Posts Tagged ‘development’

Learning from Glenwood Park

I recently found a great mini-documentary concerning Atlanta and an emerging New Urban neighborhood within the city. Notice the posted clip (read the complete article to see the video). This is a perfect example of a developer who understands the difference between the front and the back of a property – and correctly oriented the building to the street. Unfortunately, in Houston most buildings present their rear end to the public, and hide their face in the back yard.


Today I’m starting a series on high-speed rail. This first post contains my opening thoughts, and some of the background assumptions that inform the rest of what I’m going to write about.

Solving the Ashby Paradox

The Ashby Hi-Rise situation has put the problems with Houston’s development regulations in the spotlight. The way the city does business today offers neither the protections that residents desire, nor the predictability that developers need to do business. If we’re not careful, the backlash from this event could make things even worse. Fortunately, there’s a win-win alternative that can solve this problem and make Houston a better place to live and do business.

Briefly: Ashby gets the go-ahead

From the Chronicle: More than two years after they first applied, the developers of the Ashby high-rise will receive permits for a project that generated protests and a renewed debate over how to regulate development in Houston, city officials said today. The decision was based on changes developers Matthew Morgan and Kevin Kirton made in [...]

A tiny step in the right direction

I was pretty excited to be quoted in the Chronicle two days ago. With regards to the passage of the Transit Corridor Streets ordinance, Mike Snyder reported the following: The changes drew support from real estate organizations including Houstonians for Responsible Growth, which generally resists new development regulation. But others who have followed Houston’s efforts [...]

Comparing Interfaces: Real Urbanism versus Immitation Urbanism

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the residential infill development that has taken place in Midtown, and see what a difference good interface can make. If you haven’t read the background material on this one, here’s a quick summary. Interface is the connection between public and private space. It’s the street, [...]

What to do with empty lots?

Cities and developers around the country are trying to find innovative ways to use vacant lots while they wait for the market to recover. What can Houston learn from these efforts, and where might we apply them?

Rivercrest: Why the Urban Network is Essential

Yesterday the Chronicle posted an interesting article titled: Did street closing bypass fairness? Neighbors inherit wealthy Rivercrest’s traffic problem. The article considers the plight of the Briargrove Park subdivision, which has seen a significant increase in traffic since the adjacent Rivercrest subdivision succeeded in having their streets made into one-way (exit only) at Westhiemer. The [...]

Property Value Theory, Part 2: Interfaces and Conduits

Tuesday we took a look at the fundamental components of property values, at a macro level. In short, properties fall in two categories: resource-productive, and people-productive. Generally, if a property isn’t a farm or some kind of mine (or well) then it’s value is derived from it’s ability to attract human use. When humans use [...]

Property Value Theory, Part 1: People-Productivity

Continuing from my earlier post on Transportation Theory, today I wanted to take a look at property values, and what creates value in land. Again, these are my own words, but are drawn from the extensive graduate research I did as well as my professional experience as a real estate consultant. [serialposts] Two Kinds of [...]