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RD Milhollin

Member Since 11 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 12:50 PM
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#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




#98220 Walsh development

Posted by RD Milhollin on 04 August 2016 - 08:12 AM

I have to wonder where the jobs for those 50K people with half-million-dollar homes are going to be... Are there thousands of new white-collar executive openings in Fort Worth that have not yet been advertised? Are these new businesses or are more major companies moving to North Texas, specifically western Tarrant County. If trends continue many of these new residents are going to be looking to commute to Collin County. Can you imagine the traffic jams on I-30 and on I-820/SH183/SH121? Even worse than the several pinch points built into the designs of the recently rebuilt free-toll-ways. No mention was made in the NBCDFW article of any plans for rail transportation from downtown Fort Worth out to the "Walsh" although I remember reading a few years ago that plans for transit stations were part of the master plan. If there are no intentions of providing "affordable housing" in this development there is going to be even more traffic generated by service workers who will have to commute to the Walsh are to staff the stores there. I suppose development attracts development; perhaps some other developers are looking at providing the job base and support facilities to make this sort of "city-within-a-city" possible.




#98138 City Place Complex

Posted by RD Milhollin on 29 July 2016 - 08:48 AM

Some bad losers are holding up the TABC license approval process for the downtown Hooters location:

 

http://www.star-tele...le92114687.html

 

I am not an attorney but it looks as though this is going to result in a delay "at best". The city has verified that the "brestaurant" complies with zoning requirements and the owners have already modified their signage plans to comply with neighbor's wishes. Apparently when a protest is filed the commission is required to hold a local hearing prior to deciding whether to approve the license request. The protest group's spokesman says "he couldn't discuss the grounds for the protest". Why? I seriously doubt if discussing the nature of the protest, why the group doesn't want this lawful food establishment in this particular location, is improper or restricted by the commission.

 

What a crock.




#98123 DFW Airport Carriers

Posted by RD Milhollin on 27 July 2016 - 10:14 AM

Emirates will downsize from A380 to 777 on DFW flights in February and March:

http://www.star-tele...le53118525.html

 

It looks like Emirates will not bring the A380 back to DFW, but will use a 777 year-round. Competition with the other Gulf carriers and resultant poor load factors are cited as reasons for the decision.

 

IMO the size of the planes that serve DFW is not as important as the number of destinations served and frequency of service to major cities.




#98068 Frost Tower - Jetta Operating to Build Downtown Office Building

Posted by RD Milhollin on 22 July 2016 - 12:48 AM

Really turning from excavation to construction. Shots from 7/20/16

 

Cn7I_PgVIAUrc4m.jpg

 

Cn7JAJOUEAAlYkw.jpg

 

Cn7JCw5UsAA7svQ.jpg

Is there some forum software setting I have to tweak in order to open these files?




#98064 Fort Worth: a city hidden by trees

Posted by RD Milhollin on 21 July 2016 - 01:59 PM

I am good with trees, lots of trees, in the urban environment, for a variety of reasons. Living in an urban forest is more healthful and comfortable than living in an urban desert. It is great that residential property owners plant and maintain trees to the extent they do. I have several small trees in buckets that I have dug up out of my yard when just a few inches tall that have grown to several feet. I would be happy to give these away to any list members who need trees for their own yards. I have lived at my present house for about 15 years, and when I moved in there was a ratty Minosa in the front and in back an overgrown fruitless pear, a huge Hackberry gone wild growing out of the back fence, and an Arizona Ash that had been abused by the power line maintenance folks. I now live in a forest of Live and Red Oaks, a couple of Pines, a Chinese Pistache and a Mexican Plum. Over time I have trained the Ash through judicious pruning to grow upward rather than out, and is now an excellent platform for rope climbing practice. The Pistache came home with me on a bicycle from an Arbor Day celebration and is now about 35 feet tall. The shade from these trees protects the lawn from excessive sun burn and helps the house stay cool in the afternoon with minimum air conditioning necessary. The Oaks in the front shade the sidewalk. Urban trees... bring 'em on.




#98025 Downzoning High Density Residential

Posted by RD Milhollin on 18 July 2016 - 08:11 AM

I am interested in the stance Fort Worth Council Member Cary Moon is advancing regarding the permitting of high density residential apartments in his district in particular, and the city in general.

 

http://www.star-tele...le90046652.html

 

I would like to know more about the particulars of his vision though, especially if it would support existing city initiatives like urban villages and city dreams like transit oriented development. On the one hand, I have to applaud his attempt to proactively prevent another Woodhaven apartment enclave from being developed somewhere else in the city. But I would like to know if the ultimate failure of that sort of development has been thoroughly studied by professionals and if Moon's ideas are in agreement with what such a study would recommend. Has the UTA Institute of Urban Studies ever looked into this? I also applaud the ideas cited in the article of separating apartment developments from single family, but I believe that parks and green space can effectively provide that separation. I am somewhat worried by what appears to be a desire to permit multifamily primarily adjacent to industrial areas; preventing this sort of arrangement was what prompted urban zoning in the first place more than a century ago. I see nothing in the article about mixed-use zoning, the type that allows retail and office to coexist in the same building with residential, and a district in which this sort of sustainable arrangement is allowed and even encouraged. I am worried about his assertion that "best use" for a large tract of land in the Mercantile development near I-820 Wright and Beach Street is high density residential, especially in the light of a distinct lack of infrastructure and services identified in the article. Locating this sort of project a mile from a future commuter station and calling it TOD shows a glaring lack of knowledge of what makes that sort of development work.




#97996 West Bend, Formerly River Plaza

Posted by RD Milhollin on 13 July 2016 - 07:03 PM

Any responsible zoning and use plan is going to prohibit residential and public use within several hundred feet, even up to a thousand, from the gas pad perimeter. Yeah, that will definitely put a damper on dense development any where near one of these toxic and potential violently dangerous sites, but an ounce of prevention... Fort Worth is going to encounter negative effects from the urban drilling orgy well out into the future, long after those who profited have gone strategically bankrupt and directed their windfall off into other ventures in other states. The taxpayers will be left to foot the cost of cleanup and other mitigation; this is the lesson of the past our generation failed to quite grasp.




#97889 Fort Worth Parks

Posted by RD Milhollin on 05 July 2016 - 08:37 AM

S-T article pointing out the danger of children drowning, even in shallow water. Yet another reason for cities and schools to team up and construct year-round natatorium facilities that could be used for swimming instruction, even for infants and mothers.

 

http://www.star-tele...le87598197.html

 

There was a news piece on NPR by writer Dave Schiller this weekend about drowning, particularly among ethnic minorities, and learning to swim as an adult:

 

http://www.npr.org/2...eighed-him-down




#97871 TEX Rail project

Posted by RD Milhollin on 01 July 2016 - 11:39 PM

Maybe a Stockyards District historic streetcar line should be discussed. The historic aspect would complement the historic district, and if properly planned could diminish the need for a lot of parking right in the district. The line could start just across the spider's web of freight tracks on NE 23rd St.and follow some path through the Stockyards, eventually returning to origin. This sort of idea could be soft-started using a combination of small buses underwritten by the developers and privately operated horse-drawn wagons, carriages, etc. on weekends.




#97870 Fort Worth Stockyards

Posted by RD Milhollin on 01 July 2016 - 11:22 PM

It would be great if the people who work there and own businesses there were able to live in the neighborhood. Affordable residential spaces would definitely be an asset to this sort of district.




#97829 TEX Rail project

Posted by RD Milhollin on 29 June 2016 - 09:09 PM

Shoot! Diamond Hills may end up being the "FW's Next Area To Revitalize":

 

http://www.fortworth...?showtopic=4098

 

Maybe it could be renamed "Linwood North". All of the old houses could be ripped out, residents sent packing to the suburbs, and "Dallas Donut" - style gated apartment developments and small-lot McMansions could take over the landscape.

