04/11/18 12:30pm

Here’s a southeastern view of the 5,600-sq.-ft. retail building — dubbed Shops on Watson — that Edge Realty wants to plant adjacent to the Woodland Heights welcome sign on the corner of Watson and Usener streets. The structure’s front deck looks out beyond a 22-spot parking lot at the new-ish Elan Heights apartments across Usener to the immediate south. On the east side of the building, 4 more head-in spots line a portion of Watson.

The new development is planned in place of a few warehouse buildings that currently sit on a shady, just-under-half-acre parcel at 2401 Watson St.

Rendering and site plan: Edge Realty

Woodland Heights
04/05/18 12:30pm

A bunch of pipes arrived yesterday in the vacant field behind a pair of Montrose video stores, a Swamplot reader reports. Audio Video Plus shut down 6 years ago, next door to it on W. Clay is the warehouse home to the lesser known Astro Audio Video equipment rental store — also shuttered. The photo above shows the scene on Peveto St. behind the latter store.

Audio Video Plus neighbors another vacant storefront — Quintanilla Jewelers — in the strip mall on the corner of Waugh:

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North Montrose
04/04/18 1:00pm

Braun has a 2-step plan for developing the former Aztec Rental Services property on 34th St. between Oak Forest and Ella. A brochure on the developer’s website designates the portion of the site to the east as that of future residences. On the western edge of the would-be housing spot, Aztec’s former storefront — pictured above — looks toward an additional 2-acre parcel the equipment outfitter gave up.

That’s where Braun wants to plant a pair of 10,050-sq.-ft. retail buildings surrounded by a moat of parking:

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One of Each
04/03/18 3:00pm

Yet another Randalls is seeing itself out of a major shopping center space — this one in the Keegan’s Meadow complex at the corner of W. Bellfort Ave. and S. Kirkwood Rd. in Stafford. The photo above looks beyond the pumps at the grocery chain’s street-fronting gas station to show the store decorated with a liquidation sign identical to the one that’s currently posted on the Oak Forest location. The white Randalls lettering on the 53,250-sq.-ft. grocery store at 11711 W. Bellfort came down last month from the façade now taken up by the banner. An in-store Wells Fargo branch occupies the northeastern portion of the store, opposite the Avalon Discount Liquor adjacent to the its west side.

Photo: Swamplox inbox. Site plan: Brixmor

Stafford Send-Off
04/03/18 12:00pm

Here’s the new 2,500-sq.-ft. strip center planned in the parking lot next door to Prince’s Hamburgers’ abandoned building on Ella Blvd. north of 34th St. The photo above, sent in by a Swamplot reader, views the former restaurant from the north, outside the closed-down A1 Auto Deals used car lot near the train tracks that cross Ella south of Judiway St. Between the auto dealer and the restaurant is where the strip center would go, at the west end of what’s now an additional 13,204-sq.-ft. parking lot.

Prince’s took over the restaurant building from Jack in the Box in 2016:

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Garden Oaks Preview
04/02/18 11:30am

Longtime anchor tenant Randalls is getting ready to retreat from the west side of the Northbrook Shopping Center on 34th St. just off 290 in Oak Forest. A banner hung up on the front of the 54,806-sq-ft. space announces the liquidation sale now underway inside.

The grocery store neighbors GameStop and a Habitat for Humanity resale store in the 174,181-sq.-ft. strip:

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34th and 290
03/29/18 4:00pm

Ancorian subsidiary CityLands has plans to plant a medical office building with street-level retail in place of the barrel-vaulted 1970 Goodyear auto shop at 3720 Westheimer. Leasing materials dub the new 40,250-sq.-ft. building the Surgery Center of River Oaks. However, the anchor tenant that CityLands says has leased more than half the structure’s square footage has a different take on its whereabouts — the partnership of doctors calls itself the Upper Kirby Surgical Center.

The rendering above shows a drive-up entrance fronting the planned building — which the developer says will include “integrated parking.” The lot that CityLands bought from the car center’s owner earlier this year backs up about 160-ft. north from Westheimer to abut the cul-de-sac of Locke Ln.

Photo: Arch-ive. Rendering: CityLands

Westheimer Retirement
03/26/18 4:00pm

The Aqua Hand Car Wash & Detail on the corner of W. Dallas could get even wetter pending the TABC’s permission for the business to serve mixed drinks on-site. The photo above, sent in by a Swamplot reader, shows the 680-sq.-ft., butterfly-roofed building where a notice naming Aqua Heights LLC as the applicant for a mixed beverage permit now hangs in the window.

The building went up on the long-vacant field at 1013 Montrose in 2011. Washing, waxing, and detailing take place in a parking lot to the east and south of the structure.

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Wet Bar
03/26/18 2:00pm

The 1950 building at 4502 Greenbriar formerly home to the Neal & Company antique shop has been taken over by Fleet Feet Sports. The running gear retailer bought the building — last renovated in 2005 — just under 2 months ago. Shortly before the sale, Fleet Feet closed its nearby store in Rice Village — on the north side of Rice Blvd. next to Tea Bar and Organics.

