10/21/13 12:00pm

Just north of the Katy Fwy. at Park Row and Park Ten Blvd., construction is underway on Park Ten Center. The 301,932-sq.-ft. complex will comprise a pair of 3-story office buildings designed by O’Brien Architecture out of Dallas. Developed by Lincoln Property and Stonelake, the 150,966-sq.-ft. buildings are being built mostly on spec: Only 1 tenant, and an undisclosed one to boot, has signed on. Houston Business Journal reports that the complex will occupy the Energy Corridor property where a cluster of smaller industrial buildings were demolished back in June.


10/21/13 11:10am

These elevations show the Kroger Marketplace that’s under construction inside the Towne Lake master-planned community in Northwest Houston. The new 120,000-sq.-ft. grocery store, which will sell home goods, jewelry, and clothes, too, will be located in the so-called “commons area” of Towne Lake at the intersection of Barker Cypress and Tuckerton. Says Fred Caldwell, the developer of Towne Lake, about the new store: “[It] will have an architectural design similar to a Texas Hill Country look. It will be a lot different than the traditional grocery store people see.”


10/18/13 3:30pm

Haven’t decided yet what you think should happen to the Astrodome? The preservation-minded folks at Our Astrodome hope that seeing this 26-ft. bedazzled semi just might do the trick. Starting Monday and running up to the elections on November 5, when voters will decide whether to approve — or not, and, as most suspect, doom the Dome to a more thorough demolition than what’s already happening — that $217 bond measure that would fund a renovation of the stadium into convention space, the tricked-out Dome Mobile will be rolling around town to spread the word about Proposition 2 and the world’s first domed stadium.


10/18/13 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE BRICK CANVAS “Does anyone have a strong opinion on painting brick? We have an old complex that’s brick. Normally, if it hasn’t been painted I don’t like to paint it. But this brick is different colors (style of brick I guess) on each of the 3 building and it’s pretty ugly. I’ve debated painting it but I’m not sure if I’ll regret it and, as a second concern, I suck at picking colors so I don’t know what I would paint it.” [Cody, commenting on An Old Home for New Art in Hyde Park] Illustration: Lulu

10/18/13 12:20pm

Construction could start by the end of the month on this apartment building on the site of the demolished Vargo’s Restaurant in Piney Point. The rendering and plans for the complex, to be located at 2411 Fondren near Woodway, show no signs of the azaleas and starving peacocks that had been on the former fancy steakhouse’s land — nor its apostrophe: The complex, dubbed Vargos on the Lake, will have 276 1- and 2-bedroom apartments and 13 3-bedroom townhomes, explains a PR rep. Buying the 8.71-acre property out of bankruptcy, developer Sandy Aron appears to be going all out with the perks:

[Vargos] will offer active recreation via the Fit Flicks Theater; which will feature a projection wall and cardio equipment such as rowers, bikes, treadmills and Stairmaster. Fit Flicks Theater will screen movies on a daily basis.

Additional top-of-the-line amenities include two leash-free dog parks, resident clubhouse and demonstration kitchen, conference/private dining room, evening concierge, cold food delivery storage, kickboxing station, three outdoor kitchens, active pool with stainless steel tree sculpture and water feature, poolside event cabana, outdoor fire lounge, Zen pool, global gaming room, yoga studio and two massage rooms.

Rendering: Hunington Properties

10/18/13 11:20am

BIENVENIDOS, BRICK AND SPOON Eater Houston’s Darla Guillen reports that brunch and bloody mary purveyor Brick & Spoon is almost ready to open in Montrose after renovating the spot to which Bocados said adiós at 1312 W. Alabama, just across the street from the University of St. Thomas. Owners of the Louisiana chain Bryan Jewell and Ryan Trahan tell Guillen that they will be ready to go November 11. [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Bocados: Panoramio user Wolfgang Houston

10/18/13 10:00am

Here’s a rendering of that 25-story residential highrise Hines says it plans to start building in the Museum District in July. Designed by Munoz + Albin, the 259-unit, 301,000-sq.-ft. apartment building and parking garage will stand next to the Asia Society Texas Center on most of the block bound by Caroline, Oakdale, Southmore, and San Jacinto.

What’s missing from this rendering is that historic home on the corner of Caroline and Southmore whose owners chose not to sell. It appears that the property immediately west of the holdouts’ and next to the light rail line will become a 10,000-sq.-ft. “public-access park,” reports the Houston Business Journal: “In addition, there is potential for small retail space adjacent to the park, such as a café or light food services.”

Rendering: Hines

10/17/13 3:30pm

Here’s a pic of the new storefront of Houston’s 3rd Three Brothers Bakery. You can see it for yourself at 4602 Washington, between Shepherd and Patterson. (It’ll share that retail center with Bedrock City Comics.) Apparently, behind those mirrored windows there’s quite a buildout of the former District Lounge going on: This new location will be open a bit later than the others and will include a coffee bar and patio where you can chill outside with your dawgs. Or dogs. Both, it seems, will be welcome. There’s been no opening date announced, but a PR rep says that the place should be ready to go early next year.

Photo: Allyn West

10/17/13 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE FIRST 3 STEPS OF RETAIL REVIVAL “It seems like bars are the first businesses to move into an area as it becomes established/gentrified. Other food and drink places seem like a logical next step, but what comes after that? In my mind a neighborhood has officially arrived when it has a grocer with decent produce, but there must be several intermediate phases.” [Alec, commenting on Affecting the Bar-to-Restaurant Ratio in Midtown]

10/17/13 12:10pm

Here’s a rendering of the apartment complex that’s now under construction at Hughes Landing, the 66-acre pedestrian-focused development situated on Lake Woodlands and named for the rich recluse. The 8-story complex, appropriately dubbed One Lake’s Edge, will have 390 units and storage available for tenants’ bikes and kayaks. Also, there will be 22,000 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail. And that retail goes along with the nearby Restaurant Row, which has 2 tenants a-coming: Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex and Tequila and Whiskey Cake.

Rendering: The Woodlands Development Company

10/17/13 11:15am

AFFECTING THE BAR-TO-RESTAURANT RATIO IN MIDTOWN An update about the former Midtown bar that a Swamplot reader reported was turning into a new Midtown bar: It’s gonna be a restaurant (that will serve drinks). Eater Houston reports that Michael Paolucci, who owns Pub Fiction, will be opening Cook & Collins, not (as had been reported) Bremond Street Grill, here in the former El Xuco Xicana space at 2416 Brazos near Bremond. Was there a change of heart or something? Nah, says Paolucci: “I know [M]idtown very well. There are too many bars and not enough restaurants. Until the restaurants start coming, it won’t become a world-class neighborhood. I’m from Chicago and in Chicago, for every bar there’s a restaurant; in [M]idtown, for every 20 bars there’s one restaurant.” [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

10/17/13 10:05am

That no-tracks land along Harrisburg Blvd. between 66th and Cowling on the East End Line is supposed to look something like the underpass that these new renderings depict. Right now, though, Harrisburg isn’t passing under anything — but lying in wait instead between the nearly completed eastern and western sections of the line that stop here dead in their tracks. Though Mayor Parker announced more than 2 years ago that the East End Line would get $20.6 million in diverted funds to build the Hughes Underpass below the Union Pacific East Belt freight rail line, construction hasn’t started. Why? Well, it appears that Metro hasn’t selected a company yet.


10/16/13 3:45pm

Here’s a rendering of the renovations that JT ARC Studio has drawn up that show a 1938 house and former Methodist Hospital storage space gussied up into an art gallery. Located just south of W. Gray at 1707 Waugh in Hyde Park, the gallery and event space, to be called 1707 Collective, plans to open this spring. And it appears that work on the 1,674-sq.-ft. multipurpose building, which HCAD records show was finished in 1938 and renovated in 1990, is already underway: