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UtterlyUrban

What RETAIL would you like to see?

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List your first and second priority here. What would you like to see (viewed through the lens of what you think would be successful!).

Personally, I would like to see:

1) a department store. Macy's/foley's made it all those years before losing the lease. Maybe (gasp) a small Nordstom? If not, I'll take a Macy's or Dillard's or something.

2) something like a TJ Max, Marshalls, or Steinmart.

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1. Dollar General

2. Used Piano Store

3. A Cash Checking Spot

 

Don't feed the trolls or they will bite back!

 

Seriously... I would say

 

1.Trader Joes (small footprint) and better than fighting the mess on Alabama from MIdtown. New reidents got to eat and I don't think it would kill Phoenicia which I love.

 

2.A country bar like a little gimicky but a real honky tonk. It's honestly the only thing DFW has on us; rebels

 

ha this response should be fun to watch !

 

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1) I would like at least two anchor stores in downtown for example

-Macy's

-Target

 

2) I would also love two specialty grocery stores to help the increase residential population my preference would be

-Trader Joe's

-Fresh Market

 

3) I think downtown also needs retail stores for example H&M, apple and sephora to bring more competition in Downtown Houston 

 

 

 

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Some of these are priceless... bravo!

 

To be serious:

- Trader Joes over near Market Square

- Whole Foods in the old Sakowitz Building with some additional retail mixed in (maybe a full service spa on the upper level with cafe+roof terrace?)

- Whole Earth Provision near Sunset Coffee Structural Frame (or similar company)

- Bookseller that's unique - think Brazos Books with an attached lecture/multi-use space somewhere historic district

- Maybe another Ginger Man/Flying Saucer type of place DT?  I mean Flying Saucer doesn't have anything more than a table or two outside.  Something with a beer garden and maybe a few pub grub places nearby.  Something for people who want an evening out that's not $$$.

 

I realize most of these are not going to happen, but the question was asked.

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Liquor Store

Beauty Store/wig shop

Gun store

Pawn shop

Nail salon

Frenchys chicken

 

You forgot peeler club. 

 

We do have the Burlesque place now, though it's not really the same thing. 

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1. HEB, Kroger, etc.

2. Cell store (Verizon, T-mobile, AT&T) or an Apple store.

 

AT&T has a store Main @ McKinney where Krispy Kreme was once located. 

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Curious:

For the folks mentioning an Apple store: why?

I am not arguing, I would just like to understand why an Apple store became "tops" on your list. With all the retail needs in downtown for food, clothing, etc, ...... Why the consideration for an Apple store?

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Probably because a larger percentage of downtowners/midtowners have apple products and its a hassle to travel to Highland VIllage (i believe thats the closest location)!! 

 

I for one would care for: 

 

1) Apple Store

2) Macy's

3) H&M 

 

 

Target is already close enough, I don't think they could justify a downtown location. 

 

 

Curious:

For the folks mentioning an Apple store: why?

I am not arguing, I would just like to understand why an Apple store became "tops" on your list. With all the retail needs in downtown for food, clothing, etc, ...... Why the consideration for an Apple store?

 

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Curious... I don't have any apple products aside from an old Ipod, why do people who have apple products NEED an apple store so close?  Do you have that many issues with the products that you have to visit on a regular basis?

 

I find it interesting the majority of people have Apple and H&M on here.  Would those stores really be visited that often?

Edited by arche_757
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Curious... I don't have any apple products aside from an old Ipod, why do people who have apple products NEED an apple store so close?  Do you have that many issues with the products that you have to visit on a regular basis?

 

I find it interesting the majority of people have Apple and H&M on here.  Would those stores really be visited that often?

 

I think it is less about there being issues with their current product but more about Apple's continuous product line improvements. I would assume that 30% or more business professionals downtown use an Apple product for work or pleasure. With the amount of product updates and software updates within the year I feel it would be beneficial to an Apple store to move in. People could swing by on lunch breaks or after work to see the latest and greatest in Apple technology. I myself like to go in time to time to see what new accessories there are, or how something feels in my hand or finger tips, to get an idea of if I should improve my current devices.

 

Yes every so often there are small issues that you would like to see someone about and have the personal touch of professionals in those devices to help you out.

 

I think it would be a really good idea, and I think with a good location and the current and future density of downtown, it would be a smart idea.

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There currently is no H&M inside the loop, so, for that reason alone, I think it would be very successful.

 

As for Apple, if you have an Apple computer then yes, it's very handy to have a store nearby. Computers have problems, and it's incredibly convenient to just drop your computer off and pick it up a few days later.

