05/31/16 5:00pm

DEPT. OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO UT: PLEASE DITCH THE PHOTOS OF FLOOD-RELATED CHEMICAL SPILLS WE DIDN’T NOTICE Meanwhile, in Austin: Texas Department of Public Safety officials have recently asked the University of Texas to remove an online collection of aerial photos taken by the Texas Civil Air Patrol during major flooding events, Marty Schladen writes in this weekend’s El Paso Times. The request comes after the Times reported earlier this spring on what appeared to be photos in the database showing a number of chemical spills not captured in any other state monitoring records, including spills along the Trinity river north of Galveston Bay; other photo sets previously on the site reportedly included shots of Houston sewage treatment plants being flooded on Tax Day, as well as possible unreported spills along the Colorado, Sabine, Red, and Pecos rivers since 2014. DPS Spokesman Tom Vinger tells the Times that pulling the photos is a matter of protecting privacy — “for example, there could be pictures of deceased individuals prior to family members being appropriately notified first,” says Vinger. Non-emergency-responders can still ask for the photos via Public Information Act request. [El Paso Times]

05/31/16 3:45pm

Bissonnet at Beechnut streets, Robindell, Houston, 77074

Just in time for Thursday’s Aldi opening in a former strip center in Robindell, a reader sends photos of the newly de-limbed oaks along the edge of the grocery store’s new parking lot (looking along Bissonnet St. northeast from the intersection with Beechnut). Area residents on NextDoor claim the hacking occurred early Sunday morning, noting also that some fresh baby trees have been planted along the same stretch of road. Here’s another view down the same sidewalk, catching both the saplings and the stumps:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Robindell
05/31/16 2:15pm

2200 Yale St., Heights, Houston, 77008

The latest addition to the street-fronting retail strip planned for the former Alabama Furniture Store site at 2200 Yale St. appears to be a pair of Texas Children’s urgent and less-urgent care facilities. The medical groups are named as tenants in a pair of Braun Enterprises leasing documents filed with the county (which include the 90-degrees-off siteplan above). That’s the planned 3rd non-mobile location of Bernie’s Burger Bus shown on the far right, at the south end of the strip; the other 2 children-themed businesses are shown taking up the remaining 13,112 sq.ft. of leasable space in the center.

A 68-spot parking lot is depicted behind the Yale-facing center, which runs between W. 22nd and W. 23rd streets; the former sites of Fashion Touch Cleaners and Midtown Floors were permitted for destruction about the same time as the now-departed furniture store.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Assigning Seats on Yale St.
05/31/16 10:45am

Construction, Demo, and High Turnover rate map, Harris County, TX

The land between the Grand Parkway and Hwy.-6-FM-1960 contained more than 37 percent of the construction sites in Harris County over the last decade, according to the Houston in Flux report and interactive maps released by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research last week. The maps above highlight regions where demolition and construction permits were issued at above-county-average rates between 2005 and 2015. Red shows areas with high demolition rates, blue shows high construction rates, and purple shows spots where both stats beat the average — areas authors Kelsey Walker and Kyle Shelton refer to as high-turnover (mostly concentrated in the Inner Loop and to the northwest).

Each subsection of the walkthrough embedded above contains a “learn more” link that provides access to (and a quick explanation of) various data types that can be displayed. A section on census-tract-level trends (including building, demo, and turnover, as shown up top) is followed by a section allowing a detailed property-by-property browsing of the data, as shown below:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Drawing It Out
05/31/16 8:30am

typhoon-texas

Photo of Typhoon Texas: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
05/27/16 5:30pm

EMBRACING MEMORIAL DAY TRADITION Flooding in Clear Brook MeadowsThe holiday weekend is off to a soggy start — and Swamplot is off to higher ground. Meet us back here on Tuesday with your hottest tips and snappiest photos, and we’ll wade back into the usual coverage of all things Houston real-estate. ‘Til then, have a great weekend, and stay dry! (Or don’t. Whatever helps you relax.) Photo of Clear Brook Meadows yard: Peggy Pfister

05/27/16 3:00pm

NEED SOME HELP WITH THOSE 268,942 MAPPED HOUSTON PARKING TICKETS? Ticket Map Interactive Tool by Jordan PolesAmateur parking violation scrutinizer Jordan Poles has another new tool for those interested in the where- and when-abouts of parking citations in Houston. Each ticket from the same data set used in Poles’s earlier heat maps is now mapped individually (though thick clusters condense to single group markers at most zoom levels, since there are hundreds of thousands of tickets in the 2014-2016 dataset he uses). So far, the page lets users filter the tickets by time of day (sliders allow any hour-to-hour subdivision of a midnight-to-midnight window) and day of week (running Monday-through-Sunday); Poles plans to keep upgrading the site and to add new analytical features and datasets. [Previously on Swamplot] Image: HOU Interactive Parking Ticket Map

05/27/16 12:00pm

The Secret Group Comedy Club, 2101 Polk Street, East Downtown, Houston

The final episode of Simpsons-themed mural antics at the corner of Polk and St. Emanuel streets appears to have played out, now that the exterior walls of The Secret Group’s in-progress venue have gone dark on their way toward looking something like the shadowy rendering above. The transformation appears to have a deadline: the group has started selling tickets to shows at the new venue, with the first one set for June 22nd.

The space, at the Polk end of the developing 2-block East Village retail spot, will function as a full time bar in addition to hosting regular comedy and music performances. The rendering from Māk Studio appears to show a rooftop patio; the venue doesn’t currently plan to serve food, but that could change.

Rendering: māk studio

East Downtown
05/27/16 10:30am

BRYAN POLICE: PLEASE STOP DRIVING INTO FLOODWATER SO WE CAN WORK ON TORNADO PROBLEMS Flood-related Road Closures, 5/27Dozens of roads are still closed this morning following yesterday’s heavy storms to the north and west. The National Weather Service reports that the nearly 17 inches of rain measured over 24 hours at its Brenham station would by itself beat the total for the 3rd-wettest month on station record (and fall less than an inch short of second place). Bryan-College Station’s The Eagle reported yesterday that the Bryan Police Department was urging drivers to stay off the roads, as first responders were getting tied up with sinking vehicle calls while also trying to respond to calls related to the tornado that touched down near Highway 6 and Briarcrest Dr. At least 50 houses were reported damaged and 3 destroyed; other possible tornado-related incidents reported in the area include damage to the Miramont Country Club and to the Wallace Pack Unit prison in Navasota. [National Weather Service, The Eagle] Map of road closures: TxDOT

05/27/16 8:30am

washington-ave

Photo of Washington Ave: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines