:: 2/28/2006 6:23:41 AM http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/ Have you ever wanted to be Batman and lift the Shakespear head to reveal a hidden room or passage? Now you can... this company installs just those kinds of things.
People have laughed at me when I have told them about Legos Mindstorms. Mindstorms is a Lego computer "brick" that can control motors and sensors and is programmable. Couple that with the infinite configuaration of a set of Legos and you have an easy platform to prototype something. You may be thinking yea yea building little toys... not so!
One more.. the building blocks of any computer. 1 and 0. Logic gates! ... that's not even Mindstorm driven! Just the power of the Lego! Lots can be made with this though!
Right out of the box Dade and I were able to make a rover style wheeled robot that rolled around our kitchen floor and counted the number of black squares it encountered on it way. It would beep audibly to let us know when it found a square and show the count on it's display. These things are great brain food!
Published February 19, 2006
After years of fitful discussions about how to revitalize San Jacinto Mall, its corporate owner announced this week it will introduce a new “lifestyle center” concept at the aging shopping center.
Billed as “The Commons at San Jacinto,” the new venue will take the place of the dormant wing of the mall anchored by the former Montgomery Ward and Beall’s stores.
Los Angeles-based Triyar Companies, which owns San Jacinto Mall, describes “The Commons” as an “open-air plaza” that will “allow for a creative leasing program that would embrace a more lifestyle-driven tenant mix.”
The Commons is expected to open in the third quarter of 2007.
Large signs placed in the parking lots facing Garth Road and Interstate 10 feature an artist’s rendering of a landscaped pedestrian area, with a “relaxing water feature,” leading from the parking lot to the structure. The company describes the entranceway to the Commons as the “signature entrance to the new San Jacinto Center’s ‘front door.’”
The company promises a “prudent and consistent mix of retailers” at The Commons that will “provide a thematic shopping venue for the growing market.”
Oh great! Some Californian trying to promote open air shopping in Texas, a place they have obviously never been in August! My prediction, dismal failure. Open air shopping and Houston/Baytown do
not mix. The weather here does not promote such a thing. We have maybe 2 weeks of "California weather" per year?!
They cite success in the open air Uptown Park in one of the most prime real estate locations in Houston. Let me point out that 5 miles away
is another open air lifestyle venue... the Marqu*e Shopping Center. It is struggling to get ANY shop in there and if not for the movie theater it would have already closed shop.
I am glad someone is doing something with San Jac, but I think this idea is doomed before it begins. My read on this... open air mean no air conditioning costs! Wow we'll save a ton of money! No one will embrace this without stores to visit. No one goes to the mall because there is nothing there! Just how many cell phones do you need! You
want to save the mall, bring in a draw. Get some stores in there like, Old Navy and the Gap, Remodel Foley*s or turn it into a Macys.
San Jac needs to give away store space to the Abercrombies and Hot Topics then when you get some traction other paying stores will follow. I guess we'll all keep driving to Baybrook...
I have been complaining about it for years. It's pretty obvious what is going on... stores do not want to come to San Jac because there is not alot of traffic. There is no traffic because there are no stores to shop at any more. san Jac has slowly let the stores that matter slip away.
What to do... give away space! They are willing to bet millions on some open air design. Why not let some anchors have the space for free instead! Drop a Bass Pro Shop in the Montgomery Wards or Mervyn's space and see if it doesn't start some draw. I bet Circuit City is wanting in to the Baytown area now that Best Buy is here. If a few choice stores were given space or even paid to be here it would create a draw that would in turn bring in the stores that would bring in more people that would bring in the stores and so on... Then maybe we could all complain about how crowded the mall is.
I truly miss the days of the Gap, Spencers, Harmony Surf Shop and all of those stores. I miss the giant tinkertoys in the Market... and Yesterdays and Fireworks. I hope the mall can get back to where is was. In my opinion, that's what these boards are for, opinions, I think this idea is poor and hate to see the mall driven into a state that has no hope of recovery.