December 20, 2008
From the "What might have been" files
Swamplot is doing a bunch of year-end awards, and I think my favorite may be the Best Project Cancellation or Delay, which includes four different projects that I've been following. I think Sonoma, the infamous Hippie Bohemian Attorney project, is the clear choice, but I'm feeling some pity for Archstone Memorial Heights, which is getting skunked so far, and may vote for them just to avoid the shutout. Go check it out and see what might have been this year in Houston real estate.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 20, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston
They're also doing best neighborhood, and Old Sixth Ward is in the running ! I want to encourage everybody to vote for us ! Go Old Sixth Ward !
Amazingly the only project that seems to have had financing in place that is still in place is 1717 Bissonnet. Rumor is the developers will be filing a lawsuit against the city after the holidays. Which probably will not bode well for Bill White - his "I am king" attitude really is going to come back to haunt him.
Old Sixth Ward is another example of Bill "I am the king" White and his belief that law and ordinance apply to some and not to others. The preservation efforts of Sixth Ward should have been applied throughout the city. Particularly applied years ago across the bayou in Fourth Ward. Bottom line of preservationists, our mayors, and our city council is preservation is fine as long as their campaign contributors don't want the land. And some of the "movers and shakers" of the movement in Sixth Ward turned their nose at Fourth Ward and Sixth Ward will not get my vote for best neighborhood any more than Southampton or Boulevard Oaks would. People who like our mayor seem to like him on the basis of the strings he's pulled. Not really admirable.
Sorry you feel that way baby sooks. The Old Sixth Ward was able to get the designation because the residents (78%) demanded it for their area. Other neighborhoods are just as deserving, but if the residents are not willing to do the legwork, and make the efforts, others cannot do it for them. City Hall doesn't listen much when it is out of neighborhood people doing the talking. Sixth Ward people HAVE been involved in Fourth Ward efforts, such as work to save brick streets, and working with Catherine Roberts with the Jack Yates Museum - I personally have been in many meetings with City staff voicing my concern and support for specifics to Fourth Ward. On most of these occasions, there were more people from OUTSIDE the 4th ward advocating for needs than those who live or own property within the boundaries.
"Sixth Ward people HAVE been involved in Fourth Ward efforts, such as work to save brick streets, and working with Catherine Roberts with the Jack Yates Museum - I personally have been in many meetings with City staff voicing my concern and support for specifics to Fourth Ward."
They weren't there when it mattered. They weren't there when truly historic structures were "condemned" by the city at the request of Houston Renaissance and then demolished. They weren't there when questions were raised about the TIRZ or about the tactics of Houston Renaissance to obtain signtures for the petition for the TIRZ or the tactics to force landowners as well as homeowners to sell or face condemnation under eminent domain. They weren't there when Houston Renaissance attempted to force use of a fraudulent survey to allow condemnation under eminent domain of the remaining historic structures.
They may be concerned about preserving the "new" Fourth Ward. They were not concerned about preserving the "old" Fourth Ward.
I know they weren't because I filed the complaint against Houston Renaissance with the Attorney General's Office.
HELLO? We were trying to save or own neighborhood from similar fate! Many of the same 4th ward landlords owned 6th ward property. I know this because I was one of the volunteers in 1970's who documented the Fourth Ward's history, ownership and housing stock for the National Trust Application.
Also - wasn't Renaissance Project a late 1990's project? You really expected the leadership of OSW in 2007/2008 to have been active in Fourth Ward politics 8-10 years ago? Over the last few years, we were doing as much as we could to save our own neighborhood, with hopes it would lead to opportunities for others.
"You really expected the leadership of OSW in 2007/2008 to have been active in Fourth Ward politics 8-10 years ago?"
It had nothing to do with politics. It had to do with gentrification of a neibghborhood. It had to with private interests accessing public funds to redevelop a neighborhood by destroying it. That's what it had to do with.
"Over the last few years, we were doing as much as we could to save our own neighborhood, with hopes it would lead to opportunities for others."
It's a little late for Fourth Ward.