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arbeiter Jan 10, 2008 9:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexjon (Post 3273516)
I think the best use of the UP tracks would be to tear them out and build more roads.

i'm sure you're joking...

Dragonfire Jan 10, 2008 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arbeiter (Post 3273528)
i'm sure you're joking...

I agree with him... Well, not entirely. They should rip out the UP tracks down MoPac and make it larger, versus keeping it, and expanding it so there are no shoulders.

DrewDizzle Jan 11, 2008 3:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonfire (Post 3273698)
I agree with him... Well, not entirely. They should rip out the UP tracks down MoPac and make it larger, versus keeping it, and expanding it so there are no shoulders.

If money were no object, depress Mopac - similar to Central Expwy (US 75) in Dallas - between Town Lake and Northland Dr. so that you can take up a larger area but keep a smaller footprint. Keep the tracks for local light rail.

I've had a fantasy that the city would negotiate with the state to abandon the buildings across from Mabry and make it a high-density, town center. If the UP tracks were light rail, a station there would work.

arbeiter Jan 11, 2008 3:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrewDizzle (Post 3274256)

I've had a fantasy that the city would negotiate with the state to abandon the buildings across from Mabry and make it a high-density, town center. If the UP tracks were light rail, a station there would work.

I've had this fantasy too. Mueller West!

MichaelB Jan 11, 2008 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arbeiter (Post 3274266)
I've had this fantasy too. Mueller West!

Yeah, I agree it's time. Just doesn't seem Mabry is needed.

DrewDizzle Jan 11, 2008 4:26 AM

Well, to be fair, I wasn't talking about Mabry, although the Nat'l Guard closing that base would be incredible. However, it'll probably never close because it is the HQ for the nat'l guard forces in TX, yes? Eitherway, I'm speaking of the old, dilapidated State of Texas buildings ACROSS Mopac from Mabry.

DanE008 Jan 11, 2008 4:37 AM

^^^Agreed! I have always wondered what those eyesores were for. That stretch of Mopac contains some of the worst architecture I have ever seen... IMO

KevinFromTexas Jan 11, 2008 4:41 AM

I love the look of Mopac. It's like a freeway in Europe along there. Now if we could do away with all those ugo-lowrises east of Mopac. Replace them with some modern midrise to highrises with light blue glass and aluminum skin, similar to the modern architecture of places like London and Paris. Dallas has a bit of that going on near the American Airlines Arena too.

priller Jan 11, 2008 4:43 AM

They are some of the biggest eyesores in town. The TXDot building -- whew! The residential building (Westminster?), even though it's hideous on the outside, is apparently quite nice on the inside and is in high demand among the older and well-off set.

Speaking of that area, they've been clearing off the land next to the residential building, closer to 45th. Anyone know what's going on there?

Saddle Man Jan 11, 2008 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrewDizzle (Post 3267805)
Do you think the ASA commuter rail is the best and most effective use of the UP tracks? I don't - that's my point.

Yes, I think inter-city/commuter rail is the best use of the Union Pacific tracks.

Kevinb Jan 11, 2008 9:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by priller (Post 3274402)
Speaking of that area, they've been clearing off the land next to the residential building, closer to 45th. Anyone know what's going on there?

From:

http://www.main.org/oakmont/newsletter.html


Bull Creek / Kingswood Apartments Redevelopment Project Underway

You've probably noticed the Bull Creek and Kingswood apartment complexes have been torn down and the lots cleared. The developer, Ardent Residential, met with the neighborhood association and Executive Committee representatives several times during the past year to inform us of plans and to seek input. Construction of a new apartment complex on the site will begin this winter and be completed in about 18 months. The complex will consist of up to 330 apartment units, with a parking garage in the back (on the MoPac side of the property). The developer anticipates the first units will be completed and offered for rent in the first part of 2009.

