WSJ: Midtown development lags
The Wall Street Journal ran a story by Thaddeus Herrick on Houston's Midtown yesterday. Since the Journal is subscriber only, here's a brief (fair-use) excerpt:
For two decades, a group of locals have touted the urban promise of Midtown, some 500 acres of homes, businesses and vacant lots that sit between this city's downtown and the bustling Texas Medical Center.
In 1995 they formed the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, attracting a five-block pedestrian-friendly residential and retail project known as Post Midtown Square that was a considerable departure for car-happy Houston. Light rail service gave the area a further boost in 2004, with Midtown getting three stations along the $324 million, 7.5-mile line.
But today more than half of the 475 blocks in Houston's Midtown are yet to be redeveloped. Perhaps more troubling, about half of the blocks along the light-rail line are vacant. "It's not very encouraging," says F. Charles Le Blanc, executive director of the Midtown Management District and Midtown Redevelopment Authority.
At a time when urban neighborhoods across the country are undergoing revivals, often with transit-oriented development leading the way, Houston's Midtown is a notable exception.
The story hits on points covered by Mike Snyder in the Chronicle nearly two months ago.
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