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I'm late to the debate, but I'd like to insert the point that the TMC has more dining options than what is actually visible from street level where Chipotle is. There are in fact a half a dozen other Starbucks locations throughout the TMC, for instance, in addition to the one on Fannin next to Chipotle. And there are a whole lot of delis and fast food places that are scattered all over the place.

A couple years ago, I catalogued every single retail establishment in the TMC, and it was quite an extensive list. You'd never have thunk it unless you actually walked the whole place, though, because those places just don't have the street-level visiblity or signage like they do in typical business districts. But...this is the TMC, and it is controlled by the Texas Medical Center, Inc. So what would occur in a market-driven environment cannot be expected.

Jax, I'd suggest that you take a few hours and do some exploring. There are plenty of options, sometimes below-ground, sometimes three or even four stories up. And most can be accessed without going outdoors.

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Yeah, there are a lot of delis in the TMC. When I use to have braces (my teeth were ____ed up, but are straight now), we use to always go to a deli in the TMC close to the UT Dental Branch (this was back in 2004-2005 when I went to the TMC every two weeks). Depending on what time we went, it was either packed, or just a few people.

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Not I.

I ate it all yesterday and I'm not into football.

I've never eaten at St. Luke's but TCH food sucks. Obviously the TCH cafeteria hasn't reduced the demand for restaurants in the area, otherwise the line-ups would not be so long everywhere.

I agree that the hospitals will dictate whether there is retail space or not. As I said previously, nobody is going to construct a free standing restaurant in the TMC. I'm just saying that I think they need to include retail space in their plans. We'll see how it goes. At least Rice is going in the right direction, as did Memorial Hermann with their new tower.

News Flash Jackson! the SLEH and the TCH cafeteria are the same place, or should I have said "is" the same place. Luke's operates the place (Bertner St. Cafe or something like that) but TCH employees use it and get the same discount. It's like a joint venture thing. All those other places in the CCC and West Tower are just concession stands.

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I'm late to the debate, but I'd like to insert the point that the TMC has more dining options than what is actually visible from street level where Chipotle is. There are in fact a half a dozen other Starbucks locations throughout the TMC, for instance, in addition to the one on Fannin next to Chipotle. And there are a whole lot of delis and fast food places that are scattered all over the place.

A couple years ago, I catalogued every single retail establishment in the TMC, and it was quite an extensive list. You'd never have thunk it unless you actually walked the whole place, though, because those places just don't have the street-level visiblity or signage like they do in typical business districts. But...this is the TMC, and it is controlled by the Texas Medical Center, Inc. So what would occur in a market-driven environment cannot be expected.

Jax, I'd suggest that you take a few hours and do some exploring. There are plenty of options, sometimes below-ground, sometimes three or even four stories up. And most can be accessed without going outdoors.

While I agree that there are are a number of eating options in Methodist, St. Lukes, TCH, BCM, and waterfall wall garage, they are only available during busines hours.

I'm not sure of the McDonald's and the Cafeteria at Methodist, but I belileve they also hold the same hours as well.

The "Garage" resturants can easy be accessed by those from BCM, Methodist, and St. Lukes, the People from MD Anderson and buildings east of there don't have as many options, particularly after hours.

The mobility (with the exception of a couple of streets) getting around has improved. Bless the men that decided to make the St. Luke/TCH Sally Port a one way street. In regards to the "people mover" I reread the document (my eyes still hurt) and it isn't specific as to what kind they are planning.

I have some misgivings as to the routes that TMC is "recommending" to Metro. The pearland route is doable, but I don't really see if a Missouri city would be viable except as a shuttle.

Maybe make a large parking "commuinty" for the area that people from that town plan on connecting to the future rail alignment?

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As for residential, what's up with the Cambridge Tower proposal? Anyone know anything?

Also, Musicman, what's your deal with following Jax around from post to post and piling on at every chance?

I've noticed that too, and have found it strange.

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I've never eaten at St. Luke's but TCH food sucks.
so first there aren't enough options. then it is mentioned that there are numerous other options (not at street level) besides chipotle but "TCH food sucks." Should TMC limit it to only good restaurants? :blink:

EDIT: T and K that's for you.

Edited by musicman
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so first there aren't enough options. then it is mentioned that there are numerous other options (not at street level) besides chipotle but "TCH food sucks." Should TMC limit it to only good restaurants?

My point was that even with the "numerous other options", including the TCH cafeterias, there still isn't enough. Obviously, the presence of the cafeterias doesn't invalidate my observations while eating in the TMC every week.

On a side note, the quality of the food in the TCH cafeteria is unfortunately very low. I don't recommend it.

Edited by Jax
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I mentioned this on another thread, but seems relevant here as well. With the increases in jobs/cars/residents likely in this area from the aforementioned development projects, how long can Holcombe between Med Center and Kirby remain something of a wasteland? There are numerous underutilized commercial lots, not to mention the eye sores such as the boarded up IHOP. Much of this isn't walking distance from the Med Center, but it seems to me like it will definitely get an uplift at some point. Too bad I know nothing of commercial real estate or I might try and invest myself.

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There is a new medical office building going up on that part of Holcombe, and I expect more development of that type in the area in the future. Same goes for Main Street, there are still some empty lots across from the TMC. I bet they won't be empty for long.

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With the increases in jobs/cars/residents likely in this area from the aforementioned development projects, how long can Holcombe between Med Center and Kirby remain something of a wasteland?
go down holcombe, i'm sure your opinion would change. i'm sure some of those places are just holding out for the big bucks that TMC has to spend.
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go down holcombe, i'm sure your opinion would change. i'm sure some of those places are just holding out for the big bucks that TMC has to spend.

Bingo. The big institutions don't really seem to mind paying excessively large sums for land. If they've decided to put something somewhere, they'll make it happen. So land prices right near the TMC are just ridiculous.

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I don't think Chipotle is so bad, I eat there about once a week.

I believe Jax is wrong, though. The line is never greater than 10-15 mins, even as it wraps around the restaurant and down the hallway. They are extremely efficient at making burritos.

I think Jax's photo also actually understates the amount of mid-day pedestrian traffic in this area. If I hit you on the head with a sufficiently large rock, then dumped your unconscious body at the intersection of University and Fannin... provided that no one took you into one of the hospitals, when you woke up, you could easily imagine yourself in a city that was Not Houston based on the density and level of activity.

Other acceptable dining choices:

Hugo's in the commons

Miller's Cafe in Scurlock (or is it Smith?)

Rising Roll in the old MH Prof. Bldg.

I agree that all the food courts/cafeterias are inedible. We had a BCM run cafeteria that was quite good, until they sold it to Luby's, and now the food is completely unacceptable.

I have also been curious about what form the "people mover" might take. I've always noticed it in the Master Plan.I've always imagined it would be a moving-sidewalk system, e.g. airport terminals, and not some kind of fixed-guideway carriage system. The former might be possible to add to existing skywalk system.. the latter would require feats of engineering or tunnel digging I don't even want to imagine.

Also, what about the Baylor Hospital. Is it just going to be 10-min frequency shuttle service? Perhaps it'd be fun to build a skywalk even longer than the new MDACC one.

Edited by woolie
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If you do not put the retail / restaurants in the Hot Spot where the rent is high or the land is way too expensive you gamble on not getting that "foot traffic." That's why the Downtown Tunnels get so much traffic... it is more convenient to walk than get in your car, get out of the parking garage, eat and come back! You have to be in that "Walk to in 5-10 Minute" zone!

Anyone know where that is?

I want to start the restaurant now!

I hear the lack of food establishments complaint all the time....

There is Main... but at lunch it is not practical to drive there...

There is a Subway off OST @ Almeda...

TMC really needs a large food court!

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If you do not put the retail / restaurants in the Hot Spot where the rent is high or the land is way too expensive you gamble on not getting that "foot traffic." That's why the Downtown Tunnels get so much traffic... it is more convenient to walk than get in your car, get out of the parking garage, eat and come back! You have to be in that "Walk to in 5-10 Minute" zone!

Anyone know where that is?

I want to start the restaurant now!

I hear the lack of food establishments complaint all the time....

There is Main... but at lunch it is not practical to drive there...

There is a Subway off OST @ Almeda...

TMC really needs a large food court!

You ought to pass the idea along to METRO and suggest that they develop a multi-story food court at the TMC Transit Center with such a diversity of options as to reflect not only Houston but the Medical Center's international clientele of patients. Think of a restaurant row concept, but vertical. It could be developed with little or no parking so as not to interfere with Texas Medical Center, Inc.'s concerns about previous proposals' congestion impacts, and because it would spur an increase in mid-day LRT ridership (even if only for a stop or two), it'd be widely accepted as beneficial to their efforts.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's going to be interesting to see what they plan on trying to get all these people in and out of the area. You would figure they would try to build out out in the smith lands where a current stop is.

As things currently stand, it looks like they are buildig down Holcomb, Fannin, AND Main. Can you picture how many mini shuttles are going to be circulating around the medical center to get people to connect to OTHER methods of transportation or their primary routes (Drop off at cars, connect to the nearest rail station, get to a place where their carpool meets) to begin with!

I wonder if that means that The apartments are Fannin between OST and Braeswood are going to go away within the decade?

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Sorry to go a little off-topic, but that article said:

And if all the projects scheduled for construction come to fruition by 2014 as planned, the Medical Center will measure 39.6 million feet, according CoStar Group, a national real estate survey company. That would put it in the same league as downtown
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I was rather curious about that as well. One I can presume to be Mainspace, but I have doubts that it counts the office element at HP. Maybe Discovery Tower?

Looking at the "new Projects" lists, I have no idea.

Discovery Tower

MainPlace

Allen Center tower planned by Brookfield Properties

Additional tower planned by Hines (possible City Centre)

or

Six Houston Center

Edited by Houston19514
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Some kind of elevated people mover system would work well in the Medical Center. Too bad the early planners did not plan for it.

A grid of wide elevated skywalks is planned, with bits and peices of it already existing. People movers aren't inconceivable once the system is more extensive, especially if they ultimately end up crossing Brays Bayou.

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A grid of wide elevated skywalks is planned, with bits and peices of it already existing. People movers aren't inconceivable once the system is more extensive, especially if they ultimately end up crossing Brays Bayou.

This is interesting. Do you have a source for this plan I can reference, and an expected completion date?

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Elevated skywalks are all nice and pretty, but they're pretty much useless if you have to exit one building to use the other's.

If everyone could just get along and allow cross traffic through the buildings, that would help considerably, plus it can be some added revenue by the additional traffic if you put up a small storefront or two.

Discovery Tower

MainPlace

Allen Center tower planned by Brookfield Properties

Additional tower planned by Hines (possible City Centre)

or

Six Houston Center

We know about mainspace, but are the rest cast in stone? that was the only real thing.

I don't see the Allen Center tower in the list of projects, so I don't know.

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This is interesting. Do you have a source for this plan I can reference, and an expected completion date?

Texas Medical Center, Inc.

Check their website.

If everyone could just get along and allow cross traffic through the buildings, that would help considerably, plus it can be some added revenue by the additional traffic if you put up a small storefront or two.

That's how the existing segments running along the south side of Holcombe are laid out. Very easy to navigate, very wide, storefronts inside buildings.

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