03/10/15 12:45pm

A MISSION ATHLETIC CLUB AND DRINKERY WANTS TO STRETCH OUT AND SERVE DRINKS IN AND AROUND THIS NETT ST. BUNGALOW 4504 Nett St., West End, HoustonA TABC notice went out earlier this week to neighbors of this 1,430-sq.-ft. bungalow on a 10,000-sq.ft. lot on the northeast corner of Patterson and Nett streets in the West End. Hoping to serve beer and wine at 4504 Nett St. (misidentified as 4505 Nett St. on the notice): a new establishment called the Mission Athletic Club and Drinkery. Washington Ave is 2 blocks to the south. Photo: Swamplot inbox

12/10/14 4:30pm


A reader sends in a pic of this variance request sign and vacant lot, possibly heralding the advent of another apartment complex in the Brunner Addition block bounded by N. Durham Dr. and Sandman St. and Center St. and Nett St., in the immediate environs of Soma Sushi, Bethel Church, Woodrow’s Heights and the Esperanza School.

Proposed land use? Mixed-use, multifamily and commercial.


Center Of The Nett
10/09/14 2:00pm

Pink's Pizza, 1009 Moy St., Washington Corridor, Houston

How close to opening is the Pink’s Pizza going into the former laundromat building at 1009 Moy St. off Washington Ave, a mere 14 months after construction began? Nose-to-the-window close: “There’s even beer names over the beer taps!” reports a reader who’s been monitoring the progress of the end space as well as the neighboring fitness-gear shop. The toned folks behind Below Parallel beat their pizza-facing competitors next door to the start line, opening for business at the beginning of September. Pink’s, though, still has a bit more work to do:


Your Order in 14 Months or Bust
08/01/14 12:30pm

Pink's Pizza, 1009 Moy St., Washington Ave., Houston

Bellow Parallel, 1009 Moy St., Suite B, Washington Ave., HoustonIt looks like workout gear store Below Parallel has missed its promised July opening date, notes the reader who’s been monitoring construction progress at the the side-standing strip center that used to house a laundromat at 1009 Moy St. on Washington Ave. How long will it be? Count the conflicting clues: The city inspector’s red tag gracing the front door in this photo (above left) from earlier in the week; the shoes already arranged on display shelves in an interior pic posted to the store’s Facebook page.

But something’s definitely cooking next door, where Pink’s Pizza has been moving in for almost an entire year, and where for many months, our tipster reports, work had appeared stalled. Signs of actual recent construction progress are present — most notably in the corner spot’s newly installed windows.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

The Pizza Racers
06/26/14 11:15am

Pinks Pizza and Below Parallel, 1009 Moy St., West End, Houston

Pinks Pizza and Below Parallel, 1009 Moy St., West End, HoustonThe reader who sent Swamplot a steaming hot tip late last summer — Pink’s Pizza is coming to Wash Ave! — brings us up-to-date on construction progress at the sidestreet-facing strip center at 1009 Moy St. (above) a full 10 months later: There’s been none. “Other than the signage on the building and on Washington at the front of the shopping center, there’s been no work done in months,” reads our report. One door over from the Pink’s spot in Suite B (pictured at right), however, a sign is up for Below Parallel, a new retail outlet where customers will be able to equip themselves to work off their pizza before even eating it. The banner promises shoes, supplements, and apparel —- and an opening date next month. “Strange location,” declares our tipster — the shuttered Blue Moose Lodge is around the corner — “but I guess the four Crossfit gyms in a mile radius can shop there.”

Photos: Swamplot inbox

West End Cycles
10/17/13 3:30pm

Here’s a pic of the new storefront of Houston’s 3rd Three Brothers Bakery. You can see it for yourself at 4602 Washington, between Shepherd and Patterson. (It’ll share that retail center with Bedrock City Comics.) Apparently, behind those mirrored windows there’s quite a buildout of the former District Lounge going on: This new location will be open a bit later than the others and will include a coffee bar and patio where you can chill outside with your dawgs. Or dogs. Both, it seems, will be welcome. There’s been no opening date announced, but a PR rep says that the place should be ready to go early next year.

Photo: Allyn West

06/28/13 10:00am

No tenants? Worry about that later: PageSoutherlandPage is designing a 25-story spec office tower for the West End. Dubbed 22 Waugh, the proposed 220,000-sq.-ft. building would sit just south of Washington Ave. A rep from PageSoutherlandPage, which is partnering with Stream Realty on the project, says that the building would be located on the corner of Waugh and Barnes. It appears that it would be directly behind that Bank of America branch. The Houston Business Journal reports that the building could begin going up as soon as November.


06/25/13 4:00pm

OLD-SCHOOL CHICKEN WINGS TRYING WHERE CARLOS MENCIA’S MODERN MEX FAILED Pluckers Wing Bar will be moving into the vacant building at 1400 Shepherd in the West End, one of the 3 Maggie Rita’s locations that comedian Carlos Mencia and Santiago Moreno decided earlier this year to close. Some attributed Maggie Rita’s struggles to a stated misunderstanding of the tastes of some of its patrons; Moreno told Eater Houston that women care only about margaritas. Meanwhile, this will be the 16th Pluckers — a guy-friendly concept that sticks to sports, beer, and Dr Pepper-flavored chicken. Know thyself, eh? After all, reports Prime Property’s David Kaplan, “Pluckers was started by two University of Texas freshmen in a dorm room.” [Prime Property; Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Panoramio user Wolfgang Houston

05/31/13 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A LITTLE 411 ON THAT 2010 $6 MILLION 380 SOUTH OF I-10 “For the record, the Ainbinder 380 Agreement did not include drainage detention, they simply tied into existing storm sewer systems — there were no ‘improvements.’ The road was widened at the expense of a tree-lined sidewalk. The sidewalk was ‘abandoned,’ which means ‘is no longer in existence.’ There are no street tree wells and/or no ROW accounted for to plant shade-bearing street trees. The removal of $250K worth of mature Live Oaks resulted in a transfer of this public amenity to Walmart’s parking lot. Yes, that’s right. Public trees were allowed to be replanted on Walmart’s parking lot. And, oh yeah, the four-sided intersection has just two pedestrian signalized crossings. Yes, you can’t actually safely cross on two sides because there are no lights and markings. Why? Because PW&E missed it and the developer didn’t end up having to pay for it. The ‘bridge improvement’ is the biggest boondoggle of them all. Ainbinder wanted to pave it and area civic orgs fought them. Turns out, after coring was performed on the bridge, that the dead load was far greater than known AS A RESULT OF previous paving. That was the second load limit drop. So, Ainbinder window-dressed and spent 380 monies for cosmetic treatments — changing out balustrades and painting A BRIDGE THAT WILL BE TORN DOWN. That is an absurd waste of taxpayer money. Unlike other 380s, the Ainbinder 380 had next to no specifications that ensured deliverables. There were no clawback provisions to ensure public return on the investment. Once the money is awarded to the developer, they can strike or change line items and they still get full payment. The development doesn’t even have to perform to produce new taxes (not just poached taxes), it can be a miserable failure and they still get paid. The folks that were championing this development are now trying to pretend the public infrastructure results were worth $6,000,000 of public money. Guess what? You were wrong then and you’re still wrong now. The proof is right there for everyone to see. Own it.” [TexasSpiral, commenting on Headlines: Getting to the Washington Heights Walmart; Learning Lessons from Hurricane Ike]

04/15/13 2:15pm

Well, that was quick: This bygone apartment complex from the 1950s at 4118 Center St. — which you might recognize from this morning’s Daily Demolition Report — has come down. What was the rush? To make way for Allen Trace, apparently: Last Thursday, the city planning commission approved an application to divide the not-quite-half-an-acre West End property into 10 parcels for single-family townhomes.

