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I-45 Rebuild (North Houston Highway Improvement Project)


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13 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Was it really condemnation proceedings, or was it just by negotiation?  (Interesting:  it appears they bought the entire complex, not just the part NW of St Emmanuel)

In any event, the acquisition of The Lofts at the Ballpark doesn't directly mean anything for True Anomaly, Little Woodrows, etc.  BUT of course the coming freeway project does mean that those properties will also eventually be acquired and those businesses will be relocated or otherwise compensated.

Not actually proceedings, just a negotiation. 

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2 hours ago, Amlaham said:

I for one am glad of TXDOT's decision. They're basically consolidating 2 highways around downtown into 1. I don't think it's necessary to have a loop around downtown, it really disconnects downtown from the surrounding neighborhoods. So we get rid of one freeway (Pierce elevated), while the other side gets buried and we get more open space for a potential park. Sorry, but I don't think saving any of these business is worth it. Once this project is done, it's going to bring in more business if anything. I made the map below that shows what we're trying to save lol. The bright red are all parking lots. Maroon is unoccupied businesses. Orange is Park Houston. Pink is the lofts (already acquired). Finally, Green is all the active businesses. The is a major project that will reshape the core of Houston. The area has plenty of CHEAPER rentable spaces, idk why people like to act like we're limited in space in Houston. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-05 at 12.37.46 PM.png

Excellent work.  Not to mention that a not insignificant part of the structures are run-down strip centers with parking in front, which in other parts of town many posters on this forum would decry as being horrifying and destructive to the urban fabric (i.e., not much loss).

Let's put a little more meat on these bones.  The active operations that will be displaced (and relocated if they choose, not just eliminated; yes, in reality we get the better highway infrastructure, better pedestrian connectivity in our central area, AND the businesses; It's a win-win-win):

  • Kim Son (which is built on a very suburban, anti-pedestrian, model)
  • Valero station 
  • Concentra Urgent Care
  • Appears to be some kind of office that may or may not have an "active" business. In any event, it's cowering behind a sturdy fence and not making any contribution to a walkable neighborhood.
  • True Anomaly Brewing
  • run-down suburban-style strip center containing:
    • Smoke Shop
    • Tattoos
    • Huynh
    • Head Honcho's Barber Shop
    • Pizza Hut carryout
    • Super K Food Mart
  • Little Woodrow's
  • Neil's Bahr
  • Another run-down suburban-style strip center containing:
    • COBO's
  • Loaves and Fishes (homeless services)
  • Search Homeless mission
  • Studio 2020
  • Toute Suite
  • Studio HTX

(Club 2020 (green block at the corner of Leeland and St Emanuel, appears to be permanently closed))

(At the corner of Clay and St. Emanuel, there used to be a commercial appliance-related business.  It appears to no longer be there, as the signage is all gone.  Is there really an active business on this site?)

(The NW side of St Emanuel between Preston and Congress is shown as green.  This is the Cheek-Neal building that has been slated for renovation.  (a) it is not an active business, and more important (b) it is not slated to be taken by the freeway project.)

 

I'm counting 9, in a stretch maybe 12 active businesses in that entire 20 block stretch that currently contribute to the walkable urban experience in any meaningful way (and that's counting seven businesses in strip centers fronted by parking lots, which we are usually told destroy the urban fabric, not contribute to it).  In short, the contribution to the urban fabric made by these 20 blocks has often been wildly exaggerated.

Edited by Houston19514
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2 hours ago, Amlaham said:

I for one am glad of TXDOT's decision. They're basically consolidating 2 highways around downtown into 1. I don't think it's necessary to have a loop around downtown, it really disconnects downtown from the surrounding neighborhoods. So we get rid of one freeway (Pierce elevated), while the other side gets buried and we get more open space for a potential park. Sorry, but I don't think saving any of these business is worth it. Once this project is done, it's going to bring in more business if anything. I made the map below that shows what we're trying to save lol. The bright red are all parking lots. Maroon is unoccupied businesses. Orange is Park Houston. Pink is the lofts (already acquired). Finally, Green is all the active businesses. The is a major project that will reshape the core of Houston. The area has plenty of CHEAPER rentable spaces, idk why people like to act like we're limited in space in Houston. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-05 at 12.37.46 PM.png

Get out of here with your facts...and logic...and making sense!

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2 hours ago, Amlaham said:

I for one am glad of TXDOT's decision. They're basically consolidating 2 highways around downtown into 1. I don't think it's necessary to have a loop around downtown, it really disconnects downtown from the surrounding neighborhoods. So we get rid of one freeway (Pierce elevated), while the other side gets buried and we get more open space for a potential park. Sorry, but I don't think saving any of these business is worth it. Once this project is done, it's going to bring in more business if anything. I made the map below that shows what we're trying to save lol. The bright red are all parking lots. Maroon is unoccupied businesses. Orange is Park Houston. Pink is the lofts (already acquired). Finally, Green is all the active businesses. The is a major project that will reshape the core of Houston. The area has plenty of CHEAPER rentable spaces, idk why people like to act like we're limited in space in Houston. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-05 at 12.37.46 PM.png

Though I don't disagree with you completely, the plan as currently constructed fixes the disconnection on the west side of downtown and will create a larger disconnection on the east side. The key words are "potential park." Without funding for the park on the east side over the underground freeway this plan in incomplete. TXDOT expects the park to be privately funded. Furthermore, the purpose of this highway reconstruction I thought was to reduce traffic. Does anyone believe that will actually happen?

Edited by Eastdwntwn
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55 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Excellent work.  Not to mention that a not insignificant part of the structures are run-down strip centers with parking in front, which in other parts of town many posters on this forum would decry as being horrifying and destructive to the urban fabric (i.e., not much loss).

Let's put a little more meat on these bones.  The active operations that will be displaced (and relocated if they choose, not just eliminated; yes, in reality we get the better highway infrastructure, better pedestrian connectivity in our central area, AND the businesses; It's a win-win-win):

  • Kim Son (which is built on a very suburban, anti-pedestrian, model)
  • Valero station 
  • Concentra Urgent Care
  • Appears to be some kind of office that may or may not have an "active" business. In any event, it's cowering behind a sturdy fence and not making any contribution to a walkable neighborhood.
  • True Anomaly Brewing
  • run-down suburban-style strip center containing:
    • Smoke Shop
    • Tattoos
    • Huynh
    • Head Honcho's Barber Shop
    • Pizza Hut carryout
    • Super K Food Mart
  • Little Woodrow's
  • Neil's Bahr
  • Another run-down suburban-style strip center containing:
    • COBO's
  • Loaves and Fishes (homeless services)
  • Search Homeless mission
  • Studio 2020
  • Toute Suite
  • Studio HTX

(Club 2020 (green block at the corner of Leeland and St Emanuel, appears to be permanently closed))

(At the corner of Clay and St. Emanuel, there used to be a commercial appliance-related business.  It appears to no longer be there, as the signage is all gone.  Is there really an active business on this site?)

(The NW side of St Emanuel between Preston and Congress is shown as green.  This is the Cheek-Neal building that has been slated for renovation.  (a) it is not an active business, and more important (b) it is not slated to be taken by the freeway project.)

 

I'm counting 9, in a stretch maybe 12 active businesses in that entire 20 block stretch that currently contribute to the walkable urban experience in any meaningful way (and that's counting seven businesses in strip centers fronted by parking lots, which we are usually told destroy the urban fabric, not contribute to it).  In short, the contribution to the urban fabric made by these 20 blocks has often been wildly exaggerated.

Just to pile on (because why not) I went through and marked blocks nearby that are either empty or very much underutilized. I don't think it is comprehensive, but it is illustrative that there isn't a lack of land for businesses to move  to around that area.

 image.png.a1d60a8afdd0ad07a5f0bb5695a89919.png

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31 minutes ago, Eastdwntwn said:

Though I don't disagree with you completely, the plan as currently constructed fixes the disconnection on the west side of downtown and will create a larger disconnection on the east side. The key words are "potential park." Without funding for the park on the east side over the underground freeway this plan in incomplete. TXDOT expects the park to be privately funded. Furthermore, the purpose of this highway reconstruction I thought was to reduce traffic. Does anyone believe that will actually happen?

I don't believe there will be a disconnect on the East Side any more than the disconnect present today. The west side of downtown is almost fully dense, the only thing separating Midtown/ Allen parkway area and downtown is the highway. An example, Harmonica Park is located right across multiple apartment buildings. If that highway was just a street, it would make it a lot easier for residents in the area to visit the park, but look at what they'd have to cross. If they use the sidewalk, they would end up having to go down a couple of blocks in the opposite direction then back around.... for a park thats technically across from them. The east side has the same situation only there isn't much density, especially on the blocks marked above. So not only does a pedestrian have to go under the highway to get to downtown, but they also have to go through a parking lot or an abandoned building. Also, I guarantee people would much rather prefer to walk above a highway than under it. I know it sounds subjective, but people get a sense of security when they're walking in a bright/open space vs under a highway. 

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Screen Shot 2022-01-05 at 5.02.18 PM.png

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My apologies if this has already been mentioned, I try to follow this thread from time to time, but I miss things. 

I think everything that has been brought up is valid. Yes, the blocks between St Emanuel and Chartress definitely are struggling. Do we think Chartress currently acting as a 45mph frontage road can contribute to this? I personally would have to believe it is a factor for this lack of development here, including the development that is currently there being anti-pedestrian.

My concern is this is what will happen to St Emanuel. If TXDOT is able to somehow make St Emanuel not feel like a 45mph frontage road, then I think I would be more open to the project. The eastern side of St Emanuel is a great pocket of bars, restaurants, and destinations and would be devastating to EaDo if we lost it. 

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7 minutes ago, Justin Welling said:

My apologies if this has already been mentioned, I try to follow this thread from time to time, but I miss things. 

I think everything that has been brought up is valid. Yes, the blocks between St Emanuel and Chartress definitely are struggling. Do we think Chartress currently acting as a 45mph frontage road can contribute to this? I personally would have to believe it is a factor for this lack of development here, including the development that is currently there being anti-pedestrian.

My concern is this is what will happen to St Emanuel. If TXDOT is able to somehow make St Emanuel not feel like a 45mph frontage road, then I think I would be more open to the project. The eastern side of St Emanuel is a great pocket of bars, restaurants, and destinations and would be devastating to EaDo if we lost it. 

They can control speeding by altering the street light patterns, essentially making sure all lights aren't green at the same time.

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2 hours ago, Eastdwntwn said:

Though I don't disagree with you completely, the plan as currently constructed fixes the disconnection on the west side of downtown and will create a larger disconnection on the east side. The key words are "potential park." Without funding for the park on the east side over the underground freeway this plan in incomplete. TXDOT expects the park to be privately funded. Furthermore, the purpose of this highway reconstruction I thought was to reduce traffic. Does anyone believe that will actually happen?

If you have been closely following any of this, there is a near-zero chance the platform park on the other side of the Convention Center won't be built.

Now if you want to call into question all the other potential platform parks (I-45N and through Midtown), fine.  But let's stop pretending that this is seriously even in question, or imply that it is some shady, abnormal TxDOT "trick."  Pure propaganda.

Edited by mattyt36
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8 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

If you have been closely following any of this, there is a near-zero chance the platform park on the other side of the Convention Center won't be built.

Now if you want to call into question all the other potential platform parks (I-45N and through Midtown), fine.  But let's stop pretending that this is seriously even in question, or imply that it is some shady, abnormal TxDOT "trick."  Pure propaganda.

You are vastly over-optimistic. Who is going to pay for the $500 million plus the park will cost, including the cover. It's a very stupid plan created by very stupid people. 

 

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1 hour ago, mattyt36 said:

If you have been closely following any of this, there is a near-zero chance the platform park on the other side of the Convention Center won't be built.

Now if you want to call into question all the other potential platform parks (I-45N and through Midtown), fine.  But let's stop pretending that this is seriously even in question, or imply that it is some shady, abnormal TxDOT "trick."  Pure propaganda.

I have been following it as best as I can. Could you provide some support that "there is a near-zero chance the platform park on the side of the Convention Center won't be built"? I am genuinely curious. 

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11 hours ago, Eastdwntwn said:

I have been following it as best as I can. Could you provide some support that "there is a near-zero chance the platform park on the side of the Convention Center won't be built"? I am genuinely curious. 

This planning document from the downtown TIRZ at least indicates they are planning for what to do with the highway cap. I believe they have it in their 'more than on the bubble' status of project progress. Its not approved and signed for, but realistically that would be very strange at this point in the project.

http://www.downtowntirz.com/downtownhouston/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/08-11-20-Board-Book-FINAL.pdf

Yes there is a $500M price tag being mentioned for this cap, but you have to remember how much money is going to be made in terms of new development, increase in existing property value and the potential for sprucing up GRB to make it a super fancy conference destination. The city would be foolish to look at this and say 'nah I'd love to have a big hole instead'.

15 hours ago, Justin Welling said:

My apologies if this has already been mentioned, I try to follow this thread from time to time, but I miss things. 

I think everything that has been brought up is valid. Yes, the blocks between St Emanuel and Chartress definitely are struggling. Do we think Chartress currently acting as a 45mph frontage road can contribute to this? I personally would have to believe it is a factor for this lack of development here, including the development that is currently there being anti-pedestrian.

My concern is this is what will happen to St Emanuel. If TXDOT is able to somehow make St Emanuel not feel like a 45mph frontage road, then I think I would be more open to the project. The eastern side of St Emanuel is a great pocket of bars, restaurants, and destinations and would be devastating to EaDo if we lost it. 

Agreed. You can tell Chartres was designed with the express purpose of getting as many suburban commuters from the highway offramps to their office and vice versa (not unlike a number of other streets around downtown). Hopefully with good road design and light timing etc it can be controlled. The city is at least saying the right things in terms of supporting multi-modal development -- only time will tell if that is really on the agenda.

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15 hours ago, Ross said:

You are vastly over-optimistic. Who is going to pay for the $500 million plus the park will cost, including the cover. It's a very stupid plan created by very stupid people. 

 

 

TXDoT is building the deck/cover upon which others (Houston First Corp, Downtown TIRZ, City of Houston, probably EADO TIRZ, possibly private developers) will build the park and other items. The East side cap park/development is going to happen.

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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

TXDoT is building the deck/cover upon which others (Houston First Corp, Downtown TIRZ, City of Houston, probably EADO TIRZ, possibly private developers) will build the park and other items. The East side cap park/development is going to happen.

 

1 hour ago, kennyc05 said:

There's a lot of money in this city the park will be built!!!

I hope you both are right. I just havent seen anything concrete that supports your claim. 

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9 minutes ago, Eastdwntwn said:

 

I hope you both are right. I just havent seen anything concrete that supports your claim. 

Where have you looked?   ;-)

Watch Downtown TIRZ board meetings, Houston First Corp board meetings, I think even Midtown TIRZ.

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1 hour ago, Eastdwntwn said:

 

I hope you both are right. I just havent seen anything concrete that supports your claim. 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/astros/article/Astros-Jim-Crane-expansion-Minute-Maid-Park-16596664.php

Jim Crane basically said he plans to develop it.

Also this, from ballpark digest:

Quote

For Crane and team president Reid Ryan, that means generating some ideas for future upgrades and hiring Cincinnati-based MSA Sport to turn those ideas into reality. From the Houston Chronicle:

“We’ve got a number of things we think we can do to improve the ballpark still on the drawing board,” Crane said. “More community areas, maybe an underground restaurant underneath the scoreboard — there’s a lot of things we can do — increase some of the premium areas. We’ll continue to look at it and continue to make those investments. “

Crane said the club has met with outside investors to address the stadium’s exterior and surging downtown surroundings, too. Rerouting U.S. 59 and Interstate 45 below grade on the stadium’s southwest side could open areas for a possible ballpark village, Ryan indicated.

“Downtown is thriving, it’s the spot to be, and we just wanted to make a long-term commitment to maintain the ballpark, keep it up to date and make it a great fan experience for our city and be right in the center of the action,” Crane said.

 

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12 minutes ago, kennyc05 said:

I remember this article. When he mentions the stadiums exterior do you think he's possibly thinking of redoing the outside of the ballpark as well?

I took that to be a reference to the surrounding properties, not to the building's physical exterior.

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On 1/5/2022 at 1:32 PM, Amlaham said:

The area has plenty of CHEAPER rentable spaces, idk why people like to act like we're limited in space in Houston. 

A quick check on HAR.com shows 2 properties nearest this site renting 1bd/1ba for $2k-2.9k/mo. I wouldn't call that cheap when the average rent in Houston for 1 bedroom is $1200-1300. 

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I realize this is conceptual, and I'm not sure if this was covered earlier in the thread, but this video shows a potential multimodal station with elevated lanes called a REAL Station placed on part of the Pierce Elevated ROW. I think this is a good idea, but isn't the whole reason for moving 45 to eliminate an elevated structure? You can look a little further and see what looks like a connection to the connector ramps that will feed into downtown from the relocated I-45. Does this mean that TxDOT is planning to redevelop the old Pierce Elevated ROW into another type of elevated road structure, and thus keep an elevated road barrier between Downtown and Midtown?

 

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1 hour ago, JLWM8609 said:

A quick check on HAR.com shows 2 properties nearest this site renting 1bd/1ba for $2k-2.9k/mo. I wouldn't call that cheap when the average rent in Houston for 1 bedroom is $1200-1300. 

