05/22/15 3:30pm

Parking Garage, Mix at Midtown, Milam St. at Elgin St., Midtown, Houston

Parking Garage, Mix at Midtown, Milam St. at Elgin St., Midtown, HoustonThe parking garage behind the Mix at Midtown retail center between Louisiana and Milam south of Elgin St. is still in operation after last week’s fire, but photos sent to Swamplot yesterday from the scene show that the steel 3-level structure behind 24 Hour Fitness, Holley’s Seafood Restaurant, Piola, and other businesses facing Milam St. isn’t operating at capacity. At least a dozen parking spaces on the middle and top level are blocked off, noted as unsafe because of fire damage to the structure:

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Stand Back
05/22/15 12:45pm

Map of Paragon Outlets Houston, I-69 at Reading Rd., Rosenberg, Texas

A vote of Rosenberg’s City Council this Tuesday made it official: Paragon Outlet Partners will be building a sprawling outlet mall called the Paragon Outlets Houston on the southeast side of the Southwest Fwy. at Reading Rd. in the eastern reaches of Rosenberg, just southwest of the Brazos Town Center and Brazos Town Crossing shopping centers and FM 762, and 10 miles down I-69 from Sugar Land. Construction of the 400,000-sq.-ft. first phase is expected to begin this summer and finish in November of next year.

Map: Paragon Outlet Partners

Factory Direct to You
05/22/15 11:45am

Alligator in Brays Bayou at Country Club Bayou, Near Gus Wortham Golf Course, Forest Hill, Houston

Site of Alligator in Brays Bayou at Country Club Bayou, Near Gus Wortham Golf Course, Forest Hill, HoustonA Swamplot reader sends in these pics of a reptilian Houstonian out for a morning swim in the recently replenished waters of Brays Bayou from shortly after 10 am today. Also included: a handy locator map, so any follow-on spotters of the same alligator might be able to compute distance traveled, and perhaps mileage and calories burned as well.

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Alligators of the East End
05/22/15 8:30am

galleria

Photo of the Galleria: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
05/21/15 4:15pm

Vargos on the Lake Apartments, 2411 Fondren Rd., Piney Point Village, Houston Vargos on the Lake Apartments, 2411 Fondren Rd., Piney Point Village, HoustonThe old Vargo’s Restaurant, a lakeside steak house and wedding venue nestled between Piney Point Village and the Westheimer strip for 47 years, was torn down in May of 2013. Its replacement at 2411 Fondren Rd., a 5-story apartment complex, keeps the name (minus the apostrophe) and the lake, and maybe a peacock or 2 by the pool for photo ops. After 17 months of construction, Vargos on the Lake is ready for a grand opening shindig next Thursday followed by open houses the next couple of days.

Here’s a site plan of the revamped grounds, showing how the 276-unit apartment building (of 1- and 2- bedroom units) and 13 townhomes (all 3-bedrooms) have been arrayed around the lake: CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Apartment Openings
05/21/15 2:15pm

HOUSTONIANS THINK HOUSTON IS 63 PERCENT URBAN, KINDA Map of Urban and Suburban Zip Codes in Houston from FiveThirtyEightIn a guest post for ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, Trulia’s chief economist trots out a bunch of maps and charts that purport to show that Houston, unlike the other 5 most populous U.S. cities, is actually only 63 percent urban. But among the lower-downs on that list, Houston isn’t the big suburban metropolis standout. Phoenix and San Antonio rate half of Houston’s urbanity, and even San Diego comes in at a sprawling 49 percent. Of course, there’s the small question of how anyone determines whether a place is urban. Trulia went with the old “know it when I see it” rule, rating a Zip Code urban if its residents called it urban, suburban if they called it so, and rural otherwise. But with only 2,008 responses to their online survey, the company had to resort to other measures to fill out its maps for Houston (above) and several other cities, including figures for the density of households within a particular Zip Code. [FiveThirtyEight] Map: FiveThirtyEight

05/21/15 1:00pm

Lightning Logistics and SpindleTap Brewery, 10622 Hirsch Rd., Northside, Houston

Beer and trucking: 2 great Texas pastimes will unite under one roof this September, once the brand new SpindleTap Brewery opens up its brewing operation and tavern inside the brand-new tilt-up warehouse at 10622 Hirsch Rd. built for trucking company Lightning Logistics (pictured here under construction in a photo from February). SpindleTap’s facility is taking up 10,000 of the building’s 70,000 sq. ft., reports the Houston Business Journal‘s Joe Martin. (It’ll also include an outdoor patio space and possibly a dog run.) Much of the remainder of the building, which is located just south of Little York, a superblock east of I-69, will serve as headquarters for Lightning Logistics’s 250-truck fleet.

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SpindleTap
05/21/15 8:30am

greenway-plaza

Photo of Greenway Plaza: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
05/20/15 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE RENT RUSH Drawing of Apartments“One of the reasons rents have gotten pretty high in the last decade is people finally realized that owning a house is not what it’s cracked up to be. You can have a pretty decent apartment inside the loop for $2k a month which will only buy you about a $200k house which means you get an old small house between the loop and beltway, or a decent new house outside of the beltway. Also, you don’t start building real world equity in the house until after year 7 and coincidentally average time people live in a house is 5-7 years. Renting also allows for extreme flexibility in case your job changes, you create little clumsy clones of yourself, or simply don’t like changes in your neighborhood. There was a study that showed that during the great recession there was a much higher rate of unemployment in Home Owner vs. Renters because after losing their job, Home Owners either were unable to sell or refused to sell their homes and simply move to an area with better job prospects.” [commonsense, commenting on Houston’s Most Expensive, Deadest Neighborhoods; The $10 I-10 Toll; Drinking from Lake Conroe] Illustration: Lulu

05/20/15 3:45pm

Demolition of Robindell Shopping Center, 6711-6751 Bissonnet St. at Beechnut, Robindell, Houston

Can’t get enough of that old-shopping-center-knock-down action? Here, courtesy of the Brays Oaks management district, is a view of the carnage currently in progress at the Robindell Shopping Center, where the empty hulls of a slew of colorfully named businesses arrayed from 6711 to 6755 Bissonnet St. are meeting dusty ends. Hello to a new Aldi and company. But before that, a goodbye to Bigwick Liquor, Libreria Cristiana El Resplendor, Ana’s Multi Services, La Sultana Pupuseria, Delta X-Ray, Cute-Cut Salon $5, Eyebrow Threading Salon, and Trudi’s Birria de Chivo. Your ice cream at neighboring Baskin-Robbins will be spared.

Photo: Brays Oaks Management District

Make Way for Aldi