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Retail District Planned, to be Centered Around Dallas St.

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41 minutes ago, ADCS said:

 

Automobiles and buses are also 19th Century technology. Your point is meaningless.

 

Trains and auto's are both technically old. However trains are older. That's just a fact.  Further, affordable mass produced automobiles required the technology of assembly lines which did not come into play until the early 20th century. What is your point?

 

10 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Hold on a sec! So you view rail as a lack of progress and view buses as progressive. So why weren't "progressive" buses creating more foot traffic and helping these businesses succeed? Why aren't those same roads that thousands of cars travel on daily helping serve these businesses that somehow took the total loss due to light rail? To me it sounds like those businesses we losing regardless, whether light rail was there or not. 

 

I don't follow your argument. My position has not changed. Given the choice between public transportation and personal automobiles in Houston, Houstonian's will chose personal automobiles. Disruptions of people's ability to drive to businesses will impede those businesses ability to succeed. Light rail construction disruption is especially bad for businesses because it impedes motor traffic and sometimes foot traffic too and for what? Public transportation? Public transportation already existed.  You could tear up main street with a MagLev train and people would still prefer their automobiles. Businesses would still be affected by MagLev construction but at least there, you could legitimately make the argument that, that it was technological "progress".

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Trains and auto's are both technically old. However trains are older. That's just a fact.  Further, affordable mass produced automobiles required the technology of assembly lines which did not come into play until the early 20th century. What is your point?

 

 

I don't follow your argument. My position has not changed. Given the choice between public transportation and personal automobiles in Houston, Houstonian's will chose personal automobiles. Disruptions of people's ability to drive to businesses will impede those businesses ability to succeed. Light rail construction disruption is especially bad for businesses because it impedes motor traffic and sometimes foot traffic too and for what? Public transportation? Public transportation already existed.  You could tear up main street with a MagLev train and people would still prefer their automobiles. Businesses would still be affected by MagLev construction but at least there, you could legitimately make the argument that, that it was technological "progress".

 

 

 

That's your argument? Yeah because the culture has been set to rely on the automobile. How do you expect to change the culture of a city that has relied on the car for everything? Businesses are going to be disrupted regardless, but building a transportation system outweighs any short term affect it has on those businesses. You can argue all you want that the train itself didn't spur development but it's clear to see that it did. How much immediate development is an argument we could have forever. The truth is that many developers specifically stated that they built next to the train as an incentive to those wanting an urban lifestyle. It's CLEARLY a benefit to live adjacent to great public transportation. I don't need to go in to detail when you have proof in cities like Chicago and NY. And if you want to argue that in 13 years very little development has happened, then that's totally fine. It's going to take more than 13 years to fully redevelop most of the areas affected because of negligence from the city. The train isn't going to fix it all but it sure as hell is a great starting point. You can argue for people and their cars all day but I'm in an overly packed train in the morning and evening. People want options, plain and simple.  

Edited by j_cuevas713

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The last building Hines and Pickard Chilton worked on together downtown was BG Group Place, which opened in 2011, just two blocks away. Hines bought the two properties in the same transaction, largely because they were both on the Main Street light rail line.

This was  in the Chronicle after the grand opening of the new 609 Main by Hines

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7 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

That's your argument? Yeah because the culture has been set to rely on the automobile. How do you expect to change the culture of a city that has relied on the car for everything? Businesses are going to be disrupted regardless, but building a transportation system outweighs any short term affect it has on those businesses. You can argue all you want that the train itself didn't spur development but it's clear to see that it did. How much immediate development is an argument we could have forever. The truth is that many developers specifically stated that they built next to the train as an incentive to those wanting an urban lifestyle. And if you want to argue that in 13 years very little development has happened, then that's totally fine. It's going to take more than 13 years to fully redevelop most of the areas affected by negligence from the city. The train isn't going to fix it all but it sure as hell is a great starting point. You can argue for people and their cars all day but I'm in an overly packed train in the morning and evening. People want options, plain and simple.  

