09/14/16 4:45pm

Rendering of under-construction Kirby Collection, Kirby Dr. at Colquitt St., Upper Kirby, Houston

Rolling-sphere-themed restaurant and entertainment chain Pinstripes has just leased up some space in the under-construction Kirby Collection (and hey — there might even be some bocce players nearby still looking for a new court!) That’s the first confirmed tenant for the project, which Thor Equities wants to open by the end of next year; the 33,600 sq. ft. of leased space makes up around half of the total retail space available, and is split across both retail floors of the complex (shown in the foreground above, with a row of trees peeking down at Kirby Dr. from the edge of the roof). Pinstripes will take over a 7,260-sq.-ft. subdivision of first floor space, out of the segment labeled 23,900 in the ground floor plan below:


Leasing Ball Rolling
09/06/16 11:00am

The Victoria Condo Midrise, 829 Yale St. Houston Heights, Houston, 77007

Renderings of The Victoria Condo Midrise, 829 Yale St. Houston Heights, Houston, 77007The balcony-loaded face of Fisher Home’s The Victoria condo midrise is now stretching up past the halfway mark of the structure’s planned Heights ascent, notes a reader. The 6 residential levels will sit atop a few above-and-below-ground parking levels, per the rendering that showed up in unit listings earlier this summer. Camelot Realty’s listing for the 40-unit property currently touts prices starting at $300,000 and a Christmas-time move-in date.

That’s the 1950s apartment complex at 821 Yale to the left in the drive-by shot at the top; here’s a snap of the building buddied up with the century-old home-turned-law-office at 833 Yale on the other side:


Half-Height in the Heights
05/04/16 10:30am

Plan for Ivy District, Pearland, TX, 77583

Ralph Bivins tells Swamplot that lots of dirt is being shoved around on the foreclosed former site of the WaterLights District project, west of 288 and just south of the Beltway where all those heads of former heads of state used to hang out. Pearland’s Ivy District is now being planted on the site instead: plans for the $300-million development include a multifamily complex, condos, a senior living community, townhomes, office buildings, and room for retail.

Part of the project’s funding will come from the EB-5 visa program, which allows wealthy foreigners and their immediate families to immigrate to the US in exchange for a necessary investment expected to create at least 10 jobs. Sueba USA and Beijing-owned American Modern Green are developing the site; American Modern’s parent company Modern Land of China has worked on projects in China (including Steve Holl’s twisty Linked Hybrid in Beijing) and Vancouver, but the Ivy District is its first US venture.

American Modern Green bought the land straddling the Harris-Brazoria county line back in late 2012 following the 2010 foreclosure. Here’s the breakdown of what will go where, per the current plans on the Ivy District’s website:


Planting in Pearland
12/29/15 12:00pm

FARM-THEMED PLANNED COMMUNITY RIPENING ALONG THE WESTERN GRAND PARKWAY HousHarvest Green, 618 Vineyard, Bluff Hollow Ct, Richmond, TX 77469ton’s first farm-centric master-planned community is moving forward on the Grand Parkway along Oyster Creek in Richmond, writes Paul Takahashi of the HBJ. The Harvest Green residential community will be structured around working farms and themed accordingly throughout: in addition to opting for a backyard planter (available in L-shaped or rectangular), residents can elect to work a plot in a 5-acre community garden, part of the 300 acres of farmable land that will be associated with the development. Not sure what to do with a backhoe? An on-site farmer will offer classes in both agriculture and nutrition. Those less keen to get their hands in the dirt will be able to visit the farm-to-table restaurant instead — or simply partake of the edible landscaping. Johnson Development has recently opened model homes at the site, and is currently constructing non-model homes as well. [HBJ] Photo: Johnson Development  

12/28/15 10:00am

Elan Heights Apartments, 825 Usener, Woodland Heights, Houston, 77009

Just in time for the holiday season, the residential floors of the Elan Heights midrise apartments (officially located at 825 Usener St.) have been packaged up in a shiny new layer of building wrap. A sign outside the construction site announces an early 2016 opening for the 327-unit complex, nestled in next to Mango Beach snowcone shop and Little Buddy gas station and convenience store on White Oak Dr. (bottom left in the aerial photo below):


Wrapping Up in Woodland Heights
05/18/15 1:30pm

Treviso at Waterway Square,  Waterway Square Pl., The Woodlands, Texas

This is what “European sensibility” means in The Woodlands — at least to the Woodlands Development Company people marketing Treviso at Waterway Square, a 23-story condo tower planned across Waterway Square Pl. from the Woodlands Waterway itself, right behind the construction site of the 302-room Westin hotel now going up along the waterfront. The view down the waterway above shows the new tower at center, in front of an existing multi-story parking garage (whose cheese and bicycle shops at the base face Lake Robbins Dr.), and just east of the 24 Waterway Ave. office building and its ground-floor restaurantage. The completed Westin is at right center.

In the language of the development firm, this setting is “not unlike a European village.” So the name? “Treviso is a medieval Italian town near Venice that shares its combination of peaceful canals and iconic Piazzas but on a smaller scale, and just slightly off the beaten path,” declares a marketing brochure.


23 Stories
03/25/15 2:00pm

HOW THE 610 LOOP EARNED ITS PRESTIGE Traffic on West Loop, Galleria, Houston“I’ve heard 610 called a lot of things, but never ‘prestigious,'” writes a Swamplot reader who is curious to learn how the phrase “the prestigious 610 Loop” nevertheless came to appear in Wikipedia — in the entry for Hines’s gated Somerset Green complex, now under construction on 46 acres of an old industrial operation at 7002 Old Katy Rd., just east of the Houston Design Center. Ah, but such is the value of Wikipedia’s references and external links sections: The source of the phrase turns out to be Hines itself. A press release that predates by a couple of years the billboards now seen advertising the 500-home development along a few (less-prestigious, no doubt) Inner Loop highways still bears the implicit declaration in its headline: “Hines to Develop 46-acre Planned Community Inside Houston’s Prestigious 610 Loop.” And so it is. [Wikipedia; press release] Photo of the 610 Loop: PINKÉ (license)

03/16/15 12:15pm

Townhome Under Construction, 5902 Schuler St., Woodcrest, Houston

The upper floors of a townhome under construction at the corner of Knox and Schuler streets in Woodcrest were dismantled by workers over the weekend. Late last week, the mostly framed but still unsheathed building went askew after — according to a reader report — a forklift bonked it a little too hard. The damage appeared to be restricted to the bottom floor, with studs gaining a noticeable lean. The reader also reported seeing bulges appear in the back of the structure.

At the time of the accident, workers under contract to Suca’s Home Builders had framed 3 and a half stories of the 4-story townhome at 5902 Schuler St. By Saturday, the building was down to 2 stories, as pictured above. The following day, most of the second floor was removed as well, and the structure had been pulled straight by the forklift, according to the reader — as shown here:


Downright Upright in Woodcrest
03/09/15 1:00pm

Rendering of Mimosa Place, 2415 Mimosa Dr., Avalon Place, Houston

HBJ reporter Paul Takahashi has details on the gated compound of 18 homes Pelican Builders is planning to fit onto the about-an-acre site of the recently vacated Mimosa Lane Apartments and Argonne Forest Apartments at the corner of Mimosa Dr. and Argonne St., behind the Huntingdon condo tower in Avalon Place. And — surprise! — they’ll be very similar to the townhouse-style structures in Pelican’s Bancroft Place compound 2-1/2 miles to the west, which was designed by the same architect, the Hopkins Company.


Avalon Place
02/24/15 2:45pm

Demolition on Site of Proposed California Square Townhomes, 1005 Missouri St. and 1004 California St., Montrose, Houston

Proposed California Square Townhomes, 1005 Missouri St. and 1004 California St., Montrose, Houston

The asphalt and branches were flying this morning at the storied former South Beach parking lot off Montrose between California St. and Missouri (more recently home to cars whose owners are visiting the nearby Aladdin restaurant). Pelican Builders has begun clearing the 28,709-sq.-ft. collection of lots — which have separate frontages on Missouri St., Grant St., and California St. — for its 24-townhome California Square project. A few properties from the gated complex of 2-bedroom townhomes have been listed on MLS — for just shy of $500K. Here’s the site plan:


California Square
07/23/14 12:15pm

Here’s the scene from above Morningside Dr. in the Rice Village, where Hanover is building a 12-story apartment structure between Tangley and Dunstan, just north of the 6-story Hanover at Rice Village apartments it completed last year. Ziegler Cooper Architects’ design for the 206-unit complex will include a pool deck on the top story and a courtyard on the third:


Hanging Over the Hanover Southampton
06/13/14 2:00pm

Rendering of the Hampstead, 1508 Blodgett St., Museum Park, Houston

Deccan Development is the firm behind the unlabeled and unannounced 36-unit brick-and-stucco apartment building now under construction at 1508 Blodgett St. just north of MacGregor Elementary in Blodgett Park. And here’s a grayscale version of a rendering of the design, by Houston’s Clerkley Watkins Group (architects of the new District at Greenbriar apartments in town, among other apartment projects). For the Hampstead, 4 stories of apartments are going on top of 2 garage levels, which will be accessed from separate driveways on Blodgett and La Branch.

Rendering: Clerkley Watkins Group/Deccan Development

The Hampstead
05/06/14 3:30pm

Construction Crew at Ashby Highrise Site, 1717 Bissonnet St., Boulevard Oaks, HoustonWhat? No friendly neighborhood groundbreaking celebration? No pics of developers and local politicos wearing hard hats and wielding pointless shovels? A mere 7 years after Buckhead Investment Partners first quietly upgraded utility service, prepared traffic-impact studies, and replatted the property of the former Maryland Manor Apartments hoping no one would notice, some sort of construction work appears to have begun on the 21-story apartment tower planned for 1717 Bissonnet St. At least that’s what this photo, taken at the scene and sent this afternoon to Swamplot by a reader, appears to show. Last week, a district court judge refused to grant an injunction that would have blocked the building’s construction.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Moving Dirt
04/09/14 11:00am

Aerial View of Galleria McDonald's and Astoria Condo Tower Under Construction, San Felipe St. at Garretson, Uptown, Houston

Rendering of Astoria Condo Tower, Post Oak Blvd. at Garretson, Uptown, HoustonThe photo above — sent to Swamplot by a HAIF user who goes by the handle SkylineView — is our best view yet of the project themed-condo developer Randall Davis has been working on for more than 5 years: convincing the Galleria McDonald’s to scooch over just a smidge and sell him part of the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot so he could build a 30-story highrise on it with all the benefits and cachet of drive-thru adjacency. Davis’s $70 million Astoria (portrayed in more glamorous circumstances at left) is being funded in part by the immigration dreams of 29 well-to-do foreigners, who have ponied up $1 million a piece to gain themselves status as U.S. residents, a path to citizenship, and a piece of whatever action the investment brings.


Between Whole Foods and Fast Food
03/06/14 4:45pm

View of Midtown from Downtown, Including Site of Proposed Alexan Midtown, Main St. at Hadley, Midtown, Houston

Some earth-moving work has begun on the half-block surrounded by Main St., Hadley, and Travis, where a new red-colored 7-story apartment block called the Alexan Midtown is about to go up on land once reserved for a Houston Fire Museum expansion. “Not exactly the January groundbreaking we were expecting, but I’m glad it is finally happening,” writes the photographer who sent in this aerial view from the north. The 1.44-acre apartment site is the naked dirt portion smack dab in the center of the photo, on the near side of parking lot. Here’s a zoomed-in view:


Looking Down on Midtown