Jump to content

East River: Mixed-Use Development By Midway


citykid09

Recommended Posts

34 minutes ago, jhjones74 said:

Agreed, living downtown it’s not exactly easy getting over here, like 10 min drive even though on a map you’d think less than 5 min. And transit isn’t really an option. Selfishly I’d rather see a bigger grocery store come to downtown before other areas, and I would argue Houston should be focused on creating density within downtown and other existing neighborhoods first. I’m worried Midway will just turn this development into another citycentre, furthering the patchwork of sprawl that is Houston

10 minutes to travel 2 or 3 miles is evidence of connectivity problems?  My goodness, we are spoiled with how easy it is to get around our central city. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

10 minutes to travel 2 or 3 miles is evidence of connectivity problems?  My goodness, we are spoiled with how easy it is to get around our central city. 

I def agree with that sentiment but yeah at the moment it's not the easiest development to travel to other than in a car. You can get to the site by bike along the trails, but that area around Jensen is sketchy with the homeless encampment. I've rode to that area many times on my bike on the streets and it's not the most seamless route. It would be nice to see what plans there are for Navigation/Jensen to make it a more multimodal street. 

Edited by j_cuevas713
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't see that East River is competing with downtown or will detract from downtown.  It close, but it is separate.  It's not like Eado, which operates almost in unison, or perhaps competes with downtown, in terms of nightlife.  Transportation and road connections are awkward, especially when there is a Game or Match, or Event at any of the stadiums Convention Center or Arena which separate the districts.   Becoming connected to surrounding areas is something that East River will have to overcome to allure folks from more than a mile away.  But, it is building off of a lot of energy in the area and will have enough to it, to make it stand alone...and, I believe, that it will have a unique vibe due to its location on the River/Bayou and it will be connected directly with Jensen Street Bridge and a pedestrian bridge at Gregg, to Navigation, which will be symbiotic.   It does appear that Midway is struggling a bit to confirm tenants, but perhaps this is an opening for smaller, more localized businesses, retailers and restaurateurs to get into a quality development that they otherwise would not be able to manage, and create a more unique, interesting district.  The last thing that I would want is the same list of chain restaurants and shops that exist at City Center to occupy ER.  I just wouldn't go very often.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

I agree.  Certainly would not require as much traffic as a full service grocery.  My understanding, however, is that TJ's has very strict demographic requirement for their locations.   That's not to say, that one of their stores would not be well received and utilized here...it would.  

$100k/median household income, yes. As much as I love it here in East End we are definitely not the TJ target area.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

10 minutes to travel 2 or 3 miles is evidence of connectivity problems?  My goodness, we are spoiled with how easy it is to get around our central city. 

This must be a joke comment. 

Freight rail activity in the east end is not a minor inconvenience. I'm not a train hater, but I understand how it affects the area. 

Train blockages can profoundly impact traffic during peak periods or situations where numerous lines are blocked for hours at the same time.

The Galveston subdivision was blocked for 15 hours or greater three times in the last six months. The east belt was blocked for 23 hours by a single train this year. Prolonged blockages have been shown to keep kids from getting to school, and HFD wrote to the FRA that train blockages have caused emergency response times to jump from the stated goal of 10 minutes or less to 45 minutes or more 1,500 times this year -- through the third quarter 2022. The railroads claim first-responders get preferential treatment (if they call, the train will move or be broken, they say). If it takes first-responders 45 minutes, the above 10-minute claim is in no way grounded in reality. 

The latest TxDOT Houston region freight rail study found the uptick in stopped trains combined with consist length increases has resulted in an $800 million economic loss for east Houston businesses -- commercial and industrial. The study identified myriad roads that need separation to improve connectivity -- the same roads as all prior studies dating back to 2011 (Sampson/York/Hirsch/Waco, Lockwood, Commerce, new Navigation tunnel to replace the aging one) -- but there's a well-documented history of these projects stalling as a result of railroad protest over what they state will be negative impacts on daily operations during construction. 

East River is on a stretch of the bayou along a rail line between Towers 5 and 86, which is commonly blocked by stopped trains for hours at a time practically daily. If the Houston line is also blocked, the development is not completely isolated but reachable by only a few roads. 

I can understand why businesses with the coin to do feasibility studies would be hesitant to come over at this time (although I want them to). Hopefully things change in the future, but maybe I'm just spoiled. 

 

Edited by JClark54
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, JClark54 said:

This must be a joke comment. 

Freight rail activity in the east end is not a minor inconvenience. I'm not a train hater, but I understand how it affects the area. 

Train blockages can profoundly impact traffic during peak periods or situations where numerous lines are blocked for hours at the same time.

The Galveston subdivision was blocked for 15 hours or greater three times in the last six months. The east belt was blocked for 23 hours by a single train this year. Prolonged blockages have been shown to keep kids from getting to school, and HFD wrote to the FRA that train blockages have caused emergency response times to jump from the stated goal of 10 minutes or less to 45 minutes or more 1,500 times this year -- through the third quarter 2022. The railroads claim first-responders get preferential treatment (if they call, the train will move or be broken, they say). If it takes first-responders 45 minutes, the above 10-minute claim is in no way grounded in reality. 

The latest TxDOT Houston region freight rail study found the uptick in stopped trains combined with consist length increases has resulted in a $800 million economic loss for east Houston businesses -- commercial and industrial. The study identified myriad roads that need separation to improve connectivity -- the same roads as all prior studies dating back to 2011 (Sampson/York/Hirsch/Waco, Lockwood, Commerce, new Navigation tunnel to replace the aging one) -- but there's a well-documented history of these projects stalling as a result of railroad protest over what they state will be negative impacts on daily operations during construction. 

East River is on a stretch of the bayou along a rail line between Towers 5 and 86, which is commonly blocked by stopped trains for hours at a time practically daily. If the Houston line is also blocked, the development is not completely isolated but reachable by only a few roads. 

I can understand why businesses with the coin to do feasibility studies would be hesitant to come over at this time (although I want them to). Hopefully things change in the future, but maybe I'm just spoiled. 

 

I think everything you wrote is totally fair, and the extended rail blockages are absolutely a problem that may significantly affect the success of East River.

But what Houston19514 said was that describing traveling 2-3 miles in 10 minutes (which is not at all unheard of around Downtown) as evidencr of "connectivity problems" is pretty wild, and I think that is absolutely fair. In downtown Boston or New York, 3 miles in 10 minutes would be just about a record pace.

Of course, 3 miles is a lot "further" in terms of destinations in those cities, and personally I would rather things be closer and traffic slower than the reverse.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jmitch94 said:

Hit them with some multi million dollar fines and watch those stoppages magically disappear. 

Catastrophic environmental incident aside, no such mechanism exists to do as you write. Congress has enacted legislation tying local entities' enforcement capabilities, placing the burden at the federal level. 

The FRA is allowed to levy a fine of $892 to $29,192 per violation of federal safety guidelines. Blockages in excess of 15 minutes classify as safety violations, but evidence of violations is minimal with miles of track and agencies that don't have the interest, time, or personnel to cover them. 

Residents and businesses often document these occurrences, but it appears from lack of enforcement the feds either aren't interested or must see an incident themselves. 

The December derailment on Clinton (ahem, East River) that took out the esplanade and closed myriad crossings for just shy of two days was a self-report and, at least as of this writing, a no-fine event. 

To show how little enforcement takes place, the FRA reported a record amount of fines for safety violations across all miles of track, number of railroads, and segments of the country in 2021. That total? $15 million. 

Utilizing city streets and county roads as de-facto sidings has become part of business operations. 

 

 

Edited by JClark54
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, JClark54 said:

Catastrophic environmental incident aside, no such mechanism exists to do as you write. Congress has enacted legislation tying local entities' enforcement capabilities, placing the burden at the federal level. 

The FRA is allowed to levy a fine of $892 to $29,192 per violation of federal safety guidelines. Blockages in excess of 15 minutes classify as safety violations, but evidence of violations is minimal with miles of track and agencies that don't have the interest, time, or personnel to cover them. 

Residents and businesses often document these occurrences, but it appears from lack of enforcement that the either the feds aren't interested or must see an incident themselves. 

The December derailment on Clinton (ahem, East River) that took out the esplanade and closed myriad crossings for just shy of two days was a self-report and, at least as of this writing, a no-fine event. 

To show how little enforcement takes place, the FRA reported a record amount of fines for safety violations across all miles of track, number of railroads, and segments of the country in 2021. That total? $15 million. 

Utilizing city streets and county roads as de-facto sidings has become part of business operations. 

 

 

Is it just me, or have trains also gotten longer in recent years?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trains utilizing the Houston complex have grown from approximate max lengths of 3,000 feet in the 1950s to approximate max lengths of 10,000 feet today. In filings with the Surface Transportation board, the major Class Is that own trackage here claim Canadian Pacific plans to run eight to 14 trains in excess of 12,000 feet long per day if its proposed merger with Kansas City Southern is approved.

Studies from myriad entities usually align in that the major driver of train blockages in the east end is yard size and train length. They were predominately built in and around 1900, when trains were shorter. Current lengths no longer fit in the yard. So they extend out when switching and must wait for those passing through to clear the main lines before entering. Thus, street parking. 

Englewood has enough space to build sidings sizable enough to support these longer trains running today. UP hasn't invested in them to the extent needed to take train parking off city streets, regulators claim.

Edited by JClark54
  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/23/2022 at 12:04 PM, JClark54 said:

This must be a joke comment. 

Freight rail activity in the east end is not a minor inconvenience. I'm not a train hater, but I understand how it affects the area. 

Train blockages can profoundly impact traffic during peak periods or situations where numerous lines are blocked for hours at the same time.

The Galveston subdivision was blocked for 15 hours or greater three times in the last six months. The east belt was blocked for 23 hours by a single train this year. Prolonged blockages have been shown to keep kids from getting to school, and HFD wrote to the FRA that train blockages have caused emergency response times to jump from the stated goal of 10 minutes or less to 45 minutes or more 1,500 times this year -- through the third quarter 2022. 

 

How can this be, trains aren't supposed to block a crossing for more than an hour at a time, surely the railroads aren't breaking this rule that they are supposed to police themselves on! And surely, even if they are following the rules, the hour they are allowed is acceptable!

That's a bit of sarcasm. 

I'm also not anti rail. There needs to be a better solution. There's not much hope of any real solution considering the state of our government. People who move here just need to accept what it is and learn to navigate around. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, MexAmerican_Moose said:

what if "things" started happening to the stopped trains? won't elaborate further

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvn7nw/train-robberies-are-back

Apologies for derailing the thread. It wasn't intentional.

I doubt the railroads are worried about customer product stolen from trains. It appears they build in protections for these scenarios into contracts. 

I came across a unique tidbit while watching the STB's public hearing on UP's growing use of embargoes, a mechanism railroads can use to temporarily reduce or completely halt service. They're typically enacted as a result of track washouts or weather-related issues.  UP has upped embargoes from 27 in 2017 to 886 through Oct. 2022, a period coinciding with its well-documented attempts to cut personnel levels.

A West Virginia coal producer VP testified that UP "lost" a 100-car consist of coal. The cars were filled at the mine site and moved on, but they had not yet reached their onward destination by testimony time. The STB chair asked about recourse, and the shipper stated its contractural language is such that UP is minimally liable for lost or damaged product. Theoretically, they could go elsewhere as a result of this preceived poor service, but the trackage rights in the area are such that UP is a virtual monopoly and moving coal by truck would make it much more expensive for end-users, putting coal at an economic disadvantage over other energy sources. So UP holds all the cards. 

Edited by JClark54
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, JClark54 said:

I doubt the railroads are worried about customer product stolen from trains. It appears they build in protections for these scenarios into contracts. 

I'd say you're right. Jesse, Walt, and Todd got away with hundreds of gallons of methylamine....

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seeing it from above, sometimes I’m blown away at all the (attached or otherwise) townhomes we have now. It really wasn’t that long ago that we started building that type of housing in town, so seeing how ubiquitous they’ve become is pretty interesting.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never noticed on my drives by the place (probably because I'm only ever looking East as I drive on Jensen, but on the west side of Jensen, next to the Bayou they are turning dirt there too. 

is that the city doing work to extend a path along the bayou, or part of another project?

Edited by samagon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2023/01/09/midway-the-studios-at-east-river-office-buildings.html

Midway adding for-sale office buildings in East River mixed-use development

Houston-based Midway has released new details on the next phase of its East River mixed-use development near downtown.

Construction of The Studios at East River, a for-sale office component consisting of three 10,000-square-foot buildings, is underway and is scheduled to be completed in June. Midway is also planning additional buildings as part of future expansion phases.

Edited by editor
Edited due to copyright. Remember to summarize and link. Don't copy and paste.
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, hindesky said:


ExhETQ8.jpg

Zooming in on the left side, I'm wondering about trail clearance under the Jensen bridge. Will the bridge be replaced as a part of this project? Or will the trail cross at grade? Or some other solution?

 

Or will we all just be ducking like with some of those Brays bridges in southwest?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, 004n063 said:

Zooming in on the left side, I'm wondering about trail clearance under the Jensen bridge. Will the bridge be replaced as a part of this project? Or will the trail cross at grade? Or some other solution?

 

Or will we all just be ducking like with some of those Brays bridges in southwest?

I found a Bike Tag there once, as I recall the trail goes under part of the bridge although I didn't go beyond where I took the pic. The trail is littered with trash and glass.


eARjAkK.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, hindesky said:

I found a Bike Tag there once, as I recall the trail goes under part of the bridge although I didn't go beyond where I took the pic. The trail is littered with trash and glass.


eARjAkK.jpg

Yeah, it's always dipped under a bit. Was just figuring they'd want a more improved connection for ER.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/10/2023 at 10:03 AM, IntheKnowHouston said:

 

 

PB41iv9.jpg

 

sx3j85v.jpg


Nbge44W.jpg



 

 

I find it curious that the building in the northwest corner in the first photo is not in most of their layouts, but from what we do know it's likely that that the buildings to the right of that building are the build to own spots, which are also missing from most layouts. I may just be full of optimism, but if there were going to be a grocery store it would need to be accessible to major streets for ease of access. I'm guessing they are either saving that location for when HEB or another major grocery chain steps up or with the highest level of hope, they are keeping it under wraps and they will deliver the grocery store during the first phase.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...