Cooking Up a Food Truck Park for Downtown; Lyft’s Last Weeks in Houston

Abandoned Warehouse, East End, Houston

Photo of East End warehouse: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


18 Comment

  • where was that headline pic taken?

    Looks like a warehouse on Sampson St in East End…..

  • It’s a shame that the city didn’t take this opportunity to rethink the stringent regulations put on the taxi industry. All this will do is chase superior, modern companies like Lyft and Uber away, and leave us with the crappy cab service we currently have. Thanks for nothing, COH.

  • What am I missing? Why don’t we want Lyft to comply with the city’s requirements for making sure Lyft drivers aren’t murderers, rapists or just creepy unprofessional dick-heads? But seriously, is there something else I’m not aware of, that we want to keep Lyft despite the fact?

  • I’m all for owner owned apartments, but the HOA fees are obscene. One of my coworkers lives in a ~1500 sq ft condo on Main next to the CVS, and his HOA fees are $900/mo. This does not include parking or insurance on his home. I was really interested in the Travis condos they built a couple years ago with about 15 or so units, but the HOA fee was hard to stomach.
    Are HOA fees high everywhere else? My sister who bought a condo in Downtown OKC has a pretty decently sized space (~1300 sq ft), but her HOA fee, which includes insurance not just for the public spaces, is under $200.
    The cost of condos is actually not terrible, but when they tack on the HOA, it quickly becomes out of reach. I don’t see condos Downtown being remotely affordable, given Houston’s affinity for “luxury.” I mean, even the couple featured rented in the Four Seasons and One Park Place. If I lived there, I could probably just pay my rent and car insurance. That’s about it.

  • I love what’s going on with all the downtown residential development. Can’t wait until it’s bustling all hours like the downtown of a city this size SHOULD be.

  • so in an article supposedly to discuss infrastructure improvements in a densifying montrose all he mentions is lighting up some dumb bridges over 59 and a revised parking ordinance intended to raise start-up costs for new bars and restaurants? if this is all there is to talk about then they seriously don’t have a single thing planned to help the locals, do they?

  • I don’t mind the Yellow Cab service. At least those guys are so out of this world, it feels like there’s almost a seal of confession on what you’re doing or where you’re going in those cabs. Having members of your peer group driving you around to get you wasted seems weird to me.

  • We live in a free market society and if a company doesn’t want to pay for an actual background check, then the market should get to decide if they stay in business. Once 3-4 people get raped and/or killed by drivers, then the market will correct itself and those guys won’t get fares anymore. Problem solved!

  • I had the same reaction upon reading that Montrose Management District’s most notable expenditure will be the lighting of the bridges. What a waste of money when the streets are literally crumbling and the traffic signals are sorely outdated, Outside of a grafitti abatement and them being instrumental in bringing in all the bike rental racks, their website lacks any real accomplishments. At least the Upper Kirby District seems more focused on rebuilding
    a number of streets, doing some noticeable streetscaping, etc……

  • @coconutbutter — Try to imagine what the rent on a comparable place would be when weighing the worth of an HOA fee. If I saw a place with remarkably low fees, I’d be questioning whether the association is truly covering their maintenance cost and properly funding their replacement funds. Sometime in the future something like roof replacement could cause a huge fee spike to cover the cost.

  • 100% Agree with Montroll. All we need is some Lyft drivers with criminal backgrounds to rape people and the market will correct itself. No Liberal government regulations needed!

  • I listen to an internet ‘radio’ station out of Chicago, and one of the advertisers is a cab company that promises great service by ‘following all the rules’, ‘getting proper inspections and background checks’, etc. Don’t underestimate the appeal of claims like this, especially among an older demographic.

  • Damn @notcommonsense…. That was a pretty CommonSense type answer.

  • “Greater East End, Montrose, and Midtown To See Road, Sidewalk Improvements Amid Population Boom”

    Misleading headline…I was ready to be floored by an actual COH strategy to fix potholes and sidewalks. Instead, the article is about already-happened growth, propped up by quotes from propagandists for those nabes.

  • @slugline – Hmm, I don’t know if I agree with this. Even with my old ass SFH that many insurance companies refuse to insure or insure at a high rate, it’s nowhere near the rates that people charge. But I don’t insure large units or have experience with it… (BTW, I took a look at my sister’s insurance policy that was covered by her HOA premium, and it was pretty damned good – something you would never see in Houston. Maybe the scene is just completely different there.)
    While I think $200 to maybe $300 MAY be reasonable in additional to insurance to the insides of your house, $900 seems exorbitant (at least, in the example I noted). Then again, his condo does have a “doorman” most of the time – just not at night.

  • Re: condo fees – not just maintenance but operations of common facilities – doormen, social areas, pool, etc. will drive up the fees. Low fees = bare bones amenities.

    Montrose Management District, or most any management district, doesn’t have nearly enough funds to build infrastructure. Upper Kirby TIRZ funds the capital expenditure work in that area, not the management district. Montrose does not have a TIRZ.

  • Local Planner –noted on TIRZ vs. Mgmt District. Also, you have just given more evidence that the Montrose Management District is a worthless entity whose existence feeds off the extra tax dollars levied on the local businesses.

  • Seriously? Lights on the bridge? They have touted this “project” for at least the last year or so but it has yet to materialize – but it is of little benefit other than glitz factor (replacing the original bad lights). Montrose Management District has the legal chops to assess taxes on Montrose business owners – but what have they actually provided in return? Retainer payments to Hawes Hill? What became of the Stop the District movement?

    Here’s an idea: How about devising a real ACTION plan. How about working with COH on road improvement. Or traffic flow. Or traffic signals. Or protected bike lanes. Or improved parking. Or all of the above. How about actually improving the lower Westheimer streetscape which has an embarrassingly downtrodden “seen better days” look. The Westheimer curve collection of old bungalows and quirky establishments has enormous revitalization / restoration potential. How about capitalizing on that uniqueness? Improve the street lighting. Add signage + branding – whatever became of those potential logos previewed seemingly years ago? How about encouraging / incentivizing Slick Willies and Numbers to toss a coat of Behr’s on their shitty facades.

    Fix the sidewalks. Abate the I-45-sized billboards dotting Montrose which are an absolute blight on our hood – the one towering over Blacksmith completely obliterates its tasteful repurposing of Mary’s and the one across from Buffalo Exchange just wrecks the overall vibe since it’s damn-near street level – hideous.
    Collaborate with Trees for Houston to plant more and varied trees. Develop relationships with HPD to improve neighborhood security. Keep the Covenant gangs in check. Reach out to the local neighborhoods to solicit feedback + share ideas. Work with COH to make the half-assed W Alabama “contra-flow” concept safer to navigate or eliminate it entirely.

    MMD is about feel-good mixers, PR, fees, insiders, consultants … and … meeting minutes.
    There appears to be neither substance nor leadership.

    By contrast, Upper Kirby and Midtown districts have been about ACTION – both have visibly enhanced their districts and continue and to grow their business base. I do not pay taxes to MMD nor am I a business owner but am angered by MMD’s stunning lack of results and accountability. MMD should be abolished.