Ashby High-Rise Opponents Strategize Resistance Efforts

Protesters of the Ashby high-rise are far from done, according to a list of new actions from their latest meeting.

As the Ashby High-Rise moves forward toward construction, the project remains a source for creative protest plans from neighborhood residents.

According to a Houston Chronicle article on the unrest, more than 300 people met Tuesday night to strategize new methods of resistance to the development that include more interactive approaches with the surrounding communities.

Culture Map published parts of the letter, and some of its main points included: demonstrating at the places of business (and even the homes of the business' owners) who are investing and/or lending for the development; demonstrating at the businesses and homes of the contractors hired for the project; identifying the future tenants of the development and sending them communications that "they are not welcome in our neighborhood" (along with targeting tenants in public for such statements when they walk in or through the neighborhood; and, demonstrating at the homes of the owners, investors and chefs of the restaurants set for the development, in addition to the negative reviews they will post of the restaurants on dining websites.

As the Chronicle notes, though, a newer version of the protest movement's manifesto tones down some of the more confrontational strategies, namely the appearing at the homes of those involved in the development. Chris Amandes of the Stop Ashby High-Rise Task Force, said in the story that though some opponents embraced the methods, others feared they went too far.

“Lots of people feel very passionate about this and responding in a very personal way,” he said.

The new strategies, though, do confirm statements made in March by Jim Reeder, the co-chair of the task force, who had promised further action against the high-rise.

“The friend of my enemy is my enemy,” Reeder said, meaning that the agents who lease the development’s units, residents who live there and people who frequent the planned restaurant for the building could be economic targets for the opposition.

“Whatever happens here, I can assure you this ain’t over,” he said.

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  • Maggie says:

    When a bad, misplaced development destroys the serenity of a nearly 100 year-old historic neighborhood, homeowners tend to take it personally. Therefore, those who don’t want their investment (their home) threatened, have every right to boycott the development, the investors and anyone who chooses to gain from in this neighborhood wrecking “Tower of Traffic.”

  • Barbara says:

    The proposed enormous project is starkly out of scale with the proposed location in an older part of Houston. It will create gridlock on Bissonnet, and result in speeding cars cutting through nearby residential streets. Development inside the Loop is inevitable, but it should not be of the kind that overwhelmingly destroys the charm and liveability of long-established urban neighborhoods. A ginormous project like Ashby Highrise is simply not appropriate on a postage stamp size corner lot bounded by narrow streets — not in the Boulevard Oaks/Southhampton area OR IN ANY OTHER neighborhood of inner Houston. All Houstonians should want our city to grow in a way that appropriately balances the need to preserve the integrity of established neighborhoods with the need to accommodate a growing population.

  • Everyone knew Maryland Manor would be replaced. However, most people thought it would be something in keeping with the surrounding area. Since Houston has no zoning the residents have no other way to protect their largest investment than to use the bully pulpit. They have been called whiners and sore losers. Would the people who are saying this buy property adjoining the high-rise? Would they acquiesce to a similar project next door to them? Why wouldn’t Buckhead Development accept any of the offers to purchase the property?