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Looped In

EPISODE 106 — The Houstorian Calendar — A few years ago Houston preservationist James Glassman began posting each day on his Twitter feed about important events that happened on any given day in Houston history. Those tweets inspired a new book, "The Houstorian Calendar: Today in Houston History,"
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Now displaying: Category: Real Estate
Jun 7, 2019

A lawsuit filed in Illinois earlier this year was the latest attempt to upend the current system of how real estate commissions are structured. The case argues that if not for rules put in place by the National Association of Realtors, consumers would pay far less in commissions and that the system would look more like it does in the United Kingdom, where listing agents earn a much smaller commission and buyers’ agents are rare.

May 29, 2019

TMC3, a biomedical research campus planned for 37 acres between Old Spanish Trail and Brays Bayou, aims to take Houston’s powerhouse medical center in a bold, new direction. Plans call for the land to house medical and commercial space, a hotel, apartments and a collection of research facilities that could amount to more than $1 billion worth of development and 5 million square feet of space. Bill McKeon, Chief Executive of the Texas Medical Center, discusses how the project could introduce a standard of collaboration and architecture the TMC has never before seen.

 

May 16, 2019

Ralph Bivins has been covering the real estate market in Houston since the late 1980s when he started as a reporter with the Houston Chronicle. He now runs Realty News Report and has just published his first book: "Houston 2020: America's Boom Town - An extreme close up." He talks to Nancy about the projects and personalities that shaped the city's built environment and the challenges that stand to hold it back.

May 8, 2019

Looped In collaborator Allyn West recently left the Chronicle for a new job. But before going, he spent some time in the podcast studio to talk about his favorite -- and least favorite -- things about Houston. In an extended lightning round, Nancy and Lisa Gray, the editor and writer who recruited Allyn to the Chronicle, peppered their departing colleague with questions about the city’s architecture, streets, playgrounds and much more. Their conversation revealed some of Houston's little known gems, from real estate to writers.

Apr 24, 2019

For 12 years, Larry Albert, a.k.a. Gus Allen, published Swamplot, the news and gossip website that highlighted the absurdities of Houston's homes, gas stations, streets, parks, buildings and everything in between. On March 7, the site stopped publishing. "Swamplot was a side project that kind of got out of hand," said Albert, who joins Nancy and Allyn (a former Swamplot editor) to talk about why he started the site, how it evolved and which posts resonated with readers the most.

 

Apr 18, 2019

There are more than 100 opportunity zones throughout Harris County, and At-Large City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards has been meeting with residents to explain how this federal program works and how it stands to affect investment and development in these areas. The program is expected to be a boon to investors, but Edwards worries that a lack of planning on the front end could lead to unintended consequences. She joins Nancy and Rebecca to talk about how the city can help influence investment and development in opportunity zones in a way that benefits all stakeholders.

Apr 9, 2019

For the first time in his 40-year legal career John Ransom, has been getting cold calls from people with technical tax questions. Specifically, they're asking about Opportunity Zones, a program created in the 2017 tax overhaul to spur economic development in low-income neighborhoods while offering investors potentially large tax breaks. John Ransom, a partner and tax specialist with the Jackson Walker law firm, joins Nancy and Rebecca to talk about how Opportunity Zones could boost real estate values and improve struggling neighborhoods. Though there may be unexpected consequences, as well.

Mar 26, 2019

One of the barriers to building affordable housing often comes in the form of NIMBYism. Take the recent project proposed on Columbia Street in the Heights. The neighbors got wind of the proposal, swiftly launched a campaign to oppose it, and ultimately the developer walked away. It isn't always this way and it shouldn't be, said Joy Horak-Brown, president and CEO of New Hope Housing, a nonprofit developer that builds and runs housing and support services for low-income individuals. Horak-Brown joins Nancy and Allyn to dispel some of the myths about affordable housing and discuss how such developments can actually improve a neighborhood.

Feb 28, 2019

Nancy and Allyn talk to Rice Management Co.’s Alan Arnold about plans for the former Sears building in Midtown. The property, now called The Ion, is being redeveloped as part of Rice’s broader plan to create an innovation district on 16 acres

Feb 28, 2019

Nancy and Allyn talk to Rice Management Co.’s Alan Arnold about plans for the former Sears building in Midtown. The property, now called The Ion, is being redeveloped as part of Rice’s broader plan to create an innovation district on 16 acres

Feb 21, 2019

About six months after Hurricane Harvey ripped through southeast Texas, Chronicle editor Dianna Hunt, who helped guide the paper’s coverage of the storm, took some family members visiting from Massachusetts on a driving tour to show them some of the places most affected by the hurricane. Her tour has become somewhat of a regular activity for Hunt when visitors come to town. She talks to Nancy and Allyn about where she goes – and why she goes there – on her Harvey tours.

