COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE GREAT MONTROSE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ROUTE THINNING “The Fairview bus route replaced the streetcar line and operated for decades. Thirty years ago a significant number of people in Montrose relied on public transportation. As demographics changed, METRO decided that ridership didn’t justify some routes through Montrose. In addition to Fairview, they also eliminated the University (Hawthorne) and Alabama (actually W. Alabama) routes. It’s surprising how much of a difference there is between walking one or two blocks vs. five or more to the closest bus stop. I agree that a revived Fairview line would be convenient, and a trolley would be great. The question is, will residents of $500k townhomes willingly commit to giving up their cars? I wish they would, and think they won’t.” [Big Tex, commenting on Houston’s Vanished and Current Middle-of-the-Road Rail Networks, Close Up and Personal] Illustration: Lulu
Look closely in the photo above from yesterday evening, writes one of the 2 Swamplot readers who sent in dramatic pix showing the demolition-in-progress of the Timbergrove H-E-B at 1511 W. 18th St. (near Ella and T.C. Jester), “and you can see all the store aisle signs hanging (signs that say coffee, paper towels, etc).” The groceries themselves had previously been evacuated: The very-close-to-White-Oak-Bayou store closed at the end of January, just as the new, larger, and more highly elevateddouble-deckerHeights H-E-B opened a mile away on N. Shepherd Dr. between 23rd and 24th streets.
A leasing brochure just released by Midway reveals a detailed site plan for the first phase of the company’s planned development on a 150-acre former industrial site lining the north bank of Buffalo Bayou — here upgraded to riverine status. East River‘s drive-up urban conquest of the former KBR (previously, Brown & Root) campus begins on the far western edge of the Fifth Ward site, fronting Jensen Dr. and lining Clinton Dr. Portrayed in the plans and renderings: a 9-plus-screen multiplex movie theater, a new waterside home for the Houston Maritime Museum, a central plaza with a coffee pavilion (pictured), and almost 100,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, spread among the ground floors of 8 separate structures (including one enormous parking garage). Three of the structures are multi-story office buildings.
Here are some overall site plans of the development:
TRUE ANOMALY IN LOCAL ROBO-JOURNALISM New sour-beer hotspot True Anomaly Brewing Company, which opened last month in the former electrical warehouse at 2012 Dallas St. just west of the main East Village campus in East Downtown (and possibly in the path of the planned expansion of I-45) “seems to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood,” declares a writeup appearing on the Houston Chronicle website. But this is not your average new-place-opening report — well, at least not yet. A note at the bottom indicates the report was “created automatically using local business data” (presumably from the Eater Houston story and 3 Yelp reviews noted in the text), “then reviewed and augmented by an editor.” The source: Local-story bot purveyor Hoodline, “a collaboration between experienced local reporters and innovative data scientists and engineers, combining the latest computational methods and tools with journalistic insights, news judgment, and thoughtful design to develop a new form of news reporting.” Hoodline has been quietly feeding stories and listicles to both ABC News and Hearst Media since last year — but you can skip the middlemen and soak up the company’s regular stream of assembled and ready-for-publication Houston auto-stories directly from this link. [Houston Chronicle; Eater Houston; Hoodline] Photo of True Anomaly Brewing Company: Charles W.
WHEN THE CAR’S JUST TOO NICE FOR THE GARAGE “It takes a little bit of maneuvering,” explains Nick, the proud owner of a blue-and-orange McLaren Senna and the reworked 1954 William Floyd bayou-side home just north of Woodway Dr. whose living room he parks it in. “I usually leave 2 cars in here. I usually have to come in,” he explains to globetrotting carhound Alex Hirschi, “drive one into the kitchen and then bring in the other one. If you would have came here last night you would have found there was a purple Porsche sitting right here and the McLaren was pulled in there — because it was raining.” Video: Supercar Blondie via KHOU 11
Time’s almost up for a whole mess of trees lining the south side of Buffalo Bayou between Eldridge Pkwy. and Dairy Ashford (pictured at top), where the Harris County Flood Control District plans to construct the first 3 of a series of overflow basins. Removal of vegetation across the bayou from Nottingham Forest’s southern border is scheduled to begin within a few weeks; construction company Lecon has the $1.8 million contract to build the “linear stormwater detention compartments,” which are meant to accommodate a temporary visit of up to 90 acre-ft. of bayou water during a flood.
The trees and basins will be carved out of Terry Hershey Park. The district notes that some trees and vegetation may be preserved — forming a buffer “where possible” between the basins and private property to the south. Large sections of the popular Anthills Mountain Bike Trail, which the district notes “were built on publicly-owned land without written permission and without compensation to the public” will be cleared, though a portion that sits between the 2 westernmost basins will remain.
A Swamplot reader peers over the hedges at the southeast corner of Weslayan and W. Alabama St., to catch a glimpse of the tree work taking place in the parking lot adjacent to the AT&T building yesterday.
A building permit filed yesterday reveals what’s going up on the half-acre vacant tract across Caroline St. from the Oaks On Caroline condo building: a 16,000-sq.-ft. parking garage. Home previously to a pair of 2-story homes, the property’s been vacant since early 2016, around the same time Nan and Company put the finishing touches on its neighboring 5-story condo structure which sits between Arbor and Rosedale streets. As shown in the photo at top, the garage’s construction site is surrounded entirely by townhomes. Not pictured: the Houston Museum of African American Culture, which is situated just north of the garage, at the northeast corner of Caroline and Wentworth St.