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Shepherd Drive

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Just my personal rant:

My Canadian relatives are visiting and I drove them down N Sheperd from I-10 to 610-N to visit the local BBQ eatery of Gabby's. I have lived in the Greater Heights for about six years now. Can anybody tell me has N Sheperd always been this rundown and ugly? They were asking me why there are so many used car lots in my area. I didn't have an answer and the street streetscape is a poor reflection of what Heights can be. I am wondering why these low rent properties haven't been replaced with more commercial property that refects the everchanging monetary demographics of the Heights.

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Since when has N. Shepherd been in the Heights?

Since always. I would say Durham or maybe a block or two west of Durham is Heights too.

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Since always. I would say Durham or maybe a block or two west of Durham is Heights too.

Surprisingly, homes a few blocks west of Durham arelegally listed as part of the Houston Heights.

Found it at the Harris County Appraisal District website for verification.

I think they are the ugly stepchild. :)

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Its kinda funny that you were going to a 31 year old BBQ restaurant and complaining that the other old businesses hadn't been run out of the area hehe. Be careful what you wish for.

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Its kinda funny that you were going to a 31 year old BBQ restaurant and complaining that the other old businesses hadn't been run out of the area hehe. Be careful what you wish for.

I'm shocked. Is Gabby's really that old of an institution? It is finger licking good though. However, Gabby's has a well maintained exterior.

I just wish N Sheperd lose some of these cheap used car lots. Sad to say, when I give visitors/friends directions to my home, I always tell them to go down TC Jester instead. I'm trying to keep with the Jones. lol

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Just my personal rant:

My Canadian relatives are visiting and I drove them down N Sheperd from I-10 to 610-N to visit the local BBQ eatery of Gabby's. I have lived in the Greater Heights for about six years now. Can anybody tell me has N Sheperd always been this rundown and ugly? They were asking me why there are so many used car lots in my area. I didn't have an answer and the street streetscape is a poor reflection of what Heights can be. I am wondering why these low rent properties haven't been replaced with more commercial property that refects the everchanging monetary demographics of the Heights.

You're not the only one to raise this issue

Does anyone have any new/good intel on recent developments? I have seen several large lots for sale along Shepherd between I-10 and 610, but there are still an obscene amount of these used car dealerships. I dream of a day that Shepherd and Durham aren't littered with them, is that even a possibility? Maybe not in my lifetime, but it would be awesome, especially since Shady Acres and other areas west of Durham are coming along. I feel that Shepherd/Durham is an ugly scar cutting right down the middle of a decent (great in spots, coming along in others) area, at least between I-10 and 610.

I am seeing some hopeful signs. A new bank and some other new commercial enterpises popping up. You'll notice a number of these are at cross streets where multiple frontages can be pieced together. As I mentioned in another thread, I think it's difficult to redevelop because the lots along both N Shepherd and Durham are relatively shallow for commerical development, particularly with required setbacks coupled with arterial widening. Ironically, the housing gentrification may quash development along the corridor, because new/reclaimed housing is chewing up lateral lots on parallel side streets. (Example: the lots south of the Valero at W16 which have brand new Tricons and remodeled bungalows backing up to them.

I do have one brilliant idea. Heights Annex, which straddles the Shep/Dur corridor is wet. I think a combination bar and used car dealership would be cool. Oh wait, it's probably too close to Love Elementary. Damn, kids. (Get off my lawn!)

Surprisingly, homes a few blocks west of Durham arelegally listed as part of the Houston Heights.

Found it at the Harris County Appraisal District website for verification.

I think they are the ugly stepchild. smile.gif

From W16 to W26, about 6 lots west of Durham. I have a friend who lives in this area. Don't call her ugly!tongue.gif

Edited by Porchman

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I agree, N. Shepherd is ugly. But it is what it is. If you don't want ugly, drive on Heights or Studewood. There are actually fewer used car dealers than there used to be. Where do you suggest they go? They are legal businesses.

