01/19/18 4:30pm

Something new is on the table for the building at the corner of Westheimer and Stoney Brook Dr.: Prime Social, a card and board game venue with an onsite restaurant. The not yet full house is advertising chess, backgammon, cribbage, and a number of poker variants — with 2 daily tournaments (up to “$5,000 GUARANTEED”). Also, “professional armed security” will be present on the premises, according to the house website, in case anything gets out of hand.

Churrasca Brazilian Steakhouse closed down in the 11,448-sq.-ft. building, pictured above, last year. The restaurant took over from sushi joint and nightclub Fish & the Knife, which shuttered in its newly-built space at 7801 Westheimer in 2014, 9 months after opening.

Raising the Stakes
01/19/18 2:30pm

Davis Commercial is showing images of a renovated building on the corner of 11th St. and Rutland in hopes of enticing a burger-flipping collective or something similar to take over the space. Q St. Salon & Boutique shared the 2,712-sq.-ft. building behind the parking-lot gazebo with Heights Discount Dry Cleaners until the latter closed down last year. A bungalow that now sits adjacent to Q St.’s spot to the west (hidden behind the building in the photo at top) is excised from the renderings.

The rendering above shows the building’s windows wiped clean of advertisements for laundry deals and extended to the ground. New awnings are shown in place of the blue vinyl ones now covering the storefronts at 402 W. 11th.

An 800-sq.-ft. patio is also planned for the building’s frontage along 11th St.:

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Wash Cycle
01/19/18 12:30pm

Here’s the site on the block of 22nd St. bookended by the Vapor Gypsy e-cigarette shop and the Carl Barnes Funeral Home — and peppered with townhomes, an auto repair shop, and Refrigeration Gaskets of Texas — where 2 new row houses are about to be built. Wile Interests and Capital Realty are constructing the pair they’re calling the Bungalows on 22nd St. between Durham and Shepherd — in place of 2 dilapidated bungalows that were torn down on the same site last year.

A rowing-focused workout center called Crew Fitness will occupy the eastern bungalow in the development at 715 W. 22nd St.:

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One Oar the Other
01/18/18 4:00pm

Excavators are now moving dirt around on the corner of Kirby and oak-lined Steel St. where a 39-story apartment tower dubbed Hanover River Oaks is planned. Hanover bought a 1.6-acre portion of the former Kirby Court Apartments along Steel St. in 2016; funding issues had left the project in limbo for most of the prior year. The photo above, taken from the highrise at 2727 Kirby, looks southwest past the corner tower of the Gables West Ave apartments to show a portion of the crater where the new apartment tower is now under construction.

Although the project has a Kirby Dr. address, the building won’t actually front the street. Instead, it will sit behind Becks Prime at the corner of Kirby and Kipling (partly visible in the bottom left of the image above). Earlier renderings showed a new standalone restaurant building fronting Kirby just south of Becks Prime. West of the drive-thru restaurant zone, an entrance driveway for the apartment will run between Kipling and Steel.

A recent rendering from architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz views the tower from southeast of 2727 Kirby:

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Hanover River Oaks
01/18/18 1:30pm

A Swamplot reader sends this photo of new signage fronting Hwy. 6 along the vacant Macy’s parking lot at West Oaks Mall. The space left behind by the former anchor tenant — which closed its doors last year — will be turned into a new store called The Outlet at West Oaks that will specialize in clothing and home goods and open within the next few months. Dress shop Formal Gallery has been announced as the new store’s first retailer. Other additions have been announced for the rest of the mall, HBJ’s Cara Smith reports: a gym, a trampoline park, a daycare facility, a food hall, restaurants, event venues, and some sort of maker space.

1st Emporium, the real estate division of Houston-based Mehta Investments, quietly bought most of the mall — out of bankruptcy, Paul Takahashi reports in the Chronicle —  last August. (The mall’s former owner, Pacific Retail Capital Partners, bought the shopping center out of bankruptcy, too, back in 2009.)

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Anchors Away
01/18/18 11:30am

AMAZON WILL NOT BE DELIVERING HQ2 TO HOUSTON Despite campaigns that included coordinated office light displays and banner flybys over the company’s current headquarters in Seattle, none of the Houston proposals to house Amazon’s new campus made it past the first round. The company announced this morning that 17 U.S. cities plus northern Virginia, Toronto, and Montgomery County, Maryland would be finalists for the new HQ2. Among those that did make the cut: Dallas and Austin. [USA Today; map; previously on Swamplot] Photo of former KBR Building 3: Swamplot inbox

01/17/18 5:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STILL STRANDED “My first thought is that raising a home might protect the physical property, but it doesn’t remove it from the path of floodwaters. A flooding event could still strand a family, potentially putting them in a life-threatening situation from which others would have to rescue them. Tax roll aside, is this the right thing to do?” [Nice Neighbor, commenting on Comment of the Day: Why It Pays To Raise Those Flooded Meyerland Homes] Photo: Christine Gerbode

01/17/18 4:45pm

Snapshots from the scenic Robbins Brothers jewelry store parking lot on the West Loop show how much progress has been made on the 34-story Arabella (formerly Arábella) condo tower next to the Target parking lot on San Felipe. Construction on the bumpy building began in 2015 on a portion of the former Westcreek Apartments at the corner of San Felipe and Westcreek. The photo at top shows the new building at 4521 San Felipe towering over the 25-story SkyHouse River Oaks apartment building, as well as the 17-story Wilshire condo tower.

A closer view of the trio:

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In Height Order
01/17/18 12:30pm

Replica weaponry is now up on the white brick building at 1318 Telephone Rd. ahead of coffee shop Coral Sword’s planned opening in the space next month. Backed by former Houston Astro and self-professed video- and board-gamer Hunter Pence along with his wife Alexis, the venue will include communal gaming areas, a private podcast and game session recording booth, and “a membership driven co-gaming space.” Record and book store Wired Up closed down in the building last year, and renovations have been underway on the space since last month. The photo at top shows Coral Sword’s main entrance and storefront window to the right of it.

The cafe will share the building with East End Barber, which takes up the southeast portion of the structure. Below, you can see the barber shop’s sign on the corner of Telephone and Fourcade St.:

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Waiting on Deck