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Houston's Post-katrina Business Boom

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An interesting article in today's Times:

--:--

September 6, 2005

Houston Finds Business Boon After Katrina

By SIMON ROMERO

HOUSTON, Sept. 5 - Perhaps no city in the United States is in a better spot than Houston to turn Katrina's tragedy into opportunity. And businesses here are already scrambling to profit in the hurricane's aftermath.

Oil services companies based here are racing to carry out repairs to damaged offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico; the promise of plenty of work to do sent shares in two large companies, Halliburton and Baker Hughes, soaring to 52-week highs last week. The Port of Houston is preparing for an increase in traffic as shippers divert cargoes away from the damaged ports of Pascagoula, Miss., and New Orleans.

Owners of office space here are witnessing a surge in leasing as New Orleans companies, including that city's oldest bank, scramble to set up new headquarters in Houston, helping to shore up its sagging property market. With brio that might make an ambulance-chaser proud, one company, National Realty Investments, is offering special financing deals "for hurricane survivors only," with no down payments and discounted closing costs.

Full article

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Over all, I thought the article was pretty positive about Houston.

I think the important thing is this; if I were head of a company considering relocating, would this article sway me to move to Houston?

I think so. What do you think?

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"Houston has one of the most moribund big-city real estate markets."

Thats not true.

Yes Houston will have a boom, but when New Orleans is fixed that boom will be gone and then what?

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I didn't think the article was all that negative of Houston. I saw it the other way. Maybe I'll have to re-read it.

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I agree that the article has a negative spin. Here are are a couple of words/phrases I noticed which give our efforts a negative connotation:

-- scrambling to profit

-- ambulance-chaser

And this sentence which implies that we have something to be ashamed of and are trying to defend our actions:

Some here are wary about seeming too gleeful in light of New Orleans's misery. Houston officials were quick to point out on Friday that they were making a convention center downtown available to evacuees from the disaster zone, potentially forcing some events to be canceled.

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I didn't think the article was all that negative of Houston.  I saw it the other way.  Maybe I'll have to re-read it.

It was a good article for Houston, but for all the wrong reasons.

"And businesses here are already scrambling to profit in the hurricane's aftermath.?"

Houston did not step up for the money opportunuty. We stepped up because our neighbors needed help. This article is insensitive, and as a Houstonian, I'm offended. Simon Romero's New York-greedy opportunistic mind needs to have a coke and a smile and shut the f*** up. <_<

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I don't think Houston businesses need feel guilty about a spike in opportunities resulting from the storm. We did not ask for this, but if New Orleans businesses need office space, furniture, services and employees, we will provide it.

Likewise, oil field service and repair companies are set up to do the very thing they are being hired to do. All of these businesses are entitled to a profit for their services. Gouging is one thing, but a fair profit for work performed is another.

This article probably speaks more to the practices of New York businesses than Houston ones, in the sense that this is language they understand. Given the amount Houston residents and businesses are giving, no one should expect them to work for free.

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By the way, they talked about this very article on channel 13 news yesterday on their 6pm broadcast. They found it extremely negative too -- apparently there were two different versions of the article. One for the NY Times and one for a newspaper the NYTimes prints in France (?). Ch13 contacted the NY Times to ask about the different versions and (I guess) about the negative spin. NYT said, (I paraphrase), No matter how you look at it, Houston is profiting from Katrina.

So, ok, yes, Houston IS profiting from Katrina. So are Baton Rouge, Dallas, San Antonio, etc. wherever evacuees are. Plus, so will all the hundreds, thousands of people who will clean up, demolish and/or rebuild NO. What's new about that!?

When they say the storm will cost $XX billion, do they imagine that we'll take $XX billion and throw it into the gulf, and suddenly all will be back to new again? The billions of dollars actually go to companies and people who will do the work, supply the materials, and support the people who do the work.

Yup, Houston's going to get some of those $$. No question about it. I guess NY is just mad they're not reaping as many of those $. I wonder if whatever is built at ground zero in Manhatten will be done for free -- I'd hate to think of anyone benefitting from the terrorist attacks...

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Only a negative Yankee would look at it that way.

So who profited off of 9/11?

And do a little research on old Simon Romero, and you'll find he other articles bashing Bush and Halliburton.

And how out of touch is pretending Buffalo Hardware is a normal hardware store? Normal for River Oaks, I suppose. I guess they went to Bearing's after that.

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My letter:

Dear Simon,

I am fascinated about the comments you made in an article on Houston in the New York Times. You, of all the news sources that reported on this in the country, called Houston an "ambulance chaser." Tell me, have you spent any time in Houston since the hurricane? Have you seen the massive (in fact, unparalleled in history) relief efforts here? Have you seen the lines of cars waiting to volunteer at the Astrodome? Have you seen the giant piles of clothing, toys, diapers, and food that sprouted up spontaneously in area parking lots so that evacuees could come and pick through? Did you know that two kids started a lemonade stand in their neighborhood to raise money for the flood victims, and in a single day they had raised $1,005 as cars pulled over to make donations?

I'm sure that, given the Times' renowned standards of journalistic integrity, you would not cast judgements or take the chance of giving a false image of a city without actually going there and seeing it firsthand. When did you personally arrive in Houston, and what did you see? I am also sure that your article was in no way motivated by the desire to tarnish a city that is seen as a conservative stronghold or a base of support for George W. Bush, and that it has nothing to do with the NY Times' ongoing campaign (going back to the 2002 "Houston Does Not Believe in Tears") to print ridiculous articles casting a bad image of Houston. I await your upcoming articles about how Baton Rouge and Shreveport have profited from the floods.

When sane people look back on the reponse to this catastrophe, they are going to remember two things: A kind, generous, big-hearted Southern city who unassumingly opened its heart and its doors to the victims of the flood, and a lofty, cynical, self-righteous, sophisticated, holier-than-thou Northeastern city whose literati worried first and foremost about how to turn this thing into an attack on the President, and could offer nothing but sneers towards those who actually did something to help.

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>>Feeling a little paranoid there, are ya saigon?

I would not call it paranoia, just realism.

I just got off the phone with Academy at off of Southwest Fwy and they were taking the last short-barrel out of the display case to sell to a customer!!!!!

The salesperson did confirm a run on weapons. Oh, and these would not be the duck guns for the upcoming hunting season.

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>>Feeling a little paranoid there, are ya saigon?

I would not call it paranoia, just realism.

I just got off the phone with Academy at off of Southwest Fwy and they were taking the last short-barrel out of the display case to sell to a customer!!!!!

The salesperson did confirm a run on weapons. Oh, and these would not be the duck guns for the upcoming hunting season.

I just got off the phone with Academy at off of Southwest Fwy and they were taking the last short-barrel out of the display case to sell to a customer!!!!!

5 exclamation points? The very last short barrel?????

Well, here's the scoop, saigon. I just called the same Academy "at off of Southwest Fwy" [what is "at off", BTW?] and they said no such thing. They are quite available. Infact, they have 150 available city-wide. Clearly you are lying. HAIF posters of all persuasions don't much cotton to yer kind. We may all disagree but we do it the honest way. You have just earned the coveted "Ignore User" award.

[Dear God...rescue me from the hard hearted, distorting and lazy thinkers of the world.

Amen]

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:lol::lol::lol:

I so dearly love it when fear mongering, lying pieces of caca (I sincerely doubt saigon understands Spanish) are outed in all their glory.

BTW, I know how much ultra right wing hate mongerers despise the term "outed". It scares the hell out of them. I just couldn't resist. ;)

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You guys are going to hate this one from the Onion:

Refugees Moved From Sewage-Contaminated Superdome To Hellhole Of Houston

HOUSTON

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I got an email from Tom Abrahams at Ch. 13 this morning. I had sent him a kudos for his work on the story.

They are running an update today in the afternoon news.

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I can see the New York Times next craptastic headline:

HOUSTON FIRM PROFITS FROM DEAD!!!

These guys really should start reporting things in a more honest way than slanting it. What do they got against Houston? Oh I forget, Bush lived here at one time. I guess this city is now forever on their hit list.

Anyway, recovering the dead and handling the bodies is one of those jobs that few want to do. That fact that this company is jumping ahead to offer their services is honorable. Yes, they will get paid, but wouldn't volunteer for that kind of work.

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>>Is this one of the companies in Houston rushing to profit off of the plight of New >>Orleans? And would the NY Times rather they not provide their services?

Despite his socialist leanings Redscare is dead on.

Ohh the irony!

The papers decry people making a profit, yet they complain when there are no jobs to offer the evacuees!

If you want to guarantee a profit level then apply the regulation of government to an industry. You can almost guarantee that prices will remain at the highest level for consumers.

Throw in free-market capitalism and you will have a both a company and a consumer reaping the benefits.

How about proposing NY Times give away their paper if they run a story about Katrina? They should also give away ads for free.

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>>Is this one of the companies in Houston rushing to profit off of the plight of New >>Orleans?  And would the NY Times rather they not provide their services?

Despite his socialist leanings Redscare is dead on.

Ohh the irony!

The papers decry people making a profit, yet they complain when there are no jobs to offer the evacuees!

If you want to guarantee a profit level then apply the regulation of government to an industry. You can almost guarantee that prices will remain at the highest level for consumers.

Throw in free-market capitalism and you will have a both a company and a consumer reaping the benefits.

How about proposing NY Times give away their paper if they run a story about Katrina? They should also give away ads for free.

Hey saigon? I thought I had you on ignore?

Ya think some of your Reagan trickle down theory of economics could cough up a few jobs for some of the survivors?

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>>Ya think some of your Reagan trickle down theory of economics could cough up >>a few jobs for some of the survivors?

Sure.

Odds are we will have a surge of cajun cafes pop up. If keeping with Houston history most will bring their culinary traditions with them.

Granted many locals will have to improve their product or go out of business.

Win-win for lovers of cajun and creole food.

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Looks like the New York Times has wrote a good article about Housto this time:

By RALPH BLUMENTHAL

Published: September 14, 2005

HOUSTON, Sept. 13

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One of the better articles I've seen. Healthy doses of congratulations and concern for long term effects. Possibly the first time I've ever seen Houston's sprawl appreciated.

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I hadn't heard about the $15K donut, but way to go Shipley's!

This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shipley's is the best donut shop in the WORLD! :D

Good article. As far as crime goes, I live about 1.7 miles east of the Dome. Our neighborhood is just as quiet as ever...I've seen no sign of evacuees other than the ones in our home and staying in other homes on the street.

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I hadn't heard about the $15K donut, but way to go Shipley's! 

This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shipley's is the best donut shop in the WORLD!  :D

Good article.  As far as crime goes, I live about 1.7 miles east of the Dome.  Our neighborhood is just as quiet as ever...I've seen no sign of evacuees other than the ones in our home and staying in other homes on the street.

YEA Shipleys I say!

Not only do they give good donut but they give GREAT charity! :lol:

B)

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This writer apparently doesn't know the terrain in Houston. If he did, he would know that all the fear mongering comes from residents 25 to 30 miles from downtown, who never come near the inner loop. He would also know that these same worriers say the same crap about our locals when the evacuees aren't here.

And, I've yet to see a credible report of a "surge" in weapons purchases. Just a few made up remarks, unverified, some of them on this board.

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