 

And that is the main problem right there. You want to change hearts and minds. I'm not a social justice warrior, I don't want to change cultures. My wish is only to provide cheap affordable public transportation to Houstonian's who 1) can't afford an automobile and 2) are physically handicapped and can not drive themselves. In Houston buses are the best option to meet those two goals to the most amount of people. If anything, our culture should be more open minded to buses. I don't need mass transportation to spur development or cure parkinsons, it just needs move people. I don't care what may or many not work in NYC or SFO, I only care about Houston, and in Houston buses have the greatest potential for the least amount of money. 

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7 minutes ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

And that is the main problem right there. You want to change hearts and minds. I'm not a social justice warrior, I don't want to change cultures. My wish is only to provide cheap affordable public transportation to Houstonian's who 1) can't afford an automobile and 2) are physically handicapped and can not drive themselves. In Houston buses are the best option to meet those two goals to the most amount of people. If anything, our culture should be more open minded to buses. I don't need mass transportation to spur development or cure parkinsons, it just needs move people. I don't care what may or many not work in NYC or SFO, I only care about Houston, and in Houston buses have the greatest potential for the least amount of money. 

Neither am I but NY, SF, and Chicago all benefit from good bus service because rail is their backbone. If you rely solely on buses, you're stuck in gridlock just like anyone else. Rail CREATES shorter bus trips, which is what you want. Commuter bus is not efficient at all. You need rail to carry most of the weight while buses act as an extension of that system. That's how you get people moving. If Houston did not have rail, the bus system would suffer greatly and the cost to maintain such a system would suffer along with it. The ONLY way buses move people efficiently is when given the right of way. The system goes a follows. Great infrastructure starts with sidewalks and roads. Getting people on foot efficiently is the first mode of transportation in any city. Second is a solid bus system. The only issue with buses, is that as the city grows, the system needs to expand. You can't have 200 buses for 1 million people and then 200 buses for 4 million people. So the third thing is rail. Rail acts as the glue to the first two modes of transportation. All 3 together work great. Is rail cheap initially, no. Over time the system pays for itself and that's the trade off.

Edited by j_cuevas713
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2 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

And that is the main problem right there. You want to change hearts and minds. I'm not a social justice warrior, I don't want to change cultures. My wish is only to provide cheap affordable public transportation to Houstonian's who 1) can't afford an automobile and 2) are physically handicapped and can not drive themselves. In Houston buses are the best option to meet those two goals to the most amount of people. If anything, our culture should be more open minded to buses. I don't need mass transportation to spur development or cure parkinsons, it just needs move people. I don't care what may or many not work in NYC or SFO, I only care about Houston, and in Houston buses have the greatest potential for the least amount of money. 

 

Lets face some hard facts here:

 

1. Taxpayers do not like spending money on the poor and disabled. This is especially true in a Republican-dominated state

2. If transit solely serves these populations, they will forever be underfunded, as the vast majority of taxpayers will not feel like stakeholders

3. Your goals will inevitably lead to them not being fulfilled

4. Higher-end services like metros and commuter trains lead to more overall transit funding, including that which serves your preferred population, as more people consider themselves stakeholders in the system

 

Life isn't fair, but systems can be developed that combat the inequities. However, as long as transit remains ghettoized, this will never occur with mobility.

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6 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

 Over time the system pays for itself and that's the trade off.

 

You're entitled to have that opinion.

 

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4 hours ago, ADCS said:

 

Lets face some hard facts here:

 

1. Taxpayers do not like spending money on the poor and disabled. This is especially true in a Republican-dominated state

2. If transit solely serves these populations, they will forever be underfunded, as the vast majority of taxpayers will not feel like stakeholders

3. Your goals will inevitably lead to them not being fulfilled

4. Higher-end services like metros and commuter trains lead to more overall transit funding, including that which serves your preferred population, as more people consider themselves stakeholders in the system

 

Life isn't fair, but systems can be developed that combat the inequities. However, as long as transit remains ghettoized, this will never occur with mobility.

 

Facts? LOL. Not sure where you get your facts from.

Let me give you some facts.

1) Houston area taxpayers (mostly democratically dominated) approved a one-cent sales tax when they created Metro.

