- 1116 S. Nottingham Dr. [HAR]
What should League City expect with the first Houston-area Cabela’s, set to open in a year’s time near the Big League Dreams Sports Park off the Gulf Fwy. and Big League Dreams Pkwy.? All the wonders of wildlife and its stalkers brought indoors, for your perusal and entertainment. That means vast arrangements of deceased but realistic-looking animals mounted in museum-like displays, a “gun library” where you’ll be able to check out the latest in classic, antique, collectible, or just plain hoard-able firearms, an indoor archery range, a fudge shop, and other tourist attractions. Plus, for local flatlanders who may never have seen one, an actual mountain replica. All displayed as it should be, in a big-roofed, fully air-conditioned space not far from Kohl’s and H-E-B.
At 72,000 sq. ft., the store will only be one-third the size of the chain’s behemoth in Fort Worth, but it’ll be bigger than the outposts in Waco and Lubbock. A company press release says the store will feature log construction, as well as other outdoorsy-store mainstays such as metal roofing, wood siding, and stone add-ons.
Photos of Buda (interior) and Allen (exterior) stores: Cabela’s
Clear Lake laps placidly (at least for now) at the shore of a Mies-inspired home designed in 1974 by Houston architect Edmund Furley and located in Glen Cove (the one in League City, not the one near Houston’s Memorial Park). The waterfront retreat’s undated renovations (top) are attributed to interior designer J. Randall Powers and William Caudell (the still-living designer, not Bill Caudill the late CRS architect). Photos in the property’s listing last week generously tour the interior and grounds, but present just one through-the-gate peek at the home’s front (above). There’s a $4.3 million asking price dangling above the wowza waterside spread, but its $12 annual maintenance fee appears to be a real deal.
Clear Lake is across and up the street from this wedge-lot property in League City’s Glen Cove Park neighborhood off FM 2094 (aka Marina Bay Dr.). Appearing a bit unchanged since Hurricane Ike left its mark in 2008, this 1972 home with small-windowed second floor living was listed “as-is” last week. The market’s rising tide of housing prices seems to have swept through, however, since the asking price is $35,000, up from the $23K paid for it at its previous sale March 2012. Raze or raise and redo? Some of the demo necessary for either option looks to have been started, at least . . .
UNMARKED GRAVES UNCOVERED IN DICKINSON AFRICAN-AMERICAN CEMETERY Over the weekend, volunteers clearing brush and whacking weeds at the Magnolia Cemetery, the African-American cemetery between League City and Dickinson near FM 646 and Highway 3, found hundreds of unmarked graves that date back before the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, reports abc13’s Erik Barajas, the Galveston County Historical Commission is working to identify the graves as the cemetery seeks state designation and protection as a historic site: Pastor William H. King III of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, behind which sits Magnolia Cemetery, tells Barajas: “‘There are slaves buried here. There are people from World War I, World War II, school teachers, people who worked in the community. . . . We want to make sure.'” [abc13] Photo: USGenWeb
AND THE WINNER OF THE LOCAL WATER-USE RESTRICTIONS DERBY IS . . . League City, with these dry, dry, Stage 5 drought prohibitions: No washing your car; no refilling your pool; no spraying water for dust control; restaurants can’t bring diners water unless they ask for it; and no running those sprinklers or garden hose, day or night. Also in the no-watering-your-lawn-no-matter-what-day-it-is zone: Galveston [KHOU 11 News; restrictions]
RIG VOTE IN LEAGUE CITY League City’s city council voted last night to double the minimum distance oil and gas rigs must keep back from most buildings, including homes. The new requirement is 600 ft., though some residents of the Magnolia Creek subdivision — right next door to one of 2 proposed new drilling sites in the city — had hoped to get a 1000-ft. buffer approved. [abc13; more info; previously on Swamplot] Photo: abc13
GULF FREEWAY OUTLET MALL SITE: UP FOR GRABS? A possible complication in those plans to put a new 95-store outlet mall between the Big League Dreams sports complex and the Bay Colony shopping center west of the Gulf Freeway in League City: The Galveston County Daily News‘s Laura Elder reports that the 35 acres of land Tanger Factory Outlet Centers was hoping to purchase out of bankruptcy for $8.7 million will be going up for auction instead in just 10 days. A bankruptcy court ordered the sale last week. Tanger announced the project in January, just days after the Simon Property Group announced its plans to build another outlet center, the 100-store Galveston Premium Outlets, just 4 miles to the south, in Texas City. [Laura Elder’s Buzz Blog; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Tanger Outlets
Just days after Simon Property Group announced it would build a new 100-store Galveston Premium Outlets shopping center in Texas City, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers is ready to talk about the outlet mall it’s been planning for a 35-acre site just 4 miles to the north, in League City. Tanger’s 300,743-sq.-ft. mall, which the company says is in the “predevelopment phase,” would sit just north of the Bay Colony shopping center and just south of the Big League Dreams sports complex. And like the Simon Mall, it’ll be right near a Walmart too — the Supercenter across I-45 at FM 646.
