01/26/15 4:00pm




Weathered to a driftwood finish outside, a secluded 1988 home clad in Cypress wood (and lotsa porches) overlooks Trinity Bay in Beach City, located off FM 2354 in Chambers County. Dark paint colors and stained craftsman-inspired woodwork inside formalize the waterfront property, though its 3 acres — and 400 ft. of bay frontage — are better described as near the water than on it (top).  A relisting earlier this month — after a 2-week break over New Year’s — marks the property’s first anniversary on the market. The asking price is $1.15 million, down from the initial ask of $1.3 million a year ago and a couple mid-run reductions.


House of Panes
01/26/15 12:15pm

K9 Angels Animal Rescue, Former Hollywood Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant, 2409 Montrose Blvd., Montrose, Houston

The former Hollywood Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant building just north of Westheimer at 2409 Montrose Blvd. has been turned into a dog adoption facility run by K-9 Angels Rescue. The restaurant closed down in that space last Thanksgiving after developer Jonathan Farb purchased the property and the surrounding parking lots for a new apartment complex on the block, which is bounded by Hyde Park Blvd., Grant St., and Fairview. This isn’t the first last-occupant stint for the K-9 Angels; the nonprofit organization had been operating out of the former Cat Clinic building at 2100 W. Alabama St., before that building was torn down for a new CVS siding up to S. Shepherd Dr. one block south of the Alabama Theater Shopping Center.

Farb donated use of the space to the K-9 Angels temporarily — until he starts construction on the midrise, currently planned for “late spring or early summer.”


Pre-Apartment Adoption Center
01/26/15 11:00am

The Georgian Apartments, 2511 Willowick Rd., Highland Village, Houston

Residents of the Georgian Apartments in Highland Village are still up in the air about a possible sale of the 1965 courtyard complex, which sits just behind the Cadence Bank building at the corner of Westheimer and Weslayan. Last July, the River Oaks Management Company sent residents of the apartment for the over-55 set a notice indicating that an agreement to sell the 3.4-acre property had been reached and that the closing date would be in December. Residents heard rumors of a 40-story highrise planned for the site. Then in mid-December, according to a source, word came that the sale was off and that no other buyer had expressed interest.

But shortly after Christmas came another twist: the unidentified prospective purchaser has been granted an extension. “Closing would likely occur in early spring if the purchaser is satisfied with their final evaluations and decides to go forward with the purchase,” reads the latest note sent to residents.


Highrise Site?
01/26/15 8:30am


Photo over Montrose Blvd.: Jackson Myers via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/23/15 5:30pm



A ski-slope of a roof tops a 1974 townhome complex designed by Burdette Keeland — on land his mother owned in College Heights, now part of  the Upper Kirby District. The late architect taught at University of Houston’s College of Architecture for 40 years and served on the City of Houston’s planning commission for 30 years. Located at the center of the 5-plex property, the contemporary home is described as being in near-original condition. Since mid-December, the listing has been priced at $379,900. You can hit the slopes with a look-see scheduled by Houston Mod for this Sunday afternoon.


Lift Lines
01/23/15 3:15pm

METRO PONDERS HOW TO SPEND A LIGHT RAIL SURPLUS Burnett Station, North Line Extension, HoustonWhat should Metro do with the extra $39.9 million it’ll end up with after the Southeast and East End rail lines open in April (on the 11th, it now looks like)? If the money isn’t spent, it’ll have to go back to the Federal Transit Administration, reports Dug Begley. $24.9 million of that would have to be spent on projects related to the year-plus-old North Line extension (the Red line), and $14.5 million would be restricted to use on the Southeast Line (aka the Purple Line). Among the proposals: building an elevated walkway between the bus transit center and the rail line at Northline; putting in extra parking at Palm Center, at the end of the Purple Line; shelters for bus stops near stations; an additional station on the Purple Line between Elgin and Leeland; safety or operational improvements, such as a restroom for train operators at a station; a crossing arm on Texas Ave. near Chartres St. [Houston Chronicle] Photo of Burnett Station: Skyline Art Services

01/23/15 1:00pm

Proposed Brian Patterson Sports Performance Clinic, Rice Stadium, Rice University

It’s been notoriously difficult to fill Rice Stadium — ever since those darn Houston Oilers came to town. Even President Kennedy couldn’t do it when he came by in 1962 to introduce a little mission to the moon he had cooked up. About 8 years ago, giant logo-bearing tarps were planted over the seating areas in both end zones, reducing the capacity (though not permanently) from 70,000 to 47,000.

But the latest planned changes appear to be following a 2-fold strategy to help fill the place: First, Rice University’s new $31.5 million Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center will knock out the stadium’s entire northern end zone — including more than 11,000 seats. Even better, the mostly brick building will have a giant glass wall on the side facing the playing field, which will offer spectators tired of watching the game shaded views into 2 levels of weight rooms. If they can get the scheduling right, with gridiron and pumping-iron action running simultaneously, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy 2 attractions at once. Likewise, flexing athletes will have a pretty good view of the field — and fans, if they’re out there — while they’re working their muscles.


Watch Them Pump and Watch
01/23/15 8:30am

Adickes Sculpturworx Studio

Photo of Adickes Sculpturworx Studio: Brandi Lynn via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/22/15 5:15pm



Rising stately on its corner in the Westmoreland Historic District, a well-appointed and well-maintained hundred-year-plus-old mansion fitted with terraces, balconies, and porches features all the craftsmanship of its day — and one very large indicator of the present: this freeway-side billboard in the back yard, by the pool:


In the Shade
01/22/15 3:15pm

Second Proposed Design for Hotel Alessandra, GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

The company that’s adding a new hotel to GreenStreet, the renamed and reconfigured Houston Pavilions mall downtown appears to have made some dramatic changes to the design of the tower. Midway Companies first showed off the sleek design by Gensler for the Hotel Alessandra (shown at left) last March, describing a design that featured a top-floor lobby, with a bar on the same floor and a pool under a retractable roof. Renderings of the design are still featured in marketing materials for GreenStreet’s retail redo.

But HAIF user Urbannizer, who’s had a pretty solid track record of discovering renderings of proposed projects if they’re available anywhere, posted a revised rendering to the online architecture forum late last night. The image, shown at right, shows what appears to be the latest design for the Alessandra, which will be operated by the Valencia Group. The Valencia Group already operates Midway’s Hotel Sorella at CityCentre.

Here’s a slightly larger view of the newer, far more rectilinear design:


Straightening Up GreenStreet