Ellington Spaceport Takes Off; Oil Trains in the East End; The High Cost of Off-Street Parking Requirements

View of Downtown from Hermann Park, Houston

Photo of Downtown from Hermann Park: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


10 Comment

  • Why stop there? It’s time to take a look at Lincoln memorials too.

    “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” Abraham Lincoln.

    Also let’s not forget Grant and Sherman owned slaves.

    Houston real estate blog, huh?

  • Hey Biasedmuch, I think the rules for real estate blogs state that the owner of the blog can post whatever the hell he/she wants to and they don’t actually have to allow whiney comments but will if they are feeling generous.

  • The real hate crime in this country is all the white people that care more about making themselves feel good by attacking others to justify their existence and combat the shame they have for their own skin color, rather than doing REAL work to combat the massive poverty and crime taking place in minority communities. I have done the real work and a few hours with these young kids will do more than years of campaigning for to remove some stupid symbol.

  • I’m as against off-street parking minimums as anyone, but the Houston Tomorrow post contains some bizarre economic reasoning. It concludes that, since low-density retail (he uses the Yale St. Walmart development as an example) has a lower appraised value per s.f. of land than other uses (he uses nearby apartment and townhouse developments as examples), the parking minimums are costing CoH tax money.
    Yes, high-density uses are more valuable on a per-square-foot basis than low-density uses; this is tautologically true. But to say that encouraging low-density uses leaves property tax money on the table assumes that the local economy can absorb infinite (or at least much, much more) residential and commercial development without underlying prices being affected.

  • Interesting. All you have to do is post something race-related and white people come out and immediately start making fools of themselves. That’s all it takes.

  • Re: Oil trains shipping 2 to 6 million gallons of oil through the East End
    While I appreciate the East Enders’ wish to reroute the trains, the simple question is to ask: Where?
    The simple fact is that the East End is in proximity to the Ship Channel as well as the refineries so it seems to make sense that the trains will have to roll into a neighborhood that is close to those destinations. So, until we stop shipping oil through these parts, it will be something they will have to live with.

  • @Angostura: Two points in response to your comment. (1) While a given geographic market can support only so much of any one use at a single point in time without lowering prices, a large plot of land like the retail center could support several different uses in a city with no zoning, giving such properties multiple ways to use up their site without oversupplying the market. (2) It seems the issue isn’t so much with density in terms of floor-area ratio (FAR) – townhomes, while denser than detached single family, are at best moderately dense by urban FAR standards – as with devoting so much land to dedicated parking via mandatory regulations and/or developer and tenant convention, which also reduces the ability to incrementally convert the site by adding more structures over time unless deliberately planned from the git-go. A site majority covered by one-story buildings – such as a typical strip center structures – is more efficient and tax-generating than a typical retail site that’s just 25% to 33% building and the remainder parking and detention.

  • @Progg No joke, that really didn’t take much. I think its pretty ironic in the first place that we even have confederate memorials in a city named after Sam Houston. Ignorant folk who don’t know their own states history feel free to figure out what I mean by that on your own.

  • People really chafe a lot at Houston’s parking requirements, and understandably so. Most of Houston was planned using the Post World War II model, with seas of parking, punctuated by buildings. It’s the opposite of what is fashionable today.
    At the same time, until effective public transit covers our entire metropolitan area, many Houstonians will have to rely on automobiles. We’re not going to give up our cars until there is an alternative, and we’re not going to abandon neighborhoods to all crowd into the few areas where public transit already exists. I’ve harped, over and over on the reasons why so I won’t go into them here. But the point is that we will need to provide parking in our city for a long time to come.
    So what can we do? Make parking more dense so that it fits into the urban fabric. Build central parking garages. Look seriously at ways for different adjacent uses to share parking. The list goes on. But the key should be to make parking work, not to eliminate parking altogether just because we don’t want to have to provide it.

  • This is the second time that I’ve seen those renderings come across about the Spaceport. And for all of the discussion about it, I’m still scratching my head about how all of that infrastructure will be financed and what it might mean in terms of economic development. Does anybody have any reliable and useful information about the project?