- 1003 Alexander St. [HAR]
In the span of just 3 days, the Heights Jack in the Box has closed down and abandoned both its sky- and street-level boxes. The photo above shows the empty store and its parking lot off Shepherd, where a green cherry-picker‘s now the only vehicle present.
The property’s longtime owner — a national real estate firm that owns the land beneath lots of fast food joints — sold it in 2016, which was a transformational year for the rest of the intersection as well. A few months later, Abel Motors left its spot across Shepherd, making way for the Burger Joint that’s now moving in. And on the south side of 20th St., pizza joint Mellow Mushroom and adjacent desert shop Moody Ice opened up — in what used to be Dealer Sales‘ garage and office building.
Most of the corrugated metal buildings that occupied the inner sanctum at 620 W. 9th St. are down now, but the hidden Heights compound’s still got its edge. “There are strange things poking up from the fence,” the same ones that have been there for over a decade — reports a reader — sticking up, “like heads on spikes.”
Actually, not all the props on W. 9th St. east of Waverly are heads; torsos, full bodies, and skeletal figures appear as well, along with some more abstract metalwork:
Red hyphenated signage hasn’t yet put a name to the building, but you can see all the other makings of H-E-B’s second second-story Houston grocery store from above in the video at top. The footage starts off over N. Shepherd, then pans around the corner of 23rd St., offering a view of the former Fiesta site from the south.
Back in March a spokesperson for the grocer told The Leader’s Landan Kuhlmann to expect a “late fall opening,” meaning the store’s debut could coincide roughly with the 2 year anniversary of the dry zone modification its management pushed for prior to construction.
Video: Brandon DuBois
And that’s all for the 610 Allston St. bungalow Mary Cerruti refused to sell before she was found dead inside it last March. This past week’s demolition comes a little later than Trammell Crow had hoped when it began developing the adjacent 5-story apartment complex off Yale St. in 2013. After the developer’s attempts to buy Cerruti’s 6,600-sq.-ft. lot were rebuffed, it decided to build around both it and the same-sized parcel directly to its south. (Cerruti continued to speak out against the development even after construction began in 2013, appearing publicly at a planning commission meeting that February.)
Now, her property and the one next door have been snatched up by the same owner: Sandcastle Homes, an inner-Loop builder. You can see part of the company’s new 2-story handiwork at 606 Allston St. on the right in the photo above.
It went up over the last few months on what was once vacant land next door to Cerruti’s house:
A sign spotted up on the chain’s East End location (pictured at top) by a thrifty Redditor informs customers that the last 2 Sand Dollar stores will be closing at the end of this month, bringing an end to the retailer’s 37-year run. Both the 7018 Harrisburg Blvd. and 1903 Yale St. stores are now in clearance mode: All purchases over $20 (before tax) are half-off.
Down in Pasadena, the 2535 Spencer Hwy. store has already been emptied:
A recent tax filing reveals Sweet Bribery is the moniker of the corner ice cream shop Braun Enterprises has been showing in its site plan for 250 W. 19th St. without daring to speak its name. It’s the last of the 5 new tenants that the developer’s been ushering into the former Chippendale Eastlake Antiques store since buying it in 2015. (One of which — an ice cream offshoot of Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts called Lee’s Creamery — appears no longer bound for the building.) Pictured above is the western flank it’d occupy, which backs up to Urban Float sensory deprivation spa’s entrance off Rutland St.
Next door to the creamery, clothing stores Mary & Moss and Proper are already doing business along 19th St.:
After the owner of the yellow bungalow went to jail in 2015 for conspiracy, the townhome neighbors bought it and begun looking to put some distance between the house and their own. Last Wednesday, the city’s historical commission reviewed their plans however and told them no can do. The extra 7-ft.-8-in. they wanted to add between the 2 structures would take the bungalow — part of the Heights South Historic District — out of its original 1920 location at 922 Columbia St. And the other change — sliding it 5-ft.-3.5-in. back from the curb to line up with its taller neighbor — would make it less prominent along the street.
The decision is binding, so there’s no shying away now from the current situation:
The Midwestern investment syndicate that developed the Heights originally planned it as a modest outpost for middle-class families. So it’s a little puzzling when Amy Lynch Kolflat — the realtor for Houston architect Bart Truxillo’s Heights pad — tells Nancy Sarnoff a day after posting the listing that “it’s one of two remaining homes built by the founder of the Houston Heights, Omaha and South Texas Land Co.” Take a look at the video tour Kolflat conducts around the property at 1802 Harvard St. Kind of opulent for what historian Stephen Fox called an “industrial working-class suburb,” right?
That’s because Truxillo’s house is modeled directly on the other longstanding Heights structure Kolflat mentions — 1102 Heights Blvd. — situated 7 blocks away. Along that spinal street — planned as Houston’s first divided boulevard — many of the homes went above and beyond those found in the rest of the neighborhood. 1102 was one of those exceptions:
Here’s a glimpse of what 317 W. 19th St. might look like with a roof over its head for the first time in a few decades and something inside that presumably isn’t junk. An entity connected to the next-door Maryam’s Cafe bought the 6,600-sq.-ft. lot in February. Shortly after, all the odds and ends that once kept it occupied vanished.
Gone as well: the sheet-metal facade that shielded them from the public eye. But not entirley:
COMMENT OF THE DAY: FORMER INK SPOTS MUSEUM FACES THE MUSIC “The building on E. 20th was for years the The Original Huey ‘Ink Spot’ Long Living History Music Museum. Very cool for neighbors, visitors, and especially Hamilton Middle School students to be able to pass by or visit it. The Ink Spots Museum is now online.” [Miz Brook Smith, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Sampson & Beulah; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Martha D.
No one’s dined at Southern Goods since it caught on fire 10 months ago, but they could now if only they managed to get inside. A look through its storefront window on W. 19th St. reveals the entire dining room has been set for service, right down to the folded napkins.
Bar seating appears done up as well, with a row of wine glasses running across the countertop at the far end of the space:
More than $100,000 worth of liens have now been placed on the stalled Victoria Condos at 829 Yale St. by contractors that worked on the 40-unit midrise. It’s one of the remaining Fisher Homes properties that the Harris County court system hasn’t yet liquidated as part of its ongoing efforts to pay back the developer’s creditors — including some who’ve sued it for failing to pay their invoices on developments such as the Yale condos.
A rendering put out around the time sales began at the beginning of June 2016 shows what they would look like if they had people in them now:
The former art and event space dubbed the Indian Summer Lodge — tucked in between the MKT Trail and Blue Line Bike Lab on the corner of White Oak Dr. and Columbia St. — is now being shopped around to potential new owners. Pictured at top from the north is the 16,170-sq.-ft. trapezoidal property, home to a Quonset hut (shown above) and adjacent lodge building.
A year after the land was briefly rumored to be taking on the Tacos A Go Go that eventually moved in 4 blocks east of it, proprietor Jeff Law sold it in 2010. Since then, most portions of a third treehouse building that also sat on site and included a rooftop balcony have been torn down.
Here’s what $1,649,000 gets you now:
COMMENT OF THE DAY: NOT THE ONLY BURGER JOINT OFF 20TH ST. “Really needed another burger option in that area. So within a couple minutes drive of each other there will now be The Burger Joint, Balls Out Burger, Hubcap, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Becks Prime, Christian’s Tailgate, Whataburger, Cedar Creek, and all the other fast food options.” [DL, commenting on Blank Abel Motors Sign Now Directing N. Shepherd Traffic to Its Burger Joint Replacement] Illustration: Lulu