01/21/19 8:30am

Photo of Heights Central Station: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/18/19 3:00pm

THE HERITAGE SOCIETY IS RUNNING OUT OF MONEY TO MAINTAIN THE COLLECTION OF OLD HOUSES IN SAM HOUSTON PARK Although the 10 old buildings in Sam Houston Park are owned by the city, it’s the nonprofit Heritage Society that keeps them all standing at an average cost of $300,000 to $350,000 a year, reports the Chronicle‘s Molly Glentzer. But, she writes, “Even before Hurricane Harvey inundated the park and flooded the 1868 Pillot House,” the Society was borrowing heavily to finance building upkeep,” and its financial outlook is now pretty dire. Starting next month, all 15 of its full-time employees will downshift to part-time status. “General park hours will remain the same, open dawn-to-dusk daily,” writes Glentzer, “but the organization will need to lean more than ever on its volunteers.” The Heritage Society does receive some money from the city, but the mayor’s chief development officer Andy Icken tells Glentzer that “the city hasn’t agreed to provide more funding, and there is no proposal right now to do so.” [Houston Chronicle ($)] Photo of the Pillot House, Sam Houston Park, downtown Houston: i_am_jim [license]

01/18/19 11:30am

This 4-story glass and stucco box dubbed Miabella got pulled from the agenda before Houston’s city planning commission could take a look at it yesterday, but renderings of it are still floating around the interwebs. It’s planned to go up on 3 currently vacant home lots at the corner of Fox St. and N. Nagle St., putting it 3 blocks north of Navigation Blvd. in the Second Ward. The straight-shot rending above shows where its grade-level garage will let out onto N. Nagle.

Its Fox-St.-side will also provide access to parking:


Second Ward
01/18/19 8:30am

Photo of mural at Wash Ave and Braeshear St.: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/17/19 2:15pm

Jim McIngvale, more widely known as Mattress Mack, told radio host Michael Berry this morning on KTRH that Gallery Furniture’s 30,000-sq.-ft. store at 2411 Post Oak Blvd., shown above, will close following the end of its lease in a year. “The traffic went down by half because they tore up the road,” said Mack, referring to the construction on the new Uptown BRT that now has the street peppered with blaze orange cones and barricades. Gallery Furniture opened the Uptown location in 2009 inside what used to be a Pier One at the Post Oak Shopping Center. The closure will bring the chain down to 2 branches: the one in Richmond off the Grand Pkwy. and its original spot on I-45.

Photo: Isiah Carey

Mattress Pad Available
01/17/19 10:45am

TAKE-OUT BEER SALES AT BREWERIES COULD BECOME LEGAL UNDER NEWLY-PROPOSED STATE LAW A pair of bills filed recently in Austin aim to let craft breweries across Teas sell beer at their facilities for “off-premises consumption,” reports Houston Public Media’s Katie Watkins. It’s not so unprecedented: According to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, “Texas is currently the only state where customers can’t purchase a growler or six-pack to-go” at local breweries. (And on top of that, take-out sales of wine and spirits are already legal in Texas at wineries and distilleries.) If passed, the bills, S.B. 312 and H.B. 672 would apply only to breweries making less than 225,000 barrels a year and would set a limit on the amount of take-out product permitted for sale over that time span. Representative Eddie Rodriguez, the House democrat who filed the bill, put it this way to Watkins: “It’s 2019 and people are used to being able to get the things they want.” [Houston Public Media] Photo of Saint Arnold brewery: Marc Longoria

01/17/19 8:30am

Photo of Houston Central Library, Jesse H. Jones Building: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/16/19 4:00pm

The shopping center at the southwest southeast corner of Montrose Blvd. and 59 known as Chelsea Market has just recently gotten the chain-link wraparound, as shown above from the west (top) and east (above). Its days had been numbered ever since plans showing a Broadstone apartment tower in place of the 3-building retail complex surfaced online last year.

Renderings of the tower, to be named Broadstone Museum District, show it rising 16-stories high:


Montrose Blvd. at 59
01/16/19 1:45pm

Like some kind of otherworldly brand ambassador, this large larger-than-life-sized inflatable now looks dutifully out over the strip center parking lot off Belway 8 and Woodforest Blvd., its antennae twitching in the wind. The building it tops — home to Jenny Nails II, J Donuts, Betlway Beverage, Dominos, a hair salon, and Boost Mobile — was once part of the Randalls-anchored retail complex dubbed the Eastbelt Centre that stopped being a thing when Galena Park ISD moved its administrative offices into the supermarket’s building nearly 2 decades ago.

That converted structure lies just next door to the strip building . . .


Roadside Attractions of Beltway 8
01/16/19 10:15am

SEARS PROBABLY WON’T BE COMPLETELY LIQUIDATED THANKS TO THE BANKRUPTCY BIDDER WHO JUST AGREED TO BUY IT OUT Early this morning, the days-long bankruptcy auction for Sears being held at the Manhattan offices of its law firm Weil, Gotshal & Mangles reached a conclusion when the retailer accepted a $5.2 billion takeover bid from one of its executives, Reuters reports. Eddie Lampert, former chairman of the retailer’s parent company Sears Holdings Corp, upped an earlier $5 billion offer and agreed to take on more liabilities as part of the winning deal. “The billionaire’s proposal, made through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc,” according to Reuters’ Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli, “will save up to 45,000 jobs and keep 425 stores open across the United States.” (That’s including Kmart locations, too.) It comes over the objections of a handful of Sears’ creditors who, the Reuters journalists report, had been calling instead for the company’s liquidation. “There remains a chance the deal could fall apart,” according to the reporters, as a bankruptcy judge still must sign off on the agreement. A court hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but is expected to go down later this week. [Reuters; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Memorial City Sears, closed since last year: Toru O.