Police Surveillance Towers Now Roam League City Walmart Parking Lots; 2014’s Great Bounty of Grand Parkway Sprawl

Aerial View of Downtown Houston from East

Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


6 Comment

  • 25000 apartments on line just in time for the collapse of oil….so very Houston. Actually, all will be fine, all those flush 21 year olds will fill these in like a day, no worries.

  • With that many apartments combining line all at once, and with oil doing what it’s doing, these are scary times for Houston. We know from history that developers like to overbuild during the boom years, take their profits, and then flee for greener pastures when the inevitable bust comes. There is no reason to think this go around will be much different.
    There are those who say “oh, but it will be a soft landing this time- not a devastating crash like the late 1980s.” I really hope they’re right, I hope we don’t see abandoned, never finished, bankrupt apartment complexes dragging down neighborhoods all over town. I hope apartments in once-desirable neighborhoods don’t become so desperate for tenants that they abandon screening and drop rents so low the thugs and miscreants move in. But only time will tell.
    And even if it is a soft landing, I would be very uneasy living near an apartment complex near the Beltway or further out. What I foresee happening, in a soft landing, is that rents will stabilize or drop Inside the Loop. If they keep their jobs, a lot of people who rent in the ‘burbs will find they can now get a similar apartment for the same money in a much hipper part of town, so they’ll move. Apartments Inside the Loop will do OK. The big complexes they built near the Energy Corridor, and out by Cinco Ranch, and Richmond/Rosenberg will be devastated. In a desperate effort to keep occupancy rates and profits up, landlords will drop rents through the floor, stop screening tenants, and refuse to do necessary maintenance on the buildings. As a result, crime rates nearby will soar, blight will start to appear, nearby schools will deteriorate, property values will plummet…..All the things they tell us don’t happen with apartments.

  • I’ll just note: This is why I say that Suburban towns are wise to limit he number of apartments and low-end houses that get built. They can’t zone them away altogether or otherwise ban them, but they can put such requirements on their construction (through their building code amendments and landscape/site requirements) that developers think twice.
    For the towns that didn’t, it’s not too late to prepare yourselves: get the bull whips ready. Hire inspectors, tighten up code violation rules and look at upping the fines (to the extent that it’s allowable by Texas statute). The City of Houston should do this, too. There’s not much that can be done about the dropping of rents and the abandonment of tenant screening – but cities can take a strict, zero tolerance approach towards code violations and the appearance of blight. When you’re on the cusp of a market correction: that’s the time to do it.

  • Walmart has the most poorly lit parking lots I have ever been in. Go to the one in the heights…then head over to the Kroger a block away. It is literally night and day. Its irresponsible and unsafe…I won’t shop there at night.

  • @ChefDB that’s just more evidence of how cheap and shortsighted wal-Mart is. No lighting so they can bring you candy half a cent cheaper. I wish people would put No Wal-Mart clauses in their deeds when they convey large tracts of land.

  • The Heights WalMart is just trying to be a good neighbor. One of the issues on the table before it was built was light pollution. They are trying to keep that to a minimum to be good neighbors. Guess there’s no way they can win.