01/30/15 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW YOUR PHOTOS TOO CAN OOZE THAT SLICK BUT OTHER-WORLD-Y REAL ESTATE LOOK SLR Camera1.) Get a wide lens 2.) Shoot with a 7 stop bracket 3.) Comp exposures and tone in 8 bit 4.) Crank up to 32 floating point because you read somewhere that was good 5.) Boost your shadows as far as the dial will take you 6.) Compress, no, demolish your highlights 7.) Huff on nails and polish on thy hairy chest. . . . You’re now a big time real estate photographer.” [Toby, commenting on Catch All the Angles on a $1.1 Million House on a St. George Place Corner]

01/30/15 1:00pm

1407-Ave-C-01

1407-Ave-C-02

Down-home and modern, kicky and a bit sweet, a colorized slice of old Katy living — with a century’s-worth of “updates” — popped up on the market yesterday. Asking price: $300K. The 1910 expanded foursquare has prevailed within Katy’s N. Thomas Addition, a neighborhood located well west of the Grand Pkwy., north of U.S. 90, and past the Pin Oak Rd. exit of I-10. The owners revamped the AC, electrical, and plumbing systems, but it’s more fun to check out the checkered kitchen (above). Plenty more punch is served inside . . .

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Punch Bowl
01/30/15 11:45am

Proposed 33-Story Residential Tower for San Felipe St., Houston

Proposed 33-Story Residential Tower for San Felipe St., HoustonAre we once again entering the “mightaswell” stage in the Houston real estate lifecycle? You know — the season for architecture firms near and far who’ve given up most hope that that bold, sorta-hush-hush, but definitively conceived-in-boom design they’ve been slaving over for the last several months will ever actually get built to come to terms with the idea that putting the pretty renderings on display for fans to gawk over what might have been isn’t such a bad consolation prize?

If so, these drawings of a 33-story residential tower on San Felipe — just west of Voss Rd., commenters on the HAIF message board figure — appear to be right on queue. They now appear in some of the new marketing materials of Dallas architects Humphreys & Partners, with no mention of a client. But a few details do come with:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Going Somewhere?
01/30/15 8:30am

el-real-tex-mex

Photo of El Real Tex Mex, 1201 Westheimer Rd.: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
01/29/15 4:00pm

8730-memorial-02

8730-memorial-01

Which way is the view? From the balcony beneath the cantilevered section that marks the entry of the Modern mansion on nearly an acre in Pine Wood Estates? Through a pair of driveway gates off Memorial Drive, right where it makes its first bend west of the West Loop? Via butt-jointed glass walls, which open up further an already open floor plan (above)? MC2 Architects (pronounced Emcee Squared; publications have problems lifting their digits) designed the minimalist-but-lux tiltwall assembly for a client in 2012. It was first offered for sale 100 days ago, for $4.99 million.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Modern on Memorial
01/29/15 3:30pm

Cleared Portion of Richmont Square Apartments, 1400 Richmond Ave., Montrose, Houston

The back third of the Menil-owned Richmont Square Apartments has now been cleared away. Left to dispose of: a below-grade swimming pool in the middle of the lot, plus a garage apartment behind the DaCamera building at 1427 Branard St., next door to the Menil’s Cy Twombly gallery. Swamplot reader and artist Bob Russell takes a break from creating his own satellite-imagery-inspired drawings to send in the above quick ground-level panorama of the sketchy spot where Johnston Marklee’s low-slung $40 million Menil Drawing Institute will be mapped out and filled in.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Johnston Marklee Going Here
01/29/15 1:15pm

Former Home of Flower Man Cleveland Turner, 2305 Francis St., Third Ward, Houston

Where else but Houston will you ever come across a day-long urban celebration that brings together demolition, visionary art, inventive gardening, a stirring memorial, water infiltration, and toxic mold? These core elements of the city’s essential funkytown identity and more will be highlighted in the Third Ward on February 7, when Project Row Houses, the owner of the last of 3 homes the late Cleveland Turner serially transformed into environments festooned with yard art and brightly painted junk, ceremonially rips apart the rotting property at 2305 Francis St. on account of they discovered a month or 2 ago that it (along with many of the works stuffed inside) was contaminated “beyond any chance of salvation” with varying dark hues of dangerous and smelly mold spores.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

It’s a Houston Thing
01/29/15 8:30am

us-59-at-610

Photo of US-59 at 610: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
01/28/15 3:30pm

5366-lampassas-01

5366-lampassas-02

If you’re feeling a little tipsy as you tour this 1998 custom home on Lampasas St. in St. George Place (the Galleria-area neighborhood formerly know as Lamar Terrace) you might catch the kind of views of it that are featured in its listing, lending a bit of a Fun House vibe to the stately corner property.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Tilt
01/28/15 2:30pm

Kirby Court Apartments, 2612 Steel St., Upper Kirby, Houston

The end of the year marked the end of residency for all tenants of the Kirby Court Apartments. Renters of the 2-story 1949 townhouse-style units fronting oak-lined Steel St. across Kirby Dr. from the Whole Foods Market were required to move out no later than December 31st. Houston-based Hanover Co. had a portion of the complex under contract, and was planning to complete the transaction early this year.

But funding for the apartment tower Hanover had planned for that parcel (marked down to 30 stories and 300 units at last report) fell through sometime in December, a company rep tells the Houston Business Journal‘s Paul Takahashi; since then, the company has been “scrambling to find new investors.” Hanover has now postponed completion of the purchase until August. The architect, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, is still reportedly working on the design.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Funding Dries Up
01/28/15 12:45pm

A LIST OF 17 FASHIONABLE HOUSTON NEWCOMERS HEADED FOR RIVER OAKS THIS YEAR WHO’LL END UP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS River Oaks District Under Construction, Highland Village, HoustonJohn Lobb, Akris, Kiton, Moncler, De Boulle, Giuseppe Zanotti, Etro, Chopard, Canali, Brunello Cucinelli, Brioni, Diptyque, Bonobos, Intermix. Haven’t heard of ’em? Well, how about Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli, and Dolce & Gabbana? They’re all luxury retailers who are new to Houston, and who’ll be arriving here about the same time that OliverMcMillan’s long-awaited (but not-so-accurately named) River Oaks District opens up on Westheimer between the Galleria and the Highland Village Shopping Center — only a mile away from the actual neighborhood called River Oaks — sometime this spring. [Real Estate Bisnow; previously on Swamplot] Photo of River Oaks District under construction: OliverMcMillan