Houston Market a ‘Buy’; What’s New for NRG Stadium; Heights Mercantile Gets a Beauty Addition

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32 Comment

  • There’s something deeply troubling about the location of Sugar land’s city hall. As a government building it is public space, but it is surrounded on all four sides by private space. One could theoretically protest there, but mall cops could block access for potential protesters. I’m sure every Sugar Land citizen will always be so content that they never feel the need to protest, and we’ll never have to test this.

  • Sugar Land City Hall is not a land locked fortress. There is a public infrastructure owned by the Sugar Land Town Square Development Authority (an LGC) that guarantees access by the public to City Hall. Mall owners and mall cops cannot block this public infrastructure and suppress the right to peaceful protest. They will block you if you are intent on holding your protest within the mall, but not if you’re in a public space.

  • @Webster: Really? I’ve been down there many times and I don’t see any public roads allowing access to city hall. What public infrastructure are you talking about?

  • Perhaps there is a public easement granted by the mall so that citizens can trek to/from the City Hall? I don’t live or work in Sugar Land so I have no dog in this hunt.

  • @Wolf Brand Chili: There is a small parking lot behind city hall, but it is only accessible from private roads. The square in front of city hall is also only accessible from private roads. Or so it seems to me, a Houston resident who works in Sugar Land.

  • What is a city hall for if not protesting? That is really the only criticism you have for it?

  • “Houston a Top ‘Buy’ Market for Apartment Investors, According to Ten-X Commercial [Houston Chronicle]”
    Ya got that right. The prices today for apartments (on the buy side, not so much the rent side) is INSANE. Like, a literal double in the last few years while rents have stayed about the same or maybe went up a bit. I’m much more of a buyer than a seller but I’ve found I have no choice but to sell to the crazies willing to pay what they’re paying today.

  • “What is a city hall for if not protesting?”
    Uh, provide office and meeting space for city employees for the purpose of governance?
    Maybe it’s because my political leanings lean right (insomuch as they lean libertarian), but I’ve never thought about ‘what type of access does my city hall have so I can go and protest”. I don’t even know where my city hall is. I don’t want to have anything to do with those morons.

  • joel: I like that Mansion Hell site. it’s too bad he has to throw in his own leftist political jabs which don’t really have anything to do with the theme of the site. Sort of an eye rolling turn off for ~1/2 the audience.

  • Memebag: If you go to the Sugar Land Town Square website, you will see a clear statement that reads: “Sugar Land Town Square is a public/private partnership between the City of Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District Number 2 and PCD.” Further, you can google the role played by the Sugar Land Town Square Development Authority in the ownership structure of the square. Thus, your fear that Occupy Wall Street followers or Antifa will not have access to City Hall because mall owners can seal off access, is a myth.

  • Cody, it was written up for Vox so well noted; but I’d say that trashing the opulent / filthy rich and every step they take to buttress their wealth / income levels from the reaches of the masses has been a cultural hallmark of this country that cuts straight through any political BS and should not be relegated to any one party.
    Let’s face it, people like DeVos (& Bezos) and a lot of what the policies they stand behind should be hated by both parties and everyone in this country equally.

  • Cody, constantly complains about others making Leftist comments which have nothing to do with the topic at hand…

    Cody, constantly letting everyone at Swamplot know about his Right Wing/Libertarian leanings LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • @Cody “I like that Mansion Hell site. it’s too bad he has to throw in his own leftist political jabs ”

    His name is Kate Wagner, and he’s a woman. Turns out even girls have opinions on architecture and politics!
    What a world.

  • Peaceful protest is neither left nor right wing. It is (supposed to be) baked into our style of democracy. Philadelphia was purposefully laid out with an abundance of public space interleaved with private space to encourage protest and open discourse.
    @Webster: I can’t find anything on the Sugar Land Town Square web site or anywhere else on the internet that guarantees public access across the privately held land. If you know of such a guarantee, please share. Thanks.

  • @Joel: It’s strange that you think everyone should agree with you. I respect other’s opinions and fully expect that there will be people who have opinions I don’t agree with. Believe it or not there are people who are very happy with what Betsy Devos is doing. If she could just shut down the Department of Education completely I would be much happier with her.

  • Memebag: No website for a public square would find it necessary to carry a statement that says: “We guarantee public access to protesters”. It is assumed (perhaps, unreasonably) that readers are aware from having studied Social Studies in middle school, that the U.S. Constitution and all the rights it guarantees are honored in all public spaces. Moreover, a working familiarity with the legal concept of easements should be a prerequisite to raising alarums about the imagined risk of suppression.

  • @Webster: My question isn’t about the public square, just the private land that entirely surrounds it. What easement is there? Why do you speak as if you know the public space is acceptable, but you refuse to tell us how you know that? Or does it just bug you that I raised the question?

  • My point, inadequately conveyed due to a lack of a sarcasm font, was that lack of convenience for protesters is an absurd criticism for a city hall. I assure you, if people want to protest, they will find a way to do so.

  • @Victor Sifuentes: My point is that it is our duty as citizens to make it easy for people to protest. A public square is policed by police, and those police work for us. A mall is policed by security guards, and they work for the owner/operator of the mall.

  • @Victor Sifuentes: Also, your sarcasm was hard to detect because lack of convenience for protesters is hardly an absurd criticism. City halls and other public spaces are there for us to interact with each other. Protest is an important interaction. That’s what we’ve told ourselves, anyway, since the US was founded.
    So most of y’all are anti-protesting? I don’t understand that position. Either everything is perfect the way it is (which seems mathematically impossible, since so many things contradict each other), or you don’t like something but don’t care enough to try to change it. Is it really just apathy?

