Maybe He Just Liked the Party Hat on Top?

MAYBE HE JUST LIKED THE PARTY HAT ON TOP? Mayor White takes a turn hawking the expensive rentals at the Finger Companies’ One Park Place highrise Downtown. Rick Casey thinks he could have delivered a better pitch: “When it comes to a place to live, people are motivated by a dream. Only a pocket-protected city planner could have his dreams triggered by such phrases as ‘residential infrastructure,’ or ‘leisure destination,’ or ‘luxury multifamily rentals,’ or ‘price points lower than you would think,’ or ‘landmark project on a unique site.’ The mayor managed to stuff all these infelicitous phrases and more onto a single page. One can only speculate why White wrote the letter. He had already done enough, it seems to me, by marshalling the money, the research and the architects to build Discovery Green, a beautiful and exciting 12-acre park across the street from Finger’s property. It’s the best front yard an urban dweller could want, and the city mows the grass.” [Houston Chronicle]

8 Comment

  • I have no problem with the mayor saying this is nice project in downtown, but I do have a big problem with him saying it on City of Houston stationary.

    Also, the developer is big contributor to his campaign. The developer’s daughter also was working for the mayor.

  • I think White’s going to have a lot of developers and management professionals pretty ticked off by this little stunt. Finger may be Houston-based, but it’s not the only company in town and certainly not the largest.

    I wonder if he thought this little love note wouldn’t surface in public.

  • More ammo for the upcoming tortious interference lawsuit coming from the Ashby Highrise developers against the City and Southampton?

    Seriously. Who cares if Mayor White pimps a downtown project? I hope One Park Place is home run for Finger and we get four or five projects just like it. One developer’s success usually breeds copycats. Too bad there’s no bank that would dare touch a deal like this in today’s market.

    Also, let’s not forget that the City (errr.. you and me as citizens) owns the Hilton Americas across the street from Disco Green and Finger’s project. Whatever can be done to enhance the surrounding area is good for us all.

  • Yeah, the Hilton Americas that is losing money everyday and the park that has a lake leaking into the parking garage.

    But since it makes a little more world class it’s a good thing?

    Just because it makes thing look pretty doesn’t make it good. We live in the real world and not a Hollywood set.

  • Keep a few things in mind :

    1. Finger gave $1k to White’s last campaign. Allowable max donation is $5k. Don’t call him a ‘big contributor’ unless you know what you’re talking about.
    2. Of course Bill White knew this note was going to “surface in public.”
    3. Good call about success breeding copycats in a field like this.

  • That building looks like it was time-warped from 1983. Also, I’m not sure what Haynes Whaley was thinking with the structural frame design. Seriously, how many residential buildings don’t glaze the corners? I guess it makes a nice dark nook for your grand piano (see sample plans on website). Don’t even get me started on the faux mansard roof. Philip Johnson is rolling over in his grave on this one.

  • The Hilton Americas IS NOT losing money. In fact, the hotel has already kicked back over $25,000,000 in CASH back to the city since it was built. It’s worth more than it cost to build. The city is trying to sell it, but market conditions are piss poor right now. No need to fire sale it. Wait for the right time, then cash in.

    In the mean time, the mere existence of the hotel, makes the convention center (another taxpayer owned asset) all that more leasable. More conventions = more tourists = more money for Houston bars, restaurants, service workers, taxis, airlines, hotels = more jobs for Houstonians and more taxes for the City coffers paid by people who don’t live here.

    The Hilton Americas is a butt ugly building in my opinion, but on an economic basis, it’s been a grand slam home run.

    Separately, the leaking garage at Disco Green can be fixed. No big deal.

  • 1. Finger gave $1k to White’s last campaign. Allowable max donation is $5k. Don’t call him a ‘big contributor’ unless you know what you’re talking about.

    There are other considerations other than how much Marvy Finger contributed to his campaign. Conflicts-of-interest run a full gamut. Including promises of future support. And how much have the employees of Marvy Finger given? Money trails are just that. Particularly when you have a company/corporation involved. Reality is this mayor doesn’t care if he appears corrupt as evidence by the “Ashby Affair” and one reason might be because he IS corrupt.