COMMENT OF THE DAY: HERE COME THE ALMEDA PROMOTERS “Washington ave is already done. . . . Whats next you ask….Almeda (59 to med center)….two bars opening right now and four more planned on the way. Wide streets, lots of empty places to park, a community who wants the crowd and can handle it better than wash or mid town. The two bars that are going in are building out in empty spaces right now but more on the way with some new buildings planned. You will all want to know where I get my info but [ride] down and you will see for your self what I know.” [Dj Ashby, commenting on Comment of the Day: Reading the Washington Ave Crystal Ball]
I can see this happening, but what audience will it grab?
The med center and Rice University students generally have their scenes they are gong to hang out at.
Maybe TSU and UofH students?
The first few establishments will have to make a splash to compete against the establish Midtown, Downtown, and Montrose scenes.
Well, if they’re attracting a college crowd, they better be offering cheap drinks.
Isn’t this really just an extension of Midtown/Montrose though?
This is just me, but I don’t think Almeda has a catchy enough name. Montrose, Washington, Midtown and Downtown all sound ‘cool’. “Let’s go party on Almeda!” doesn’t have a nice ring to it, I keep on thinking of Almeda Mall!
That’s what I was thinking Terry. They’ll have to break some established scenes or be offering cheap drinks for college crowds. The problem with cheap drinks though is that it could invite undesirable crowds, but a cover charge can handle that.
Well, if you’re talking about undesirable crowds, let’s not forget Third Ward is just across 288.
Yeah, I’m not seeing Almeda becoming a trendy hot spot. Though, the Shepherd/Durham corridor and the East side of Downtown seem plausible. Both contain a smattering of old commercial buildings that could be converted to bars/clubs with plenty of adjacent vacant lots to provide parking.
I order pizza from a joint on Alameda. They’ll give you unlimited toppings for a flat rate, and you can order fruit smoothies with your pie.
Remember your club education kids … you only have too be cool till the media and blogs find you.
Washington Avenue has a LOOOOOOOOOONG way to go before its “done”. I feel like people that make these statements do not understand the fundamentals of that sub market. Average HH income in that that market is pushing $90K. Just look at at the home values in the area! Restaurants on Washington Ave. have some of the highest PSF sales in the city and Target at I-10/Sawyer is the most re-stocked Target in Houston. Once HEB finishes their deal (if they haven’t already) it will give that market even more credibility and will attract even more retailers.
The fundamental problem with Washington nightlife scene is that, other than few select operators, majority of these so-called “club owners” are dead broke and have NO idea what they are doing. I’ve dealt with enough of them on Washington and in Midtown to know this. I wouldn’t let these people mow my lawn let along run a night club. It is just embarrassing how poor and disorganized our nightlife scene is compared to other major cities.
I also think the city is to blame for these parking wars on Washington. And this has nothing to do with zoning! They could have prevented this problem by making sure that these clubs have adequate on-site parking before issuing COs. Now they are trying to put a bandage on a bullet wound.
And as far as Almeda being the next “it” for nightlife … yeah right!! There is a reason that area has lots of “empty spaces”.
I think the cool club kids have just moved on already when an old fart like me knows where to go out. Almeda might never pop but that area is getting brighter everyday!
Landguy, are you talking about Washington as a neighborhood, or Washington as a hot spot? If you’re talking about Washington as neighborhood, you are correct: It still has some life left (despite the dull-ass townhomes).
If you’re talking about Washington as a hot spot, you are wrong. There’s a two, two-and-a-half year window in Houston for hot spots, and that’s basically it.
Washington will start fading out in about a year.
May be the clubs will move to third ward as in the 1940-50s. It was a wonderful time, there was even a Three Brothers Bakery on Holman.
LandGuy mentioned HEB making a deal. What plans does HEB have in the Washington corridor?
@NorhillJoe – the Waugh property where the Heights Armature works used to be, IIRC.
@norhilljoe – I hear HEB is close to making a deal on the tract west of Yale, south of I-10 and north of Market St. Supposedly they approved the site.
Brand it “The Almeda” and it might get more cache. I’ve never understood why Almeda never became a more popular street. Its a huge boulevard (with a great view of downtown) that connects the two major employment centers…Med Center and Downtown. I agree with DeamDean and Drew that Washington is a bit past the top of the bell curve of popularity. I don’t necessarily agree that the neighborhood has staying power. Problems in the area relate to schools, lack of businesses other than bars, oversupply of very similar housing stock. HH income doesn’t matter when people start to leave. Just look at Sharpstown. My reason for staying away from those townhomes…Any one of those townhomes could be easily tweaked in the future to be 2 apartments. Pair that with the common driveways and you could easily have alot of people sharing a pretty small area.
There is no Market St where you are talking about. I’m not discounting the HEB information though. I hope one does show up.
@kjb434 – sorry I meant Center St. not Market St.
Ok, that’s what I figured. Just checking.
I agree that Washington Avenue has another 9-12months of being the hip place. The area not making it as a neighborhood – totally disagree. Affordable housing (for now) that is in close proximity to downtown (stadiums), Memorial Park, Washington Avenue (which if you look more and more retail is appearing)..how can it be beat? Few people that choose to live in the city do so for schools. If you live inside the loop and have kids, plan on private school.
Another thing for y’all to think about that Washington has on it’s side is traffic counts. In order to get funding for commercial businesses, traffic counts are a VITAL statistic. With Washington Ave being a historical thoroughfare from downtown to Memorial Park/610 and I-10 bordering the northern half of the “Corridor”, this makes it extremely attractive for land value and commerce opportunities (not to mention Shepherd/Durham being super-busy). I don’t really see Almeda having that same traffic count benefits.
Also, those that are predicting a 2-3 year total life cycle for a “hotspot”, Washington Ave began as a hotspot 2-3 years AGO. This is when Pearl, Max’s and Drake first opened. Perhaps Wash is bucking the trend, but I hope that 2-3 years later the d-bags will move on to, hopefully, Almeda!
Almeda would be a great area– not for a transient Richmond/Midtown/Washington kiddie club scene, but for a much smaller live music strip like Frenchman St in New Orleans. A modern version of the old Third Ward heyday–think of a Gallant Knight, a Shakespeare’s or a Reddi Room all together geographically.
wow all these comments. I want to be clear I was talking about the club scene not the housing or community value in the areas. I think of Wash Ave as Augusta or Bering when richmond strip was hot. Lots of private parties just like off Houston Ave these days.
Nord and LandGuy. Thanks for the details. I hope the deal goes through, it would be great to have a HEB close to my home.
I’d like to see a little integration in this city – a lot of areas are still divided by drastically divided along racial lines. A jazz/arts district along Almeda would be an awesome way to integrate the 3rd Ward into the economic growth and cultural expansion of Houston that the neighborhood has been missing out on. Plus, we could reclaim some of the rich heritage that came from forgotten neighborhoods, such as the 3rd Ward.