Went to the SN22 meeting last night. Interesting meeting all around ...
-Peter Brown (former mayoral candidate) talked about how streetcars will revolutionize mass transit along the Washington Corridor
-Guy Hagstette talked about plans to improve Buffalo Bayou ... IMO, both good things for the city.
WALMART UPDATE -
-Ainbinder met with neighborhood reps from SN22
-There is not a signed deal as of yet
-They intend to have a signed deal with a retailer within 2 weeks
-The retailers they are considering are Walmart and HEB
-Ainbinder is concerned with infrastructure support for the site
-Koehler - plan to flatten/improve drainage
-Ainbinder discussed the need to increase urban real estate
-Need to consider more 'urban' models
-End product = urban feel
-Improvements will extend beyond property line
-Bridges surrounding will be improved
-Multi Level development = not addressed
-Surface parking lot is the only thing in the plans (no parking garage)
-Ainbinder = of the opinion the lot does not drain well as is, and their design will improve that
-Drainage they assume goes to white oak bayou
-Mixed use development (retail + Living) = Not financially feasible for them to consider
-They still contend this will not be standard suburban model
-Information on this came out in the papers much sooner than they anticipated
-The site will be developed regardless.
There was a lot of additional discussion, and suffice to say that Walmart is the leading candidate to obtain the rights to put a retail development on that lot. The development will essentially change the entire area on Yale south of I-10, as retail will extend into the median between Yale and Heights, with additional shops in front of the chain store on Yale itself.
-Ainbinder will sell/lease the property soon
-Ainbinder intends to pass on any community concern to the retailer
-Ainbinder's goal is to get a contract signed that will allow them to step away, and preserve their investment as is
-Any fight to stop this will be long, and cost $$
-Walmart is the leading candidate to be the retailer on this site