Franchises Have Their Eyes on Houston; Sneak Peek at Typhoon Texas


Photo of Pleasure Pier in Galveston: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


21 Comment

  • Elgin between 288 and Scott is in pretty bad shape, despite being the primary artery between UH and downtown. It’s understandable that low income residents cannot afford to keep up their properties and/or are being exploited by landlords who don’t give a crap. What is less understandable is why there are BURNT-OUT or otherwise obviously uninhabitable residents still standing (more or less). This is a problem all over town, just more visible here. The residents can’t be very happy about it.

  • “Another is designed for small children, and to get on the slide requires each young guest to recite the pledge to the Texas flag.”
    Any bets as to how long that will last?

  • @Mortarboard – On my bike ride to work this morning, I crossed Elgin at the Columbia Tap bike trail. In the immediate vicinity, I saw:

    1. An abandoned motor boat, trailer-less, laying in the ditch
    2. 1 starving horse tied to a tree
    3. 5 well-fed pit bulls chained to several trees
    4. A row of 10 shotgun shacks, 6 had the siding partially removed, windows partially boarded up – rotting away. Some were inhabited. Some had “FOR RENT” signs freshly posted in the yard.
    5. Enough litter to fill several dump trucks.

    I am done with sympathizing with the anti-gentrification crowd. Any alternative is better than preserving the Third Ward as it is. Seeing my fellow humanity living in such conditions is appalling. Yes some people will be displaced. The key is to work with them during displacement to find them housing stock that meets minimum health/safety code standards. And no, that new home might not be in the same neighborhood, because -yes- prices will go up. But at least their grandma won’t get eaten by an escaped pit bull, and they won’t be fighting raccoons in their kitchen.

  • @Superdave: THIS. Thank you.

  • Just like how the near downtown redevelopment started with Midtown and then spread to Freedman’s Town, First Ward, Sixth Ward, etc. it’s not moving east. The Second Ward is on the up-and-up. Next will be the Third Ward, Near Northside, and Fifth Ward. These areas are too close to downtown to look like this. Give it 5-10 years and it’ll look completely different.

  • @SuperDave +1 . Poverty is not a culture, its a circumstance. 650/month can get you a habitat for humanity home in the outlying suburbs. it can also get those who truly need it into quality section 8 housing(the cuney homes don’t look anywhere near as rundown).
    Allowing a neighborhood to decay in the manner in which the third has is an affront the culture it is supposed to foster.

  • @Superdave All this sounds like is “I thought I was willing to put up with a poor neighborhood but now I’m growing impatient.” Gentrification of the Third Ward wouldn’t solve any of what you said and disproportionately serves the those that are moving into the neighborhood and not out. All those issues still exist in neighborhoods full of minorities outside of the Third Ward because the inherent problems causing them still exist (socioeconomic inequality, systemic racism, etc). Think about the message it sends to residents: “You’ve lived here for 30 years, now that the city and investors are going to start pumping money into your area in infrastructure and property, we’re going to force you to move a new neighborhood without any of that because you don’t meet the threshold of being to deserve it.”

    There’s an irony to the fact that the Emancipation Park improvements will displace more than a few people from the Third Ward while creating new housing stock far out of the reach of most in that neighborhood.

    It would be much better to rehabilitate the neighborhood than to gentrify it. Creating capital improvements in and around the neighborhood that are accessible to those that live in the neighborhood but also creating opportunities for higher income residents to live and become a part of the community. You can create this with things like micro-lofts, co-ops, subsidized % apartments/housing, working with businesses to create % of jobs and other social programs. Literally anything is better than the current system of buying them out and shipping them off.

  • Hell, $650 will get you a 2bed w/ central air at some of our places. And that’s clean, inside the loop, near light rail. We have $500 units that are literally a few blocks from Montrose (just south of that Axelrad place).
    Cheap stuff all over the place.

  • Superdave: totally agreed with you
    snlbeyonceskitwasaboutyou: It’s not a “socioeconomic inequality” nor “systemic racism issue”, it’s their culture\attitude that’s keeping the people down in third ward. These “poor people” can’t afford housing but yet when i ride by i see that most of those row houses have DirectTv/Dish net work dishes all over them. They make poor decisions with their finances and now want to blame their new neighbors for making everything un-affordable. The city has trash pickup weekly in that neighborhood (just like mine hood) but the folks can’t be bother with getting the trash into the collection bins (too busy keepin’ it real, i guess). I’m tired of hearing people whining about gentrification. If they “love” their neighborhood as much as they say they do, it should not look like a third-world war zone after they’ve been there for 30 years.

  • Improvements to the Third ward will be slow to come, given the land banking done by the Midtown TIRZ, and Garnet Coleman’s bizarre obsession with keeping more affluent folks out of the area.

  • some very awkward statements being made in this thread…best to stay away from this one.

  • @Serta Don’t say it’s not “systemic racism” then follow up with statements symptomatic of systemic racism. To think that all black people (let’s not use your “poor people” phrase) are lazy moochers who are terrible at saving and finances and waste their money on luxuries is to not understand the difficulties and hardships of being poor and a minority and to also make a sweeping generalization that a few would find offensive. The system is stacked against them. 56.1% of all the foreclosures from the 2008 mortgage crisis were from white people, yet 10 years later, the impact to a white person’s ability to get a mortgage is almost negligible. Yet it has been proven time and time again that for DECADES blacks and other minorities have been routinely discriminated against in trying to pursue mortgages and loans for home, small businesses, etc. That’s how the suburbs got segregated in the first place. Even today, between equally qualified black and white households, white household are more likely to receive a mortgage than black ones. In fact, the black household can be more qualified than the white household and still the white household is more likely to receive financing.

    If you can’t see how decades, if not centuries, of the lack of ability to build and compound wealth systemically hurts black people and minorities, I can’t help you.

  • I was playing poker with a some cop friends of mine and one of their younger brothers (who is at UH) recently. He was talking about the place he was moving and was excited because it was close to campus. We asked him where it was. “Cuney Homes”. Pretty much ever cop at the table, including his brother, just stopped and just looked at him slackjawed. They all started laughing and explained to him that under no circumstances should he live there (those specific cops had all been to one call or another over there due to violent crime, it’s a pretty bad place).
    That’s the reality of the problem over there. Those places are simply uninhabitable in their current state. Whether they should be replaced with luxury apartments or student housing or affordable housing is another argument really. The starting point to appreciate is that it’s current state is really really bad, and it’s not going to fix itself. I’m not making a race argument or a socioeconomic argument or whatever. I’m simply stating that a broke college student can find a better place to live in both price and quality than the geographically convenient third ward, and many of them have to. That says a heck of a lot.

  • “Those places are simply uninhabitable in their current state.”
    And yet people inhabit them. How is that possible?

  • Ok, fair point. Let me rephrase. They are uninhabitable by people with enough money to live anywhere else. I have a hard time believing those are the cheapest places to live in town, but that’s the only excuse I can think of for staying there.

  • @snlbeyonceskitwasaboutyou
    I never mentioned race in my reply. My observations are all based on what the area looks like. Also I like to add that by “poor people” I meant, people that makes poor decisions, with poor attitude, and poor habits and not their financial status. I am a first generation minority immigrant so I think i have a pretty good perspective on being a minority (I didn’t speak English when I moved here). Yes, I’ve ran into racist jerks before but i don’t bother with people like that. I have friends whose parents worked 2 to 3 jobs each to make ends meet (both of my friends are doctors now). I believe it”s your type narrative that’s hurting the your community. Please use history to learn from it so not to make the same mistake, not whine about it every time things don’t go your way.

  • Amen Serta
    Superdave, did you call the SPCA about that starving horse?

  • “They are uninhabitable by people with enough money to live anywhere else.”
    That’s kind of true for everywhere, isn’t it? If I could afford to live someplace nicer I would.

  • dang, serta laying down the law on snlwhateversnideinferencetheyareattemptingtomake who is, as mentioned, part of the problem and the reason it persists. many happy mattress store sightings to you.

  • @turning_basin

    To quote myself “If you can’t see how decades, if not centuries, of the lack of ability to build and compound wealth systemically hurts black people and minorities, I can’t help you.” Not worth my time.

    She’s fighting my statistics with her anecdotes. Anyone and everyone can tell a story about something that helps their cause. “I know immigrants that are millionaires, I know immigrants that are illegals” repeat ad nauseam. She’s the one saying to use history when it has been very well documented and she chose to ignore it.

    She quite literally says “poor people” as poor decisions when the majority of the financial crisis was caused by people taking out bad loans that were majority white middle class. Should we redefine middle class and poor since they overwhelmingly made terrible and poor decisions in their ability to purchase homes outside their budget?

    I’m not going to waste my time when prejudice and preconceived notions have already made any sort of debate a non-starter.

  • @snlbeyonceskitwasaboutyou
    I’m sorry you feel that way but I still have hopes for you. Since you responded, I think there is still a part of you that wants to find an answer to what ails you.
    First, I want to tell you that you are absolutely correct. I am calling those people who took out loans that they could not afford to pay back as “poor people” because by my definition they’ve made a very poor decision. The banks were giving out loans but no one put a gun to their head to sign for it (I don’t care what color you are, that’s just ignorant).
    Secondly, I don’t really want to get into statistics because you can skew statistic to look like the narrative that you want to tell (trust me, I’m Asian and I have a [gasp] math minor). In fact, let’s just say you’re absolutely 100% right about “centuries, of the lack of ability to build and compound wealth systemically hurts black people and minorities”. So what, what I think you’ve forgotten that this is America, where most wealth isn’t inherited and if it is, it’s lost in a couple of generations (I think there is a statistic for that but I’ll let you look that one up since you seem to like statistics). It’s 2016 and there isn’t a “MAN” somewhere waitin’ to kick a minority down if he/she succeeds.
    Lastly, I think you would be less angry and more productive if you would stop looking at everything as a race issue. Blaming all problems on another race causes nothing but more problems (I think those people are called racists, btw). Don’t let history lock you in to a future that you have not chosen for yourself, you are free to choose your fate independent of what happened in the past. I’m not so smart as to quote myself but I did find these two that I think it’s appropriate
    “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” -MLK [people= people of all races]
    “People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.” – Fredrick Douglas