02/22/19 4:30pm

You’ve probably never noticed it from the bike trail, but at the corner of Nicholson and 12th St. lies a tiny flat-roofed structure that’s been that way for decades. It’s pictured at top from its less-heavily-trafficked side, to the south. That’s where the various shrubbery gives way to a gravel walkway and you can sort of make out an address on the rock to the right of the pergola: 723 W. 12th St.

Step on through the double doors and here’s what greets you, for $750,000:

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Beyond the Bamboo Shoots
02/22/19 1:00pm

East Downtown’s self-styled “come-as-you-are beer garden & adult playground” Truck Yard is now taking reservations from parties of up to 20 people who want a spot where they can sing like nobody’s listening. What better location that than inside one of those thick-walled shipping containers piled up near the bar’s entrance? Workers outfitted the inside of a steel box on the left near the entrance off Dallas St. with bench seating, a crop of LPs serving as ceiling decorations, an iPad-controlled sound system, 3 flat screen teevees to display lyrics, 2 microphones, and a whole bunch of foam soundproofing panels sporting photos of Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Elvis, Aretha Franklin and other professional talent, perhaps for inspiration. $25 plus a drink minimum buys you an hour inside.

Photos: Truck Yard (interior); Gail G. (shipping containers); Marc Longoria (courtyard)

Adaptive Reuse
02/22/19 12:00pm

Today’s Sponsor of the Day: Houston’s own Central Bank. Swamplot appreciates the continuing support!

Central Bank has 4 (central) Houston branches available to meet your business or personal needs: in Midtown, the Heights, West Houston, and Post Oak Place.

Central Bank believes that change is essential to its success; the company actively pursues the latest in service, technology, and products. Central Bank aims to know its customers personally and to be their primary business and personal financial resource. The bank’s staff values relationships and strives to be available when you need them.

To learn more about how Central Bank can meet your banking needs, please call any of the following Senior Vice Presidents: Kenny Beard, at 832.485.2376; Bonnie Purvis, at 832.485.2354; or Carlos Alvarez, at 832.485.2372. You can also find out more on the bank’s website.

Sponsors make Swamplot possibleBecome a Sponsor of the Day!

Sponsor of the Day
02/22/19 8:30am

Photo of Hobby Airport: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
02/21/19 4:00pm

Amid the hodgepodge of roadside restaurants and retailers shown fronting the I-10 westbound feeder in the leasing map for the Village Plaza at Bunker Hill shopping center, a newcomer has cropped up: Chuy’s Tex-Mex. Its mark is shown on the 5,800-sq.-ft. portion of the building at the west side of the complex that previously housed Boudreaux’s Cajun Kitchen.

Whether the new Chuy’s is planned as a replacement or companion for the chain’s existing standalone restaurant 3 miles away on Westheimer near Gessner is anyone’s guess seeing as that location’s still doling out burritos the like. Unlike the existing spot however, the new location will have a bit of competition to contend with: Freebirds World Burrito is at the opposite end of the building it plans to move into. In the space between, Bora Bora Nails, the Sacred Heart emergency medical clinic, Clear Direct Orthodontics, Memorial Tailors, Great Clips hair salon, and skin care clinic Skin 101 fill out the rest of what’s leaseable.

Photo: Jon B. Map: Fidelis Realty

Off the Katy
02/21/19 2:00pm

Months after the chain that once operated them declared bankruptcy and retreated to Canada, the pair of empty Toys R Us stores situated almost directly opposite each other off the Katy Fwy. at Bunker Hill Rd. are getting ready to go their separate ways. Off the highway’s westbound side, the more recently vacated toy store pictured above at 9730 Katy Fwy. will give way to a new 40,000-sq.-ft. Burlington clothing store, but not entirely; its former Babies R Us portion remains unleased, as indicated by blank blue rectangle in the site plan at top of the Village Plaza at Bunker Hills shopping center.

The shopping center was brand-new when Toys R Us opened there in 2010 as a replacement for the chain’s older, standalone location at 9655 Katy Fwy., on the other side of the highway about half a mile east of Memorial City Mall. Developer Moody National bought the older Toys R Us in 2016, by which time it had been empty for just about a decade (although the building’s distinct rainbow trim is still intact). Along with an adjacent single-story retail strip and the 164-unit La Renaissance apartment complex at 970 Bunker Hill, directly west of the toy store, the developer now controls nearly 10-acres near where the I-10 feeder meets Bunker Hill Rd. (According to county records, however, the BBVA Compass bank on the corner isn’t included in that tract.)

Its plan is to swap out the apartments, strip building, and Toys R Us and put a pair of 6-story office buildings with ground-floor retail on the site:

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Toy Story
02/21/19 12:00pm

Today on Swamplot our sponsor is The Classic, located at 5922 Washington Ave — at the edge of Rice Military. Thanks for supporting this site!

An unabashedly American restaurant, The Classic has something for everyone. This fresh American bistro is perched just east of Memorial Park. It’s brought to you by Benjy Levit — the restaurateur behind Local Foods and Benjy’s.

The Classic is a no-rush, no-fuss neighborhood spot. It pivots neatly from brunch to date-night cachet. Enjoy The Classic’s wide-ranging all-day menu — featuring subtle flavors and techniques that have traveled here across oceans and generations. In the light-filled interior you’ll find a touch of retro.

Check out The Classic’s menu and hours, reviews, pics of its interior and dishes, or make reservations on the restaurant website.

Support your local Swamplot! Become a Sponsor of the Day.

Sponsor of the Day
02/21/19 8:30am

Photo of Fulton St. at Boundary St.: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
02/20/19 12:00pm

STUDY OF GIANT UNDERGROUND DRAINAGE TUNNELS TO BEGIN ONCE COUNTY CASHES FEDERAL CHECK Remember that massive network of underground tunnels that the county’s flood control experts said they were looking into last year as a way to drain floodwaters from at least 7 different bayous before discharging it into the Ship Channel? This week, the Harris County Flood Control District received a $320,000 federal grant that — along with $80,000 of local funds — will pay for a 4-month study to determine whether the tunnels are worth building. Of particular interest: whether Harris County’s soft soils and high groundwater table could realistically house the deep-underground cylinders, which would measure 20 ft. or more in diameter, according to the county. “If the use of tunnels is found to be feasible, future efforts could examine potential tunnel routes, complete hydraulic analyses to determine the required tunnel diameters, and determine proposed inlet and outlet shaft locations.” The 2018 flood bond program that county voters approved last August includes $20 million to pay for that work, as well as other early-stage engineering efforts for the tunnel network. [Harris County Flood Control District; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Harvey flooding near UHD: Kelsie H. Dos Santos

02/20/19 8:30am

Photo of Dean’s at 316 Main St.: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines