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Atlantic Station opens with fanfare

Shoppers wowed, but suburbanites find similar stores closer to home

By MARYLIN JOHNSON , A. SCOTT WALTON

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 10/21/05

For some longtime Atlantans, it may be deja vu all over again.

Thursday's opening of 26 Atlantic Station retail shops recalls the open-air feel of Lenox Square when it debuted in 1959.

Like Lenox in its infancy, this shopping area has a little more growing to do. Target announced Thursday that it will join the mix with a 150,000-square-foot store between 18th and 20th streets, adjacent to the retail district, in March 2007. The store will be less than half the size of IKEA's retail space.

Atlantic Station is the large-scale version of the live-work-play concept that's becoming increasingly popular among developers, businesses and home buyers. The "mini-city" of retail, housing and office space is built on the old Atlantic Steel site, linked to Midtown via the 17th Street bridge above the Downtown Connector.

Visitors who strolled the streets and shops Thursday were impressed by the development. Some said it's a nice place to visit, though it won't replace their primary shopping destinations.

While his wife shopped for cosmetics at Dillard's, Jim Saine, 49, marveled at the scene around him. "This is fascinating," said Saine, who works in commercial real estate. "Grocery, retail, restaurants

Edited by citykid09
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I can't see images here at work, but if Rice Village is not "urban", then what is it?

What is urban?

Urban is Atlantic Station, Urban is Downtown Houston, Rice Village seems Urban for Houston because Houston really doesn't have anything better. But if Rice Village were in New York, Chicago, or another city with real urban development, they would laugh at it.

In Houston though, I am glade to see the Memorial Urban Development, and Hopefully other places around town like Town & Counrty, Westcahse, Uptown, the Downtown Pavilions, and others will be true to there plans and build the urban developments they say they will.

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Yeah,

You have to define urban before you start using it. It has many meaning to many people.

To me, that development in Atlanta is no different than the Woodlands towncenter, Sugarland towncenter, and the new Kingwood towncenter which is comming soon.

Rice Village is good example of a natural towncenter that didn't require a developer masterplanning it.

The Atlantic Station is nice, but then again, why are we trying to compare Atlanta and Houston?

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Wow, kjb, I don't really see anything even remotely resembling the design elements of the Woodlands Town Center or Market Street or anything else in the Woodlands. What do you see in that rendering that brings to mind anything from the Woodlands area, just curious...

To me, this project looks and feels more urban industrial rather than residential like is in the Woodlands.

Edited by pineda
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I mean town center and not Market Street.

The town center has the condos and apartments along the riverway with the hotels and a small convention center. There are also offices and and some commercial development.

Market street to me has a lot to go to impress me. I think sugarland is doing it better.

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That last comment about Sugarland is impressive, I guess I'll have to make a roadtrip down that way to go check it out, unless someone has some photos to post. Market Street, IMHO, has really done a great job of encouraging residents to come out to the central park area, especially at nigt and on the weekends, to just hang out. Has Sugarland had similar success in that area?

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I wished market street would have added some apartments.

I agree, watching the kids play in the center was nice. I think Market street can go a little further. Who knows? They are completely finished with it.

I've been to the sugarland town center once. I was impressed with it too. I find the Sugarland one feels a little more dense (my view of urban) than the woodlands one.

I do agree they both achieved their objective, but I just prefere the Sugarland one.

I was hoping the market street development would have been connected to the Mall and on the waterway. It feels a little disconnected.

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They all look manufactured and fake to me.

Faux Urban to be precise.

Yeah they look Faux now, but soon they will age and look like a normal urban area.

I know you guys say that Sugarland, The Woodlands and other areas have this, but thats not in Houston. Why not build something like this in the city of Houston.

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Still crying wolf, eh, citykid? ;)

Thank you. It is so immature in my honest opinion. Goodness, I guess he does not realize he likes Atlanta better than Houston but he just can come to terms of saying that. New urbanism is not trendy within the city limits anyway. That's why you see so much of it in the suburbs. The whole build a whole area at once leaves little charm and character within a whole area of a city. What really erks me about citykid is he cannot appreciate the old urbanity in Houston and always talks about they should get rid of something and build some new urbanist crap. He even says shotguns are tacky to have in the city because we are too large of a city to have shotguns. That's what makes the south different from every other region. Don't destroy urban history. The concept of Atlantic Station looks great but the whole thing does not do it for me because it almost looks like a movie set.

Edited by texasboy
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The Atlantic Station project does a good job of rehabilitating what was once and empty factory/heavy industrial site and provides yet another "point of interest" for the visitor, but it's overall impact on the city of Atlanta will be hard to gauge. I'm concerned that they've done things like put in a Publix grocery and such before really having a handle on its local residential market. The last thing you want to do is bring in the wrong type of retailers, have them go out of business quickly and then create a dynamic where you have a large structure with lots of ground level vacancies. New or not, that can "ghettofy" the area very quickly.

I actually like the design of the project, and it has elements of urbanity, but slapping up new and sparkly within close proximity doesn't automatically make a place urban. I would say Dallas' McKinney Avenue corridor has more of a natural urban element, even though foot traffic on McKinney is pretty disappointing overall.

We'll see as time goes on. In that, I agree with CityKid. Everything needs time to grow into its own sense of authenticity. The Pavillions DT will have to go through such a phase too, but probably for not as long because it is being built within an existing urban environment.

BTW, what other Atlantic Station type projects are on the way in the ATL? I know we regret and lament the slow development of such projects in Houston but there are at least a handful in play as we speak. Sometimes slow progress is sound progress.

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I think you don't see develompent come in that has performed the demographics research.

In the city of Houston itself, much of the retail market is already staked out except for the possibilties that downtown has.

Houston is seen retail being build next to are added onto existing retail location that work. We have very few brand new ones. The only one I can think of is the new Targe going up on Tayor.

Other projects such as Gulfgate and Meyerland build upon existing projects. Even sugarland and the woodlands are building on existing successful establishments.

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Thank you. It is so immature in my honest opinion. Goodness, I guess he does not realize he likes Atlanta better than Houston but he just can come to terms of saying that. New urbanism is not trendy within the city limits anyway. That's why you see so much of it in the suburbs. The whole build a whole area at once leaves little charm and character within a whole area of a city. What really erks me about citykid is he cannot appreciate the old urbanity in Houston and always talks about they should get rid of something and build some new urbanist crap. He even says shotguns are tacky to have in the city because we are too large of a city to have shotguns. That's what makes the south different from every other region. Don't destroy urban history. The concept of Atlantic Station looks great but the whole thing does not do it for me because it almost looks like a movie set.

No I don't like Atlanta more than Houston. I like some of the things Atlanta does to get the attention of people in other cities, like the arist (rappers) from that city make sure people know their city and whats in it unlike rappers from Houston. Also that city gets way more media attention because of all of the cable networks based there. If you think about people that aren't from Houston really know nothing about the city. I was watching ABC13 last night and they were talking about how the city of Houston hopes that by helping the victums of Hurricane Katrina and by making it to the World Series, that the rest of the nation will notice the city of Houston. What kind of S**t is that? Is that all Houston have to become known to the rest of the nation? Why don't people know Houston? Is it because they already have a negative image of Houston?

The shout guns are tacky. Would you live in one? I don't think so, and the people living in them now I am more than sure they wouldn't want to llive in them.

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No I don't like Atlanta more than Houston. I like some of the things Atlanta does to get the attention of people in other cities, like the arist (rappers) from that city make sure people know their city and whats in it unlike rappers from Houston. Also that city gets way more media attention because of all of the cable networks based there. If you think about people that aren't from Houston really know nothing about the city. I was watching ABC13 last night and they were talking about how the city of Houston hopes that by helping the victums of Hurricane Katrina and by making it to the World Series, that the rest of the nation will notice the city of Houston. What kind of S**t is that? Is that all Houston have to become known to the rest of the nation? Why don't people know Houston? Is it because they already have a negative image of Houston?

The shout guns are tacky. Would you live in one? I don't think so, and the people living in them now I am more than sure they wouldn't want to llive in them.

No comment on the first paragraph. :rolleyes: You have some points but I am tired of the whole rap stuff. Actually yes I would live in a shotgun, if they were fixed up and the surrounding neighborhood was also. There are some shotguns in midtown that are fixed up and I wouldn't mind living in those. Shotguns in New Orlens do not go for hundreds of thousands of dollars for nothing. The one thing I have learned about you, is that you have a souless view on cities like Houston. Shotguns have different styles and can be quite nice when fixed up. You just cannot appreciate history.

http://img465.imageshack.us/img465/5607/a6lh.jpg

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Trust me, I travel to Europe for work, and people know about Houston.

And poor people have to live somewhere!

You got a problem with poor people?

No, am am saying they don't want to live there. Shoutgun houses are not the only housing options for poor people in houston.

Take a look at these houses for the poor in NYC.

2004_1_projects3.jpg

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I also think I've had about enough of the "here's some other city's brand new something, let's do exactly the same thing even though no one knows if its a good idea or not but they have it so we should too" posts. I heartily agree on the movie set appearance of this kind of development. Its become so contrived to the point that its just not attractive anymore. This looks exactly like Reston Town Center, and Pentagon City in the DC area. And both, while glittering and better than what was there before, is never what I would call "urban". Are there areas in houston that would look better with massive redevelopment? Definitely. Do i want the same exact thing to the tee as this? Not at all.

No, am am saying they don't want to live there. Shoutgun houses are not the only housing options for poor people in houston.

Take a look at these houses for the poor in NYC.

2004_1_projects3.jpg

is that the Sty Town apartment complex on the lower east side? If that is the one I'm thinking of, my friend lived in these, its one of the largest apartment complexes in NYC. Huge, had basically its own little village. Was not for the poor at all, young professionals lived there and they paid around $1000 a person for a 3 bedroom apartment. I don't think just flashing apartments from NY is really an accurate portrayal. Half the apartments in NYC look like hell from the outside and are pretty nice.

NYC = urban.

This other Atlanta crap = new cookie cutter psuedo urban derivative crap. Basically the Ashlee Simpson version of urban.

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No comment on the first paragraph. :rolleyes: You have some points but I am tired of the whole rap stuff. Actually yes I would live in a shotgun, if they were fixed up and the surrounding neighborhood was also. There are some shotguns in midtown that are fixed up and I wouldn't mind living in those. Shotguns in New Orlens do not go for hundreds of thousands of dollars for nothing. The one thing I have learned about you, is that you have a souless view on cities like Houston. Shotguns have different styles and can be quite nice when fixed up. You just cannot appreciate history.

http://img465.imageshack.us/img465/5607/a6lh.jpg

a6lh.jpg

Ok now these are nice, but the ones in the 3rd and 5th wards of Houston do not look like that. I was in one of those wards the other day (the one by U of H) I think 5th ward, and it was one of the trashest place I had ever seen. I mean it was trash all in the street old run down boarded up buildings. Now who in there right mind would want to live somewhere like that if they did not have to. If the people in those areas cared about there neighborhood they would clean up. But some of those people just don't give a damn so delelopers come in a fix those areas up, which I am all for.

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Please. You are not a very innovative person. If you think some of those areas cannot be fixed up in their current condition, you are batty. New Orleans may have a reputation of not being the most cleanest cities but they have some neighborhoods that use to be in deplorable conditions that are now some of the most beautiful and unique cities in the country. No visitors are truly going to give a rat's ass about what is really a town center. Sixth Ward is taking huge steps to clean up and people are moving in.

Here is a rendering of one of Houston's plans to clean up one of the wards.

a4bi.jpg

Edited by texasboy
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Please. You are not a very innovative person. If you think some of those areas cannot be fixed up in their current condition, you are batty. New Orleans may have a reputation of not being the most cleanest cities but they have some neighborhoods that use to be in deplorable conditions that are now some of the most beautiful and unique cities in the country. No visitors are truly going to give a rat's ass about what is really a town center. Sixth Ward is taking huge steps to clean up and people are moving in.

Here is a rendering of one of Houston's plans to clean up one of the wards.

a4bi.jpg

Know that if 5th ward looked like that I would not complain at all. They would have to do a lot of work though. I remember seeing that rendering from a long time ago and I know that none of that has started yet.

Honestly, do you think that will ever happen?

Edited by citykid09
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Know if 5th ward looked like that I would not complain at all. They would have to do a lot of work though. I remember seeing that rendering from a long time ago and I know that none of that has started yet.

Honestly, do you think that will ever happen?

I think that is the problem with this city. They are in for making the quick buck instead of taking some dollars and adopting a block and actually fixing things up one at a time. The fact that you are all for tearing down things really bothers me. As far as the rendering, that is not even Fifth Ward, but I believe that is Fourth Ward where some steps have been made, but developers are taking over that neighborhhod also.

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The Atlantic Station project does a good job of rehabilitating what was once and empty factory/heavy industrial site and provides yet another "point of interest" for the visitor, but it's overall impact on the city of Atlanta will be hard to gauge. I'm concerned that they've done things like put in a Publix grocery and such before really having a handle on its local residential market. The last thing you want to do is bring in the wrong type of retailers, have them go out of business quickly and then create a dynamic where you have a large structure with lots of ground level vacancies. New or not, that can "ghettofy" the area very quickly.

Ummmm...have you ever been to Midtown Atlanta? The place is booming with residential development (mostly new high-rise condos and apartment-to-condo conversions), and sorely needed a close-in supermarket and other retail shopping areas. My Dad used to live right across from the downtown connector in the Metropolis condos, and he would have to practically go to Buckhead to go to a grocery store. Shopping was closer, but you still had to go to Lennox or Phipps Plaza. Now you can basically walk to some good stores and shops. Plus, the Midtown area of Atlanta is a great place, and I can't imagine it going "ghettofy" anytime in the next decade. This type of development just made it that much better....

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This kind of fits in here:

This article mentions how Houston doesn't have an anthem. You have got to admit, Houston needs an anthem.

CtH8BOcu.jpg

The differences between Chicago and Houston sometimes seem to be like night and day. (AP)

Houston, Chicago: Tale of two cities

Astros, White Sox as unique, different as their home bases

By Mark Newman / MLB.com

Chicago is the third-largest city in America.

Houston is fourth.

It means that representatives of two of the four largest cities in the country will meet in a World Series for the first time since 1981, when the Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 2 in population) defeated the New York Yankees (No. 1).

They may be new to this World Series business, but these are without question two humongous metropolitan slices of Americana. They are alike in many ways. They are polar opposites in many ways. Here is a tale of two World Series cities:

Chicago is the El Train.

Houston is the railroad that created a city, symbolized by the train that roars from beyond center field to left field at Minute Maid Park.

Chicago is the Sears Tower, once the tallest building in the world.

Houston is the Astrodome, once the "eighth wonder of the world."

Chicago is the birthplace of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Houston is home to Rice University.

Chicago is "my kind of town," according to Frank Sinatra. It was "Sweet Home Chicago" to anyone who watched the "Blues Brothers," and the group Chicago had hit after hit.

"Houston means I'm one step closer to you," according to the Gatlin Brothers, but just one Internet search and you realize this city needs an anthem.

Chicago is the new home to Boeing, making it the area's largest company.

Houston is the home of Continental Airlines, which flies Boeing jets.

Chicago is lake-effect snow in the winter.

Houston is Gulf-effect humidity in the summer.

Chicago invented the zipper.

Houston is most appreciative.

Chicago is the Adler Planetarium, which was the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Houston is the home of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which has controlled the flight of spacecraft pointed at places long watched at Adler.

Chicago is where a young man named Hugh Hefner started a publication called Playboy on South Harper Street in 1953.

Houston is where a young girl named Beyonce once practiced her songs on customers at her mother's Headliners Hair Salon on Bissonnet Street, before one day becoming a pop diva with Destiny's Child.

Chicago is mighty Sue, the largest T-Rex skeleton to be uncovered, and well known to visitors at the Field Museum.

Houston is Dinosaur Valley State Park, with its 45-foot fiberglass T-Rex that was originally built for the 1964 World's Fair in New York. It's 283 miles up the road in Glen Rose, Texas, but hey, it's a big state.

Chicago is Nancy Faust's organ music at White Sox games.

Houston is the loud, droning sound of bees at Astros games.

Chicago is Rush Street late at night, Michigan Avenue along the lakefront, and Western Avenue -- the longest street in the world. It's traffic on the Eisenhower or Kennedy.

Houston is a walk down Dallas Street, among one giant energy company after another. It's traffic on the Katy Freeway, and a loop around I-610.

Chicago is where Arthur Andersen once was the fifth largest of the Big Five accounting firms until it surrendered its Certified Public Accounting license in 2002 mainly because...

Houston is where Enron symbolized a tech-bubble era and imploded in a major corporate scandal that smashed a lot of nest eggs.

Chicago is another go-round on the Ferris wheel, the first of which made its debut in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition there.

Houston is another go-round on a bucking bull. It is home to one of the world's largest rodeos -- the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Chicago is usually too cold, but sometimes it is just right.

Houston is usually too hot, but sometimes it is just right.

Chicago is the location of the world's first atomic reaction -- at the University of Chicago.

Houston is the Texas Medical Center -- the largest medical center in the world.

Chicago was "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Houston was "Urban Cowboy."

Chicago was the Great Fire.

Houston is a fire under every barbecue.

Chicago is a White Sox team that wears black and white.

Houston is an Astros team that has worn every color in the rainbow.

Chicago is the North.

Houston is the South.

Chicago is water: Lake Michigan.

Houston is oil.

Water and oil are about to mix in the World Series. There is a first time for everything, and Chicago and Houston are about to create another.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article...5news&fext=.jsp

Edited by citykid09
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Houston is the shiny new silver dollar that people eagerly reach for when they see one lying glistening in the sun on the sidewalk, Chicago is the slightly worn out and dirty old penny lying in the street that people don't even stop to pick up anymore. (GO 'STROS!!!!!)

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How eTarded!

And Houston is NOT in the South. It's Southwest! Even Drayton said so when he accepted the trophy.

The South starts somewhere near Baton Rouge!

Acctually we are apart of the South, We aren't in the deep South, but we are in the south. I use to be ashamed of that and use to say that Texas was in the West or South West, but now I am proud to be from the South. If you look at a map, this part of Texas is more Southern and West Texas is much more closer to the South West and West.

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Hey. I like Atlantic Station. The urban concept is there. The only thing I do not like is the properties would have been better if they were incorporated into downtown or central midtown, not on the outskirts. The whole thing kind of does look like something at Universl now that I look at it. Would I prefer for Houston to have something like this? Probably not. There is too much potential for Houston to revitalize the downtown and steps are being made so we will not have to build a built from scratch retail district that represents Atlantic Station. And hey, I love shotguns also. :)

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Hey. I like Atlantic Station. The urban concept is there. The only thing I do not like is the properties would have been better if they were incorporated into downtown or central midtown, not on the outskirts. The whole thing kind of does look like something at Universl now that I look at it. Would I prefer for Houston to have something like this? Probably not. There is too much potential for Houston to revitalize the downtown and steps are being made so we will not have to build a built from scratch retail district that represents Atlantic Station. And hey, I love shotguns also. :)

I agree they should have incorporated it into midtown. I also said the samrthing about the one in Sugarland. They should have built the Sugarland town center in an area where streets already exist, instead of way up in that corner where its hard to get to.

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Houston is the shiny new silver dollar that people eagerly reach for when they see one lying glistening in the sun on the sidewalk, Chicago is the slightly worn out and dirty old penny lying in the street that people don't even stop to pick up anymore. (GO 'STROS!!!!!)

So I guess Atlanta is the Redheaded step-child of the South. We sure beat them like one. :lol:

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Chicago this.

Atlanta that.

Blah, blah and blah.

What's with this inferiority complex some of you guys have about Houston?

Houston is a great southwestern city. I was trying to think what the first word spoken from tthe surface of the moon...someone help me out here?

We don't need to try to be an Atlanta or Dallas or Chicago. We need to be better-and in many aspects we are. Personally I don't want a lily white version of some Sugarland or Woodlands crap in my city. I can go to those same stores and more in the Galleria. I like urban grit. I like lots of different people interacting. Go downtown tomorrow night. Watch the Astros play a World Series game on the side of a building. There you will see what Houston is all about.

So I guess Atlanta is the Redheaded step-child of the South. We sure beat them like one. :lol:

Beat em' like a bad piece of meat, I'd say! :lol:

B)

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Chicago this.

Atlanta that.

Blah, blah and blah.

What's with this inferiority complex some of you guys have about Houston?

Houston is a great southwestern city. I was trying to think what the first word spoken from tthe surface of the moon...someone help me out here?

We don't need to try to be an Atlanta or Dallas or Chicago. We need to be better-and in many aspects we are. Personally I don't want a lily white version of some Sugarland or Woodlands crap in my city. I can go to those same stores and more in the Galleria. I like urban grit. I like lots of different people interacting. Go downtown tomorrow night. Watch the Astros play a World Series game on the side of a building. There you will see what Houston is all about.

Beat em' like a bad piece of meat, I'd say! :lol:

B)

:angry::angry::angry: HHHEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL YYYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!

NMAINGUY RULES!!!!

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Mabye you should correct Drayton while you are at it.

Houston is NOT the south.

Never has been, never will be.

Maybe Outkast can sing a song about it!

In all actuality, Chicago is not the North either. The writer took a few liberties with his North/South contrast, probably because Midwest/Southwest sounds too close to the same. The only thing to say for sure is that for the next week to 10 days, the entire nation will be watching two great teams from two great cities, the only difference being that one of them will have blue skies and highs in the mid 70s, while the other will be wet and in the 40s. :P

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Yeah, and I'm sure Citykid would love to build some of these very "urban" homes next to his Houston version of Atlantic Station:

ekn5ty.jpg

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