Trimming Uptown Trees and Driveways: Where Metro Is Shopping for Land on Post Oak Blvd.

Metro’s most recent street reclassification plan indicates that the transit authority will need a grand total of about 3.2 acres of land on Post Oak Blvd. to squeeze in its new Uptown rail line, reports the River Oaks Examiner‘s Mike Reed.

The most notable target of Metro acquisition efforts will likely be a roughly 14-ft.-wide swath of tree-lined land along the Post Oak edge of the newly minted Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, pictured above. The Williams Tower immediately to the north is due the same sort of trim, because the Hampton at Post Oak assisted living facility across the street is located much closer to Post Oak.

An even bigger bite would be taken out of the west side of Dillard’s if the current design goes forward: a 29,476-sq.-ft. strip that “would appear to include the ramp leading to the second-story of the garage,” Reed reports. The Galleria itself would lose only 1,019 sq. ft.

There’s a whole lot more in the plan. In all, pieces of 48 separate parcels are on Metro’s Post Oak shopping list so far:


According to the reclassification document, the state of Texas would be asked to part with the second largest amount of land — 14,259 square feet — between Hidalgo and Monterrey Plaza on the east side of the street. . . .

Among the other land needed beyond rights of way, according to the reclassification plan:

1705 Post Oak, where California Pizza [Kitchen] is located, would lose 8,386 square feet of land;

1901 Post Oak, the site of Lofts on Post Oak, would lose 1,236 square feet;

2001 Post Oak, around the front of the Hilton Houston Post Oak, would lose 1,520 square feet;

The properties from 2019 to 2521 Post Oak, roughly from Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant to Starbucks Coffee, would lose a total of 4,857 square feet;

The Inverness Townhomes, 800 Post Oak, would lose 3,301 square feet.

A spokeswoman for Metro said the agency could not discuss the status of specific property acquisitions due to ongoing negotiations.

Metro characterized the property owners who have been approached as “for the most part receptive,” but added none of the property has been purchased yet.

All 48 properties are shown on the reclassification plan (PDF).

Photo of Waterwall Park along Post Oak Blvd.: River Oaks Examiner

21 Comment

  • This just looks, sounds and smells like a pain.

  • Just wait until they start building it!

    That’s going to be a couple of years where I avoid Uptown completely. My partner will be mad, he manages a store in the Galleria.

  • Just an ongoing asinine plan and a complete waste of tax dollars. Are there nothing but blithering idiots on Metro’s board and in its senior management? What in the hell is BUS for? All the train will do is replace the bus, grab land, cause even more congestion in a small dense area. It isn’t like anyone in the Uptown District needs a train to spur development. Wouldn’t it just be simpler to write on the roof of the Galleria, “Welcome to Houston. It Takes a Village Idiot….”

  • @kjb – I’ve managed to avoid the Galleria area for 2-3 years now and quite enjoy it!

    That area is a constant pain, construction or not. I’m sure I’ve added a few extra years to my life merely by removing Uptown as an option for anything.

  • Well, I occasionally trek into the Galleria for meetings and when my partner wants me to meet him for lunch. Of course he always want to do that on a Saturday. At least I can enjoy the good food at the Nordstrom’s Bistro (French Onion Soup to die for!).

  • @tanith27

    Did you say that, or did I???

  • @tanith27 I will only enter the Galleria area under EXTREME DURESS.

    I feel the only thing I’ve missed is opportunities for more car-cussing.

  • Me three about the Galleria. Don’t remember the last time I was there. Oh, right, my daughter had to play a concert at the Hampton around Christmas, but as far as the Galleria proper, it’s been a lot of years.

  • Bus system really sucks here, It is very confusing and some routes do not make sense at all for day to day activities! I have tried and tried.

    Thinking outside of Metro’s finances and politics, rail is so easier to distinguish and ride around for ordinary folks. If you have lived in cities with mass transits, it is easier to visualize. I am happy NOT all my tax dollars to Metro are going for road construction for a change!

    Rail should make Galleria easier to get to for inner loopers South of Westheimer and near town/midtown residents. People in the Heights, Washignton Ave and NW Loop communities will have to still drive till hopefully the Washington/Yale/NW section of the light rail is added in Phase 3 to complete the loop to downtown.

  • All you anti-rail whiners really don’t get it. Rail will dramatically help traffic–a mere 5-10% reduction in the number of cars on the streets will create much more than a 5-10% improvement in traffic. I can’t wait till Bellaire gets a rail line; I will use it frequently.

  • silent e,

    You just told a lie. You may not know you did, but you did.

    No transportation engineer in his/her right mind can make the argument that building rail will reduce traffic. The reason is because it doesn’t. Theoretical analysis and empirical results has show this. It’s especially true in cities like Houston.

    A few cities can justify the need for rail, but traffic isn’t improved because of it.

  • kjb,

    Can you cite these theoretical analyses and empirical results before you call me a liar?

  • Sure silent e,

    I’ll do one better. I’ll give you the reference for the page and paragraph from my college transportation course textbook:

    Author: C.S. Papacastas and P.D. Prevedouros
    Title: Transportation Engineering & Planning
    Chapter: 4, Capacity and Level of Service Analysis
    Section: 4.3, Transits Systems
    Pages: 138-141

    Particular on page 141 paragraphs 3 and 4.

    Copyright was 2001 (the 3rd edition of the book).

    ISBN 0-13-081419-9

    Have fun!!!

  • kjb,

    That’s a useless cite, as neither I nor anyone else are about to buy a copy of your 10 year old college text book. How about finding something everyone has easy access to?

  • Just walk into the UofH bookstore and look for the transportation textbooks there. They have a good Civil Engineering department. The information regarding how rail works with roads in terms of traffic haven’t changed in over 75 years. Initially they were believed to improve traffic, but reality has shown that to false. Textbooks have been changed to show this. It’s a common concept in transportation courses. It doesn’t mean rail should never be used. The book I cited does reference that political will and community drive is often the key to pushing rail projects and ultimately the decision maker for implementing them. Transportation improvement is never the guiding reason. You can even read the engineering report for METRO’s own light rail lines. They won’t mention anything about improving traffic from implemented the rail lines.

  • wow. calling someone a liar based upon a 10-year old college textbook. well played, sir.

  • Put it this way:

    If an engineer made that statement within sign and sealed engineering document such as a report, they could be brought to court and lose their license over it.

    As I said before, the concept that rail doesn’t improve road traffic has been standard place once transportation engineers realized it wasn’t true many years ago.

    It’s why it can’t be utilized as a justification for building rail in any engineering document submitted to the FTA. It just isn’t true.

  • It is interesting that METRO will be taking a “14-foot swath” of the Water Wall park. When they demolished a historic landmark in the East End they said it was because they were prohibited by law from taking any park land. Didn’t the Water Wall area become a city park recently?

  • According to HCAD, the city does not own the Water Wall park. So METRO is just buying private land as the other takings.

  • METRO sucks and doesn’t do a good job. It is going to tear down all the beautiful oak trees along Post Oak Blvd. Cause traffic nightmares for 2+ years, install MORE traffic signals and if that is not enough: hold on for another sucky outcome: only right turns will be allowed coming out of ALL parking lots along Post Oak Blvd. Why the phuck can’t Metro get its head out of its butt and ELEVATE this latest infrastructure BOON DOOGLE !!! But no ,Metro is just another CHEAP,short sighted,hall assed taxpayer supported ass backwards agency from Hell. The construction will KILL business all along Post Oak Blvd. It’ll put companies out of business.Maybe a class action lawsuit will be filed and taken to trial and EXPOSE Metro for what is really is !!!

  • Let’s put statistics and projections aside as we all well know that a government entity has rarely, if ever, been corrected on usage,construction costs or incidental costs.
    We’ve already seen that Metro plans more traffic lights, the elimination of left turns etc….in a heavily travelled 2 mile strip. Use logic here folks–are you, the non public transit dependent, going to voluntraily use Metro to go shopping and carry multiple bags and stand in the heat or rain or cold? What is the point of a train that stops every 250 feet? Trains should be used to transport people long distances–to the airports or Johnson Space Center/Galveston or suburbs with large commuting populations. The only thing Metro is doing is bastadizing their own bus service while squandering away our tax dollars on right of ways, infrastructure, utility relocations etc…..It is beyond ludicrous. Dallas managed to pull off a light rail system with few at grade trains and many parts of the lines are elevated and do not hinder existing auto traffic. And for those of you who say, get rid of your car. i say get real. This is sprawling Houston not compact Boston.