- 917A W. 21st St. [HAR]
Check out the first 6 of what Titan Homes says will be 18 townhomes planned for the area alongside Little Thicket Park off W. 25th St. in Shady Acres. The land for the project, which was purchased by the builder in 2014, isn’t technically part of the park, though its leafy coverage runs up to the edge of the property and blends in. The first set of 6 homes — to be called Rio Vista North — appear to come in 3 styles of crinkle-cut top-offs to the facade, and will sit north of a to-be-extended stretch of W. 25th St.
The 6-by-1 arrangement will back up to the property immediately north, which BMRJ Development is seeking to subdivide for a separate 3-by-2 sixpack facing Ohsfeldt. That potential development isn’t shown in this north-facing rendering of the Titan project’s back yard:
Shots from a reader show the recent tree installations outside of the future home of King’s Bierhaus (no relation to recently-departed Hans’), now setting up in the retail strip east of Ella Blvd. along one of the curvy segments of E. T.C. Jester and White Oak Bayou. The restaurant, second of its name after still-operational King’s Biergarten in Pearland, plans to open later this year — here’s a shiny rendering of what the biergarten might look like in full bloom:
Above is a rendered view of the Skyline on 24th townhomes at 815 and 819 W. 24th St., a couple of which burned down on Friday evening after a nearby dumpster fire reportedly spread. The Skyline site backs up directly to part of the Shady Acres location of C&D Scrap Metal Recyclers, which last month announced plans to close its Heights branch on May 12th; C&D owner and $2-bill enthusiast Dennis Laviage pointed out to KPRC that the fire was hot enough to melt the steel frames of the townhomes, and that the incident could have been way worse if some of the diesel stored on the C&D property had gotten involved in the action.
Builder La Casa International‘s in-progress pre-fire plans for the 2 lots included 8 units; a rendering of the complex’s driveway viewed from W. 24th shows stone pavers partitioned off by strips of fake grass:
The fence around the original home of of C&D Scrap Metal Recyclers at 815 W. 25th St. now hosts signs in English and Spanish announcing the scrapyard’s planned May 12th closure. The metal collectors have spent the last 28 years at the location across Durham St. from Shady Acres Church of Christ, just a few blocks away from the flurry of redevelopment currently underway on N. Shepherd; since the mid 2000s, the business has also been using an additional lot on the opposite side of W. 25th, next door to Brothers Tire.
Here’s a look at the company’s new out-of-the-Loop locale, already up and running at 6775 Bingle Rd. just south of Little York Rd.:
This after-dark snapshot of a lone excavator hunched atop a pile of its own debris comes from Wright-Bembry Park last Friday — tear-up work at the Shady Acres greenspace, located between W. 23rd and W. 24th Sts. west of Durham Dr., began last Monday, according to a reader’s report. The work is part of a redo of the entire park, as shown in the plan below (oriented with west at the top of the frame):
Eureka Heights Brewing Company employees will get to work on beer as soon as they’re done “powerwashing the hell out of this warehouse” — that 22,000-sq.-ft. one formerly occupied by Jake’s Finer Foods on W. 18th St., half a block west of N. Durham Dr. (and even closer to the border of the Height’s historically (nominally) dry zone.) The brewery’s webpage also proudly touts its proximity to the trace of the Eureka Heights Fault, which crosses White Oak Bayou about where Ella Blvd. does (just a few blocks to the west of the newly leased space).
Other beer endeavors currently fermenting in and around the Greater Heights area include Platypus Brewpub (preparing to slip in behind the Tacodeli and upscale barbershop on their way to Washington Ave), Holler Brewing Company (planned for the Artists Alley section of the Sawyer Yards Development), Allen’s Landing Brewing Company (3540 Oak Forest Dr., a few blocks west of Petrol Station), and the seemingly-yet-unmoored Great Heights Brewing Company, which claims a numberless address on Heights Blvd. on its Facebook page.
A reader notes there’s been some construction activity in and around the entrance and rear drive-thru window of the former Eckerd-turned-CVS Pharmacy along the White Oak Bayou Trail at the corner of T.C. Jester and 18th St., on the west coast of Shady Acres. That’s a notable turn of events: The building has been vacant for about 5 years. The standalone structure’s prospective new tenant appears to be another SignatureCare Emergency Center — last week, a note on the website for the local chain of health clinics had listed 1925 E. T.C. Jester Blvd. as the location of its upcoming “Heights” facility, but the address has since been removed.
This was the scene over the weekend at 2499 Ella Blvd., at the corner of 25th St. in Shady Acres — as photographed by a Swamplot reader. The vacant former Ella Family Medicine clinic building, known also more recently as the home of the Fulton Pharmacy, is no more.
