07/10/13 4:30pm

A SECOND MIDRISE ALEXAN PLANNED RIGHT BESIDE THE FIRST ONE ON YALE The Leader reports that notices have gone out to Heights neighborhood groups indicating that Trammell Crow is planning a second Alexan-brand apartment complex on Yale. This one, writes Cynthia Lescalleet, would also be 4 stories set atop 2 levels of parking. It would sit on a 4.9-acre lot on Yale between 5th and 6th, immediately south of the 3.5-acre lot targeted for the proposed Alexan Heights — the rendering for which is shown here — bound by 6th, Allston, Yale, and the Heights hike and bike trail. Lescalleet quotes from the notice sent around by city council member Ellen Cohen: “TCR has the site under contract and is currently performing preliminary due diligence, and they expect to close the purchase of the property by the end of the year. Once TCR establishes a site plan and unit count, they will perform a new traffic study that will include roadways and intersections included in their previous TIA, while also including new intersections on Yale St., Heights Boulevard, and I-10, as well as pedestrian counts.” [The Leader; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Trammell Crow Residential

07/08/13 3:00pm

GRAND TEXAS THEME PARK GETS ITS TEXAS LAND Developer Monty Galland has teamed with investors that include a former AstroWorld manager to close, at last, on 600 acres in Montgomery County for the proposed Texas-themed Grand Texas Theme Park. In April, Galland told Click2Houston that he would close on the property in May. But the 3-month delay seems to have allowed time for the development to develop thematically beyond tractor rides and simulated shootouts: Prime Property’s Erin Mulvaney reports that there will be the previously unmentioned Big Rivers Water Park here too. The parks will be carved out of the heavily wooded acreage between U.S. 59 and Hwy. 242, near the proposed EarthQuest dino-resort. But the proximity doesn’t seem to present a conflict in the mind of East Montgomery County improvement prez Frank McCrady, reports Mulvaney: “He compared the two parks to Knott’s Berry Farm and Disney Land in California. In this scenario, Earth Quest would be Disney Land, and Grand Texas is Knott’s Berry.” [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Grand Texas

06/14/13 11:05am

It looks like the 10.53 acres behind this sign where the Spring Branch RoomStore stands have been fosoldale, and the buyer has said it plans to build some rental townhomes. Broker David Littwitz says that the RoomStore here at 1009 Brittmoore Rd. facing the Katy Fwy. closed about a year ago, after the Richmond, Virginia, company filed for bankruptcy near the end of 2011. Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon reports that the buyer, a joint venture called Houston Texas Properties, intends to tear down the showroom to develop what they’re dubbing Arabella, desribed by Dixon as a “240-unit, upscale rental townhome community.” And they’re not wasting time: Dixon adds that the RoomStore should be coming down within the next few weeks.

Photo: Real Estate Bisnow

02/26/13 9:30am

A source close to Blanco’s ownership tells Swamplot that by November the West Alabama bar and grill will close. Meanwhile, Blanco’s will be scouting for a new location, the source says, “somewhere in the area.” Swamplot reported in January that St. John’s School was buying 13 acres of property in River Oaks that include 3406 West Alabama St., where the incongruous honky-tonk and its dusty parking lot — owned for decades by Barry E. DeBakey, the heart surgeon’s son who died in 2007 of liver failure — have been for 30 years.


02/25/13 2:30pm

Most of this East Downtown property, according to city records, was purchased in November 2012 by CitySide Homes; signs recently posted here suggest that the contemporary townhome’s eastward expansion will continue to continue — this site is just 5 blocks from where Urban Living says it’s building around that leaning Leeland St. live oak — on these 2 purchased parcels between Polk, Clay, Nagle, and Delano that add up to a little more than an acre.


02/19/13 4:00pm

THE LUXURY POST OAK IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE NEXT TO MCDONALD’S Randall Davis has completed the purchase of (most of) the 1405 Post Oak property where that long-standing McDonald’s was getting in the way of his Astoria development (the rendering of which is shown here), reports the Houston Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff: The McDonald’s that appeared in last Monday’s Daily Demolition Report is expected to be replaced with a smaller one near the edge of the 30,466-sq.-ft. 1.23-acre property, making room for the 70 28-story luxury tower — with 3-bedroom units going for $1.3 million — that’s being marketed as a path of upward mobility: “Davis has been luring investors through the federal government’s EB-5 visa program where wealthy would-be immigrants can put $500,000 or $1 million into a job-creating commercial enterprise and become lawful permanent residents of the United States.” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Randall Davis Company

01/23/13 1:00pm

The general landscaping public hasn’t been able to shop at San Jacinto Stone since January 19, when the 68-year-old Heights rockyard began the process of closing for good. (Contractors, at least, have until the end of February.) Back in August, San Jacinto Stone agreed to sell its 8 acres on Yale to a retail developer; yesterday, the deal was closed by Ponderosa Land Development, who says it has plans to build a shopping center on the property just south of I-10 and just north of the Washington Heights Walmart.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

01/11/13 11:30am

A January newsletter from The Southampton Civic Club informs members that Hanover, building the mixed-use midrise pictured above, has purchased additional property on Morningside in Rice Village “just north” of the current construction site. The newsletter states that Hanover is planning to begin Phase II: a 12-story, 200-unit residential building with no retail. The newsletter’s language suggests that the property is bound by Morningside, Tangley, Dunstan, and Kelvin; that’s where the Village Commons, the Tangley Building, the Village Apartments, and Garden Gate are — at least for now.


01/10/13 10:08am

Doug Britton thought he had the deal of a lifetime: a contract to buy 101 acres of land (in red on the map) just south of the spot in Spring where — it was rumored at the time — ExxonMobil planned to develop a new corporate campus. And it was available for cheap: just $5 million. Britton contacted two brokers at Bandier Partners to help him move on it.


01/08/13 3:11pm

St. John’s School has purchased 13 acres of land, expanding its 29-acre campus in River Oaks. Headmaster Mark Desjardins tells the Houston Chronicle that the school on Westheimer won’t be developing the new acreage right away and hasn’t decided what will become of the businesses already there at the intersection of W. Alabama and Buffalo Speedway. Those include a fortune teller, the River Oaks Plant House, known for its oversized topiary-like Chia pets (dancing at left), and Blanco’s Bar & Grill, sitting there in a dusty parking lot as though it’s on a far-flung farm road and not right across the street from the 23-story Lamar Tower. (It’s hiding behind the Blanco’s sign in the photo above.)

12/14/12 9:47am

Longtime speculation that the entire vacant 104-acre site formerly occupied by the AstroWorld amusement park might someday be turned into some sort of singular mixed-use development took a hit yesterday as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced it is buying the entire western half of the property, which sits across the 610 Loop from Reliant Park. The charitable organization hopes to close on the 48-acre tract by the end of the year. The purchase price is listed on its website as approximately $42.8 million, or $20.50 per sq. ft., “after charitable considerations by the seller.” That’s a Dallas investment firm known as the Mallick Group, which has owned the vacant property since 2010.

What will it rodeo do on all that land?


11/28/12 5:34pm

NEW MYSTERY OWNER OF 136 ACRES IN THE FIFTH WARD Missing from today’s announcement by KBR that the company has completed the sale of its Ship-Channel-front 136-acre former headquarters campus at 4100 Clinton Dr. in the Fifth Ward: any mention of the buyer — or the sales price. Both details were available earlier in the week on a different sale the engineering, construction, and military contracting company was involved in — of the 40-story Downtown office tower that KBR leases and partially owned. (The tower at 601 Jefferson went to an affiliate of New York’s W.P. Carey, for $174.6 million.) [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Image: HFF

05/24/12 3:19pm

After more than 3 years of negotiations and court battles, the fenced-off 4.85-acre property covered with overgrown and vandalized buildings once known as the Park Memorial condos has at last been sold. Owners of the 108 properties at 5292 Memorial Dr. who were able to hold onto their units after the city declared them unsafe and barred anyone from living there in 2008 (or who snatched them up for low, low prices later) should be receiving their checks soon. The buyer is JLB Properties from Dallas, developers of the Ava apartments on Highmeadow near Hillcroft. The company is reportedly planning a new apartment complex on the Park Memorial site, which sits north of Buffalo Bayou at the corner of Memorial Dr. and Detering.


05/17/12 1:35pm

THE EAST DOWNTOWN ENRON MILLS MALL THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN Long before he sold the land where the brand-new BBVA Compass Stadium for the Houston Dynamo soccer team now sits to the city, former council member and longtime land speculator Louis Macey had a deal ready to go that would have turned the vacant land into some sort of close-to-Downtown entertainment venue, Catie Dixon reports: “He ended up with six blocks around Bastrop and Texas, which attracted the attention of Katy Mills and Enron. They agreed to buy the site if he could get 12 blocks and an exit ramp off the highway. (He convinced TxDOT to put in the Polk Street exit.) The deal fell through at the last minute . . .” Macey began buying up the properties in 1997. [Real Estate Bisnow; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Real Estate Bisnow