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:
This rendering appears to show the new Phillips 66 global headquarters planned to go up in Westchase. Back in September, the ConocoPhillips offshoot announced it would be building something on the Beltway 8 feeder next to a pair of hotels just north of Westheimer. The announcement went on to say that the 14.2-acre site bound by City West Blvd., Private Dr., and Cityplace Dr. will have a training and development center, conference space, credit union, gym, cafeteria, coffee shop, and convenience store.
Dunkin’ Donuts announced yesterday where it’ll be sprinkling 4 new stores across Houston. This rendering shows the standalone planned for 18315 W. Lake Houston Pkwy. in Humble. There’ll also be a location inside IAH’s Terminal E, one at 4130 Fairmont Pkwy. in Pasadena, and another, as suspected, at the renovated former Arby’s at 2330 S. Shepherd and Fairview. Last month, the chain opened the first of a reported 24 stores planned for the Houston area at 10705 Westheimer in Westchase.
If you can’t wait until June or July for Dunkin’ Donuts to open inside the Loop at the former Arby’s at South Shepherd and Fairview, you might plan to come here, the former SmashBurger at 10705 Westheimer, where a company rep says that the donut makers will open in May the first of 16 planned Houston stores. Sharing the Westchase strip center with a Cricket store and Brookstreet Bar-B-Que, the coffee-colored endcap has undergone at least one other renovation: A drive-thru lane now cuts through what had been SmashBurger’s treeside patio.
There’s a changing of the guard at the strip-center endcap at 10705 Westheimer in Westchase. Workers have been taking down the signs; the Smashburger in that location closed for good on Monday. A reader claims that the burger joint, on a small strip directly adjacent to the McDonald’s at the corner of Wallingford Rd., was the chain’s worst-performing store. And: that the location has already been reserved for Dunkin’ Donuts. A franchise group plans to open 16 new Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Houston over the next 6 years.
Where else? After “several months of thoughtful searching,” the chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips spinoff Phillips 66 has announced the location for the multi-building headquarters campus it plans to build: on the Beltway 8 feeder road in Westchase, just north of Westheimer. Right next door to Homewood Suites and the Fairfield Inn. The campus will include a training and development center, conference space, a credit union office, a wellness center, plus a cafeteria, coffee shop, and — yes — a convenience store. The email announcement doesn’t mention whether the Phillips 66 food mart will be part of a Phillips 66 gas station facing Beltway 8, but CEO Greg Garland reports the company is “still in the conceptual design process” with its architect. A grander entrance to the 14.2-acre property will likely be pulled off of City West Blvd. Construction is expected to take 2 to 3 years once the design is completed.
Here’s a more complete version of the short video posted by the Houston Press yesterday, showing a few problems with apartment 2105 at the Crescent Park Apartments at 2310 Crescent Park Dr. (near Westheimer and Kirkwood), home to Quiana Brown and her daughter for a little more than a year. The tenant’s mother, Eugenia Brown, who’s narrating, tells reporter Paul Knight she “doesn’t understand why one part of the government pays for an apartment that another part says isn’t fit to live in”: She says the apartment has failed several inspections by the Harris County Housing Authority, but apparently that hasn’t affected the apartment managers’ ability to continue to collect federal funds: According to Knight, Quiana Brown pays the $640 monthly rent with Section 8 vouchers.
Eugenia Brown says her daughter has requested to switch apartments several times. (In a separate series of hazy YouTube videos from earlier this month, Eugenia Brown documents similar unrepaired conditions in her own apartment in the complex, No. 1502 — including daily refrigerator and dishwasher leaks, sparking light switches, and combustion-friendly fixtures.) Strangely, none of the documented problems are evident in this promotional video for the apartment complex, produced almost 3 years ago:
What does it take to open up the Houston location of an international vegan chain restaurant in say, the endcap of a Kirkwood strip center whose previous tenant was the Texas Bar-B.Q. Co.? The Houston Press‘s Katharine Shilcutt tries to explain:
The money that Supreme Master Ching Hai gathers from her followers is used to fund things such as her elaborate and expensive outfits; her adventures in creating and selling jewelry (back to her followers at a huge markup, of course); the filming of long infomercials like the ones that play on a constant loop in the restaurant, which are broadcast to followers via the Internet (which is why the movement has been called a “cybersect”); and the founding of restaurant chains like Loving Hut which adhere to one of the most important principles in Quan Yin: vegetarianism.
The restaurant at 2825 S. Kirkwood, in the Richwood Shopping Center just north of Richmond, is Loving Hut’s 25th U.S. location. But how neatly it fits here: Thank you, Supreme Master! Perhaps other ventures of yours — in painting, poetry, spirituality, fashion design, or beauty makeovers — might find a home in other lonely strip-center locations around town? Surely this formula could be expanded:
H. Dan Miller, senior managing director of the Houston office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, commenting on the sale he recently brokered of the fully leased 30,000-sq.-ft. office building and bank drive-thru on an L-shaped property at 10411 Westheimer in Westchase, which received 18 offers within a week:
You had an irreplaceable location at the corner of Westheimer and Beltway 8 and three streets of frontage. I wish I had 10 of these types of buildings.
Not a fan of the “ugly uninspired office parks” that line Beltway 8 on the west side of town, radio geek and computer answer guy Jay Lee finds he has a few nice things to say — and photograph — about the recently completed first phase of Westchase Park, a Simmons Vedder office development that’s replaced the Cinemark Tinseltown Westchase just north of Westpark:
There’s a water feature in the front of the building that sports a metallic sculpture which sort of reminds me of the contraption from the movie “Contact.” It’s by far the most interesting piece of architecture I have seen out here on the west beltway.
The building itself is glass and chrome and glints in the daylight. I was kind of hoping the sculpture was a corporate logo of some kind and that this was going to be to world headquarters of some up and coming conglomerate or something. Alas, it is simply a business park and will soon be selling office space to those looking to setup shop in the Westchase District.
A reader writes in with a question about the movie theater that appeared in Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Reportearlier this week:
Do we happen to know the reason for the demolition of the Tinseltown Westchase location? If I can remember right, this theater has only been here for not even 10 years yet.
Actually, the Cinemark Tinseltown USA Westchase movie theater had reached the ripe old age of 12. According to the Houston Business Journal, Simmons Vedder Partners is tearing it down to build twin 6-story spec office buildings with a parking garage between them and a “signature water feature” fronting the Beltway — all designed by Ambrose, McEnany and House Architects. It’ll be called Westchase Park.
After the jump, a few fond memories of the theater in its “Hey!” day.