09/24/14 4:45pm

Gibbs Boats, 1110 West Gray St. at Montrose Blvd., North Montrose, Houston

How cool is it that a boat store with metal siding and a groovy sixties-era sign stood at the corner of West Gray and Montrose Blvd. for 56 years? Well, pieces of the iconic Gibbs Boats sign floated away after the last hurricane; if the property sells, the store won’t be around much longer either.

The giant for-sale sign that went up on the storefront windows yesterday has drawn a bit more attention from potential buyers than the online listing for the 24,925-sq.-ft. L-shaped property, which has been posted for about a month now. The listed asking price is $150 per sq. ft. of land.


Setting Sail
09/22/14 12:00pm

Sparrow and the Nest, 1020 Studewood St., Woodland Heights, Houston

Sparrow and the Nest, 1020 Studewood St., Woodland Heights, HoustonOh, don’t worry too much about that for-sale sign out in front of the shop, note the owners of Sparrow and the Nest: “The shop remains open and we will be keeping regular business hours,” reads a note on the boutique’s blog. Expect just a few interruptions, maybe, commensurate with a non-stop open house atmosphere for the 1,344-sq.-ft. 1920 bungalow duplex at 1020 Studewood St. that Stephanie and Andrew Lienhard renovated a few years ago for their handcraft-retail venture — like last month’s week-long closure to paint the floors.

The residential listing posted over the weekend for the 2-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath structure calls it completely updated (there’s an ACK! mural on the side fence), and is asking $595,000. If and when the property sells, the Lienhardts plan to reduce the “retail aspect” of the business while growing its online presence. A smaller version of the boutique is planned for an unspecified location “a few blocks down the road.”

Photos: Houston Makerspace/Samantha Roberts (front); HAR (interior)

Bungalow Shop for Sale
09/10/14 5:00pm


Were it nighttime and the glass a bit more seamless, this mod industrial storefront might work as a stand-in for the scene of Edward Hopper’s iconic Nighthawks. The contoured corner hugs the corner of Leeland and St. Emanuel St., a block past the Eastex Fwy. overpass and the eastern border of Downtown. The building’s 4,250 sq. ft. footprint sits on a 5,000-sq.-ft. corner lot in a warehouse-y district within eyeshot of the Toyota Center. It was listed on the MLS for $600K last summer, but has stayed on the market through various relistings since October 2013 for a bit more: $650K.


Chinatown Printing
09/08/14 1:30pm

2050 Jacquelyn Dr., Hillendahl Acres, Houston

2050 Jacquelyn Dr., Hillendahl Acres, Houston

Or might it be the city’s finest home auto repair garage? It’s all a question of emphasis in this brand-new Hillendahl Acres (just south of Hammerly Blvd., east of Wirt Rd.) residential listing: The car-repair shop, known to customers for more than 20 years as Palm Motor Company, sits in the back of the almost-half-acre lot and has room for more than a dozen neatly parked cars. The home sits nearer to the street and contains 2 bedrooms. All this (minus the cars) could be yours for the $750,000 asking price. Care for a tour?


Palm Motor and Hearth
08/14/14 1:15pm

Swiss Alp Dance Hall, 7024 N. US Hwy. 77, Schulenberg, Texas

Swiss Alp Dance Hall, 7024 N. US Hwy. 77, Schulenberg, TexasSeeking a spot about halfway along the drive from Houston to San Antonio where you might be able to kick up your heels — and hang your shingle? Look no further than the tin-roofed Swiss Alp Dance Hall on Hwy. 77 between Schulenburg and La Grange. The concert and wedding venue, which was built in the early 1900s but “remains very much as it was back in the 1950s,” was listed for sale earlier this week.


