08/28/18 11:45am

MATTRESS1ONE HAS SHUTTERED IN THE PLAZA ON RICHMOND, ACROSS FROM THE OTHER MATTRESS1ONE The closed location at 5132 Richmond Ave is the younger one: it opened up in 2016 on the north side of the street, opposite the 5129 location that’d already been in business for 2 years. On deck for the empty 6,555-sq.-ft. Plaza On Richmond box indicated above: Amazing Lash Studio. The cosmetic chain has roughly a dozen outer-Loop Houston locations. Map of The Plaza On Richmond: Greenwich Management

08/27/18 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANOTHER MFAH STICKER SOLUTION “It will be a sad day in Houston when there are no MFAH stickers stuck to things in the Museum District. You’d think that the museum long ago would have embraced the tradition and added some weird sculpture-looking things in front of all exits that say ‘stick stickers here.’ It would reduce the occurrences of random vandalism by hoodlums. I wonder how many tags they expect to ‘lose’ as part of this experiment?” [toasty, commenting on Flood Bond Passes; Harvey Movie Sets Its Premiere Date; MFAH Stickers Swapped Out for Reusable Tags] Photo of sticker collage at Binz and San Jacinto streets: Alley Lyles

08/27/18 9:45am

DACAPO’S DECAMPS FROM ITS 11TH ST. CORNER NEXT MONTH A Friday afternoon Facebook post from the owners of Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe broke the news that they’re closing on September 29 and skipping town for Tahlequah, Oklahoma where they’ll be “retiring a little early” after 14 years in the storefront pictured above. Of all 4 structures at the intersection of E. 11th St. and Studewood — including the catty-corner Ruggles-Green-turned-Bellagreen, along with Liberty Kitchen and Someburger’s longstanding fast-food shack — the bakery is the oldest; it went up shortly after the surrounding North Norhill subdivision filled up with homeowners in the ’20s. Six years after Dacapo’s moved in, its building became part of the pistol-shaped Norhill Historic District. Situated in the district’s southwest corner — at the end of its original commercial center along 11th — it’s one of the few retail structures left over from the neighborhood’s early days. [Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe; neighborhood history] Photo: Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe

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

08/23/18 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FORMER INK SPOTS MUSEUM FACES THE MUSIC “The building on E. 20th was for years the The Original Huey ‘Ink Spot’ Long Living History Music Museum. Very cool for neighbors, visitors, and especially Hamilton Middle School students to be able to pass by or visit it. The Ink Spots Museum is now online.” [Miz Brook Smith, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Sampson & Beulah; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Martha D.

08/23/18 10:15am

MEMORIAL CITY SEARS BITES THE DUST Next up for closure as part of the ongoing nationwide Sears shutterings: the Memorial City Mall location. It opened in 1962 along with the mall itself, where it occupies the 195,710-sq.-ft. southwestern wing. Thirty-two other Searses are going away with it across 21 states — reports Business Insider — including one fellow Texas store in Bryan. [Business Insider; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Toru O.

08/21/18 12:30pm

BROTHERS TACO HOUSE’S BACKYARD COULD CHANGE HANDS ANY DAY NOW The 1.3 acres situated behind Brothers Taco House are now under contract after just over a month on the market. Aside from the 6,000-sq.-ft. northeast portion of the block occupied by the restaurant and its parking lot, the rest has long been empty. It’s all overlooked by a row of townhouses put up along Bastrop St. in 2008. [HAR via HAIF] Photo: Swamplox inbox

08/21/18 10:00am

HOLOGRAM OF ROY ORBISON AT SMART FINANCIAL CENTER: ONE NIGHT ONLY

Tickets go on sale this Friday for the digital likeness of Roy Orbison that’s making a tour stop at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land on October 26, reports the Chronicle‘s Joey Guerra. It’s part of a 28-concert run the hologram will be performing throughout the US, to be followed by a 2019 tour in Australia. Houston’s own BASE Hologram — headquartered at 3009 Post Oak across from the waterwall — developed the laser technology that imitates Orbison. Aside from him, the rest of the band is real (it’s London’s Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the video above from a UK performance in April) and they’ve even got a rapport going with the ghost singer. “Between songs,” reads the tour website, “you will clap your hands numb as he interacts with the other musicians and reacts to you in the audience.” [Houston Chronicle; more info] Video: Jai Freeman

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 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BRIARMEADOW’S DOGGY DAYCARE DOGPILE “Anyone else notice this area of town is getting rather saturated in doggy day cares? There’s one at Richmond on the other side of Fountainview, one on the north side of 59 just before Fountainview, one on Westheimer just west of Briarhurst . . . and those are just the ones that come immediately to mind.” [cricketty, commenting on Former Richmond Ave Furniture Royalty Will Now Provide Lodging for Animals] Map showing existing dog daycares in red, proposed in blue: Swamplox inbox

08/15/18 3:30pm

RECENTER REBUILDING GETS GOING ON MAIN ST. Midtown sobriety nonprofit ReCenter — formerly the Men’s Center — is now getting started building a new building in place of its old campus at 3805 and 3809 Main St. BRAVE Architecture’s design for the new housing, education, and detox facility — shown above fronting the Red Line — hasn’t taken shape yet, but a big hole recently has, according to a passerby, foreshadowing the coming construction. Since demolishing the 2 structures previously on site, the center’s been operating out of the former gas station convenience store just east on the block, at the corner of Fannin and Alabama. (Some additional office space is also tucked inside a converted home at 3816 Fannin.) [Previously on Swamplot] Rendering: BRAVE Architects

08/15/18 2:15pm

ASTROTURF INDUSTRY SHOWS STEADY GROWTH AS HOUSTON HOMEOWNERS GIVE UP ON THEIR LAWNS Business is booming in the synthetic grass sector here where the product got its start. One Houston installation firm’s rep tells the Chronicle’s Dianne Cowen he’s scaled up his staff by a factor of 5 since 2013. Nationwide, demand for the green stuff has tripled since 2011 and in order to keep up, production is expected to grow 20 percent over the next 3 years. Multiple strains are now being cultivated: zoysia, Bermuda and even St. Augustine — designed with short and long fibers that when clumped look like the real thing. To townhome owners, it’s an attractive furnishing for their tiny backyards — reports Cowen. Same goes for pet owners whose lawns are suffering from too much trampling. Though for them, there’s some watering involved: a monthly hose-off with a $20 bottle of sanitizer. [Houston Chronicle] Photo of synthetic grass installation: London looks [license]

08/15/18 10:15am

A CURTAIN CALL FOR THE HIDDEN WESTERN UNION BUILDING BEFORE BANK OF AMERICA CENTER DIGESTS IT? With workers now punching holes in the facade where the Bank of America Center wraps the dead Western Union building it swallowed in 1983, city planner David Welch asks the question: “Will we be able to see the hidden building during construction?” It should be hard to miss; according to one Swamplot reader: “It is completely intact, tar and gravel roof included.” Size-wise, it takes up nearly a quarter of the B of A building’s ground floor, its northeast corner wrapped by the skyscraper’s own at Lousiana and Capitol streets — where the new openings are taking shape now. But its emergence may be brief: Once the planned new restaurant and cafe get situated inside it, the structure’s time-capsule mystique will be gone. And after new interior entrances open its innards to the tower’s own central lobby corridor, the telegram building will be completely metabolized. [David Welch; previously on Swamplot] Photo: David Welch

08/14/18 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A HIDDEN MEMORIAL DR. DOG SPOT MEETS ITS END “I always liked to go to that site with the dog in the winter; not sure why, but because of the slope, mixed with the cold air, it made me feel that I was not in Houston. It was not a well known location unless you lived in the neighborhood, though I did not. Others also played with their dogs there. Another cool hidden spot bites the dust.” [Montrose Resident, commenting on Alexan Memorial Apartments Are Heading to Rice Military] Illustration: Lulu

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