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Hanover Rice Village: Multifamily At 2455 Dunstan Rd.


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The design of it is okay overall, except with the exception of the little cul-de-sac where I assume people are supposed to be dropped off in. Those have a tendency to get backed up quickly and even from the drawings, it appears that the turn is too tight for anything larger than a mid-size.

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The design of it is okay overall, except with the exception of the little cul-de-sac where I assume people are supposed to be dropped off in. Those have a tendency to get backed up quickly and even from the drawings, it appears that the turn is too tight for anything larger than a mid-size.

The "cul-de-sacs" serve as entry points into the concealed parking garage... and more importantly... there is a large pedestrian area between these two drives to serve the restaurants and foot traffic in the development. This is why (and where) the city is considering closing that block of Bolsover. There is not much through traffic on Bolsover anyway, so I say close it. How nice would it be to have a pedestrian plaza in the midst of the Rice Village? (as opposed to dodging cars every 10 feet!).

I don't mind the design at all. It ties in with some of the architecture at nearby Rice University - which is also "faux Italian" or "faux Mediterranean" if we are honest about it... and I, for one, treasure that campus.

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Well, I understand, but the thing is traffic flow. You have some schmuck who doesn't know how to make a tight turn while Jr. is arguing with his mom about how much money he can spend and it'll be instant gridlock.

if they widened the area by a couple of feet, I'm sure it would be more adequate.

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  • 4 weeks later...

RICE VILLAGE

A new vibe

Change may doom mom and pop shops

By DAVID KAPLAN

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The cozy Village got a big jolt in the 1990s when Weingarten Realty developed Village Arcade on University Boulevard. Stretching two blocks, the Arcade brought in national tenants including the Gap and Banana Republic.

The immense brick center

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I believe in preserving the architecture and small-town feel of the place, perhaps even enhancing the 1930s-40s look some, but as much as I hate to see the mom+pops go, I accept the inevitablity of economics eventually driving most of them away.

I remember 5 and dimes being everywhere as a kid, but they were almost like today's dollar stores. Having one in Rice Village made sense when West U was still reasonably middle class but those days are long gone.

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"What's amazing to me is that so many people in America don't care if their neighborhood loses its uniqueness," he said. Variety Fair's Irby, meanwhile, is weighing her options. After being in the same spot 58 years, she doesn't want to move, and she can't make too many changes in her store, which carries many visual reminders of her comical, sweet-natured late father and store founder Ben Klinger.

"It's whole purpose is to remind people of how stores used to be,'' said Irby.

"After all, we are a 5-and-10."

______________________

stinks - explanation? see rants in the river oaks theater thread

:angry:

Edited by sevfiv
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The large majority of people who spend money (and I money the people who REALLY spend the money) in that area gleefully tore down existing 1930's West U homes to build their generic McMansions...you can forget about these people feeling any pangs of nostalgia for the original Rice Village.

That development will happen, and so will many others that will wipe out what is left of the Village.

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Lets see.. In every other thread board members rightfully gripe about all the CVS type parcels with wide street facing parking lots, and endless stripcenters behind deserts of concrete. We hear all the complaints about a lack of urban infrastructure. Here we have a developer wanting to build a 7 story building in the heart of a high foot traffic commercial zone, that will cater to our very urban desires. 6 floors of residential, bottom floor of retail, and no wasted street level parking via an underground parking garage.

I agree that you can't win them all, but in the bigger picture I wouldn't consider this a loss - especially in a city with no zoning.

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Wait, Rice Village will have residents within its boundaries? From what I can tell, there are no condos and apartments actually in Rice Village.

If Rice Village gets residents, this is where they would be zoned to (assuming zoning boundaries stay current):

* Poe Elementary School - http://es.houstonisd.org/poees/

* Lanier Middle School - http://ms.houstonisd.org/lanierms/

* Lamar High School - http://hs.houstonisd.org/lamarhs/

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i have to agree with jeebus. this project is taking into consideration the pedestrian friendly nature of the village. it is not going to be ugly. as far as i know, it is not destroying any significant structures (correct me if i'm wrong). this is good for the village.

