10/24/16 3:45pm

Former Palace Bowling Lanes, 4191 Bellaire Blvd., Cambridge Place, Houston, 77025

The Palace Bowling Lanes building on Bellaire Blvd. (which picked up the new moniker Bowl on Bellaire about a year ago) appears to have been closed since Friday, says a reader who “showed up [Saturday] morning for the youth bowling league to find that the locks have been changed and they are not open for business.” Katherine Feser confirms this afternoon that the property is still closed, though a note on the door says the tenant can have new keys if and when all the delinquent rent is paid.


Southside Displaced
10/24/16 12:30pm

Riel Restaurant under construction at 1927 Fairview, Montrose, Houston, 77006

French-Canadian-Ukrainian-Texan fusion restaurant Riel is still being installed at 1927 Fairview St., formerly home to Te House of Tea and Trudy’s Boutique Re Sale at the corner with Woodhead St. A reader snagged the shot above yesterday afternoon, showing the former mid-60’s retail strip dressed up in green construction fencing and still sporting that above-it-all street number signage. Ex-Reef chef Ryan Lachaine last said in September that the place should be opening some time next month.

Photo: Mosaic Clinic Dermatology

Fairview Preview
10/24/16 12:00pm

Supporters of Heights Beer-Wine Proposition

Swamplot’s sponsor today is the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition, a political action committee supporting the passage of the November 8th ballot proposition to legalize the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption in the Heights.

Swamplot is nonpartisan and does not endorse political candidates or campaigns. But we do run political advertising and Sponsor of the Day content.

The photo above shows just a few supporters of Proposition 1 (from left to right): Council Member Jack Christie, Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen, Houston Heights Beverage Coalition Chair Steve Reilley, Council Member David Robinson, and Houston H-E-B President Scott McLelland. More supporters appear in an expanded version of the photo, which you can find at the top of the main page of the the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition website.

On that website you’ll also find links to recent news reports about the Heights Beer-Wine Proposition; a map showing the boundaries of the Heights’ “dry zone”; and an FAQ that summarizes the history of the Heights’ alcohol restrictions and explains who’s behind the effort to get them changed.

The Houston Heights Beverage Coalition encourages Heights residents to vote “For” the Heights Beer-Wine Proposition. Election day is November 8th; early voting begins today.

And here’s a special notice for straight-ticket voters: If you vote Straight Party Ticket, you will not have voted on the Heights Beer-Wine Proposition (or any other propositions that appear on your ballot). So be sure to finish the ballot by finding the Heights Beer-Wine Proposition and voting on it separately.

If you’ve got an important message for Swamplot readers, you’ll want to become a Swamplot sponsor. Here’s how.

Sponsor of the Day
10/24/16 11:15am

3100 Smith St., Midtown, Houston, 77006

The former Social Security Administration office at 3100 Smith St. and its gorilla-hawking mural wall are no more, following some weekend excavator grazing. Demo permits were issued last week for structure, which sat north of Elgin on part of the planned site of developer Morgan’s next Pearl-branded apartment development (the one with the built-in ground floor Whole Foods).

City permission for the planned mixed-use building to cozy up to the street were approved in February; the project will also straddle that now-closed segment of Rosalie St. between Smith and Brazos onto a section of the previously cleared block to the north.  Here’s what the layout might look like from above, per the plans included with the variance request:


Rosalie Redecoration
10/24/16 8:30am


Photo: Ruben S. via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10/21/16 4:30pm

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE FOR SWAMPLOT? Help Wanted SignWe’re looking to add a few occasional-ish contributors to Swamplot’s editorial mix. Got a way with words and a fresh take on this city (or know someone who does)? Here’s a terrific chance to dig into the ups, downs, ins, outs, wets, and dries of the local real estate scene —- and to get paid (well, something) for doing it. To apply, send an email to the tip line with the subject Freelance Contributor. (Please note: If you’re in the real estate biz, this is not the gig for you.) Tell us about yourself in a paragraph, and spend another telling us what kinds of stories you might be interested in working on. Will you trawl HAR for gawk-worthy listings? Review the artistic merits of sparkly refinery incidents? Scoop up tidbits on restaurant shakeups? Let us know the Houston real-estate-related stuff that you get excited about. Do include writing clips if you have ’em. If we like what we see, we’ll get in touch. 

10/21/16 1:30pm

Trail construction along White Oak Bayou near Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South St, Near Northside, Houston, 77009

A reader caught some shots last week of the current trailblazing going on between the Leonel Castillo Community Center and the White Oak Bayou greenway trail in Near Northside. The new connector should hit the path roughly between the south end of the building and the nearby Thomas Street Health Center HIV-slash-AIDS service building, just north of where the Heights hike-and-bike trail crosses over the bayou and under the Hogan St. bridge to merge with the White Oak trail on the way into Downtown:


Closing Distance to Downtown
10/21/16 12:00pm

Downtown Houston Skyline

Today’s sponsor is Houston’s own Central Bank. Swamplot appreciates the continued support!

Central Bank has 4 (central) Houston branches available to meet your business or personal needs: in Midtown, the Heights, West Houston, and Post Oak Place.

Central Bank believes that change is essential to its success; the company actively pursues the latest in service, technology, and products. Central Bank aims to know its customers personally and to be their primary business and personal financial resource. The bank’s staff values relationships and strives to be available when you need them.

To learn more about how Central Bank can meet your banking needs, please call any of the following Senior Vice Presidents: Kenny Beard, at 832.485.2376; Bonnie Purvis, at 832.485.2354; Gary Noble, at 832.485.2366; or Ryan Tillman, at 832.485.2307. You can also find out more on the bank’s website.

Is reaching local customers central to your business? Then you might want to learn more about becoming a Swamplot Sponsor of the Day

Sponsor of the Day
10/21/16 11:15am

Yale St. Commons Variance Request, Yale St. at 34th, Independence Heights, Houston, 77018

The name Yale Street Commons is currently sprinkled about the edge of the Pine Forest Business Center northeast of Yale and 34th St. in the form of a few variance request notices (like the one shown above standing by the abandoned strip of rail track running along the 36th St. side of the warehouse park).  That notice is for a request to merge 2 chunks of land within the rectangle made by Yale, 34th, 36th St., and the north-south line where E. 35th St. currently dead ends into the industrial-slash-office park, a few residential doors west of Cortlandt St.  The applicant also appears to be asking for permission not to extend E. 35th St. all the way through the property, which sits near the border between Independence Heights and Garden Oaks.  The 6-acre center, which in recent years has housed a variety of construction contractors, was sold in May to Stonelake Capital — currently at work on the Westheimer Oaks center and that Westheimer-fronting 5-acre make-it-a-park-for-now on either side of Mid Ln.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Yale Street Commons
10/21/16 8:30am


Photo: Ruben S. via Swamplot Flickr Pool