08/10/18 10:00am

DAIRY ASHFORD H-E-B GETTING AXED NEXT MONTH H-E-B store number 471 in the Memorial Dr. strip at Dairy Ashford will close to the public next month, Nancy Sarnoff reports, but it’ll remain filled with food items. The company plans to turn it into a warehouse for its home delivery and curbside pickup services. The mini-store has been understocked relative to other H-E-Bs — and no matter how you slice up its 28,000 sq.-ft., “There just isn’t enough space to fit everything that you would be looking for,” company prez Scott McClelland said on Facebook yesterday. Its nearest regular-sized backup H-E-B: the standalone one nearly triple its size on Westheimer and S. Kirkwood, just under 3 miles away. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Weingarten Realty

07/31/18 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NEW ART SUPPLY WILL CROP UP SOMEWHERE OFF MAIN ST. AHEAD OF PLANNED HIGHRISING “The owners of Art Supply are moving to a new location. This is a successful store, and the owners have no intention of closing up and retiring. In addition, this building has been used as studios for artists for decades as well as a location for art classes. Their new location will also have art studios.” [Robert Boyd, commenting on Australian Developer Now Has All 3 Midtown Blocks Lined Up for Incoming Highrise Trio] Photo: Keaton Joyner

07/27/18 1:45pm

Here’s another Midtown development development: Georgian breakfast restaurant Flying Biscuit Café is the first tenant to line up for a spot in the tower Caydon Property’s putting up off Main St., between Drew and Tuam streets. The 27-story building — viewed above from the east side of Fannin St. — is just south of the Art Supply on Main store that Caydon just recently snatched up and plans to replace with one in the threesome of towers that’ll eventually stretch up to McGowen.

Flying Biscuit’s other destination as part of its 2-pronged Houston entrance strategy: the west side of the strip on Kingsride Ln. off Gessner where Reginelli’s Pizzeria decamped earlier this month:

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Flightplans
07/26/18 10:15am

Museum movers are now lugging cargo out of 2204 Dorrington St. as part of the Houston Maritime Museum‘s move to the Second Ward, where it’ll remain landlocked. Two years ago, the museum announced plans to build a new $50 million facility designed by architects at Gensler next to the dock for the Sam Houston boat that conducts tours of the ship channel. But nothing’s opened up yet along that section of waterfront, south of Clinton Dr. and east of Wayside Dr. in Denver Harbor.

In leaving behind its current converted house southwest of the Med Center for new 3-story office-building environs on the corner of Canal and Navigation, the museum will take on a more businesslike appearance than it’s sported so far.

It’ll also get used to sharing its space; existing tenants in the new building include The Polnick Law Firm and Andes Cafe, pictured below from the west:

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Anchors Up
07/24/18 10:30am

The storefront between Athleta and Altar’d State on University Blvd. won’t be vacant for much longer: a building permit filed yesterday indicates Warby Parker is about to move into the space. Before it gets there, a few renovations will overhaul the 2,500-sq.-ft. box pictured at top, which lost its Yankee Candle lettering (shown above) around January when the former tenant wrapped up its close-out sale and shut its doors for good.

Photos: Trademark (vacant store); Swamplox inbox (Yankee Candle)

Village Newcomer
07/13/18 2:00pm

See that faint watermark in the aerial photo taken from up on the balcony? That’s the lap pool at the Parkside at Memorial Apartments just south of Memorial Dr., buried under more water than it’s designed to hold after the release of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs last August. Throughout the first floor of the surrounding buildings, the tide peaked at over 5-and-a-half ft. Workers spent the last 9 months helping the 4-year-old complex make a comeback; its leasing center officially reopened late last month — and on-site amenities now look less divey and more like the refurbished lap pool shown in the photo at top.

Other aquatic areas that took on more than they could handle include the complex’s other pool:

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The Deep End
07/13/18 10:00am

YOUR ODDS OF WINNING A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF CHICKEN SANDWICHES AT CHICK-FIL-A’S NEXT PEARLAND GRAND OPENING One in 1,365, a little slimmer than the chance of landing heads on a coin toss 10 times in a row. The Chick-fil-A in question, Pearland’s fifth, opens at Hwy. 288 and Aldine-Fort Bend Rd. on July 25, and in keeping with custom, the store is giving away 52 free #1 meals (chicken sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries, and a medium drink) to a group of 100 lucky loyalists selected from those who spend the night before camped out at the location, reports the Chronicle’s Dana Burke. This time though, the franchise is taking measures to ensure that only hometown competitors 18-and-up get access to the prize by limiting eligibility by zip code. The challengers: 77584, 77581, 77588, 77578, 77048, and 77047 — home to 136,500 legal adult residents of Pearland, Brookside Village, Shadow Creek Ranch, Manvel, and parts of Southeast Houston including Crestmont. To keep things competitive, reports Burke: “All participants must remain in their designated spots the entire time, with the exception of bathroom breaks.” [Houston Chronicle] Photo of 2016 Chick-fil-A First 100 event in Prestonwood, Texas: Chick-fil-A

07/10/18 3:30pm

Surf’s up at El Segundo Swim Club, the Second Ward swimming pool bar that’s now soaking up the sun on the formerly vacant lot at 5180 Avenue L, north of Navigation Blvd. The watering hole has been inviting swimmers in to take a dip over the past few days through a series of ticketed preview events that are planned to continue through this weekend.

Shade comes courtesy of the bright orange umbrellas now surrounding the pool deck — in place of the folded-up, gray ones shown above during the site’s transition phase back in February. A few modified shipping containers give visitors room to get out of the sun, too — except for the one on the left in the photo at top; it houses the bar.

The 15,000-sq.-ft. lot didn’t have much flora before the redo, but that’s changed thanks to these transplants:

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Wet Bar
07/09/18 3:00pm

Since longtime Times Blvd. tenant G&G Model Shop left its storefront last August, the space has been whitened, renovated and snapped up by ArtMix Creative Learning Center — a children’s art school that relocated from 3701 W. Alabama St. earlier this year. But the model shop — located at 2522 Times for over 60 yearsremains attached to the space. A G&G representative told Swamplot previously that the metal sign would follow the business over to its new spot in the strip center at the corner of 59 and Shepherd (home to a few more elderly Rice Village expats as well).

But just last Thursday, a poster on HAIF noted that address is still crowned by a temporary vinyl banner:

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Rice Village Relics
07/09/18 10:00am

The lights are on but no one’s home anymore at the Toys R Us on OST, shuttered along with the rest of the chain’s 18 Houston locations (including Babies R Us stores) since the end of last month. Flyers advertising everything-must-go-style sales have come down from the building’s front windows — and they weren’t exaggerating: restroom signs, cash registers, and other normally priceless appointments were pawned off during the store’s last days, reported KHOU’s Jessica Borg.

But not all of them. A few extra glances through the glass fronting the parking lot reveals a good deal of hardware that last-minute shoppers didn’t manage or didn’t care to get their hands on:

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No More Fun and Games
07/05/18 2:00pm

Permanent closing time has arrived at Upper Kirby bar Hops Meet Barley — which is now sporting leasing signage from Parkway Partners next to its own grains-themed marquee at 2245 W. Alabama St., between Revere and Greenbriar. The venue checked out just shy of a 2-year run in the space formerly home to Überrito and more formerly Mission Burrito — both of which fronted a playground that once stood in the patio pictured above.

West of the building’s entrance, a parking lot wraps around and behind the structure as part of the 19,036-sq.-ft. lot it sits on: CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Tapping Out
07/05/18 12:00pm

The sales center for the not-yet-built Mandell Montrose condo slated for Fairview St. is now closed, and a representative of its sales team tells Swamplot that the developer has no plans to reopen it. Since the building’s abandonment, signage outside the converted Hyde Park residence taken over by the agents has adopted a lower position than it previously held on the structure, pictured above.

And in the neighboring 12,493-sq.-ft. lot on the corner of Fairview and Commonwealth streets — where Midtown Uptown Development Partners planned a 7-story, 24-unit midrise to overtop the surrounding neighborhood — the tallest structures are still the signs stuck up there just over a year ago:

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Fairview and Commonwealth
07/02/18 2:30pm

Bethany United Methodist Church has officially closed its doors at 3511 Linkwood Dr. after 68 years of services, putting a question mark on the map between Timberside Dr. and Buffalo Spdwy. At the back of the 5.5-acre religious complex, a portion devoted to the Bethany Methodist Weekday School remains open. But the church — which occupies the majority of the structure’s 48,000 sq. ft. — has been shuttered since early last month.

The last time Bethany planned to use its land for non-clerical purposes, it signed off on a 4-story senior living development that would’ve gone right up on a portion of the church complex — but the midrise never got off the ground. Had it risen, it would’ve been the first real shakeup on the block since the late ’90s, when the decades-old Dome Shadows nightclub fronting Buffalo Spdwy. bit the dust and nearly 70 newly-built homes rose up in its place — just east of the church.

Here’s what the club looked like on one of its slower days:

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Latest Religious Relics
07/02/18 10:00am

TEXADELPHIA’S TAKEOVER OF THE WOODEN BOX ON MONTROSE BLVD. NOW NEARLY COMPLETE With construction on Houston’s second Texadelphia now wrapping up ahead of its planned opening, it appears the restaurant’s remodelers have opted to preserve the woodsy exterior decor originally added onto the end of the strip center just shy of 2 years ago — when the storefront switched over from Berryhill Baja Grill to Yucatan Taco Stand. That gives the restaurant a different outward character than the chain’s only other Houston location — its first step back into the city after and 2-year absence — on the corner of Westheimer and Dunvale Rd. Over there, renovations stopped short of any exterior work as well (save for the installation of the brand’s signage in place of longtime tenant Potbelly Sandwich Shop’s), leaving the restaurant to pick up in a pale stucco endcap that’d been unchanged for over a decade. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplox inbox

06/29/18 9:30am

Caffé di Firenze is the name of the coffee shop now on its way to the 127-year-old Henry Brashear building at 910 Prairie St., across from El Big Bad and Local Foods’s downtown location. Despite a renovation in 2016 that added red face-paint to the building’s formerly-black façade, its first floor has remained vacant for the past several years. Plans now call for that story to include a sidewalk seating area that’ll hang out in front of it.

Meanwhile, the building’s longtime owner is still working to get one or more tenants in the upper 2 floors — which include this outdoor patio:

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Coffee Grounds