A reader sends more photos of the cleansing of the palate:


04/10/13 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT TO CALL THE GREATER WEST END “Forgive me if this has been discussed before, but am I the only one who thinks that the Wash Ave area needs one, unifying neighborhood name? I live in Magnolia Grove, but no one knows what that is, so I have to just say “Off Wash Ave” (though that implies that I moved there to be close to Wash Ave bars, which is NOT the case) or say that I’m in between Montrose and the Heights (which is a stretch). Rice Military stops at Durham/Shepherd so that isn’t accurate. The neighborhoods can continue to retain their individual neighborhood names, but the entire area [PDF] can have one unifying name so that folks know what you’re talking about (e.g., Montrose is the larger neighborhood that contains Hyde Park). I would think realtors and retailers would both jump at the chance to not have to describe the area by referring to street names. Part of the area is called the West End (I think the area between Shepherd, Wash Ave, Heights, and Katy Freeway), and I think that would be a cool name to describe the whole area (particularly given the fact that the area used to be the end of town). I’m sure there are other cool names too, but any name should not contain ‘Heights’ in the title, as the area is decidedly not the Heights and the feel/look is incredibly different. The area’s former name, ‘Smokeytown,’ should also be out for obvious reasons.” [Eric, commenting on New Shepherd Dr. Little Woodrow’s To Serve Pub Fare, Too]

10/15/12 12:50pm

HOUSTON’S FIRST-EVER INNER LOOP WALMART OPENS NEXT WEEK “Hundreds of blue shopping carts area already lined up in the parking lot” of the “Washington Heights” Walmart SuperCenter at 111 Yale St. and Koehler, reports Charlotte Aguilar. When will customers start lining up? Sometime in advance of the scheduled October 26th opening. That’s 2 Fridays from today. If you’re bringing the family in an SUV or pickup, though, you might want to avoid crossing the Yale St. bridge just south of I-10. It’s now restricted to vehicles under 6,000 pounds. Walmart says it’s routing all supply trucks elsewise as well. [The Leader; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Charlotte Aguilar

10/04/12 5:03pm

Inspired by the photo tour of sidewalk-blocking utility poles along Harrisburg Blvd. featured earlier this week on Swamplot, a reader wonders if anyone might pay similar attention to the poles left lining the west side of Yale St. in front of the San Jacinto Stone property south of I-10 after the street was widened (and a row of street trees removed) to accommodate a new left-turn lane at Koehler St. for the coming Walmart:


09/20/12 2:34pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A CITYCENTRE IN THE CITY’S CENTER WOULD’VE MADE THE GRADE “. . . The Ainbinder/Orr/San J Stone sites represent over 30 acres of land being developed with only 280 residential units going up on the old Sons of Hermann site. About the same number of apartments were demo-ed for Ainbinder’s strip mall. That means 30 plus acres of land being developed with no net increase in housing or office space in an area that should be booming with that kind of development. There are no other 30 plus acre tracts west of Downtown that have the same development potential as this site did. It may be one step forward to replace vacant land with strip malls. But it is two steps back when you consider what a City Centre style mixed use development would have done for the area. It would have generated way more in tax revenue and made property values in the immediate west end neighborhood shoot through the roof. Instead, we are getting the lowest possible tax revenue generating development that will cost six million in future tax revenues. It is like being happy when your kid gets a C minus in school. It is better than getting an F and graduating is better than dropping out. But if your kid has the potential to do A plus work, then the C minus should be a huge disappointment. Those thirty plus acres had the potential to be one of the most significant developments in Houston. Instead, it is going to be the same development that gets put in on cheap land in the burbs when a new housing development goes in. If my tax dollars are going to be thrown at wealthy developers, I want to get every dollar’s worth and will not be happy with anything other than the most productive use of the land. Developers who will not deliver that can pay their own way.” [Old School, commenting on Shops Replacing San Jacinto Stone, Just North of the South-of-the-Heights Walmart]