2) Metro does serve the poor and the disabled, however wealthy area cities are also stakeholders.  By law Metro serves Houston and Bellaire, Bunker Hill Village, El Lago, Hedwig Village, Hilshire Village, Humble, Hunters Creek, Katy, Missouri City, Piney Point, Southside Place, Spring Valley, Taylor Lake Village and West University Place (some of the wealthiest zip codes in the Houston area)

3) that doesn't even make sense. My goals are in Metro's Charter.

4) Higher end services need more maintenance, more compliance, regulation and more costs. If this was an actual solution then commuter trains could print money and solve system wide funding issues. They obviously do not, look at Chicago.

 

 

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So, I was glad to see this thread had been so active.  I use light rail most days as part of my commute & I've been wishing for better shopping downtown. Wasn't Macy's closed because someone else wanted the land?  It only used half the Foley's building, but that part did have customers.  Between commuters & the new people living downtown, I'm sure more shopping could be supported. Phoenicia is great--just a few blocks from the rail; many of us like to walk or ride bikes. (I knew Georgia's was doomed the day they had no caffeinated, unflavored coffee beans.  That was months before it closed.)

 

Alas, I found no news about the shopping area on Dallas. Isn't there a better place for "Light Rail Sucks" posts?  Things have improved downtown since it was finished even though there's plenty of room for improvement.  And no, buses are not better--the (fairly) recent bus route upgrades were great but the rail part of the commute is always more pleasant.  But what do I know?  I ride public transit in Houston--I don't live in Chicago. 

 

So, what's up on Dallas? 

Edited by MaggieMay
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13 hours ago, MaggieMay said:

So, I was glad to see this thread had been so active.  I use light rail most days as part of my commute & I've been wishing for better shopping downtown. Wasn't Macy's closed because someone else wanted the land?  It only used half the Foley's building, but that part did have customers.  Between commuters & the new people living downtown, I'm sure more shopping could be supported. Phoenicia is great--just a few blocks from the rail; many of us like to walk or ride bikes. (I knew Georgia's was doomed the day they had no caffeinated, unflavored coffee beans.  That was months before it closed.)

 

Alas, I found no news about the shopping area on Dallas. Isn't there a better place for "Light Rail Sucks" posts?  Things have improved downtown since it was finished even though there's plenty of room for improvement.  And and, no, buses are not better--the (fairly) recent bus route upgrades were great but the rail part of the commute is always more pleasant.  But what do I know?  I ride public transit in Houston--I don't live in Chicago. 

 

So, what's up on Dallas? 

 

What's up on Dallas? Well, over the last several years, retail has struggled. The news about Macy's landlord wanting to demolish and build office space instead of leasing retail is only part of the story, the complete story was that Macy's chose not to lease at another suitable location in Downtown. They left the Downtown market because it was not profitable for them. They could have signed a lease with Houston Pavilions on a smaller footprint store but chose not to. Other retail news for you...lets see, currently there are still ground floor vacancies available at GreenStreet, but there are no takers.

 

Does that news help you?

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4 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

What's up on Dallas? Well, over the last several years, retail has struggled. The news about Macy's landlord wanting to demolish and build office space instead of leasing retail is only part of the story, the complete story was that Macy's chose not to lease at another suitable location in Downtown. They left the Downtown market because it was not profitable for them. They could have signed a lease with Houston Pavilions on a smaller footprint store but chose not to. Other retail news for you...lets see, currently there are still ground floor vacancies available at GreenStreet, but there are no takers.

 

Does that news help you?

Macy's actually owned that property, and sold it to Hilcorp, and chose to leave Downtown. They presumably were not making enough money to justify staying, and had no desire to move to another location Downtown.

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It sounds like Macy's is having trouble no matter where they're located. How many more stores did they close down KInkaidAlum?

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5 hours ago, Ross said:

Macy's actually owned that property, and sold it to Hilcorp, and chose to leave Downtown. They presumably were not making enough money to justify staying, and had no desire to move to another location Downtown.

 

Gotcha. Wouldn't surprise me if Mayor Parker was flat out lying. She's quoted here saying Macy's essentially lost their lease and that they were working with Macy's on relocating Downtown.

 

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2013/01/downtown-macys-to-close/

 

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1 hour ago, Moore713 said:

I am interested in seeing what effects the hotel will have on greenstreet vacancies. 

Me too.

 

my current belief is the following:

 

1) the hotel will drive demand for things like restaurants and pubs (which downtown already has a plethora of) and

2) do nothing to help downtown attract the viable dry goods/garment merchants that were envisioned when the decision was taken to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on Dallas street improvements.

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11 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Gotcha. Wouldn't surprise me if Mayor Parker was flat out lying. She's quoted here saying Macy's essentially lost their lease and that they were working with Macy's on relocating Downtown.

 

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2013/01/downtown-macys-to-close/

 

She didn't exactly lie, but when Macy's sold the property in 2010, they had to know that their time would be limited. Presumably, they did a sale and leaseback, but there's nothing public on the terms.

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The internet exists. The mayor was NOT lying. Macy's did NOT own the land/building when they announced the store closing. 1110 Main Partners bought that land as well as the Americana Building lot in 2009. 1110 Main Partners is an off-shoot of Hillcorp which now has their corporate tower on that site. 

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^. And I think there are/were direct quotes from a Macy's spokesman saying they would like to find a space downtown to replace the old store.  

Edited by Houston19514

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3 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

^. And I think there are/were direct quotes from a Macy's spokesman saying they would like to find a space downtown to replace the old store.  

Although, probably not the same size space. The old building had a bunch of space for administrative personnel. But, given the current state of retail in this country, I doubt there will be much investment in Downtown Houston locations for traditional retailers.

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3 hours ago, Ross said:

Although, probably not the same size space. The old building had a bunch of space for administrative personnel. But, given the current state of retail in this country, I doubt there will be much investment in Downtown Houston locations for traditional retailers.

Mighty glad the city spent millions of tax dollars to upgrade the street for exactly this purpose!

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13 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

Mighty glad the city spent millions of tax dollars to upgrade the street for exactly this purpose!

Then what would you have done? There seems to be criticism for everything this city tries to do right. Things like this are a long term investment. If you were expecting a quick turn around, think again. Businesses aren't going to move in just because a street was redeveloped to be a retail district. You have to account for street presence and foot traffic. With downtown pumping out more places to live and with more hotel space bringing more visitors, you can expect to see more retail soon. You also have to account for how the city is perceived. Just because you want dry goods doesn't mean that particular retailer feels it's in their best interest until they know they can get a return on their investment. I'm glad they have a planned area for retail downtown. The city did this right, and with the infrastructure in place, we have a solid area for development. 

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On 5/19/2017 at 9:34 PM, 102IAHexpress said:

 

4) Higher end services need more maintenance, more compliance, regulation and more costs. If this was an actual solution then commuter trains could print money and solve system wide funding issues. They obviously do not, look at Chicago.

 

 

 

Wait, how many bus routes did the red line replace? I think you said 4 farther back a few pages?

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Since the light rail and other tax payer proposals have not furthered retail in downtown, what are some possible solutions?

 

If ground retail is failing, perhaps downtown should just expand on what works, the tunnels. What if the city helped develop public tunnels and public access points from the street? Or should the city stay out and instead let the free market decide what's best for Downtown?

 

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How does Houston pedestrian tunnel system compare to other cities such as Dallas, Chicago, and Toronto? Have these pedestrian tunnels negatively effected ground level retail? Chicago as I recall has a vibrant street level pedestrian traffic. Don't really know about the other two. Anyone studied this situation?

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Houston's tunnel system is more vast than Chicago's, for sure. But perhaps, Illinois was inspired by Houston's tunnels when they built the Thompson Center in Downtown Chicago. It's just a government building but on what we would consider the tunnel level of the building their is an expansive court of shops, restaurants and government services. Much like our humid summers are unbearable for ground level retail in Downtown Houston, Chicago's streets are worse for shopping in the winter. When I working on LaSalle street this January it was nice to be able to run to the Thompson center go downstairs and find a place to eat in warmth. 

 

https://www.illinois.gov/cms/About/JRTC/Pages/default.aspx

 

The google and yelp reviews for the building might be the highest rated government building reviews I have ever read. People want to shop and eat in comfort, go figure?

