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Toyota moving American HQ from Los Angeles area to Plano: Possible development of Japanese community in DFW

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Toyota is moving its American headquarters to Plano: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20140428/CARNEWS/140429860

 

What kind of development will the DFW area see?

 

This may help Dallas develop its Japanese community. Currently there is a small Japanese community in the DFW area but it is not visible. Since Toyota is moving to Plano, how do you think this will affect whatever Japanese community DFW will have? Oftentimes there are temporary Japanese employees who move to the U.S. for three to five years with their families before coming back to Japan. There are some possibilities:
 

  • Japanese nationals may enroll their children in Plano ISD schools and the district may start having services and information available in Japanese in addition to Spanish and Chinese
  • The part-time Japanese school might prosper. It holds its classes on Saturdays at Ted Polk Middle School in Carrollton. I doubt there will be enough demand for a full-time Japanese school.
  • Area services such as hospitals, doctors, etc. may get services for Japanese people (translators, websites, etc.). In American suburbs with Japanese expats it's not uncommon to see businesses even having websites in Japanese
  • There may be more Japanese grocery stores opening in the Plano area
  • I do not know if Toyota owns the houses the temporary Japanese employees live in, or if Toyota contracts with third parties. If it's the latter it may affect the rental market. If it's the former, Toyota may buy houses and/or condominiums for its temporary Japanese national employees. I can imagine Toyota would only buy houses zoned to "good schools".

It would be interesting to see if this also affects the anime dubbing company Funimation, which is based in Flower Mound and was started by a Japanese-American man named Gen Fukunaga.

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I don't know the number of Japanese residents currently in the DFW area but I'm pretty sure not all 5,000 employees moving are Japanese. Good for Plano. DFW has a marketing edge Houston might never embrace. It's a blessing and a curse.

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I don't know the number of Japanese residents currently in the DFW area but I'm pretty sure not all 5,000 employees moving are Japanese. Good for Plano. DFW has a marketing edge Houston might never embrace. It's a blessing and a curse.

I know Toyota has American employees at its Torrance office. It's a good question on how many Japanese and how many Americans they employ.

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This is good for Plano and Dallas in general, of course.  OTOH, I tend to doubt it will bring enough Japanese nationals in to make a really big impact, such as making a lot more Japanese grocery stores viable.  I'm sure it will help whatever ones are there, though.

 

This is just my opinion, for what it's worth, but it is based mostly on being connected through a friend to Japanese nationals (ex-pats) who work in Houston for various companies that are involved in machinery, chemicals, and the O&G business.  Surprisingly, that is a lot of people, and I hear a lot about their preferences in terms of where to live, shop, send their kids to school, etc.

 

I also know Torrance, CA, fairly well.  In addition to having a great climate, it has a Japanese community that goes back over 100 years.  I.e., a lot of grocery stores, restaurants, and the like, ever since Japanese people started farming there way back.    So ... the move might be a step-down for Japanese ex-pats in terms of amenities, but I'm guessing that is a much smaller group, compared to the thousands of jobs filled by natives that will move to DFW.

 

 

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I'm interested in hearing more about the Houston Japanese community's preferences. I know that there is a Saturday school for Japanese held at Westchester Academy.

 

This is good for Plano and Dallas in general, of course.  OTOH, I tend to doubt it will bring enough Japanese nationals in to make a really big impact, such as making a lot more Japanese grocery stores viable.  I'm sure it will help whatever ones are there, though.

 

This is just my opinion, for what it's worth, but it is based mostly on being connected through a friend to Japanese nationals (ex-pats) who work in Houston for various companies that are involved in machinery, chemicals, and the O&G business.  Surprisingly, that is a lot of people, and I hear a lot about their preferences in terms of where to live, shop, send their kids to school, etc.

 

I also know Torrance, CA, fairly well.  In addition to having a great climate, it has a Japanese community that goes back over 100 years.  I.e., a lot of grocery stores, restaurants, and the like, ever since Japanese people started farming there way back.    So ... the move might be a step-down for Japanese ex-pats in terms of amenities, but I'm guessing that is a much smaller group, compared to the thousands of jobs filled by natives that will move to DFW.

 

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I'm interested in hearing more about the Houston Japanese community's preferences. I know that there is a Saturday school for Japanese held at Westchester Academy.

