Headlines: Second Chance for Magnolia Glen; Maine-Ly Sandwiches in Montrose

Photo: Jackson Myers via Swamplot Flickr Pool

12 Comment

  • Shouldn’t everybody be happy that any sort of legitimate business is opening in the Northwest Mall?

  • The homeless center was shot down 5 years ago but the compassionate souls at the non-profit apparently are cold hearted when it comes to the wishes of the local NIMBYs.

  • What’s frustrating about the Magnolia Glen Homeless Shelter (er, excuse me, Earl Hatcher Commons)is that, instead of working with neighborhoods to build projects that are mutually beneficial, the Housing Corporation of Greater Houston has chosen a cloak and dagger approach. This is anathema to how development in Houston SHOULD happen, and it only serves to heighten mistrust and make more people join the pro-zoning camp.
    Another item to consider: the Housing Corporation of Houuston has many of these SROs in lower and middle income neighborhoods all around town. But their offices are actually in Montrose, near Star Pizza. Why would they not locate their offices next to one of their facilities? I would save money to do so. (This is just a pet peeve of mine when it comes to low-income housing developers and homeless service providers. Too often they seem to do the dirty work in other people’s neighborhoods.)

  • why dont they build the homeless shelter where all of the homeless are, in downtown??

  • don’t you say the exact same thing about every single development ZAW, regardless of what it is?

    exactly how much money is the city supposed to spend on locating the land and reviewing the process with nominated neighborhoods until one of them finally approves and relents (because that’s what we’re talking here, obviously nobody would agree to it)? how many people remain un-sheltered while these negotiations extend onwards on the public dime? why should development of these resources be any different as opposed to the building of freeways and railways where the city takes land as needed?

  • No. I have repeatedly shown cases where the neighbors WOULD support low income development. And in fact, we did in our neighborhood when it was done the right way.
    But to the matter of the Mgnolia Glen: Two years ago, the Beacon Center for the homeless was sued by an irate neighbor, who was at his wits end over their clients sleeping (and urinating) in his doorway. I suggested that Tom Lord’s group could have teamed up with the Beacon to build an attached SRO – a place where Beacon clients can stay so they’re not sleeping in neighbors’ doorways. If done correctly, this would have been the kind of mutually beneficial development that I’m talking about.

  • @ZAW-You mention that you have repeatedly shown where neighbors that “WOULD” support low income housing and further the notion that your very own neighborhood “would” support supportive housing if “it is done the right way;” what neighborhood do you live in?

    It is very easy to present oneself as being very altruistic and inviting of supportive housing, so please let me know where you live so that I may further your wishes. Additionally, providing supportive housing does not have to be characterized as all bad nor is it necessary to disparage one developer/operator that is actually doing something about it versus just bitching. If you are ready and willing to shoot someone else down for their efforts, possibly it is time for you to personally “put up or shut up.”

  • We DID support low income housing in our neighborhood. I was the one who spearheaded the effort when I was President of the Super Neighborhood. It’s a demolition / reconstruction of the Bissonnet Gardems Apartments at 7500 Bissonnet.
    In that case, the developers (Midway) listened to our concerns and have been a champion of causes that the neighborhood was fighting for: what won it was having a powerful ally in the fight against the slum next door (Le Promenade at 7400 Bissonnet); and the fact that they were replacing an existing, poorly built, de-facto low-income housing complex.

  • get what you’re saying ZAW, and i could be wrong, but sounds like you guys got some deep pockets (other nearby operators) involved to hire lawyers and get the existing operators of the housing to agree to concessions on the building redevlopment. not really something 9 out of 10 neighborhoods in this city have access to do or would choose to do.

  • That is more or less what happened, Joel. Access to this kind of deal is actually pretty easy – provided your neighborhood falls in a Special Management District. The hard part is to convince neighbors to accept LIHTC housing, but in our case the existing complex was so bad (and the neighboring complex was even worse) that almost anything would have been an improvement.

  • ZAW,

    Anything planned for the abandoned bright green apartment complex on the other side of Le Promenade?

  • KC- the back half of that complex (Houston Westlake, formerly Kingsgate Village) is actually occupied. The goal is hopefully to get them to sell the abandoned frontage along Bissonnet, (for new retail) and then use the funds to do substantial renovations to the back half of the complex.
    It should be noted that the owners have already made some improvements to that back half as part of the rebranding, but not as much as had been hoped, given how horrible it was when they got it. Kingsgate Village had the third highest number of code violations of any complex city-wide(over 180) when Matthew Stiles did his report in 2008.