As mentioned earlier today, more details on the plan to redo the 1940’s farmers market on Airline Dr. are now out — MLB released some sketches and site plans this morning, which the company says are meant to help turn the spot into a “destination retail experience.” The renderings show most of the gaps between the existing market buildings bridged by new rooftops and green spaces, connecting the structures into a single complex (some of which will likely get air conditioned for fish and dairy operations and the like).
It’s not totally clear whether some the existing buildings are actually going to be painted white, or if the details of planned finishes just haven’t made their way into the renderings at this stage of design — but the currently-yellow front of Canino’s can be spied rocking a pale grey skin in the sketches above and below, behind the market’s new double-height entry facade:
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The Canino’s Retail Experience
WHERE THE SIDEWALKS END “On Airline Drive, for example, up to 40,000 people arrive every weekend to visit flea markets that line both sides of the road. The neighborhood’s management district is gearing up to spend $2.9 million on pedestrian improvements, including two new, signalized crosswalks on Airline, as well as sidewalks on nearby streets that are heavily used by local residents. . . . [Harris County] has a policy of not installing sidewalks when it builds a new road, unless a group or city provides the extra money. ‘It’s an expense that doesn’t have to do with transportation,’ said Mark Seegers, a spokesman for Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia. ‘The county does not do sidewalks; it’s not what gets cars from point A to point B.’ . . . In the eight-county region that includes Houston, an average of 100 pedestrians died every year between 2003 and 2008, and an average of 1,175 were injured, mostly within Harris County, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation. More than half of all pedestrian deaths occur on [high-capacity, high-speed roads called ‘arterials’], often as people are trying to cross to reach retail shops or bus stops.” [Houston Chronicle]
AIRLINE: HOW YOU SAY WESTHEIMER IN SPANISH Stopping briefly at the Sunny Flea Market and the Cedar Lounge, and passing by Dance Town USA, John Nova Lomax decides a weekend evening on Airline Dr. is a familiar scene: “Even on a Sunday, the street is livelier than most in Houston – in fact, it reminded Beebe and I of nothing so much as lower Westheimer circa 1986, albeit en español. Teenagers still cruise the northern stretches of Airline in their cars, many of which sport speakers mounted in their grills, the better to share their norteño tunes with all those around them. (It’s loud, but since norteño is pretty much devoid of resonant bass frequencies, it doesn’t bulge glass or rattle your fillings.) There’s near gridlock at some intersections and the same sort of fleeting, duration-of-a-stoplight sexual tension (and thus its traveling partner — potential violence) ‘Theimer was known for back in its teenage hormone-drenched alleged heyday.” [Hair Balls; previously]