Y’All Can Discuss the West End Walmart on Your Own

Y’ALL CAN DISCUSS THE WEST END WALMART ON YOUR OWN Missed all the fun at last week’s big celebration of Walmart’s impending arrival in the Inner Loop? Two ways you can still get in on the action: Mayor Parker’s office has posted videos of the presentations given by the mayor and chief development officer Andy Icken at the gathering. And a second public meeting is scheduled for tonight, at a venue guaranteed to keep things orderly — The High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. But the folks from Ainbinder and Walmart won’t be around this time, according to the mayor, who’s announced the meeting “will focus solely on areas of the development that are under the city’s control.” [CitizensNet via Off the Kuff; previously on Swamplot]

36 Comment

  • “will focus solely on areas of the development that are under the city’s control.”

    Ok, this is the meeting to go to if you want bigger and better trees than crape myrtles. The mayor should be in support of this simple and cheap request.

    I would ask for a smaller ratio of parking spaces to tree than the city current requires (need to look up the actually number) This will require more tree coverage throughout the parking lot. Then choosing trees that actually develop canopies would also give more shade. A simple but good recommendation.

  • I imagine there will be a lot of yelling about traffic loads. Last I heard the Stop Heights Walmart folks had upped their estimated number of car trips generated by the store from 10,000 to 20,000. By tonight I imagine it could have hit 5 zeros.

  • If Walmart will not be there, then there’s no “red” dress code, right?

  • 10000 car trips is a standard figure adopted by traffic engineers. The developer has mentioned 20000 as being the number of car trips for this particular store. It should be higher than the average suburban store because of its central location in a dense urban environment. But these are not numbers that anti-walmart people have made up to support their cause.

  • It will be a complete waste of time. This mayor has no interest in true urban design and I doubt she or anyone on her staff comprehends complaints about the project being “suburban”. After all it looks like every other strip center in town, so what’s the problem? Developers have always run this city and done whatever the hell they’ve wanted to do; and likely always will because Houstonians are too lazy to force change.
    Yep, go DEMAND bigger trees than crepe myrtles. Then you can be so appreciative when the Mayor “negotiates” to secure that demand and maybe some bigger bushes too, and call it success.
    How can a city that I was born, raised, and educated in be so lame?

  • Many of the people that object to this on the grounds that it’s “suburban” and not “urban” really destroy any chance of anyone from taking you serious. Throwing vague terms of what you do want and what you don’t want doesn’t help. Also, if my idea of urban is different than yours, who is right. The same argument goes for the silly concept of “quality of life”. A vague useless buzzword that millions of dollars are spent on with no clear concept of what it means.

    A simple fact that Houston puts the ability to do with your property as you please (within limits) is a cornerstone of the city. It’s done quite well and a lot people love living here. A VERY SMALL minority of people that object to this are often given a bigger voice than they should get.

    My life doesn’t go to shambles and I don’t lose sleep over a strip center going in instead of a 3 or 4 story mix-used development. Life must be very sweet if that is a concern for me to rack my brain over.

  • Actually the 10,000 figure is a number the anti-Walmart folks took from a traffic engineers report based on data for an average SuperCenter. As the proposed Walmart is only 80% of the size of an average SuperCenter the correct number to have used would have been 8,000. If you could let me know where the developer has mentioned the 20,000 figure I would appreciate it as I have not seen that quote. I fail to see otherwise how the store could generate 2.5 times the number of car trips as expected for a store this size.

  • @ Yale St: Traffic engineers don’t just make big rounded-off assumptions with lots of zeroes behind them. The 10,000 vehicle-per-day figure was introduced to the debate by anti-Wal-Mart activists from a traffic study that the activists did not understand. Rather than using the study’s formulas to compute an accurate estimate of the additional traffic that would be induced on Yale Street (that is, net of the vehicles that already travel Yale that would now use the Wal-Mart because it was on their way between other origins and destinations), they just threw a number out there that was cited as being typical of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. This being a smaller-than-average Supercenter, however, what is actually predicted by the study is something in the seven-thousand-ish range (again, plus the visits from vehicles that were already driving Yale).

    Question. Does anybody have the exact quote from the developer about the 20,000 trips? This particular subject matter should be discussed very precisely to avoid confusion or misinformation from entering the debate.

  • Alright now is the time to ask that it meet the Smart Codes. Might as well try those suckers out on a crap development like this one and see how it plays out.

    “How can a city that I was born, raised, and educated in be so lame?”

    You just answered your own question…it’s because the loudest shriekers are the people who weren’t born, raised, and educated here. I used to make the mistake of taking them seriously until I realized how little they thought of their new home (despite what they -of course- may parrot to the contrary).

  • Oh Lord, “Smart Codes”. Another loaded buzzword that is created to impose demands on developers. Also used so politicians sound like they are doing something good by saying they are for “smart (input anything here)”.

  • Kjb, If you were an architect instead of an engineer, the terms urban and suburban would not be vague terms to you. Most people that I know, even non-archtects, know the difference.
    You’re usually so fact-filled; care to show stats that prove that only “A VERY SMALL minority” of people object to Houston’s property use “cornerstone”?
    Whether that cornerstone has done “quite well” is nothing more than your opinion, and the mantra of local developers – imagine that. Besides, “Well” compared to what?

  • ” created to impose demands on developers.”
    Oh NO! Heaven forbid there be demands on developers.

  • The same argument goes for the silly concept of “quality of life”. A vague useless buzzword that millions of dollars are spent on with no clear concept of what it means.
    Pfffft. Quality of life. Who needs it? As long as the developers are profitable who cares if it takes 12 cycles to cross I-10…

  • My point is that “quality of life” is extremely subjective.

    To many people, the addition of this Walmart may greatly enhance their “quality of life”. The Target likely did the same thing.

    Going to Walmart and spending much less for general goods items is important to a large sector of the market. The concept of going to local shop and paying more for something similar and great service is low on the list for the shopper on a tight budget.

    The Heights and much of the surrounding area has many residents that the option of a Walmart nearby is good for them.

    Who are a bunch of busy bodies to deny residents the potential at bettering their “quality of life”. I guess it’s OK to ruin their “quality of life” if you think it makes yours better?

  • kjb,
    You’re wasting your breath.

    These are largely the same folks that want to tell people what to do with their own property.

    But yes, “their” quality of life is more important than “our” quality of life.

  • “To many people, the addition of this Walmart may greatly enhance their “quality of life”.”

    Their lives must be pretty fucked.

  • If Wal-Mart is considered to be so awesome by so many people that THEY (and you) have to sit through 12 cycles at I-10, and THEY still shop there, then…well…YOU can do the math.

  • “I guess it’s OK to ruin their “quality of life” if you think it makes yours better?”

    Hasn’t that been the mantra all along? Spite the Heights, build the Wal-Mart? Complain about individual rights when somebody poses any objection, and -when you have the upper hand- pat yourselves on the back about how good it is to trample a “small but vocal minority” for the sake of a larger group?

  • So did the mayor decide on oaks or crepe myrtles?

  • Oooh nice. Good use of “false choice” technique…does Wal-Mart pay you in giftcards or cash?

  • got a walmart shopping ad in the montrose yesterday. like what i see and can’t wait to be able to hit up a wal-mart on my drive home in the evening rather than spending my money out in the ‘burbs.

    if you don’t like wal-mart then you could always suggest we raise taxes and the minimum wage so that folks don’t have to shop at wal-mart in the first place.

  • Nasty, spiteful, shameless ugliness.

    If you are for WalMart…good for you, now cut it with the name calling.

    If you are against WalMart…good for you, now cut it with the name calling.

    Either way, make your voice heard with facts and data on one hand and let your heart be heard as well, respectfully. There is no need for the ugliness in this thread.

    As for me, I am opposed to WalMart in general, I don’t care where they are. As for a box store, I have to say, I think this is the place. I oppose it based on their management practices. Now, if I lived next to it, I am sure I would have a different take on that and I would be vocally opposing it based on its proximity to me, but I have to say, those of you living near its proposed location were on the WalMart end not too long ago, changing the quality of life for many of your neighbors with your big stucco three and four story homes going in next to small bungalows. So, while you are throwing stones, you might want to consider that in the not so distant past those stones were being thrown at you.


  • If I might add to Emme’s very correct observation…Hey – you people in the yardless townhomes, faux Tuscans and HardiPlank Victorians – WAL MART FOLLOWED YOU HERE! Back when the 007 was just a bunch of Mexicans, gays, artists, old folks and Birkenstockers, WalMart had no interest.(Target, either.) But then the money arrived and the chain stores followed it.

    You brought them here – now make them welcome.

  • Where did all those Mexicans, gays, artists, old folks and Birkenstockers go?

    I always wonder that when a neighborhood becomes more “gentrified”.

  • The Mexicans bought homes in Spring and Katy with no-doc sub-prime loans. The gay community integrated with the rest of society and is scattered to the winds. The artists moved to the East End, Near Northside, and other transitional neighborhoods. The old folks died. The Birkenstockers went to law school, landed sweet corporate job in suburban office parks, reverse commute, and wear suits and ties now, shop at Target, and complain about Wal-Mart.

  • That pretty much sums it up. And you are not lying about the gay community being scatter to the winds.

    No longer is it relevant to feel like you have to live near or in Montrose. Gays are spread out to pretty much every corner of the city and region. They are parents in the suburbs. Living in large lot home up in Magnolia and Brazoria County. Hell, even owning ranches in New Caney, Willis, and Sealy.

  • LOL, sometimes I think that when I go to straight bars. Damn blurred lines of metrosexuals.

  • Those metrosexuals are a repressed bunch. Like, one foot in and one foot out of the closet… almost. The ones I can’t quite figger out are the married metrosexuals.

  • Those are actually the funniest (yet sad for the wife). The poor wife watches as the husband is having too much “fun” with the gays.

  • Niche,
    Your wit always enlightens and amuses.

  • Surprised anon isn’t here complaining of racism already.. Geez..

  • I would agree with Niche except for one thing – the Birkenstockers I was talking about are now the old folks!

  • Yay for Wal-Mart!!! Variance passed!!! At least this city is stupidly consistent!!

  • Finness,
    You must mean the standard “Arizona” style.
    Now, Heidi Klum has a Birkenstock line and it’s not your grandmother’s Birkenstock!!