This article is about the Mayor's belief that the recent proposal to make permanent the ban on demolitions in the Old Sixth Ward would have widespread support, but what really interests me is the quote from the opposition:
The Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association has led the effort to strengthen protections for the estimated 300 houses built between 1854 and 1935.
Another group, the Sixth Ward Property Owners Association, opposes the ban.
Janice Jamail-Garvis, a Realtor who leads the property owners' group, said the mayor's proposals amount to "an invasion of private property rights" that would lead to blight in the Old Sixth Ward by leaving dilapidated structures in place.
Most potential investors in the Old Sixth Ward want new homes, Jamail-Garvis said, and the neighborhood's main appeal lies in its location near downtown rather than its stock of Victorian-era houses.
I mean, if proximity to downtown is more attractive to potential buyers than the architecture, then why isn't there more of a boom along Houston Avenue and points east? That's plenty close to downtown, too, and there's not all those annoying preservationists to deal with. Or, speaking of points east, there's the area just east of downtown, on the other side of 59. A lot of that area comes pre-bulldozed, too. And it's more easily walkable to downtown than the Old Sixth is.
Call me crazy, but I think that the neighborhood's history and charm might just be a driver of its desirability. I'm sure you could still make a living as a realtor there if it were nothing but cookie-cutter houses, but there's more to what makes a neighborhood special than location.
In other news, the This Week section has a long story about the proposed width and setback requirements that I blogged about earlier. It's a pretty good overview of the options that the Planning Commission subcommittee is considering. Check it out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 21, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston