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texas911

Let's Talk Bellaire

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What's the positives and negatives of Bellaire? Seems like they took the early lead in zoning but it seems to have hampered their growth? Bellaire Triangle could be so much nicer but lack of vision and bureaucratic red tape seems to be keeping it from a nice destination for the Bellaire citizens. Also, what's up with the lack of trees? At least compared to West U.

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Traffic overload. Way too much traffic. Noisy. And it's too close to Gulfton for comfort. Overpriced I think. But then again... arent all homes that way?

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There used to be a lot more trees when I lived there in the 70's and 80's. But that's what happens when you shoehorn a 5000 sq ft. house on a 6000 sq. ft lot. Something's got to give.

And about being too close to Gulfton - wouldn't that be a bonus - I mean the help has to live somewhere and you don't want them living too near you - but they still need to be able to walk or ride a bike to come serve your needs.

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There used to be a lot more trees when I lived there in the 70's and 80's. But that's what happens when you shoehorn a 5000 sq ft. house on a 6000 sq. ft lot. Something's got to give.

And about being too close to Gulfton - wouldn't that be a bonus - I mean the help has to live somewhere and you don't want them living too near you - but they still need to be able to walk or ride a bike to come serve your needs.

True about the lack of trees. I have seen some really big oaks removed in the name of progress. Crime is bad though in Bellaire, especially on the west side closer to the barrio. Drive that area and you will see much more burglar bars and gates.

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And about being too close to Gulfton - wouldn't that be a bonus - I mean the help has to live somewhere and you don't want them living too near you - but they still need to be able to walk or ride a bike to come serve your needs.

But of course, how could I forget!

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Pro - super quick police (and fire) response

Con - most of the new builds I've walked through on the smaller lots (inside 610) aren't so great design wise and quality - just seems like there wasn't much thought going in to anything and the builds were quick (there were ~3 or 4 builders that dominated in the last decade).

That being written, new builds and originals on the larger lots (outside 610) seem to be in a different league (and the price reflects that).

As far as crime, my folks lived in Bellaire for over 20 years and there was one serial theft (potted plants) and one armed burglary/assault on the block. Also, a neighbor's son was murdered but it was because he was selling drugs and it went badly (and it didn't happen at home) so that's just an isolated incident of a rich kid getting in a bad situation..

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I don'y think crime is that bad in Bellaire. The Police is pretty responsive. I think maybe crime around Bellaire is viewed as being in Bellaire.

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What's the positives and negatives of Bellaire? Seems like they took the early lead in zoning but it seems to have hampered their growth? Bellaire Triangle could be so much nicer but lack of vision and bureaucratic red tape seems to be keeping it from a nice destination for the Bellaire citizens. Also, what's up with the lack of trees? At least compared to West U.

The intersection of Bissonnet and Bellaire is extraordinarily inefficient and creates a pedestrian desert. There has been some fumbling around with the idea of changing the flow of traffic around, but I don't think that that would be ideal. I also kind of the treelessness of the older commercial properties. It's strangely attractive, like visiting Kansas City for a few minutes; which is just long enough.

The old downtown part of Bellaire's big problem is demographics. They're great on one side, but the rest is all a gigantic void where developers and trendy retailers are concerned. OTOH, retail deeper in Gulfton does very well for the same reason. It's just that downtown Bellaire is a transition zone and it's in an awkward phase.

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They re-aligned Bellaire and Bissonnet about 20-25 years ago when they put in the transit center at South Rice. That's why to the south side of Bellaire St. there is some awkward parking infront of the what used to be a Bank of America buiding at Bellaire and Rice (not sure if it's still there or not) I think it's cafe's and what-not now. I believe the road went on the outside of the large oaks at the time and the island was larger before the realignment. It also affected the land around the old Weingarten store there which became a Randalls.

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I see the Starbucks on Rice and Bissonet which is always packed and think that it would do gangbusters if it was just physically bigger. There is a pent up demand for all the well to do Bellaire-ians(?). Unlike West U, there is a sizable commercial presence in the city proper and there is opportunity. Just need some vision. I read the West U Examiner and there is crossover news from Bellaire and there looks to be some civic projects that they are trying to get done that would really spruce up Bellaire. But seems disjointed. They have a new town center initiative but they also have the Tea's nursery park project way on the other side of town. At least they're not as land deprived as West U.

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I grew up there and moved away in the early 90s, before the Bellaire boom really got booming. As far as I can tell from driving around and chatting with a few old neighbors, it's now chock full of mega-mansions, and retains precious little of the small town charm that made it such an awesome place to grow up. Of course, I'm a little jaded... My old house was demolished just a few weeks ago, along with the enormous live oak tree in the back yard. Some people have no soul... I think a lot of them live in Bellaire.

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I think that's Houston area in general. Witness the entertainment that is any thread on the Heights.

But the flip side of that is I also lived quite a bit off and on in Bellaire and had to do my share of maintenance on poorly built houses. That housing stock was tired and worn-out. While I'm not enamoured with the new, what is being replaced is nothing special. It is/was obsolete.

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Yup, we had this conversation in the McMansion thread. Even these so called McMansion are light year ahead of old stock houses in terms of efficiency that they use less energy than a house half it's square footage.

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