Guarding Against Construction Worker Walk-Offs; The Bodies Buried Outside Brazos Mall

609 main concrete pour

Photo of Sunday’s concrete pour at 609 Main: Memebag


26 Comment

  • The comment about contruction workers is right on. They’re getting their payday now, and then when construction slows they’ll be shocked and upset when their labor isn’t worth as much.
    Supply and demand works both ways. I accept the fact I have to pay more to get stuff done now as I remember a few years ago I was paying less (from those willing to work and not at home huffing and puffing that they were not making what they thought they should make). I used to put a tile job on craigslist and get 100 replies. Now they’ll all pass unless it’s $$
    The cost value of labor isn’t fixed. If you can install floors, there are going to be times you gotta take $1/sf to stay busy and times you can insist on $3/sf because demand is so high. Somehow when the market is slow, buyer of labor are “taking advantage” but when the labor market is hot I never hear the opposit claim.

  • Glad Mandell Park is back open, and the upgrades look nice, but the important question remains…will there be Sunday LARPing again?

  • Re: UoH stadium
    “Student section: 5,000 permanent seats in the east end of stadium. The section will be expanded to 7,500 for the first game.”

    The absolute worst part of the stadium considering the sun and no view (other than the view of people in premium suites), and the ONLY one that is usually filled. This will become obvious if any game is ever televised and especially when they pan to the cityscape.
    UoH students should boycott.

  • Re: 3rd Ward

    WTF does this mean? The State Rep for this neighborhood won’t let you move here if you desire the prime location?

    “State Rep. Garnet Coleman is worried about the most often discussed problem in all six wards – gentrification. He welcomes new residents who want to become part of the neighborhood and respect the Third Ward traditions and culture.

    For those moving in only because “they’re dying to get to downtown as fast as they can,” forget it, Coleman says. “We don’t need more three-story boxes, either.””

  • The Mall thing has been known for a long time to locals but it’s nice to see that they’re doing the right thing. 1943 topo maps show two cemeteries, one by the Mt. Zion church and one closer to the mall area. Yes, that probably was an area for slave and prisoner burials. Hard to know.

  • I respect Rep. Coleman’s passion for the history of the 3rd Ward, but his rhetoric is borderline racist. We all know gentrification is code word for whites moving into the area. Much of 3rd Ward is blighted and dangerous, you’d think he’d welcome some investment and people likely to be respectful of laws. To listen to him you’d think 3rd Ward was Xanadu, instead of a mostly dangerous, run down ghetto. It’s all moot because he has no real power to stop gentrification, certainly not in Houston. If Montrose can’t stop it no way can the 3rd Ward. He needs to lose the class warfare anti Anglo rheoric and be happy that finally some real change is coming to that blighted area. Oh and I hardly think Texas Southern is “thriving”–more like on live support only afloat because of the state of Texas and the Cullen Endowment.

  • TSU’s financials are posted for all to look at:

    Thirty-three percent of revenues are from the Feds, mostly in grants and contracts, if I read this correctly. It is true much of this is awarded because TSU is an HBU, but hey, you take any advantage given. State contribution is miniscule. Governor Perry and his cronies are implacably hostile to education, and the state is rapidly getting out of the higher education business, except to apply oppressive conditions in return for the pathetic support they do condescend to allow. Cullen Foundation is nowhere to be found.

  • Same thing that’s happening with the 3rd ward is happening with Oak Forest (mostly gentrified) and Inwood Forest which is on the fringe of gentrification. Having recently moved to Oak Forest I experience this level of reverse racism daily as if somehow Caucasians are doing some massive disservice to the area, improving things, revitalizing it, as opposed to letting it continue to deteriorate and be crime ridden. If the current residents have such an issue with it, why not make strides to get a better education, better employment, and live where ever they choose instead of subjecting those who can afford to live there to strange level of contempt for trying to improve an area.. Sure I miss living downtown/montrose but unless you’re making 6 figures a year it’s nigh impossible to live there with a family any more. Am I bitter about it? Not really, but I still loathe the loss of the history in lieu of the stucco monstrosities taking their place unceremoniously, but that’s progress. I don’t see the people on FM1960/Cypress creek parkway whining as their crime rates go through the roof and schools deteriorate as those displaced by gentrification are flooding the area, as for the most part they are welcomed to what used to be very Anglo-centric suburbia.

  • Lookout Garnet, here come Whitey!

  • Shannon: There has been several times I’ve been yelled at and threatened when fixing up places in 3rd ward “Get out of OUR neighborhood!” type stuff. Mostly from older black residents. Sometimes it’s been downright scary (a guy said “I’m going to get some of my black bothers and show you and your wetback workers who’s neighborhood this really is!”
    Wish I was making it up. Took me off guard. I didn’t realize such racism still existed. I give some of the older black generation a pass since I’m sure they’ve seen some messed up stuff, but it gets to the point where you’re wondering if something violent might happen.

  • Re 3rd ward:
    As the events in Ferguson have shown us yet again, the coexistence (integration) is only surface deep and when serious things happen, all civility and progress are out the window overnight and show what people really think (on both sides).
    For that reason I have absolutely no interest in living in 3rd ward or any neighborhood similar to it. It’s nice and dandy until the pretense is kept up, but the moment something REAL happens, there’s a brick flying though my window.

  • I completely agree with Commonsense, however most are not as successful as he and can’t escape to the safety of the bucolic environs of Memorial. When I visit my friends in Riverside Terrace we often bike ride around the neighborhood and are often met with less than friendly faces. We have been yelled at more than once. Taunted with racist cat calls and threats and this is deep inside Riverside Terrace. It’s infuriating, but we just ignore them and ride on, looking at each other amazed that this happens in 2014. You never seem to hear about black racism, it’s always them calling Al Sharpton if a white person even crossed the street to avoid them. I actually like RT, but wouldn’t live there, you’re one accidental shooting away from your house being set on fire.

  • Kudos to all involved in seeing Mandell Park come to fruition. A green oasis and community garden create neighborhood ties like nothing else can. I hope this is a precedent that the city can replicate over & over elsewhere throughout Houston.

  • this comment seems to go hand in hand with Cody’s. as pleasant as its sounds, most of those who have lived their whole lives in 3rd ward never would have had access to such aspirations no matter how hard they could have tried without making significant sacrifices that the typical middle class person would not make themselves:

    “why not make strides to get a better education, better employment, and live where ever they choose instead of subjecting those who can afford to live there to strange level of contempt for trying to improve an area”
    obviously they should be civil about it, but in all fairness it’s entirely accurate that the new residents don’t have any interest in the educational attainment of the current residents or have taken any major actions to help provide for such. paying money for a brand new place and then striving to protect your investment by creating a new culture that you’re comfortable in is not the same as “improving an area.” one entails hard fought batlles with many setbacks while the other is simply tending your plot.

    it would be entirely accurate to state that most of all the displaced residents will find themselves in locations further away from prime jobs making them even more dependent on transportation that comes at a much more significant cost to them. while everyone in the loop likes to trumpet the glories of light rail, you don’t see many of these folks bemoaning the high debt it places on Metro restricting any future growth opportunities they could provide for in other areas of town.
    these folks could actually attend decent colleges at very discounted rates and pay significantly less than our Canadian counterparts whom are well on their way to being over-educated, but without having elementary, junior and high schools providing the building blocks for such achievement many of these folks are lost in their surroundings and in how best to escape it.

    let’s not forget that irregardless of individual achievements, we are indeed living in one of the states with weak educational attainment rates within the least educated industrialized country in the world. they should certainly be doing much more, as should we all.

  • Shannon: i went to U of H in the late 80’s and early 90’s. the third ward is the only place where black folks actively tried to hurt me in a car chase. i was just heading down Elgin from Numbers and some black guys started to chase me and my girlfriend, going down the back streets of 3rd ward at 60 miles an hour with our head lights turned off fleeing from 4 angry black guys (apparently her glancing over at them was enough to justify trying to run us off the road).

    that being said, black folks in that area seem to believe the 3rd ward belongs to them. what they fail to realize is they have already lost it. i drive around there to pick by kid up from BCMA and i see many hispanics push strollers and walking around. Once hispanics move into an area, gentrification is sure to follow.

    Of course, we know anti-gentrification is code for anti-white, anti-asian and anti-hispanic but other than act like the racists folks they are, they have lost the war.

    there is nothing they can do about it and so all they can do is try to get Coleman and that other idiot SJ Lee to try to do something. Coleman and SJ Lee are worried because their areas are becoming hispanic and white. they are worried and know they will lose power just like the black politicians did in Compton and South Central LA.

  • Here’s the thing. They didn’t stay home huffing and puffing. They moved on. Now it’s really hard finding skilled construction workers. Contractors can’t find skilled labor.

  • Hey! I took that picture up there! I was riding my bike downtown on Sunday and saw 7 or 8 of those concrete pumping hoses squirting progress down in that big hole.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled hate rest.

  • Wow – – some pretty raw honest comments here.

  • I’d have a hard time believing that what people in here say about how they have been treated in the 3rd if it didn’t happen to me as well.
    there are extremists everywhere and of every color, but I’m soured on the 3rd and I’m inclined to just go around rather than through.
    I genuinely hope that when they get gentrified out of the neighborhood that the extremists stuck in the past don’t come to my neighborhood, there’s no room here for that kind of hatred here.

  • i’m still not buying it. personal anecdotes don’t count as justifications of sweeping bigotry. we all have access to crime stats and other actual statistical data that can be used to further arguments. any part of town with long legacies of deep poverty would have “these types”. just because people inevitably spend more time in the 3rd ward due to it’s proximity to UH, TSU, med center, midtown etc. doesn’t prove anything that it’s residents are more violent or resentful than any other part of town with similar rates of generational poverty. i’ve spent a lot of time in and about the 3rd ward without any problems, but you know what, that doesn’t prove a thing and i’d be ignorant to argue as such.

  • @joel, you don’t see those attitudes in Gulfton or seedy parts of Pasadena. It seems such behavior and visible resentfulness is only prevalent in one group of people.

    Also when new poor immigrants moving in that don’t speak English is considered gentrification… you know you’re in the wrong hood.

  • Gentrification, so long as it’s not directly abetted by inequitable provision of public services, is not evil, (you could view it as good, in terms of objective economic stability), it just IS. People who assign a moral dimension to it should not be indulged with airtime in the public discourse.

  • I’d agree that neither Pasadena or Gulfton could be compared to the third ward. neither of those neighborhoods bears the marks of racial segregation or such deep and vast poverty as what was found in the third ward. I can’t speak on behalf of Gulfton, but after growing up in Pasadena I know that it was a largely white suburb that was slowly abandoned for ever distant suburbs once lower income families, and eventually transplanted gangs, took their toll on the area. it’s always been a working class blue-collar neighborhood for the ship channel industries with much lower rates of poverty, and always will be. most families living there haven’t even been there for a single generation.
    the conversation was mainly in regards to gentrification though and just like we continually hear about people complaining about the loss of the artistic creativity and gayborhood that typified the montrose area prior gentrification, we’re going to continue to hear about the loss of one of the city’s oldest, if not the most historical, african-american neighborhood. i don’t think the loss of the montrose’s or the third wards rich histories and identities are anything to revel in or celebrate. gentrification, whether by newer higher-income working class immigrants or $300k townhome complexes, will not bring relief or alleviate the plight of current residents in any way. the history will be paved over and they will be forced to move to either the nickel or south park areas where there are next to no such thing as middle class jobs, or many livable wages for that matter. these places really are job deserts. many will be entirely dependent on high-cost transportation to retail/service jobs and secondary education classes that are only that much harder to reach.
    perhaps i’m wrong, can anyone confirm that the slow gentrification of the third ward has done anything to improve the school funding and high school testing scores in these areas?

  • and thank you for your asinine points Local Planner. this isn’t about assigning moral dimensions, it’s about respecting histories and bemoaning the fact that Houston has always had a highly uneducated local population with no fully focused intent on ever fixing that problem.
    i’m sure there’s probably many, there’s just got to be, but I can’t think of a single houston native in my immediate montrose area.

  • Joel: “perhaps i’m wrong, can anyone confirm that the slow gentrification of the third ward has done anything to improve the school funding and high school testing scores in these areas?”

    you are wrong: HISD is funded with property taxes. as property values rise, more taxes are collected and distributed to all schools.

    now, are you asking that 3rd ward schools get extra for what? being black? being historical? i don’t understand why folks should get something just because they live in the area. you can’t throw money at a urban school and expect success. 3rd ward schools lack a culture that values education above everything. sure there are a handful of smart kids with parents who are involved but the evidence shows us that they are a tiny subset of that area and they likely go to a vanguard or magnet school. for a school to be successful, parents have to hold their kids accountable, they have to help make the kids successful. i don’t see that happening with the current denizens of the 3rd ward. don’t blame it on poverty, i know plenty of hispanics and vietnamese who came here with nothing and demanded success from their children in school.

    the thing is, its not racial but cultural. have plenty of friends from uganda, nigeria and kenya who also value education expect excellence from their children. they have a culture that values education.

    as far as scores go. i doubt seriously that they will improve until more whites, hispanics and asians move in the area and go to school. until then, why should the scores improve, the culture that is in the 3rd ward is one of poverty and dependency on government largess. if it wasn’t i wouldn’t see scores of young black men in their 20’s wandering around the streets in the middle of the day. the people of 3rd ward simply don’t have the culture that allows them to be successful.

    all this talk about historical 3rd ward and how it is valuable , is just bunk. who cares? i promise there isn’t a hispanic who cares about the history of 3rd ward.

    what have the people of the 3rd ward done to improve themselves? the area was a dump until gentrification. like a large majority of people, i am getting tired of black folks and their liberal white knights crying racism as an excuse for every failure. the hispanics who are moving in to the area don’t care. they know they don’t owe black folks anything and white people are tired of blacks and liberals trying to guilt them at every turn.

    i did find it interesting that you discounted the personal stories of those of us who encountered racist black folks but hold the stories of black folks with “long legacies of deep poverty” as valid.

    the simple fact of the matter is that the 3rd ward is changing for the better because of gentrification and the influx of hispanics, whites and asians. black folks had that area for decades and all they managed to do was turn it into a crime ridden, drug dealing, government handout, urban wasteland. Coleman and other “leaders” can complain and whine all they want but the 3rd ward belongs to the people who actually own the land and not a group of folks so stuck in the past that they can’t see they are responsible for their own failures, not whitey.

  • i’m talking about turning around a “culture” for the betterment of Houston’s talent pool and real estate. you all seem to be primarily interested in pushing these people out further and out of sight rather than addressing this “culture” head on. again, your continued comparisons to immigrant populations, which in and of themselves are nowhere near as poor as you apparently like to presume they are are not applicable here. you even happened to throw out nigerians which are of course the wealthiest sub-group in Houston. i know very few immigrants that came from areas with as deep poverty in their countries as the 3rd ward is in america and for good reason, immigrating is a very costly and timely process.
    but don’t let me get in your way, let’s just go ahead and create some more ghettos with no access livable wages and move on.