Comment of the Day: Pack Them In

COMMENT OF THE DAY: PACK THEM IN “Swamplotters crack me up. If this site were home to a bunch of crack houses and Fiesta wanted to tear them down and build this exact strip center (with or without decades of deferred maintenance) with a giant parking lot out front, every one would be up in arms about because it’s not dense enough, or urban enough, mixed use enough or pedestrian friendly enough. I see an eyesore going away, just [like] that dump that used to be across the street. I see $40-50 million of additional tax base that will toss another $1 million each and every year toward HISD and local government. I see room for 500-600 new residents in Houston’s core who will drop countless millions of dollars into bars, restaurants and retail stores and help Houston become an even more dynamic and vibrant city. I see progress. And I like it. Companies are hiring in Houston. People WANT to live in Houston. I say we accommodate them rather than force them to the next mile of empty prairie in the suburbs while letting our own city rot from the inside out.” [Bernard, commenting on Montrose Fiesta on Dunlavy Will Close Forever in Less Than a Month]

35 Comment

  • Where’s the “like” button?

    Good comment Bernard. Yes, many Swamplot comments are a little flaky and inconsistent in their opinions on what should stay and what should go in development.

  • I totally agree! I think it is foolish to try to prevent Montrose from being upgraded!
    Plus, I always thought that Fiesta was nasty!
    I’m excited that there will be new development just 2 blocks from my house!

  • Amen, brother.

  • Well said. It’s a grocery store. One now made redundant, with a larger version of the same store just down the street. The entire strip center has never once been maintained, the remaining stores have bars on the windows, the parking lot was crumbling beyond repair, and swamplotters are crying that this eyesore is going away?

    Give me a break, I used this grocery store nearly every day for 2 years, but I still think it should be torn down. It doesn’t have anything special, for a mexican specialty store it had a very small selection of mexican items, and a beyond horrid ‘meat’ department.

  • Amen x1000. The only legitimate argument for the n’hood might be loss of grocery opportunities, but even that’s not true because of the huge, gorgeous HEB directly across the street. Essentially the store and the apartments switched places, both getting bigger and nicer in the process. Dunlavy even lost the canyons-of-death ditches.

  • I do reserve the right to complain about the potential eventual loss of the 14th/Studewood Fiesta, only because I don’t know where it could be replaced and still let me walk 2 minutes to the grocery.

  • Thank you! I am so tired of people not understanding that progress, ahem, urban renewal, is a good thing. That store is 1) an eyesore; 2) not necessary. Why not put the space to good use. I know that Texans love their wide open spaces, but real cities thrive on density. That creates a strong tax base, a strong local economy, and a desire for an attractive and walkable community.

  • Douche it up real good!

  • Completely agree, except for the statement that people “WANT” to live in Houston. People come for the jobs, and because it’s cheap, not because they want to.

  • @Christian, agreed. Can’t say I ever thought I would end up living here. But you have to follow the J-O-B.
    I do think the ‘imports’ are good for Houston–pushing it to become more city-like & less like a random collection of suburbs. For instance, what other city in the world has so many surface parking lots? Would I be sad to see them go? Umm, no.

  • # Bernard’s comments : Right On Brother! The renewal cycle feeds into a growing,vibrant,economically healthy urban core. Otherwise Houston would be like other areas,especially the older North / Eastern cities that are crumbling,rotting,stagnant,dying blighted, crime ridden,cesspool of failure. if you don’t like it ,so something about it and quit ya bitchin.

  • Completely agree, except for the statement that people “WANT” to live in Houston. People come for the jobs, and because it’s cheap, not because they want to.

    You could say that about any city outside of coastal california or florida. People claim to “want” to live in New York, but without a vibrant economy, its a complete shithole. Same for Chicago. Look at the rust belt cities. An economy is essential to the equation of “want”. So its not wrong to say people “want” to come to Houston, because the opprtunity is here. Some even fall in love and “want” to stay.

  • HERE HERE!!!!!

  • I totally agree. There’s no sense in getting mad at Marvy Finger or HEB. They’re simply giving people what they want.
    To have character, does a neighborhood really need dumpy bullshit buildings that are falling apart?

  • Hyperbole, much? Nobody on here expresses anyone’s opinion, except their own. The fact that you refer to “swamplotters” as a cohesive group of morons is rich given that you are on here posting pretty much every day, ergo you are a swamplotter. Thanks for expressing YOUR opinion, but try expressing it next time without attacking the strawman “everyone’s” opinion next time. Eye roll.

  • love it here in Houston

  • You cannot fault people for being a bit sentimental when a longtime neighborhood business goes under to make way for something new. Sawyer Park generates zillions more in tax dollars, but we are not bad for being sad that the deep south cooking of the Pig Stand is lost forever. Fiesta was a unique grocery store in a sea of mirror image chain stores in Houston. It will be missed.
    Also, density is only useful when it gives people the opportunity to minimize driving. If we cram tens of thousands of new residents inside the loop without giving people the opportunity to shop and eat within walking distance of where they live, we will end up repeating boom/bust cycles of the past. Traffic gets bad, cheaply constructed “luxury” residences decay, people flee the area and the neighborhood goes downhill fast. In the short term, growth for growth’s sake is very attractive. In the long term, growth for growth’s sake can end up being a huge burden. People griping about the current trend of development inside the loop just want to see the cycle broken and build a city that will prosper well beyond the temporary boom because it is a liveable and desirable city. That is not so bad either.

  • @christian, I live here because I want to live here. I’ve left for work a few times, and every time I came back. There is no city I want to live in other than Houston

  • Have you ever been to Chicago, Lost in Translation? Particularly the entire downtown/lakefront area? That’s a rhetorical question, because anyone who has would not call it a “shithole.”

  • That Fiesta is AWESOME and all you haters can suck my cheap wine!!!!!

  • I grew up in Houston and never thought I’d choose to live here long term, but life and kids and job opportunities kept me here. I have grown to love this city. I travel frequently for work and am always impressed, for instance, at how clean Houston is by comparison. The biggest diference is the attitude that if you have a good idea and the guts to try, you can succeed here. You aren’t subject to the same kind of exclusonary treatment by the monied elite of some other cities. I live close in and take advantage of art and entertainment that seem a bargain and rival other major cities of the world. If we could just fix the summer heat, it would be wonderful.

  • Bernard’s post should be repeated whenever somebody starts concern-trolling a demolition post.

    Things get knocked down because they aren’t a valuable use of resources to the people who own the land. The alternatives are worse.

  • People who live on the cul de sac of Sul Ross, behind the Fiesta/Apple tree/Weingartens would beg to differ. Their quiet neighborhood is about to be invaded by douchey 20 something apartment dwellers, with more money than common sense. Yeah $1250 a month for a one bedroom apartment seems more than reasonable (haha)..

  • I cannot wait to move out of Montrose. The douche factor is rising and cannot be stopped.

  • Heyzeus,

    Been there, done that, there’s no natural beauty there. If the economy caused a whole bunch of jobs to evaporate, the infrastructure would look like Detroit in a few years. All big citis are like that. And it’s weather is hot and windy or cold and windy. Not much going for it there. It’s proof that economic prosperity drives the interest of a city when you think it looks great.

  • Bernard deserves post of the year award not only based on its brilliance, but also based on his ability to somehow unite the subsequent comments thereafter.

    Hats off to logic and reason sir. Now if we could only apply this to the political game.

  • I think the calling people “douche” thing has now jumped the shark. If you think people who don’t dress and act like you want them to are “douches” then maybe you’re the one with the problem.

  • 1) The actual building and surface parking will not be missed.

    2) The funkiness of the store, the cheap wine, the music selection, the diversity of shoppers, the memories of my fake i.d. working like a charm in the 1980s, those things will be missed.

  • I appreciate the pro/anti-gentrification arguments presented here, but that issue aside, oddly enough I don’t see the current center as an eyesore. Sure it’s not as pretty as the new HEB, but fine.

    In contrast, we’ll have to avert our eyes from a FingerCo FTV monstrosity for 30 years.

  • Excuse me but Chicago is anything but a “shithole”. I’ve lived in both cities for extended amounts of time. Houston is the “shithole” with no redeeming qualities. That is all.

  • So Hdtex, you’re free to leave here at any time.

  • Funny. Nobody’s defending NYC. Guess they haven’t moved down here yet.

  • @Lost_In_Translation

    I got moved from NYC, doesn’t need defending. Comparing NYC to Houston isn’t remotely fair. Compare it to London, Tokyo, etc. Other world cities. It’s in a league of it’s own.

  • My whole point is that houstons supposed lack of desirability aside from jobs is a foolish metric. Without jobs, Chicago and NYC’s desirability would be non existant also. Economic vibrancy drives desirability and some people forget that.