Dragonfire Jan 11, 2008 10:58 PM

Well of course the TXDoT buildings are bland, it's a government building! :haha:

arbeiter Jan 11, 2008 11:52 PM

I kind of like the mid-rises along Mopac. I've driven down that stretch thousands of times in my life. The Westminster Manor reminds me of British apartment blocks. The state building to the south of it is mondo ugly, though. I also like the brick midrise at 2222 and Mopac, for years it had a non-functioning "DOW JONES" digital sign. The building that I have never understood is that weird Wendy's - is it a franchise office?

KevinFromTexas Jan 12, 2008 4:09 AM

I got a glimpse of the Capitol Metro trains parked along the tracks north of 183 just east of Burnet Road. We didn't stop, but I just caught a glimpse of them down the tracks.

hookem Jan 12, 2008 5:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arbeiter (Post 3276380)
I kind of like the mid-rises along Mopac. I've driven down that stretch thousands of times in my life. The Westminster Manor reminds me of British apartment blocks. The state building to the south of it is mondo ugly, though. I also like the brick midrise at 2222 and Mopac, for years it had a non-functioning "DOW JONES" digital sign. The building that I have never understood is that weird Wendy's - is it a franchise office?

I used to live right by there, so I'd pass it every day. The thing that always got me about the non-functioning DOW JONES sign (is that a 80's bust relic, or what?!) was that it only had 4 digits. Even in that boom, they didn't expect DOW 10K+. And I've wondered about the Wendy's building, too... it also says something like "Pisces Food" so I bet it's some kind of regional office. That Randall's is also pretty old. It's kind of weird that while so much of Austin is getting a facelift, that seemingly prime central/west area of Mopac looks just about the same as it did in the early 80's.

Saddle Man Jan 12, 2008 6:01 AM

That Wendy's building isn't Wendy's Corporate. It's a Wendy's franchising company.

M1EK Jan 12, 2008 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hookem (Post 3277104)
I used to live right by there, so I'd pass it every day. The thing that always got me about the non-functioning DOW JONES sign (is that a 80's bust relic, or what?!) was that it only had 4 digits. Even in that boom, they didn't expect DOW 10K+. And I've wondered about the Wendy's building, too... it also says something like "Pisces Food" so I bet it's some kind of regional office. That Randall's is also pretty old. It's kind of weird that while so much of Austin is getting a facelift, that seemingly prime central/west area of Mopac looks just about the same as it did in the early 80's.

It's all about zoning, man. They can't redevelop any more dense, and it isn't profitable to redevelop at the same density, so it slowly decays. Welcome to suburban nirvana.

arbeiter Jan 12, 2008 9:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M1EK (Post 3277908)
It's all about zoning, man. They can't redevelop any more dense, and it isn't profitable to redevelop at the same density, so it slowly decays. Welcome to suburban nirvana.

I don't know if this is really true for this part of town - your scenario is correct in many other places, but this area has seen a bunch of new buildings along Balcones. Those buildings were built on almost unusable, steep-graded land and they managed to do it. The area is really affluent and not decaying at all - I imagine that those 70's-80's midrises are just owned by people who aren't all that motivated to renovate or redevelop. They always seem to be occupied with tenants.

What is the zoning in this area? It can't be any different from the stuff along Mopac and Far West, and they've been building new things over there for the past 5-8 years. Given the size of the parking lot of the "Dow Jones" building, I think they could redevelop it profitably. A parking garage and a mid-rise building with a larger footprint is easily doable.

priller Jan 12, 2008 10:50 PM

Actually saw one of the commuter rail trains today, while we were going out to Eurway. My wife's comments: "It's cute. Not very big. Doesn't look like it will hold many people."

DrewDizzle Jan 13, 2008 7:51 AM

If those state buildings could demo'd and replaced with a few 15- or 20-story condos, apartments, et al., the UP tracks were used for light rail, and there was a cool station accessible via tunnel under Mopac for pedestrians, that'd be sweet.


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