoods in other cities. 

😄 Yeah, I've heard that schpiel before. Listen, much as I'm loathe to admit it, I'm an old-timer Houstonian. The old-timer part is what I don't like admitting. My earliest memory of my hometown is when we moved back in 1962.

Rome is organic. Houston is a mess. But, like the drunken mess of an uncle who looks and sounds like Bill the Cat,52515153841_7000efa753_m.jpg

it's our mess and we love it. Most of the time. Some of the time. Sort of. 

OK, we know where to find the good stuff and love the food. And it's getting better. Except for that cr@ppy corrugated metal storage box.

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20 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

I doubt it. Which is a good reason not to put any of them directly on Montrose Blvd.

Unpopular opinion: this is nowhere near the worst thing about Montrose Boulevard.

 

Not saying I like the building, and of course Montrose overall is a good example of light, moderately walkable urbanism. But Montrose Boulevard itself is a stroady, car-centric mess, and there are a lot of issues with it that should probably take priority over aesthetic preciousness.

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35 minutes ago, 004n063 said:

Unpopular opinion: this is nowhere near the worst thing about Montrose Boulevard.

 

Not saying I like the building, and of course Montrose overall is a good example of light, moderately walkable urbanism. But Montrose Boulevard itself is a stroady, car-centric mess, and there are a lot of issues with it that should probably take priority over aesthetic preciousness.

Give me Montrose Blvd over Kirby Drive any day of the week.

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16 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:

Give me Montrose Blvd over Kirby Drive any day of the week.

 

12 hours ago, 004n063 said:

Oh for sure. Post Oak, too. Basically a highway with urban window dressing.

So, you guys are essentially arguing that Montrose and Kirby should be rebuilt to be one lane each way with a turn lane in the middle? If so, how do people get from the Medical Center to, say, the Heights? Every city has main streets that are 2 or 3 lanes each direction and move lots of traffic from one part of town to another.

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6 hours ago, Ross said:
23 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:

Give me Montrose Blvd over Kirby Drive any day of the week.

 

19 hours ago, 004n063 said:

Oh for sure. Post Oak, too. Basically a highway with urban window dressing.

So, you guys are essentially arguing that Montrose and Kirby should be rebuilt to be one lane each way with a turn lane in the middle?

Not necessarily. In my ideal world, both would be redesigned to be more like Main St., with a rail line down the center, and no left turns.

That said, it would be simpler to just improve the pedestrian realm on side streets and remove any regulations that prevent or inhibit pedestrian-oriented businesses from opening there. 

The central issue with Montrose and Kirby and Post Oak (and Washington, and Shepherd, and virtually every other urban arterial in North America) is that they try to perform the antithetical functions of streets (places that serve as platforms for building wealth in the community) amd roads (high-speed connections between places).

And as is universally the case, they perform neither function very well. Tax revenue is low on a per-acre basis (relative to what can be achieved in places with less space dedicated to driving and parking), but overall velocities are also low because of congestion and traffic lights. Moreover, these street-road hybrids (again, you are correct that they're ubiquitous in North American cities) are expensive to maintain and exceedingly dangerous for pedestrians, drivers, and especially cyclists.

If it's not obvious from everything I've written, I strongly recommend the book Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, by Chuck Marohn.

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5 hours ago, 004n063 said:

Not necessarily. In my ideal world, both would be redesigned to be more like Main St., with a rail line down the center, and no left turns.

That said, it would be simpler to just improve the pedestrian realm on side streets and remove any regulations that prevent or inhibit pedestrian-oriented businesses from opening there. 

The central issue with Montrose and Kirby and Post Oak (and Washington, and Shepherd, and virtually every other urban arterial in North America) is that they try to perform the antithetical functions of streets (places that serve as platforms for building wealth in the community) amd roads (high-speed connections between places).

And as is universally the case, they perform neither function very well. Tax revenue is low on a per-acre basis (relative to what can be achieved in places with less space dedicated to driving and parking), but overall velocities are also low because of congestion and traffic lights. Moreover, these street-road hybrids (again, you are correct that they're ubiquitous in North American cities) are expensive to maintain and exceedingly dangerous for pedestrians, drivers, and especially cyclists.

If it's not obvious from everything I've written, I strongly recommend the book Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, by Chuck Marohn.

Yes because Main St. is definitely thriving, it has way less business now than it did 10 years ago. All the streets that have had this "intervention" such as Main, Fulton, Harrisburg are all dead and economically depressed. Even in downtown with high density development Main is nothing to boast about. All these things do is drive people further out to areas that actually cater to what they want. 

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10 hours ago, iah77 said:

Yes because Main St. is definitely thriving, it has way less business now than it did 10 years ago. All the streets that have had this "intervention" such as Main, Fulton, Harrisburg are all dead and economically depressed. Even in downtown with high density development Main is nothing to boast about. All these things do is drive people further out to areas that actually cater to what they want. 

This is just flat-out untrue, as evidenced by all of the development on (and right off) Main, Harrisburg, and Scott. I would call Main the best-designed street in Houston without a second thought. Even North Main and Fulton have begun to poke their heads out.

Even if I had a car, I can't imagine driving to Downtown, the Museums, the Med Center, Hermann Park, NRG, MinuteMaid, PNC, EaDo, 2nd Ward, East End. And believe it or not, there are a lot of people in Houston who don't have cars, so places with better transit access are, well, more accessible.

Of course, all of this is almost irrelevant when compared to safety, which is the most important problem with stroads. A pedestrian-friendly street is one you can cross anywhere, easily, at any time. That means narrow streets and car traffic (if there is any) between 15-20mph. Since we don't have any of those, the next best thing is one that you can cross at any intersection, and quickly.

Montrose, Kirby, et al fail miserably at this (despite the fact their frequent car speeds of 35-40mph only yield average overall speeds of 15-20mph, depending on traffic). Your only safe option is to walk up to the next light, wait for a signal, cross the wide stroad, then walk all the way back. Naturally, this leads a lot of people to say "screw it" and cross anyway, and sadly, that actually is dangerous, because we've designed our commercial streets using the same "safety" features as highways (wide lanes, clear zones/setbacks, etc.), which makes speeds that would be appropriate for complex mixed-use areas (less than 20mph) feel awkwardly slow. 

Now, I realize that Houston has been on a car-centric spiral for about seventy years, so we have internalized a lot of ideas as natural ("you want me to go less than twenty miles an hour??!!"), despite their being anything but.

But I am an optimist. I believe the city can change. So my criteria for what makes a good street (or urban area) put all-around safety first, pedestrian comfort second, transit access third, bike access fourth, per-acre economic sustainability (including infrastructure maintenance costs) fifth, and car access at the very bottom.

I understand that many people on here don't have the same priorities, and that's fine.

Edited by 004n063
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2 hours ago, 004n063 said:

This is just flat-out untrue, as evidenced by all of the development on (and right off) Main, Harrisburg, and Scott. I would call Main the best-designed street in Houston without a second thought. Even North Main and Fulton have begun to poke their heads out.

Even if I had a car, I can't imagine driving to Downtown, the Museums, the Med Center, Hermann Park, NRG, MinuteMaid, PNC, EaDo, 2nd Ward, East End. And believe it or not, there are a lot of people in Houston who don't have cars, so places with better transit access are, well, more accessible.

Of course, all of this is almost irrelevant when compared to safety, which is the most important problem with stroads. A pedestrian-friendly street is one you can cross anywhere, easily, at any time. That means narrow streets and car traffic (if there is any) between 15-20mph. Since we don't have any of those, the next best thing is one that you can cross at any intersection, and quickly.

Montrose, Kirby, et al fail miserably at this (despite the fact their frequent car speeds of 35-40mph only yield average overall speeds of 15-20mph, depending on traffic). Your only safe option is to walk up to the next light, wait for a signal, cross the wide stroad, then walk all the way back. Naturally, this leads a lot of people to say "screw it" and cross anyway, and sadly, that actually is dangerous, because we've designed our commercial streets using the same "safety" features as highways (wide lanes, clear zones/setbacks, etc.), which makes speeds that would be appropriate for complex mixed-use areas (less than 20mph) feel awkwardly slow. 

Now, I realize that Houston has been on a car-centric spiral for about seventy years, so we have internalized a lot of ideas as natural ("you want me to go less than twenty miles an hour??!!"), despite their being anything but.

But I am an optimist. I believe the city can change. So my criteria for what makes a good street (or urban area) put all-around safety first, pedestrian comfort second, transit access third, bike access fourth, per-acre economic sustainability (including infrastructure maintenance costs) fifth, and car access at the very bottom.

I understand that many people on here don't have the same priorities, and that's fine.

Once again, how do the people using Kirby, Montrose, Shepherd, etc to get from TMC(and other similar places) to the NW quadrant inside the Loop make their journeys when those streets cannot carry the traffic load? There are only three bridges across Buffalo Bayou between Downtown and the West Loop. The Waugh Drive bridge isn't connected in any good way South of Westheimer, which leaves the main North/South routes as Shepherd/Kirby and Montrose.

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Which gets to my bugbear about how highway/road capacity is expanded in this godforsaken country: adding lanes to existing roads rather than increasing the number of connection and increasing redundancy. 

We need more bridges across Buffalo Bayou, I-10, the north loop, etc. I'm happy with adding road capacity if it's done in a way that increases options for people so we stop funneling everyone onto just a few routes.

And to be fair, I've lived in tons of places way worse about this than Houston, but still. 

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16 hours ago, iah77 said:

Yes because Main St. is definitely thriving, it has way less business now than it did 10 years ago. All the streets that have had this "intervention" such as Main, Fulton, Harrisburg are all dead and economically depressed. Even in downtown with high density development Main is nothing to boast about. All these things do is drive people further out to areas that actually cater to what they want

You always say this and someone always has to correct you. You might want to pin this for your recollection; 

In only the last 10 years, starting from Midtown @ 59

  • 4606 Main went from an abandon building to "Light rail lofts"
  • 4201 Main went from the abandon sears to the Ion (they own multiple lots along main and you should be aware of their project)
  • 3800 Main went from an empty lot to an apartment building
  • 3815 Main went from an empty lot to a housing building + offices 
  • 3550 Main went from TWO empty lots to MidMain which is apartments and MULTIPLE businesses 
  • 3400 Main went from an empty lot to MATCH which is a theater center 
  • 3300 Main went from an empty building to a residential high rise 
  • 3001 Main went from an abandon building to Crime Stoppers' Building 
  • Midtown Park went from 1.5 EMPTY city blocks to park 
  • 2800 Main went from an abandoned building to a residential Highrise + multiple businesses (Drewery Place)
  • 2.5 city blocks went from an empty lot to Camden McGowen, a residential midrise 
  • The green sheet building (previously abandoned) is in the process of getting redeveloped. 
  • Cadillac dealership is in the process of being converted into high density residential 
  • 2310 Main went from an empty lot to a residential building 

Main in Downtown 

  • 1810 Main went from an empty lot to an apartment building 
  • 1700-1600 Main went from 2 empty city lots to 2 residential midrise + multiple businesses (SkyHouse)
  • 1616 Main went from an abandoned building to a Holiday Inn
  • 1515 Main went from an empty lot to a residential midrise 
  • Old abandon'd Macy's off Main became a skyscraper office building 
  • 609 Main went from an empty lot to a skyscraper
  • 315 N Main went from an empty lot a UDH building  

Im not even mentioning the buildings that were redeveloped like the AC hotel, or the wave of new businesses that flocked to Main St. Almost every lot has been redeveloped along Main in Midtown and Downtown. This website literally has forums where you can check them out too, have you not seen any of the Harrisburg developments going up?? Are you not even following ANY developments on this website?? 

I want to teach you a trick, don't tell anyone, type in "google.com", then click on the buttons on the very top right, click on "maps." Then go to any area you would like, THEN, on the top left it lets you see the exact street in previous years. Isn't that crazy? and its free! Have fun with it and stop the anti-rail gas lighting

Edited by Amlaham
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3 hours ago, Ross said:

Once again, how do the people using Kirby, Montrose, Shepherd, etc to get from TMC(and other similar places) to the NW quadrant inside the Loop make their journeys when those streets cannot carry the traffic load? There are only three bridges across Buffalo Bayou between Downtown and the West Loop. The Waugh Drive bridge isn't connected in any good way South of Westheimer, which leaves the main North/South routes as Shepherd/Kirby and Montrose.

To be clear, you can't just narrow important arterials without doing anything else. But I do think that just about any urban arterial that gets jammed with traffic would benefit from rail lines

 

I do think optimizing alignments would vary depending on how much of a thoroughfare the street is (e.g., center-running for Washington, West Dallas, side-running for Montrose/Studemont, Shepherd/Durham, Navigation), and how wide the ROW is (e.g. can fit two center-running thru-lanes, rail lines, one-lane siderunning streets, and sidewalks?). Another option would be to run rail along parralel alignments that aren't major car routes, but then you run into issues with intersections. Or you could elevate it, but that adds a whole lot of extra cost. 

All of that, though, is a very politically optimistic, expensive, multidecade undertaking. A great deal of the intended effect (i.e. fostering diverse, lively, and comfortable "third place" options that aren't on noisy stroads) could be achieved by simply doing away with minimum parking requirements, anti-business deed restrictions, etc. 

I imagine there'd be some hesitancy in the local lending industry, based on conventional Houstonian thinking that equates going places with driving. But the truth is, there are a lot of businesses (virtually every coffee shop, taqueria, refresqueria, etc.) that thrive on an almost entirely neighborhood clientele. If businesses weren't forced to own enormous properties to accommodate an enormous number of cars, they wouldn't need to think about ease of access for suburnanites in the first place.

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