 

Wait! It would need a numerically-designated major artery on which to center trendy, imported and foreign-based restaurants; the old family-owned taquerias would have to go, eventually, or at least seriously upscale their decor and prices until their leases are bought out by a Dallas chain. OH YEAH! How about 28th Street? It is even a multiple of 7th Street, 4X the street to be exact. There, a trendy new name for the new redevelopment area: "4X7th". The new residents would be perfect for the TEXRail commuter route along the edge of their new neighborhood; they could go to work downtown and head the other direction for monthly trips to Houston and out of state via DFW Airport. Might even consider putting in a dedicated bike lane along Oscar - Glendale - Brennan Streets for Millennials who want to do part of their commute on mountain bikes. Perhaps the Zoning Commission and City Council could be persuaded to rezone that stretch of Decatur Avenue from Samuels Avenue north to Long Avenue from SMR (Scrap Metal Recycling) to SLG (Similar to Lower Greenville) to encourage the new residents from leaving on the train on weekends to go party in Grapevine. Could be a great new place for Gay Pride parades...

 

This alternative TEXRail Station could work out just fine after all!




#97755 City Employees Pension Fund Problems

Posted by RD Milhollin on 23 June 2016 - 09:39 AM

I was surprised to not find an existing thread on this forum regarding the Fort Worth city employee pension fund problems. Apparently that account is leaking money, primarily due to a heavy reliance on investment income to cover a portion of future obligations. Well, we all know how investment income looks these days, and perhaps well into the future... Mayor Price sees the situation as critical:

 

http://www.star-tele...le85144097.html

 

Moody's has downgraded Fort Worth municipal bonds, but that sort of action has lost many teeth, again due low interest rates and the resultant low cost of borrowing, but the city and the fund management has an obligation to citizens and more importantly to city retirees to manage the fund in a responsible manner so that it is solvent into the future. Were benefits promised under the pension program too generous? Should the employee contribution have been higher? Should the trustees have seen the writing on the wall and moved to change the makeup of the fund's investments many years ago? What is the cost of managing this fund as a percentage of its value? Many questions are being asked and there are several options possible to address the issue, but the city needs to correct the path the fund is taking while maintaining it's promise to employees covered by the fund and considering the costs to taxpayers.




#97754 Urban Revitalization

Posted by RD Milhollin on 23 June 2016 - 09:13 AM

 The city of Fort Worth is considering limiting economic tax  incentives for retail development to "Inside the Loop":

 

http://www.star-tele...le85474617.html

 

While this is probably a step in the right direction I don't see this policy being used as a nudge for developers to build more sustainably, just in a more geographically desirable area. That said, bringing jobs and shopping closer to where people are living today would help to limit somewhat long drives to get to work or to where desirable goods and services can be purchased. Carried to a logical conclusion such a policy would increase property value in the inner city, make bus and other mass transportation more feasible, and encourage residential developers to build near the new, subsidized retail centers. Energy efficiency is among the design elements that will be considered when application for tax incentives are reviewed.

 

A further step toward sustainability would be if tax incentives were keyed to specific elements of a development that address issues facing the city. Among these might be increased density/height as a way to reduce utility access costs, parking structures rather than pastures of paved parking that are rarely if ever fully utilized and contribute to the regional flooding burden, flexible design to enable adaptive reuse of spaces as market conditions change, water retention/reuse facilities, mixed use buildings and centers with employees and customers being able to live within a very short distance of their work or business destinations, relieving some of the stress on regional highways and arterial streets. All city tax incentives should require adherence to the design requirements for the particular neighborhood in question, with little wiggle-room for significant variances. I would rather see the city offer infrastructure improvements that complement a proposed development rather than cash giveaways, but these incentives are used in the feasibility considerations developers use in deciding where to build. As long as there are no nationwide rules limiting this corporate welfare Fort Worth and other Texas cities will have to play the game by the rules in place. A smart way to play within those rules would be to encourage development that will last and that will contribute to making a better city in the long run.