02/11/19 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SURVIVAL OF THE WEIRDEST “As I have long observed, pretty soon the only remaining example of the original housing stock of the greater Rice Military neighborhood will be the Beer Can House.” [Miz Brooke Smith, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Roll Out] Photo: Candace Garcia via Swamplot Flickr Pool

02/11/19 12:00pm

The Memorial Club apartment complex at the Westcott St. roundabout is down to its final quarter following weekend deconstruction activity that left the 4-building, not-yet-redeveloped half of the complex itself cut in half. (Across the street, a 5-builidng portion of Memorial Club has been missing since new apartments dubbed Elan Memorial Park replaced it in 2016) By Saturday morning, the whole southern section of Memorial Club’s remaining half was gone according to a Swamplot reader, who sends the photo at top looking west to show that vanished portion, visible behind the oak trees.

Taking note of the demo, Google Maps has replaced its old photo of the apartments with one more indicative of current events:

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At the Roundabout
01/11/19 10:00am

A Swamplot reader sends this photo from Arnott St. showing ominous new chain-link fencing wrapping what’s left of the Memorial Club apartments at the Washington Ave roundabout. New Years was the deadline for residents to move out of the four 3-story buildings to the west of Westcott St. so that Greystar could tear them down and build a new set of apartments in their place. It already replaced Memorial Court’s other, former 5-building half on the east side of Westcott with a 297-unit Elan Memorial Heights building in 2016. Back when the developer purchased the complex in 2013, Greystar said it hoped to have a grand total of 550 units spread across both sides of Westcott.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Back for the Last of ‘Em
09/21/18 5:00pm

Here’s what the former Wabash Feed & Garden Store on Washington looks like with a second level stacked on top of its original storefront. Workers are now climbing around the outdoor portions of the new upstairs, setting the scene for what’s coming next.

What exactly they’re planning hasn’t shown up in the form of any physical signage yet, but some digital breadcrumbs dug up by a HAIF poster hint at what they’ve got in mind. Two active Facebook pages — one for something called Warsaw Houston, the other for “Axis & Alibi” currently sport similar branding and claim Wabash’s address as their own. Late last year, another page with the title Van Nuys made its internet debut with a 5701 Washington address, too — but it’s since been taken offline.

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5701 Washington
08/30/18 2:30pm

The newest work showing at Hiram Butler Gallery occupies a special position on the grounds: It’s right outside along Blossom St., facing the townhouse that River Pointe Church owns and uses for events. (Its main religious campus is in Richmond between Ransom Rd. and 59.) Artist Robert Rosenberg designed the sign for that spot specifically, and Melissa Eason put it together. It now fronts the row of 4 parking spots at the edge of gallery’s property.

Since the church moved in across the street at 4513 Blossom in 2015, those parking spots — along with the rest of the block — have been seeing a lot more car traffic than they used to:

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Religious Art
08/14/18 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A HIDDEN MEMORIAL DR. DOG SPOT MEETS ITS END “I always liked to go to that site with the dog in the winter; not sure why, but because of the slope, mixed with the cold air, it made me feel that I was not in Houston. It was not a well known location unless you lived in the neighborhood, though I did not. Others also played with their dogs there. Another cool hidden spot bites the dust.” [Montrose Resident, commenting on Alexan Memorial Apartments Are Heading to Rice Military] Illustration: Lulu

08/14/18 11:30am

ALEXAN MEMORIAL APARTMENTS ARE HEADING TO RICE MILITARY A group linked to Dallas developer Trammell Crow recently filed plans with Houston’s planning commission to prep the shaded 2.5-acre parcel shown on the map between Sandman and the dead end of Reinerman St. for new apartments under the Alexan name. The complex would be backed by a ramp that diverges from the north side of Memorial Dr. and neighbored by a 3-story building that forms part of the DePelchin Children’s Center’s main Houston campus. Ordered off the site to make way for the new construction: some parking for the adjacent adoption and foster care center and a vacant, H-shaped office building to the west. Map: Houston Planning Commission

07/02/18 4:30pm

Residents of the Memorial Club apartments at 955 Westcott St. now have 5 months left to beat it from the complex in order to make way for a new residential building that’s set to rise in its place. According to a letter that landlord Greystar sent out on June 11, the deadline to vacate is December 31. Up until then, the company “is engaging a relocation specialist” to assist tenants with their moves.

The photo at top shows the apartment’s yard sign, with an arrow (since covered up) pointing across Westcott to where its leasing office once sat within the demolished eastern portion of the complex. Greystar tore that section down in 2014, about a year after buying both halves of the complex and announcing a 2-phase redevelopment plan for the land, to include 550 units spread across a pair of buildings.

297 of them are already housed across the street in the 6-story Elan Memorial Park building — pictured below — that the developer put up in 2016:

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Exodus on Westcott St.
06/13/18 4:15pm

The mark of shuttered Rice Military drinking spot R Bar is now cropping up in the site plan for Kaldis Development’s planned redo of the former Montalbano Tire building (top photo) at 1302 Houston Ave.

Back in March, the signage came down from the sports bar’s previous and now-shuttered location in the L-shaped Memorial Dr. strip center half a mile west of Shepherd, where it mediated between Memorial Park Vision and the dental office of Dr. Catalina C. Johnson:

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First Ward Redo
11/14/17 2:45pm

Site work has begun on the block of Birdsall St. just north of Memorial Dr., where demolition of the 2-story buildings comprising the former 57 Off Memorial apartments was finished up a couple of weeks ago. The photo above, sent to Swamplot by photographer Sonya Cuellar, shows a view of 160 Birdsall St. looking east in its current naked condition; Birdsall in the foreground and Venice St. on the right. The vacated portion of the Malone St. block beyond is also part of the project.

Going up in place of the 120 apartment units knocked out by the excavators: Jonathan Farb’s new City Place Memorial Park apartments, which renderings show would follow the pattern of Farb’s City Place Midtown apartments, only taller because the garages will be underneath and with more prominent cornices and balconies: 4 wood-framed stories will sit on top of 2-level concrete parking garages fitted with courtyard swimming pools on their decks. It’ll have 264 units in 2 separate buildings.

Photo: Sonya Cuellar. Rendering: Farb Homes/Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects

Farb Homes
05/08/17 1:30pm


The strip center nook at 5801 Memorial Dr. last occupied by fast-casual pan-Asian chain Express Rolls has been taken over by Peruvian-Mexican joint Pollo Bravo, which was previously shooed out of the since-pulverized standalone building just down the street at 5440 Memorial. Both properties are owned by companies connected to the Taghdisi brothers, who’ve also been collecting permits for the construction of a new retail mini-strip on Pollo Bravo’s former turf, as announced last fall. The new structure planned at 5440 Memorial looks like it’ll more or less match the general fashion sense of strip center at 5801, though it won’t fit as many tenants:

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Chicken Back In On Memorial Dr.
12/05/16 11:30am

Construction at Shepherd and Allen st.

Now rising at 1202 Shepherd Dr., atop the former sites of the Sarco Enterprise used car lot and its various adjacent industrial-retail odds and ends: a 4-story self-storage building from Provident Realty. The Dallas-based developer (which is also behind the redo of the former Texaco building Downtown and its potential future companion highrise) bought the land in October of last year from an entity called Shepnett Holdings, which also owns the land across Nett St. at 1112 Shepherd  — on that site, the former graffiti-slathered home of relocated art and framing shop Alva Graphics is being converted into the burger restaurant initially planned for the ex-Ruggles Grill lot on Westheimer.

The Provident storage facility will be conveniently located about 4 minutes by car from the Uncle Bob’s Life Storage building that just opened along Washington Ave across from the former Wabash Feed & Garden store. A storage-atuned reader in the neighborhood sends a few more angles on the new building’s in-progress skeleton — the building extends from Nett St. toward the southern of Allen St.’s 2 parallel roadways, laid along either side of the Southern Pacific railroad line:

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Boxes of Brunner