Head-in parking now fronts 2 sides of the Greenbriar location — as opposed to just one at the old Rice Village store:

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Head-to-Head Head-In Parking
03/15/18 2:45pm

YOUR GUIDE TO THE HOUSTON TOYS R US STORES NOW GETTING READY TO CLOSE As part of the bankruptcy filing it submitted this morning, Toys R Us announced plans to close or sell all of its 735 stores nationwide. Thirteen of those locations are in the Houston area: at the corner of Kirby and Old Spanish Trail, on Westheimer just east of Fountain View, in the Village Plaza at Bunker Hill shopping center on the Katy Fwy., in the Katy Mills mall, in the Houston Premium Outlets on 290 just east of the Grand Pkwy., on Beltway 8 just north of Fairmont Pkwy., in Pearland Town Center, in the Willowbrook Court shopping center next to the Willowbrook Mall, in Sugar Land’s Colony Square, in Baybrook Square on the Gulf Fwy., on the East Fwy. in Baytown across from the San Jacinto Mall, in Texas City’s Tanger Outlets on the Gulf Fwy., and in The Woodlands’ Pinecroft Center. Standalone Babies R Us locations are on the Katy Fwy. at N. Fry Rd., on Cypress Creek Pkwy. just west of I-45, on 59 northeast of First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, and on the Gulf Fwy. at El Dorado Blvd. in Friendswood. The OST and Westheimer Toys R Us boxes (both of which include in-store Babies R Us departments) measure 45,000 sq. ft. [USA Today] Photo of Toys R Us at 1212 Old Spanish Trail: Nhan N.

03/15/18 11:15am

Here’s another development that the Oxberry Group has planned: a strip center for the northwest corner of San Felipe and Chimney Rock Rd. dubbed Shops at Tanglewood. The 2-story retail building and its parking lot would go in place of 4 houses that currently occupy the corner east of the Gables Tanglewood apartments — one pair fronts San Felipe and the other sits along Chimney Rock, as you can sort of see in this map:

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Residential Replacement
03/14/18 4:45pm

The Oxberry Group is ready to rechristen the vacant Gibbs Boats building at 1110 W. Gray St. as Rêve at Montrose: a new, patio-fronting shopping center. The boat business shuttered in the 11,696-sq.-ft. warehouse building it had occupied for 56 years after selling off the last of its fleet in 2014.

Major changes slated for the building now include a takedown of its shed-roofed portion closest to Montrose Blvd. In place of that area, outdoor seating — shown above in the rendering from Tipps Architecture — will line the street. A clock tower planted between the existing 1- and 2-story parts of the building would be its new high point. And at the north end of Gibbs’ former lot — next to the U-Plumb-It hardware store — a 2,630-sq.-ft. retail add-on would take the place of a yard once used for boat work.

The site plan below shows the addition (colored red) jutting out and separating the pedestrian plaza from a driveway to the planned parking lot:

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Rêve at Montrose
03/13/18 3:30pm

The sheet metal façade backed by an assortment of shipping-container parts is now gone, and mountains of stuff have been removed from the longtime junk emporium at 317 W. 19th St. in the Heights, perhaps better known as the open-air building with a front but no roof that lent the shopping district its perhaps now diminished air of funk. The photo at top, sent Swamplot’s way by a flabbergasted reader, shows the now-vacant lot with everything removed. Below it, a rare aerial view from a few years ago reveals secret stashes maintained behind the lot’s corrugated streetfront.

But perhaps what you remember of this lot is different: a mysterious supply house behind whose shiny gate backdrops for hundreds of street scenes emerged over the years? Or a backdrop for fashion shoots?

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Junked
03/13/18 12:00pm

The teeth, eyes, and . . . uh, overall shape of the new shopping center Braun Enterprises is planning for N. Shepherd and 24th St. can be considered taken care of, now that Lovett Dental, Eyes on the Heights Optometry, and Club Pilates have each signed leases for space in the development. That leaves 11,555 sq. ft. still available in 3 separate end-cap spots for any nail salon, podiatrist, or dermatology clinic that wants to fill out the theming for the complex, which would go on the block catty-corner to the H-E-B Heights Market currently under construction.

This would fit in with N. Shepherd’s ongoing transformation: Braun plans to demolish the Miller’s Auto Body Repair Experts facility (as of now still open for business) as well a building formerly occupied by Auto Electric Service on the site in order to construct the 24,000-sq.-ft. shopping center, which includes structured parking as well as a parking lot on the roof of one of the 2 buildings.

A full human-body-part-focused buildout for this planned complex at 2401 N. Shepherd Dr. isn’t so far-fetched: the latest renderings released for the development include generic signage for both a nail salon and a fitness club:

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Body Shop to Body Shopping
03/08/18 2:15pm

Construction fencing is now up in Uptown Park, marking the last call for cornices, pilasters, pediments, faked balcony windows, and assorted handcrafted Styrofoam façade detailing slated for removal as part of renovations planned for the vintage 1998 shopping center parked along the West Loop feeder road.

The new project — announced last October by owner Edens Investment Trust — will pare down the complex’s Olde World gewgaws, leaving behind simpler and more modern exteriors. Live oak trees are to be planted near some of the parking lots’ sunnier spots. (Former owner AmREIT’s plans for adding hotel and residential buildings to the complex were scrapped when Edens bought the entity in 2015.)

The 2-story space shown in the photo at top (next to Cafe Express) was abandoned by women’s wear store BB1 Classic at the end of last year. Soon, it will be remade into a restaurant dubbed Flower Child. The vacant, porticoed east side of the building in the northwest corner of the center — pictured above — is also now fenced. (Class, however, is still in session at the MISS Academy finishing school on the west side of the structure.)

This parking-space corral is now up at the building’s northeast corner:

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Just a Trim Trim