04/29/15 2:45pm

American Brakeshoe Company Building, 3315 W. 12th St., Inner Loop Northwest, Houston

A lowslung brick 1965 building in the warehouse district in the northwest quadrant of the Inner Loop west of Timbergrove Manor and Lazybrook scored landmark status from the city today, marking the first such designation for an industrial, Modern, and suburban (well, at least used-to-be suburban) structure. NuSmile, a company that manufactures pediatric dental crowns, bought the former American Brakeshoe Company building in 2011 and then renovated it, adding a taller 6,140-sq.-ft. metal-wrapped extension to the back of the 8,584-sq.-ft. structure in 2013 and winning a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston in the process. A report the company submitted with the application notes that “no records of an architect, contractor, or developer have been found” for the original building. Among the former tenants of the property at 3315 W. 12th St.: Smith Industries, TelTex, and TD Rowe Amusements.

Photo: SWCA

NuSmile on Building
12/29/14 10:30am


You’re looking at Harris County’s very first Cherry Berry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar. It’s going in at 949 N. Shepherd Dr., into a Merchants Park shopping center storefront that most recently housed an AT&T Wireless shop.

Froyo’s arrival in Merchants Park caps 5 years of steady transformation among the tenants in the Kroger-anchored shopping center that sprawls more than 2 blocks south down N. Shepherd and N. Durham Dr. from W. 11th St.


12/08/14 3:15pm


Over Thanksgiving weekend city workers opened a portion of the proposed hike-and-hike trail that will one day link downtown and Acres Homes.

Work began last October on this new section, one that heads west from the MKT hike-and-bike trail’s former official western terminus at Lawrence Park, under the N. Shepherd Dr. and N. Durham Dr. overpasses, and over White Oak Bayou, west to Cottage Grove and north towards an eventual link with the existing White Oak Bayou trail.

This link legitimizes a an unsanctioned though fairly popular “ninja route” long used by off-trail cyclists, who had been pedaling the gravel path from the park to a rickety, burned-out White Oak Bayou railway trestle known to as the “Bridge of Death,” seen below in a 2012 photo.


That’s been demolished and replaced with a sturdy span of of concrete and steel, complete with fancy, built-in insignia, and skyline and AIG building vistas.


Bike Path Breakthrough
11/06/14 10:18am

COULD COYOTES BE KILLING THE KITTIES OF TIMBERGROVE AND LAZYBROOK? timbergrove-cat-killer-coyoteOver the past six years Jennifer Estopinal has recorded the violent demises of about two dozen house cats in Timbergrove and Lazybrook. Their manners of death have typically been grisly — some were beheaded, others bisected, in some cases paws were removed — and on some occasion the cadavers have appeared to have been left on display. It’s all been enough to raise suspicions that a sicko serial kitty killer was at work. There is now a hefty bounty on the alleged predator’s head: four different donors have cobbled together a kitty of almost $25,000 in reward money. But might the killings simply be nature taking its course? Last month a coyote was sighted brazenly attempting to enter the lobby of the Bayou Bend Towers at Memorial and Westcott. More recently, Estopinal and husband Mark saw another of the canine carnivores while out patrolling Timbergrove in search of the culprit. At the corner of Ella and Grovewood (not far from forested W. 11th St. Park), the Estopinals saw and pursued a coyote, watching as it attempted to raid a pet-food bowl on a front porch, then chase a cat, ¬†then scale a 6-foot privacy fence “with ease.” Mystery solved? Possibly, if only partially, Estopinal believes. “I’d like to believe a coyote is what’s been killing so many cats lately,” she posted in a neighborhood group message board. “I think its possible a few could have been but not all, as there are too many things that have been done that would’ve been impossible for a coyote.” [Houston News; CultureMap] Photo: Mark Estopinal

07/24/14 4:45pm

Site of Future Stanley Park Dr., Timbergrove Manor, Houston

Site of Future Stanley Park Dr., Timbergrove Manor, HoustonAn increasing number of weed-whacking and drive-up visits to the site “after a stagnant period” suggest to a Swamplot reader that development activity may soon begin on Lovett Homes’ Stanley Park development, a collection of 78 patio-home sites drawn but not yet carved out of a vacant lot at the southern border of Timbergrove Manor just north of the railroad tracks, paralleling Queenswood Ln. A new street named Stanley Park Dr., with accompanying similarly named stub streets, is planned to connect what are now dead ends at Shirkmere Rd. and Shelterwood Dr. The photo above shows the Shirkmere entrance to the future neighborhood. Sunflowers have sprouted quickly after the last weed-whacking event — in a portion of the development cleared of trees several years ago.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Stanley Park
06/12/14 2:45pm



Here’s an unfurnished-but-refinished 1962 Timbergrove Manor home that’s seeking a tenant for $3,600 per month. Renovations completed since its last sale, in 2012, transformed the look of the kitchen (at top) and bathrooms at least. Those spaces are the focus of the latest listing — though a view of the redone dining room is included, it’s a pretty tiny photo.


After the Slab Job
05/29/14 2:00pm



A cedar plank shelter is served in Timbergrove Manor, where recent shingle and stone work on the previously updated 1955 home have perked it up a bit. Listed last week with a $499,900 asking price, the property sits next to a vacant lot — and across from another two, all of them owned by the Harris County Flood District. White Oak Bayou is just down the street.


Shingles and Closets
05/08/14 4:15pm




The nature of this ravine-lot home in Timbergrove Manor is looking a bit . . . reserved. Earlier this week, the woodsy property (with saltwater pool and path to a bayou-let) appeared on the market. Asking price: $450,000 $405,000. Updates over the years have boosted the property’s energy efficiency, natural lighting, and counter space. The latter starts right off the entry . . .


Bug Spray Not Included
04/16/14 10:00am

Warehouse Bar & Chill, 3333 W. 11th St., Timbergrove Manor, Houston

From reader Jody Henry comes this pic of the newly transformed facade of the former Country Kitchen location on the western reaches of 11th St. near Seamist. The front patio is built out; burgers, salads, beers, and wings are waiting in the wings. Warehouse Bar & Chill is a week and a half away from opening at 3333 W. 11th St., according to the new establishment’s Facebook page.

Photo: Jody Henry

Just Add Patio
01/22/14 11:15am

Proposed Timbergrove Heights Townhome Development, W. 12th St. Between Seamist and Ella, Timbergrove Manor, Houston

Proposed Timbergrove Heights Townhome Development, W. 12th St. Between Seamist and Ella, Timbergrove Manor, HoustonSuburban-style retail and apartment complexes may have all but conquered the former industrial block southeast of the Heights Swamplotters have taken to calling Katyville, but there are still plenty of warehouse-y buildings to tear down — often of the more Mod variety — south and west of Timbergrove Manor. Here though, just inside the West Loop, isolated pods of townhome colonies would be the more likely result. A resident of the area tells Swamplot neighbors only found out about a 131-unit townhouse subdivision planned off of W. 12th St. between Ella and Seamist because developer InTown Homes is seeking a variance (in a hearing before the planning commission this Thursday). The variance is to gain approval for not including a north-south street through the 6.916-acre property.


Heights Townhomes, Now in Timbergrove!
06/28/13 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THOSE MCMANSIONS ARE GIVING TIMBERGROVE A NEEDED LIFT “Those pics for the Shirkmere listing show some example samples of McMansions in Timbergrove and the floors appear to all be raised 3-4 feet above grade. I like those simple 50s homes but, considering the flood potential, the raised McMansions are an upgrade of the neighborhood in more ways than 1.” [Dana-X, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Trulley, Madly, Deeply]