07/20/17 5:30pm

A Sunday field trip earned a reader a peek into the main sanctuary of the Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral, now being cracked open so a dome can be placed on top (along with more seating down below). The renderings of the planned changes, shown here facing the corner of Kipling St. and Yoakum Blvd., have been updated since they were submitted last year for that variance request application:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Montrose Revelations
04/05/17 11:15am

Tremont Tower Condos, 3311 Yupon St., WAMM, Houston, 77006

Tremont Tower Condos, 3311 Yupon St., WAMM, Houston, 77006The round bit of the Tremont Tower condo complex behind Doc’s was photographed entirely uncovered last week, nearly a year after the last confirmed sighting of the bare turret (and at least 2 years after the obscuring tarp was first installed). The reader who captured the shot (who adds that he “thought they only removed it to signify the election of a new pope”) didn’t catch the denuders in the act, however. The Montrose sighting comes just a day or so after those tornado-warning-laced storms blew through; perhaps incidentally, the tarp’s previous disappearance was also heralded by windy weather.

Photos: Swamplot inbox (top), Hey Hey Houston (second)

Baring All in Montrose
03/02/17 3:00pm

2901 S. Shepherd Dr., WAMM, Houston, 77006

1618 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston, 77006The body-oriented retail strip across from the recently browned-out Alabama Theater has just swapped second-or-more-hand clothing retailer Buffalo Exchange into the spot by Kipling St. last occupied by Centre Fitness Fusion, a reader notes. (Centre Fitness took over from Orange Shoe Fitness, which itself succeeded bike shop and implicit fitness purveyor Cycle Spectrum.) Buffalo Exchange joins Epique Massage next to Darque Tan, separated only by a driveway and some parking spots from Demeris Bar-B-Q.

And what of the old Buffalo Exchange spot, recently spotted sporting a variance request notice out front?

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Fashion Recycler Recycling
11/16/16 1:30pm

907 Westheimer Rd., WAMM, Houston, 77006

Some grooming is going on this week in the trio of lots at 907, 903, and 817 Westheimer, formerly home to Ruggles Grill and its fellow departed companion structures just east of the corner with Montrose Blvd. Back in 2012, the folks who developed Triniti were planning a casual-ish burger restaurant on the spot, but chef Ryan Hildebrand told Phaedra Cook this past August that Triniti’s owners later decided a single restaurant wasn’t the best use of the land. That burger restaurant is headed to Shepherd Dr. at Washington Ave. instead, and the Westheimer lot will get a retail project — with some flavor of restaurant included. 

Permits were issued last month for a new shell on the site, and a reader reports some mowing and general cleanup on Monday, from a vine-and-wire-crossed vantage point in the surrounding urban jungle:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Montrose Mission Modification
10/10/16 5:00pm

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church renderings, 3511 Yoakum Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 3511 Yoakum Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006A look at the latest plans for bulking up the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Yoakum Blvd. at Kipling St. come from the diagrams submitted with a recent variance request for the project (and a few more now up on the church’s website). For comparison, a reader sends some leafy shots of the cathedral at its current width, snapped a few days before the setup for the annual Houston Greek Festival (which wrapped up on the church’s campus for the 50th time yesterday evening).

The expansion would widen the 1952 cathedral building to the north and south (toward and away from Kipling), about doubling the current seating capacity; the design also adds that big dome to the top (while the smaller dome along the Yoakum-side bell tower would get a new nitrate finish stainless-steel top-off to match). The church submitted the request for a 1-ft. building line setback last month, including this drawing from Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie architects (which shows a leaf-free perspective from the corner of Yoakum and Kipling):

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Toward the Heavens, To the Curb
10/06/16 11:45am

Flag Man by 3400 Montrose, WAMM, Houston, 77006

The Hawthorne-facing apartment highrise at 3400 Montrose is now open for general business, as the orange sign recently added over the door declares in all-caps. Across the street at the edge of the Disco Kroger parking lot, another orange sign is also directing folks toward the entrance, a reader notes — as of yesterday evening, the decked-out flag man above was set up across from the tower’s main entrance as some heavy equipment work wrapped up in the street behind it. Here’s a close-up portrait:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Hawthorne St. Style
07/18/16 1:15pm

3217 Montrose Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006

3217 Montrose Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006Colorado breakfast restaurant and cocktail purveyor Snooze says its Houston grand opening is set for this Thursday at 6:30 AM in the redeveloped office building at 3217 Montrose Blvd. (which hosted Interfaith Ministries before the organization converted a Midtown bank in 2013). The location is already quietly serving some of Montrose’s early risers (or late ragers) from its spot next to resale-by-mail used-clothing chain Crossroads.

The ground-floor space in the 2-story building is the first Houston outpost of Snooze, which has a few Austin spots already up and running. Corinthian Real Estate bought the property in 2014 after a bit of redevelopment work by Braun (as shown above) and moved into an upstairs office. Here’s what the space looked like before the pin-striped canopies and painted murals came down:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Dawning on Montrose
07/06/16 2:00pm

TOPAZ VILLAS PLANS GET POLISHED BACK UP AS OTHER MONTROSE CONDO PROJECTS FOLD Proposed Topaz Villas midrise, 4520 Yoakum Blvd., UST, Houston, 77006Ron Lozoff is preparing to break ground next month on his Topaz Villas luxury condo project, reports Paul Takahashi this morning. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Lozoff said the same thing in June of 2014; the project was put on hold shortly thereafter as oil prices plummeted. The 15-unit midrise is once again planned for 4520 Yoakum Blvd., overlooking a scenic stretch of US 59 to south; the site sits about a 2 minute drive from Riverway’s recently cancelled 34-unit 3516 Montrose site (itself only 5 minutes away from Butler Brothers’ cancelled 14-unit Flats on Fairview site). Takahashi writes that Lozoff will begin marketing more seriously once construction begins next month, and that the developer believes “the condo market is strong[er] than it’s ever been in the last 15 years. [Houston Business Journal] Rendering of proposed 6-story condo midrise: Topaz Villas

06/22/16 11:00am

Hanover Montrose, 3400 Montrose Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006

Rendering of Proposed 30-Story Hanover Apartment Tower at 3400 Montrose, Montrose, HoustonThe eastern face of 3400 Montrose Blvd. appears to be losing color this week as the building’s mid-August opening looms ever closer. A reader sends the above over-the-Walgreens shot of the Skybar-replacing apartment tower (which now looks to have most of its balcony railings in place as well), capturing part of the building’s patch-by-patch transition this week from concrete gray to previous-rendering white.

And anyone jonesing for some up-in-the-air views following the closure of the Chase Tower Sky Lobby can get a half-strength fix from this shot of Downtown, taken by the tipster earlier this spring from a ledge on the building’s 28th floor:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Almost Showtime by Disco Kroger
04/18/16 10:45am

3400 Montrose, WAMM, Houston, 77006

Windows are in on the Montrose side of Hanover’s 30-ft. Kroger-facing residential highrise at the corner with Hawthorne St. Those 2 rows of empty spots in the grid just below the former elevation of Skybar have been left intentionally blank and belong to the complex’s garage-topping pool deck, which looks to have its north-facing balcony already hanging out over Hawthorne.

The development’s leasing website lists August 1st as the planned date for the first round of move-ins, which leaves 3 and a half months to wrap up the majority of construction. The parking garage has yet to get its full modesty covering, per previous renderings from the Montrose side:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

High on Hawthorne St.
03/31/16 12:00pm

Tremont Tower Condos, 3311 Yupon St., WAMM, Houston, 77006

A reader peers up the Westheimer-facing side of the Tremont Tower condo building, noting that the longterm resident tarp has recently settled back onto its habitual spot atop the dome behind Austin export Doc’s Bar & Grill (between Graustark and Yupon streets). The photographer previously caught the tarp neglecting its station about a month ago (shortly after that late-Feburary windy spell), giving the lemon-yellow dome its day (or few weeks) in the sun after at least a year under cover:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Under Cover on Westheimer Rd.
01/11/10 4:24pm

Some neighbors of the Annunciation Orthodox School and cathedral in Montrose are not too happy about the institutions’ plans to build a parking lot on the site of an apartment complex at the corner of Yoakum and Marshall it tore down a year or so ago. But Clifford Pugh suspects even more pavement may be on the horizon:

Even though the lot is prohibited under the deed restrictions, representatives from the school told residents at a meeting last week they plan to proceed anyway. “Our interpretation is that the deed restrictions are not valid and not enforceable,” a school official said.

Actually, the deed restrictions allow the school to petition residents for an exemption. But that would set a precedent I believe the school doesn’t want to acknowledge. It owns several other homes in the area and I suspect officials are itching to tear them down in the future, too. Between the school and the church, they’ve already torn down the equivalent of a block-and-a-half of housing to make way for parking lots — but there’s always room for more.

Photo: Clifford Pugh