08/16/18 4:00pm

Orange fencing is condoning off the corner of the Westchase Shopping Center where a new Regions Bank is planned in place of the El Palenque that shuttered there in May. A demolition permit issued for the restaurant building exactly a week ago means its days are numbered. But for now it’s still standing, fronted by landscaping and the new Port-o-Potty pair visible in the photo at top from Walnut Bend Ln., just shy of Westheimer.

Also on its last legs: the bank’s nearest existing branch on S. Kirkwood near the Westheimer H-E-B. A company spokesperson told the HBJ‘s Olivia Pulsinelli in June that the planned new branch will take over business in the area.

Photos: Jose Galvan (fencing); Troy M. (El Palenque)

Branching Out
08/09/18 9:45am

Ground beef chain BuffBurger is about to move into the new Citywest Retail Center 3 blocks outside Beltway 8 and just down the street from Phillips’s year-old headquarters and garage-top sports complex. So far, the strip center’s lineup includes almost exclusively food joints of the fast-casual variety, with a lone Ideal Dental office in middle of the east building. Its coming soon sign is pictured in the photo above, west of Yogurtland.

BuffBurger’s spot — its third since opening in the new Alabama Row strip across W. Alabama from the Menil in March — is in the shorter and stouter east building, where it’ll fill in corner at the far end from Panera’s already-open endcap:

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Westchase
07/30/18 12:00pm

The owner of the vacant, 3,476-sq.-ft. King’s Center retail building a few blocks outside Beltway 8 has installed Smoothie King as its first new tenant. But the beverage chain doesn’t quite have the place under sovereign domain: developer Ancorian is still marketing the structure’s 2,400-sq.-ft. vacant majority.

In the photo above, you can see some of the circular residue on the tower left behind by previous tenant Logan Farms Honey Glazed Hams & Market Café. The less-aptly-named restaurant left the building it had occupied in full for greener strip center pastures down the street on the corner of Wilcrest Dr. at the end of 2016.

It had the place done up like this during its residency:

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By Royal Decree
11/17/17 11:30am

Previously visible only to airplanes, drones, satellite-image sleuths, and Phillips 66 employees on sufficiently high floors of their adjacent offices: the soccer field with encircling track and enclosing fence pictured here atop the energy company’s parking garage, with Beltway 8 in the background. An additional artificial-turf practice area exists off camera to the left.

Phillips 66’s campus was completed last year at 2331 CityWest Blvd., along the Beltway at Westheimer, and includes 2 office towers as well as the parking center. The main office buildings sport their own recreational facilities: a yoga studio, spin workout hall, basketball court, and outdoor putting green.

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Pitch Roof
03/13/17 5:15pm

Torchy's Tacos sign installation at 10953 Westheimer Rd., Westchase, Houston, 77042

Reader and aerial logo photographer Henry Phillips sends these recent shots of work crews playing pin-the-signage-on-the-restaurant at the next local locale of Austin import Torchy’s Tacos (which will bring the Houston-area count up to 8, out of the chain’s 11 planned plantings so far). The latest tacover is happening in the Westchase Mall corner slot at the southeast corner of Westheimer Rd. and Wilcrest Dr. most recently occupied by another defunct branch of Black-Eyed Pea; the developing restaurant shares a strip center sidewalk with the Whole Foods that was transplanted across Wilcrest into the dead former Randalls last year.

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High on West Westheimer
10/18/16 4:45pm

CityWestPlace Parking Garage, Briarforest, Houston, 77042

A reader sends a shot of the roof of the last of the 4 former BMC Software campus parking garages to get put on the parking-space straight-and-narrow. Last Friday the angled stripes got powerwashed off of the top floor of the turn-of-the-millenium structure, which sits along CityWest Blvd. north of the new Phillips 66 campus just outside Beltway 8. All of the remaining garages on the site appear to have been restriped one at a time over the past decade or so with 90-degree parking spots (as can be seen on the roof of another of the garages in the upper right, further north along CityWest). The office complex goes by CityWestPlace these days; the complex is one of the properties held by new Houston-only REIT (New) Parkway, which was formed earlier this month when old Parkway and Cousins Properties merged then dumped all of their Houston holdings into a new, separate REIT.

Perpendicular spaces will better fit in with the campus’s general rectilinear motifs — for example, with this series of narrow rectangular water features on the other side of that northern parking garage:

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CityWestParkingPlaces
08/09/16 4:00pm

Demolition of Belt West Shopping Center Northern Building, 10220 Westheimer Rd., Westchase, Houston, 77042

Belt West Shopping Center, which previously housed both Grace Presbyterian’s coffee shop The Well and Shelby’s Liquor, has been returning to dust of late, per a reader’s leafy photo of the site from this morning. The western end of the 1975 strip (largely hidden from the northwest corner of Westheimer and Seagler roads by 2 other retail strips and a Shell Station) has also been home to some of the operations of Project C.U.R.E. — a nonprofit named by the late July demolition permit as an occupant, which collects and donates medical supplies to the developing world.

