09/15/14 3:45pm

734 E. 8th St., Houston Heights

734 E. 8th St., Houston HeightsIf you’re wondering what an expanse of fake grass is doing in the back yard of a $1.345 million home around the corner from Antidote, Premium Draught, and the Sonoma Wine Bar in the Heights, the architect of the 4-bedroom, 3,769-sq.-ft. structure has an answer for you: “The synthetic grass was the owner’s idea, which had my full support,” Cameron Armstrong tells Swamplot, after an email from a reader alerted us to the astroturfing issue. “It’s 100% recycled material, and significantly reduced our landscape irrigation needs,” the architect notes, “which gained the project some points during LEED certification (Silver).”

Ouch! Does learning that last bit give you a brain cramp? If so, you’re not alone:

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No Mow
09/15/14 1:00pm

GALLERIA WHOLE FOODS MARKET OPENING NOVEMBER 6, WILL INCLUDE AUSTIN-IMPORT BEER-ON-A-TRIKE BLVD Place Whole Foods Market Under Construction, 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Galleria, HoustonThe long-awaited BLVD Place Whole Foods Market will finally open on November 6, reports the HBJ‘s Jenny Agee-Aldridge. And the grocery juggernaut has fed her another notable market-marketing nugget: Shoppers at the new 55,000-sq.-ft. store at 1700 Post Oak Blvd. will be able to make beer orders and receive deliveries while shopping — from a beer-toting store employee riding a tricycle around the market. The non-motorized alcohol delivery setup, Agee-Aldridge notes, is an Austin import. But the beer source is a Houston first: The store will be the first Whole Foods’ anywhere to have its own brewery on the premises, and will feature beer-themed breads and desserts as well. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Russell Hancock

09/15/14 12:00pm

Designs for Overpass on Harrisburg Blvd., East End, Houston

Designs for Overpass on Harrisburg Blvd., East End, Houston

Metro has posted the latest designs for the enormous Hughes St. overpass along Harrisburg Blvd. on the far-east segment of the East End rail line. The $27-to-$42-million bridge is meant to carry cars and Green Line passengers over the Union Pacific East Belt freight rail line that runs north-south just west of Hughes St., between the soon-to-open East End line’s between the future Altic and Cesar Chavez stations. The posted design concepts, Metro notes, combine a “garden” wall and a wall noting a few 4-digit numbers important in the history of the neighborhood with a ribbon of white LED lighting above and blue accent lighting underneath and along the columns:

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At the End of the Green Line
09/15/14 8:30am

discovery-green

Photo of Discovery Green: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
09/12/14 1:45pm

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The frontrunner on a split lot with a shared driveway, this 2002 contemporary in the Westhaven Estates area captures space for a splash zone courtyard. Sculpted landscaping and decorative panels soften the curbside appearance of the sturdy wall erected near the sidewalk on Inwood Dr., south of San Felipe Rd. between Nantucket and Potomac drives. The front property’s relisting by a new agent this week set a $1.139 million asking price. Back in February, a previous market appearance had begun with a $1.195 million price tag. A reduction in April, to $1.145 million, briefly snagged a contract in June before the property took off for the summer.

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Front and Center
09/12/14 12:45pm

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3400-montrose-diggingConstruction appears to have begun on the site at 3400 Montrose Blvd., where a 30-story apartment tower by Hanover named 3400 Montrose will replace the 10-story 1953 office building formerly on the site. That building was named 3400 Montrose as well, but was also also referred to as “That building with the Skybar on the top floor,” or (later in its life) “Don’t walk along that sidewalk or you might get hit on the head by a limestone panel.” Demolition was completed this past spring. A reader sends Swamplot these views of the corner of Montrose and Hawthorne, where a wooden construction fence has recently gone up.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

3400 Montrose
09/12/14 11:00am

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STUCCOAT A BRICK SHOPPING CENTER IN COPPERFIELD Before and After Renovation Views of Easton Commons Shopping Center, Northeast Corner of Hwy. 6 and West Rd., Copperfield, HoustonIt’s not exactly a stucco jacket — a marketing brochure for the redone Easton Commons Shopping Center at the intersection of Hwy. 6 and West Rd. in Copperfield indicates the new coating and foam cornice (pictured at top) on top of the old brick structures (pictured at bottom) are actually Dryvit, a brand of EIFS, or a way to get that stucco look without all the layers and labor. (It’s Oyster Shell #456 above and Monastery Brown #381 below, plus Lantana Cobble Texas Stone on the columns, if you’re keeping score at home.) But Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon says the new brick-hiding exercise for the shopping center is “paying off” for its landlord: “in the five months since beginning renovations at Easton Commons, NewQuest’s Josh Friedlander and team have brought on eight new tenants totaling nearly 33k SF.” Among the newcomers drawn to all that relieving smoothness: Pet Club, UFC Gym, Beauty Empire, West Oaks Music Studio, and FJ Liquor. NewQuest Epic Investments will be building up a few freestanding buildings in the center facing Hwy. 6, Dixon reports, to make room for a new Smashburger, Verts Kebap, and a third unnamed restaurant, possibly (the brochure indicates) a Corner Bakery. [Real Estate Bisnow; brochure (PDF)] Photos: Catie Dixon (after); LoopNet (before)  

09/12/14 8:30am

buffalo bayou

Photo of Buffalo Bayou: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
09/11/14 3:15pm

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This Energy Corridor area home may present Frenchier lines to its neighbors, but there’s some whoopin’ country-style living hidden inside. Located in the Lakeside Venture neighborhood — west of S. Kirkwood Rd. and north of Briar Forest Dr. — the property’s large-but-narrow lot is just over an acre and shaped a bit like a boomerang, with one tip near the street. In its relisting earlier this week, the 1979 home’s asking price took another tack: $1.295 million.  A previous listing by the same agent in July 2014 had begun at $1.695 million but dropped the asking price a month later to $1.475 million.

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Le Country Interiors
09/11/14 12:30pm

WITH ACTORS AND COMPANY GONE, THE ALLEY THEATRE CATCHES FIRE Fire at Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave., Downtown HoustonFire broke out late this morning at the Alley Theatre at 615 Texas Ave. fronting Jones Plaza downtown. The acting ensemble is performing at UH this season, to allow workers to complete a $46.5 million renovation of the brutalist concrete building and its parking-lot-tower appendages. Fire department officials are reporting that construction workers spotted smoke streaming from the building’s duct work, apparently from an electrical fire. Shortly before the fire started, construction photos of the roof being opened up above the main theater space were posted to the organization’s Facebook page [Click2Houston; Alley Theatre] Photo: Emma Q

09/11/14 12:00pm

Proposed Development at 1600 West Loop, Galleria, Houston

Proposed Development at 1600 West Loop, Galleria, HoustonLandry’s is planning a multi-use development including a 30-story hotel, a parking garage, and a conference center for a site adjacent to the restaurant and entertainment company’s headquarters on the Loop 610 feeder road in the Galleria area. The proposed address for the new structures is 1600 West Loop, but the tower, conference center, and garage would be tucked back from the freeway toward Hollyhurst St., according to a site plan (above, tilted clockwise 90 degrees) submitted to the city. Along with it, the developers have submitted a variance application asking for a reduced setback for the development along Hollyhurst.

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1600 West Loop