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Dakota79

Ion and Innovation District in Midtown (Former Sears)

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58 minutes ago, Moore713 said:

 I'm sorry im.a proud former resident of third ward. But this feels like nothing more than black nimbyism

 

or just straight nimbyism. Not necessary to add black to the beginning of that. Everyone from any kind of background can be a nimby. Apparently Dr. Assata Richards is associated with a non-profit. I wonder what this person spends everyday of every moment doing. Sounds like this person is a professional nimby...even has a PhD! I wonder what that PhD was in...

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35 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

or just straight nimbyism. Not necessary to add black to the beginning of that. Everyone from any kind of background can be a nimby. Apparently Dr. Assata Richards is associated with a non-profit. I wonder what this person spends everyday of every moment doing. Sounds like this person is a professional nimby...even has a PhD! I wonder what that PhD was in...

Sociology it looks like, explains a lot tbh.

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1 hour ago, Moore713 said:

There is no logical reasoning behind  opposing this. The area has largely been abandoned  for close  25 years. It not displacing  and existing residents.  To be perfectly honest most people from third ward have not considered that area part of third ward in decades. Not since the early 2000s at the latest, so even before than.  I honestly dont see how this effects third ward as a whole. 

 

I'm assuming they have an issue with the stuff going on in the area surrounding the Ion that is/was third ward (the terrible litigation going between Turkey Leg Hut and the Museum District people and the perceived stifling of certain business on Almeda, the expansion of townhomes into third ward, etc) and this is something they can actually effect. All the other stuff is private actors and private developers. Here its schools and some city people, and various organizations that could/would actually listen to complaints. I agree tho, this is the wrong entity to throw stones at, since I don't think a single person in Houston would  say this part of Midtown has been anything to anyone in 20+ years. 

 

In my line of business alot of people just want to have their voice heard at the end of the day. I get the feeling this is alot of what this is, for better or for worse. 

Edited by X.R.
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On 11/17/2019 at 7:31 PM, hindesky said:

Not sure how long this sign as been up but the hearing is scheduled for Dec 5.

qUdNpKq.jpg

 

 

For those that support this project, don't forget  the meeting is December 5th or send an email to planning.variances@houstontx.gov. 

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Here is the opposition form letter

Quote

 

Dear Mr. Alegria,

 

As a part of the Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement and [representative of (organization)], I request that the Houston Planning Commission delay approval of the variance request for the Ion Parking Garage until the developers have met with the Coalition to present their plans for this phase of their development and hear the Coalition’s feedback. 

 

We are concerned that the requested variances, a reduced building line on Fannin and Eagle and a reduction in the 15x15 visibility triangle at the intersection of Cleburne and Fanning, will decrease safety, mobility, and walkability in the neighborhood. The developer did not consult with the neighborhood before requesting these variances, and has provided no reason that these variances are necessary in its application for a variance.

 

The Coalition is individuals and organizations of neighbors, community leaders, scholars, students, and supporters of Third Ward and communities of color across Houston. Their goal is to develop, secure, enforce, and sustain, a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Rice Management Company as they develop the Innovation District at the edge of Third Ward, in order to ensure the safety and viability of their neighborhood.

 

As the South Main Innovation District helps to usher in a new era in Houston's economy, HCEDD envisions an Innovation District that benefits Third Ward and communities of color through historic and cultural preservation, housing, jobs, businesses, innovation, education, and food security. These topics are are drawn from the Third Ward Complete Communities Action Plan, the Third Ward Comprehensive Needs Assessment Data Report, and HCEDD community meetings.

 

Member organizations as of December 5, 2019 include:

  • Emancipation Economic Development Council

  • Third Ward is Home Civic Club

  • Houston Society for Change

  • Houston Black American Democrats

  • Texas Coalition of Black Democrats - Harris County

  • Northern Third Ward Neighborhood Implementation Project

  • Greater Third Ward Superneighborhood 67

  • Project Row Houses

  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 88

  • Harris County AFL-CIO 

  • Senate District 13  

  • C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services, Inc.