 

Well, I asked my friend who is connected to some people in the Houston Japanese community.  He said the program he knows about (and has visited several times) is at Glenchester, which has a "Japanese school" on Saturdays.  I understand that a big reason Japanese ex-pats send their kids there is to keep them connected with Japanese culture.  Apparently, they give the kids homework that is harder than what they get from going to American school during the week, so they don't like that.  :-) 

 

The families mostly live in west Memorial, although many have moved to the Cinco Ranch area.   They sometimes shop at the Korea-oriented H-Mart on Blalock @ Westview, but for certain Japanese things, their only resource is the Daido store on Westheimer @ Wilcrest.  

 

He also said that he was impressed by the display of kids' work in the "Japanese area" of Glenchester, compared to that displayed in the rest of the facility.  

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What's the marketing edge?

 

Yeah, what marketing edge. I've heard that Toyota was lured away from California using Texas Enterprise funds. I don't get how it's alright to pay, or lure a business to your area, if it's going to cost taxpayers money. Yes, I'm aware of all of the downstream benefits, the synergistic affect and so forth, but what about the companies that are already here in Texas, the ones already paying taxes and shouldering the burden. Can't they get these tax benefits too? What if an existing company threatens to leave unless they get tax cuts, or a big Texas Enterprise payment? Is that okay too? Is that really a marketing edge?

 

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What's the marketing edge?

 

Dallas has historically been better at marketing itself than Houston. Peter Marzio attributed Houston's lag behind other cities in this area to our economy being mostly wholesale companies, which do not sell directly to consumers - hence, not many marketing firms in the area. Whereas Dallas is full of retail companies and has the apparel economy, the trade marts, etc. The result is that there's much more marketing talent in Dallas than in Houston, and more of a marketing mindset overall.

 

Most companies that relocate to Texas or within Texas that aren't oil related (and hence could conceivably locate anywhere) seem to pick Dallas. Boeing considered Dallas before opting for Chicago. AT&T moved from San Antonio to Dallas, although they did have large existing offices there. Now Toyota. Even Exxon when it moved to Texas somehow passed over Houston and picked Irving, although most of their workforce is in Houston. They've built a better image around the country than we have, and it pays dividends.

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Dallas has historically been better at marketing itself than Houston. Peter Marzio attributed Houston's lag behind other cities in this area to our economy being mostly wholesale companies, which do not sell directly to consumers - hence, not many marketing firms in the area. Whereas Dallas is full of retail companies and has the apparel economy, the trade marts, etc. The result is that there's much more marketing talent in Dallas than in Houston, and more of a marketing mindset overall.

 

Most companies that relocate to Texas or within Texas that aren't oil related (and hence could conceivably locate anywhere) seem to pick Dallas. Boeing considered Dallas before opting for Chicago. AT&T moved from San Antonio to Dallas, although they did have large existing offices there. Now Toyota. Even Exxon when it moved to Texas somehow passed over Houston and picked Irving, although most of their workforce is in Houston. They've built a better image around the country than we have, and it pays dividends.

 

It is true they have better marketing talent and branding up there, but there's another factor: no company outside of the energy industry wants to compete with energy companies to attract and hold talent.  The energy companies can always overpay to get the talent they want.  This was also part of why Toyota put their truck plant in San Antonio instead of Houston (although I'm sure the Eagle Ford shale boom is giving them fits now holding on to workers at affordable salaries).  It makes Dallas a safer bet for non-energy companies.  I tend to think of it as tech goes to Austin, energy goes to Houston, and everybody else goes to DFW.

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I remember reading somewhere or another (perhaps on a Woodlands area thread) that when Exxon was moving its top echelon out of New York, they intentionally did not consider Houston or other places with large existing operations because they wanted to have some distance.

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I remember reading somewhere or another (perhaps on a Woodlands area thread) that when Exxon was moving its top echelon out of New York, they intentionally did not consider Houston or other places with large existing operations because they wanted to have some distance.

 

That is exactly correct.

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I remember reading somewhere or another (perhaps on a Woodlands area thread) that when Exxon was moving its top echelon out of New York, they intentionally did not consider Houston or other places with large existing operations because they wanted to have some distance.

 

I read that, too, but it struck me as a convenient excuse.  I think the top guys just preferred to live in Dallas.   Partly because many of them were Mobil-heritage North Texans in the first place.  Perhaps some one more versed in XOM history could comment?

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The move of Exxon HQ to the Dallas area occurred well before the merger with Mobil, so Mobil executive input had nothing to do with the decision.

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I read that, too, but it struck me as a convenient excuse. I think the top guys just preferred to live in Dallas. Partly because many of them were Mobil-heritage North Texans in the first place. Perhaps some one more versed in XOM history could comment?

The Houston self - loathing on this forum never ceases to amaze. Contemporaneous statements from people who handled the HQ site search for Exxon (and it was Exxon at the time, not ExxonMobil) made it very clear Houston was never considered and neither was any other city that had a significant Exxon operation. Just like with the more recent Boeing HQ relocation, they required the HQ to be separated from their operations and other offices.

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I wonder why companies do that. Many airlines want to be headquartered at the very airports that are their hubs.

 

The Houston self - loathing on this forum never ceases to amaze. Contemporaneous statements from people who handled the HQ site search for Exxon (and it was Exxon at the time, not ExxonMobil) made it very clear Houston was never considered and neither was any other city that had a significant Exxon operation. Just like with the more recent Boeing HQ relocation, they required the HQ to be separated from their operations and other offices.

 

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I wonder why companies do that. Many airlines want to be headquartered at the very airports that are their hubs.

 

Airlines are a single large business, and of course they want to be near their largest hub.  Companies like Exxon have dozens of large business units run semi-autonomously.  They want the overall HQ to have some distance from those units, so they evaluate their performance objectively/analytically and not get biased (as much) by personalities and relationships.  It also helps prevent favoritism towards executives of any one business unit for promotions to HQ, which might happen if they were co-located.  Disappoints me too though - I'd love to see the Exxon HQ in Houston.

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It is true they have better marketing talent and branding up there, but there's another factor: no company outside of the energy industry wants to compete with energy companies to attract and hold talent.  The energy companies can always overpay to get the talent they want.  This was also part of why Toyota put their truck plant in San Antonio instead of Houston (although I'm sure the Eagle Ford shale boom is giving them fits now holding on to workers at affordable salaries).  It makes Dallas a safer bet for non-energy companies.  I tend to think of it as tech goes to Austin, energy goes to Houston, and everybody else goes to DFW.

 

This seems a bit defeatist, especially the last sentence, like there's not much we can do to broaden ourselves since we have the energy industry. In addition to Dallas's marketing abilities, I think there are a few other things benefitting them for corporate relocations:

 

1. More central location - companies that aren't from the South may tend to see Houston as a little more "down there" than Dallas, which is not so far into uncharted territory. Perhaps this disadvantage could be turned on its head if we convincingly market ourselves as a coastal/port city and hence more international, while Dallas is more in the sticks?  Proximity to Gulf > Proximity to Oklahoma

 

2. Marginally better weather. Hotter but less humid. This is somewhat offset by Houston's greener and more attractive vegetation. But this greenness and its potential are in turn offset by...

 

3. Aesthetics. Dallas looks more orderly, less wild and untamed, for reasons that have been discussed in numerous other threads. There is a charm in this for Houston, the charm of a boomtown or some city in the southern hemisphere, but the people in companies relocating from the West Coast or the Midwest tend to appreciate this charm less than folks like Hunter S. Thompson or Larry McMurtry.

 

Of all these #3 rankles me the most, since we should geographically be the more pretty city to look at, a potential "garden city" like New Orleans. Perhaps some day we will have enough civic courage to say, for example, "this street is a boulevard - there will be no gas stations or drive thru restaurants on this street," etc. Right now we enjoy the benefits of our predominance in the energy industry, but single-industry towns often have a rough fate.

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I don't think that it's accurate to categorize Houston as a single industry town.  To do so ignores the diversification of the economy that has occurred since the 1980's.  Houston is certainly a more diverse town in all aspects than it was then.  The local economy is growing in many areas, especially considering the growth of the Medical Center and the growth of the Ship Channel.  The problem is that the growth in energy is so dramatic that it dwarfs what's happening in everything else. 

 

I think it's also important to remember that growth rates in Houston are among the highest in the country in jobs and population and that there is a huge amount of development going on that will continue to make the city a more desirable place to live and work in the future.  There's a tremendous amount of positive momentum in this city that will continue to make it more attractive moving forward.

 

 

 

 

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I agree with the points made by both of you guys. Dallas also has the advantages of no major hurricane risk and more domestic flights from DFW (both number and destinations, although we win on international).  But also note that our big non-energy industries - health care, NASA, Ship Channel - all have reasons they're forced to be here (including the establishment of the TMC complex in 1945).  We do have a smattering of big non-energy companies (HP, BMC Software, Service Corp, Waste Mgt, etc), each with some historical reason they ended up in Houston, but I have trouble thinking of any major non-energy companies that were based elsewhere that chose to come to Houston?  I'm not saying our amenities are bad or that we're inferior to Dallas (anybody who reads my blog knows that very well!), I'm just saying there are specific reasons non-energy companies moving to Texas often pick Austin or Dallas, and not competing with the cash-flush energy industry for talent is one of those reasons.  It's unfortunate our dominant industry that has done so much for us has that downside, but it's not surprising when you think about it.

 

I have often thought that with our international diversity, wide range of international flights, and central location, we should work harder to attract U.S. divisional headquarters for the "Americas" operations of foreign companies.  If you were a major European or Asian company and wanted to set up an "Americas" division HQ, can you think of a better city for it than Houston?

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The move of Exxon HQ to the Dallas area occurred well before the merger with Mobil, so Mobil executive input had nothing to do with the decision.

 

Thank you.  I did have the dates and details mixed up and I appreciate the correction!  

 

That happened long ago enough that I suspect my comment was motivated in large part by the (continuing) disappointment people in Houston had when the HQ moved out of NYC, but not to here.  

 

I still have reasons to be cynical about how decisions are made at the top level of some companies.  But, that is a bit off-topic, so I'll stop here.

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The Houston self - loathing on this forum never ceases to amaze. Contemporaneous statements from people who handled the HQ site search for Exxon (and it was Exxon at the time, not ExxonMobil) made it very clear Houston was never considered and neither was any other city that had a significant Exxon operation. Just like with the more recent Boeing HQ relocation, they required the HQ to be separated from their operations and other offices.

 

I'm sorry you interpret my comment as an example of Houston self-loathing.  In making my comment, I think the emotional context was that I thought (and think) my hometown of Houston would benefit in the future if we put a little more collective effort into keeping our house painted and our lawn mowed and watered (so to speak).  I think we have lost a bit of that mentality over my lifetime.  Sometimes I think that may be due in part to no longer having  as many powerful civic leaders as we used to (e.g., Jesse Jones, George Brown, et al.).  Conversely, I think Dallas has benefited, at least in some ways, by having continued to have those kind of people active in the community -- people who are proud of their city and have financial means and vision to nudge it towards (perhaps) a better future.

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I'm sorry you interpret my comment as an example of Houston self-loathing. In making my comment, I think the emotional context was that I thought (and think) my hometown of Houston would benefit in the future if we put a little more collective effort into keeping our house painted and our lawn mowed and watered (so to speak). I think we have lost a bit of that mentality over my lifetime. Sometimes I think that may be due in part to no longer having as many powerful civic leaders as we used to (e.g., Jesse Jones, George Brown, et al.). Conversely, I think Dallas has benefited, at least in some ways, by having continued to have those kind of people active in the community -- people who are proud of their city and have financial means and vision to nudge it towards (perhaps) a better future.

Good point, and some of those shoes are hard to fill, but at some point as you become a real city you stop relying on benevolent oligarchs to "keep the house painted" and instead accomplish those things through an active and involved citizenry. Long gone are the days when a city like e.g. Boston looked to Mr. Coolidge or Ms. Garner to make sure the Public Garden was kept looking nice.

Edited by H-Town Man

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Good point, and some of those shoes are hard to fill, but at some point as you become a real city you stop relying on benevolent oligarchs to "keep the house painted" and instead accomplish those things through an active and involved citizenry. Long gone are the days when a city like e.g. Boston looked to Mr. Coolidge or Ms. Garner to make sure the Public Garden was kept looking nice.

 

Quite true!  OTOH, it's hard to predict whether, going forward, we will have enough engaged citizenry to do as much as in the past, in part due to the influence of "oligarchs".  Without such guys, we wouldn't have Hermann Park, the TMC, Rice University, Memorial Park, River Oaks.  Perhaps the Astrodome is another example (but, a sad story there).  Or the Julia Ideson Building downtown (Carnegie). 

 

With regard to Dallas, I'll have to leave it to someone else to provide details of the benefits of past and present philanthropy.  However, I do see that in recent history, Trammell Crow has contributed a lot to a couple of recent museums, as well as the very nice garden on White Rock Lake.  Also, the (perhaps controversial) Calatrava Bridge that one of the Hunts contributed to.  Perhaps one could add the over-the-top stadium the Cowboys play in.

 

I not aware of any recent projects in Houston that are on the scale of those, although Nau and McNair have helped out on some nice projects ... and of course, there have been quite a few projects at TMC that were partially funded by philanthropists.

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Quite true!  OTOH, it's hard to predict whether, going forward, we will have enough engaged citizenry to do as much as in the past, in part due to the influence of "oligarchs".  Without such guys, we wouldn't have Hermann Park, the TMC, Rice University, Memorial Park, River Oaks.  Perhaps the Astrodome is another example (but, a sad story there).  Or the Julia Ideson Building downtown (Carnegie). 

 

With regard to Dallas, I'll have to leave it to someone else to provide details of the benefits of past and present philanthropy.  However, I do see that in recent history, Trammell Crow has contributed a lot to a couple of recent museums, as well as the very nice garden on White Rock Lake.  Also, the (perhaps controversial) Calatrava Bridge that one of the Hunts contributed to.  Perhaps one could add the over-the-top stadium the Cowboys play in.

 

I not aware of any recent projects in Houston that are on the scale of those, although Nau and McNair have helped out on some nice projects ... and of course, there have been quite a few projects at TMC that were partially funded by philanthropists.

 

Besides the fairly regular TMC philanthropically-funded projects:

Beck Building at MFAH.

Soon-to-come new building and new Glassel Art School Building at MFAH

Continued development of the Menil

Discovery Green

Buffalo Bayou Park

Bayou greenways project

Houston Ballet Center for Dance

Nau Center (as alluded to)

Total restoration/refurbishment/improvement of Hermann Park

Doubling the size of Houston Museum of Natural Science

AD Players Theater breaking ground this summer

MATCH in midtown just started construction

Rice U Opera House to start soon

Alley Theater is being completely refurbished/cleaned/remodeled/improved.

Childrens Museum was pretty recently doubled in size.

 

I'm sure I'm missing many others.

Edited by Houston19514

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Quite true! OTOH, it's hard to predict whether, going forward, we will have enough engaged citizenry to do as much as in the past, in part due to the influence of "oligarchs". Without such guys, we wouldn't have Hermann Park, the TMC, Rice University, Memorial Park, River Oaks. Perhaps the Astrodome is another example (but, a sad story there). Or the Julia Ideson Building downtown (Carnegie).

With regard to Dallas, I'll have to leave it to someone else to provide details of the benefits of past and present philanthropy. However, I do see that in recent history, Trammell Crow has contributed a lot to a couple of recent museums, as well as the very nice garden on White Rock Lake. Also, the (perhaps controversial) Calatrava Bridge that one of the Hunts contributed to. Perhaps one could add the over-the-top stadium the Cowboys play in.

I not aware of any recent projects in Houston that are on the scale of those, although Nau and McNair have helped out on some nice projects ... and of course, there have been quite a few projects at TMC that were partially funded by philanthropists.

I didn't mean that an active citizenry would replace philanthropy - nothing really does - but that it would replace the need for patricians to make sure the city keeps its parks in good condition, its built environment looking orderly/decent, etc. Maintains itself.

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I didn't mean that an active citizenry would replace philanthropy - nothing really does - but that it would replace the need for patricians to make sure the city keeps its parks in good condition, its built environment looking orderly/decent, etc. Maintains itself.

 

I think that part of this is a result of changes in philanthropy which I think has really been driven by the Gates Foundation.  My impression is that individual philanthropy was more local in nature in the past, but recently there is a lot more emphasis on solving "big" problems.

 

A great example of this is the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.  They're spreading their wealth much more widely around the world than previous Houston givers.

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I think that part of this is a result of changes in philanthropy which I think has really been driven by the Gates Foundation.  My impression is that individual philanthropy was more local in nature in the past, but recently there is a lot more emphasis on solving "big" problems.

 

A great example of this is the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.  They're spreading their wealth much more widely around the world than previous Houston givers.

 

That is my impression, also.

 

I hear what Houston 19514 is saying and those are all wonderful examples of locally oriented philanthropy.  But ... they are not on the scale of what (for example) the Crows have done in Dallas recently, which strikes me as more similar to the old-school philanthropy that has a big focus promoting one's home town (and I'm sorry, but ego, too).   But, as a Houstonian, I wouldn't look gift horse in the mouth, either!  I admit that getting some big flashy projects here would be nice.  OTOH,  I also admit that I have more admiration for people who do good deeds without having to call a great deal of attention to themselves.

 

By no means do I want to dismiss the contributions people have made to projects in Houston.  They just don't seem as flashy as what I continue to see in our sister city to the north.  And, maybe that's OK.  The difference just called my attention, so that's why I mentioned it.

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That is my impression, also.

I hear what Houston 19514 is saying and those are all wonderful examples of locally oriented philanthropy. But ... they are not on the scale of what (for example) the Crows have done in Dallas recently, which strikes me as more similar to the old-school philanthropy that has a big focus promoting one's home town (and I'm sorry, but ego, too). But, as a Houstonian, I wouldn't look gift horse in the mouth, either! I admit that getting some big flashy projects here would be nice. OTOH, I also admit that I have more admiration for people who do good deeds without having to call a great deal of attention to themselves.

By no means do I want to dismiss the contributions people have made to projects in Houston. They just don't seem as flashy as what I continue to see in our sister city to the north. And, maybe that's OK. The difference just called my attention, so that's why I mentioned it.

The buffalo bayou redevelopment which was spurred by kinders $35M is one of the greater philanthropic civic projects in the country.

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The buffalo bayou redevelopment which was spurred by kinders $35M is one of the greater philanthropic civic projects in the country.

Agreed. There is still a fair amount of local philanthropy that occurs and certainly nothing wrong with that, but I do believe that there is a significant percentage of dollars that has been shifted to other priorities.

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The buffalo bayou redevelopment which was spurred by kinders $35M is one of the greater philanthropic civic projects in the country.

 

I think I'm partially responsible for us going off topic.  

 

But, I agree that the Buffalo Bayou project is terrific!  Actually, it fits my philosophy of how we should develop Houston going forward:  focus on being the best Houston we can (e.g., on quality of life issues) and less on building things for bragging rights or to impress outsiders.

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OK, I can no longer resist.  This is not kind, and full of stereotypes.  But there is also truth:  "You may not be from Plano, but then again, nobody is, because Plano was invented in the 1980s."  

 

http://jalopnik.com/a-guide-to-plano-texas-for-toyota-employees-being-forc-1579103819

 

Does the "no bashing Dallas" rule run out when you get past the High Five?

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I actually visited Plano in the 70s and it was "way out in the country" then.  Heck, even the area around UT-Dallas in Richardson seemed to be mostly cornfields!  Quite a change.

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We lived in Plano from 1969 to 1972. Population was 15,000 or so, there was one High School that had recently become 4A, and there was pretty much nothing West of 75. I recently read that the last undeveloped area in Plano is being developed, putting it on a par with the other cities in the area that are land locked and unable to grow.

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I greatly appreciate the philanthropy of the Kinders, so maybe I should just shut up.  

 

Nevertheless ... I am still impressed by the contributions wealthy Dallas boosters have made to their city.  I imagine that the philanthropy involved in the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science do not pale by comparison.  However, those are two very big family names, so perhaps they garner more attention.  I realize that families who are perhaps not so well known nationally have made really big contributions to the arts in our city.

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I greatly appreciate the philanthropy of the Kinders, so maybe I should just shut up.  

 

Nevertheless ... I am still impressed by the contributions wealthy Dallas boosters have made to their city.  I imagine that the philanthropy involved in the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science do not pale by comparison.  However, those are two very big family names, so perhaps they garner more attention.  I realize that families who are perhaps not so well known nationally have made really big contributions to the arts in our city.

 

Ya think??

 

Yours is nothing but classic "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence".  I cannot understand why so many Houstonians, especially on this board, are so stuck in that way of thinking.

 

What about the Duncan family wing recently added to our Museum of Natural Science (the addition is larger than the entire Perot Museum)?

How about the Menil?

How about the Beck Building at MFAH? 

or Caroline Weiss Law's bequest to MFAH of an estate worth more than $400 Million?

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We often overlook that which is closest.

 

Perhaps some on this board just wish we had a "modern" Menil family who wanted to build a new musuem?  They see the Perot Cube in Dallas and think "WOW! Wish Houston could get something cool like that!"  When in fact we've HAD that, perhaps not in as grand of a architectural piece as the Perot, but still had that for decades now in the HMNS.  Or the Menil.  Or decades old theater district.  Or the University of Houston.  Or Rice.  Or much of the Medical Center.

Edited by arche_757

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It was really unfortunate that legal issues necessitated the liquidation of John O'Quinn's estate.  His intent was to donate his collection to form what would have been a world class auto museum.  Unfortunately, sometimes things don't work out the way that they are planned and the vast majority of the collection was sold at auction.

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Car-collection-s-fate-uncertain-after-O-Quinn-s-1725043.php

 
 
Edited by livincinco

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It was really unfortunate that legal issues necessitated the liquidation of John O'Quinn's estate.  His intent was to donate his collection to form what would have been a world class auto museum.  Unfortunately, sometimes things don't work out the way that they are planned and the vast majority of the collection was sold at auction.

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Car-collection-s-fate-uncertain-after-O-Quinn-s-1725043.php

 

Well, we used to have a world class auto museum, but it had such a low profile that few people knew about it. Jerry J. Moore had an astounding collection of Duesenbergs, Packards, pre-war Cadillacs, and many other classics. A fair chunk of them were tucked into a nondescript metal building off the North Loop near Yale bearing a modest sign proclaiming it as "The Antique Car Museum". Of course, Moore got into some financial difficulties before his death, necessitating the liquidation of his collection (among other assets). 

 

That said, I certainly share your dismay at the disposition of O'Quinn's collection. I'm fairly sure he had the largest and most diverse collection of anyone not named Jay Leno, and a museum built around it would have almost certainly been the nearest thing to the second coming of Bill Harrah's late, lamented collection that we're likely to see any time soon. 

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Dallas Morning News: Dallas/Fort Worth Airport executive didn’t know whom he was briefing (but he apparently did OK)

 

 

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport CEO Sean Donohue had an unusual meeting about three months ago.

 

Speaking Tuesday afternoon to the New Cities Summit in Dallas, Donohue recalled that he was asked to brief a dozen people coming to the airport. But, he was told, he couldn’t know who the people were.

Under those conditions, he told them about his sprawling airport with its seven runways and five terminals.

 

In late April, he found out who the visitors were – Toyota representatives who were considering relocating the Japanese carmaker’s U.S. headquarters. Toyota announced April 29 that it would move its offices and 4,000 jobs to Plano.

 

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Ya think??

 

Yours is nothing but classic "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence".  I cannot understand why so many Houstonians, especially on this board, are so stuck in that way of thinking.

 

What about the Duncan family wing recently added to our Museum of Natural Science (the addition is larger than the entire Perot Museum)?

How about the Menil?

How about the Beck Building at MFAH? 

or Caroline Weiss Law's bequest to MFAH of an estate worth more than $400 Million?

 

Thanks for pointing those other examples of philanthropy in Houston (which I was aware of).  I guess I'm not expressing myself well, because I think we probably agree more than you think.  

 

I think arch_757's speculation captured some of the emotional motivation for my posts.  On one hand, I like it that we have had some recent nice additions that do not reflect a (perhaps adolescent) need to shout "look at me!".   OTOH, I guess there must still be some adolescent in me, because I sometimes wish Houston would get more glitzy stuff.   Like in the days when Pennzoil Place garnered national and international attention.  

 

I think will will stop reacting to this off-topic discussion.  Feel free to have the last word, if you like ... I don't mind, and I actually appreciate your comments.

Edited by ArchFan

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I don't think it an adolescent response.  More of a wistfulness that we continue to get nice buildings and additions to town.  Houston's cultural scene is older than anywhere else in the state, and richer with possible exception of the 2 museums in Fort Worth, though I fully expect that MFA will eventually surpass those collections in time given the size and money of Houston versus Fort Worth.

 

I too want Houston to have the best.  If say the Duncan family decided to fund a new art gallery dedicated to Antiquities and hire XYZ Starchitect to design the space I wouldn't scoff at the idea because the Menil and MFA already have nice antiquity sections.  I would very much applaud that!

 

I understand what ArchFan is saying, and appreciate people having an interest in their city.  Great things don't happen without a spark, sparks do not happen without first a dream of something greater.  Perhaps ArchFan will make billions in reverse engineering pig fat and spend lavishly on a new school for the arts here in Houston?  I'd be very happy with that idea.

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