11/26/14 8:30am

I-45 Headed into Downtown Houston

Photo of I-45: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr pool

Headlines
11/25/14 4:00pm

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Tweaks to a 1977 Briarmeadow home have left it looking rather peachy inside, thanks to a dream-state color wash. The heavy-roofed French-ish property last sold in 2013, for $291,040, and has appeared in an assortment of listings and relistings ever since. Updated in that interim, the westward-facing home is now  attempting a flip at $409,000. Previous listings sought a high of $489K in July 2013, with reductions to $459K in September 2013, $449K in April 2014 (which snagged a contract but not a closing), and $429K in July 2014 — before taking a breather from the market in August. Renovations picked the bones clean and added new ingredients . . .

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Continuity
11/25/14 2:26pm

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Phase 2 of Texas A&M’s $450 million Kyle Field makeover will get underway in earnest in the early morning hours of December 21, after a season-long pause to slot in the Aggies’ 2014 home-field gridiron slate. That’s when Christmas will arrive early for demolition junkies, as the stadium’s multitiered west side will come down with a bang.

Some prep work has already begun, but the pace will quicken about two hours after the conclusion of the Aggies’ season finale on Thanksgiving Day against LSU. That’s when the whole stadium will once again become a construction zone, and only those with the proper credentials will be granted entry.

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Expanding Aggieland
11/25/14 12:11pm

METRO GETTING READY TO SELL OFF THE CLOSED PINEMONT PARK & RIDE Pinemont-Park-RideThis spring the ramp connecting Metro’s Pinemont Park and Ride to Hwy. 290 was removed as part of TxDOT’s 290 widening project. The facility closed down a few weeks before the ramp vanished. Now the 14.8-acre Pinemont site could go up for sale before the end of the year. Because the Park and Ride’s construction had been partially funded by Uncle Sam, the Federal Transit Administration will have to grant Metro permission to sell. Once that hurdle is cleared, Metro will begin reading sealed bids on the property. The site sprawls out behind Hwy. 290′s Cafe Red Onion, abuts an HISD motor pool and fronts Pinemont Dr. It also sports a handy shortcut to the 290 feeder road along Federal Plaza Dr. The Collier Regional Library stands across Pinemont and a trio of parks — Rosslyn, Forest West and Pinemont — dot the cityscape within a half-mile of the site. [The Leader; more infoPhoto: Metro

11/25/14 11:30am

002HOUSTON MAGAZINE GETTING RID OF ITS DOWNTOWN ZIP Cover of 002houston MagazineFor its seventeenth birthday, sleek-stuff-about-downtown glossy 002houston magazine is stripping away the Zip Code part of its name to indicate its (longstanding) willingness to venture into Discovery Green (010), East Downtown (003), Bellaire (401), Montrose (swinging both ways: 006 and 019), the Energy Corridor (079), The Heights (007, 008, and 009), Pearland (584), Sugar Land (478 and 479), The Woodlands (380, 381, and 389), or wherever a nearby polo match is to be found. Starting with the January issue, the free publication’s new name will be Local Houston Magazine. “Local will continue to provide relevant news targeting those who live and work downtown, but with increased coverage throughout Greater Houston,” reads a notice sent out yesterday from 002houston magazine’s Spring St. editorial offices (in 007), “with editors covering food, culture, art and style for Houstonians who make Houston one of the coolest cities in America.”

11/25/14 8:30am

TDECU-stadium

Photo of TDECU Stadium: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
11/24/14 3:46pm

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Exxon marks the spot for Ronnie Killen’s latest foray into the Pearland meat market: A burger joint, going in a derelict Exxon station at the corner of S. Main St. and Broadway St. and sharing a busy intersection with Whataburger and folksy Pearland institution the Busy Bee Cafe.

Killen had teased readers of his social media sites earlier this month with snapshots of the gas station, but on Friday, he at last confirmed it as the future home of Killen’s Burger on the Killen’s Barbecue Facebook page:

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11/24/14 2:45pm

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A Garden Oaks home likes balconies so much, it stuffs a few of them inside looking over the living room (top) as well as facing the street (above). The bones of the property beneath a tree canopied lot located just west of Yale St. date to 1940, but it’s been expanded and updated over the years. Last week, its tidy presence popped up on the market sporting a $695,000 asking price.

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Canopied Lot
11/24/14 1:45pm

SAYONARA FOR FISH & THE KNIFE? Fish and the Knife Restaurant, Sushi Bar, Nightclub, and Lounge, 7801 Westheimer Rd., HoustonEater Houston’s Jakeisha Wilmore is reporting that Fish & the Knife will close at the end of this month. Wilmore is basing her report on an interview with a Yelp reviewer who said that management at the Briarmeadow sushi house canceled her upcoming holiday event and told her that the restaurant was about to shut down. Wilmore could not reach management for confirmation, but should this really be the end for the 9-month-old restaurant, it would prove an abrupt final act to a bizarre and dramatic saga. The not-designed-by-Tony-Chi restaurant finally opened this February after a roller-coaster ride of a buildout that dragged on for 3 years. Wilmore’s Yelp source told her that the Fish & the Knife’s manager told her “financial challenges” were the cause of the possibly imminent shuttering. The restaurant’s demise might not be lamented in all quarters: On weekends Fish & the Knife transformed into a nightclub, and residents of nearby neighborhoods had become disgruntled with partiers parking along their streets and leaving trash behind. Update, 2:15 pm: Fish & the Knife management tells CultureMap’s Eric Sandler that the restaurant’s closing will be temporary and that the Fish & the Knife will reopen after a rebranding, while the weekend nightclub activities would continue in the meantime. Sandler also reports that opening chef, former Iron Chef America contestant Bob Iacovone, has returned to his hometown of New Orleans. [Eater Houston; Click2Houston; CultureMap; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

11/24/14 11:59am

315-fairview st, Hyde Park, Montrose

315 fairview st, Hyde Park, MontroseUpdate: 3:45 p.m. Eater Houston reports that the name of the sushi bar will be Akamaru.

According to the permit in the window at 315 Fairview, the next occupant of the mixed-use building’s downstairs will be a restaurant named Sushi Bar. 

Most recently that area had been home to a lounge called The Fairview.

Prior to its incarnation as the Fairview, the building had housed the short-lived Montrose outpost of downtown institution Dean’s Credit Clothing.

Sushi Bar will be situated about halfway between Uchi and the Bluefish.

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Montrose Eats
11/24/14 10:30am

HOUSTON CHRONICLE COMPLEX DOWNTOWN GOING ON SALE — A YEAR OR 2 TOO LATE? Houston Chronicle Building, 801 Texas Ave., Downtown HoustonThe Houston Chronicle‘s former real estate reporter says Hearst is putting the Chronicle complex at 801 Texas Ave. up for sale at a less-than-ideal time. Ralph Bivins reports that the newspaper’s parent company has just selected brokerage firm HFF to market the building, on the block surrounded by Milam, Travis, Texas, and Prairie, and its separate parking garage. But “Hearst would have met stronger demand by putting the Chronicle property on the market a year or two ago,” Bivins writes. “Hearst moved too late to catch the crest of the wave. The price for the Chronicle property is expected to be less than $50 million.” In July, the company announced the newspaper’s offices would be moved to revamped facilities in the former Houston Post complex at 4747 Southwest Fwy. [Realty News Report; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Ralph Bivins