 

Sincerely,

-[Name]

[organization/affiliation/who you are]

 

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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 10:46 AM, Luminare said:

 

or just straight nimbyism. Not necessary to add black to the beginning of that. Everyone from any kind of background can be a nimby. Apparently Dr. Assata Richards is associated with a non-profit. I wonder what this person spends everyday of every moment doing. Sounds like this person is a professional nimby...even has a PhD! I wonder what that PhD was in...

 

It's not nimbyism - that's when somebody doesn't want something that will bring noise or traffic or visual blight. They don't care about any of that. This is more like gimmeism. Oh, you're developing something near where I live? Gimme jobs. Gimme cheap housing. Gimme cheap groceries. Otherwise I'll use politicians and the media to try to bludgeon you and your development. You thought you owned land in my fiefdom Midtown and could build what you wanted on it? Cute.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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1 minute ago, H-Town Man said:

 

It's not nimbyism - that's when somebody doesn't want something that will bring noise or traffic or visual blight. They don't care about any of that. This is more like gimmeism. Oh, you're developing something near where I live? Gimme jobs. Gimme cheap housing. Gimme cheap groceries.

 

 

I think you need to coin that! I like that word haha.

 

Basically they have an Entitlement Complex. They truly feel that the world owes them something when in realty...nobody does.

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22 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

It's not nimbyism - that's when somebody doesn't want something that will bring noise or traffic or visual blight. They don't care about any of that. This is more like gimmeism. Oh, you're developing something near where I live? Gimme jobs. Gimme cheap housing. Gimme cheap groceries. Otherwise I'll use politicians and the media to try to bludgeon you and your development. You thought you owned land in my fiefdom Midtown and could build what you wanted on it? Cute.

 

 

It is more of hey you've ignored this area for decades and now that you want to develop you want to ignore those that live there and push them out. Best case scenario when you develop an area is to improve that area and help lift it up. It does no good to push them out and say go somewhere else and continue to suffer. These areas were racially created decades ago in the name of white flight and suburban development. Now that development is returning it would be great to also provide opportunities to create jobs for the neighbors and improve access to other things. The worst thing to do would be to bus them somewhere else and make them someone else's problem. That doesn't help anyone. This doesn't mean that a developer should be stuck with solving the major long term issues in the area but it means they can do what they can to make small improvements that fit the development and not just ignore it. The same thing happens in suburbs but those areas don't have as many systemic issues. 

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26 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

I think you need to coin that! I like that word haha.

 

Basically they have an Entitlement Complex. They truly feel that the world owes them something when in realty...nobody does.

 

Almost everyone has an entitlement complex. People on here wanted Amazon for all the things it would bring. Entitlement is also ignoring those who don't have access to the things they have and assume they did something special for what they have. When they don't realize where you are born matters. The schools, access to healthcare, food, and jobs aren't the same. Social economic issues are real and most of us will never know what it is like to grow up in extreme poverty. Some make it out but it is the exception, not the rule.

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23 minutes ago, thatguysly said:

 

It is more of hey you've ignored this area for decades and now that you want to develop you want to ignore those that live there and push them out. Best case scenario when you develop an area is to improve that area and help lift it up. It does no good to push them out and say go somewhere else and continue to suffer. These areas were racially created decades ago in the name of white flight and suburban development. Now that development is returning it would be great to also provide opportunities to create jobs for the neighbors and improve access to other things. The worst thing to do would be to bus them somewhere else and make them someone else's problem. That doesn't help anyone. This doesn't mean that a developer should be stuck with solving the major long term issues in the area but it means they can do what they can to make small improvements that fit the development and not just ignore it. The same thing happens in suburbs but those areas don't have as many systemic issues. 

 

Hello, this development is happening on parking lots and abandoned buildings. Nobody is getting "pushed out." Nobody is getting "bused" anywhere. This really isn't anywhere near the residences of the people who are complaining, except that it happens to fall within the arbitrary boundary lines of a political division that the city dropped over 100 years ago. You are reading from a script that somebody gave you.

 

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3 hours ago, thatguysly said:

 

Almost everyone has an entitlement complex. People on here wanted Amazon for all the things it would bring. Entitlement is also ignoring those who don't have access to the things they have and assume they did something special for what they have. When they don't realize where you are born matters. The schools, access to healthcare, food, and jobs aren't the same. Social economic issues are real and most of us will never know what it is like to grow up in extreme poverty. Some make it out but it is the exception, not the rule.

 

When the Vietnamese refugees settled in Midtown (Third and Fourth Wards) in the 1970's, they had no money, no jobs, and the schools weren't that good. Also, American attitudes towards Vietnamese weren't at an all time high either. And they didn't speak English! Every single last one of them made it out, except a few who decided to stay because they liked the area.

 

If extreme poverty is the issue like you say, there are numerous shelters and relief agencies already in the neighborhood, and free healthcare over at Ben Taub. The Ion does not need to provide anything.

 

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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I would agree with thatguy about some, but most of that part of Midtown was a dumpster for a while. Like, no one lived there, and no one went there cause it was seen by most as unsafe. And this is coming from someone who grew up in various dumpster-like places like old gulfgate and soho. If we're talking about the people who live on the other side of 59, and next to that Fiesta by the barber shop, then yeah, theres people there. 

 

21 minutes ago, thatguysly said:

These areas were racially created decades ago in the name of white flight and suburban development.

 

Now that is true, or at least I agree with that. But that letter they want people to send is disingenuous, because they don't care about any of that. They just want to some concessions. Its like when the Museum Park people are smacking around apartment developers at town hall meetings to get nicer esplanades and to have more trees and free drainage fixes. Or when those Midtown residents showed up to fight the bike lanes because of their supposed right to free parking on the street but really they wanted wider sidewalks/fix drainage issues, etc. Its all the same, and I think most people find it gross. The problem is, this part of Midtown to my knowledge doesn't have an association other than the ones for the townhouses closer to DT, this aint the hood those people signing that letter normally claim. So yeah, they can't even do what the Midtown/Museum people did. I dunno, its shiesty man; I agree with you in part, but where were all these organizations when Sears closed and you would accidentally exit 59 at Fanin and be like "yooo what is the fastest way outta here." 

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2 hours ago, X.R. said:

I would agree with thatguy about some, but most of that part of Midtown was a dumpster for a while. Like, no one lived there, and no one went there cause it was seen by most as unsafe. And this is coming from someone who grew up in various dumpster-like places like old gulfgate and soho. If we're talking about the people who live on the other side of 59, and next to that Fiesta by the barber shop, then yeah, theres people there. 

 

 

Now that is true, or at least I agree with that. But that letter they want people to send is disingenuous, because they don't care about any of that. They just want to some concessions. Its like when the Museum Park people are smacking around apartment developers at town hall meetings to get nicer esplanades and to have more trees and free drainage fixes. Or when those Midtown residents showed up to fight the bike lanes because of their supposed right to free parking on the street but really they wanted wider sidewalks/fix drainage issues, etc. Its all the same, and I think most people find it gross. The problem is, this part of Midtown to my knowledge doesn't have an association other than the ones for the townhouses closer to DT, this aint the hood those people signing that letter normally claim. So yeah, they can't even do what the Midtown/Museum people did. I dunno, its shiesty man; I agree with you in part, but where were all these organizations when Sears closed and you would accidentally exit 59 at Fanin and be like "yooo what is the fastest way outta here." 

 

I've honestly been wanted to reexamine the concept of "white flight". The only way this concept works is if you put very restrictive and abstract frames while simultaneously hiding everything else. Like using a microscope to look at a giant painting, yet also pretending that the rest of the painting doesn't exist except the part one is looking at. @H-Town Man gave a great example of Vietnamese immigrants (though they aren't the only ones) who settled in one area, which typically was a landing spot for those who had nothing, and was pretty much expected that you didn't want to stay in that area, but work your way up and then get the h.e.l.l. out. They all left for the suburbs as well, as did the Chinese before them, and the various eastern and southern Europeans before them. So by that measure, it is also "white flight", yet they aren't white, so it should just be "flight", or more specifically "class flight" or "economic flight". Each of those groups chasing the quintessential American Dream, to own their own small plot of land with a house on it (which if you talk to immigrants and foreigners in other countries, this dream is still very much real when they think of America). Of course it can only be "white flight" mean that the "American Dream" is only for whites by that logic, but when its known that this happens to all races and creeds, it proves that this framing of "white flight" is incredibly weak and I think only can be believed by one who is either an actual racist or what one might think of as soft-racism (bigotry of low expectations). Thats the only reason you would believe that its only capable for whites to move around like that. Midtown is the definition of a transition zone in a city. Its not necessarily meant for a 100% permanent population, but for people who are in the inbetween stages of life as they are climbing the many ladders of life, just like many of the older wards were areas where people began their accent. This idea that they are permanent entities that should never change economically, socially, or for some...racially  is utter nonsense, and just doesn't hold water when you look at the broad scope of history and how people shift around in the pecking order that is the city itself. I don't even take offense to people who live their themselves who want to keep it that way because if you have been that low or that broke in your life you just don't think there is a possibility that you can get out. For me I'm insulted by outsiders looking in who feel so sorry or have such low expectations for people living in these areas that they think the best solution is institutionalize these areas to forever be hoods, backwaters, or ghettos. Anyway been wanted to go further into this idea at some point and rip it apart, but just haven't had the time to really deep dive into it, but as I point out...its a very weak idea that only has influence and power because people give it to this idea or it just makes life a little bit simpler instead of understanding that its a lot more complicated than what it might seem...and that its not only defined by race. If some is telling you that then they are trying to sell you something.

Edited by Luminare
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31 minutes ago, bobruss said:

This situation wasn't created by Rice Universities plan to develop the Ion.

Midtown has  morphed into a very successful area, due to the fact that land was reasonably priced at the time and there was a lot of empty and vacant property. Metro built the rail and developers came in and started lot by lot building townhouses and then major apartment complexes were built and now it's developed into a major residential area. Clubs, bars, and restaurants followed and before anyone realized it Midtown had flipped. Mental health laws were changed and most were let out of homes, state run facilities and set out on the street to fend for themselves. For no reason other than the fact that Metro built its major station and transfer site right in the middle of this area did it become a magnet for the homeless. I doubt that most of those people were living in the neighborhood twenty years ago. Now they can hop on a train and get from one end of town to the other. I think you should blame the city and TEXDot for building a wall between Midtown and Third Ward. 288/59. Thats the real culprit as to why this area changed as much as it has.

 

One other thing that should be noted. The Midtown TIRZ has been using money collected from the taxes they charge businesses in Midtown and taking that money to buy property in Third Ward for new low cost housing. I don't have the numbers in front of me but they have bought a lot of properties in Third Ward. I think this should be taken into consideration when these Rice students start their chants.

No one has mentioned this in any of these arguments and I think this is part of an overall plan to help some of these people reestablish their lives in Third Ward eventually.

Rice shouldn't have to feel obligated to do anything. They did not create this situation.

 

Lots of good info in here, but.. are you saying that 288/59 caused Third Ward to decline or caused Midtown to decline, or both? From what I understand, Midtown was not historically the business district for Third Ward, which was on Dowling Street/Emancipation Avenue. Why the Dowling Street business district declined and disappeared (and why it was named for a Confederate general) is a legitimate cause for inquiry and perhaps lament. But the businesses in Midtown, up until the neighborhood tanked in the 70's-80's, were mostly white-frequented, as were the churches, hotels, and schools. South Main had a role in the city similar to the role that Westheimer would later play. So I don't think 288/59 impacted Third Ward in any large way except to cut it off from other neighborhoods, which happened to a lot of neighborhoods in central Houston.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

So I don't think 288/59 impacted Third Ward in any large way except to cut it off from other neighborhoods, which happened to a lot of neighborhoods in central Houston.

 

288 was literally built on top of the house of Jack Caesar after it was firebombed by racists afraid that him moving into Riverside Terrace would cause white flight.  "The percentage of the population being white declined from 97% in 1950 to 5% in 1970."   If you're including Riverside Terrace as part of 3rd ward (most people do), it was absolutely impacted. 

https://exhibits.lib.uh.edu/exhibits/show/thisisourhome <- Incredible documentary from the late 80s about riverside terrace and white flight. 
https://forgottenhouston.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/bombing-on-the-bayou-riverside-terrace-and-jack-caesar/ 
 

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Just that Midtown has done very well organically. Third Ward not as well.

 

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33 minutes ago, crock said:

 

288 was literally built on top of the house of Jack Caesar after it was firebombed by racists afraid that him moving into Riverside Terrace would cause white flight.  "The percentage of the population being white declined from 97% in 1950 to 5% in 1970."   If you're including Riverside Terrace as part of 3rd ward (most people do), it was absolutely impacted. 

https://exhibits.lib.uh.edu/exhibits/show/thisisourhome <- Incredible documentary from the late 80s about riverside terrace and white flight. 
https://forgottenhouston.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/bombing-on-the-bayou-riverside-terrace-and-jack-caesar/ 
 

 

You are doing exactly what I just said. Looking at an incredibly specific example, and then cherry picking data as if its a 1 to 1 correlation. That is an incredibly oversimplification of the matter. Not to mention its a bit disingenuous to make a broad claim that all of these people will react or respond to the impetus to leave. Not all people in a classified group think alike whether white or black. I'm sure there were some that did leave because they were genuinely racist, but also for many other reasons. Some people just leave when other people within their "in-group" also leave an area and some people do attach that "in-group" preference to their race, unfortunately, but its not like black people don't do the same or any other group. People typically like to live next to people that are similar to them. Not to mention the highways themselves were the main cause of "flight" in the first place because it allowed for greater mobility and the ability to live further from town yet also feel closer due to the highway. This is much more complicated matter than just simply...house of black guy targeted by a select group of racists which then leads to 92% of a particular race to flee. That is an enormous leap in logic that borders on conspiratorial. You have not built a solid enough case to make that argument and quite frankly nobody really has and its why I'm very skeptical of the concept of "white flight" in the first place. This focus on race in every issue is ridiculous. Its just not that important to people as it is often portrayed either back at that time or especially now. The 1950's till the 1970's was an incredibly economically prosperous time which saw the increasing mobility for many not due primarily to race, but due to economics and a shift national values and trends.

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Black families were systemically denied home loans that were given to white families in equivalent financial circumstances. Entire neighborhoods were "redlined" as undesirable based primarily on racial makeup. Those highways that allowed the flight to happen? They went to brand new neighborhoods where black families frequently were not sold to, either explicitly or implicitly. This is not over-generalizing; this is historical fact.

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Jewish families were systematically rounded up, sent to prison camps and exterminated.  Historical fact.

Edited by Houston19514
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9 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Lots of good info in here, but.. are you saying that 288/59 caused Third Ward to decline or caused Midtown to decline, or both? From what I understand, Midtown was not historically the business district for Third Ward, which was on Dowling Street/Emancipation Avenue. Why the Dowling Street business district declined and disappeared (and why it was named for a Confederate general) is a legitimate cause for inquiry and perhaps lament. But the businesses in Midtown, up until the neighborhood tanked in the 70's-80's, were mostly white-frequented, as were the churches, hotels, and schools. South Main had a role in the city similar to the role that Westheimer would later play. So I don't think 288/59 impacted Third Ward in any large way except to cut it off from other neighborhoods, which happened to a lot of neighborhoods in central Houston.

 

 

 

Before 288/59 came and wrecked things, Almeda was the business row for Third Ward. The freeway going in there had a ton of negative impact on the community. And it was built so wide with minimum continous streets or pedestrian overpasses.

5 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Jewish families were systematically rounded up, sent to prison camps and exterminated.  Historical fact.

Yeah but there's also a lot more to this story. Jews were slave labor during that time too but plenty got reparations. Heck it was Jews denying Blacks home loans for the longest time. 

Edited by Trae

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13 hours ago, BeerNut said:

Just heard Planning Department approved the Ion parking garage variances and CoH attorney is now aware of potential development interference from CBAs.

 

The PC was generally supportive of the idea of a CBA, but recognized that it's not in their remit to require one in order to grant a variance.

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16 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

You are doing exactly what I just said. Looking at an incredibly specific example, and then cherry picking data as if its a 1 to 1 correlation. That is an incredibly oversimplification of the matter. Not to mention its a bit disingenuous to make a broad claim that all of these people will react or respond to the impetus to leave. Not all people in a classified group think alike whether white or black. I'm sure there were some that did leave because they were genuinely racist, but also for many other reasons. Some people just leave when other people within their "in-group" also leave an area and some people do attach that "in-group" preference to their race, unfortunately, but its not like black people don't do the same or any other group. People typically like to live next to people that are similar to them. Not to mention the highways themselves were the main cause of "flight" in the first place because it allowed for greater mobility and the ability to live further from town yet also feel closer due to the highway. This is much more complicated matter than just simply...house of black guy targeted by a select group of racists which then leads to 92% of a particular race to flee. That is an enormous leap in logic that borders on conspiratorial. You have not built a solid enough case to make that argument and quite frankly nobody really has and its why I'm very skeptical of the concept of "white flight" in the first place. This focus on race in every issue is ridiculous. Its just not that important to people as it is often portrayed either back at that time or especially now. The 1950's till the 1970's was an incredibly economically prosperous time which saw the increasing mobility for many not due primarily to race, but due to economics and a shift national values and trends.

 

It's wonderful that the pervasive racism and bigotry I grew up with is inconceivable to people who grew up afterwards.  Still, it was most assuredly "a thing." 

 

From the late 50s until 1967 or 68 my grandparents lived a couple blocks from the intersection of Calhoun and Griggs.  It was a neighborhood that looked exactly like Oak Forest and postwar Bellaire used to - smallish one story 3/2 ranches, most with attached one car garages, as white as a box of rice and solidly middle class.  You didn't get into the wards until north and west of TSU.  The first shopping mall in Houston was Gulfgate, and Palms Center (anchored by JC Penney) was built about the same time.  And until 1964, racist deed restrictions were common and enforced.

 

They had a "This is my home.  It is not for sale!" sign in their yard (follow the link in Crock's post above).  Nevertheless, they got stampeded out of there over to a very similar house in Sharpstown, and took a beating on the sale price, when the neighborhood went from solid white to almost entirely black over the course of just a couple years.  So yeah, it really was "that important to people... back at that time."

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27 minutes ago, mollusk said:

 

It's wonderful that the pervasive racism and bigotry I grew up with is inconceivable to people who grew up afterwards.  Still, it was most assuredly "a thing." 

 

From the late 50s until 1967 or 68 my grandparents lived a couple blocks from the intersection of Calhoun and Griggs.  It was a neighborhood that looked exactly like Oak Forest and postwar Bellaire used to - smallish one story 3/2 ranches, most with attached one car garages, as white as a box of rice and solidly middle class.  You didn't get into the wards until north and west of TSU.  The first shopping mall in Houston was Gulfgate, and Palms Center (anchored by JC Penney) was built about the same time.  And until 1964, racist deed restrictions were common and enforced.

 

They had a "This is my home.  It is not for sale!" sign in their yard (follow the link in Crock's post above).  Nevertheless, they got stampeded out of there over to a very similar house in Sharpstown, and took a beating on the sale price, when the neighborhood went from solid white to almost entirely black over the course of just a couple years.  So yeah, it really was "that important to people... back at that time."

 

I really don't want to continue the ridiculously off-topic reminiscing of times past, but I have to ask:  What exactly does it mean to have been "stampeded out of there"?

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16 hours ago, Texasota said:

Black families were systemically denied home loans that were given to white families in equivalent financial circumstances. Entire neighborhoods were "redlined" as undesirable based primarily on racial makeup. Those highways that allowed the flight to happen? They went to brand new neighborhoods where black families frequently were not sold to, either explicitly or implicitly. This is not over-generalizing; this is historical fact.

 

Absolutely agree!  And, just because so many people have a sort of "rose colored glasses" view that this entire country and this city and county and state have "moved on" from the evils of racism, I challenge them to prove it.  It's a huge lie, proven more and more everyday, which makes people like me not only very angry, but extremely sad for America's future and worldwide reputation. 

 

We are definitely living in an age (minus the massive amount of fake news created by propagandists right here in our own country) where legitimate news articles, for several years now, continue to report a significant rise in incidents of racism and white privilege/superiority (yes, I am also Caucasian btw).  It simply IS happening and there's no denying it.  I would have hoped my blessed Houston town was moving beyond the issue in a meaningful way, which in many instances it has been doing for a long time now.  But, it does seem that some in this city are once again falling victim (to put it nicely) to those same old prejudices and preconceived notions about non-whites and people from "other" countries.  I hope this trend reverses soon & everywhere, and I will continue to have hope and keep the faith.  But, I can't help but have my doubts that this will somehow occur sooner rather than later.  Yes, there will always be a tiny subset of people in this city and this country that are "racist", however it is defined, but that doesn't mean we can't continue the good fight and try to educate in order to change hearts and minds to evolve beyond those old evil outdated notions.

 

The Ion is caught up in the middle of all of this for good or bad, whether they wanted it or not.  So, I would suggest they not ignore it and face whatever compromises can be made so this project is eventually successful, head on.  We'll be a better city for it and so will Midtown.

 

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24 minutes ago, mollusk said:

 

It's wonderful that the pervasive racism and bigotry I grew up with is inconceivable to people who grew up afterwards.  Still, it was most assuredly "a thing." 

 

From the late 50s until 1967 or 68 my grandparents lived a couple blocks from the intersection of Calhoun and Griggs.  It was a neighborhood that looked exactly like Oak Forest and postwar Bellaire used to - smallish one story 3/2 ranches, most with attached one car garages, as white as a box of rice and solidly middle class.  You didn't get into the wards until north and west of TSU.  The first shopping mall in Houston was Gulfgate, and Palms Center (anchored by JC Penney) was built about the same time.  And until 1964, racist deed restrictions were common and enforced.

 

They had a "This is my home.  It is not for sale!" sign in their yard (follow the link in Crock's post above).  Nevertheless, they got stampeded out of there over to a very similar house in Sharpstown, and took a beating on the sale price, when the neighborhood went from solid white to almost entirely black over the course of just a couple years.  So yeah, it really was "that important to people... back at that time."

 

A Thing, but not THE Thing. I never claimed it wasn't "A" thing, neither do I deny that your experiences or what you grew up with didn't happen. However it would be foolish or a mistake to only analysis this issue, pardon the pun, skin deep. If you look throughout history, even in this country, then you will see the same tendencies everywhere, and typically race is just the surface level distinction that makes it easy for some to make a separation between one group or another, but we hard wired as humans to have the desire to find or maintain a tribe which then creates our out-group and in-group preferences. Most people of that time would say that kind of racism was just "a" thing that happened in that time and not "the" thing. Also most people probably at that time didn't have that strong of an opinion on the matter period because it was just "a" thing that was going on, and so if they didn't have a particular informed opinion or it wasn't high on their list of priorities in life then they would have just followed with what the current in-group preference of that time was. If race was "a" priority for some in the in-group then it would have then matter to others in the in-group simply so they could stay in the in-group and not be ostracized from it, but that doesn't mean that it was "the" priority or "the" thing that was going on. This is why I claim that other factors were at play and often times were more important. I'm not denying either that this "a" thing/priority was something that might push the needle for some. I just don't by that it was "the" thing that caused flight when it was such "a" thing that it was just part of society at the time, your right though, I don't know what that was like, but that also means others don't either, and its been really annoying to see others throwing down judgements based on the moral standards we have today, and that is a revision of history. I'm trying to do the opposite. I'm merely conveying, and utilizing my outsider perspective, to look at the time wholistically, and say that there were many other trends, and values that were higher in priority than that one/a thing.

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26 minutes ago, ArtNsf said:

The Ion is caught up in the middle of all of this for good or bad, whether they wanted it or not.  So, I would suggest they not ignore it and face whatever compromises can be made so this project is eventually successful, head on.  We'll be a better city for it and so will Midtown.

 

 

I'm guessing the Ion, being developed by a university endowment rather than a typical developer, is seen as a "soft target," more likely to buy into the idea of a CBA. The coalition demanding the CBA doesn't really have anything to offer the developer other than to publicly support the project (or at least to not oppose it). In this case, since Houston's rules are generally pretty development-friendly, and this project already has the support of the mayor's office, Rice's BATNA is probably no worse than what they'd get with a CBA, depending on how much they value goodwill from this particular set of community groups.

 

A traditional developer would probably not want to set the precedent (this would be the city's first CBA), but a university might.

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

I really don't want to continue the ridiculously off-topic reminiscing of times past, but I have to ask:  What exactly does it mean to have been "stampeded out of there"?

 

Essentially it was a panic reaction to the erosion of a more or less apartheid society.  It was a time when people who supported integration were often referred to as "(slur) lovers," sometimes with spray paint (or worse) - and that was here.  Other places in the deep South were even worse; some still are.  To be sure, there was also an element of not wanting to go from comfortable majority status to being in the minority for fear of being on the receiving end of what had been dished out.

 

My last comment, too, to get back on topic.

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The logic of this thread:

 

1. Racism is bad.

2. The people of Third Ward historically experienced a lot of racism.

3. The site of the Ion, although it was never in a black neighborhood, is located east of Main Street, so that it technically WAS part of Third Ward back when Houston had wards (1840-1905).

4. Therefore the Ion should do something to make up for racism.

5. The Ion weighs more than a duck.

6. The Ion is a witch! Burn her!

7. Requiring the Ion to fix historic racism is smart, since it will encourage a lot of other developers to invest in Third Ward (everything east of Main!) so that they too can join in fixing historic racism.

 

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9 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

The logic of this thread:

 

1. Racism is bad.

2. The people of Third Ward historically experienced a lot of racism.

3. The site of the Ion, although it was never in a black neighborhood, is located east of Main Street, so that it technically WAS part of Third Ward back when Houston had wards (1840-1905).

4. Therefore the Ion should do something to make up for racism.

5. The Ion weighs more than a duck.

6. The Ion is a witch! Burn her!

7. Requiring the Ion to fix historic racism is smart, since it will encourage a lot of other developers to invest in Third Ward (everything east of Main!) so that they too can join in fixing historic racism.

 

 

8. profit???

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On 12/5/2019 at 3:41 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

Lots of good info in here, but.. are you saying that 288/59 caused Third Ward to decline or caused Midtown to decline, or both? From what I understand, Midtown was not historically the business district for Third Ward, which was on Dowling Street/Emancipation Avenue. Why the Dowling Street business district declined and disappeared (and why it was named for a Confederate general) is a legitimate cause for inquiry and perhaps lament. But the businesses in Midtown, up until the neighborhood tanked in the 70's-80's, were mostly white-frequented, as were the churches, hotels, and schools. South Main had a role in the city similar to the role that Westheimer would later play. So I don't think 288/59 impacted Third Ward in any large way except to cut it off from other neighborhoods, which happened to a lot of neighborhoods in central Houston.

 

 

No I'm not saying that the 288/59 freeway caused Midtown to decline. In the fifties and early sixties this was a hub for retail. It had Sears, The Delman theater on the corner of Richmond and Main, a jewelry store, S&H green stamps redemption center a music store, and I believe the Princess Hamburger might have been in this immediate area. Sorry for the nostalgia Houston19514. 

What it did was create a physical boundary that cemented the division of Third Ward. Of course everything left Midtown for the burbs.

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3 hours ago, bobruss said:

No I'm not saying that the 288/59 freeway caused Midtown to decline. In the fifties and early sixties this was a hub for retail. It had Sears, The Delman theater on the corner of Richmond and Main, a jewelry store, S&H green stamps redemption center a music store, and I believe the Princess Hamburger might have been in this immediate area. Sorry for the nostalgia Houston19514. 

What it did was create a physical boundary that cemented the division of Third Ward. Of course everything left Midtown for the burbs.

 

If they had to drive across a freeway to get to Sears and the movie theater, they weren't alone in their suffering. The Heights had to drive under 610 to get to their Sears in Garden Oaks. They had to go across I-10 to get to Washington Ave. River Oaks people had to go across 610 to get to the Galleria. Having to drive across a freeway to go shopping was a common experience for many Houstonians. Still is.

 

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