Grand Central Park’s Official Debut; Houston’s Not All Sprawl


Photo of the Sabine Street Bridge: BOldbury via Swamplot Flickr Pool


12 Comment

  • What does a hotel in Dallas have to do with Houston real estate? Your bias is showing again, Swamplot staff.

  • Were there ever any people, let alone workers, living Downtown? To me, the article merely says that new developments are too expensive for low income households to afford which should not be a surprise to anyone.

  • These Urban Edge articles always just scream at me between the lines:
    “Wow, I just figured out how to use Census-based GIS data and all those colorful dots are really pretty! Now let’s look at the maximums and make superficial comparisons to New York City along a single dimension. Surely, nobody has ever done *that* before!”

  • Why should service workers, or ANY workers for that matter, be entitled to affordable housing near where they work? Especially if they happen to work in an area with extremely high land prices. Downtown is extremely well-served by public transportation, with both local bus and park-and-ride service from every direction, including plenty of neighborhood with very affordable housing.

    If anything, Houston makes it easier than in most large cities to affordably live near work, given that our business districts are so decentralized and many are located in or near affordable suburbs.

  • @ Grant: “Why should workers…be entitled to affordable housing near where they work?”
    I agree that no one is ENTITLED (emphasis added) but then you go on to say that Houston makes it easier for more to do such a thing (e.g. live near where they work).
    That being said, one wonders why more people do not do this – live near where they work? I’m sure good schools is one big reason. Or, high crime in certain work areas.

  • @Grant, Best to remember that people writing these articles are doing it from a perspective of what’s best for the economy and how do we get there instead of worrying about the global financial implications. We live in a service economy, 70% of GDP is from consumer spending, so understandably it’s important to facilitate the ability for consumers to spend as much as possible for the cities financial benefit. That means ensuring small businesses can survive and thrive in all sub-markets….especially when one of those sub-markets has been beefing up residential accommodations on the taxpayers dime, is something to keep an eye on.
    Try interviewing for any retail job in the central/west loop areas and you’ll notice a very high emphasis on reliable transportation as all these companies are well aware that many of their workers are not able to afford a stable living within reasonable distance or within access of nearby mass transit.
    Also, I believe the couple/few large cities that you’re referring to where central living expenses are far higher than Houston all provide far more extensive mass transit options. I know I have multiple transit options after midnight in other large cities, not so for Houston. For those without reliable transportation and non-office hours the availability of Park and Rides does not solve or address accessibility issues.
    At the end of the day we all know mobility and supply of labor is highly correlated with increased GDP. However, you can’t solve everything with just transportation infrastructure so best to keep an eye on all options available and jump on something if it ever becomes financially attractive.

  • @SIGH….Having a sitting president with his family/business leads being given nepotistic roles in the high echelons of government all the while being actively involved in real estate transactions with foreign investors is certainly not normal and is interesting to me.
    It takes clicks to pay for stuff you read online and is probably an interesting slice of pie for real estate market folks too. It takes clickbait to pay bills.

  • Joel- or having one that sold influence from the State Department and somehow is worth 100’s of millions from maintaining government jobs. At least we know how Trumpy made his millions. There’s an even juicier story out there for you Critical Mass types.

  • @The Middle: Except, I question how such a thing is unique in any way or out of character for our countries entire basis on public service though. “Selling influence” is of course completely debatable verbiage, but when it seems every single person going into public service does it with the sole intent of a later pay off why is it a big deal? There’s an entire industry based around former politicians being paid for speeches and access to contacts, because they all do it, and that’s also the very reason that the Clinton’s were able to pull so much money from taking part in such a market.
    When’s the last time you heard someone lament about Generals going into the private lobbying industry after their service? It used to be unheard of to profit from experience in the public realm, but that ship sailed decades ago and long before I was even born.
    These are discussions that should have been addressed decades ago, not brought out subjectively just because we don’t like that some take are able to take advantage of the fact we live in a winner takes all society, and most notably for celebrities and those with higher profiles.

  • Apologies if I gave any credence to your false equivalence though as figured best to move the conversation to the important part. We certainly know how Trump made his money. Life is good being a trust fund baby with mob connections in a city with plenty of red tape for new developments.

  • Joel-Whatever excuse you need to tell yourself to justify their adding Dallas stories here.

  • Only one of the neighborhoods cited on the “Houston’s not all sprawl” article even comes within shouting distance of what people think of when they say “East coast density”, and that’s Montrose. Two of the other neighborhoods (Gulfton and Westwood) have the residential density but they lack the commercial density and the layout of a typical East Coast urban neighborhood. They’re basically a bunch of suburban-style apartment buildings shoved together. Pecan Park achieves its density level by cramming a lot of people into suburban-style single family houses and wasting very little space in between the suburban 5,500sf lots, but while it’s a cute little neighborhood, it too lacks commercial density. So basically, aside from Montrose and a couple other pockets of larger neighborhoods (i.e. northwest Midtown) there’s nothing here which even approaches a dense east coast neighborhood, and we pretty much ARE all sprawl.