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ew2003

Purpose of Midtown Redevelopment Authority?

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11 hours ago, quietstorm said:

Speaking as a long-time Third Ward resident, I think your attending the TIRZ meetings is a good idea.  Just understand that Third Ward has an active community that is looking for a certain type of development.

 

Would you elaborate on what that kind of development is?

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1 hour ago, ADCS said:

 

Would you elaborate on what that kind of development is?

Projects that enhance/expand on Third Ward's history (i.e.,Emancipation Park & Dowling Street renovations). Other examples are listed at the OST/Almeda redevelopment site and here:

 

http://urbanedge.blogs.rice.edu/tag/ostalmeda-corridors-redevelopment-authority/#.V17OivQ8LCQ

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3 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Anybody can have outage for their tax dollars being handled in a manner they disagree with.

Your point is valid, but the tax dollars of those who disagree don't supersede the tax dollars of those who agree with the way the TIRZ is spending the funds and have, as long-time residents been paying taxes in the area for years. My family and I have and support the TIRZ efforts. 

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But we are discussing the tax dollars of the midtown TIRZ correct?  They are not the same tax dollars are they?

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2 hours ago, quietstorm said:

Projects that enhance/expand on Third Ward's history (i.e.,Emancipation Park & Dowling Street renovations). Other examples are listed at the OST/Almeda redevelopment site and here:

 

http://urbanedge.blogs.rice.edu/tag/ostalmeda-corridors-redevelopment-authority/#.V17OivQ8LCQ

 

What about improved housing stock? It seems that this has been consistently opposed, in fears of tax/rent associated displacement.

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On 6/12/2016 at 9:30 PM, BeerNut said:

So the map indicates Emancipation Park and several of the major roads in the Third Ward.  Here is the last meeting's agenda.  http://www.houstontx.gov/ecodev/tirz/agendas/7agenda.pdf

Speaking of agendas.  I reviewed the MRA agenda from March and found something pretty interesting.  Apparently the MRA voted to sell an ENTIRE city block (2002 Live Oak) to HOU Homes for $1.50 psf, totaling $93,750.  AND they'll reimburse development costs AND reimburse $11,000 - $30,000 per townhouse sold.  They're estimating to build 31 townhouses on the block.

 

http://houstonmidtown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/MRA-Minutes-03.31.16.pdf

 

@BeerNut What are your thoughts on that?

 

 

 

Edited by ew2003

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1 hour ago, ADCS said:

 

What about improved housing stock? It seems that this has been consistently opposed, in fears of tax/rent associated displacement.

Not sure what you mean by "opposition to improved housing stock". The Riverside properties project, Maywood, etc. are building new homes on the area with the support of the community. By improved housing do you mean the types of townhome farms that we consistently deride on HAIF? With that, there are townhomes and McMansions that are being built in Third Ward. Again, the type of rapid/wholesale gentrification that has happened in areas like Fourth Ward/Freedman's Town won't happen in Third Ward. Those who seek to move into the area and improve it are welcome; however, if the goal is to redefine Third Ward into something resembling the west side of Midtown, or to replace long-time residents, it's unlikely that will happen. There are too many long-time professional, politically-minded and civically engaged Third Ward residents.  

Edited by quietstorm

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17 minutes ago, quietstorm said:

Not sure what you mean by "opposition to improved housing stock". The Riverside properties project, Maywood, etc. are building new homes on the area with the support of the community. By improved housing do you mean the types of townhome farms that we consistently deride on HAIF? With that, there are townhomes and McMansions that are being built in Third Ward. Again, the type of rapid/wholesale gentrification that has happened in areas like Fourth Ward/Freedman's Town won't happen in Third Ward. Those who seek to move into the area and improve it are welcome; however, if the goal is to redefine Third Ward into something resembling the west side of Midtown, or to replace long-time residents, it's unlikely that will happen. There are too many long-time professional, politically-minded and civically engaged Third Ward residents.  

 

By improved housing stock, I mean better land uses for the context. Since it's in central Houston, that means denser housing and transit-oriented development. My biggest knock against the townhouse farm is its seclusion from the streetscape.

 

I guess there's the rub - how do you "improve" the area without adding denser housing and amenities that will attract people from outside the area? How do you make any changes to the streetscape without triggering gentrification fears?

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12 minutes ago, ADCS said:

 

By improved housing stock, I mean better land uses for the context. Since it's in central Houston, that means denser housing and transit-oriented development. My biggest knock against the townhouse farm is its seclusion from the streetscape.

 

I guess there's the rub - how do you "improve" the area without adding denser housing and amenities that will attract people from outside the area? How do you make any changes to the streetscape without triggering gentrification fears?

Those are valid questions. Not sure how to do it, but my hope is that long-time residents and "outsiders" can come together to answer these questions to create a vibrant, diverse community. 

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i don't see any problem with trying to save the third ward, but you have to admit that quite a few of the properties in the neighborhood are past restoration, either due to neglect by owners or slumlords who have allowed these properties to become hazardous and unfit for habitation. I am very familiar with the third ward as I helped my daughter and her husband purchase a home in the neighborhood a few years ago. We looked at so many properties that were falling apart due to termites or disrepair. It seems that they have an unfair advantage when buying these properties. 

The reason I'm concerned is that an office holder is running this. I don't understand how they can take funds collected from tax assessment  from the Midtown Tirz and apply those funds to a completely different neighborhood. I know the Third ward originally ran to Main street, but the Midtown TIRZ was not designed around what is now known as the third ward. When are they going to start doing something with these hundreds of properties that they have bought and where do the profits from these sales go. It seems like they are keeping the area from being rebuilt.

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6 minutes ago, bobruss said:

i don't see any problem with trying to save the third ward, but you have to admit that quite a few of the properties in the neighborhood are past restoration, either due to neglect by owners or slumlords who have allowed these properties to become hazardous and unfit for habitation. I am very familiar with the third ward as I helped my daughter and her husband purchase a home in the neighborhood a few years ago. We looked at so many properties that were falling apart due to termites or disrepair. It seems that they have an unfair advantage when buying these properties. 

The reason I'm concerned is that an office holder is running this. I don't understand how they can take funds collected from tax assessment  from the Midtown Tirz and apply those funds to a completely different neighborhood. I know the Third ward originally ran to Main street, but the Midtown TIRZ was not designed around what is now known as the third ward. When are they going to start doing something with these hundreds of properties that they have bought and where do the profits from these sales go. It seems like they are keeping the area from being rebuilt.

They do have huge unfair advantage.  I've been trying to purchase property there for over three years now.  MRA is buying these properties before they ever have a chance to go to market and keeping out people like me that would rehab them to actually live in.

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2 hours ago, ew2003 said:

Speaking of agendas.  I reviewed the MRA agenda from March and found something pretty interesting.  Apparently the MRA voted to sell an ENTIRE city block (2002 Live Oak) to HOU Homes for $1.50 psf, totaling $93,750.  AND they'll reimburse development costs AND reimburse $11,000 - $30,000 per townhouse sold.  They're estimating to build 31 townhouses on the block.

 

http://houstonmidtown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/MRA-Minutes-03.31.16.pdf

 

@BeerNut What are your thoughts on that?

 

 

 

 

This is an awfully sweet deal for the developer and the type of development they're fighting.  Can't leave out that they'll reimburse site development cost up to $460,000.  I'm also curious about the requirements to purchase a 170k-200k home.  I wish they used the money to help owner-occupied individuals improve their current residence and have some form of tax abatement for owners that qualify.   

Edited by BeerNut
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1 hour ago, bobruss said:

i don't see any problem with trying to save the third ward, but you have to admit that quite a few of the properties in the neighborhood are past restoration, either due to neglect by owners or slumlords who have allowed these properties to become hazardous and unfit for habitation. I am very familiar with the third ward as I helped my daughter and her husband purchase a home in the neighborhood a few years ago. We looked at so many properties that were falling apart due to termites or disrepair. It seems that they have an unfair advantage when buying these properties. 

The reason I'm concerned is that an office holder is running this. I don't understand how they can take funds collected from tax assessment  from the Midtown Tirz and apply those funds to a completely different neighborhood. I know the Third ward originally ran to Main street, but the Midtown TIRZ was not designed around what is now known as the third ward. When are they going to start doing something with these hundreds of properties that they have bought and where do the profits from these sales go. It seems like they are keeping the area from being rebuilt.

Of course there a properties that are past restoration by landlords who often live outside of the community. I am not sure what unfair advantage you speak of. Again, I and my family are long-time residents.  I grew up here and we own rental properties and our homes. What you see as an unfair advantage, I see as an attempt by a long-time resident (Coleman) who is also a politician, working to provide affordable housing options, whose efforts were highlighted by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research here.  I'm glad you have family that lives here; however, your familiarity is somewhat superficial.  Case in point---referring to Third Ward as "the third ward" shows a basic lack of understanding of the area. I don't live in Montrose, but I know it's not referred to as "the montrose". We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

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On 6/13/2016 at 7:32 PM, quietstorm said:

Speaking as a long-time Third Ward resident, I think your attending the TIRZ meetings is a good idea.  Just understand that Third Ward has an active community that is looking for a certain type of development.  I look at efforts by Garnett Coleman, who is a politician, but is also a long-time resident, as positive.  Unlike some other gentrifying areas in the city, Third Ward is still the political and financial epicenter for many African Americans in Houston.  As I've said in previous posts, efforts to significantly change Third Ward won't happen.  There is money and influence with long-time residents.  Instead of looking to recreate greater Third Ward in Midtown's image, consider how you can, as a newcomer, add to and improve what is there.   

 

On 6/13/2016 at 9:51 AM, kbates2 said:

But we are discussing the tax dollars of the midtown TIRZ correct?  They are not the same tax dollars are they?

 

this was my understanding.

 

Midtown TIRZ buying land on the other side of 288, aka, in 3rd Ward, aka, in a different TIRZ.

 

Going to the meetings for the TIRZ that encompasses the 3rd Ward isn't what he was talking about. The way I read it he wants to go to the Midtown TIRZ to find out why they are buying land in 3rd Ward.

 

My opinion is, that any government agency buying land for the express purpose of ensuring that the land is developed a certain way seems a bit weird, but if it's at least happening in the area the same zone that the government entity was created to 'reinvest' in, then it's less weird, and reinvest can be defined by 'buying the land and ensuring it's developed with the current community in mind'. IDK.

 

Anyway, my whole understanding here was that the Midtown TIRZ was buying land in 3rd Ward, which is not part of their reinvestment zone, and is in fact, in a different reinvestment zone altogether.

 

I'm so confused.

Edited by samagon
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1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

I think there may be the assumption that since Coleman's TX House District 147 encompasses part of Midtown, that his efforts in Third Ward involve the use of Midtown TIRZ funds.  Is it confirmed that Midtown TIRZ funds are being used in Third Ward? One issue is whether you agree that TIRZ funds should be used to buy property (I don't have a problem with it, but can understand the argument against).  Another issue is whether Midtown TIRZ funds should be used to purchase property in another TIRZ area (e.g., Third Ward, OST/Almeda TIRZ).  I don't agree with that, but believe their are multiple arguments going on.  

Edited by quietstorm

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For clarification purposes.  I want to go to the meeting to get a better understanding of the long/short term plan for the lots purchased.  I was thinking the land would be used for more housing like the ones near project row house ( http://projectrowhouses.org/architecture/ ).  Looking at the meeting minutes from March they're wanting to recreate what they're fighting against at an inflated cost.  

Edited by BeerNut

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Did anyone go to the meeting? I was out of town but I did see an article in the Houston Chronicle, I believe two days ago.

It mentioned that the Midtown authority had purchased  $$ of property and that along with other stakeholders they held a large number of lots. 

There was also an editorial in the Houston Chronicle yesterday praising the stakeholders for doing this, saying  hopefully it would be a model for saving old  neighborhoods of ethnic historically important areas. They also stated that the boundaries of the 3rd ward project was 45 on the north, 288 on the west Alabama on the south and forgive me because I can't remember the eastern boundary. I was surprised that they didn't go farther south like to Wheeler.

Its fine with me. I still don't have an explanation of how they can legally take TIRZ  funds from Midtown and buy up property in another area.

Is there an explanation for this or did no one attend or ask. With the medical center so close the southern part all the way to Macgregor is ripe for 

restoration and there is some incredible housing stock in that area. Of course its now gotten much pricier also.

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/The-Third-Ward-s-fight-to-manage-gentrification-7945134.php

 

Adjacent to the Third Ward, the quasi-public tax increment reinvestment zone that was transforming Midtown — an area formerly divided between the Third and Fourth Wards — was required to dedicate a portion of its revenues for affordable housing. But Coleman saw that property values there were rising so quickly, affordable housing would be a difficult pitch to developers, so he convinced a related agency, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, to use the money to buy properties in Third Ward instead. The redevelopment authority would then sell the property to developers who were required to build affordable single-family homes and rental units.

 

Today, the authority owns 3.5 million square feet of land in Greater Third Ward. Coleman started banking land through the authority in the neighborhood he grew up in, hoping to buy up enough to make a sizable percentage of its future housing affordable. That scheme has already yielded a crop of single-family homes and plans for apartment complexes.

 

At the same time, the city’s Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority, created in 1999, made a modest number of property purchases in the neighborhood to build affordable housing. Today, that authority has sold seven homes at affordable prices, with five more under construction, and it owns 12 other lots.

 

Add to that the land held by the churches, non-profits and Petteway’s organization and community members see a strategy that’s already working.

Edited by DrLan34
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4 hours ago, bobruss said:

Did anyone go to the meeting? I was out of town but I did see an article in the Houston Chronicle, I believe two days ago.

It mentioned that the Midtown authority had purchased  $$ of property and that along with other stakeholders they held a large number of lots. 

There was also an editorial in the Houston Chronicle yesterday praising the stakeholders for doing this, saying  hopefully it would be a model for saving old  neighborhoods of ethnic historically important areas. They also stated that the boundaries of the 3rd ward project was 45 on the north, 288 on the west Alabama on the south and forgive me because I can't remember the eastern boundary. I was surprised that they didn't go farther south like to Wheeler.

Its fine with me. I still don't have an explanation of how they can legally take TIRZ  funds from Midtown and buy up property in another area.

Is there an explanation for this or did no one attend or ask. With the medical center so close the southern part all the way to Macgregor is ripe for 

restoration and there is some incredible housing stock in that area. Of course its now gotten much pricier also.

I was at the last meeting and the board members currently have Super Bowl fever.  They did mention ESPN is in talks to possibly setup at the Superblock and also broke down the expenditures between East and West midtown.  There was talk about about a walking tour for board members of low income housing being developed but I wasn't familiar with this location.  I didn't ask any questions this time because I wanted to see how they run the meeting.

 

There is the Midtown TIRZ buying and developing land in third ward.  OST/Alameda TIRZ is handling Emancipation Park development, Holman(Eamnule to Scott) and Dowling street reconstruction. I still feel like there other players involved that I'm missing.

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Looks like OST/Almeda TIRZ wants to formally take over large areas owned and managed by Midtown TIRZ.   

db038b381dac98b0f7e8adeb11611e00.png.max800.png

Edited by BeerNut

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On 6/13/2016 at 2:09 PM, ew2003 said:

Speaking of agendas.  I reviewed the MRA agenda from March and found something pretty interesting.  Apparently the MRA voted to sell an ENTIRE city block (2002 Live Oak) to HOU Homes for $1.50 psf, totaling $93,750.  AND they'll reimburse development costs AND reimburse $11,000 - $30,000 per townhouse sold.  They're estimating to build 31 townhouses on the block.

 

http://houstonmidtown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/MRA-Minutes-03.31.16.pdf

 

@BeerNut What are your thoughts on that?

 

 

 

 

Some are already under contact but this one is still for sale.   http://www.har.com/2010-live-oak-st/sale_70294747

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So is this in the Midtown TIRZ?  Low income housing obviously doesn’t make any money so this can’t be the investment of midtown tax money.  Ifthis is in the TIRZ I understand the reasoning but if not wouldn’t this be misuse of funds?

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IIRC part of the TIRZ law says some of the money must be spent on increasing housing affordability or something to that effect

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10 hours ago, kbates2 said:

So is this in the Midtown TIRZ?  Low income housing obviously doesn’t make any money so this can’t be the investment of midtown tax money.  Ifthis is in the TIRZ I understand the reasoning but if not wouldn’t this be misuse of funds?

 

Third Ward isn't part of the Midtown TIRZ.

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1 hour ago, BeerNut said:

 

Third Ward isn't part of the Midtown TIRZ.

Splitting hairs, historically the Third Ward included everything east of this portion of Main St. The portion between Main and Hwy 288 is now considered part of Midtown, and Third Ward begins east of 288.

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2 minutes ago, dbigtex56 said:

Splitting hairs, historically the Third Ward included everything east of this portion of Main St. The portion between Main and Hwy 288 is now considered part of Midtown, and Third Ward begins east of 288.

 

I should have clarified in saying that it's not part of the current TIRZ.

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But it’s not splitting hairs is it?  Is the reinvestment of taxes in the zone not supposed to be done within that zone?  

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9 hours ago, kbates2 said:

But it’s not splitting hairs is it?  Is the reinvestment of taxes in the zone not supposed to be done within that zone?  

that's the way it should be but Coleman was able direct funds for his own agenda.

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By law every TIRZ must set aside 1/3 of the allotted funds they receive for use in the development of affordable housing. This aligns with the TIRZ purpose of hyper local development to address urban blight. The TIRZs within Harris county may use that 1/3 allocation anywhere with the boundary of the County, so the development dollars, of that percentage, is not consigned to the TIRZ boundary. Land banking those funds into the third ward makes sense on a fiduciary basis as the cost of land is significantly less east of 288. It also makes some sense as a means of managing gentrification, though this is more debatable. 

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