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 I thought part of the problem was getting the people out of the tunnels and up on the streets where commerce usually occurs. The tunnels close after 5:00 and are not an option for people that live downtown.  Adding more retail underground does not help this at all. The people who work in these buildings will come out from underground if there are viable alternatives. They do it everywhere else. I think like anything it just takes a little time for people to change their habits.

I cant speak to Chicago's situation but here in Houston,  we are trying to establish a foothold in downtown for the people who are actually moving and living in downtown.

I don't think the corporations would want to keep the tunnels open to the public after dark and have to hire extra security.  It would open a whole can of worms and they don't want the public in their buildings anyway.

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On 5/23/2017 at 2:40 PM, bobruss said:

 

I thought part of the problem was getting the people out of the tunnels and up on the streets where commerce usually occurs. The tunnels close after 5:00 and are not an option for people that live downtown.  Adding more retail underground does not help this at all. The people who work in these buildings will come out from underground if there are viable alternatives. They do it everywhere else. I think like anything it just takes a little time for people to change their habits.

I cant speak to Chicago's situation but here in Houston,  we are trying to establish a foothold in downtown for the people who are actually moving and living in downtown.

I don't think the corporations would want to keep the tunnels open to the public after dark and have to hire extra security.  It would open a whole can of worms and they don't want the public in their buildings anyway.

 

 

You are right about changing habits though. Outside of downtown i was used to running a lot of errands above ground, however in Downtown I adjusted my habits to account for the lack of alternatives above ground. I got my haircut in the tunnels, went to the dentist, dropped off my dry cleaning, ate, etc. It was comfortable, clean, free of homeless people. Was it Galleria quality shopping, no? However the only place in the city where Galleria level shopping exists is the Galleria. Everything else that i needed, could be ordered via Amazon and delivered to my doorstep. Seems like those in favor of a taxpayer funded retail district in downtown are people who have never lived and payed taxes in downtown.

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I don't think I ever said I was for a taxpayer funded retail district. What I was alluding to is the fact that as long as they just add retail in the tunnels it doesn't really help the community downtown grow and provide a viable place to shop. If you need just about anything after dark you are forced to get in your car and drive to the Montrose area. I lived downtown for 7 years and was forced to get in my car for everything. I want people who would like to live close to their jobs and the entertainment they enjoy to be able to go out their doors and walk a few blocks and pick up what they need. The more people who choose to live this lifestyle will help Houston with its transportation issues. It will take cars off the streets and promote a healthier life style. It will create less CO2 and improve the overall downtown experience for everyone who uses it.

When you're trying to develop a new culture which is downtown living, something that has never been successful in Houston sometimes you need to help it along. If it takes a little help from tax relief I sure don't mind because the more of those people walking around downtown shopping eating and living are adding money to the tax base, and something you never really address in your arguments is the fact that the improvements lead to higher tax returns. I'm sure 609 Main, BG Place, and Hilcorp have added many more dollars to the tax roles and the reason those three were developed where they were was because of the rail. Nothing good comes without a little sacrifice and out of these tax incentives the city has created a new tax base of residents for the long haul.

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26 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I don't think I ever said I was for a taxpayer funded retail district. What I was alluding to is the fact that as long as they just add retail in the tunnels it doesn't really help the community downtown grow and provide a viable place to shop. If you need just about anything after dark you are forced to get in your car and drive to the Montrose area. I lived downtown for 7 years and was forced to get in my car for everything. I want people who would like to live close to their jobs and the entertainment they enjoy to be able to go out their doors and walk a few blocks and pick up what they need. The more people who choose to live this lifestyle will help Houston with its transportation issues. It will take cars off the streets and promote a healthier life style. It will create less CO2 and improve the overall downtown experience for everyone who uses it.

When you're trying to develop a new culture which is downtown living, something that has never been successful in Houston sometimes you need to help it along. If it takes a little help from tax relief I sure don't mind because the more of those people walking around downtown shopping eating and living are adding money to the tax base, and something you never really address in your arguments is the fact that the improvements lead to higher tax returns. I'm sure 609 Main, BG Place, and Hilcorp have added many more dollars to the tax roles and the reason those three were developed where they were was because of the rail. Nothing good comes without a little sacrifice and out of these tax incentives the city has created a new tax base of residents for the long haul.

You said this waaay better than I was about to lol

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2 hours ago, bobruss said:

I don't think I ever said I was for a taxpayer funded retail district. What I was alluding to is the fact that as long as they just add retail in the tunnels it doesn't really help the community downtown grow and provide a viable place to shop. If you need just about anything after dark you are forced to get in your car and drive to the Montrose area. I lived downtown for 7 years and was forced to get in my car for everything. I want people who would like to live close to their jobs and the entertainment they enjoy to be able to go out their doors and walk a few blocks and pick up what they need. The more people who choose to live this lifestyle will help Houston with its transportation issues. It will take cars off the streets and promote a healthier life style. It will create less CO2 and improve the overall downtown experience for everyone who uses it.

When you're trying to develop a new culture which is downtown living, something that has never been successful in Houston sometimes you need to help it along. If it takes a little help from tax relief I sure don't mind because the more of those people walking around downtown shopping eating and living are adding money to the tax base, and something you never really address in your arguments is the fact that the improvements lead to higher tax returns. I'm sure 609 Main, BG Place, and Hilcorp have added many more dollars to the tax roles and the reason those three were developed where they were was because of the rail. Nothing good comes without a little sacrifice and out of these tax incentives the city has created a new tax base of residents for the long haul.

 

It's almost as if you know nothing about downtown Houston. Have you ever seen photos of Downtown Houston from a 100 years ago? Search them on chron.com they are very informative. Houstonians were living, working, eating, shopping, walking in Downtown over a hundred years ago. How can you claim that type of living has never been successful in Houston? Houston has its beginnings in downtown living. However, with time the needs and wants of Houstonians changed and they moved out from downtown. The citizenry spoke with their feet and moved out. But If today, citizens want to move back in to downtown they are free to do so (i did), however I'm not sure the city should use taxpayer dollars to encourage that behavior at the expense of other priorities.

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Now your beginning to piss me off. Ive lived in Houston since 1954. I spent quite a bit of my early life shopping eating and going to movies on Main street. my father played drums and sang in the big bands that used to play in the Rice hotel, the Petroleum club, the Cork Club when the Shamrock opened. Ive seem m7y share of early Houston. I would go downtown with my dad and watch him set uphill drums and then we would walk down Main to the original James coney island. I'd go to movies at the Majestic and the Loews and afterwards have ice cream from the store next door. Sometimes we'd go to Simpsons diner which was an old fashioned diner on Main about where the First city lobby was eventually built.

I'm talking about Hpuston since the sixties. 

The reason they moved out was because of low cost housing in Sharpstown great schools in Spring Branch and Bellaire, freeways and big yards and new schools. White flight and all of those accompanying things

Don't try to tell me about early Houston. I lived it. You are just full of it and you are a conservative blowhard that I will never see eye to eye with.

Fix Chicago and don't try to tell us what to do. You obviously left it to us so have fun up there during those cold windy nights in January and take the L or whatever its called and eat your dogs at the Wrigley and I'll pay my taxes and worry about it later. Im for growth downtown and if it takes some support so what. Ive seem millions of dollars go for much worse things.

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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

Now your beginning to piss me off. Ive lived in Houston since 1954. I spent quite a bit of my early life shopping eating and going to movies on Main street. my father played drums and sang in the big bands that used to play in the Rice hotel, the Petroleum club, the Cork Club when the Shamrock opened. Ive seem m7y share of early Houston. I would go downtown with my dad and watch him set uphill drums and then we would walk down Main to the original James coney island. I'd go to movies at the Majestic and the Loews and afterwards have ice cream from the store next door. Sometimes we'd go to Simpsons diner which was an old fashioned diner on Main about where the First city lobby was eventually built.

I'm talking about Hpuston since the sixties. 

The reason they moved out was because of low cost housing in Sharpstown great schools in Spring Branch and Bellaire, freeways and big yards and new schools. White flight and all of those accompanying things

Don't try to tell me about early Houston. I lived it. You are just full of it and you are a conservative blowhard that I will never see eye to eye with.

Fix Chicago and don't try to tell us what to do. You obviously left it to us so have fun up there during those cold windy nights in January and take the L or whatever its called and eat your dogs at the Wrigley and I'll pay my taxes and worry about it later. Im for growth downtown and if it takes some support so what. Ive seem millions of dollars go for much worse things.

 

Your analysis and conclusions are wrong again. Don't conflate Mid and late 20th century flight from the inner loop to Houston's suburbs with downtown Houston's downward spiral of population loss that started in the early 20th century. People were leaving downtown for the Hieghts and Montrose long before they left to car centered suburbs in the 1960s. 

 

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Were people really leaving for Montrose and the Heights or was  the city just growing like wildfire? I don't think you realize just how small Houston was in the early 20th century. It basically DOUBLED in population between 1900 and 1910. It did so again between 1910 and 1920. It more than doubled between 1920 and 1930.

 

There was no space to put people downtown in those years unless you built UP but high rise residential living wasn't really even a thing. 

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Also with the building moritorium inbthe 70s, the new places to live were outside the loop, so retail followed the people

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I personally think the retail will come downtown, but like the residential boom it's going to take incentives to retailers to make it economically feasible.

Downtown is too under served in this regard for there not to be an uptick at some point, especially as new residential units come online.

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On 5/26/2017 at 9:27 PM, KinkaidAlum said:

Were people really leaving for Montrose and the Heights or was  the city just growing like wildfire? I don't think you realize just how small Houston was in the early 20th century. It basically DOUBLED in population between 1900 and 1910. It did so again between 1910 and 1920. It more than doubled between 1920 and 1930.

 

There was no space to put people downtown in those years unless you built UP but high rise residential living wasn't really even a thing. 

 

I am aware of the population stats: http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Demographics/docs_pdfs/Cy/hist_pop_1900_2017.pdf

 

And I agree that high rise living was not wide spread, however very dense low rise tenements were common place in Galveston and Houston.  People probably wanted to just spread out and live more comfortably; downtown houstonians found that comfort north of buffalo bayou.

 

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6 hours ago, Sunstar said:

I personally think the retail will come downtown, but like the residential boom it's going to take incentives to retailers to make it economically feasible.

Downtown is too under served in this regard for there not to be an uptick at some point, especially as new residential units come online.

I do hope that you are correct.

 

however, in 1 square mile in downtown, we already have 100,000 "high wage office workers" who commute in daily.  We also have, what?,  20,000-50,00 "affluent" consumers within a few mile radius.  But, nothing except retail crickets...........

 

While I hope that you are correct -- i REALLY hope you are  -- personally I now believe that downtown will be an "entertainment" destination, not supported by dry goods retail for many, many more years.  Gosh, I hope that i am wrong but I just don't see that it is going to happen.

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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8 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

I do hope that you are correct.

 

however, in 1 square mile in downtown, we already have 100,000 "high wage office workers" who commute in daily.  We also have, what?,  20,000-50,00 "affluent" consumers within a few mile radius.  But, nothing except retail crickets...........

 

While I hope that you are correct -- i REALLY hope you are  -- personally I now believe that downtown will be an "entertainment" destination, not supported by dry goods retail for many, many more years.  Gosh, I hope that i am wrong but I just don't see that it is going to happen.

I actually think it will be ok if downtown Houston doesn't develop significant retail.  What I've found that distinguishes Houston from places like NYC, Chicago and SF in terms of retail is our lack of public transportation and street grid in our retail district (Uptown). My visitors mistakenly think 'Uptown' (Galleria Area) is Houston's CBD. In my view, the Galleria Area is similar to 5th Ave, Michigan Ave, or Union Square in terms of retail options. If downtown develops into a significant entertainment district to compliment the growing residential and existing corporate sector and developed better transit options to Uptown that would be something. While the Galleria itself is certainly 'walkable', the greater Uptown district has a ways to go in terms of overall mobility and access.

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I think it's dreadfully ironic that the guy that has been arguing about how bad fixed guideway mass transit is for Houston is referencing how great downtown Houston was when there was fixed guideway mass transit in Houston! :lol: 

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Not sure if you are referencing me?  But I never said Downtown Houston was great or not great back then. If I did please point it out. I do think it was definitely booming economically which is great but I wouldn't call living in a packed tenement "great" either. On the totally of that era I have not made a judgement. I only even mentioned it because Bobruss made a claim without evidence that Houston has never had a culture of downtown living. I simply corrected him on that. Houston did have a culture of downtown living. Whether it was great, I don't know. However, you omitted the point I made about downtown Houston's downward spiral of population loss and Downtown Houstonian's exit for the Heights and Montrose. :lol:

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moving to the Heights and Montrose was made possible by extension of the same electric trolley...

 

I think we can all agree that Downtown Houston hasn't had as many people on the streets since the 1970s and prior.

 

It's not just tax incentives, it's not just the stadiums and parks, it's not just the light rail, and it's not just the retail district on Dallas street. It's all of these things, and other factors that have nothing to do with anything the city is actively doing. At the end of the day, I'm okay with some of my tax money being used for these ventures.

 

I also hope that more of my taxes are used in this way.

 

Edited by samagon
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11 minutes ago, samagon said:

moving to the Heights and Montrose was made possible by extension of the same electric trolley...

 

I think we can all agree that Downtown Houston hasn't had as many people on the streets since the 1970s and prior.

 

It's not just tax incentives, it's not just the stadiums and parks, it's not just the light rail, and it's not just the retail district on Dallas street. It's all of these things, and other factors that have nothing to do with anything the city is actively doing. At the end of the day, I'm okay with some of my tax money being used for these ventures.

 

I also hope that more of my taxes are used in this way.

 

 

Bingo.  At the end of the day, that's what you're paying local taxes for - your city to provide services.  The difference between living in a small town and a big city is you get an active downtown as part of all this, so I'm also fine for my tax dollars to go to support the downtown infrastructure

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

moving to the Heights and Montrose was made possible by extension of the same electric trolley...

 

 

 

You're giving way too much credit to Houston's original street cars. Do you have any evidence that early Houstonian's moving to the Heights and Montrose was possible only because the electric trolley? Or have you forgotten about the invention of mass produced automobiles?

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Houston Heights was founded in 1891.

It was incorporated in 1896.

 

Ford's Model T came in 1908. 10,000 were sold that year. No, not in Houston. Globally. 

 

But, yeah, the auto is what gave rise to The Heights. 

 

Now, Montrose was officially platted in 1911 so the auto might have had more to do with its growth but the initial developer HIGHLIGHTED the street car service along it's main boulevard. But, why pay attention to the actual first advertisements of the development?

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Correct KinkaidAlum.

 

As well the Heights developer built their own streetcar line to connect to the overall system.

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37 minutes ago, KinkaidAlum said:

Houston Heights was founded in 1891.

It was incorporated in 1896.

 

Ford's Model T came in 1908. 10,000 were sold that year. No, not in Houston. Globally. 

 

But, yeah, the auto is what gave rise to The Heights. 

 

Now, Montrose was officially platted in 1911 so the auto might have had more to do with its growth but the initial developer HIGHLIGHTED the street car service along it's main boulevard. But, why pay attention to the actual first advertisements of the development?

 

Not sure what ANY of that has to do with my post. I NEVER said downtown Houstonian's were leaving downtown for the Heights in 1891 or 1896. If i did please point it out.

 

However i did state that downtown Houston at one point in its history did have lots of people living there, but in time there was a downward spiral of population loss that started in the 1st quarter of the 20th century.

 

Also, I can also state mass produced automobile facts. Fact: Between 1913 and 1927, Ford factories produced more than 15 million Model Ts.

 

Also, like always people on this forum submit reply and read posts later.

 

I never said Houston's early streetcars deserved no credit. If I did please point it out. I only stated that Samagon's post incorrectly gave ALL the credit to Houston's streetcars. If instead Samagon would like to edit his post to say "moving to the Heights and Montrose was made possible in part by extension of the same electric trolley... " then I would have no problem with that statement. But i doubt he will edit it. And I doubt you will provide evidence that automobiles played no role in downtown Houstonians moving to the Heights and Montrose.

 

Also, you will concede I'm sure, that roads existed out in the Heights at the same time if not before street car lines were built to the Heights, correct?

 

 

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