Houston dining capital of TX, Top 5 city of the future, new luxury housing increases affordability, protecting against rising seas

This week’s items:

Houston is home to 12 of the top 31 restaurants in the state, according to Texas Monthly. Take that Dallas!

“Friday, the Austin-based publication released its list of “The Best Texas Restaurants in Every City” featuring favorites from the past three years of its popular series, “Where to Eat Now.”

Of the five cities included in the list, Houston has the most at 12. Dallas follows with eight. Seven Austin made the list, while San Antonio has three and Fort Worth has one.”

NYT: With More Storms and Rising Seas, Which U.S. Cities Should Be Saved First? Even though Galveston and Texas City show a misleadingly high cost per resident for seawalls, it’s ignoring the millions of people further back that are also protected. Our seawalls are some of the most cost-effective the nation can consider – right up there with NYC – esp. when you consider the massive petrochemical complex of the ship channel. Houston ranks fifth on a new 2019-20 list of the 10 North American Cities of the Future produced by the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times. New York grabbed the No. 1 spot, followed by San Francisco, Toronto, and Montreal. Following Houston were Chicago; Boston; Los Angeles; Palo Alto, California; and Seattle.

The ranking is based on data in five categories:

Economic potential Business friendliness Human capital and lifestyle Cost-effectiveness Connectivity

“Business Facilities magazine agrees with that assessment. In July 2018, it ranked Houston the No. 1 metro area for economic growth potential, stressing that the region’s economy has expanded beyond Big Oil and that it’s brimming with “innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.”

“Houston has a distinctly favorable business climate. The region benefits from a skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure and transportation system, and a pro-business environment that stimulates rather than stifles business growth,” the magazine says.”

CityLab: How Luxury Units Turn Into Affordable Housing – Building more high-end apartments doesn’t sound like a quick fix for the affordable housing crisis. But maybe you just have to look harder. Key excerpts:

“His model suggests that for every 100 luxury units built in wealthier neighborhoods, as many as 48 households in moderate-income neighborhoods are able to move into housing that better suits their needs, vacating an existing unit in the process. Somewhere between 10 and 20 of these households are coming from among the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods, vacating units and reducing demand where housing is most likely to be affordable for working families.

This suggests that even pricey new units could free up a lot of existing housing. Accounting for possibilities like units sitting vacant, out-of-town movers filling the units, or units being used as second homes/pied-a-terres/safe deposit boxes in the sky, Mast’s model still indicates that for every 100 new market-rate units built, approximately 65 equivalent units are created by movers vacating existing units. If the migration chain is as robust as this paper finds it to be, as much as half of theses newly vacated units could be in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. This new supply, combined with less demand, could play a major role in easing pressure on rents in the short run.”

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