08/01/14 4:00pm

7516-ikes-tree-01

Who — or maybe what — was Ike and why does his tree get a namesake street in the Augusta Creek Pointe neighborhood in Spring? Sure, there was the notable hurricane by that name, but Ikes Tree Dr., which slices through the semi-shaded 64-lot section of The Creeks at Augusta Pines golf course community east of Kuykendahl Rd. and north of FM 2920, was in place by the beginning of 2008. The semi-custom, non-gated neighborhood’s model home, built by J. Kyle Homes in 2011, went onto the market this summer with a $409,563 asking price.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Do You Like Ikes?
08/01/14 3:00pm

Metro Light Rail Train on Capitol St., Downtown HoustonNo, no one’s expecting Metro’s 2 new light-rail lines to open any sooner than late December (as Swamplot reported last week), but some progress toward that goal is now visible on portions of the East End and Southeast lines: “Live wire” or powered testing of the downtown tracks began this week. The photo at right, sent in by a reader, shows a Metro train moving unescorted along the tracks on Capitol St. for the first time.

Photo: Nathan Juett

Power Up
08/01/14 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A LINEAR PARK TO CONNECT THE MED CENTER TO RICE VILLAGE Drawing of Linear Park Connecting Rice Village to Texas Medical Center“If the Rice Village wants to be a retail goldmine, it should look outside its borders. My suggestion would be a linear public park that would take the residential properties between University and Dryden between the Medical Center at Travis all the way west to Greenbriar.” [infinite_jim, commenting on Haven Is No More; The Allure of the Suburban Town Square] Illustration: Lulu

08/01/14 12:30pm

Pink's Pizza, 1009 Moy St., Washington Ave., Houston

Bellow Parallel, 1009 Moy St., Suite B, Washington Ave., HoustonIt looks like workout gear store Below Parallel has missed its promised July opening date, notes the reader who’s been monitoring construction progress at the the side-standing strip center that used to house a laundromat at 1009 Moy St. on Washington Ave. How long will it be? Count the conflicting clues: The city inspector’s red tag gracing the front door in this photo (above left) from earlier in the week; the shoes already arranged on display shelves in an interior pic posted to the store’s Facebook page.

But something’s definitely cooking next door, where Pink’s Pizza has been moving in for almost an entire year, and where for many months, our tipster reports, work had appeared stalled. Signs of actual recent construction progress are present — most notably in the corner spot’s newly installed windows.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

The Pizza Racers
08/01/14 11:00am

GOLFERS AND GARDENERS GET GROUND RULES FOR GRABBING GUS WORTHAM PARK Gus Wortham Park Golf Course, 7000 Capitol St., East End, HoustonThe deadline for the Houston Golf Association to raise the $15 million the city says it’ll need to save and restore the Gus Wortham Park golf course at Lawndale and Wayside will be the end of next year, Gail Delaughter reports. If the nonprofit organization can’t meet that goal, the city will have a separate set of fundraising goals set up for the group that wants to scrap the greens and build a botanic garden at the 150-acre site, which lies just a couple blocks south of the coming far eastern extension of Metro’s East End light-rail line. If Gus Wortham golf supporters do come up with the funds, the botanical garden will likely be planned for the Glenbrook Park golf course on the northeast side of the Gulf Fwy. outside the loop. The targets and dates will be encoded in separate contracts the city is putting together with the 2 groups and put up for a vote in city council sometime this month. [Houston Public Media; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Houston Parks Board

08/01/14 8:30am

fifth-ward-house

Photo of home near Mary and Brooks streets in the Fifth Ward: David Elizondo via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
07/31/14 5:00pm

Rendering of Levy Park, 3801 Eastside St. at Richmond Ave., Upper Kirby, Houston

The Office of James Burnett has posted more detailed renderings of the newly expanded Levy Park just north of the Southwest Fwy. at Eastside St. as it’s supposed to look when work is complete sometime after next fall. Included in the $10 million plans for the 5.9-acre space are a performance pavilion, 2 big lawns, a dog park, and a food kiosk. A winding “children’s garden” will have tree houses and fountains around the middle-aged live oak trees relocated to the center of the park. There’ll be restrooms and room for farmers’ markets as well.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Putting the Groove in Kirby Grove
07/31/14 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A BRIEF ANNOTATED HISTORY OF ALLEN PARKWAY VILLAGE’S DIRTY NEIGHBOR Drawing of Allen Parkway Village Apartment, Fourth Ward, Houston“Wow, I never knew there was a waste incinerator right in the Fourth Ward. Here’s a handy timeline: Post-Civil War: Freed slaves construct their own neighborhood in the Fourth Ward. 1917: Camp Logan Race Riots are sparked off when a Houston policeman beats a black soldier in the Fourth Ward. 1920s: Gillette incinerator is built (PDF) right in the Fourth Ward. 1944: San Felipe Courts (today’s Allen Parkway Village) were built next to the incinerator. They were originally intended as public housing for the city (following a New Deal movement for public housing in the 1930s) but ended up being handed over to the defense department to exclusively house white WW2 veterans (PDF). The other motivation was to ‘clean up the slums’ along Allen Parkway for passing commuters. 1964: San Felipe Courts are desegregated following the Civil Rights Act and renamed to Allen Parkway Village. 1970s-90s: Developers advocated for APV’s demolition arguing that the public housing’s costs didn’t reflect the land’s ‘highest and best use.’ Meanwhile, the housing deteriorated due to neglect by the Houston Housing Authority and HUD. Residents organized and protested demolition leading to APV’s rebuilding in 1997. Today: The city can now cash in by selling a plot of polluted land next to APV now that the Fourth Ward is gentrifying.” [Carpetbagger, commenting on The Best the City Can Get for Gillette; Not Jus Donuts’ Extreme Cakeover] Illustration: Lulu

07/31/14 1:45pm

519-heights-01-2

It might look like a neighboring property (in the background of the photo above) towers over an updated 1926 bungalow on Heights Blvd., but the addition is actually part of the mixed-use complex. Balcony-wrapped, the modernish appendage mashes up with yesteryear’s residential front-end, which is currently employed as a law office. The switched dual personalities (and dual purposes) co-exist behind a wrought-iron fence on the southbound side of Houston Heights’ main drag. Listed Tuesday, the combo offering has a $2,101,948 asking price.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Heights Face, Yale Face
07/31/14 11:00am

highland-knolls-westgreen-site

Corner of Highland Knolls Blvd. and Westgreen, Katy, TexasFrom the Swamplot tip jar comes this little cookie: A site plan for an unnamed grocery store and 3 fast-food drive-thru or bank-style pad sites on Highland Knolls Dr., across Westgreen Blvd. from Memorial Parkway Junior High School in Katy. And with it comes only a “rumor”: that the grocery would be a Walmart Neighborhood Market like the one the company is now constructing in nearby Cinco Ranch. The average size of a Walmart Neighborhood Market is 38,000 sq. ft., about one-fifth the size of a typical Supercenters.

The former Spring Branch Church of the Nazarene (now known as the Living Word Church of the Nazarene) purchased the 9.75-acre corner property in 2004. According to a report in Covering Katy back in February, the church had already requested the property be designated commercial.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Next to Apartment Site
07/31/14 8:30am

downtown-panorama

Photo of downtown from the JPMorgan Chase sky lobby: Jason D.

Headlines