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downtown dying

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Have lived in Midtown 3 years, and in that time my opinions on homelessness have changed. I donate to organizations that help the homeless... but never give to individuals anymore. About a year ago Midtown had a public meeting where they had reps from various orgs talk about how to help the homeless. They also had a former homeless man speak about how to help with the homeless. His rules were:

1. Never give money to an individual. It only enables them. They WILL use it for alcohol or drugs.

2. Never hire homeless to work in your garden/wash the car/etc. (this surprised me). This only enables them further. They believe that this is a way to make a living and thus refuse treatment and job placement help from organizations that are there to help them establish a true path out of homelessness.

3. Only give money to organizations that are setup to help the homeless. When asked for money from a homeless person, politely say "I'm sorry, but there are some wonderful organizations down the street like Search who are there for you."

While a dollar given to a church that just provides feeding equals a dollar, a dollar given to an organization like Search is more powerful because they have the power/size/and structure to leverage that dollar and turn it into more than just a dollar. In other words, orgs like Search give you more bang for your buck (and have proven track records for pulling people out of homelessness).

While 1stWardDude is pretty callous and incorrect about the homeless impact on Downtown... he is correct about the feedings that take place. We have problems where these feedings are used by criminals to find out who has a VA or a social security check coming... and thus the feedings become places for criminals to find their next victim. The feedings also feed some of the homeless that are there to prey on the others who are receiving help from Search, etc. The orgs also fail to clean up their trash and trespass on private property. The real eye opener for me has been the many times I've had homeless guys approach me and try to sell me their brand new donated jackets, sleeping bags, and pants for money.

The homeless will always be around, but just handing food out on the side of the road isn't a solution. Housing First programs (like mentioned earlier), and orgs like Search are the right ways to go.

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excellent goals, I think currently there are a lot of them that do not accept people for overnight stays if they are drug abusers.

what was the deal that was going on in (international!) news regarding some church coming in from the burbs to feed the homeless? I heard they got in trouble for not having the right permits, but I couldn't find a story on chron. I was just curious which of the churches it was, and which of the locations it was that got turned away. it seems like every day there are people who truck food in from the burbs that give them food for listening to their sermon.

I think you're talking about the fracas over Christian rapper Tre9 and his homeless ministries, "Feed a Friend." They had been feeding the homeless downtown for over a year, before they got shut down by the City over the lack of proper permits. I agree with the City and our Mayor on the permits; but the way they shut them down was kind of squirrelly.

I'm all for shelters, and especially I'm for the 'housing first' type of thing you describe, but in my opinion, the people who truck food in from the burbs aren't doing a service, other than ensuring the homeless are fed.

Oh I agree. In my view, soup kitchens' time has come and gone. Finding food isn't the hard part nowadays. Fast food restaurants have 99 cent specials. Finding a stable place to live is a lot more difficult for someone on the streets. And finding treatment for mental illness or drug addiction requires a caseworker or a lawyer, or both. THIS is where efforts should be spent, and that's what "housing first" does.

I'll confess that there's another reason I like "housing first." It helps mitigate the problems that neighbors have with soup kitchens and homeless day-centers. If they do it right, a "housing first" shelter shouldn't have homeless people congregated outside, and it shouldn't increase the numbers of homeless people on surrounding streets - the way soup kitchens do.

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the problem with some of the more naive responses in this thread is they assume those people that will take that "place to live" actually want something more than a place to flop before they go back on the streets and get drunk and high again and then return to their "place to live"

unless you are willing to drug and alcohol test those that are staying there and REQUIRE some type of daily planned routine out of them you are doing nothing more than giving a drunken addict a place to sleep and rest up before returning to the streets worse than ever

and the only way to actually take charge of the life of those that "need" help like being talked about here is to arrest them, convict them of something, and then take custody of them

but unfortunately in this country we (as we can see from some replying in this post) are moving as a country rapidly to where you are free to urinate, dedicate, trash out, destroy, impede, and otherwise ruin others property as well as public property and you are free to do that at will as long as you can turn around and falsely claim you have no place to live

when the truth of the matter is these people HAVE plenty of options on where to live, but they refuse to follow the rules about drunkenness, drugs, violence, and hygiene so they have to be removed from those places

because again until they are MADE to change their life they will continue to do what they do now which is destroy and take from society at their will

after their third charge of public urination, deification, drunkenness, violence, gross littering, trespassing, and squatting they should be labeled as incorrigible and sent to a residential facility where their lives will be highly regulated...those that have a history of violence would be separated out and the rest would VERY GRADUALLY go from total control of their daily and hourly movements to possibly having a few hours of limited freedom to shop, interview for jobs, or work a job if they obtain one......others would be doing public works like picking up trash, scrubbing graffiti, or chopping weeds

it is silly that grown adults think you can just lure these types in like a stray kitten with some kibble and a warm cot when the reality is they will take your kibble and warm cot and then probably destroy it like a freaking lion.....because they need CONTROL TAKEN OF THEIR LIVES not just a place that lets the rest up and then go back out wilding

Edited by TV2EBoogaloo
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Funny that you complain that the homeless "take from society" (the homeless use less services than most), then recommend the most expensive government solution of all...use the police to arrest, the jails to house, then the courts to order them to a reeducation camp.

Talk about naive. :blink:

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Funny that you complain that the homeless "take from society" (the homeless use less services than most), then recommend the most expensive government solution of all...use the police to arrest, the jails to house, then the courts to order them to a reeducation camp.

Talk about naive. :blink:

I don't disagree with some of his sentiment, each person is different.

Some really and truly just need the meal that random suburban church gives them to get them in the right direction, and for a number that are willing to accept the system with a 'housing first' approach, there is going to be a fraction that will be there to abuse almost any system you have in place. I hope he wasn't talking about every person being carted away to jail, but certainly the people who are there to continue to abuse the system need somewhere else to go (or be sent) not quite jail.

certainly the ones that don't follow the rules about hygiene!

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How about respect for the businesses and residents that live there too.

Residents like me. I walk past homeless who ask me for money every day. I don't make up any stories about not having change on me. I simply say no and they leave me alone. They know it's a losing proposition to badger me for money when they could be asking someone else. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to give homeless money. The incidence of addiction among homeless is astronomical, so putting money in their hand virtually assures that they're going to get drunk or high on it.

Giving to organizations that help them is a whole different matter, though. Every M-F Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church has people lined up around the block for breakfast. These organizations need our help.

I did not make any personal attacks on you, by the way.

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Everyone is missing it.

I work downtown and live nearby - downtown will never be vibrant (except for the tunnels/park shops at lunch) because of all the homeless and vagrants. At least a few times a week, I am having to push off beggers walking to lunch with co-workers.

The city refuses to deal with the problem. It's freakin unreal over near the ballpark. I've seen hundreds just sleeping on the side of the road and in every corner. There are several 1000 downtown because thats where all the handouts are located (particularly near the ballpark). What the city and all the churches that come down there to feed them dont get is that they just make the problem worse.

I wouldn't give anyone anything - they should make them earn it somehow.

I agree with you. They spread filth, disease, and bad morals to everyone around them. I never give them anything. Those churches that come to downtown from way in the hell out there (katy) should be castigated.

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I agree with you. They spread filth, disease, and bad morals to everyone around them. I never give them anything. Those churches that come to downtown from way in the hell out there (katy) should be castigated.

Take them back out to Katy with them is what they should be doing.

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http://www.downtownd...feCleanProgram/

With a focus on hospitality and safety solutions, the Downtown Public Safety Guides (DPSG) provide a customer-friendly and visible presence serving as additional eyes and ears for downtown. They strive to offer a professional relationship with all local law enforcement and social service agencies, business and property owners, private building security companies and City entities. All Downtown Public Safety Guides receive special training in first aid, safety procedures, conflict management and customer relations.

The Guides patrol downtown daily focusing on the busiest pedestrian areas and also offer extra support for special events. Through high visibility and consistent coverage, they focus on:

- Deterring crime by reporting problems to the proper authorities

- Discouraging aggressive panhandling

- Assisting the homeless population in distress by connecting them with social services

- Checking in on businesses

- On-street concierge service, assisting visitors, residents and workers with maps, directions and information on where to go, what to do and how to get there

Edited by Porchman

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Cielo dying, but Bombay Pizza and Samba Grille are successes.

The place going in next to Front Porch in Midtown says "Mi Cielo" on it... It is the building where Lemon Tree used to be.

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Those churches that come to downtown from way in the hell out there (katy) should be castigated.

Yes, these churches should be stopped from engaging in charity work.

:blink:

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Yes, these churches should be stopped from engaging in charity work.

:blink:

Perhaps not such a drastic move... but they should be made aware that they are only making the problem worse. If they care for them so much they should take them in.

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Perhaps not such a drastic move... but they should be made aware that they are only making the problem worse. If they care for them so much they should take them in.

I've always wondered why larger churches don't do that. They have huge gyms, admin buildings, (some have bowling alleys) etc. I always thought they could at least spare a couple rooms and put some people up temporarily... offer counseling, job placement help, etc. Seems like they would change more lives through a program like that then just handing out food and leaving the people to go sleep on the street.

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I've always wondered why larger churches don't do that. They have huge gyms, admin buildings, (some have bowling alleys) etc. I always thought they could at least spare a couple rooms and put some people up temporarily... offer counseling, job placement help, etc. Seems like they would change more lives through a program like that then just handing out food and leaving the people to go sleep on the street.

Either the megachurches dont know there are homeless here in the same town as they (since they are always planning trips to other parts of the planet)

or

They don't care.

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I've always wondered why larger churches don't do that. They have huge gyms, admin buildings, (some have bowling alleys) etc. I always thought they could at least spare a couple rooms and put some people up temporarily... offer counseling, job placement help, etc. Seems like they would change more lives through a program like that then just handing out food and leaving the people to go sleep on the street.

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Shhh! How are the members of the New Church of Internet Atheism going to feel morally superior if you go around introducing facts into the discussion?

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Shhh! How are the members of the New Church of Internet Atheism going to feel morally superior if you go around introducing facts into the discussion?

LOL! You took the words right out of my mouth. I'm constantly amazed by the anti Christian elitism by many on this forum. The facts are that the homeless around the country would be in far more peril it weren't for the Christian ministries that help them.

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Either the megachurches dont know there are homeless here in the same town as they (since they are always planning trips to other parts of the planet)

or

They don't care.

their is a third option.

You can positively effect more lives for less money abroad. My friend's father runs a missionary in some African nation (I never remember), and for the 3000 dollars he raises with each fundraiser it is amazing how far that goes in a different country, buildings, clothes, food, teachers, etc.

The amount of red tape one has to navigate in the USA is immense (reference that church from where ever that didn't know they had to get a permit to distribute food).

Anyway, so yeah, they can positively affect more peoples lives by going somewhere else to end hunger. It sucks, cause we do have our own problems here at home, but ultimately, it's their money and they would rather have their money affect as many people as possible.

Edited by samagon

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Check out this article on the revitalization of downtown Dallas, pretty interesting.

"On Main Street, for example, the plan encourages street-level retail, in part, by phasing out retail and restaurant uses from the underground tunnels and changing street-vending ordinances to attract carts and kiosks."

http://www.houstonto...re-of-downtown/

Edited by DrLan34

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Check out this article on the revitalization of downtown Dallas, pretty interesting.

"On Main Street, for example, the plan encourages street-level retail, in part, by phasing out retail and restaurant uses from the underground tunnels and changing street-vending ordinances to attract carts and kiosks."

http://www.houstonto...re-of-downtown/

That's nice, but downtown Dallas is absolutely dead compared to downtown Houston. I understand what they're trying to do, but Houston would be stupid to take that approach. The tunnels are a big reason why many companies are located in downtown and are a huge amenity for the buildings. The street retail and life is picking up with the Main St revitalized, Discovery Green, the stadiums, new Market Square, etc. I like DT Houston's conservative, yet progressive plan.

I would like to see Houston change their ordinances downtown to attract food trucks, though. Maybe only for certain areas that are lacking food amenities (Jones Plaza for example).

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Check out this article on the revitalization of downtown Dallas, pretty interesting.

"On Main Street, for example, the plan encourages street-level retail, in part, by phasing out retail and restaurant uses from the underground tunnels and changing street-vending ordinances to attract carts and kiosks."

http://www.houstonto...re-of-downtown/

Uh huh. Yeah. Does the below image ring a bell?

Aerial-rendering-525x401.jpg

And clearly this article was written by an oracle of truth. Oh yes, indeed... :rolleyes:

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agreed, the tunnels are way too integral to downtown Houston's success and it is not something can be phased out... and the tunnel system is massive.

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agreed, the tunnels are way too integral to downtown Houston's success and it is not something can be phased out... and the tunnel system is massive.

The other thing about tunnels is that...when the weather is nice, people return to the street. On Wednesday, I had to walk about from one side of downtown to the other and back (in a suit), and was stunned at the sheer number of above-ground pedestrians. But how many days are so perfect in Houston?

We're not San Diego; neither is Dallas.

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Yes, corporate types like to be coddled. If we didn't have the tunnels in downtown Houston, more companies would be developing their own mini-cities. Example: AIG's 5 buildings at Allen Parkway and Waugh are all interconnected with a series of skywalks. There are a couple shops in there, a credit union, a barber, etc. We can't just eliminate the tunnels and expect downtown street-level retail and restaurants to take off. Better to let it gradually develop when there are places that have a particular draw. Bombay Pizza is busy most nights now.

I do miss Kaveh Kanes, though.

Edited by kylejack
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Yes, corporate types like to be coddled. If we didn't have the tunnels in downtown Houston, more companies would be developing their own mini-cities. Example: AIG's 5 buildings at Allen Parkway and Waugh are all interconnected with a series of skywalks. There are a couple shops in there, a credit union, a barber, etc. We can't just eliminate the tunnels and expect downtown street-level retail and restaurants to take off. Better to let it gradually develop when there are places that have a particular draw. Bombay Pizza is busy most nights now.

I do miss Kaveh Kanes, though.

the saucer as well, is always full.

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roadrunner--nearly all the places you mentioned are thriving because there is no tunnel access. in my opinion, the tunnels kill any chance of downtown becoming a residential hot bed. to the extent there is residential in downtown, there is poor tunnel access.

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someone's trying to get downtown going again...

http://www.centralhouston.org/Home/Programs/PlanningandDevelopment/

"Programs : Planning and Development

print.gif email.gif Central Houston leads or assists in comprehensive planning advocacy, working closely with the Houston Downtown Management District, City of Houston, METRO, Harris County and area development associations. The following are planned or anticipated downtown or downtown-adjacent projects. Projects are closely aligned with implementation goals of the 2004 Houston Downtown Development Framework.

  • Development – Dynamo Stadium. Support role to stadium design and construction development, including LRT construction and operations, access from East End, and prospective mixed-use development south of Stadium.
  • Development – Regional Tourism Center | Reconfigure Avenida de las Americas. Support role to the City of Houston for a reconfigured block between GRB Convention Center and Minute Maid Park, to house a Regional Tourism Center including relocation of the two historic houses. North- & south-bound lanes to be reduced from four- to two-lanes at 600 block of AdlA, with 700 block used for lane transitions.
  • Development – 806 Main Street Hotel. Collaborating with developer, City and METRO to review proposed hotel and LRT operations at Rusk and Main. Investigating street design options to assist with hotel traffic.
  • Downtown High School. Participate in confidential negotiations with HISD Trustees and Administration to identify downtown site for HSPVA.
  • Development – Convention Hotel and International Zone. Support role to private development for hotel and mixed-use development east of GRB Convention Center and SH-59 at Polk and Chartres streets.
  • Development – Convention Center Hotel | Block 99. Support role in ongoing conversations for future hotel development, particularly in regards to LRT construction and GRB Convention Center plans for expansion.
  • Residential & Mixed-Use Planning – Warehouse District, Northeast Quadrant and Southeast Quadrant. Prepare “neighborhood sketch plans” to initiate activity and inform comprehensive downtown master planning or guidelines for a refreshed framework, integrating the projects with related projects such as the H-GAC Livable Centers study.
  • Master Planning - UH Downtown. Support the University’s planning efforts in their development of master plan; collaborate with University’s planning team to provide information for future expansion.
  • Master Planning – Mixed-use Retail Core Area. Project in the first half of 2011 to develop conceptual design to re-vitalize downtown’s Shopping District.
  • Master Planning – George R. Brown Convention Center | 25-Year Planning. For the City, lead master planning project with Gensler to develop master planning documents for future expansion of GRB.
  • Master Planning – Downtown | East Downtown Livable Centers. Work with numerous entities and the design consultancy team for a nine-month master planning transit-oriented development project of 168-block area bounded by Preston, St. Charles, Pease and Austin. Coordinate multiple projects and consultants within study area.
  • Bayou Improvements – Austin Street Portal Repairs and Maintenance. At blocks 6 and 7, substantial repairs to a guardrail separating surface parking and Buffalo Bayou. Guardrail was damaged during a drunk driver incident in November 2009.
  • Bayou Improvements – Buffalo Bayou North Channelization. Participating as a stakeholder in the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Master Plan and working with the Harris County Flood Control District, long term planning for channeling the bayou including street, bridge and bayou path improvements. Short-term coordination with HCFCD and downtown businesses to assist with cost benefit analysis of channelization.
  • Bayou Improvements – Sesquicentennial Park to Travis Portal. Engineering design project to suspend a bayou path bridge from street bridge as the link along a discontinuous portion of the hike and bike trail.
  • Bayou Improvements – International Coffee Building. Serving as the funding recipient for TXDOT providing match grant to Buffalo Bayou Partnership for historic renovation to the ICB.
  • Tranquility Park. Provide ongoing stakeholder involvement for future redevelopment of Tranquility Park, based on 2008 conceptual planning. Collaborate as a leading stakeholder with Parks & Recreation in all phases of future work.
  • Jones Plaza. Provide ongoing stakeholder involvement for future re-development of Jones Plaza, based on 2010 Visioning Meeting as led by Gensler for Convention & Entertainment Facilities.
  • Pocket Parks & Pets. Identify parcels and ownership who may consider development of pocket and / or pet parks distributed throughout district; goal is to provide more neighborhood park amenities to downtown residents.
  • Lighting Improvements – LED Street Lighting Pilot. After testing fixture performance and evaluating economics during a pilot phase, make a recommendation to Board for phased upgrading to street lights on certain thoroughfares.
  • Lighting Improvements – Main Street OCS Pole Lighting Pilot. Based on past performance and low-level lighting output of “sail” fixtures along Main Street, south of Texas, select with CenterPoint new street lights to be mounted to METRO OCS poles.
  • Lighting Improvements – Theater Pole Relocation to Northwest Quadrant. Based on development of area south of Minute Maid Park and due to METRO | LRT construction on Capitol & Rusk, existing theater pole street lighting to be removed and relocated to new areas to be identified in areas north of Texas Street.
  • Lamar Street Pedestrian Lighting Pilot. As a test pattern, install 10-12 light fixtures on south side of Lamar from Crawford to Austin. Based on fixture performance, develop plans for pedestrian lighting particularly within the “Z-Corridor” linking Convention Center, hotels, retail, Main Street and Historic District.
  • Sidewalk Improvements – Travis to Fannin from Clay to Jefferson. Support and overview of current project design and anticipated construction in expending currently allocated TIRZ funds.
  • Sidewalk Improvements – Southeast Quadrant. Support and overview a project to design and construct sidewalk and related amenities (landscape, lighting) per downtown guidelines. Coordinate improvements with property owners. Leverage right-of-way design for future developments.
  • METRO | LRT – Capitol & Rusk Streets (plus Hamilton, Texas and Buffalo Bayou). Ongoing stakeholder leadership on the downtown segments of Southeast Line, including tree mitigation coordination, station and transfer station design, garage access, owner representation, and construction coordination.
  • Street Improvements – Crosswalk and Intersection Paver Repairs and Maintenance. With long-term maintenance issues related to 2004 construction on downtown transit streets, particularly at intersections surrounding Main Street Square, work with engineering consultant to develop and test alternative installations of pavers within roadway.
  • Street Improvements – Dallas from Crawford to Caroline. Streetscape modifications including wider sidewalk at south side of Dallas, new landscaping, new pedestrian lighting, new street lighting, underground electrical utilities from current overhead; continuation of previous street improvements from Bagby to Caroline linking hotels with Convention Center.
  • Bike Share Program. Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) pilot project to develop a public bike share program based on downtown’s density. Following testing phase, program to be implemented in other areas of Houston region.
  • Neighborhood Connections – Elysian Viaduct New Bridge and Roadway. Continue design studies related to Elysian Viaduct and connections between downtown and near northside.
  • Neighborhood Connections – Hike & Bike Trails / East Downtown to Buffalo Bayou. Collaborate with adjacent management districts and Buffalo Bayou Partnership to improve recreational and modality connections through downtown; integrate with HARC bike share program.
  • Wayfinding Improvements. At street level, comprehensive upgrade to primary, secondary and street-level kiosks signage, including lighting and painting maintenance. Planning for an additional 30 kiosks to supplement the current 20 kiosks. Coordinate wayfinding improvements with adjacent districts. At tunnel level, as-needed updates to tunnel signage to incorporate new developments and tunnel connections. Comprehensive upgrade to tunnel map kiosks."

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I was gonna start a new thred but I guess this one will do.

I was wondering what the future of downtown will be? Last night I went to a birthday party and met a guy from Shell. He said most of Shell is moving out to west Houston and he thinks there's only a small remnant in downtown, is the remnant part true?

Then Exxon is consolidating most likely to the north, will their downtown people be moving there, too?

I know we've seen a couple of buildings pop up downtown the past few years, but I'm just wondering, if your powerhouse companies are moving out, who are the ones staying and moving in? Guess we'll possibly see with a couple of buildings in the pipeline.

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I'm a consultant working at Shell. I haven't heard anything about Shell leaving downtown but I know their Woodcreek Office in the Energy Cooridor is expanding, but for the most part Shell Trading is staying downtown where my current project is located. They have offices all over downtown in Pennzoil North Tower, 2 Houston center, and One & Two Shell Plaza.

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I'm a consultant working at Shell. I haven't heard anything about Shell leaving downtown but I know their Woodcreek Office in the Energy Cooridor is expanding, but for the most part Shell Trading is staying downtown where my current project is located. They have offices all over downtown in Pennzoil North Tower, 2 Houston center, and One & Two Shell Plaza.

Ah, ok, cool. Thanks for the update. Yeah, he said over in the energy corridor they've built like 3 or 4 buildings in the past five years. Any idea how many people you have downtown?

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Chevron still has a major operation downtown. KPMG had a major move-in a while back. There's still plenty of firms in downtown.

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I was gonna start a new thred but I guess this one will do.

I was wondering what the future of downtown will be? Last night I went to a birthday party and met a guy from Shell. He said most of Shell is moving out to west Houston and he thinks there's only a small remnant in downtown, is the remnant part true?

Then Exxon is consolidating most likely to the north, will their downtown people be moving there, too?

I know we've seen a couple of buildings pop up downtown the past few years, but I'm just wondering, if your powerhouse companies are moving out, who are the ones staying and moving in? Guess we'll possibly see with a couple of buildings in the pipeline.

The Shell rumors have been around for about two years. Shell leases about 2,000,000 square feet of office space in Houston. There have been rumors that Shell would leave downtown but nothing but a positive move has been actually signed. Shell will vacate around 250,000 square feet of space at Two Houston Center but will take just over 300,000 square feet, including the trading floor at 1000 Main. That's a net positive for downtown.

KBR was also widely rumored to be leaving downtown for the Katy area. However, KBR not only decided to stay downtown, they actually bumped up their total lease at KBR Tower and 500 Jefferson to just shy of 1,200,000 square feet. That's an increase of over 234,000 square feet.

Also, Hines landed BG Goup to take over space in Main Place. The original lease was for 164,000 square feet but an extension was just signed and the U.K. based natural gas company will now occupy 354,000 square feet when it moves into the space. It will be the location for BG Group's North and South American Headquarters. BG Group is currently located in the Galleria area.

Another huge get was Hess' move from One Allen Center to the Discover (Hess) Tower. Hess currently occupies 500,000 square feet but will be taking the entire 845,000 square foot tower. That's another net positive for downtown.

Then there's Chevron. Chevron's commitment to downtown seems very solid since they are likely going to BUY the old Enron Headquarters from Brookfield Properties. They also own the old YMCA site.

Here are some of the other large lease extensions/expansions that have been executed in downtown over the past two years;

Enervest added 37,000 sq feet to take a total of 117,316 sq feet at the First City Tower

The US GSA has signed a lease for 132,539 sq ft at Wells Fargo Plaza (a 10% increase over their current lease)

Fulbright + Jaworski renewed for 300,000 sq feet

Plains Exploration signed a 136,000 sq foot lease agreement

Ernst and Young inked a 110,000 sq foot lease

KPMG signed on with Hines for 108,000 sq feet in Main Place (BG Group)

Black Stone Minerals inked a deal for 55,000 sq feet at First City Tower

Waste Management, already a huge downtown player, added 27,000 sq feet of office space at 1021 Main St

Downtown will always be the cultural (theater, ballet, symphony, opera) hub of the city. It will also always be the legal hub (major law firms and courthouses), sporting hub (Astros, Rockets, Aeros, and soon to be Dynamo), governmental hub (City and Harris County Offices plus federal courts), and even an educational center (UH Downtown and South Texas College of Law). There will always be demand for office space downtown.

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Lots of banks in dt as well, and Cooper, as energy Companies move on, others will move in. And the best part is that the energy companies aren't leaving Houston.

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Re: "Issues" with the homeless....

Those "dreaded" churches and charities were feeding the homeless in parking lots when the neighbors were abandoned railroad tracks and dilapidated warehouses. Now that the tracks have been paved over and the warehouses remodeled into cheap, cookie cutter lofts doesn't mean the church should pack and go and leave the homeless to suffer. If you're afraid to take little Hayden for a stroll because of "street people," Katy and the Woodlands are calling you. Not too many dark---- er I mean "thugs" out there either. Maybe this whole "urban living" thing is not for some of you, what with all the diversity and this thing called reality beating you over your little yuppie heads.

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Re: "Issues" with the homeless....

Those "dreaded" churches and charities were feeding the homeless in parking lots when the neighbors were abandoned railroad tracks and dilapidated warehouses. Now that the tracks have been paved over and the warehouses remodeled into cheap, cookie cutter lofts doesn't mean the church should pack and go and leave the homeless to suffer. If you're afraid to take little Hayden for a stroll because of "street people," Katy and the Woodlands are calling you. Not too many dark---- er I mean "thugs" out there either. Maybe this whole "urban living" thing is not for some of you, what with all the diversity and this thing called reality beating you over your little yuppie heads.

The churches and charities should sell out, take the money, buy a cheaper facility elsewhere, and use the money to increase the level of service that they provide to the homeless. Like yourself, I really don't care if little Hayden gets raped. My ire is concentrated squarely upon those committing a travesty against those that they are supposed to be helping, whether on the basis of shallow-minded religious principle or because they're getting favored tax treatment because of a phony mission statement. Such people are criminals, essentially robbing the poor of an opportunity for a better existence.

If you don't agree with me, then you're obviously one of "them", and you shall be subject to my ridicule because you're not one of "us".

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If you don't agree with me, then you're obviously one of "them", and you shall be subject to my ridicule because you're not one of "us".

Been listening to a little to much Zappa, Niche?

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Been listening to a little to much Zappa, Niche?

"The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consonant and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only 'good guys' in it, or eating cottage cheese." - Frank Zappa

If my crazed amoral retorts make HAIF (and life in general) less like eating cottage cheese, then I should deserve a medal. Another Shiner bottle cap will have to do, it seems.

I do hope that the underlying message got across. Midtown is a neighborhood undergoing a decades-long transition. Everyone that lives, works, plays, gives, takes, and governs there is at odds with the others. But nothing is accomplished by one's rejection of that which is external to them. Progress only occurs as individuals make decisions for themselves.

The neighborhood is on an inexorable trajectory toward gentrification. There's no getting around it. Individuals can only make decisions based on the present and based on their values. Maybe charity is only worthwhile for some people if it takes place in a 'cool' neighborhood. Maybe the charities are a component of what makes it 'cool' to some people and not to others. So what? Not every place can be all things to all people. Live and let live. Houston is not the Vatican; there are many neighborhoods, all of them in transition, none of them sacred.

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Well, they closed the Burger King in the Houston Club building. If that's not a harbinger of doom, it's at least a sign that taste in cheesburgers has improved.

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