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.
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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.
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Czeching Out Of Shady Acres?
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.”
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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]
One of these Beall St. Townhomes in Shady Acres Extension — within a row built in 2002 — gets a bit of shade, On Tuesday, a midsized member of the similar but not identical housing octet popped up on the market. Price tag: $499,500. As with its neighbors, the close-to-the-street home is perched on a pier-and-beam foundation; the entry is up a few steps and behind a short iron fence off the sidewalk and gully drainage. Meanwhile, the sitting porch streetside has a back-of-house cousin (above right), each looking over a bit of grass and adjacent properties.
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It seems that the townhouses overlooking this lot at 1016 W. 22nd St. might soon be seeing something more than a pair of apparently shy pick-ups: That TABC sign, dated June 12, indicates that The Orange Grove wants to sell booze at this spot to the people of Shady Acres. (The fairly dilapidated single-family house that used to stand here showed up in a September Daily Demolition Report.) This is one of several developments coming to the area: The restaurants Hughie’s and Spaghetti Western are renovating old joints west of T.C. Jester Blvd. and TikTok, a bar and concert venue, is planned just southwest of here on W. 20th St.
Photos: Swamplot inbox
RUDYARD’S OWNER BUILDING BIGGER BAR IN SHADY ACRES The owner of Rudyard’s British Pub in Montrose has announced that she’ll be building TikTok, a bar, restaurant, and venue for live music in Shady Acres — and, apparently, this new one will be a lot more building than what you get at Rudyard’s. Owner Leila Rodgers tells the Houston Business Journal that TikTok “is expected to have a capacity of 750 to 800 people. She said she expects to be able to host 450 to 500 people in the performance area and 250 to 300 in the restaurant area.” Rudyard’s is at 2010 Waugh Dr. When it opens next summer, TikTok will be at 1412 W. 20th St., near the intersection of W. 20th and T.C. Jester Blvd. — that’s just around the corner from the Hubcap Grill. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Panoramio user hermieb