- Amazon’s Rejection of Houston for HQ2 a ‘Wake-up Call’ [HBJ ($); previously on Swamplot]
- Apple Rules Out Texas for New Corporate Campus [HBJ]
- Hertz Investment Group Enters Texas Market with Purchase of Westchase Park Plaza Office Building [Houston Chronicle]
- Slideshow: Inside the Most Expensive Homes Sold in Houston Last Year [HBJ]
- Water-Damaged Midtown Bakery Fluff Bake Bar To Reopen Jan. 20 [Houston Chronicle]
- Dunkin’ Donuts Looks To Be Replacing the Former Heights Quiznos at 20th and Yale [Christopher Andrews]
- Chunks of Ice Were Falling Off of Downtown Buildings Yesterday [abc13]
- Bicycle Parking Has Become a Premium at Heights Mercantile [Houston Chronicle ($)]
- Construction Starts on What Will Be the Largest Solar Farm in Texas [Houston Public Media]
Photo of Main St.: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool
Flood City and our incompetent city leaders are not attracting world class companies? Shocker.
A city is more than freeways and easy access for cars. The day Houston realizes that the only thing that makes us a “big” city is our population is the day we see changes. We have no vision of what we want our city to look like, we have evolved into a mindless free for all for developers. The moment that car capital of the world LA started building light rail, subways and commuter rail; Houston believed that somehow antiquated transit was best. The moment everyone realized that in order to save New Orleans expensive flood control and storm surge protection was needed; Houston believed that “hunkering down” and stay in place until the storm has stopped destroying the city was best.
And I assume that now that United Airlines, GE, Amazon and Apple have all rejected us while praising the advantages of Dallas and Austin, our “leaders” will tell us “no worries oil will be at $60 a barrel again”. Its the same stupidity that will have a $17 billion dollar HSR train hub 5 miles or more from Downtown because “stakeholders” believe that cities were actually conceived with Mc Mansion NIMBY ism in mind. We have had decades of “managerial” leadership from Congressional caucus, state legislative caucus, commissioners’ court, city hall and every major governmental agency. So we have a piss poor transit system, parking lot freeways, 500 yr floods every year, 2 million people + in harris county that need city services but cant get them because the city cant or wont annex them, of course I could go on for weeks. The lack of basic innovation and sustainable growth is why we lost Amazon. As far as the war against subsidies……. Imagine if these oil companies we praise so much actually gave back to the city based on what this city has giving them….. We would be a Dubai.
I dont know if it was a wake-up call for Houston. Amazon’s major bid requirements (Light Rail Transportation) were not even a factor for some cities to make the Top 20. Houston developed some of the best marketing material for the city in a long time. Saying Houston is a blue collar town is ignorant to the Technological expertise we have in Medical, NASA, and O&G. We offered Amazon 1st base on the 1st date. Dallas (In their typical mannor) went straight to 3rd.
Look at the blumpkin that DC offered.
While Dallas and Austin up their begging for Amazon to come to their burgs, Apple refuses to even consider Texas … Good for Apple as this is one backwards state
Houston really isn’t the type of place geared to import companies’ headquarters as a ready-made complete system. It’s more of an export-based economy.
Amazon will not be going to a red state, corporate welfare or not.
@SimplySid: “We have no vision of what we want our city to look like, we have evolved into a mindless free for all for developers.”
Bite your tongue! We never evolved. Houston was conceived as a “mindless free for all for developers” and has remained true to that vision since the Allen brothers (developers) created it. We know exactly what we want our city to look like. We always have. This is it.
Well stated, Simply Sid. Our elected officials have the wrong priorities and no long-term vision beyond reelection. Our election process is similarly outdated.
Houston is a city designed BY traffic engineers FOR “don’t-park-in-front-of-my-house” busybodies.
Flood voter has it. We just had an extended global advertising campaign, preceded by yearly teasers that made memorably made the national news, for our tremendous flooding potential. As the world looks to a trend of more frequent and intense coastal flooding, few cities are so well positioned as Houston.
Plus maybe they weren’t bowled over by the latest revisions to our world class airport! Can you imagine the impression some techno slickster from Amazon would have if he had to get from B terminal to C terminal on that little underground train?
@SimplySid: Oil is at $60/barrel though, and has been for the better part of a month. And Brent is nearing $70/barrel
I am amazed at how people can take strong positions on this issue if no information has been made available about what concessions were being made by Houston to Amazon. What tax incentives were offered to Amazon? How much would new infrastructure to support HQ2 cost taxpayers? What tax revenues will be generated in the short and long term? Did Amazon commit to hire Houstonians – or will they just relocate people from the east and west coasts to Houston? What is the bottomline for the city of Houston and the people who live here? The irony is that the city government felt no restraint in disclosing information to Amazon, and no guilt in keeping all of us uninformed and in the dark about the basic terms of the proposal. The question is philosophical: How can you grieve for something you don’t know?
@Webster *nobody* hires Houstonians – all of the good jobs (presumably including Amazon’s) are directed to transplants. Houston is the only place I’ve ever lived where being a born-and-raised local is considered a liability and huge disadvantage. So the bottom line is yes, new jobs are being brought in in exchange for huge tax incentives, but the only jobs that would have been *created* would be service-economy jobs spun up to coddle Amazon’s transplanted workers and their H1B minions. Nobody will miss Amazon, and Houston’s embryonic high-tech economy will just have to stay in cryo for a little longer.
Given the level of dissatisfaction evident in some of these comments, perhaps those who feel this strongly about Houston might be happier somewhere else.
Simply: We don’t have cars cars everywhere due to developers-gone-wild. It’s due to the parking requirements that lead to a car centric city.
Imagine if builders could build how much parking that thought they’d need. It would encourage more ride sharing and public transportation.
I’d imagine you like the walk ability of a place like downtown NY. Do you think when a resturant opens in NY it has to have 100000 parking spots?
Webster “Did Amazon commit to hire Houstonians – or will they just relocate people from the east and west coasts to Houston? What is the bottomline for the city of Houston and the people who live here?”
If someone moves here for a job, do they not become a Houstonian? Sounds like the “They’re taking our jobs!” line. If we bring in people to do work, they become Americans and part of our system and have the same rights to work as anyone else.
Agreed, sticking one’s head in the sand is the Houston way. Seriously. Any other course of “action” is a bad cultural fit.
Cody: You missed the point by a mile. Houston is reportedly offering generous tax incentives to Amazon, including a commitment to build the infrastructure to support Amazon’s HQ2. There is a price tag to this. Since the city’s resources are involved and not that of the federal government, it is fair to ask this question: How many Houstonians will Amazon commit to hire? Sure, they can decide to hire from anywhere within the country’s borders and beyond via H1B visas. Still, why is there a dearth of transparency, and why is it not possible to ask how much of the HQ2 work force will be sourced from Houston, without the risk that globalist nonsense would be dumped at your door?