Swiss Alp
03/07/14 5:15pm

Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, Houston

Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, HoustonNotice anything different about the vacant former city code-enforcement building at 3300 Main St. lately? Well, go around to the Travis St. side (at left) and you’ll see it: A sign indicating the property is for sale went up there quietly last month. So quietly, in fact, that there doesn’t appear to be any information about the sale on the website of the building’s owner, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, which purchased the full-block property from the city in a curious deal 3 years ago for $5 million, and — as a public entity — isn’t required to pay any property taxes on it. “Everything real estate wise that Midtown does is very hush hush,” notes a reader who brought the sale to Swamplot’s attention.


Hey, Pssssst!
03/03/14 4:30pm



Just add performer (or pastor) and this former church building with studio-friendly sound and light system will be ready to roll. Or rock. The 1985 property on a residential street is set within Depenbrook Allen, a Near Northside neighborhood located off Quitman St. near I-45. Re-listed last week, the former home of Ministerio Zoe Vida now has a new asking price of $169,900. Previous price points ranged from $245,000 (at its initial listing in May 2013) to the $175K it had reached by December, when it went on a quick winter break.


Take a Seat
10/16/13 10:00am

The bids that were submitted to HISD yesterday to buy the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice High School in Magnolia Grove rang up almost $5 million more than those the first time around in July: Neighboring St. Thomas High School is still in the running to purchase the 11-acre campus on Dickson St., just north of Memorial Dr. and Buffalo Bayou; it offered $45 million, compared with the $42 million the private school said it would pay in July. But St. Thomas was again outbid, this time by an entity called Elk Mountain Ltd. — connected, it appears, to the Gordy Oil Company — which submitted a flat $47,927,114.


08/28/13 1:30pm

Its earlier morph from 1940 cottage to pet grooming shop with easy-care flooring could remain or revert to home use, declares the listing for this property in Dearborn Place. It’s tucked behind a couple of strip centers fronting S. Shepherd, just south of West Alabama. Pens and gated areas — inside and out — make it easy to contain any unruly guests, as do the quarters out back.


07/26/13 12:15pm

An intrepid Redditor recently explored the vacant Oakbrook Apartments and snuck away with these photos. The 222-unit complex, currently for sale, sits on 7.3 acres at 5353 De Soto St., east of Antoine and north of W. Tidwell, right up against White Oak Bayou. Writes the creative trespasser: “The majority of [the apartments] are unsecured at this point. There really didn’t seem to be much of anything left in any of the apartments, and I went in a lot of them. Most of the drywall is crumbling and you can smell the mildew from 20 yards away. Wiring and other appliances have been torn out in most of them.”


07/18/13 2:00pm

BIDS TO BUY LAW ENFORCEMENT HS PUNISHED FOR NOT FOLLOWING RULES HISD gave a unanimous no today to those competing bids from nearby St. Thomas High School and developer AV Dickson Street to buy the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice in Magnolia Grove. Apparently, the reason the offers for the 11-acre campus at 4701 Dickson St. were rejected had less to do with the numbers than with HISD’s preferred S.O.P.: “[T]he board’s attorney, David Thompson, stated immediately afterward that both bidders had violated the district’s ‘code of silence’ policy, which prohibits communication between trustees and those with pending business before them.” Superintendent Terry Grier tells the Houston Chronicle that the building will be going right back on the market: “Hopefully if we do that, the bidders will take our ethics policy seriously.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: HISD

06/11/13 10:00am

UNLOADING GALVESTON’S BISHOP’S PALACE The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese has put up for sale the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, a.k.a. Gresham’s Castle, at 14th and Broadway. The price? $3 million. But the archdiocese isn’t going to let just anyone buy the 17,420-sq.-ft. Victorian clergy digs-turned-museum — at least not for a while: “The Galveston Historical Foundation has an exclusive right until the end of this month to raise . . . the money or the archdiocese can open the sale to all comers,” reports the Houston Chronicle. Foundation director W. Dwayne Jones tells the Chronicle that they’ve already raised $2.3 million. And why the sale? “Jones said the archdiocese has been looking to get out of the museum business for a while. ‘They are in the business of saving souls.'” [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Galveston Historical Foundation