09/04/18 4:00pm

POSTINO WINE BAR IS GETTING ALL TINGLY AGAIN ABOUT OPENING A NEW LOCATION IN AN OLD BUILDING Back in April, the Chronicle’s Greg Morago reported that the management behind Postino Wine Bar “got goosebumps” while checking out the portion of the old Pappas Restaurants complex off Yale St. that eventually became their debut Houston location in Heights Mercantile. Now, the sensation has come back to haunt them: “Walking into the old Montrose Mining Company – such a storied space that’s been a neighborhood gathering space since the 1970s – gave us goosebumps,” the chain’s owner tells him. And so: Renovations will begin soon to bring the longtime gay bar at 805 Pacific St. back into service as Houston’s second Postino. The venue’s former proprietor Charles Armstrong sold it to a group overseen by Fred Sharifi — the owner of the neighboring Baba Yega Cafe — in January, following the bar’s shutdown in 2016. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplox inbox

09/04/18 10:30am

A recent tax filing reveals Sweet Bribery is the moniker of the corner ice cream shop Braun Enterprises has been showing in its site plan for 250 W. 19th St. without daring to speak its name. It’s the last of the 5 new tenants that the developer’s been ushering into the former Chippendale Eastlake Antiques store since buying it in 2015. (One of which — an ice cream offshoot of Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts called Lee’s Creamery — appears no longer bound for the building.) Pictured above is the western flank it’d occupy, which backs up to Urban Float sensory deprivation spa’s entrance off Rutland St.

Next door to the creamery, clothing stores Mary & Moss and Proper are already doing business along 19th St.:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

250 W. 19th St.
08/31/18 10:30am

4 FLOORS OF APARTMENTS EYEING AVONDALE HALF-ACREAGE BEHIND BISTECCA The owner of 214 Avondale St. has plans to build a 4-story apartment complex on-site and is now seeking an off-street parking variance for the would-be development. If the planning commission signs off on it next month, the building would be permitted to go up with 60 spaces, 5 less than city rules mandate for the just-under-half-acre site, 2 blocks west of Bagby and directly north of Bistecca Ristorante. (Seven bike racks capable of holding 28 bikes total would also be included.) The public hearing for the proposal goes down on Thursday, September 13. Map: Houston Planning Commission

08/30/18 12:01pm

SOMERSET LOFTS SIGN UP TO NEIGHBOR FORTHCOMING RAILWAY HEIGHTS FOOD HALL Four floors of apartments are staking their claim to the unbuilt 2-and-a-half acre tract next to the warehouse that’s becoming a food hall at 11th and Hempstead. With a nod from the city planning commission and some tax credits bestowed by the Texas Department of Housing last month, Blossom Development is now ready to start building the complex. Its bargain with the state mandates that at least some of the 120 units be priced below market rate. Map: Houston Planning Commission Agenda

08/28/18 4:00pm

Here’s a glimpse of what 317 W. 19th St. might look like with a roof over its head for the first time in a few decades and something inside that presumably isn’t junk. An entity connected to the next-door Maryam’s Cafe bought the 6,600-sq.-ft. lot in February. Shortly after, all the odds and ends that once kept it occupied vanished.

Gone as well: the sheet-metal facade that shielded them from the public eye. But not entirley:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Next to Maryam’s Cafe
08/27/18 2:00pm

The outline of a 20-story apartment building called Montrose Gardens made its first public appearance late Friday in the city’s planning commission agenda, where its footprint covers over that of the Khun Kay Thai Cafe on the corner of Montrose Blvd. and W. Clay St. Only 9 of those stories will be for living, so what’s going into the rest? According to the building’s engineer: “A variety of retail stores, restaurants, and coffee shops” — all 24,000 sq.-ft. of which would be buffered from the 150-or-so upstairs apartments by 9 stories of resident-only parking. Underground, a separate 2 floor garage will gobble up retail traffic from an opening on W. Clay.

Also present on the 19,900-sq.-ft. site where the apartment’s staking its claim: the restaurant’s 2 parking lots. The northern one ran over the duplex-turned-psychic-shop directly south of it after the structure — memorialized in the aerial below — was demolished in 2016:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Montrose Gardens
08/27/18 12:00pm

A pile of building parts is now all that stands in the way of the 4,500-sq.-ft. strip that Houston developer Ancorian wants to place at Yale and E. 27th, opposite the other shopping center it’s now ushering tenants into across the street. In place of the standalone Church’s Fried Chicken drive-thru — pictured above before and after its demo last week — a rendering now shows 3 newcomers lined up next to each other at 2702 Yale.

One of them carries on the site’s fast-food legacy with more of a niche focus:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Chickening Out on Yale
08/24/18 4:30pm

A Swamplot reader notes that 7 variances signs recently cropped up all at once on 5 adjacent blocks in the Second Ward. Each one indicates a request for the same thing: to chop up the properties into lots less than 3,500-sq.-ft. each so that new townhomes can rise on them. (Some include more specific requests too, like shuffling around parking and scooting certain homes closer to the roads.) Taken together, 127 new homes would be spread across just under 4 acres in the area, bounded Sampson and Milby streets to the east and west — and Garrow and Commerce to the north and south.

Some houses would fill in the gaps between warehouse buildings and cottages, while others would take their spots:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Single-Family Swapout
08/23/18 5:15pm

APARTMENT GROUNDWORK GETS GOING NEXT TO FORMER PINE CREST GOLF COURSE FAIRWAY A couple building permits filed yesterday show developer engineering firm Kimley Horn is about to put down the foundation for some apartments just west of the Pine Crest Golf Course. While the golf course — slated for 800 houses of its own following the city’s sign-off in April — lies almost entirely within the 100-year floodplain, the adjacent apartment site is mostly unmapped by FEMA, although an eastern sliver of it along Gessner Rd. does carry the 500-year designation. All 16 acres at 10333 Clay Rd. are currently vacant; they’re split between 2 abutting properties together dubbed Spring Shadows Business Park when their boundaries were officially redrawn in June. [Previously on Swamplot] Map of 10333 Clay Rd.: Houston Planning Commission

08/22/18 3:00pm

Plans for the 3-story Campanile on Commerce apartments slated for the corner of Commerce and Delano streets are still winding their way through the city’s approval process, but a new strip of imagery shows what they’d look like viewed from the magnet school across the street from them. The idea is to put 220 120 units on the vacant 3-acre field extending directly north and east of the Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk (which recently dropped its pre-K through 5th grade programs to go middle-school-only). A corner porte-cochere depicted above on the right would front Commerce adjacent to the complex’s entrance driveway.

Parking hooks around the back of the apartments, buffering them from the block-long warehouse building directly to their north:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Campanile on Commerce
08/17/18 10:00am

MONTROSE SHAKE SHACK CONSTRUCTION IS ABOUT TO BEGIN A building permit filed yesterday for the corner where Burger King’s been lying in pieces on Westheimer near Montrose Blvd. reveals construction is imminent on the Shack Shake set to replace it. Upon completion, it’ll be Houston’s fourth Shake Shack location, after the one in Rice Village, at the Galleria, and in section 157 at Minute Maid Park. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplox inbox

08/16/18 2:00pm

Petco, Michaels, Bed Bath and Beyond, and a big Dick’s Sporting Goods store are among the retailers now lining up for spots in Newquest Properties‘ new Grand-Parkway-adjacent shopping center dubbed The Grand at Aliana. They’ll be buffered from the highway by a roughly 2,400-car-parking lot and a front-line of fast food restaurants. The whole Grand plan hits the Houston Planning Commission’s desk later this afternoon at City Hall Annex, 20 miles away from where the development would be built off W. Airport Blvd.

The map at top shows it vying for attention up there amid the blue jigsaw grid of proposed and recently-built neighborhoods that keep appearing around the highway. In orange is the shopping center’s namesake, the 2,8000-house-and-counting Aliana community that wraps it to the east.

Viewed from the east in the conceptual shot below, you can see some of those houses in the foreground:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Grandstanding
08/16/18 10:00am

A vast pet boarding facility is now taking over the Winport Furniture building at 6393 Richmond — which stretches back south nearly the entire block along Unity Dr., pictured above. After sitting on the place for 6 months, the pet resort operator that bought it filed a building permit yesterday indicating it’s about to rejigger the former 19,497-sq.-ft. showroom with the help of Slattery Tackett Architects.

Before shifting its focus to office furniture in 2016, the building dealt in home items and called itself The Chair King:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Gone to the Dogs
08/14/18 11:30am

ALEXAN MEMORIAL APARTMENTS ARE HEADING TO RICE MILITARY A group linked to Dallas developer Trammell Crow recently filed plans with Houston’s planning commission to prep the shaded 2.5-acre parcel shown on the map between Sandman and the dead end of Reinerman St. for new apartments under the Alexan name. The complex would be backed by a ramp that diverges from the north side of Memorial Dr. and neighbored by a 3-story building that forms part of the DePelchin Children’s Center’s main Houston campus. Ordered off the site to make way for the new construction: some parking for the adjacent adoption and foster care center and a vacant, H-shaped office building to the west. Map: Houston Planning Commission

08/13/18 12:00pm

A new sketch of the Almeda Rd. building that Art Supply on Main wants to construct and move into shows the borders and outlines of what’s planned for its exterior. Like the current store — soon to make way for the highrise that’s taking over its lot between Drew and Dennis streets — the new one will include studio and living spaces along with retail, all within 2 stories. It’ll sit on a 2-plus acre site — highlighted by the red polygon in the map above (and nuzzled by a pale blue limb of 500-year floodplain) — originally part of Riverside Terrace, now just west of 288 and across from Our Legends Cigar Bar off Oakdale St.

Parking will remain in the back, with entrances off Oakdale and an alley to the south indicated in the site plan below:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Midtown Moveout