- 810 Andrews St. [HAR]
The removal of the “Right Store Right Price” sign tacked onto the side of the Kroger at 239 W. 20th St. briefly revealed long-buried evidence of the building’s long-hidden relationship with Weingarten, a parking lot cruising reader notes. Yes, that Weingarten (which currently owns the shopping center): the company’s account of its own history notes that the Weingarten family started out in the grocery biz, then got into real estate to build its own stores. The company dropped supermarkets altogether in the early 1980s and went into real estate full time.
By mid-afternoon yesterday, the newly unearthed traces of the company’s former association with the building had already been beiged out:
One of the contemporary townhomes with courtyards in a 7-property subdivision dubbed West Lane Place was under contract last month but returned to the market a week ago with an asking price of $575,000 — $10K higher than the previous listing. The listing identifies the townhome’s designers as some form of the firm once known as Wilson, Morris, Crain, and Anderson — also known as the architects of the Astrodome. Courtyards, it says, are by landscape firm McDugald-Steele. The 1982 property is tucked between Afton Oaks and the railroad right-of-way east of Newcastle.
Seems the end is coming at the end of the summer for this 1955 12-plex just inside the Loop on Oakshire Dr.: A rep from the city says that the planning commission has approved a subdivision of the 0.4-acre property underneath it into 7 skinny single-family slots. And the Swamplot reader who has been keeping us updated now and again about the building located just south of W. Alabama near Afton Oaks writes in with what might be the last word: “I just heard from a resident who is still there that they are planning on starting the tear-down August 1st.”
A REPRIEVE FOR THE ALMOST AFTON OAKS APARTMENTS? Here’s more from the reader who a week ago predicted the demise of the recently sold “very well-made” 1955 apartment building at 4724 Oakshire Dr., shown here under the glimmering purview of the Williams Tower: “Well, now the latest rumor is that the new owners are not going to demo it (at least not right away) and tenants will have the option to do month-to-month renting with them (haven’t seen anything in writing yet, but the month-to-month thing doesn’t sound like they intend to keep the current complex in the long-term . . . .” Calls to the agent for more information haven’t been returned. [Swamplot inbox; previously on Swamplot] Photos: Gary Greene
Here’s a prediction from a reader about the fate of these apartments just inside the Loop at 4724 Oakshire Dr.: “It looks like another older apt. complex in/near Afton Oaks will probably soon be no more. At least, the building is being sold and all the residents just got a 45 day notice to move out (I don’t know for sure they’re tearing it down, but the odds are it will be). It’s a pity, because it’s a very well-made building (and, from what I’ve seen of some of the construction going up in the area, that’s not the case for a lot of the newer buildings).”
Just shy of a Norman castle, this 2007 chateau with Scheherazade-swagged interior occupies a corner lot of, fittingly, Newcastle Dr., on a spit of Afton Oaks lying south of Richmond Ave. The 2-plus story property rises regally (top) above the rooftops of neighboring one-story fifties-era ranch-style homes. The fairy-tale festooning (above) found within several rooms provides a voluminous, unifying motif — and also helps screen the presence of the Southwest Fwy. sound barrier located just beyond a live oak canopy and cross street. Re-listed mid-month after a brief breather early in the year, the home has otherwise been on the market since the end of 2010, with an asking price stuck at $1,190,000.
If you streamlined a multi-peaked Cotswaldian cottage and stuccoed it, the results might look like this crisp patio home in West Lake Annex, north of Richmond Ave. between Afton Oaks and the railroad tracks. The mid-block property debuted as a listing last week at $675,000. It sits on the back half of a shared-access lot; its stylized, tree-topped balconies (above) face the back of its closer-to-curbside neighbor.
The 8-plex at 4725 Oakshire went down in a cloud of dust last week. “Bummer,” writes Jared Meadors, the landlord next door who bought and renovated the largely identical building at 4719 Oakshire 10 years ago. And who claims he “would have totally paid more than lot value for these and restored them as I did the units at 4719” if he’d had the chance. Meadors’s pinkish brick building to the west of the cleared lot is visible at the left of this photo:
This reinvented Ranch on Staunton St. in Afton Oaks has had a little work done since the last time it was on the market — way back in April of last year, at around $400K cheaper than its current price tag. That American colonial look is gone, wrapped by layers of stucco and Hardie panels and a new standing-seam metal roof. Other nips and tucks for the 60-year-old include a ceiling lift, a new fixed-in-place fenestration program, and a few hundred sq. ft. of additions.
A couple before-and-after comparisons for the 3-bedroom, 2,688-sq.-ft. redo:
HAZARDS OF THE WEST LOOP Except for a memorable afternoon of standstill traffic — and the maybe 1,500 gallons of gasoline that made their way through storm sewers to Galveston Bay — no major disaster resulted from that tanker spill 2 Fridays ago on Bellaire Blvd. below the West Loop. That’s better than the last time: “[L]ongtime residents of the area remember an incident in May 1976 when a truck carrying anhydrous ammonia slammed into a bridge railing on the connector from the West Loop to the southbound Southwest Freeway and fell onto the freeway below. Of those within 1,000 feet of the spill, six people died, 78 suffered serious injuries and 100 more were treated for their exposure. That tragedy played out only about a mile from the site of Friday’s accident. Thirty-four years after that terrible day, nothing has changed. The poorly engineered West Loop, as it approaches the 59, is one of the worst sites for accidents in the U.S. — yet it is also designated pathway for some of the most hazardous cargo in the world. More is transported on the vulnerable tracks that run through southwest Houston, divide West University and Bellaire, skirt along Afton Oaks, River Oaks and Memorial Park.” [West University Examiner]