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Posts Tagged ‘TIRZ’

Memorial residents file lawsuit over flooding

This ought to be interesting. A group of residents sued the city of Houston and one of its local redevelopment authorities Wednesday, alleging that they approved commercial development in the Memorial City area without requiring adequate storm water mitigation, resulting in increased flooding in residential neighborhoods. Claiming federal and state constitutional violations, the west Houston […]

Council unanimously passes Turner’s first budget

Good job. Mayor Sylvester Turner achieved his goal of securing unanimous passage of his first general fund budget Wednesday morning, a month ahead of the typical schedule and after an unusually brief and uncontentious discussion of council members’ proposed changes. The $2.3 billion general fund budget, which pays for most basic city services with revenues […]

Turner announces his budget

From the inbox: Utilizing a shared sacrifice approach, Mayor Sylvester Turner today unveiled a proposed Fiscal Year 2017 General Fund budget that eliminates a projected $160 million shortfall that was the result of cost increases, voter imposed revenue limitations, a broken appraisal system and the economic downturn. The budget totals $2.3 billion, which is about […]

Criminal complaint filed over Uptown land acquisition

All righty then. A consultant who represents property owners in the Galleria area has filed a criminal complaint with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, alleging the Uptown Development Authority and related entities broke state open meetings and disclosure laws in relation to acquiring property for a dedicated bus lane project. The complaint, filed last […]

Mayor Turner releases transition team report

From the inbox, a glimpse of what to expect in the near to medium future from Mayor Turner. Mayor Sylvester Turner has released a 17-page report that details the work of his transition team chaired by businessman and long-time civic advisor David Mincberg. More than 250 Houstonians from all walks of life participated. They have […]

Layoffs are coming

It’s gonna suck, though hopefully not as hard as last time. Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that a still undetermined number of city employees will be laid off in the coming months, making his first formal acknowledgment that Houston’s projected $126 million budget gap can’t be closed by July without personnel reductions. Though Turner did […]

Hey look, a Regent Square update

Sometimes I forget this is still a thing. In 2007, longtime urbanites said goodbye to the Allen House Apartments, a decades-old complex along Dunlavy just south of Allen Parkway. The multiblock property was a Houston institution, housing hundreds of college students, senior citizens and professionals behind brick walls and wrought-iron balconies that gave it a […]

Uptown BRT construction begins

I’m really rooting for this to succeed. Dignitaries will gather Monday to symbolically start construction of wider sidewalks and dedicated bus lanes meant to enhance Post Oak Boulevard and offer improved transit service, even as some residents and business owners continue fighting to block a project they consider a huge mistake. Though it has passed […]

The latest Uptown fuss

I suppose I need to say something about this. Two members of an economic development board pushing a plan to run a center bus lane along Uptown’s Post Oak Boulevard have financial ties to companies that will be paid for land in the project’s right of way. Earlier this year, Uptown Chairman Martin Debrovner and […]

What kind of Memorial Park do you want?

Council is set to vote on the Memorial Park Conservancy plan, whether you like it or not. Joe Turner does not want more drawings gathering dust on a shelf. Houston’s parks and recreation director inherited more than a few unrealized master plans when he was hired 10 years ago. Now he’s shepherding the most complex […]

An Uptown BRT skeptic

Here’s one guy who doesn’t like the idea. Ridership models developed by the Uptown TIRZ board project that the new bus route will carry 10,000 riders per day in 2018. This estimate is outrageously inflated, given that the more than 30-year-old Park & Ride system only carries 16,000 riders per day, most of whom are […]

Like a bridge over Memorial Park

Some fascinating ideas for ensuring the long-term health of Memorial Park. Today Memorial Park is a land divided. The city’s premiere park stretches across 1,500 acres, almost twice as large as New York’s Central Park. But to Thomas Woltz of the internationally renowned landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, it feels much smaller. Over time […]

Holmes Road

It kind of blows my mind that something like this could be the case in 2014 in Houston. Holmes Road in south Houston, for a stretch, feels less like a city street and more like a weathered country road in Central Texas, even though NRG Stadium and the Texas Medical Center shimmer in the distance. […]

Hiram Clarke TIRZ

I think this will be a good thing. The Houston City Council and the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court approved a plan this month to boost development in Houston’s southwest corner with the creation of a tax increment reinvestment zone. Under a tax increment reinvestment zone, property taxes generated within the zone’s boundaries are frozen […]

The Uptown plan is as much about HOV as it is BRT

Maybe more. Most discussion of the Uptown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone’s plan, which goes before City Council this week, has been about a proposal to annex Memorial Park into the zone and spend $100 million restoring the drought-stricken park. The centerpiece of the zone’s plan, however, is a $187.5 million vision to widen and rebuild […]

Memorial Park will not become the Riverwalk

Council will vote on the proposed Uptown/Memorial TIRZ this week, which may or may not put an end to some of the wild speculation about what expanding the Uptown TIRZ boundaries to include Memorial Park may mean. Imagine you’re jogging through Memorial Park, squinting past rows of neon signs in front of fast food joints, […]

Looking forward on Memorial Park

Meet Shellye Arnold, the new Executive Director of the Memorial Park Conservancy. There is no doubt that it is a pivotal moment for the 89-year old-park. Decimated by the drought of 2011, Memorial Park lost thousands of trees. The conservancy – whose stated mission is to “restore, preserve and enhance Memorial Park for the enjoyment […]

Have your say on the Uptown/Memorial Park TIRZ

From the inbox, and the office of CM Oliver Pennington: To the Residents of District G: As many of you are aware, the May 1, 2013, Council Agenda contained several items related to the Reinvestment Zone Number Sixteen (Uptown Zone), also known as TIRZ 16. Included on the agenda today were Items 15 (enlarging the […]

Questions about the Memorial Park part of the Uptown/Memorial TIRZ

Lisa Falkenberg reports that some people have raised questions about the Memorial Park part of the Uptown/Memorial TIRZ. Reforestation is sorely needed in a park devastated by hurricane damage and drought. This is a great deal, city leaders and supporters say, a great way to restore our crown jewel to its former beauty. And we […]

For the Uptown/Memorial TIRZ

Ed Wulfe never mentions Mattress Mack or his recent diatribe in the Chron about the proposed Uptown/Memorial Park TIRZ, but his op-ed in the Chron is clearly aimed at countering naysayers like Mattress Mack. Uptown is one of the most successful mixed-use urban environments in the United States and a leading economic driver of Houston; […]

The Uptown/Memorial TIRZ

Big projects, big plans, big funding mechanism. Transit and trees – things that make urban areas move quickly and look pretty – are the centerpieces of a $500 million project that would remake the Uptown area and reinvigorate Memorial Park. Mayor Annise Parker and other officials announced a plan Thursday that would fund construction of […]

An opponent for the Controller

Big Jolly reports on a new candidate. There are two powerful elected positions in the City of Houston: Mayor and City Controller. So naturally I was curious when I heard that someone was going to challenge the incumbent Controller Ronald Green. Meet Bill Frazer. The press release announcing his candidacy stated: “The Controller is an […]

Could this be the catalyst for Astrodome redevelopment?

Maybe. The city of Houston and Harris County are preparing to create a mammoth, two-part economic development zone covering more than 11 square miles along the South Loop and at the northeast end of downtown. The plan stems from a deal the two governments struck three years ago to secure a new soccer stadium east […]

Leland Woods

I’ve been banging the drum lately about encouraging growth inside the city’s boundaries as a long-term financial management strategy, so I’m glad to see this. Eight years ago, city of Houston officials decided to incentivize the conversion of 80 wooded acres off Little York Road into a 375-home community, a place, in some small measure, […]

BBVA Compass Stadium

Dynamo Stadium gets a new name. When the Dynamo first approached BBVA Compass before breaking ground on their new stadium, the two-time MLS Cup champions were looking for a loan to help finance the construction of the club’s venue on the East End. Now, the bank will have its name and a note on BBVA […]

Downtown shuttle service to return

Do you miss the free trolleys that used to run downtown? A new version of that service is set to debut in the spring. The Houston Downtown Management District, funded through tax assessments on downtown properties, plans to launch a free bus service called Greenlink to ferry employees and residents along a 2.5 mile route […]

Does it count if it’s a TIRZ?

Well, this is interesting. As the city of Houston seeks to close a $21 million budget gap in the next eight weeks, it is counting on selling a public building to one of its own redevelopment agencies. And while the proposed $5 million deal with the Midtown Redevelopment Authority would offer the city deadline budget […]

Council gives final approval to Dynamo Stadium deal

The last hurdle has officially been cleared. With two unanimous votes at City Council on Wednesday, the Dynamo cleared the last public hurdles they need to build their new stadium on the East End. “I think it’s a very important step in the right direction and brings us much closer to finalizing all the pieces […]

The Dynamo Stadium rebate plan

Well, this is interesting. The city is poised to strike a 30-year deal giving back $3 million in projected sales tax to the Houston Dynamo as they prepare to construct their $60 million stadium. City officials say the tax rebate always has been a part of the deal that kept the team from leaving Houston, […]

Dynamo Stadium groundbreaking delayed

Groundbreaking for Dynamo Stadium was originally scheduled for this Saturday the 29th, but due to a delay with City Council it has been put off till next week. Because the city council has not yet voted on the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) that is part of the inter-local agreement between the county and city, […]

Council approves Dynamo Stadium deal

Two down, one to go. The Houston City Council unanimously approved an agreement this morning that is expected to pave the way for a new professional sports stadium for the Houston Dynamo and the Texas Southern University football team. Although some council members voiced concerns about the finances of the $95 million public/private project, many […]

Dynamo Stadium deal finally struck

Took ’em long enough. The city of Houston and Harris County have struck a potential deal on a new stadium for the Houston Dynamo and Texas Southern University’s football team, agreeing to jointly pay for $20 million in infrastructure upgrades if the soccer team follows through with a commitment to foot the bill for the […]

“There’s no such thing as a project like this without public money”

Dynamo President Oliver Luck throws a little cold water on the claims that a Westpark Stadium could be built exclusively with private funding. “We have not been presented a plan by the Midway Companies,” Luck said. “I can’t say whether there’s ‘no public money’ involved. “We (the Dynamo) won’t talk to the city or county […]

The Dynamo contemplate their options

Is the future of Dynamo Stadium on Westpark? Could be. Dynamo President Oliver Luck is in talks with a developer about building a soccer stadium on private land about a mile south of the Galleria. The Dynamo have not abandoned plans to build on a 12 acres of city-owned land downtown, Luck said. But the […]