  • @BigTex – Yes but does Kate identify as a Woman. That is so short sighted by you Cis Genders…

  • Memebag: And why do you suppose that mall cops could block protesters from accessing the square without telling us how you came upon this unexplained revelation? Even private property that’s completely bounded on all sides will be legally entitled to a right of way for entry and egress. The owner will not be required to dig a tunnel or fly a helicopter to his property to evade a barricade of cops. And to think this does not involve the constitutionally protected right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Also, had sloth not prevented you from doing your own research, you would have found that the public infrastructure in Sugar Land Town Square is owned by the Local Government Corporation, and not a private entity. Thus, the security guard at Ben and Jerry’s cannot stop protesters from accessing the Square in the remote possibility that Ann Coulter drops by City Hall for a chat with the mayor.

  • @Webster: I know mall cops can block (and remove) protesters because that’s a well established fact. A mall is private property. The owner of the property (or their agent) can regulate its use.
    My concern about access doesn’t have anything to do with who owns the public infrastructure. My concern is that the public infrastructure is entirely surrounded by private property. I’m not aware of any other city halls that are surrounded by private property.
    Are you aware of any legal precedent that protects the right to cross private property for political/free speech purposes? I’m not.

  • Memebag, your passion for protesting reminds me so much of a King Missile song from the 90s about people who protest because it’s Saturday and there is nothing else to do. I get it that some people are aggrieved periodically by their government. I am too, sometimes. However, the answer is not always to get signs and march around the building. There are other ways to let your grievance be known, and they are often more effective and less grandstanding.

  • Memebag: A mall cop can prevent you from protesting if you are within the mall. That is private property. When you are in a road owned by the mall that is traditionally used to access an adjoining private property or a public space, the mall cop will have to honor the right of way, and may not obstruct traffic to the adjoining or “dominant” private property or public space. You are not holding your protest in the privately-owned road, but in the public square, and you are only using the road for access. Since you raise the question about whether mall cops can seal off access by protesters to city hall, you may initiate a deed research to verify if the roads you refer to form part of the “public infrastructure” owned by the LGC, or if an easement/right of way is recorded on the deed. However, a right of way can also be established through long use, and thus, even if there’s no record, there is no reason to fear that burly mall cops may arbitrarily decide to dishonor an established right of way. If protesters want to assemble in town square to petition for the removal of the Stephen F. Austin sculpture because of his views on slavery, or the “selfie” statue because it depicts gross youthful narcissism, it would be paranoid to suspect that mall cops would have the authority to interfere in any way with the exercise.

  • @Victor Sifuentes: You sound like you’re just opposed to peaceful protest in general. That’s your right, but your comments don’t do anything to soothe my concern about access to the Sugar Land city hall. I’m not asking about the efficacy of peaceful protest, nor am I advocating any specific protest. I’m concerned about how land use influences our political processes, that’s all.
    Shopping malls have moved a lot of our activities from public to private spaces. That changes our culture. A lot of people like those changes. Maybe they are what we really wanted all along. Maybe when we used to say “freedom” we actually meant “convenience”.

  • @memebag
    Thank you for articulating concerns I’ve had since malls took over Main Street.
    We’re granted to right to assemble, and the right to free speech, and the right to petition our government, yet none of these rights apply when exercised on someone else’s private property. As you correctly point out, restricting access to a public space has the same result.

  • @Webster: I don’t imagine mall cops arbitrarily blocking access to public space. I imagine them doing it on purpose, at the behest of the mall owner/operator, who may block access as a favor to a political entity opposed to the protest.
    The roads are on private property. A court might decide the owner can’t block access, but that would likely be long after the access was denied.
    @Big Tex: You’re welcome. I’m surprised more people aren’t bothered by this arrangement.

  • Memebag: The problem is not the accessibility of town square to protesters, but your inability to distinguish between what is possible and what is probable. No urban design will survive the possible disaster scenarios concocted by the hyperactive imagination of the paranoid. Yes, it is possible that mall owners can conspire with local officials, but in this case the problem would be corruption, and not the juxtaposition of public and private spaces. Besides, if you look at current events, the threat to peaceful assembly is not coming from private property owners, but from mobs and protesters who damage private property to deny people they disagree with the right to assemble and free expression. Check out what is happening to our universities, and to cities like Ferguson, Milwaukee, and Baltimore to name a few where private buildings and shops were damaged by protesters who abused the right to assemble. Where exactly did mall cops block access by protesters to a public space? No one has heard of it, and this is a bogeyman held out to support the fictitious narrative that protesters are helpless victims of property owners.

  • @Webster: I’m not talking about today. I’m talking about the future. And since I don’t know of any other city halls surrounded by malls, I doubt there are any examples of mall cops blocking access to city hall. Don’t take it personally. I want my kids and their kids to enjoy the freedoms I have. I don’t want them to live in a world where the seat of government is isolated by commercial interests. It isn’t paranoid to recognize that politicians and wealthy people collude to protect their own interests. It’s the bane of democracy, and it’s our job as citizens to stop it when we see it.

  • Memebag: Thank you for acknowledging that there are no examples of mall cops blocking access to city hall. That has never happened, not even in the movies. If you want to preserve our freedoms for posterity, you need to train your sights on actual and probable threats e.g., protesters using violence to silence individuals with whom they disagree, or protesters destroying private property. It is not always about the wealthy vs. the poor. Ideology seems to be a more potent divider in our society, and this cuts across economic classes.