I said "cheaper" not cheap. These lots are obviously more expensive because they're closer to a major highway. Also, you can't label something as cheap/expensive based off of the average rent in Houston. A $1,500 one bedroom is considered cheap in River Oaks, but expensive in other parts of the city.

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On 1/8/2022 at 12:48 PM, JLWM8609 said:

I realize this is conceptual, and I'm not sure if this was covered earlier in the thread, but this video shows a potential multimodal station with elevated lanes called a REAL Station placed on part of the Pierce Elevated ROW. I think this is a good idea, but isn't the whole reason for moving 45 to eliminate an elevated structure? You can look a little further and see what looks like a connection to the connector ramps that will feed into downtown from the relocated I-45. Does this mean that TxDOT is planning to redevelop the old Pierce Elevated ROW into another type of elevated road structure, and thus keep an elevated road barrier between Downtown and Midtown?

 

Yeah, this does nothing for me. It feels like an ill thought out sop to those who claim that the NHHIP doesn't have enough transit. I'd rather they tear down the structure, sell the land, and put the money towards the freeway caps.

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On 1/8/2022 at 12:48 PM, JLWM8609 said:

I realize this is conceptual, and I'm not sure if this was covered earlier in the thread, but this video shows a potential multimodal station with elevated lanes called a REAL Station placed on part of the Pierce Elevated ROW. I think this is a good idea, but isn't the whole reason for moving 45 to eliminate an elevated structure? You can look a little further and see what looks like a connection to the connector ramps that will feed into downtown from the relocated I-45. Does this mean that TxDOT is planning to redevelop the old Pierce Elevated ROW into another type of elevated road structure, and thus keep an elevated road barrier between Downtown and Midtown?

 

I think you pegged it entirely with your first sentence.  This is entirely conceptual.  I wouldn't interpret it to mean anything at all with regard to plans for the Pierce Elevated.

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On 1/8/2022 at 12:48 PM, JLWM8609 said:

I realize this is conceptual, and I'm not sure if this was covered earlier in the thread, but this video shows a potential multimodal station with elevated lanes called a REAL Station placed on part of the Pierce Elevated ROW. I think this is a good idea, but isn't the whole reason for moving 45 to eliminate an elevated structure? You can look a little further and see what looks like a connection to the connector ramps that will feed into downtown from the relocated I-45. Does this mean that TxDOT is planning to redevelop the old Pierce Elevated ROW into another type of elevated road structure, and thus keep an elevated road barrier between Downtown and Midtown?

 

I went to one of the COH meetings about this forever ago (back when you would go to meetings in person) — TXDOTs plan is to give the abandoned pierce elevated section to the city. There was talk of taking down some of it, but leaving some up and creating a High Line like linear park through that section of town. It would be part of their larger ‘green loop’ around downtown. 

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On 1/6/2022 at 9:02 AM, kennyc05 said:

I think they're designing the cap to have highrises built on top as well.

I cannot overstate how much I hate this idea. Yes, build high-rises all over downtown. I love them. But this is a once-in-a-century chance to reclaim a huge swath of green space walkable from downtown. Think Millennium Park in Chicago.

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On 1/12/2022 at 4:26 PM, Andrew Ewert said:

I cannot overstate how much I hate this idea. Yes, build high-rises all over downtown. I love them. But this is a once-in-a-century chance to reclaim a huge swath of green space walkable from downtown. Think Millennium Park in Chicago.

I mean, they could easily split parts of the cap between development and parkland/plazas. This cap will be long and wide, with plenty of room for both. It doesn't have to be an either/or decision.

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On 1/12/2022 at 4:26 PM, Andrew Ewert said:

I cannot overstate how much I hate this idea. Yes, build high-rises all over downtown. I love them. But this is a once-in-a-century chance to reclaim a huge swath of green space walkable from downtown. Think Millennium Park in Chicago.

 

4 hours ago, Big E said:

I mean, they could easily split parts of the cap between development and parkland/plazas. This cap will be long and wide, with plenty of room for both. It doesn't have to be an either/or decision.

I like the idea of having it split up between development and plazas / parkland.

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On 1/12/2022 at 4:26 PM, Andrew Ewert said:

I cannot overstate how much I hate this idea. Yes, build high-rises all over downtown. I love them. But this is a once-in-a-century chance to reclaim a huge swath of green space walkable from downtown. Think Millennium Park in Chicago.

I don't necessarily hate this idea although I would much prefer the entirety of it be greenspace like the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston with high-rise development encouraged right up to the edge. I really like the city's vision shown in the following presentation.

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/nhhip/east/public-meeting-east-side.pdf

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All the tenants in all three buildings at the Lofts at the Ballpark will be out during the first quarter of this year. They are no longer taking new leases and stopped renewing early last year. The belief is that all three buildings will be demolished not just the one in the path of the expansion. Both sides of St. Emanuel.  

Edited by Eastdwntwn
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On 1/6/2022 at 1:31 PM, Houston19514 said:

Where have you looked?   ;-)

Watch Downtown TIRZ board meetings, Houston First Corp board meetings, I think even Midtown TIRZ.

Please cite where the money has been appropriated by TxDOT for a freeway cap structure. 

 

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20 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

Please cite where the money has been appropriated by TxDOT for a freeway cap structure. 

 

TxDOT has always been very clear on this, someone else is going to have to pay.

many organizations have said they will pay, but I don't know that any of them have committed actual dollars.

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On 1/19/2022 at 1:09 PM, H-Town Man said:

Please cite where the money has been appropriated by TxDOT for a freeway cap structure. 

 

To my knowledge there isn't any for the cap itself, and they don't need too. They simply have to engineer the retaining walls before hand to bear the load among other things. This happens all the time with phased projects big and small. If the city is exhibiting to the state what they are considering then the engineers just need to over engineer these sections for what will be placed later. It is high in costs on the front end, and if there was a plan and executed at once then it would be cheaper, but it will allow for greater flexibility later. I don't understand this idea that if it isn't there now, right now, it won't ever be there. These things take time.

3 hours ago, samagon said:

TxDOT has always been very clear on this, someone else is going to have to pay.

many organizations have said they will pay, but I don't know that any of them have committed actual dollars.

Thats all which is required at the moment. Difficult to fully invest in a project when the basis for it hasn't put a shovel in the ground yet. The actual infrastructure needs to be approved and finally get underway. Once its a real project that will likely push people to further invest once they see its a reality. Again its a factor of time, and this needs time.

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On 1/19/2022 at 2:09 PM, H-Town Man said:

Please cite where the money has been appropriated by TxDOT for a freeway cap structure. 

 

 

4 hours ago, samagon said:

TxDOT has always been very clear on this, someone else is going to have to pay.

many organizations have said they will pay, but I don't know that any of them have committed actual dollars.

See page 5 of the Record of Decision"

"The Selected Alternative provides a structural “cap” over the proposed depressed lanes of I‐45 and US 59/I‐69 from approximately Commerce Street to Lamar Street. There would also be a structural cap over the depressed lanes of US 59/I‐69 between approximately Main Street and Fannin Street, and in the area of the Caroline Street/Wheeler Street intersection. Future use of the structural cap areas for another purpose would require additional development and funding by entities other than TxDOT."

 

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On 1/19/2022 at 10:43 AM, Eastdwntwn said:

All the tenants in all three buildings at the Lofts at the Ballpark will be out during the first quarter of this year. They are no longer taking new leases and stopped renewing early last year. The belief is that all three buildings will be demolished not just the one in the path of the expansion. Both sides of St. Emanuel.  

Good. Stick construction means the demolition will likely be inexpensive for the buildings. That's going to be a prime location for highrise development, especially 2189 where you don't have to pay for a parking structure. Possibly a pair of slim residential/mixed uses?

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TXDOT seems to have purchased all three blocks of Lofts at the Ballpark, so that would align with the news that all tenants are getting kicked out. I do hope though that this doesn't get mired in some sort of legal morass with an empty apartment building sitting there for an extended period of time. I could see that getting really run down and sketchy.

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It's confusing to me why people would expect an advanced design or detailed funding plan for the cap park to be announced before the NHHIP itself has even gotten final approval--especially in the current political environment.

The City, the County, the Downtown District, the GHP, and other organizations have been working on this together for years and it is incorporated into each group's long-term plans.  The park can be funded from a variety of sources, including the TIRZ, HOT taxes, and direct City and County contributions before we even get into contributions from the private sector.

The ideas that some "big downtown machine" is pushing forward the NHHIP while not also working towards planning and funding the cap park are completely incongruous and entirely nonsensical.  If you buy into the former, it shouldn't require much mental exertion for you to leap to the latter.

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