Both the church’s Facebook page and a church representative reached by phone this afternoon indicate that the church-owned property will remain a part of the Grace Presbyterian fold. The shots below from Seagler show the strip midway through its retail-to-ruins transition last week:

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Plans To Rise Again
08/08/16 10:45am

Seiwa Market in Ashford Village Center, 1801 S. Dairy Ashford Rd., Westchase, Houston, 77077

The credit card machines at the new Seiwa Market at 1801 S. Dairy Ashford Rd. weren’t up and running yet as of Friday, but the Japanese grocery store did open its doors this weekend to cash-only customers as part of a test run soft opening. The market and its internal food court options will eventually be flanked by other Japanese restaurants, from the looks of things: Ramen House Ichi is currently under construction next door, and the Seiwa store manager told the HBJ last month that a high-end Japanese seafood house is planned for the same shopping center somewhere on the other side.

A reader snagged a few shots of the scene inside Seiwa’s space in Suite 116 of the late 1970s Ashford Village Center shopping strip, across from the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink:

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Sushi To Come
06/14/16 4:45pm

400 W. Sam Houston Pkwy., Westchase, Houston, 77042

The 24.5-acre plot along the W. Sam Houston Pwky. formerly snagged by Schlumberger’s Cameron International looks to be back on the market, a reader notes. Dow Chemical’s quadruple-decade-plus facility got cleared off the land at the end of 2009 following the purchase of the property by an entity connected to Apache Corporation; the spot was sold to Cameron in 2013, when rumor had it that the company would build a skyscraper’s worth of office space on the site. The property was listed afresh by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank around the end of April.

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Energy Corridor Fadeout
04/17/15 3:15pm

Royal Oaks Village II Shopping Center, Westchase, Houston

Here’s an aerial view of the Royal Oaks Village II shopping center, where the Houston area’s fifth Trader Joe’s is already under construction behind the Harvest Organic Grille. (That’s the unidentified pad-site restaurant at the top right of the shopping center, which is outlined in red.) There the new grocery store take its place among a spread of nearby food-shopping options along the south side of Westheimer, which include the Walmart Supercenter at W. Houston Center Blvd., the Chick-Fil-A and H-E-B at Kirkwood, and the Whole Foods Market at Wilcrest.

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Parking Lot Touchdown
04/03/15 2:30pm

Whole Foods Market Under Construction, 11041 Westheimer Rd. at Wilcrest, Westchase, Houston

Crews have broken open the front of the former Randalls grocery store in the Westchase Shopping Center at the corner of Wilcrest and Westheimer, and are busy inserting a new, smaller Whole Foods Market inside. The photo above shows the view from the One Westchase Center office building, immediately to the east. This isn’t Whole Foods’ first Randalls redo; a new Whole Foods at 1407 S. Voss, on the former site of another Randalls, is scheduled to open next Wednesday.

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Westchase Front
02/13/15 1:15pm

Proposed Saudi Arabia General Consulate of Houston, Wilcrest Dr. Between Richmond Ave and Meadowglen Ln., Westchase, Houston

“Does a building have diplomatic immunity to local ordinances if [its site] is deemed international soil?” asks Architect’s Newspaper reporter Jay Thomas, reporting on the variance request made on behalf of a new General Consulate of Saudi Arabia complex in Westchase — which Houston’s planning commission denied in December. The applicants for the variance appear to say yes, it does: “The Consulate should be considered foreign soil and should be allowed to develop the property as they have planned as long as it doesn’t harm the public in any way,” reads the application.

But the design team went ahead and applied for the variance anyway. Why?

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International Setbacks
07/25/14 2:15pm

Randalls Grocery Store, 11041 Westheimer Rd., Westchase Shopping Center, Westchase, HoustonA new 45,000-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market will move into a portion of the soon-to-be-closing recently closed Randalls grocery store in the Westchase Shopping Center, landlord Weingarten Realty announced today. The 25,663-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market that’s been operating in the same REIT’s Market at Westchase since 1991 — just across Wilcrest at 11145 Westheimer — will shutter when the new Whole Foods opens — in 2016.

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Chasing Groceries in Westchase
11/25/13 11:30am

THE END IN SIGHT FOR RANDALLS Randalls Grocery Store, 11041 Westheimer Rd., Westchase Shopping Center, Westchase, HoustonThe Randalls grocery store on the southeast corner of Westheimer and Wilcrest is a goner, reports Catie Dixon. And she tags the chain itself as the likely next casualty in the region’s ongoing grocery wars. Landlord Weingarten Realty, which also manages the Whole Foods Market across the street, sent out notice earlier this month that the space occupied by the former top-performing Randalls in the Westchase Shopping Center is now available for lease. But other new grocery stores are coming to the area: another 60 in the next 18 months, keeping up the recent pace, says broker Jason Baker — who also notes Trader Joe’s is experiencing “challenges” with its new store on S. Voss near Woodway. [Real Estate Bisnow; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Randalls at 11041 Westheimer Rd.: Weingarten Realty

07/22/13 2:00pm

This latest rendering of the global headquarters that Phillips 66 plans to build in Westchase during the next few years doesn’t seem all that different from an earlier one published on Swamplot in June — except it comes from CEO Greg Garland and was shared with Houston-area employees this morning in an email. Additionally, Garland’s message says that construction could begin by the end of the year on the 14.2-acre campus just north of Westheimer along the Beltway 8 feeder. After the jump you can see a pair of floor plans included with the rendering that show some of the planned amenities, like a dining room, coffee shop, fitness center, and Grab-and-Go:

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