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Wait, Rice Village will have residents within its boundaries? From what I can tell, there are no condos and apartments actually in Rice Village.

If Rice Village gets residents, this is where they would be zoned to (assuming zoning boundaries stay current):

* Poe Elementary School - http://es.houstonisd.org/poees/

* Lanier Middle School - http://ms.houstonisd.org/lanierms/

* Lamar High School - http://hs.houstonisd.org/lamarhs/

In reality, there are a set of apartments right next door to the Kelvin Arms Pub! I don't know if that's technical in the village or not, but I certainly consider it so.

I agree, that particular part of the Village has been a bit of a dead zone for awhile and there really isn't much that's there.

Of course, we WILL be losing that charming Wallgreens on Kelvin. But I think I might be able to tolerate that loss if I drink enough.

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In reality, there are a set of apartments right next door to the Kelvin Arms Pub! I don't know if that's technical in the village or not, but I certainly consider it so.

I agree, that particular part of the Village has been a bit of a dead zone for awhile and there really isn't much that's there.

Of course, we WILL be losing that charming Wallgreens on Kelvin. But I think I might be able to tolerate that loss if I drink enough.

The apartments are in the village, and they are zoned to the three mentioned schools.

See http://www.ricevillageonline.com/show_map_...es.php?show=250

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i have to agree with jeebus. this project is taking into consideration the pedestrian friendly nature of the village. it is not going to be ugly. as far as i know, it is not destroying any significant structures (correct me if i'm wrong). this is good for the village.

i think that theoretically, this would be a good thing, but it is disheartening to hear about how it may affect current nearby tenants.

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i think that theoretically, this would be a good thing, but it is disheartening to hear about how it may affect current nearby tenants.

Exactly.

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All you have to do is support locally owned businesses and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

Speaking of local businesses, there is a great family owned French restaurant on Eldridge near Briar Forest in west Houston called Le Mistral. If you can afford 25 dollar entrees and 8 dollar salads, I highly recommend it.

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So what do we do? Coddle the Mom & Pop shops? By doing so aren't we fostering a communistic environment by preventing capitalism to take place? At what cost do we protect the small business owner?

Give major tax breaks and subsidies to small businesses after they have established themselves for, say ten years, and make it even sweeter after twenty years. Pass ordinances to protect the leases of those businesses if they don't have their own structures.

All you have to do is support locally owned businesses and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

Unfortunately, that's not true. Neither the River Oaks Theatre, the Bookstop, or Variety Fair is hurting for business. They are in danger from market forces that are external to their business. You and I could go to movies at the ROT and shop at Bookstop and Variety Fair every day and it wouldn't make a difference if their owners want to use the land for something else.

I'm _really_ worried about this, speaking as someone who's lived in Houston since 1980. Without any real evidence, my gut tells me that the following will not last the next decade:

Brazos Bookstore

Murder by the Book

Audio Video Plus

Houston Shoe Hospital

Most of the Village on University and Rice Boulevards

Sandman Center

The older businesses at Bellaire and Bissonnet

Sorry, but I have real trouble with the idea of free-enterprise being the best solution in these cases. If we lose these plus the ones currently in danger, we will have sustained a major loss of our cultural fabric, particularly if they are replaced by housing or big-box retail.

Marty

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Pass ordinances to protect the leases of those businesses if they don't have their own structures.

Uh, no. Here's how historical preservation ordinances can work without causing a lot of unintended consequences within the real estate markets:

Pass an ordinance allowing a 90-day moratorium on the eviction/demolition process that begins on the day that an eviction notice is served or demolition permit is registered. During that moratorium, the City provides an insured fund with a commercial broker managing and promoting that fund; individual members of the public can then invest money toward the purposes of buying or leasing the building or the tenant's space on behalf of the tenant(s). At the end of the 90 days, the broker begins negotiations with the building owner for the building or lease space.

If the fund and the owner can come to an agreement, then the investors into that fund become either the leaseholders or the property owners, and the protected tenant(s) now must pay a prearranged sum per month that is subject to a prearranged escalation clause. All the terms are prearranged so that investors into the fund have some degree of certainty as to the financial returns. If there are any excess monies after the purchase is made, they would immediately be distributed back to investors in proportionate sums.

If the funds amassed are insufficient to persuade the current owner to sell/lease the space in question, then all of the money is returned to the respective investors. That would signal that the current owner is making a decision that they think would result in more profit to them than can be had by selling to the fund. If you bear in mind that profit can only be generated by providing goods and services that are valued by the public, then in this case, it would stand to reason that insufficient cash in the fund translates to insufficient demand by the public for 'historical' tenants/buildings relative to the public's demand for newer tenants/buildings and the services provided therein.

If we lose these plus the ones currently in danger, we will have sustained a major loss of our cultural fabric, particularly if they are replaced by housing or big-box retail.

God forbid that we wind up with housing all in and around our retail districts...shopkeeps must shudder at the thought. <_<

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If you bear in mind that profit can only be generated by providing goods and services that are valued by the public, then in this case, it would stand to reason that insufficient cash in the fund translates to insufficient demand by the public for 'historical' tenants/buildings relative to the public's demand for newer tenants/buildings and the services provided therein.

Well, yes. That's why I used the word "cultural" and why I'm suggesting a government-driven solution. From a dollars-and-cents perspective it probably never makes sense to subsidize small mom-and-pop businesses or try to maintain the charm of an early suburban shopping district. Not from the point of view of tax revenues and not from the point of view of property owners. Only if you consider the shopping experience (and similarly, the dining experience for certain restaurants) to be part of the city's fabric and the public good. And what I'm proposing would really only protect established, successful businesses from forces beyond their control, not prop up failing concerns or prevent redevelopment of undeveloped or badly neglected areas.

God forbid that we wind up with housing all in and around our retail districts...shopkeeps must shudder at the thought. <_<

I'm sure the ones whose family businesses would be obliterated to build the apartments are already shuddering.

The renderings are kinda pretty. Not particularly in keeping with the scale of the Village, but pretty. But there are a bunch of pretty apartment buildings in town (and some not so pretty) and only one Variety Fair. There was also only one World Toy and Gift, and one Village Theatre, and one Jones Apothecary and one Rice Food Market, and even one Weingartens grocery store. Hard to say that the Village is better off without them now.

Marty

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Well, yes. That's why I used the word "cultural" and why I'm suggesting a government-driven solution. From a dollars-and-cents perspective it probably never makes sense to subsidize small mom-and-pop businesses or try to maintain the charm of an early suburban shopping district. Not from the point of view of tax revenues and not from the point of view of property owners. Only if you consider the shopping experience (and similarly, the dining experience for certain restaurants) to be part of the city's fabric and the public good.

I don't think you quite understood what I'm suggesting. An investor in the City-backed fund, though expecting to receive a stream of dividends from becoming a part-owner, would almost NEVER be expected to earn a market-rate return. What they'd be doing, in essence, is donating a part of the financial returns to the cause of preserving a tenant or a building.

If people really appreciate a place, they'll donate money...especially if the account is insured by the city and it just gets returned to them in full if the attempt at preservation is ultimately unsuccessful. Why should the hand of government force everybody to subsidize something that only some will ever use (or even know about)? Are you so personally concerned about this that you'd be willing to dictate that all your neighbors must pay as well, even if they could care less?

Moreover, why should the City of Houston subsidize something that people from beyond the City will use? In the case of Rice Village, residents of West U would be free riders, not having to pay a dime to enjoy the benefit of the historical/cultural preservation. A preservation fund would open it up to everyone of every income bracket and of every geographic area.

And what I'm proposing would really only protect established, successful businesses from forces beyond their control, not prop up failing concerns or prevent redevelopment of undeveloped or badly neglected areas.

I'm sure the ones whose family businesses would be obliterated to build the apartments are already shuddering.

I know that that is your intent and I trust that you are ethical enough to personally administer such a program. But you aren't in charge and I don't trust our present or future politicians to use such a potentially powerful ordinance in ways that are necessarily responsible.

The renderings are kinda pretty. Not particularly in keeping with the scale of the Village, but pretty. But there are a bunch of pretty apartment buildings in town (and some not so pretty) and only one Variety Fair. There was also only one World Toy and Gift, and one Village Theatre, and one Jones Apothecary and one Rice Food Market, and even one Weingartens grocery store. Hard to say that the Village is better off without them now.

The existing tenants may not like the change at all...but what about every other retailer at the center that will suddenly find themselves within walking distance of a bunch of wealthy residents? The essence of your argument for preservation is that the interests of the few (owners/developers) must be put aside for the interests of the many (residents). But within a different context, wouldn't killing a residential tower planned for the middle of a commercial district be putting aside the interests of a few retailers for the many others in that district? Not to mention the interests of the prospective future residents...

Makes for something a philosophical incongruity.

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Rice Village "Going Up"

I proposed we merge this thread, how do we do this!? :blink::unsure::mellow:

Done. The most recent of these two topics started out slightly different but has since warranted merging.

The renderings are kinda pretty. Not particularly in keeping with the scale of the Village, but pretty

The Weingarten brick project already looks out of place there and now this? The Houston hodge-podge just keeps on truckin.

Niche, your idea would be interesting to see tried but I would guess that it wouldn't result in many saved buildings. When it comes right down to it, most of the people who want the historic buildings saved aren't willing to contribute much money towards doing so, myself included. If I had more money, then I would. Plus, for every 10 people who want to donate to the fund, maybe 2 will actually do it. That's not to say that there wouldn't be enough "demand", but average citizens would rather have their City and representatives take action for them. People just aren't used to the rigors of Libertarianism yet.

I think the City needs to step in somewhat and direct at least the designs of certain projects in certain areas, like this one. A design ordinance could say that all new projects pass a City architectural committee which, in this case, might say that all structures must resemble a 1930s-40s style. I think that would add much to Houston and not detract from the developer's goals. There should be some balance between the free market's short-term interests and the City's longer-term ones.

Having no architectural continuity anywhere makes it look like the City has little or no planning and little or no taste, and I would think that a lack in those areas is not in the best interests of the majority.

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Done. The most recent of these two topics started out slightly different but has since warranted merging.

The Weingarten brick project already looks out of place there and now this? The Houston hodge-podge just keeps on truckin.

Niche, your idea would be interesting to see tried but I would guess that it wouldn't result in many saved buildings. When it comes right down to it, most of the people who want the historic buildings saved aren't willing to contribute much money towards doing so, myself included. If I had more money, then I would. Plus, for every 10 people who want to donate to the fund, maybe 2 will actually do it. That's not to say that there wouldn't be enough "demand", but average citizens would rather have their City and representatives take action for them. People just aren't used to the rigors of Libertarianism yet.

I think the City needs to step in somewhat and direct at least the designs of certain projects in certain areas, like this. A design ordinance could say that all new projects pass a City architectural committee which, in this case, might say that all structures must resemble a 1930s-40s style. I think that would add much to Houston and not detract from the developer's goals. There should be some balance between the free market's short-term interests and the City's longer-term ones.

Having no architectural continuity anywhere makes it look like the City has little or no planning and little or no taste, and I would think that a lack in those areas is not in the best interests of the majority.

I agree with you, but I really like this development.

What I don't get about these developers is that if Houston is so damn big, why do the insist on knocking down building that already exsit, and affecting areas that people dont want changed. Why not find an empty spot and plenty of developers join togeather and build there own little district how ever they want with no one telling them what to do.

Or why don't Houston citizens just vote for zoning?

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i drove by the block that this is being developed on and i think it will be great there. it will provide a shot of adrenaline to the area. the residents who live here will add to the customer base of existing rice village retailers and restaurants.

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It is hard for me to get too upset with this development. The time to be alarmed was in the 90s, when they razed a 2 block area to build the Arcade. That gutted the Village. This development is not gutting it. This cannot be compared to River Oaks, where the period architecture is completely intact.

As for tenants losing their leases, well, that is the nature of leasing. Every small business owner knows two bad things can happen while leasing...the rent will go up, or the landlord will refuse to renew the lease. It is the nature of the beast. They do not need or deserve any special protection.

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It is hard for me to get too upset with this development. The time to be alarmed was in the 90s, when they razed a 2 block area to build the Arcade. That gutted the Village. This development is not gutting it. This cannot be compared to River Oaks, where the period architecture is completely intact.

As for tenants losing their leases, well, that is the nature of leasing. Every small business owner knows two bad things can happen while leasing...the rent will go up, or the landlord will refuse to renew the lease. It is the nature of the beast. They do not need or deserve any special protection.

I agree completely with both points.

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Niche, your idea would be interesting to see tried but I would guess that it wouldn't result in many saved buildings. When it comes right down to it, most of the people who want the historic buildings saved aren't willing to contribute much money towards doing so, myself included. If I had more money, then I would. Plus, for every 10 people who want to donate to the fund, maybe 2 will actually do it. That's not to say that there wouldn't be enough "demand", but average citizens would rather have their City and representatives take action for them. People just aren't used to the rigors of Libertarianism yet.

Oh, I wouldn't begin to think that more than a handful of buildings/tenants could be saved by this method. But one of the advantages of such a measure would be that people would tend to invest selectively and with forethought as to prioritization. That prevents gross misapplication of the law in ways that could be disruptive to the local investment environment. See, one of my major concerns with "historical/cultural protection" ordinances is that they will be misapplied by political special interests to prevent whole neighborhoods from undergoing redevelopment. I could forsee something like that coming into play in the 3rd Ward area, where certain individuals have an interest in maintaining a large cluster of poor minority voters. I could also envision cases where powerful ordinances are invoked to spite a particular developer or where developers needing a variance wind up making campaign contributions or engaging in outright bribery to get favors approved.

Also, rather than an ordinance strictly limiting someone's freedoms, a City-backed fund has the effect of empowering the masses in such a way that everybody can win...but only if the masses really want something and are willing to pay for it themselves. The issue of "a vocal few" that seems to crop up in these matters is entirely put to bed.

I think the City needs to step in somewhat and direct at least the designs of certain projects in certain areas, like this one. A design ordinance could say that all new projects pass a City architectural committee which, in this case, might say that all structures must resemble a 1930s-40s style. I think that would add much to Houston and not detract from the developer's goals. There should be some balance between the free market's short-term interests and the City's longer-term ones.

Having no architectural continuity anywhere makes it look like the City has little or no planning and little or no taste, and I would think that a lack in those areas is not in the best interests of the majority.

This is where I've got to disagree with you completely. I personally think that building new 'old' buildings is very limiting, especially if applied to a land area as large as the City of Houston. Seems like it would discourage architectural innovation and creativity. My perception of Houston from the standpoint of the architectural critic is that Houston is "forever new", "dynamic", and "individualistic". The discontinuity offers up juxtapositions that simply don't exist elsewhere. It is what makes us unique.

Locking in architectural styles in neighborhoods according to the era that they were originally developed would be very anti-climactic. Rather than looking to the future, it would signal that we look to the past. How boring.

Btw, only individuals have taste. No city has it or can have it.

Edited by TheNiche
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Also, rather than an ordinance strictly limiting someone's freedoms, a City-backed fund has the effect of empowering the masses in such a way that everybody can win...but only if the masses really want something and are willing to pay for it themselves. The issue of "a vocal few" that seems to crop up in these matters is entirely put to bed.

Good idea but it is not practical. What are the odds that this city-backed fund would ever get a fair sales price? What's to stop developers from threatening demolition just to be able to flip their property for an inflated price?

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Good idea but it is not practical. What are the odds that this city-backed fund would ever get a fair sales price? What's to stop developers from threatening demolition just to be able to flip their property for an inflated price?

To clarify on a couple of points, "fair" sales price doesn't necessarily equal "market" sales price. If negotiations are assumed to be efficient, then the final sales price will compensate the owner/developer for the market value of the land and improvements in addition to the risk-adjusted profit potential calculated by the developer for their redevelopment. That is a sales price that is "fair" to the developers because it does not deprive them of the rights to utilize their property as they see fit without just compensation, but it is also "fair" to the investors because they have willfully put up as much money as they have.

It is also important to note that the owner/developer doesn't know how much money is in the fund. That information is confidential. With that in mind, a broker can negotiate just about as effectively as could a Realtor representing someone who is willing and able to pay more for a home but doesn't want to.

You've got a good point with the extortion hypothesis. It can be strongly discouraged with minimal adverse repercussions, however, by requiring that demolition permits be filed simultaneously with building permits or by requiring by some other means that the developer prove that they've got the ball rolling on something to replace the building in question. Planning for big new projects requires large cash outlays that an owner/developer would probably be unwilling to commit to unless there was a guarantee that the public would put enough cash into the fund to save the building in question. Except possibly in a very few cases, the gambit wouldn't pay off. Some developers might try to get around this by just stating that they didn't plan to build anything on the site after knocking down a particular building, then 'changing their minds' at some point a month or so down the line. To prevent this, the City may implement rules that would place a several-year moratorium on issuance of building permits for lands on which a historical building was demolished. Most developers aren't going to be willing to make that long of a hold.

Measures like those that I have suggested certainly aren't going to be 100% effective at combating the extortion hypothesis, but they will go a long way toward solving that problem. Also, the methods that I've mentioned are by no means exhaustive. I'm sure that a good City lawyer could come up with a number of good (probably even better) ways to thwart such gambits.

Edited by TheNiche
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See, one of my major concerns with "historical/cultural protection" ordinances is that they will be misapplied by political special interests to prevent whole neighborhoods from undergoing redevelopment. I could forsee something like that coming into play in the 3rd Ward area, where certain individuals have an interest in maintaining a large cluster of poor minority voters. I could also envision cases where powerful ordinances are invoked to spite a particular developer or where developers needing a variance wind up making campaign contributions or engaging in outright bribery to get favors approved.

But if political groups are able to muster enough interest to get their neighborhood protected under a preservation ordinance, then they are no longer "special interests" but "the market". I also think that any ordinance should have a time limit of maybe 10 years where another vote would have to take place.

Yes, a preservation ordinance could be misapplied but I don't see any way to prevent that. If the homes and buildings qualify then the result would still be the same. Eventually rising land values will probably foil such a political plot anyway by bringing in, as Garnet Coleman put it, the ones that "are walking their dogs". And then you end up with a neighborhood with a lot of cute bungalows and maybe some dumpy old apartments too, but even those can be fixed up. From what I've seen and read, a lot of the areas that have a historic designation end up going up in value and becoming islands of high-desirablity.

So the developers have to go somewhere else. Big deal. They'll find some other spot more willing to be reinvented.

This is where I've got to disagree with you completely. I personally think that building new 'old' buildings is very limiting, especially if applied to a land area as large as the City of Houston. Seems like it would discourage architectural innovation and creativity. My perception of Houston from the standpoint of the architectural critic is that Houston is "forever new", "dynamic", and "individualistic". The discontinuity offers up juxtapositions that simply don't exist elsewhere. It is what makes us unique.

Locking in architectural styles in neighborhoods according to the era that they were originally developed would be very anti-climactic. Rather than looking to the future, it would signal that we look to the past. How boring.

Btw, only individuals have taste. No city has it or can have it..

The dynamic juxtapositions usually work out, but an entire city of them borders on visual chaos. Wouldn't a little continuity bring some calm relief?

And come on, do I need to explain how a city can have taste? Not only individuals can display taste. If a team of designers win an award for a design, are they not being rewarded for their collective taste? I'm saying a city should have a few individuals employed to manage our aesthetics. And the controlled architectural designs would only be in certain areas. Yes, it would limit some things in those areas but those limitations would also cause creativity. And there would be the rest of the city to do free-form.

As Redscare said though, it's really too late for Rice Village. The Arcade screwed it all up. Same will likely happen to River Oaks.

I do agree though that's it hard to impose a non-voluntary restriction on a property owner so, after saying all of the above, I will end by saying that I'm torn and not sure what I would do if I were in charge.

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When you walk around a city like Boston or New York or Chicago, isn't it the mixture and close juxtaposition of buildings from different periods that makes it so exciting? When you try to have everything one style, it ends up looking like Sugarland.

Anyone have historic photos/postcards of Rice Village? I'd like to know what it used to look like, at least before the Arcade was built. Subdude?

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When you walk around a city like Boston or New York or Chicago, isn't it the mixture and close juxtaposition of buildings from different periods that makes it so exciting? When you try to have everything one style, it ends up looking like Sugarland.

We don't have to worry here about looking like Sugarland. I think our Downtown has a good blend, and that is purely a market driven effect.

But most US cities seem to have a hundred or more designated landmarks to ensure a nice mix. Can we count on a pure profit motive to do that?

Houston did just pass that landmark ordinance that is voluntary but will stay with the building as it changes hands. It might be considered soft by some but I think it's fair. In a century or so, we might have a decent collection...............of early 21st century townhomes anyway.

We're drifting off topic though. Rice Village would've been one worth saving...somehow.

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But if political groups are able to muster enough interest to get their neighborhood protected under a preservation ordinance, then they are no longer "special interests" but "the market".

Since when do politicians become or define the market? The people are the market. I can think of numerous examples of politicians that go against the will of the people. You probably can, too.

From what I've seen and read, a lot of the areas that have a historic designation end up going up in value and becoming islands of high-desirablity.

Old housing build for the middle-class can be turned around like this. But I'd doubt that shotgun shacks (old housing built for poor people) will ever get the same treatment. There are numerous neighborhoods that may be historic, but that can never be quaint in their current form.

The dynamic juxtapositions usually work out, but an entire city of them borders on visual chaos. Wouldn't a little continuity bring some calm relief?

I prefer things just the way they are, thank you very much. If you want continuity, repetition, predictability, move to the burbs. I like having surprises around every corner.

And come on, do I need to explain how a city can have taste?

Yeah, you are going to have to explain this one. It is one thing if a design team works on a single project. It is a whole other thing when a million property owners have their own little thing going. Having a few folks at the City level in charge of 'aesthetics' just means less variety. I'd rather see that money put toward infrastructure improvements. Culverts, sidewalks, street repairs, street lighting, etc. That's a creative process rather than a restrictive one.

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too far to be significant for this development. (in reference to the Univ rail line)

In fact, the existing rail line is probably closer. You just have to walk a mile (or something) from Main/Fannin.

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In fact, the existing rail line is probably closer. You just have to walk a mile (or something) from Main/Fannin.

Oh yes, it's a lovely walk from the rice station down a lovely tree covered path where you can watch the co-eds bounce by in their (mostly) taunt bodies, then you go past greenbriar and you're almost there! :)

Tell ya one thing, one of those pedia cabs will make some bucks once that development is complete.

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  • 4 months later...
In fact, the existing rail line is probably closer. You just have to walk a mile (or something) from Main/Fannin.

I use to live in a duplex style apartment near the Contemporary Arts Museum off of Bayard when I lived in Houston, only a block or two from the rail line, and that walk was hell.

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  • The title was changed to Hanover Rice Village: Multifamily At 2455 Dunstan Rd.

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