10/24/14 3:00pm

NUHABITAT’S ASKING-PRICE HISTORIES ARE BACK IN ACTION NuHabitat Price Tracker Screen ShotHome listing sleuths who’d been relying on historical asking-price data from NuHabitat (when most other consumer-facing MLS sources keep that info hidden) will be relieved to hear that the feature has been restored. Company founder Jeff Burke tells Swamplot the disappearance of the data from NuHabitat’s Price Tracker, which users began noticing last week, was inadvertent; an update pushed out earlier today brings it back. For logged-in users (only), NuHabitat’s Price Tracker provides histories of sales prices as well as details of former asking prices for properties currently on the market, in most cases even if they’ve been yanked over to a new MLS number. (Click on the dollar-sign logo underneath a property listing to see it; the screenshot above shows data for this Cambridge Green property featured on Swamplot last week.) A better dashboard for tagging and setting up alerts on multiple properties should be available to consumer users within a week or so, says Burke, following improvements in the “swipeability” of property images on mobile devices, which went live last month. [NuHabitat; previously on Swamplot]

10/24/14 1:30pm

OAK FOREST BERRYHILL STILL ON ITS WAY Berryhill Baja Grill Under Construction at 43rd St. and Ella Blvd., Oak Forest, HoustonIn the course of providing an overview of Houston’s commercial permitting process likely to open further the eyes of any wide-eyed I-wanna-open-a-restaurant newbie, Betsy Denson provides a quick sorta-update on the current status of the long-delayed Berryhill Baja Grill on the site of a former gas station at 1201 W. 43rd St., even though franchise owner Park Blair isn’t commenting publicly: “Some conjecture that it was an encroachment issue or something similarly major that has caused the delay at Berryhill on Ella. The restaurant applied for a building permit in 2011 and construction has been sporadic for the last two years. Their last approval for a restaurant addition was in February of 2014 and from the looks of things, they will open in the near future.” [The Leader] Photo: Betsy Denson

10/24/14 11:15am

4601 Roseneath Dr., Riverside Terrace, Houston

4601 Roseneath Dr., Riverside Terrace, HoustonThis yellow 2-story at 4601 N. Roseneath Dr., which has been on the market since April, popped up in a new listing earlier this month sporting the same $850,000 asking price. It sits on a 1.2-acre lot below Brays Bayou, just south of the University of Houston campus. Since 1994, the 1937 property has been the home of Earnest Gibson III, the longtime president of Riverside Hospital. Earlier this week, a federal jury convicted Gibson, his son, and 2 others of various conspiracy charges in connection with a $158 million Medicare fraud scheme centered around patients at the hospital. All are scheduled to be sentenced next February.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

10/24/14 8:30am

Home at 502 Archer St. by Homeowners & Architects, Brooke Smith, Houston

Photo of home at 502 Archer St. (on AIA Home Tour this weekend): Ben Hill

Headlines
10/23/14 5:15pm

MAKING THE CASE FOR HOUSTON MURDERS Murder & Mayhem in Houston: Historic Bayou City Crime“Houston and New Orleans stand alone as the creepiest cities on the Gulf Coast,” declare Mike Vance and John Nova Lomax. “With its pervasive voodoo ambience, sprawling cities of the dead, air of genteel decay and long history of murder and mayhem, New Orleans is undeniably a spooky town. Fright is a cottage industry there. Having said that, Houston is not far behind. Houstonians just don’t celebrate death and the past the way New Orleanians do.” Their new book, Murder & Mayhem in Houston: Historic Bayou City Crime, attempts to resurrect lesser-known crime stories that have “slipped into the recesses of this city’s gargantuan memory hole, with chapters on the Todville Mansion murder, the Heights House of Horrors, and the Wig Shop Murder. “Local histories have tended to gloss over this city’s dark side,” they write in the book’s preface, “choosing instead to cite the ever-increasing tonnage coming and going from the Houston Ship Channel, the scientific wonders of NASA and the Texas Medical Center, the financial feats of powerful banker-developers like Jesse Jones and the gargantuan deeds of the great oil men. That’s important history to record, but that’s only half of Houston’s story. It’s high time the dark side comes to light.” [The History Press; Amazon]

10/23/14 3:15pm

4004-Montrose-43C-01

4004-Montrose-43C-02

Next on the docket at the Court at Museum’s Gate on Montrose Blvd., a 2-story condo (top) in the 1985 postmodern property (above) presents in its listing earlier this week an unstaged interior — and a $325,000 asking price. It was on the books for $319,000 earlier this year, but that listing terminated in May, prior to a flip-minded reboot. Soon to hit 30, the 49-unit complex appears to be revamping one condo at a time . . .

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Plaza Entry
10/23/14 12:00pm

Cabela's Store in Buda, Texas

Cabela's Store in Allen, TexasWhat should League City expect with the first Houston-area Cabela’s, set to open in a year’s time near the Big League Dreams Sports Park off the Gulf Fwy. and Big League Dreams Pkwy.? All the wonders of wildlife and its stalkers brought indoors, for your perusal and entertainment. That means vast arrangements of deceased but realistic-looking animals mounted in museum-like displays, a “gun library” where you’ll be able to check out the latest in classic, antique, collectible, or just plain hoard-able firearms, an indoor archery range, a fudge shop, and other tourist attractions. Plus, for local flatlanders who may never have seen one, an actual mountain replica. All displayed as it should be, in a big-roofed, fully air-conditioned space not far from Kohl’s and H-E-B.

At 72,000 sq. ft., the store will only be one-third the size of the chain’s behemoth in Fort Worth, but it’ll be bigger than the outposts in Waco and Lubbock. A company press release says the store will feature log construction, as well as other outdoorsy-store mainstays such as metal roofing, wood siding, and stone add-ons.

Photos of Buda (interior) and Allen (exterior) stores: Cabela’s

Outdoors Indoors
10/23/14 8:30am

Fragment of Suzanne Sellers Mural The Muted Hues of History, Houston Club Building, 811 Rusk St., Downtown Houston

Photo of Remaining Fragment of Suzanne Sellers’s ‘Muted Hues of History’ Mural, 811 Rusk St.: Swamplot inbox

Headlines
10/22/14 4:30pm

8711-glenloch-22-2

8711-glenloch-32

8711-glenloch-before-09

Since its purchase in August for $86,100, a 1956 Glenbrook Valley property located on one of the mid-century neighborhood’s interior streets has been zhushed for a flip. It’s now back on the market and asking $144,900. Changes are most apparent in the kitchen (above middle, with the original below it) and bathrooms. Tweaks before its listing last week included a new roof, new flooring, repairs to underground plumbing, leveling of the foundation — and home staging with careful attention to corners . . .

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Buffed Up
10/22/14 2:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID ABOUT STRAKE JESUIT Suburban Bubble“If people want to self-segregate and move somewhere like The Woodlands, great. I’m glad they are free to do that. What I don’t understand is the myopia that self-segregation can create, when people forget that anyone would ever value anything else over clean and shiny (and white) suburbs. An example of what bothers me so much: I was leaving a Strake Jesuit football game earlier this year, and a Woodlands dad and I fell into conversation on the way out. He commented “this is such a great campus. Too bad it’s in this neighborhood.” As a SJ parent, I didn’t have any choice but to answer him politely, so I murmured something about how the lower property costs made it possible for the school to buy more land to improve and expand. But in reality, I was just incensed by his comments — still am, actually. What, a working class neighborhood doesn’t deserve something nice like a private school campus in it? The school has nothing to offer the neighborhood, and vice versa? The neighborhood has less value in absolute terms because it’s not wealthy, or aesthetically pleasing? What is it about living somewhere like The Woodlands that changes the way a person thinks, that they can look at the (abundant) life going on outside their clean little bubble and not recognize its value? I don’t have an answer to this question — it just bothers me an awful lot.” [Vonnegan, commenting on How The Woodlands Has Gone Astray; A Suitable Houston Honor for the Inventor of Air Conditioning] Illustration: Lulu