06/24/16 2:00pm

2203 Crocker St., Montrose, Houston, 77006

The agent who put the 16-year-old house at 2203 Crocker St. on the market this week wants to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. The listing for the property (which describes the home as “Needs work! Never updated. Never remodeled. Located within 241 feet from nuisance bar.”) digs deep into gritty details great and small — from photos focused on the missing caulk between the kitchen tiles, to a 2-page disclosure document listing assaults, intoxication calls, and other incidents ostensibly reported to the police from in and around the property’s catty-corner neighbor, bearaoke hotspot Crocker Bar.

The listing’s photo captions highlight additional details of the property’s physical defects and history — sometimes using the bright red text above, and other times employing fragments of narration that raise questions even as they answer them. Here’s the shot from the listing labeled only as Bird Got Trapped in Wall:


Full Disclosure
06/24/16 12:00pm

938 W. 22nd St., Shady Acres, Houston 938 W. 22nd St., Shady Acres, Houston

Today this site is sponsored by the new townhomes at 938 W. 22nd St. in Shady Acres — namely Unit B, Unit C, and Unit D. Swamplot appreciates the support!

What makes these modern townhomes built by Uptown Houston Development different from others in Shady Acres? You can see it in the top photo above: a second-floor atrium-style indoor-outdoor living space with large windows facing into the entry landing and an entrance through 10-ft.-tall 3-panel sliding glass doors into the main (indoor) living area. It’s the focus of the entire mid-level floor plan. The top floor includes the master suite and a second bedroom; a third is just off the entry on the first floor.

This part of Shady Acres is convenient to the 610 Loop and I-10. Wright-Bembry Park is on the same block; Crisp is a block away and Cedar Creek 2 blocks. But the burgeoning restaurant scene along Shepherd Dr. has made the neighborhood much more walkable. The sweet shopping center containing Fat Cat Creamery and Hugs & Donuts is 3 blocks away; newcomers such as Hunky Dory and Southern Goods are another block to the south; travel a few more blocks to the east and you’ll be in the thick of the Houston Heights’ 19th St. shopping district. The 365 Whole Foods Market planned for Yale St. at 610 will be a mile and a half away.

Find out more about these homes’ finishes and energy-efficient features on the separate property websites for each: Unit B, Unit C, and Unit D. To learn about the buyer incentive currently being offered, contact the listing agent with Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Anderson Properties, Lauren Friese. And if you’d like to take a tour in person, stop by 938 W. 22nd St. between 1 and 4 pm on Saturday, June 25th, for an open house.

Would you or a townhome you know like to become a Swamplot sponsor? Contact us here.

Sponsor of the Day
06/24/16 11:15am

Avenue Grill, 1017 Houston Ave., First Ward, Houston, 77007

Avenue Grill, 1017 Houston Ave., First Ward, Houston, 77007 The holdup on Houston Ave. this morning, reports a reader stuck in the resulting traffic, is the aftermath of a minor fire at the Avenue Grill on the corner with Center St. The 1940s structure (which the restaurant’s operations purportedly moved into in 1962 after 12 years of business across the street) appears unharmed by the flames, which HPD tells Dale Lezon started in the building’s electric sign. The restaurant’s property went stealthily onto the market back in August of 2014 before it was found out the following March; county records don’t appear to show a change of hands since then.

Photos of fire response at Avenue Grill at 1017 Houston Ave.: Swamplot inbox

What’s Cooking in First Ward
06/24/16 9:15am

EXCESSIVE GALVESTON BEACH BACTERIA PROBABLY NOT LEG-THREATENING, JUST FECAL, SAY OFFICIALS Galveston Island High Bacteria LevelsScott Packard assures KHOU this week that the beach advisories put out by the Galveston County Health District lately aren’t related to flesh-eating strains of Vibrio bacteria — the agency has been fielding concerned phone calls in the wake of a Jacinto City man’s ongoing hospitalization and forced amputation due to a suspected Vibrio infection following a swim in Galveston with an open wound. But direct infection from seawater contact, while a perennial occurrence in Gulf Coast states, is nonetheless extraordinarily rare, Packard says. Rather, the beach advisories reflect above-standard measuremens of run-of-the-mill fecal bacteria: Typically after periods of heavy rains [in] any recreational or coastal area, rain water will wash cattle waste, pet waste and some sewage overflows into the Gulf through rivers and streams, and that will make the levels spike for typically a day or so.” [KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Galveston Island sites with high bacteria levels: Texas General Land Office

06/24/16 8:30am


Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

06/23/16 4:45pm

Tout Suite, Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City Way, Houston, TX 77024

Tout Suite’s second outpost is now open in the pedestrian crossroads at the west end of Memorial City Mall. The kiosk version of the East Downtown cafe is currently serving drinks and pastries along with at least a few larger entrees. The opening follows the removal of the construction barricades formerly surrounding the space, finishing work previously started by mall vandals or impatient caffeine addicts:


Mall Mini
06/23/16 4:00pm

UK, TEXAS SECESSIONISTS NOW WATCHING BREXIT BALLOT COUNT Meanwhile, in London: The polls just closed following today’s national referendum on leaving the European Union, with official results expected some time after 7 AM local time (1 AM here). Dylan Baddour writes that a Brexit outcome could send ripples through the Texas economy, as Britain is the state’s 11th largest export market. The motion has also been followed closely by members of the Texas Nationalist Movement; the group is among those pushing a “Texit” secession agenda that fell 2 votes short of being put up for general consideration during voting on this year’s state Republican platform. [Houston Chronicle]

06/23/16 2:45pm

Allen Center Skybridge Remodeling, 500 Dallas St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

Currently underway: the partial disassembly of 1 of the 2 skybridges connecting One and Two Allen Center at the corner of Dallas and Smith streets downtown. The bridge pictured above is expected to survive the planned 3-tower redevelopment — a permit to remodel it was issued on Monday with some other OKs on the work, which includes turning the rubble-filled space to the east into a Smith-St.-facing events lawn and concert space. Renderings previously released by Brookfield suggest that the other skybridge, from which the above photo was taken, won’t be so lucky:


Last Days Downtown
06/23/16 12:00pm

2415 Avalon Pl., Avalon Place, Houston

2415 Avalon Pl., Avalon Place, Houston

Thanks today go to the 2,608-sq.-ft., 3-bedroom home at 2415 Avalon Pl., checking in as Swamplot’s Sponsor of the Day!

If you dream about the back of your house opening up to a backyard pool-and-spa combo, you’ll want to check out this place. By removing the walls surrounding what was once a separate study adjacent to the living room, the owners of this brick midcentury home have created a full-width interior space that lines and laps the pool. An array of 10 full-height expanses of glass (including 2 sets of French doors) covers the home’s back wall. The photos above show a portion of this arrangement, but you’ll want to click through the slideshow on the property website to appreciate the extent of this poolside hangout.

How about adding to that vision with a ground-floor master bedroom opening onto that space? The other 2 bedrooms are upstairs (one with a built-in office alcove; the other with windows on 3 sides). Because it’s in Avalon Place, Chuy’s and West Ave (to the southeast), River Oaks Elementary (to the west), and the River Oaks Theater (to the northeast) are all within walking distance.

Do look through all the pics on the 2415 Avalon Pl. website, where you can also find additional details. It’s listed for sale by New Leaf Real Estate, which offers unique savings programs for both sellers and buyers.

Everybody into the Sponsor of the Day pool! Line up for the diving board here.


Sponsor of the Day
06/23/16 11:30am

Hobby Livable Centers May Meeting Presentation Slide

The Gulfgate-Mall-seeded TIRZ that absorbed many of the commercial corridors around Hobby Airport back in 2014 has been weighing plans for redeveloping the acquired zone, working with the Houston-Galveston Area Council through the organization’s agreeably-named Livable Centers program. A few public workshops were held last month; a reader tells Swamplot that the management district’s consultants have also been interviewing area real estate folks as they come up with ideas for new developments to suggest. The next workshop is planned for the evening of Wednesday, July 13th; the district is pushing an online survey in the meanwhile.

Presentation slides from the most recent workshop included the map below of sidewalks in the area being studied (roughly bounded by I-45, Almeda Genoa Rd., Mykawa Rd., and Dixie Dr., as shown above) — roads marked in green have new sidewalks, yellow lines highlight sidewalks rated by the district as good, red shows sidewalks rated as poor, and brown shows roads with sidewalks rated as missing:


Making a Scene
06/23/16 9:15am

UH READY FOR LEGAL ACTION OVER SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW’S HOUSTON REBRANDING University of Houston Law Center, Third Ward, Houston, 77004“It has come to the University of Houston’s attention that South Texas College of Law has announced that it is changing its name to Houston College of Law. . . . The University of Houston is concerned about the significant confusion this creates in the marketplace and will take any and all appropriate legal actions to protect the interests of our institution, our brand, and our standing in the communities we serve.” [University of Houston; previously on SwamplotPhoto of University of Houston Law Center: Douglas R.

06/23/16 8:30am


Photo of the Williams Tower: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool