The launching pad for I-45’s Mount Rush Hour, that presidential muck circle in Pearland, and more outsize sculpture projects has a buyer. David Adickes — creator of the giant Sam Houston of Huntsville and the disembodied cellist in front of the Lyric Center Downtown, and yes, the original owner and projectionist for sixties psychedelic Commerce St. hangout Love Street Light Circus — is selling his SculpturWorx compound off Sawyer St. to Phil Arnett and L.E. “Chap” Chapman. Arnett and Chapman are best known for turning an old staple manufacturing building down the street from the original Goode Co. Bar-B-Q on Kirby into the Bartlett Lofts. Their plan for Adickes’s 78,175 sq. ft. of warehouse space at 2500 Summer St.: keeping the “artist flavor” (and most of the tenants) of the old buildings, while renovating the property and using up to 22,000 sq. ft. of it (Adickes’s first-floor studio, for example) as commercial space — maybe including a restaurant or two.
The 3-building, just-under-3-acre compound, which was listed for sale at just shy of $4 million, lies immediately south of the Sawyer Heights Target, but the developers’ plans so far appear to be steering clear of the replace-old-industrial-properties-with-suburban-style-shopping formula that shaped that development. Chapman tells Swamplot they’ll seek historic designation for at least portions of the former paint-and-varnish manufacturing facility (a portion of which may have been built as a cotton-oil refinery), and want to “preserve and save as much as we possibly can.” He says they’re hoping to put a green roof on some portion of the buildings, and gardens somewhere on the grounds as well.
Artist Melanie Millar, who rents studio space in the project, tells Swamplot it’s seemed like Adickes has had a new prospective buyer for the property about every 3 weeks. Arnett and Chapman plan to close on the building in December, but already they’ve sicked the architects from Metalab on the project, and Millar admits it does look like things are moving fast:
the next day [after she heard about the project] bill clinton, george bush the 1st and barack obama had been moved out of the middle of the parking lot and the following day when i showed up at the studio there was a GIANT crane unloading very fancy containers: shipping containers (2) with solar panels that they will use as their construction offices.
Chapman tells Swamplot he and his partner are focused on making a place that’s “great for all sorts of creative types,” and are looking at different options for first-floor tenants. Writes Millar: “I think this is very cool for david’s building and very cool development for that sawyer heights area . . . but the skeptic in me says hmmm whats the catch. for one thing i am wondering if i will be able to afford my studio space.”
- David Adickes Studio/Warehouse/Galleries [LoopNet]
- Previously on Swamplot: Ike’s Revenge: Paul Is Dead, Solar-Powered Shipping Containers Flee; It’s Apartments for the Mirabeau B., Big-Head Sculptor Sells Studio on Summer St., Ex-Presidents in Pearland: Heads Above the Muck
Photos: Candace Garcia