Changing the Uptown District Skyline; A Discounted Woodlands Mansion


Photo of Braesvillage: Christof Spieler via Swamplot Flickr Pool


17 Comment

  • so if they stack retail, are they going to stack parking too? Or are we going to suffer twice the amount of surface parking to accommodate the stacked strip mall?

  • I do not agree with Mayor Turner’s argument of widening highways is bad for urban areas. If TXDOT did not widen I-10, the drive time would be 3 hours from Katy to Downtown in the morning.

    The population has increased, thus more highway was needed.

    I do think that Rail should run to Katy, Sugarland, the Woodlands, Clear Lake (Galveston), and Kingwood to help free up congestion on the highways though.

    If this is done, it would be good for the city.

  • That sucks about uber. Their drivers were very polite on my three day mini-vacation to Galveston last year. I always had a clean, safe ride anywhere I wanted to go within 5 minutes of opening the app. I would have just driven to some of the destinations I uber’ed to had that not been an option. No one wants to ride in a smelly cab with broken seat belts and some cabby driving like a maniac especially when it can take them 45 minutes to an hour to service your call. Poor customer service by cabbies for DECADES is what gave rise to uber. Now they want to shut down competitors from serving customers who long ago had sworn off cabs.

  • Houston Chronicle job opening. Salary commensurate with the number of slideshows you can build in a day. Minimum 5 years experience as Walmart door greeter.

  • Fine CB, but mass transit ridership is falling in those very places where new lines are being constructed.

  • Also, you can’t widen I-10 any further without ruining the existing communities. On a personal level, the solution is to move in closer if you don’t like the commute.

    Also, Cinco Ranch doesn’t get to vote in the next mayoral election so if they get choked in traffic jams, it won’t affect the next mayoral election race one bit.

  • @ Commenter7: What if one’s decision about where to live hasn’t only got to do with commute time, for example that housing affordability or schools are your concern or that you or your spouse works in the suburbs or that you have little job security and could just as possibly end up working in west Houston as in central Houston?

    Or what if you’re already living in town and are reverse commuting? Maybe those traditional commuters aren’t all CoH residents, but the reverse and crosstown commuters very often are.

  • I’ve been in that Woodlands $19 mil mansion a few times, it’s tackier in person than in pictures, but the bones are very very nice, a lot of the lumber are engineered 2×6’s not Pine #2, every water supply pipe is wrapped for sound insulation even in interior walls, real Isokern fireplaces hearth to smoke stack. No expense was spared on HVAC and all things most people will never see. Having said that, $19 mil was laughable, based on comps, I’d give it $6-$8 Mil and that’s only because it sits on 3 lots.

  • @Toby – You also need to be able to generate Top 10 lists.

  • @Niche – not sure but the city has no obligation to help alleviate Katy traffic when all those homes could be closer in and contributing to the tax base and schools. Bottom line, Katy home owners are not the mayors constituents so let’s stop catering to them.

  • As someone who lives inside the loop I can say that I would still benefit from better highways, even if I am still close to everything. Houston highway infrastructure simply can not support the current amount of riders. But I do agree that “if you build it they will come”. There needs to be a limit as to how far it can go. That said, the chokepoints are nowhere near that limit, Houston highway speeds are often determined by small stretches of highway more akin to a small township than a major metro (59/I-45 area for instance)

  • That said though 225 is becoming seriously problematic. As a “non-core” road it is incredibly important to Houston’s survival and is in desperate need of attention.

  • I think it is good that home builders and home owners are incorporating covered patios with ceiling fans into their plans. Makes you stop and wonder who wouldn’t have done this in the first place. The answer is, the Yankees. They come down here thinking the summer is going to be like it was back in Ohio but after 30+ years begin to realize that homes with 8′ ceilings, carpeted floors, and no covered patio, are terrible ideas.

  • I was going to say that the Fenix thing seemed just like a proposal, but I looked it up and they just finished the pre-bid round on the 20th, so this seems like a go. I have to say that’s interesting, butting affordable housing right next to student housing. Based on the presentation they are fairly mixed use (in terms of AMI) so you’ll see a variety of incomes/people there, it’s not just another homeless shelter. And hell, it would be hard for it to be *worse* than what’s already there.

  • Well this is the wrong thread….

  • @ Commenter7: Its true that Katy residents aren’t CoH constituents, but unless you build a wall to keep them out (which is neither legally or economically feasible) then they will still present traffic to roads that are concurrently used by CoH constituents. To deny road improvements on that basis is to cut off one’s nose to spite their face.

    And about that economic feasibility issue, the very last thing that the CoH should want is inbound congestion because that generates an impetus to build offices in the suburbs. Not good. The city and its suburbs are symbiotic.

  • Thank you Niche for saying what’s really important: the City of Houston’s property tax base is hugely – hugely – dependent upon high-value office buildings. If the tenants depart for the suburbs because their key employees (college educated professionals) find the commute too strenuous then that value drops, as will residential demand within the City limits from childless households. That is the core of the symbiotic relationship.

    The wrench in the whole thing is that most of those key employees who have school-aged children are unwilling to pony up for the single family homes zoned to the few public schools in HISD and SBISD that are perceived to be of sufficient quality (or quality private schools either). Even most of the suburban district schools within SH 6 / FM 1960 are disregarded, as are Pasadena ISD schools and large chunks of FBISD and CFISD. Hence, Katy / Sugar Land / Pearland / Kingwood / outer Cypress. This class of home buyers is willing to trade existing congested commutes to live in preferred school zones at tolerable prices. Of course, adding these residents in outlying areas only increases commute congestion until it becomes intolerable enough that offices finally do relocate to the outer communities.

    Make no mistake, even “suburban” office districts in Houston like the Energy Corridor and Westchase are as much at risk for this (maybe even more so) as the urban office districts around and inside Loop 610. I’m already aware of developers looking to build Class A office (when the economy turns around) out along the Grand Parkway in the Katy area because the commute to the EC and Westchase has gotten so bad, even after the Katy Freeway expansion and the Westpark Tollway were built. If college-educated families were more willing to live in southwest Houston, Spring Branch, northwest Houston, etc., this wouldn’t be nearly as big a problem.