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Old 06-16-2007, 05:38 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,293 times
Reputation: 140

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
metroplex-

Thank you for posting that. It's a perfect example of the mindset in places like Houston and why I could never live there. The city caters to the whims of business rather than concentrate on quality of life for its residents.

Houston isn't Orlando or Tulsa. It is the world center for the global energy business. It doesn't need cheap tract houses and shabby strip malls to keep business. If Houston really wanted to step up from being just another sunbelt sprawling boom-town it would realize that and start to focus on the needs of residents, rather than the needs of business.

Look at New York; it's the world center for global finance. The high of living there doesn't change that. Look at Los Angeles; it's the world center for the movie industry. The high cost of living doesn't change that.

I am not saying that Houston's cost of living needs to be or ever will be as expensive as those cities. But the constant concern that "this" and "that" will raise the cost of living gets tiring. Residents you want in a city are willing to pay a little more for a nicer place; cities like Houston should think about that cold reality more often.
I beg to differ with you. I do feel Houston focuses on the needs of its residents. Houston doesnt have to be like LA or CHicago or NYC. It's a great city in its own right with its own reasons for success. Like it or not, Houston is succeessful b/c of the fact it can lure businesses to provide great jobs. NOt just corporate, but also mom and pops as well. Houston offers a great quality of life. Exactly what do you mean by Houston not offering a great quality of life? If you want urban things, Houston offers a world class Theater District plus several award winning restaurants. If you want touristy things, nearby NASA is a sure bet. If you want sports, Houston actually does have an NFL team, unlike a #2 largest TV market that I know.
IN terms of more expensive housing, I believe Houston does offer high rise condos that offer maintenance free lifestyles. So, not sure how you can say You cant live in Houston. Houston is great for free enterprise. No zoning laws. Lots of options. If you want expensive and you want socialism in Houston, it's not going to happen. I would suggest you move to any of the European cities for that.
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Old 06-16-2007, 05:56 PM
 
1,486 posts, read 4,027,812 times
Reputation: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
I beg to differ with you. I do feel Houston focuses on the needs of its residents. Houston doesnt have to be like LA or CHicago or NYC. It's a great city in its own right with its own reasons for success. Like it or not, Houston is succeessful b/c of the fact it can lure businesses to provide great jobs. NOt just corporate, but also mom and pops as well. Houston offers a great quality of life. Exactly what do you mean by Houston not offering a great quality of life? If you want urban things, Houston offers a world class Theater District plus several award winning restaurants. If you want touristy things, nearby NASA is a sure bet. If you want sports, Houston actually does have an NFL team, unlike a #2 largest TV market that I know.
IN terms of more expensive housing, I believe Houston does offer high rise condos that offer maintenance free lifestyles. So, not sure how you can say You cant live in Houston. Houston is great for free enterprise. No zoning laws. Lots of options. If you want expensive and you want socialism in Houston, it's not going to happen. I would suggest you move to any of the European cities for that.
Hah, hah. "Socialism." Typical. You don't even know what socialism is.

Anyway, Houston has a terrible reputation, face it. I don't live there and doubt I would ever live there but growing up in Texas I spent a lot of time in Houston and have several friends that live there. I am down there on business from time to time as well.

I actually normally defend the place against most people. But it does lack a lot of amenities that other large cities offer. First, as discussed at length, the city's transit system stinks. Little Portland, OR outclasses Houston by a mile. Second, downtown Houston is dead after 5pm. I was down there on business and wanted to grab something after a meeting that went late and all the restaurants and fast food places closed at like 4pm! Third, Houston is a city run for companies first and then suburban residents second. Most of the public money goes to new highways that are gaudy and increase sprawl. Fourth, the number of parks in Houston is horrible. Around Memorial is nice and I know they are building a new downtown park but they should clean up the bayou and make a park out of it. Oh, wait...tightening environmental laws would hurt business...can't have that. Fifth, the air quality is terrible in Houston and the city (and population frankly) don't seem to want to do anything to fight it. Maybe people think caring about the environment is "socialism."
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,605,310 times
Reputation: 206
^^Again Downtown is dead after 5PM, until 10PM. That's when the parties start. If you had went back out a few minutes later, you would see this. You obviously haven's seen the Buffalo Bayou Plan, or you wouldn't be making that statement. They have already started, and the beautification stage is almost complete. The rest is coming along quite nicely. Portland's transit system does better than many cities. It has more ridership than a lot of major U.S. cities (if you didn't know that). Houston's rail transit stinks, but everything else is excellent. The public money goes to new highways because those oil companies want to show America how much "power" they have. Second, it goes to the city, not the suburbs. Houston is repaving over spotty streets, and doing beautification projects in the more run-down areas.

http://www.buffalobayou.org/masterplan.html
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:14 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,293 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
Hah, hah. "Socialism." Typical. You don't even know what socialism is.

Anyway, Houston has a terrible reputation, face it. I don't live there and doubt I would ever live there but growing up in Texas I spent a lot of time in Houston and have several friends that live there. I am down there on business from time to time as well.

I actually normally defend the place against most people. But it does lack a lot of amenities that other large cities offer. First, as discussed at length, the city's transit system stinks. Little Portland, OR outclasses Houston by a mile. Second, downtown Houston is dead after 5pm. I was down there on business and wanted to grab something after a meeting that went late and all the restaurants and fast food places closed at like 4pm! Third, Houston is a city run for companies first and then suburban residents second. Most of the public money goes to new highways that are gaudy and increase sprawl. Fourth, the number of parks in Houston is horrible. Around Memorial is nice and I know they are building a new downtown park but they should clean up the bayou and make a park out of it. Oh, wait...tightening environmental laws would hurt business...can't have that. Fifth, the air quality is terrible in Houston and the city (and population frankly) don't seem to want to do anything to fight it. Maybe people think caring about the environment is "socialism."

Dont get me wrong, I think we need to improve our environment and get rid of our dependence on middle eastern oil. Honda is coming out with a new hydrogen vehicle soon that will be marketed in Cali. BUT only the market will determine when that breaking point is,
I just blatantly disagree with your thoughts on Houston. IT does have plenty of recreational activities. It has access to waterways for great water sports. It has a plan in place to clean up the Bayou. You want to talk a/b air quality, if I recall, LA and its valley that traps the smog in is not a model city for smog. As for socialism, trust me, I've done econ, I know what it is.
As for big city amenities: Let's see: a world class theater district, NASA, major league sports, international access, a thriving restaurant scene, a boutique mom and pop scene, plus high end retail chains. Trust me, Houston does have big city amenities.

I dont think having a urban dense core like Chicago (to get back on topic) necessarily equates to a better quality of life. Americans by nature as a whole love suburbs and their space. I think Houston offers a great quality of life...it makes home ownership a reality rather than a dream for many. There's a reason why Houston is one of the fastest growing MSA's in the country boasting a rate of 130,000 people per year. It will overtake Philly this year or next. It's the same reason why Las Vegas has grown so fast, Phoenix has grown so fast, and dare I say it in this blog, DFW. America is demanding cities like Houston. If not, then there wouldnt be the big push down here.
Texas is now the number 2 retirement state behind Florida.
There's a reason for that.
The proof is in the pudding.
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,605,310 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Part of the attraction of Texas and its cities is the availability of land. Countless studies have shown that it is more efficient to operate a company on a few floors rather than vertically. That's why we boast some of the lowest cost per sq. footage in the country. That is why the cost of doing business is less in Texas than in other parts of the country. Texas prides itself in its space. And it lures companies here with its space. I still foresee a Houston that will continue to sprawl b/c that is what companies want....lowering the overhead cost of doing business.
Yeah, I see all Texas cities sprawling. As a matter of fact, as see all of America doing the same thing.

Quote:
The highrise market will be more in residential building rather than office building.
This actually isn't true for Houston. Five new significant office towers are in the works for Downtown Houston. Houston has low vacancy rates, which helps its office market. It doesn't build based on speculation, but rather demand.

Quote:
Now as for rail/bus expansion, it will be costly for Houston to catch up without having to raise the taxes and indirectly hurt businesses.
If the buses expand any further, they will be in the far out suburbs. Houston's bus could use a little improvements, but it is fine. Rail is what is needed, and it is being expanded.

Quote:
As for creatining a liberal climate...not necessary...it's well known that urbanized areas in the country are by nature leaning liberal. Another city I wont mention by name that is not Austin or San Antonio voted 70% Kerry in the last election. Now is it important, I dont think it's an optimal solution either...I think you need to have a balance...you need pro growth policies. If you have too liberal of a city that promotes socialism, Texas cities will not grow. Former major cities like St. Louis has demonstrated that Anti-growth policies had spelled disaster economically for St. Louis. St. Louis has lost so many fortune 500 companies b/c of it's non-pro growth attitude.
Well, the city of Houston voted for Kerry as well. Houston is also gaining Fortune 500 companies (not losing like St. Louis). It has a very friendly business climate, and is always at the top of lists for business relocations, and business starts.

Quote:
But here are reasons why Houston has been successful:
1) It's located in a Pro-Growth state with low relative taxes
2) Affordable housing. Lots of land. If you start increasing density, and building vertically, you're going to have problems with increasing overall cost of living in Houston. It's become a problem in other Texas cities that I shall not mention.
3) Accessibility: Bush and Hobby do a great job with their Contental and Southwest hubs
4) Job climate: excellent.
5) Educated workforce: With world reknowned institutions such as Rice Univ and Baylor, it's got a great workforce
Agreed.
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:02 AM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,293 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
Yeah, I see all Texas cities sprawling. As a matter of fact, as see all of America doing the same thing.



This actually isn't true for Houston. Five new significant office towers are in the works for Downtown Houston. Houston has low vacancy rates, which helps its office market. It doesn't build based on speculation, but rather demand.


If the buses expand any further, they will be in the far out suburbs. Houston's bus could use a little improvements, but it is fine. Rail is what is needed, and it is being expanded.



Well, the city of Houston voted for Kerry as well. Houston is also gaining Fortune 500 companies (not losing like St. Louis). It has a very friendly business climate, and is always at the top of lists for business relocations, and business starts.



Agreed.
Did not mean there will not be new office buildings, just meant that residential highrises will outpace office buildings. This is actually a nationwide trend including the area in which I live, despite the fact that there's a brand new 7-11 headquarters, Hunt building, and a few others I know of that are being completed downtown. I agree, rail is sorely needed in expansion. But you guys are working on that aspect. Chicago's rail seems to get good ridership from their suburbs. As for Portland, it's a nice small city...but it just wouldnt be comparing apples to apples. Portland needs to be compared to the likes of St. Louis, Cincinatti, Kansas City, MO, Columbus, OH rather than comparing it to Houston or Chicago for that matter. THough Portland admittedly does have a decent rail system. I do think however that the culture is changing and will accelerate the change of culture in the future....but only time will tell if rail ridership becomes part of our culture in greater numbers in the future.

Last edited by metroplex2003; 06-17-2007 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 06-17-2007, 10:33 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,767,418 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
metroplex-

Thank you for posting that. It's a perfect example of the mindset in places like Houston and why I could never live there. The city caters to the whims of business rather than concentrate on quality of life for its residents.

Houston isn't Orlando or Tulsa. It is the world center for the global energy business. It doesn't need cheap tract houses and shabby strip malls to keep business. If Houston really wanted to step up from being just another sunbelt sprawling boom-town it would realize that and start to focus on the needs of residents, rather than the needs of business.

Look at New York; it's the world center for global finance. The high of living there doesn't change that. Look at Los Angeles; it's the world center for the movie industry. The high cost of living doesn't change that.

I am not saying that Houston's cost of living needs to be or ever will be as expensive as those cities. But the constant concern that "this" and "that" will raise the cost of living gets tiring. Residents you want in a city are willing to pay a little more for a nicer place; cities like Houston should think about that cold reality more often.
I co-sign.
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Old 06-17-2007, 10:36 AM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,451,914 times
Reputation: 1942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
^^Again Downtown is dead after 5PM, until 10PM. That's when the parties start.
While downtown may be dead until the late evening (except towards the weekends, I'd say, when the party starts earlier), there are many other bars and clubs open seven nights a week, with live musical acts and events going on. Many people don't go downtown because of the lack of parking, although it has boomed in the past decade compared to how it was before. There are bars around Market Square and along Main that are open from 11am-2 am. Downtown is nothing like Boston or NYC or San Francisco because this isn't Boston or NYC or San Francisco, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do after work. Entertainment is spread out here because this is a sprawling city. Most of the action occurs west of downtown, inside the Loop.

irwin, I'm surprised you've been visiting Houston for years and don't seem to know this, or know where to go. Here are a few leads to help you next time you're in town.

Envy - Houston (broken link)

PUBLIC NEWS - Houston's Arts & Entertainment Newsweekly

Houston - Arts & Entertainment (http://entertainment.houstonpress.com/ - broken link)

Houston Music and Nightlife : Houston Bars and Clubs: Local Bars

Fresh Arts Calendar

ArtsHound - Houston’s Ultimate Guide to Arts and Culture
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Old 06-17-2007, 10:38 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,767,418 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
Fifth, the air quality is terrible in Houston and the city (and population frankly) don't seem to want to do anything to fight it. Maybe people think caring about the environment is "socialism."
Here is where I have to agree. Some people have adjusted to the environment of Houston, but there are many many people who would opt for better living. As I've said before, there are plenty of green people in this city, so just because the city doesn't seem to care about it, it doesn't mean that the people who live there don't.
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Burkina Faso
421 posts, read 603,755 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
There's a reason why Houston is one of the fastest growing MSA's in the country boasting a rate of 130,000 people per year.
Yeah, it's because ****loads of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Hurricane Katrina evacuees and flooding into the city.
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