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You're not the only one to raise this issue

I am seeing some hopeful signs. A new bank and some other new commercial enterpises popping up. You'll notice a number of these are at cross streets where multiple frontages can be pieced together. As I mentioned in another thread, I think it's difficult to redevelop because the lots along both N Shepherd and Durham are relatively shallow for commerical development, particularly with required setbacks coupled with arterial widening. Ironically, the housing gentrification may quash development along the corridor, because new/reclaimed housing is chewing up lateral lots on parallel side streets. (Example: the lots south of the Valero at W16 which have brand new Tricons and remodeled bungalows backing up to them.I do have one brilliant idea. Heights Annex, which straddles the Shep/Dur corridor is wet. I think a combination bar and used car dealership would be cool. Oh wait, it's probably too close to Love Elementary. Damn, kids. (Get off my lawn!)

I thought of when I posted that when I read the first post here. I did used to be hopeful about Shepherd/Durham being on the upswing, but now I just accept that it is what it is. The lots really are shallow, you can't have a significant business there unless you go all the way to the next street on the east side. I don't see the used car people going anywhere fast, they collectively keep their property values down and with so many in one area I'm sure they bring each other business as people hop from lot to lot looking for the deal.

And hey, at least it's not NEAR as bad as it is further north. I went on an auto part salvage hunt one time, and I had no idea that junkyard central was only a couple miles north. Now THAT area sucks. Give me the used car people with random other stuff over that any day. Parts of it I have even come to like.

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Gosh, and I was going to say it is so much nicer now that it was whne I lived nearby in the 1980s. I miss all the flags and inflatable gorillas.

Stinking Canadians anyway. Tell them to go back to canukville if they don't like Houston.

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You Heights folks ought to be careful what you wish for. As Washington Avenue gets too pricey for bars and clubs, where do you think the Scene is going to gravitate to? The actual Heights is quasi-dry, and the East End or Near Northside areas aren't ripe enough just yet.

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You Heights folks ought to be careful what you wish for. As Washington Avenue gets too pricey for bars and clubs, where do you think the Scene is going to gravitate to? The actual Heights is quasi-dry, and the East End or Near Northside areas aren't ripe enough just yet.

HeHeHe. Big Star Bar is already over there in the dreaded N Shepherd area. Only a matter of time. That's what people get for buying a house west of Yale and expecting the actual 'Heights'.

Kidding, of course. I know some wonderful not-quite Heights folks. :D

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You Heights folks ought to be careful what you wish for. As Washington Avenue gets too pricey for bars and clubs, where do you think the Scene is going to gravitate to? The actual Heights is quasi-dry, and the East End or Near Northside areas aren't ripe enough just yet.

As I indicated in the Wash Av. thread, the d-b storm is movin WNW, so Shepherd could see some action, particularly with an outflow boundary.

Kidding, of course. I know some wonderful not-quite Heights folks. biggrin.gif

What do you mean "not-quite"? There are Karen Derr signs with the "At-large Position 1" pasties all over Yale-to-Shep.

[OK..."pasties" may not be the best term, but it is a year of City poll dancing and KD's supporters keep their signs, at least, 3 feet from the street].

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As I indicated in the Wash Av. thread, the d-b storm is movin WNW, so Shepherd could see some action, particularly with an outflow boundary.

What do you mean "not-quite"? There are Karen Derr signs with the "At-large Position 1" pasties all over Yale-to-Shep.

[OK..."pasties" may not be the best term, but it is a year of City poll dancing and KD's supporters keep their signs, at least, 3 feet from the street].

pasties...hahaha

porchman is funny man!

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What do you mean "not-quite"? There are Karen Derr signs with the "At-large Position 1" pasties all over Yale-to-Shep.

[OK..."pasties" may not be the best term, but it is a year of City poll dancing and KD's supporters keep their signs, at least, 3 feet from the street].

karen Derr pasties, Ha! It's those people from Norhill and Woodland Heights. They are such snobs about the west-of-yaleies, lol.

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I like it just the way it is. I cringe to think what The Heights will look like once every car lot along Shepherd is replaced with apartment complexes and bars. How many people could get crammed in there ? 2,000-3,000 extra folks or more?

As long as they stay on that end I guess it wouldn't be too bad. Plenty of people already use the neighborhood as a cut-through anyway.

Edited by Tricky Matt

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I travelled down that part of Shephard just a few months ago for the first time in several years and I actually thought it had improved since the 80's and 90's.  :rolleyes:

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I cringe to think what The Heights will look like once every car lot along Shepherd is replaced with apartment complexes and bars. How many people could get crammed in there ? 2,000-3,000 extra folks or more? You think driving on Shepherd, Yale, Heights, Studewood, 11th, 14th, 20th is bad now... I'd never poke my head out of Proctor Plaza again.

If that were to happen, most of the traffic would be localized onto Shepherd/Durham unless said apartment complexes and bars were to encroach eastward into the actual Heights. But I'm with you on this - be careful what you wish for.

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I'm happy for Shepherd to stay as it is. If more apartmetns and bars appear, the chances of crime and general trouble go up for the nearby Timbergrove neighborhoods. Besides, Shepherd from 11th to 610 is an iconic Houston drive, with the old painted over Prices sign near 15th, the Giant V at Tommie Vaughan Ford, several MCM style commercial buildings, and general nonconformance. You don't see many streets like this elsewhere.

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Just my personal rant:

My Canadian relatives are visiting and I drove them down N Sheperd from I-10 to 610-N to visit the local BBQ eatery of Gabby's. I have lived in the Greater Heights for about six years now. Can anybody tell me has N Sheperd always been this rundown and ugly? They were asking me why there are so many used car lots in my area. I didn't have an answer and the street streetscape is a poor reflection of what Heights can be. I am wondering why these low rent properties haven't been replaced with more commercial property that refects the everchanging monetary demographics of the Heights.

To be blunt, you and your friends are not consuming enough. If you'd be a bit more reckless with your credit cards, perhaps the clay pot and patio furniture purveyors would see the value of locating on Shepherd. Look what it did for Gabby's.

BTW, I am more than a bit nervous of your ideas of "what Heights can be",

Edited by RedScare

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BTW, I am more than a bit nervous of your ideas of "what Heights can be",

Like Sugar Land!  :lol:

We can only wish.  ;)

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^ Ha ha, perhaps the Heights needs it's own fake, commercialized town square filled with chain stores and a Marriott hotel. That would be so much easier on the eyes of out-of-towners.

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With the renovations to Kroger, I would not be surprised to see an uptick in the number and quality of tenants in that shopping strip at some point, along with the shopping center across 11th. And while lot depths may be shallow, the general location -- between 610 and I-10 -- should theoretically be pretty good.

The vacancies in retail areas within the Heights (6th and Heights along with 11th and Yale) are interesting. I'd be interested to hear if this is a pattern or just random. 19th seems to do ok.

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With the renovations to Kroger, I would not be surprised to see an uptick in the number and quality of tenants in that shopping strip at some point, along with the shopping center across 11th. And while lot depths may be shallow, the general location -- between 610 and I-10 -- should theoretically be pretty good.

They might have to round up the cabelleros standing around waiting for trabajo in the parking lots before they get any bites from "higher quality" tenants.

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Angry Heights neo-gentrifiers will arrive at the Canino's taking their pitchforks and torches out of the trunks of their BMWs and burn the place down, and only then will the Heights be truly safe and uniform.

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I find the used car lots along that stretch of Shepherd much more palatable to my taste than the abandoned properties you may find elsewhere in the Heights. No matter how junky or rundown a place looks, there's an optimism to the neighborhood businesses that I find appealing. BTW, I like that Fiesta; it's like a quick trip to Mexico.

But I do find it puzzling that there seems to be so little interest in more upscale commercial development in the area.

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Ive thought that the strip between Shepherd and Durham should be purchased by the city, cross streets eliminated at most intersections and a large greenspace created from the land that would be quite the opposite of the current situation. It would take quite a boatload of $ but its possible.

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Ive thought that the strip between Shepherd and Durham should be purchased by the city, cross streets eliminated at most intersections and a large greenspace created from the land that would be quite the opposite of the current situation. It would take quite a boatload of $ but its possible.

In my dream, a commuter rail line would go north on Sheperd and South on Durham to the Woodlands. The strip between Sheperd and Durham would become high end apartments on the upper levels and businesses on the bottom. Will it ever happen? No but it would be a good use of space.

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In my dream, a commuter rail line would go north on Sheperd and South on Durham to the Woodlands. The strip between Sheperd and Durham would become high end apartments on the upper levels and businesses on the bottom. Will it ever happen? No but it would be a good use of space.

I always thought that it'd be a good route for a toll road connecting from 249 at Beltway 8 to Shepherd at Memorial Dr.

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I don't see bars replacing the existing businesses along Shepherd/Durham mainly because of parking issues. On Washington, you can park on the street or on side streets, but it's not as easy on Shepherd/Durham, and you couldn't make a parking lot big enough, given the shallowness, as was mentioned. I'd like to see it develop into an area with locally-owned retail places. People in the area already prefer locally owned restaurants, so why wouldn't they prefer locally owned retail stores? All it takes is a few people with some good ideas to get it going. Then it will entice further openings if they are successful. The problem is that the used car lots aren't going anywhere yet, and the business owner would need quite a bit of money to buy the used car lot and then take over with their business, which small family businesses don't have. Only chain stores would be able to do this, but they don't seem to be interested in opening up on Shepherd/Durham, which doesn't bother me at all. Anyway, if Shepherd/Durham does ever change over to locally-owned retail, I'd also like to see it reduced to fewer lanes to give the lots more depth with added sidewalks, bike paths, and more trees and green space. It really does have a decayed 20th century look, now that I think of it, and the best solution would be to come up with a new plan for it to have a cozier and more community feel to it. The way it looks now doesn't bother me that much, but I think a visual change of scenery in the right direction is always nice for a neighborhood. Another idea would be to have apartments with a layout similar to Brittany Place on 18th between the loop and Ella Blvd, only the architecture and landscaping would have a more current style.

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I don't see bars replacing the existing businesses along Shepherd/Durham mainly because of parking issues. On Washington, you can park on the street or on side streets, but it's not as easy on Shepherd/Durham, and you couldn't make a parking lot big enough, given the shallowness, as was mentioned.

Forgive me for being blunt, but you have no idea what you are talking about.

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I don't see bars replacing the existing businesses along Shepherd/Durham mainly because of parking issues. On Washington, you can park on the street or on side streets, but it's not as easy on Shepherd/Durham, and you couldn't make a parking lot big enough, given the shallowness, as was mentioned.

Use Google Earth to fly down the Shepherd/Durham corridor, then make a comparison flight over Washington Avenue. Then tell me again that there aren't enough parking lots or side streets to support a bar and club scene.

The fact is that the availability of parking is an issue which is an order of magnitude more problematic along Washington Avenue than it would be along Shepherd. Washington has fewer developed parking lots, very irregular street grids featuring huge gaps at Memorial Heights and Glenwood Cemetery as well as a massively disruptive railroad line just one block to the north, and out of the street grids that are intact, tightly-spaced townhome driveways eliminate vast amounts of potential on-street parking spaces.

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Shhh! Don't tell anyone! Cheap used car lots are the auto enthusiast's secret place to find potentially restorable future classics at reasonable prices in this cash-for-clunkers era. Sure, there is a lot of junk, but there are diamonds among the trash for those who care to see.

(Last time I was over that way, I saw a Cactus Green 1999 Audi A4, just like my baby except a sedan and not white. Poor thing hadn't had the benefit of the ten years of TLC mine has had. They don't age well if not loved. Made me sad.)

Edited by marmer

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Forgive me for being blunt, but you have no idea what you are talking about.

I grew up right there at 18th and T.C. Jester. I guess you're right. What I said didn't make sene. I was trying to say that if it will become like Washington is now, the parking would not be the same, because you cannot park on Shepherd/Durham Dr. itself. Yes, it has bigger parking lots than Washington, but the segment (I-10 to 610 N) is not lined head to toe with them. There are only a few that are decent sized, so the bars/clubs would have to be separated a bit along this drive. I don't know what it is about it, but I just don't see a bar scene over there; too close to Washington, which I think will have its nightlife for the long term, even as the owners who play follow the leader close up shop and move on after the property value goes up. The bar/club owners who want to invest in the community will take over.

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On 7/23/2009 at 4:30 PM, samiamj said:

Just my personal rant:

My Canadian relatives are visiting and I drove them down N Sheperd from I-10 to 610-N to visit the local BBQ eatery of Gabby's. I have lived in the Greater Heights for about six years now. Can anybody tell me has N Sheperd always been this rundown and ugly? They were asking me why there are so many used car lots in my area. I didn't have an answer and the street streetscape is a poor reflection of what Heights can be. I am wondering why these low rent properties haven't been replaced with more commercial property that refects the everchanging monetary demographics of the Heights.

In other words, why haven't these businesses that helped form this community you decided to move to been run off despite our best efforts to finish gentrifying the area?

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21 minutes ago, Spring Branch Rez said:

In other words, why haven't these businesses that helped form this community you decided to move to been run off despite our best efforts to finish gentrifying the area?

 

Interesting going after a 10 year old post. 

 

Unfortunately samiamj's profile says that he hasn't visited the forum in 7 years, so you may not get a reply. 

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Eh, it is there for future viewers to read such as yourself. I do not care if I get a reply. I am just sick of seeing beautiful older homes and businesses getting bulldozed in the name of progress. It's not progress for those whose families settled the area, built it, and gave it the very character that appealed to buyers that then came in droves to crush it and run off the previous mentioned.

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If you think janky car dealers are "beautiful" or "gave it the very character that appealed to buyers" then you'll love Airline Drive! 

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1 minute ago, LBC2HTX said:

If you think janky car dealers are "beautiful" or "gave it the very character that appealed to buyers" then you'll love Airline Drive! 

 

Yeah, and I'm sure before those arrived people were complaining about the march of progress even then. "Oh this area used to be so much better when it was open fields and now they are putting all these things here!" Rinse repeat. Progress stops for no one. You either adapt or you die. Simple as that.

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2 hours ago, Spring Branch Rez said:

Eh, it is there for future viewers to read such as yourself. I do not care if I get a reply. I am just sick of seeing beautiful older homes and businesses getting bulldozed in the name of progress. It's not progress for those whose families settled the area, built it, and gave it the very character that appealed to buyers that then came in droves to crush it and run off the previous mentioned.

 

If you aren't familiar with the history of the Heights, it's pretty interesting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_Heights#History

 

I'm definitely sad at seeing the old homes gone, but I'm not sure if any of the business along the Shepherd corridor qualify for me. 

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5 hours ago, Spring Branch Rez said:

Eh, it is there for future viewers to read such as yourself. I do not care if I get a reply. I am just sick of seeing beautiful older homes and businesses getting bulldozed in the name of progress. It's not progress for those whose families settled the area, built it, and gave it the very character that appealed to buyers that then came in droves to crush it and run off the previous mentioned.

 

Eh, I think actually the heights has done a rather good job of keeping its well maintained single family homes and leveling homes that have deteriorated beyond reasonable feasibility of repairs. There's a good mix of new and old for many of the residential buildings in the area. As for the families that settled the area. I doubt there are many 100 year old plus families still around from the original housing stock in the area, unless youre referring to the 2nd or 3rd, or 4th generation of people who've lived in the heights now. 

 

Business wise, specifically to Shepherd corridor and in the context of 2009. Which buildings were worth saving? You can actually toggle between 2007 and 2017 (in some cases 2019) on Google street view

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7910564,-95.4098949,3a,75y,333h,85.59t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sPgd-am3oxpOtA1JT57nGFw!2e0!5s20071101T000000!7i3328!8i1664?hl=en&authuser=0

 

And honestly... yeah theres a few run down houses that have been leveled... and to top it off... The current iterations of Shepherd and durham were constructed in the 1960's and didnt even exist in the 1940's. Ariel photography from December 1944 with 2020 map overlay. The vast majority of the buildings lining Sheperd are 1960/1970+ buildings already, with some exceptions at the east side of the road. I'm with @wilcal on this one, I'm not sure which  business on Shepherd qualify

 

image.thumb.png.e541efd1c2e749827ff046ba402f9b20.png

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