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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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

downtown-panorama

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

Headlines
07/30/14 4:45pm

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Built in 1977, a sprawling, stucco and partially stone-faced contemporary home in the Piney Point Village neighborhood called Windermere endured a big update in 2010 — as well as some sort of 1997 rebuild. Last week, the property’s re-listing flipped a couple of digits in its asking price: It’s now $1.56 million, down from the $1.65 million initial tag from a 2013 listing. (A later reduction had fallen as far as $1.595 million before timing out earlier this month.) Served by a circular driveway, the corner pocket lot on lasso-shaped Windermere Ln. backs up to the Fondren Rd. dogleg north of Westheimer.

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Slides on the Sides
07/30/14 4:15pm

Capitan Theater, 1001 Shaw Ave., Pasadena, Texas

Capitan Theater, 1001 Shaw Ave., Pasadena, TexasThe city of Pasadena is likely to go ahead with the sale of the Corrigan Center at Shaw Ave. and Pasadena Blvd., which includes the once-grand Capitan Theater, to a New Jersey oil-industry inspection and lab-test company called Camin Cargo Control. Under the $4.6 million deal, already approved by city council once earlier this month in a 6-3 vote, the city would lease back the 31,982 sq. ft. of the property — the parts currently occupied by fire department administrative offices and the city’s municipal court. The lease-back wouldn’t include the long-vacant 1,500-seat art deco theater.

But a reader tells Swamplot that decorative pieces from the front of the 1949 theater — which after an exterior renovation looked pretty spiffy until recently (see photo at right from last year) — have already been removed. “The marquee boards, neon, and the whole vertical metal section that said “Pasadena” are gone, leaving just brick behind it,” Spence Gaskin writes. “The marquee stuff had been gone a few weeks at the least, but I just noticed the Pasadena sign removal.”

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Art Undecoed
07/30/14 1:15pm

Gardens at Bissonnet Condominiums, 7400 Bissonnet St., Sharpstown, Houston

Gardens at Bissonnet Condominiums, 7400 Bissonnet St., Sharpstown, HoustonInvestor Steve Moore, who’s made a name for himself by buying up, moving into, establishing unusual rules in, cleaning up, and lowering crime rates at some of the roughest apartment complexes in Houston neighborhoods such as Greenspoint and Westwood, has a new investment (and new address) — in Sharpstown. Working with an investment group, the owner of more than 5,000 apartment units has purchased a majority interest in the Gardens at Bissonnet condos at 7400 Bissonnet St., the 200-unit complex near Fondren Rd. known as the Le Promenade condos when it was home to the La Primera gang. Moore was sought out for the purchase by the Greater Sharpstown Management District after the condo complex was put into receivership last year; a series of security measures, which included changing the property’s name, were instituted as part of a legal settlement between the county and the property’s previous owners.

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Moving into the Gardens at Bissonnet
07/30/14 8:30am

Construction of Buffalo Bayou Park, Allen Pkwy., Houston

Photo of Buffalo Bayou Park construction on Allen Pkwy.: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
07/29/14 4:45pm

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So much blue in this home in Copperfield Middlegate Village. It’s in the swabs of color found in most of the rooms — or maybe the updated 1991 property is holding its breath? Its listing 2 weeks ago at $168,000 comes nearly 2 years after a previous unsuccessful effort aimed at $139,000 and an earlier failed market run in 2011 that started at $164,900 and ended 6 months later at $152,500.

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Blue State