There are only 2 Apple stores in the city proper right now so I think theres plenty of room for another one.

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Those are reasonable enough.  Still find it interesting that such niche stores would be desired by so many, despite the fact there is such glaring need for so much more Downtown.

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Well, except that downtown still doesnt have the population to support much retail by itself, so for any store to be successful it needs to draw people in from surrounding neighborhoods. 

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Well, except that downtown still doesnt have the population to support much retail by itself, so for any store to be successful it needs to draw people in from surrounding neighborhoods. 

In a couple of years downtown will have sufficient residents where there will be a screaming need for some kinds of retailers, but not all.  First and foremost will be a grocery store.  Trader Joe's would be brilliant because it is on a small enough scale to make sense downtown.  

 

Something like Macy's or a bookstore would be a non-starter.  Those are dying breeds to begin with that wouldn't merit investment in an untested area.  It seems that Apple likes to site their stores in up-market areas so I don't see that happening either.  H&S I'm not really familiar with, but I know that Zara has smaller-format stores.  I still think what would be great would be an urban Target.  The trick will be making stores small enough to be concentrated enough that residents could get by without a car, while focusing on daily needs instead of more once-off shopping (eg Apple).  

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^You just ****ed all over my bookstore concept.. shame on you!  That's my own personal "want" for Downtown, though you are quite correct its a dying breed of stores (which is VERY unfortunate - since Amazon is easy but largely an ineffective replacement for holding a piece of literature and flipping through prior to purchase). 

 

I've thought - after having gone to one yesterday off Bay Area - that a Fresh Market or similar would do very well downtown?  They aren't the scale of a Whole Foods and they're more of a grocer and less of a pre-packaged foodie porn kind of place than Trader Joes (actually... a lot of TJ's pre-packaged food isn't very good for you!  Look it up).  You are correct a Trader Joe's would also work.  In fact, one might even find enough room for both a TJ's and FM?  Particularly if say one of them was over near the Post development in Midtown?

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I'm book-obsessive myself so I understand, but the writing's on the wall.  The last time I was in a B&N was before Christmas and it was disturbingly empty,  I remember thinking "If you can't pull a crowd on a Saturday in December things are really bleak."  

 

Never been to or heard of Fresh Market, but I see the point that people might want something a little less Trader Joe-ish.  

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I think H&M will draw people in. But I would like to see Macy's ome back and wouldn't it be nice if someone in the Foley's Family brought back that department store? Is that family still around? Also an urban HEB.

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I think Apple stores are so wanted because they're very urban and they are destinations as well. As for H&M it is also a destination store and it's low priced.

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Trader Joe's very rarely picks expensive urban locations. They have, I think, 4 locations in the region of which one is inside the loop. Similar siting in other cities I've lived in as well.

 

I could see Whole Foods jumping in once the population increases. They're no stranger to urban store models.

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I think a real grocery is needed. One that sells cokes, toilet paper, cereal, etc. we already have one speciality grocery store.

Since this is a fantasy list, my vote is for Feiline's Basement. Don't think there is one in Texas, so it would draw folks into the city.

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Nay to Trader Joe's, Yay to another full-service grocer with meat and seafod counter, full range of produce. Would love to have a dept store again, but preferably Nordstrom. Macys sucks.  A sporting goods store. 

 

Also, I don't believe there is a dry cleaner in the entire freaking east end. Please, a good dry cleaner and tailor, not the $1.99 War on Cloth that calls itself a dry cleaner. On street level open until 7/8 pm, preferably by the Y. 

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my downtown houston retail fantasy.  PHOENICIA, embodies any and all.. that downtown houston needs / requires upon a grocery establishment.  phoenicia, should shutter it's very acclaimed doors over at OPP..  and expand upon a freestanding establishment upon a full block along the newly conceptualized retail corridor, slated as per downtown houston.  once established, the new store should carry all essential brands that a regular grocery chain embodies.  all the while maintaining it's distinct higher end full quality charm, as it does over at OPP.

 

dilliards, should make their entry into downtown houston.  imo, i think that dilliards shall be the perfect department store at this particular time in downtown houston.  they should take over the entire sakowitz building..  and basically help to transform that whole area that once again is slated as per the new downtown retail corridor.

 

greenstreet, shall see an overall gleaming transformation upon the arrival as per hotel alessandra.  greenstreet, shall need to expand another block or two and offer a bit more retail establishment brands that normally cater to all patrons alike.. especially conventioneers that oftentimes like to travel lightly, but have no problems shopping elsewhere for their daily functions / necessities.  once hotel alessandra arrives.. there shall be no looking back. 

