COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE THE HOUSTON PEAFOWL HANG “Additional peacock groups: in the Rivercrest subdivision 77042 – approximately 1 block West of Gessner, North of Westheimer Rd., on the south ends of E. Rivercrest & W. Rivercrest. Access from Briar Forest Dr. one light north of Westheimer, use Gessner as access is blocked @ Westheimer; Also on the East side of Austin St., just north of Rosedale St., 77004 (north of the Children’s Museum, in the Binz District). Also, east of Dairy Ashford, north of Briar Forest Dr. — there are lakes tucked into the Ashford Forest subdivision and there’s a flock of Pea Fowl aka peacocks. I used to live in far North Harris County — near Hooks Airport on 100 acres, which had 12 peacocks- 1 female and 11 males. The mating ritual is hilarious.” [Padraig, commenting on New Vargos on the Lake Won’t Serve You Dinner, but You Can Cook in the Kitchen Yourself, and Stay a Whole Lot Longer] Illustration: Lulu
From earlier today: A series of drone’s-eye-views from above and around Allen Pkwy., just west of Downtown, surveying from high and low points above how the new Buffalo Bayou Park functioned in its latest role as a part-time retention basin. The still above, from Rakesh Agrawal’s later flights with a DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter, shows the Houston Police Officers’ Memorial (at right) in its island guise. A couple more, pointed toward the Downtown skyline:
Future residents of Greystar’s Elan Heights: Do not fear high water. Sure, the Skylane Central on the same White Oak Bayou-fronting site regularly had floodwaters up to its second floor after rain events like this. But Woodland Heights renters at the Elan will be perched much higher than that, and not just for the Downtown views. Floodwaters will have to rise through 4 levels of concrete-framed parking garage to get to the 7 floors of steel-stud-framed apartments above. And the concrete structure’s bottom level doesn’t even count as parking.
While much of the rest of Houston is recovering from — or still dealing with — high water after last night’s torrential rains, the long-vacant house at 116 Westheimer Rd. is showing off the scars it incurred from a disaster of a different sort. A fire raged through the structure Friday night.
The 1904 building is adjacent to the Jus’ Mac macaroni and cheese outlet in the 106 Westheimer strip center at the corner of Bagby St. A Swamplot reader sent in these photos showing the home as it appeared this morning:
The parking garage behind the Mix at Midtown retail center between Louisiana and Milam south of Elgin St. is still in operation after last week’s fire, but photos sent to Swamplot yesterday from the scene show that the steel 3-level structure behind 24 Hour Fitness, Holley’s Seafood Restaurant, Piola, and other businesses facing Milam St. isn’t operating at capacity. At least a dozen parking spaces on the middle and top level are blocked off, noted as unsafe because of fire damage to the structure:
A vote of Rosenberg’s City Council this Tuesday made it official: Paragon Outlet Partners will be building a sprawling outlet mall called the Paragon Outlets Houston on the southeast side of the Southwest Fwy. at Reading Rd. in the eastern reaches of Rosenberg, just southwest of the Brazos Town Center and Brazos Town Crossing shopping centers and FM 762, and 10 miles down I-69 from Sugar Land. Construction of the 400,000-sq.-ft. first phase is expected to begin this summer and finish in November of next year.
A Swamplot reader sends in these pics of a reptilian Houstonian out for a morning swim in the recently replenished waters of Brays Bayou from shortly after 10 am today. Also included: a handy locator map, so any follow-on spotters of the same alligator might be able to compute distance traveled, and perhaps mileage and calories burned as well.
The old Vargo’s Restaurant, a lakeside steak house and wedding venue nestled between Piney Point Village and the Westheimer strip for 47 years, was torn down in May of 2013. Its replacement at 2411 Fondren Rd., a 5-story apartment complex, keeps the name (minus the apostrophe) and the lake, and maybe a peacock or 2 by the pool for photo ops. After 17 months of construction, Vargos on the Lake is ready for a grand opening shindig next Thursday followed by open houses the next couple of days.
Here’s a site plan of the revamped grounds, showing how the 276-unit apartment building (of 1- and 2- bedroom units) and 13 townhomes (all 3-bedrooms) have been arrayed around the lake: