03/03/15 4:00pm

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While not flashy, tweaks have tidied a 1952 rancher in Oak Forest’s section across from the White Oak Bayou Trail near T.C. Jester Park. Its listing a week ago attached am $450K asking price, up a bit from the $186K paid in 2006, when the property last changed hands. Its perky, red-painted planter full, the property is extra buffed for an open house on Sunday afternoon.

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Ranch Dressing
03/03/15 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE CORNER OF HOUSTON WHERE EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE Montrose Tattoo“In the late 1980s and early 1990s I lived a few blocks west of this intersection. Since then I visit the area about once a week, usually to eat at one of the restaurants. I’ve often thought someone should fix up that strip center, but I’ve never thought it reflected poorly on Houston’s ‘cityscape.’ This is, after all, the corner of Montrose and Westheimer. This is the place to be for homeless teens. This used to be the place to be to get designer drugs when they were cheaper and safer. This used to be the place to start looking for some sweet ink or other body mod. This is where I was asked to help a gentleman determine the gender of a potential ‘date’ for the evening. The neighborhood didn’t deteriorate around Uchi; the owners of Uchi picked this spot.” [Memebag, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Sights of Montrose] Illustration: Lulu

03/03/15 1:00pm

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As site prep starts on the long-awaited renovation of Main Street Theater’s signature building at 2540 Times Blvd. in Rice Village (top), a recent donation by a renewable energy retailer has enabled the local theater company to add a rooftop solar array to the work scope. Although not intended to power the spotlight on stage, the installation is expected to handle a good chunk of daytime electrical use, theater sources say. Descriptions of the future solar installation mention a 64-panel array on the roof and this sun-seeking companion:

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Panel Discussion
03/03/15 12:00pm

Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol St. Suite 120, Downtown Houston

With 2 years to go on its current lease in a Bayou Place II space at 315 Capitol St. downtown, the Architecture Center Houston has begun searching for a new home. Buy and renovate or build? Sure — as long as it’s a “long term solution,” the center’s director tells Swamplot. A new HQ should have more space than its current 5,000 sq. ft. spot (through the main doors under the canopy in the photo above), plus “more visible street presence and a better parking situation than we have now,” writes Rusty Bienvenue.

The new digs don’t have to be downtown: “Our membership doesn’t mind being pioneers and we believe we bring a cool factor to an area that few other organizations can match.” But it’s now or . . . back to plain ol’ office space, he adds. If the center, which combines gallery and meeting space with the Houston offices of the American Institute of Architecture and the Houston Architecture Foundation, can’t find something to buy in the next couple of months, it’ll go back to looking at lease space.

This flyer detailing the options went out to members last week:

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Pioneers?
03/03/15 8:30am

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Photo of Central Bank Plaza: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
03/02/15 5:00pm

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Tended plantings have been a priority at a 1954 Braes Terrace property across from Brays Bayou’s southern banks and hike-and-bike trail. One cluster of trees near the sidewalk screens the updated home from passing traffic on the thoroughfare it fronts; another, closer to the home, adds a second layer of privacy (top) at the circular driveway. Dense ground cover, meanwhile, creeps across much of the shady lot, which is located near Bevlyn St., west of Buffalo Speedway. The interior is also well-groomed (above), though room purposes have been rotated:

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Plant Matters
03/02/15 3:00pm

HOUSTON PLANNING DEPT. LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO LAUNCH PLAN FOR HOUSTON Draft Vision Statement for City of HoustonEfforts to create an actual “general plan” for the city of Houston have revved into high internet gear with last week’s launch of the Plan Houston website. There, the planning department has floated its mission-statement-like Draft Vision for the city and is requesting public input before an April 17th deadline. In addition to the draft (shown here in full), there’s an only slightly meatier draft list of goals posted on the site (in this PDF) to mull over. (Later, the site is intended to host a mapping tool meant to allow users to look up all the plans on file for an area — capital improvement projects, parks, or TIRZ efforts, for example.) Can’t stand the phrase “resilient communities”? Think we should set our sights higher than “dynamic partnerships”? Now’s the chance to express yourself, before it gets down to the neighborhood nitty-gritty. A complete General Plan is expected to be completed by late summer. [City of Houston]

03/02/15 1:15pm

Greenway Gardens Apartments, 3131 Timmons Ln., Greenway Plaza, Houston

Greenway Gardens Apartments, 3131 Timmons Ln., Greenway Plaza, Houston

It sure looks like demolition is a-coming for the Greenway Gardens apartments at 3131 Timmons Ln. near Greenway Plaza. Either that or the 43-year-old 10-building apartment complex is undergoing a rather brutal first phase of a renovation — as portrayed in the photos shown here, which were taken late last week. The 3-story complex sits on 6-and-a-half acres between W. Alabama St. and Richmond Ave.

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Greenway Plaza Demo
03/02/15 8:30am

downtown

Photo: Jan Buchholtz via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
02/27/15 4:15pm

WHY HOUSTON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE THINKS IT’LL DO JUST FINE, THANK YOU View of Downtown from Texas Medical Center, HoustonDeeply embedded Houston real estate reporter Catie Dixon comes back from a panel event sponsored by her employer with a clickworthy account of 5 reasons Houston (commercial real estate) will survive the latest oil bust. Included in the list: attractiveness to foreign investors whether prices fall or not; this boom wasn’t as big as the one before the last big bust; the industry doesn’t rely on short-term gains; industrial real estate is still healthy; and — yes — data centers! (But things will be tough for developers for a year to a year and a half, maybe.) [Real Estate Bisnow] Photo: Russell Hancock