If both malls sign up enough tenants to get built along the I-45 feeder road, it’ll help adjust the impression that huge swathes of undeveloped land remain between Houston and Galveston — at least for drivers headed south. The Chronicle‘s Purva Patel also reports on a third new mall being discussed for the area — from Taubman, but that company hasn’t announced its plans.
Rendering: Tanger Outlets
Residents of the Magnolia Creek subdivision in League City are protesting plans by developer Lynn Watkins to drill for oil and natural gas on a 3-acre site next to a daycare center near the corner of League City Parkway and Bay Area Blvd. To gain the drilling permits, Watkins would need to rezone the land to light industrial. Abc13’s Kevin Quinn reports:
Those who purchased homes say they were told the land is zoned as commercial. They expected a strip mall of some sort to be built here — not a drilling rig that stands 131 feet tall. Dozens of homeowners have signed a petition asking the city not to grant the special use permit the developer seeks. . . .
[Watkins] insists there would be minimal impact to the surrounding neighborhood and schools.
Additional traffic, he insists, would be less than that coming and going from a home being built in the neighborhood. He says also of the 400,000 operational wells across the state, there have been only 900 blowouts in the past 30 years. Those, he says, resulted in 131 injuries and nine deaths.
“In that same period, there’s been 90,000 traffic deaths on Texas highways in that same period,” Watkins said.
On hand for the weekend’s grand opening celebration of the Arms Room firearms store’s move into the former Circuit City off the northbound I-45 feeder south of FM 646 in League City: a fire spinner and juggler, a clown handing out balloon animals, a booth from ESPN 97.5 FM, a barbecue stand, a cake decorated with toy pistols, “a few blonde, tattooed girls handing out free Arms Room merchandise,” . . . and Houston Press reporter Craig Hlavaty. He notes the store’s owners originally had wanted to move into a former Academy sporting goods store down I-45, but didn’t get a great welcome there:
“The lease holders didn’t want any guns being shot in their strip center, so we walked away from them,” says [Kathleen] James. The only thing holding that line of stores intact now is a Chinese buffet and a Subway sandwich shop.
Sucks for them. The 20,000-sq.-ft. former big-box electronics store at the Jameses ended up buying at 3270 Gulf Fwy. South allowed them to include a 15-lane indoor gun range (kinda like a bowling alley, “but you don’t have to change your shoes,” quips general manager Travis James), along with a gun shop, a section devoted to antique firearms, and room for an on-site gunsmith.
BEER CHALLENGER WILL LAUNCH FROM STEALTH LOCATION The launch crew reports it has been “keeping things quiet” while building a brew house and obtaining licenses: “Construction is under way on the Galactic Coast Brewing Co.’s brewery, which will be located in Galveston County where League City and Dickinson meet, just outside the city limits. John Ennis, Galactic Coast spokesman, says that location was chosen because it will allow the brewery to get Phase I of its plans up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible. The location was chosen for its proximity to top attractions such as NASA and the Clear Lake-Kemah waterfront. ‘This is going to be a true beer odyssey and there is a reason we chose to launch our brewery just down the street from the home of U.S. manned space flight,’ he says.” [Houston Business Journal]