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RD Milhollin

Member Since 11 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:53 PM
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#103794 XTO Energy moving 1,600 employees to The Woodlands, selling six of seven buil...

Posted by RD Milhollin on 19 June 2017 - 10:56 AM

Yes, but sustainable energy companies, like any other, have needs for centralized supply, transportation, and servicing operations. Some of these are best met internally, others by specialized contracting firms. I believe, like tamtagon, that Fort Worth is in a fairly unique position to take advantage of trends already in place in the wind turbine field, and could expand that capability to be a leader in solar technology design, fabrication, and distribution. Fort Worth has an large manufacturing/industrial base with a trained workforce and surplus manufacturing/warehousing facilities, well at least locations if not buildings. Fort Worth is a rail transportation and highway hub with plenty of logistical capacity. Look at the Northside along the major trunk lines and the Alliance Corridor as examples of opportunity for a future-energy supply hub. There are major universities with major engineering and business schools here and nearby that could supply the future leaders and innovators for this sort of thing. Downtown has individuals and firms who could be a source of financing for innovative new ventures. As far as your "WAI", many homes out in the country rely on grid electricity and trucked-in propane to provide power and heat. Economical solar and wind on a personal scale would free those folks from dependence on outside energy sources brought in a great expense. Ranchers unfortunate enough to not have oil or gas below their grass have gained a new grip on the family farm by leasing to wind generator operators. Those turbines require periodic service, and Fort Worth is a short drive, and will be soon a short train ride, to one of the largest airports around with many non-stop destinations close to other wind farm centers. And on and on...




#103761 TCU, UNTHSC to collaborate on medical school

Posted by RD Milhollin on 17 June 2017 - 11:31 AM

Legislation signed to permit UNT/TCU allopathic medical school to proceed:

 

http://www.star-tele...rylink=hpdigest




#103759 XTO Energy moving 1,600 employees to The Woodlands, selling six of seven buil...

Posted by RD Milhollin on 17 June 2017 - 11:15 AM

Well...

Time to focus on attracting other companies, I guess.

 

The number of professional and managerial jobs leaving is something that is going to be hard to deal with. Other posters on this forum have identified before that many of the jobs in Fort Worth are manufacturing or service based, and that we need more professional "white collar "jobs to round out the mix. I seem to remember that the city recently began an initiative (well, at least a study) to try to attract other businesses to town, but are the successful catches going to bring in managerial and higher-paid professionals to fill the gap that is going to develop when XTO departs? Are the companies lured here going to want to locate in the downtown area? I wonder how much of a heads-up the city leadership had about this move... Departing employees will most likely put their houses on the market which will probably depress upper-middle and higher range residential property prices. Even a staged withdrawal from the large and medium office buildings downtown is going to lower lease rates there since the knowledge of many vacancies in the very near future is now widely known. Focusing attention on attracting service jobs to downtown is not going to counter these effects; Fort Worth needs company offices and the related services that support them. Two possible strategies for addressing this need come to mind:

 

There are other, smaller companies that are in the same industry as XTO/Exxon-Mobil; perhaps the city could help support an effort to match those professionals who don't want to leave town to hire on with local Exxon competitors or even better, start-up their own competing firms here. I don't have a lot of experience in this area but I am sure there are people in the city or the Chamber or DTFW Inc, etc. who do, and if not perhaps a consultant could be brought in to help set up something along the lines of a "job fair" or a referral service to help those employees/contractors match up with growing local companies looking for experienced personnel. Maybe Bob Simpson could be asked by the mayor to have a "sit-down" to discuss how best to retain key industry people in the city...

 

The other idea is to begin a concerted effort to attract the "other" energy industry to the city; The companies that provide clean and sustainable power in contrast to burning fossil fuels. If there is going to be ANY sort of financial incentive offered as part of the city initiative to attract companies to move here, the same breaks offered to old-school energy companies should be offered to new-wave firms. One way to compete with other cities that are already onboard with this trend would be for the school districts to offer more STEM opportunities and even STEM with an energy focus as a graduation track. As part of this effort UTA, Tarleton, TCU, UNT etc. should be brought onboard with guaranteed scholarships in their engineering and business programs and even collaborate support for company start-up incubators.




#101601 Affordable Housing

Posted by RD Milhollin on 11 March 2017 - 12:17 PM

Residential and true mixed use (residential +) developers are going to try to reach for the highest rent they can get since for the most part they are in business to make money. These same developers are happy to take money from the city or from other public entities as an incentive to build, sometimes refusing to even consider a deal without incentives being on the table. The taxing entity usually asks for some concessions in return, such as minority/women contractors, a minimum number of local jobs created, design criteria, etc. The city could help address the homeless problem by requiring developers receiving tax incentives to include a certain percentage of affordable housing units to their projects, especially in areas where low-wage jobs that could be held by unspecialized workers are located. Every development has floors, views, exposures, etc. that are less desirable to clients, small, no-frills apartments could be included in these parts of the complex, perhaps just above the mixed0-use storefronts where employment might be offered. If the design of the development and the surrounding neighborhood were pedestrian-friendly and included basic amenities the residents of the rent-controlled units would not have to devote scarce resources to owning and maintaining a car, and could start to save money for other things... I know this is not a new idea, and would be interested if local jurisdictions here are or have used this approach before.




#99981 The link between historic neighborhoods and minority owned enterprises

Posted by RD Milhollin on 07 December 2016 - 10:05 AM

Is anyone going to comment positively that Fort Worth was reported separately from Dallas in this study?

 

I will!




#99572 Ridglea Presbyterian Church

Posted by RD Milhollin on 12 November 2016 - 01:27 AM

I hate to see such a significant building destroyed over an issue like parking. There should have been some mechanism in place to strongly encourage the landowners and businesses the area to work together to assure adequate parking for the area, perhaps some incentive to build a multi-level structure.

 

Outside of that, I am opposed to allowing gasoline sales outside of industrially-zoned areas due to the extreme hazards involved with dispensing and storage, and the potential loss of life to surrounding residents in the event of a disaster. The middle of a crowded residential and shopping area is not the place for bulk sales of a toxic and explosive material.




#99571 Council considers incentive to attract RFD-TV to relocate to Stockyards

Posted by RD Milhollin on 12 November 2016 - 01:17 AM

A cable channel that promotes a "rural lifestyle" may soon be based in a big city. That's odd.

 

Hopefully, they promote Fort Worth as a big city instead of as a small town.

 

Nashville is a "big city" at least in the same class as Fort Worth, and it has long been successful in pulling off the "small-town"persona. Part of the history of Fort Worth and other Texas cities has been to attract residents from surrounding rural areas for happenings and events; Stock Show, cattle auctions, business/banking, etc. Much of this sort of activity has been decentralized over the years as a result of improved transportation and communication, so finding a way to link the city to the country is probably a good thing. Having the city subsidize this company... Maybe not. If there are specific and contractual obligations and benefits for both sides, that would be better than just throwing public money at something that sounds good but might not bring tangible value to the people of the city.




#99570 Richland Hills and Transit

Posted by RD Milhollin on 12 November 2016 - 01:02 AM

Too bad some sort of residential/mixed-use Transit-oriented etc. reuse of the old flour mill at Beach St. south of SH-121 couldn't be pulled off. There are a lot of manufacturing and logistics-type jobs in that area that could use easy housing and transportation nearby. It would be a little difficult to pull off the usual connecting bus routes for arriving and departing trains due to the road configuration in that area and the lack of connections between areas on either side of the tracks and the freeway, but there is a lot more happening and potentially happening than around the Richland station.

 

There is a lot of shopping to the north, especially with the Walmart, the El Rancho Supermarket Grocery (pretty amazing selection), and the Vietnam/Asia market area along Belknap. Gateway park is not far to the south, and when fully developed could be a major regional sports and recreation attraction, The soon-to-be developing Greater Riverside neighborhood to is the east and all around; and again, lots of jobs in that area.

 

If the mill elevators were to be re-purposed into apartments (as has been discussed in other Forum threads) and a TRE station placed along the track frontage this area would be given a chance of getting started with redevelopment earlier than if it just kept creeping east as it seems to be doing now. There is plenty of land around there being used less than economically optimal (lots of parking lots, vacant lots, abandoned buildings, etc.) that might become more desirable for redevelopment if things were kick-started and if the daily gridlock along Beach was somehow addressed.




#98838 Lancaster Green

Posted by RD Milhollin on 25 September 2016 - 08:20 AM

A park as envisioned is probably the best and highest use for that land. High density residential developments 4 blocks east and 4 blocks west will find this sort of open space as a desirable amenity, but an additional entrance from the west would help access for people coming from there. Music at the stage is going to need to be on "9" due to the noise of traffic from the surrounding streets, freeways, and access ramps. I am curious how the use of the former Star-Telegram warehouse as an administrative center will be realized, is it big enough to house a city department like Parks? Does the city own it? And how is the plan going to deal with the gas pad in the southeast corner of the development; you can't park on it, you can't let dogs play on it, you can't pave it over. There has to be continuing access to that site for periodic maintenance, fracking, and disaster mitigation. Perhaps an educational aspect could be built into the park if a weather/air pollution observation station could be incorporated that would have hands-on interactivity with visitors and/or periodic "docent" demonstrations...




#98632 Gas Drilling

Posted by RD Milhollin on 05 September 2016 - 09:13 AM

5.6 magnitude quake on the edge of the OK oil/gas production region.

 

http://www.nbcnews.c...thquake-n642676

 

Several people I have talked to felt it in north Tarrant county. I am sure it has nothing to do with fracking wastewater injection wells.




#98597 New City Flag

Posted by RD Milhollin on 01 September 2016 - 10:12 AM

Aw com'on renamerusk, many if not most cities of any size or stature have a flag, and no, the citizens are not required to pledge allegiance to or salute it. This thread is just an exercise in exploring alternative designs for a flag that already exists. I am pretty sure that wherever the city flag is officially flown the US and state flag fly also, and widely accepted protocol ("advisory rules", etiquette, not enforceable laws) for display is followed. If you see that is not the case you might call the offending office and courteously inform them that their practice does not conform with custom.

 

That said, I am very opposed to any sort of pledge to any piece of cloth, no matter what color or design. I am especially opposed to the ridiculous practice of having school children pledge allegiance to the Texas flag; just dumb. To paraphrase a veteran who was supporting the football player who chose to remain seated during the national anthem a couple of weeks ago; he says he fought for freedom, not for some song or piece of fabric.

 

Forumistas: keep up the good work, and carry on with developing ideas for improving all aspects of Fort Worth, even unimportant aspects like the city flag.


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#98578 DFW Airport Carriers

Posted by RD Milhollin on 31 August 2016 - 10:51 AM

DFW Airport is looking at increasing the subsidies it offers to airlines offering new international service.

 

http://www.star-tele...le98896832.html

 

Dublin, Munich, Helsinki, Berlin, Nagoya (Tokyo), Melbourne, Addis Ababa, Barcelona, Nairobi, Rome, Auckland, and J-Burg are mentioned as being on the airport's wish list. Those are all fine and well, but I would prefer to see Amsterdam, Delhi, Manila, Lagos, Istanbul, Manchester, Glasgow, Rhur Valley (Düsseldorf), Marseilles, and Milan, and Singapore added as well.




#98548 Fuel City in Fort Worth

Posted by RD Milhollin on 29 August 2016 - 10:18 PM

I should have started this thread in the "Surrounding Cities" sub-forum, but here it is: The writer of this S-T article should be reading the Fort Worth Forum...

 

http://www.star-tele...le98715477.html




#98459 Rangers, Arlington and the Ballpark

Posted by RD Milhollin on 20 August 2016 - 09:17 AM

There is already an office building built into the outfield stands and lots of plumbing and electrical facilities in place under the stands. It seems the problem would be to find a tenant or tenants interested in locating there and do a custom renovation. The list of themes that complement the existing development is pretty long, starting with sports, entertainment, hospitality, etc. If retaining part of the stands maybe activities (sports concerts, events) that are appropriate to some time "not summer" could be designed for. It would be fun to be invited to sit down and brainstorm how this structure could be re-purposed.

 

Um... note to city and interested developers: send a PM for my available schedule.




#98332 Waterside (LMRA property being developed by Trademark)

Posted by RD Milhollin on 13 August 2016 - 08:34 AM

Whole Foods Market is preparing to open its first Fort Worth location in Waterside October 12:

 

http://www.star-tele...le95291762.html