 

 

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I think a real grocery is needed. One that sells cokes, toilet paper, cereal, etc. we already have one speciality grocery store.

Since this is a fantasy list, my vote is for Feiline's Basement. Don't think there is one in Texas, so it would draw folks into the city.

I think you mean "Filene's" Basement. Correct?

If so.....

Since 2011, there are no Filene's Basement stores. They liquidated along with their parent, Syms.

Edited by UtterlyUrban

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I think you mean "Filene's" Basement. Correct?

If so.....

Since 2011, there are no Filene's Basement stores. They liquidated along with their parent, Syms.

Correct, that is what I meant.  Sad to see that store go under -- I loved the one in Chicago on Michigan.  

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#1 Supermarket (trader joes / whole foods / H E B / Kroger)

#2 Expand Greenstreet (or something similar) to have Urban Outfitters / Banana Rebublic / Diesal / H&M / etc. 

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Kroger Signature, Neiman Marcus Flagship in old Sakowits building....facade is striking still and interior could be all Neiman's fantasy....., 3rd would be more huge Flagship or concept store outlets of all the major retailers, but leave the "outlet" out of the stores, tired of seeing clothing made for outlets and the same brand marking up what is considered "core" to their line......WTF ever is what I say to that mind set of retail genius who drove us down this outlet mall dead end road......Flagship and test stores are great ways to lure us and visitors downtown, fantasy regional headquarters with your brand on the first few floors is also better than Macy's running all the cities from New York......their "celeb" star bullflurf lines were and are a bomb, maybe a regional office and Flagship location here in Houston is what they need to actually get the market feedback needed to run their locations here in the hot southwest states.......clue bomb number two for all of them should be swimwear is something they could carry year round almost, but coats, heavy suits and sweaters are well something we buy once and rarely use

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I enjoyed shopping at Kaplan's for gifts and unique items. Something along a similar type "department" store with more current merchandise would be great.

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Next question:

For everyone who has posted or read the postings.....

Let's describe the current downtown retail environment as "less than vibrant" (for the purpose of my next question).

Now, tell me how MANY stores (individual stores, "large") and boutiques (individual stores, "small") are needed to make downtown retail "vibrant" and, please state how you define "vibrant"......

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70 specialty stores and boutiques and at least 3 department stores.

Holy cow! That's a lot. You may be correct but, yikes! If you are correct, it will take a long time to ever have a "vibrant" retail scene.

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Central Market. Why should Austin get two when Houston only has one? The Metroplex even has five Central Markets. A Central Market in downtown would create a large enough draw from outside its immediate vicinity to remain profitable--something a normal HEB or Kroger likely could not do. 

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Central Market. Why should Austin get two when Houston only has one? The Metroplex even has five Central Markets. A Central Market in downtown would create a large enough draw from outside its immediate vicinity to remain profitable--something a normal HEB or Kroger likely could not do. 

 

I think it is because in the Houston market they have developed a hybrid store that incorporates a lot of the features and products from Central Market into their stores that are branded as HEB ____ Marktet(s).  15 of HEB's 60 stores in the Houston area are Markets.

 

Montrose Market

Buffalo Market

Summerwood Market

Pearland Market

Sienna Market

Sugar Land Market

VIntage Park Market

Spring Market

Cypress Market

Katy Market

Fairfleld Market

Woodlands Market

North Woodlands Market

Conroe Market

Brenham Market

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i imagine i would like to see privately owned unique retail begin to pop up between rail and residential, but i'm not sure how feasible this is for downtown or anywhere inside the loop for that matter.  property is too expensive and you really need steady cash flow to make it.

 

it's great to fantasize about what kind of "retail" we want, but if it isn't likely to look good on paper, it doesn't matter.

 

this is precisely why downtown/midtown/medical center/uptown developments need to make room for retail on the ground floor.  the income needed for the property is provided by the major tenant/tenants (office/residential) and the retail is a benefit to the major tenants and the community.  in my opinion, a smart developer would make space for retail and seek out the type of businesses that would enhance the lease experience of major tenants (office/residential) or expand on the property's brand.  it is understood in mixed-use development circles that your property has to survive with or without constantly occupied retail space.

 

the retail i'd like to see most downtown, retail restaurant supply/hardware store/apple-microsoft/urban, multi-storied target/satellite auto dealerships (audi/fiat/alph-romeo)/a vespa dealer.

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Boutique retail pretty much defines the stores at the Mid-Main/Ensemble station. Considering Mid-Main is owned by the same people, I'd imagine that trend will continue. There's also some in Montrose, the Heights, the village and on Washington.

Rents are potentially too high for it to be realistic downtown though. Lack of full-time residents doesn't help either, though that is *beginning* to be addressed.

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I would like developers and retailers alike to get on board and take a chance by converting an entire block into a retail Mecca for DT. I would say go practical before trying to cater to the DT elite. Having said that, I would create a four or five story building that has a large courtyard in the middle which contains a food court on the second level. It would be open to the sky with suspended walkways between the four major retailers located on each corner. Those retailers would be a Target superstore ( at least two levels like several in LA); an HEB Flagship with restaurant; a Best Buy; and some clothing/ accessories retailer like TJ Maxx, Kohls, or Marshalls. Smaller retail venues could be Starbucks, some sort of ice cream/ yogurt place, like Cold Stone, an Apple store, Sephora or something comparable. Then ever so slowly add higher end locales like Harry and David, sur le Table, etc., which would appeal to the demographic AND attract those living outside of DT. Perhaps, have cooking classes every Sat. For a lower cost at some foodie type store. Anyway, you can tell I have thought a lot about this one. I am considering moving DT just for the experience, but would definitely need some retail incentives to do so.

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I would like developers and retailers alike to get on board and take a chance by converting an entire block into a retail Mecca for DT. I would say go practical before trying to cater to the DT elite. Having said that, I would create a four or five story building that has a large courtyard in the middle which contains a food court on the second level. It would be open to the sky with suspended walkways between the four major retailers located on each corner. Those retailers would be a Target superstore ( at least two levels like several in LA); an HEB Flagship with restaurant; a Best Buy; and some clothing/ accessories retailer like TJ Maxx, Kohls, or Marshalls. Smaller retail venues could be Starbucks, some sort of ice cream/ yogurt place, like Cold Stone, an Apple store, Sephora or something comparable. Then ever so slowly add higher end locales like Harry and David, sur le Table, etc., which would appeal to the demographic AND attract those living outside of DT. Perhaps, have cooking classes every Sat. For a lower cost at some foodie type store. Anyway, you can tell I have thought a lot about this one. I am considering moving DT just for the experience, but would definitely need some retail incentives to do so.

 

as much as i like your idea, i think houston pavilions would have taken off if downtown could support a "retail mecca"; the demand just isn't there yet.

 

with the hotel at green street, other hotels, new office space, and more residents downtown, the fickle retail space that already exists might get some motion.  (add to that almost 300,000 jobs coming to the houston area in the next 3 years.....http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/print-edition/2014/06/27/houston-we-have-a-plan-to-fill-300-000-blue-collar.html) only when we see the existing space disappearing could we have our retail fantasies realized.

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Malls and retail centers are becoming less popular every day as more people shop online (especially the type of person that would live in a lux apt complex Downtown). I think you just need a couple key neighborhood hangouts (bars/restaurants/coffee/etc.), but forget all this talk about retail meccas. Grow the Galleria for shopping, grow Downtown for living and working.

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I would like developers and retailers alike to get on board and take a chance by converting an entire block into a retail Mecca for DT. I would say go practical before trying to cater to the DT elite. Having said that, I would create a four or five story building that has a large courtyard in the middle which contains a food court on the second level. It would be open to the sky with suspended walkways between the four major retailers located on each corner. Those retailers would be a Target superstore ( at least two levels like several in LA); an HEB Flagship with restaurant; a Best Buy; and some clothing/ accessories retailer like TJ Maxx, Kohls, or Marshalls. Smaller retail venues could be Starbucks, some sort of ice cream/ yogurt place, like Cold Stone, an Apple store, Sephora or something comparable. Then ever so slowly add higher end locales like Harry and David, sur le Table, etc., which would appeal to the demographic AND attract those living outside of DT. Perhaps, have cooking classes every Sat. For a lower cost at some foodie type store. Anyway, you can tell I have thought a lot about this one. I am considering moving DT just for the experience, but would definitely need some retail incentives to do so.

doood... were on the same level. except i spanned the GreenStreet expansion across 4 more blocks, not one additional block (yours is much more practical, but i figured why not make a full on expanded GreenStreet actually be the retail district of downtown itself, instead of the current GS being just one component of a less cohesive mumbo jumbo/mish mash of retail components along Dallas.. though i love the idea of converting the Sakowitz(?) building back into a department store. and dont mind the idea of having a second large store bookend the district on the vacant block just east of the Four Seasons/north of my expansion. it will all just have to be done in phases not to overwhelm the retail demands of the new downtown residents.

 

as much as i like your idea, i think houston pavilions would have taken off if downtown could support a "retail mecca"; the demand just isn't there yet.

 

with the hotel at green street, other hotels, new office space, and more residents downtown, the fickle retail space that already exists might get some motion.  (add to that almost 300,000 jobs coming to the houston area in the next 3 years.....http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/print-edition/2014/06/27/houston-we-have-a-plan-to-fill-300-000-blue-collar.html) only when we see the existing space disappearing could we have our retail fantasies realized.

 

agreed. fortunately the demand is growing with all the new hospitality and residential projects around downtown.

 

Malls and retail centers are becoming less popular every day as more people shop online (especially the type of person that would live in a lux apt complex Downtown). I think you just need a couple key neighborhood hangouts (bars/restaurants/coffee/etc.), but forget all this talk about retail meccas. Grow the Galleria for shopping, grow Downtown for living and working.

partially agreed with the first part, but brick and mortar stores will always have their place. disagree with the second part. you expect the downtown residents should fight traffic driving across the city to theGalleria to get their shopping done every time they need something? doesnt that kind of defeat the purpose of trying to turn downtown into an urban walkable neighborhood?

so here it is Marcus Allen. my "GreenStreet 2.0" fantasy.

i would carry GreenStreet over across Caroline, onto the 4 square blocks to the southeast. i would turn the Polk/Austin intersection into a roundabout with a fountain/water feature in the middle, and the buildings set back from the roundabout with a park/green area for a hang out spot, outdoor dining at cafes, and stuff like that. the pink and yellow buildings would of course have ground floor retail lining the circle, just as the other two buildings on the circle (which are fully retail [minus the shaded area on the corner of Caroline and Dallas thats not owned by GreenStreet/are a few bars in a separate building], and the yellow building would likely have a few bars/restaurants or sports related stores facing the front entrance of Toyota Center, but the rest of the ground floor of the pink and yellow buildings, behind the circle perimeter of retail/behind the retail facing TC would be parking (and parking below, on a basement level) for residents of a condo tower (PINK), and apartment mid-rise (YELLOW).

the second floors would connect across the roads and walkways similar to how they do at the current GS.

i know, its a large project.. over twice as big as GreenStreet is now, but Midway can start preparing for the future by buying up the properties to the east for expansion when the time comes. (im not sure if the parking lot next to South Texas Law is owned by the school/earmarked for future school expansion, or if that property would be available to GreenStreet. if its owned by the school for future expansion, maybe they could work out a deal with GreenStreet to leave a space somewhere on the block for a mid or high-rise for growth of the school [might change my condo tower plans, but maybe GreenStreet can buy out the bars i mentioned on Caroline/Dallas that cut into the GS expansion, and build a condo tower on that plot?])

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Edited by cloud713
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Well I talked to my buddy who goes to STCOL and he said the lot to the east of them is their faculty lot, so that puts a kink in my 2.0 plans, unless greenstreet were to offer them free parking out of the deal to get the lot.. Assuming they aren't saving it for future buildings/campus expansion.

So anyways I came up with a GreenStreet 2.5. It's 6 blocks instead of 7, again extending southeast 2 blocks, before turning northeast one additional block, up to OPP. The greenstreet residential/condo tower would go in the yellow spot, overlooking discovery green. The pink spot is the new hotel, and the blue is the office high-rise.

This one got a little crazier than the last design, with a mass transit people mover along the rooftops around the retail district, on the black route (I noticed the rooftop of greenstreet is about the same height as the lower level of the shops at Houston Center, which is about the same level as the garage portion of the block southeast of Sakowitz, bound by Fannin, Dallas, Lamar, and San jacinto, which is about the same level as the Sakowitz(?) department store/garage.. I'm sure the roofs vary a little but the track height could adjust for elevation changes between buildings and/or be elevated however high above the shortest structures, to keep the tracks at the same level as the tallest building.

This people mover could transfer people the half mile between the light rail station on Main, and the Toyota Center on game/event days, from Main Street to Discovery Green, and keep the condo tower connected to light rail even though it's 5 blocks away.

On the rooftops along the tracks of each building could be "street" vendors/mom and pop style pop up shops and what not in a make shift open air market place, where rents could be insanely cheap, since the spaces weren't being utilized to begin with, and average joes could afford to operate a business in downtown.

I realize the rooftop people moved would take pedestrian activity away from the street level, but if greenstreet were to become very successful id be inclined to say the narrow alleyways wouldn't be sufficient for large crowds of people trying to walk around.

C784672B-BFCF-4B25-87EA-BBE4832F01A7_zps

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