04/17/15 3:15pm

Royal Oaks Village II Shopping Center, Westchase, Houston

Here’s an aerial view of the Royal Oaks Village II shopping center, where the Houston area’s fifth Trader Joe’s is already under construction behind the Harvest Organic Grille. (That’s the unidentified pad-site restaurant at the top right of the shopping center, which is outlined in red.) There the new grocery store take its place among a spread of nearby food-shopping options along the south side of Westheimer, which include the Walmart Supercenter at W. Houston Center Blvd., the Chick-Fil-A and H-E-B at Kirkwood, and the Whole Foods Market at Wilcrest.


Parking Lot Touchdown
04/16/15 11:15am

NO BIG HURRY FOR APACHE’S BLVD PLACE TOWER Rendering of Apache Office Tower, Uptown, HoustonPermits for Apache Corporation’s planned 34-story tower on Post Oak Blvd. next to the new Whole Foods Market have “just been granted approval” from the city, writes Roxanna Asgarian. The reporter also notes that the permits for the project were filed way back in December 2013. But any regulatory delays appear to be no big deal for the independent oil and gas company. Apache “has no immediate plans for the site,” she reports. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Hines

02/26/15 11:45am

H-E-B Nogalitos Market, 1601 Nogalitos St., San Antonio, Texas

H-E-B Bellaire Market, 5130 Cedar St., Bellaire, TexasThe new 70,000-sq.-ft. grocery store H-E-B is hoping to build to replace its current location near the intersection of Bissonnet St. and S. Rice Ave. in Bellaire (pictured in the bottom photo) may fit most of its parking space underneath the store. Speaking to Bellaire residents at a meeting earlier this week, officials from the company described an option that would require demolition of the entire shopping center at 5100 Cedar St. — including the existing 20,000-sq.-ft. H-E-B store and all adjacent stores. In its place would go up a 70,000-sq.-ft. store with parking underneath and in front. All shopping would be on the second floor.

To help describe the concept, officials showed images of the company’s store on Nogalitos St. in San Antonio (pictured in the top photo), which opened last month. That store, which is only 62,000 sq. ft., features a first-floor parking garage and a “travelator” (similar to one of the escalators installed to connect the garage to the entrance of the new Post Oak Blvd. Whole Foods Market) to move shoppers and their carts between levels. (The low structure in front of the building is a preserved section of the façade of the previous store on that site.)


Upper Level Groceries
11/04/14 12:30pm


Swamplot culled through the best of the many media previews of the Whole Foods Market Houston-area flagship on Post Oak Blvd. — so you don’t have to! Yes, the much-hyped supermarket is finally throwing open its doors to the public Thursday. (Free reusable shopping bag to the first 500 customers!) So here is a quick round-up of the wonders within the 8-years-in-the-making anchor development in BLVD Place:


Post Oak Supermarket Tizzy
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

03/14/14 8:30am

southwest freeway

Photo of the Southwest Freeway: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

07/22/13 10:00am

Here’s another of the occasional photos a reader sends of the construction progress of the Whole Foods at the mixed-use BLVD Place just north of the Galleria. Thanks to the photos that span almost a year now, you can watch the development develop here at the intersection of San Felipe and Post Oak Blvd.: Witness the preliminary site work beginning last August to the installation of piers and rebar in October and the rising of the parking structure in February. So what else is new? That parking structure appears just about ready, and even more dirt has been moved around — where those cars are parked in the foreground — for the proposed Hanover apartment tower.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

02/13/13 3:30pm

They grow up so fast: Sending photos in August and October, a reader has been documenting from on high the progress of BLVD Place near San Felipe and Post Oak — and now here’s one more. What’s new? Well, what used to be nothing but grass in the foreground has been stripped for the Hanover apartment tower. And the Whole Foods shell appears to be shaping up, too.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

10/19/12 1:29pm

From an upper floor to the east, looking toward Downtown: Piers are in and some column rebar bundles are up already for the BLVD Place building fronting Post Oak Blvd. (the street just beyond the construction site in the photo). According to plans posted online, an underground parking level with room for 260 cars will fit below the 48,500-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market, with more parking behind and above the grocery-store space on 2 additional levels. Also going into the building at the corner of San Felipe St.: other retail, restaurant, and office spaces.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

09/12/12 1:40pm

What will the long-awaited BLVD Place mixed-use development just north of the Galleria end up looking like now that Apache is building a 33-story office tower and parking garage — and reserving space for a second tower — on a huge chunk of the land facing Post Oak Blvd.? Like a considerably smaller retail complex than what Wulfe & Co. advertised from 2007 until the Apache purchase announcement this June. The development now appears to be split into 3 functionally distinct blocks: A Whole Foods-anchored shopping center with office space above it wrapped around a parking garage on the corner of San Felipe and Post Oak Blvd.; the Apache office complex to the south of that on land formerly occupied by the Pavilion at Post Oak; and a bank of 4 apartment or condo towers (including Hanover’s) and maybe a hotel hanging in back, behind Post Oak Ln. The only incongruity will be the portion of BLVD Place that’s already been built: the 4-story retail-and-office building in the Apache zone at the project’s southeast corner, which will now be separated from the rest of the retail by the Apache Tower.


08/01/12 2:06pm

From a tall perch nearby, a reader sends Swamplot this shot of the future site of BLVD Place, where — it appears — site work has begun on the land slated to become the second phase of the mixed-use development, including the long-awaited Galleria Whole Foods Market and more than 150,000 sq. ft. of shops. The camera is pointed down San Felipe, looking east toward Post Oak. Here’s another view of the site from the south, from another reader:


07/26/12 1:48pm

WAITING FOR A GALLERIA WHOLE FOODS Has Whole Foods Market finally signed a lease for the store on Post Oak Blvd. near San Felipe that the developers of BLVD Place have been promising since 2007? Yesterday Whole Foods announced it had signed leases for new grocery stores averaging 37,500 sq. ft. in 12 cities, including Houston. Whether that means a new location near the Galleria or somewhere else in the city, it could still be a while before it opens: “These stores,” says the press release, “currently are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2014 and beyond.” [MarketWatch; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Wulfe & Co. Update, 2:50 pm: The new store will be in Champions.

05/24/12 9:44am

Okay, scratch that image displayed here yesterday of the Hanover Company’s new apartment tower in BLVD Place from your memory banks — it was just an early study. Replace it with these 2 images, showing the updated design by Chicago architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz. And plug in this measurement as metadata: 29 stories. The drawing above shows how the 358-unit building would look from Post Oak Ln., just behind the long-promised Galleria Whole Foods Market. The view below is from one of the Four Leaf Towers to the north, at San Felipe and Skylark:


05/20/11 12:37pm

A new “final” rendering is out for the second phase of Blvd Place, which includes a brand-new 48,500-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market near the corner of Post Oak Blvd. and San Felipe just north of the Galleria (and yes, only a few feet east from the old Eatzi’s location), as well as two 4-story mixed-use buildings flanking it along Post Oak. Plus: a parking garage in back. The 4-story buildings (marked 1N and 2 on the recently updated site plan below) will have 2 office levels above 2 floors of retail, like the lone building in Blvd Place’s first phase, which opened last year a block south. Wulfe & Co.’s Elise Weatherall tells Swamplot the remaining portion of the old Pavilion on Post Oak on the site will be demolished this fall; construction on the new Whole Foods and the adjacent buildings is scheduled to begin about the same time, with everything opening in the first half of 2013.


10/13/10 1:08pm

That’s 3-and-a-half levels of parking artfully hidden behind the extended forehead of the new Galleria Whole Foods Market in this latest rendering being waved by the developers of Blvd Place. Also obfuscated: your view of that little mustache of strip-mall-valet-style parking in front, behind those hedges facing Post Oak. But most Whole Foods shoppers will be parking in a separate 300-car underground garage, and will feed into the store on a moving sidewalk. The parking levels above are meant to serve an additional 140,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurants, and office space Wulfe and Co. is hoping to fill in this portion of its scaled-down redevelopment project. But so far no leases have been signed, reports the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff.

This Whole Foods has now been marked back up to 48,500 sq. ft. — about 25 percent larger than the chain’s Kirby location, but down from the 78,000 sq. ft. originally announced 4 years ago. The latest construction start date: next summer.

Rendering: Wulfe & Co.