Feb 14, 2019

A few years ago Houston preservationist James Glassman began posting each day on his Twitter feed about important events that happened on any given day in Houston history. Those tweets inspired a new book, "The Houstorian Calendar: Today in Houston History," Glassman's latest project in a string of artistic endeavors meant to change the way Houstonians think about their city. He joins Nancy and Allyn to talk about the most memorable moments in Houston history.

Feb 5, 2019

For Looped In's second-annual Loopie Awards, Nancy asked listeners to vote for their favorite real estate deals and developments of the past year. She gets help revealing the winners from none other than Looped In co-founder Erin Mulvaney.

Jan 24, 2019

Nancy and Allyn bring back former guest (and Chronicle tech writer) Dwight Silverman to talk about his adventures in the Houston housing market. Silverman, a baby boomer who for years owned a townhouse in Montrose, decided to see what renting was like. After a couple years of that, he decided to buy again. But in a hot neighborhood like Montrose – and with a limited budget – it wasn’t easy. He tells listeners how he found his new home and what he gave up to get there.

Jan 16, 2019
As promised, Looped In hit the road to visit a house listed for sale by an iBuyer, a company that uses data and technology to make fast offers on homes, close on them quickly and then turn around and resell them. After downloading an app and answering a few questions, Nancy and Rebecca were able to get into the house and take themselves on a tour. No agent needed. Coincidentally, their journey took them to one of Houston’s most beloved treasures.
Jan 4, 2019

ibuyers, these new data-driven real estate companies that buy properties directly from homeowners, are battling for market share in Houston and across the country. Nancy and her colleague Rebecca Schuetz are joined by industry analyst Daren Blomquist of Attom Data Services, to talk about how this new breed of companies is shaking up the residential real estate industry.

Dec 19, 2018

In the second part of Looped In's discussion with Houston real estate veterans Joe Colaco, Marvy Finger, Ed Wulfe and Welcome Wilson Sr., we talk about what it was like to work with the legendary architects Philip Johnson and Cesar Pelli; what transit solutions would work best for Houston; and why the Kirby Mansion is worth saving.

Dec 10, 2018

For Looped In's 100th episode, we sat down with some of the city's most prominent figures in real estate and development. Joe Colaco, Marvy Finger, Ed Wulfe and Welcome Wilson Sr. have spent a collective 230 years shaping our skyline and our suburbs. They debated such charged topics as mass transit, historic preservation and zoning, and shared the high points of their careers and the lessons they learned working in a city whose economic success is inextricably linked to the price of oil.

 

Dec 6, 2018

Looped In has been on a mini break gearing up for a new year and new episodes, so enjoy this rerun from November 2016 on the history of Houston neighborhoods. (Incidentally, we recorded this episode right after real estate developer Donald Trump was elected president.) Stay tuned for a fresh episode of Looped In (our 100th!) next week.

Nov 16, 2018

Nearly 1,800 households in East Texas are still living in trailers provided by FEMA more than a year after Hurricane Harvey. Now, many are at risk of losing their temporary shelters.

Nov 8, 2018

More than a year after Hurricane Harvey, developers continue to build in parts of Houston that flood, and it's not expected to stop anytime soon. After all, one-third of the city is covered by flood plains. On the newest episode of Looped In, Nancy is joined by the Chronicle's Mike Morris, who explains his recent reporting that found one in five homes permitted in Houston in the year after the hurricane is in a flood plain.

Nov 2, 2018

After years of catering to move-up buyers with big housing budgets, builders in Houston are introducing new models with lower price tags and smaller footprints. One company is marketing a 1,000-square-foot model with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a one-car garage for under $92,000. Lawrence Dean, regional director of home building consulting firm Metrostudy, talks with Nancy about the growing market for small homes.

 

 

Oct 16, 2018

Nancy and Chronicle retail reporter Paul Takahashi deep dive into Mattress Firm’s strategy of “over-storing” and talk about where the company – now in Chapter 11 – goes from here. Houston retail expert Jason Gaines of NAI Partners joins them to discuss the real estate implications.

Oct 4, 2018

Rose Bonaduce received a letter from the Harris County Appraisal District in August notifying her that a request to protest the value of her brand new home was scheduled for a hearing the following month. But there was a problem: she never filed a protest. Bonaduce's daughter, Karen Scott, posted the letter on her neighborhood Facebook group and discovered others who had also received notices for hearings they never requested. So on the date of her mother's hearing, Scott went to HCAD to get answers.

Sep 25, 2018

How many explosives does it take to implode a 20-story building? What's the best time to do it? And who gets to push the button when it's go time? In Part II of Demolition Man, Mike Dokell, vice president of demolition for Cherry Cos. shares stories from his 30 years tearing down Houston office buildings, hotels, and one of the messiest jobs he ever had, imploding the former Macy’s department store downtown.

 

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