Photos: Veronica Jones
THE SPJST IS NOT CZECHING OUT OF SHADY ACRES, ACCORDING TO LODGE CHAIRMAN Talk of an upcoming sale of the SPJST Lodge #88 is no more than just talk, according to the lodge’s chairman of the board Mildred Holeman. “The consensus has been that it will not be sold at any price,” she tells the Houston Chronicle‘s Craig Hlavaty, referring to an ongoing mail-in election to decide whether or not the Czech heritage fraternal organization, dance hall, party venue and once-a-week bingo parlor will remain on the 9-acre Shady Acres site at 1435 Beall St. it will have occupied for 50 years next year. Holeman, 88 and a real estate agent, also dishes details on the property’s suitors: townhome developers who have offered the organization $10 million. Long-term lodge member Lindsey Michalak-Kindall did not share Holeman’s assurance of a secure future for the lodge. She tells Hlavaty that the explanation letter and ballot went out too late for members to learn of the one and only meeting to discuss the possible sale — last weekend, only a day or two after most members received the letter and ballot. She also characterized the letter as “doom and gloom” and blase about what would happen to the lodge if the property was sold. All ballots must be in the organization’s Temple, Texas head office by December 31, with an announcement of the election’s result coming at January’s Houston membership meeting. [Houston Chronicle, previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox.)
According to a December 9 posting on the SPJST Lodge #88 Pokrok Facebook page, a buyer is interested in purchasing the Czech heritage fraternal society’s 9.25 acre property at 1435 Beall St. in Shady Acres, home to a hugely popular weekly Thursday night bingo session.
SAY SALAAM TO THE SHADY ACRES HOME OF HOUSTON’S FIRST ARABIC IMMERSION SCHOOL Here’s where some of Houston’s future bilingual Arabic-English speakers will learn their two alphabets: HISD’s former Holden Elementary and
the current home of more recently the Energy Institute High School at 812 W. 28th. St., just across N. Durham St. from a ramshackle flower shop just inside the North Loop. An energy school giving way to Arabic-language instruction? Synergy? Arabic trails only Spanish (and English) among languages HISD students speak at home, according to statistics from the district. Interested parents of rising pre-kindergartners and kindergartners were able to start applying last Friday for the magnet program slated to begin next Fall. Two each of pre-K and kindergarten classes will comprise the school’s first classes next year. If the district’s first Arabic immersion school is to operate the same way the existing Spanish- and Mandarin-English HISD schools do, students will be taught half in English and half in Modern Standard Arabic. [HISD] Photo: Swamplot Inbox
The Ella Creek Apartments at the corner of Ella and 22nd St. (and just a block of away from a jog in that creek called White Oak Bayou) have been completely vacated, a reader tells Swamplot: “On a recent drive by I noticed there were no cars in the parking lots and the complex looked even worse than usual. It is a very large tract, and I’m wondering what the future land use will be.”
MEANWHILE, ACROSS THE DRIVEWAY FROM A NORTH LOOP WHATABURGER From reader David Hille comes this report of the latest parking lot pad site takeover: “After a morning run to the ‘Brinkman’ Home Depot on 610 near N. Shepherd, I became curious about the temporary fencing which was being erected around the northeast quarter of the parking lot. So, I stopped, and spoke to a couple of men who were reviewing a fairly large roll of blueprints on the lowered tailgate of a truck. I had a little head rush when I was told that a new Chick Fil-A was about to be erected . . . right there in the parking lot. Makes sense, as I can’t remember that portion of the lot ever being full of cars. A similar scenario took place last year at the Lowes down the street. Part of that property which held a retention pond is now home to a brand new CVS. Prior to that, some of the Lowes parking lot was sacrificed for a Murphy Express gas station . . .” Photo: David Hille
COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: DRYING OUT NORTH SHEPHERD “In a perfect world, the ‘dry’ restrictions from the Shepherd/Durham corridor would be removed, yet the residential areas to the east would stay dry, and Shady Acres over to Ella would also be dry, except on 19th and 20th. This would spur commercial development onto the more high traffic streets, and let the others with their 18′ wide pavement and drainage ditches stay residential. But hey, it’s Houston, so not gonna happen. I think commercial businesses from out of town still are unaware of the income growth around the Heights and are using old demographic numbers. A new strip center took the place of one of these used car lots up at 22nd and Shepherd last year. It has yet to be more than 50% leased out. I think it holds a precious metals buyer and a pay by the month cell phone store. It’s going to take a few more years, and some better income surveys before there’s a rush to develop this corridor.” [ShadyHeightster, commenting on A Guide to North Shepherd’s Auto Parts]