08/01/18 4:30pm

Dump trucks are now filing onto the barricaded block once home to the Houston Chronicle building — and more recently a parking lot — at Texas and Travis to start laying the foundation for Hines’s new 47-floor tower and soon-to-be new global headquarters. The photo above views the traffic from way up on the 31st floor of the site’s catty-corner northeast neighbor Aris Market Square — which the new building will overtop along with pretty much everything else nearby except the Chase Tower directly south of it. Law firm Vinson & Elkins will occupy the building’s top 7 floors.

A series of glassed-in atria shown in the rendering above from architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli hang out along the structure’s edge facing Milam St. Viewed from closer up, you can even see some people and trees inside them looking out on what’s below:

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Dump Truck Parade
07/27/18 11:45am

Although the lettering’s been gone from Abel Motors’ roadside sign since the auto shop moved in 2016, it’s still got a helpful pointer for passers-by: The Burger Joint is about to take the place over. Pictured above is what the dealership looked like on the northeast corner of Shepherd and 20th St. in its heyday. Since peeling out for a new spot at 9102 Airline Dr., its old digs have been transformed by the brick strip center pictured at top — soon to house the burger restaurant’s first venture north from its sole existing location on Montrose at Westheimer.

Another view of the new burger sign shows it’s still drawing a blank on lower-level messaging:

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Shifting Gears
07/25/18 10:00am

Framing is up for the row of houses dubbed Avenue Meadows that Avenue CDC is planting along Meadow Lea Rd., just south of Berry Rd. Each of the nearly 1,200-sq.-ft. structures will be 2 stories upon completion, although the photo at top shows most of them still haven’t risen above single-floor status. Within the set of 10 total houses, the architects at StudioMET designed 2 versions: The Monarch and The Admiral.

Builders laid the groundwork for each of the homes in April. Once they’re done, Avenue CDC plans to fill them with a mix of low to mid-income inhabitants, with a few market rate buyers sprinkled into the mix as well.

Photos: Avenue CDC

Avenue Meadows
07/23/18 5:15pm

Here’s the latest look at the Gables Westcreek apartments from right outside their planned garage entrance on Westcreek Ln. south of San Felipe. The 302-unit highrise is set to take over a 2.6-acre southwest portion of the site once occupied by the Westcreek Apartments. (Other chunks of that demolished complex have already been divvied up among the Arabella, Wilshire, SkyHouse River Oaks, and some surface parking.)

In those digs, 14 stories will pile up atop the ground floor parking garage, as shown in the site plan below from architect Ziegler Cooper:

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Gables Westcreek
07/11/18 9:30am

WHAT’S ON TAP ACROSS FROM THE MATCH A building permit filed just recently reveals the latest tenant in the group that’s been ganging up in the ground floor of the double-block-long Mid Main Lofts over the past few months: The Brass Tap. With 8 locations already open in Texas — but none in Houston — the Florida-born, alloy-themed franchise had been looking around town for a good spot to make its local debut, reported the Chronicle back in January. It’s settled on 922 Holman St., putting it around the corner from newcomer Kura Revolving Sushi Bar on Main St. (pictured above in advance of its opening earlier this year), close to that other bar now cropping up on the apartment’s Travis-St.-side, and directly across the street from the MATCH. The number of actual taps that can be expected to operate inside: roughly 60, with supplementary bottled offerings bringing the total beer count to about 200 national and international selections. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Kura Revolving Sushi Bar: Natalie W

07/06/18 10:00am

Despite the bare-bones look, construction on Saint Arnold’s drinking and entertainment complex across Semmes St. from its existing brewery is nearly complete. Renderings put out earlier by the brewery called for the steel beams supporting the roof over its back patio to extend beyond the covering, leaving the southernmost portion of the seating area unshaded. New landscaping now adds to the decor below it all.

But the big thing still missing is the lettering that’s planned to spell out the brewery’s name along the extended cupola, as shown at the top of the rendering below:

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Fifth Ward
07/03/18 4:00pm

At last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Turner told residents that the Stanley Park subdivision now on the rise in the 100-year floodplain south of Timbergrove Manor “is currently on hold. I know Harris County Flood Control has put a hold on it. We have also put a hold on it to take a look at it.” But as of Monday morning, site work was still continuing on the 12-acre parcel — according to StopStanleyPark, an organization nearby residents set up to oppose the project — until the red tag pictured above was issued for it in the afternoon.

A pair of dump trucks, along with an excavator were the latest visitors to the job site at the end of Shirkmere Dr.:

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Splash of Color
07/02/18 12:15pm

From start to finish, the video above fast forwards through about 2 years of construction on the Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts’ new building at 790 Austin St. Following an official groundbreaking in late 2014, workers stacked 5 floors atop a 2-story underground parking garage (which took on about 10 in. of water during Harvey) — leaving space in the front face on Austin St. for a multistory jigsaw-like window.

That opening started out as more of a hole:

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Assembly Period
06/28/18 12:15pm

Here’s what’s now being stabbed onto the vacant Midtown block bounded by Gray, Austin, Webster, and LaBranch streets catty-corner to the parking lot fronting St. Joseph Professional building and its recently-fallen cross: a 216-unit apartment building. The 5-story brick-and-stucco structure — pictured in the rendering above from architect Steinberg Dickey Collaborative — rests on 2 stories of parking. Its developer Winther Investment bought the full block along with the adjacent one southeast of it in 2013, where it plans to plant another residential building once this current cube is complete.

Rendering: Steinberg Dickey Collaborative

Stack of Bricks
06/27/18 9:30am

A Swamplot reader reports that construction vehicles have started pushing dirt around on the east side of 610, opposite the Northwest Mall. That marks some down-to-earth progress on developer David Weekley Homes’ plans to turn the 5.4-acre northeast corner (indicated at top) into something homelier than what its encompassing 33.6-acre tract (indicated above) is now: vacant.

Weekley filed plans last month to create a new subdivision dubbed Heights at Minimax that’s entered where Salford Dr. now terminates in a roundabout. Those whereabouts set the neighborhood back some from the West Loop, beyond an undeveloped buffer zone.

You can see where the west end of that zone butts up against the highway behind the Miller Lite billboard in the photo below, taken back before construction wrapped up on 610’s elevated northbound feeder lanes above Hempstead Dr. last March:

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Heights at Minimax
06/25/18 1:30pm

At least one imaginary student couldn’t be more excited for Sam Houston State University’s new Art Complex. It’s not up and running yet, however; construction on the 4-floor studio and gallery space began earlier this month, after the school’s Board of Regents okayed Kirksey Architecture’s plans for the building in February.

When finished, it’ll consolidate the art facilities now spread across 7 separate campus buildings, mapped out below:

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Kilns Out Back
06/25/18 11:30am

Construction is almost a wrap on the 13-story parking garage bounded by Fannin, Rusk, and Walker streets — and neighbored by the Le Meridien hotel shown above to the east. Looking from the southwest, you can see the 2 structures shouldering up close to each other. But aside from their proximity on the block, there’s not much else they have in common: The garage serves the Jones on Main complex, a WeWork-inclusive renovation of the Gulf Building and adjacent Great Jones building, both 2 blocks away.

Another shot taken from 1001 McKinney’s 12-story garagecatty corner to the new structure — looks north up Fannin to show more of the concrete exterior:

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Surface Lot, All Grown Up
06/25/18 9:30am

A Swamplot reader stopping by Nourish + Kalos’s coffee and juice venue this weekend sends a photo of a new shipping container that’s now filling in the food gap between the beverage spot and Wendy’s’s drive-thru, visible on the south side of Cornish St. above. The box landed recently in the western end zone of a third-acre field off Durham — adjacent to GH Leather’s tan warehouse — that’s been starved for attention, save for that of the occasional food truck. Another less recent and less visible development for the container-containing parcel: an electrical permit filed on it in late April.

While the property housing the container — as well as a 5,000-sq.-ft. vacant lot abutting it — have been owned by the same entity since 2012, the grass-less corner lot shown beyond newly-installed black fencing in the photo above is in the hands of a different party. Nothing’s been built on any of the flatlands in over a decade, even as the neighboring strip building home to Gumbo Jeaux’s, Vape HQ, and Nourish + Kalos went up to the north in 2014.

Photos: Jason Cockerell

Need a Box for That?
06/22/18 5:00pm

About 2-and-a-half floors of the soon-to-be-5-story Broadstone Studemont apartment building are now standing on a 4-acre parcel between Hicks and Summer streets. The shot above takes a look at the complex from an extension of Summer St. laid down west of Studemont — and Kroger — prior to the apartments’ groundbreaking in February.

The road segment cuts between the north side of the apartments and the planned Studemont Junction retail center opposite them, highlighted in the site plan below:

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Graveside Mid-Rise
06/19/18 2:00pm

Photos from the 13th floor of the office tower at 1200 Binz St. look northeast to show the state of things at Holocaust Museum Houston’s construction site off Caroline St. Peeking out behind the chimney-like roof cylinder on the existing wedge-shaped building, you can seek 3 stories of steel now standing behind it. They make up a nearly three-times-larger structure now taking shape where the museum’s previous single-story northern building was torn down earlier this year. In its place, the new 57,000- sq.-footer designed by Mucasey & Associates will house a 200-seat theater, bigger exhibition spaces, more classrooms, a larger library, and more offices than its predecessor.

It’ll abut the existing ramped building as shown in the elevation below, with an entrance in between the 2:

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3-Story Steel