In this episode of Looped In, Nancy and Erin explain how Houston's apartment market got to this point and where it's heading. They talk about the development boom and teardown trend that left thousands of Houstonians scrambling to find new places to live.
Nancy and Erin continue their discussion of the 21-story tower planned nearly 10 years ago in a neighborhood near Rice University. In this episode, the reporters talk about their interview with Matthew Morgan and Kevin Kirton of Houston’s Buckhead Investment Partners and developers of 1717 Bissonnet, widely known as the Ashby high-rise. We find out what it was like for these developers to fight with city administration, a passionate neighborhood and the court system, as well as try to get to the bottom of when the project might be built, getting insight into the long process of one of Houston’s most controversial projects in the decade.
The Ashby high-rise and the high-profile protest it inspired has become a symbol, for better or worse, of Houston as the biggest American city without a formal zoning code. Since the project was announced in 2007, it has influenced city policy, inspired similar battles and raised questions about the power of wealthy neighborhoods and as well as the lax land use laws in Houston. Yet, the 1.6 acre plot of land at 1717 Bissonnet remains empty, almost a decade after the tower was first announced. Erin and Nancy, who have both covered this story extensively, discuss the back story of this land use battle, in light of recent breaking news on the story. The Ashby high-rise had its latest day in court with an appeals ruling.