Former Fiesta Site Preps for Teardown as Heights Dry Zone Petitioners Circle

Former Fiesta Mart, 2300 N. Shepherd, Houston Heights, Houston, 77008

Fiesta at 2300 N. Shepherd Dr., Houston Heights, Houston, 77008The glowing parrot and red neon lettering previously decorating the front of the former Fiesta Mart at 2300 N. Shepherd Dr. have been traded out for a construction fence and a few streamers of festive caution tape. A pre-demo permit to disconnect the 1965 building’s plumbing was issued near the end of May, and a reader snapped the top photo of the site during a break in Friday’s rain.


The next gig for the 4-and-a-bit acres of land in the Heights dry zone is still up in the air, though the success or failure of the current H-E-B-backed attempt to legalize carry-out beer and wine sales in the area could impact its fate. Clifford Pugh of Culturemap reports that H-E-B hired the campaign strategy company running the current petition-gathering efforts; blockwalkers have been out and about gathering the signatures required to call a local option election on the issue for November.

Photos: Mosaic Clinic Hair Transplant Center (top), Terah K.

Cleanup on 23rd

19 Comment

  • When the new grocery store is elevated another foot or two from street level, it will push all water to adjacent properties so it remains dry in a flood event. Welcome HEB, welcome flood water into your living room.

  • @Flooding, I’m sorry I just fail to see how a building that is elevated is going to somehow push water somewhere else? Is it possible you mean if the parking lot is elevated? Why in the world would they elevate the parking lot two feet? Also, isn’t it more concerning that it seems like ANY new development, according to your logic, will somehow push rain water into your home? I mean whats the difference between a big box store HEB, and say an apartment complex? Unless you’re just using the flooding as an excuse for “not in my backyard/neighborhood”?

    Just looking for a little clarification on your flooding concerns from new development.

  • @szzz: When new development is raised above old development, it protects the new development from flooding. How does it do that? By channeling the water into the old development. A flood that might have been a few inches when all of the houses and businesses were on the same level will be deeper when some of the houses and businesses are elevated.

  • @szzz Yes, I meant they will elevate the entire property. This is a standard practice to elevate commercial properties so they will drain off the property. It is very easy to do. The concern is that the city of Houston does not require new properties on old lots to detain water on the lot.

    I don’t live your neighborhood. I’m just pointing out the obvious that this will change the hydrology of your neighborhood. Water that would otherwise rest in the existing parking lot will be diverted to other properties when the fiesta lot is elevated over its existing height.

    No, this does not prevent all development but you are right – there is little difference between a new grocery store and new apartment complex. It just means developers must mitigate their runoff. Their are ways to do that: use permeable concrete for the parking lot and create access to the water table. Other ways are to build water detention ponds that are equivalent in space to the acre feet that are elevated.

    Thanks for listening. I can tell you are new to this. Houston must get educated that elevated commercial properties that do not mitigate acre foot for acre foot will lead to water running off and flooding adjacent properties. It is a simple concept, but developer propaganda is strong. The most common myth promulgated by the developers is that if something was already concrete then a new property need not mitigate run-off. The fact is, any time a new development is built that does not mitigate run-off, it will force water onto its neighbor.

  • i was hoping to see trader joes move in here. We need a TJ! Driving all the way over to s. shepherd takes planning and patience….

  • I just got a doctor Suess-esque image of everyone in Houston building their property higher and higher to avoid getting flooded by the latest new build.

  • Flooding,

    Central and southern Harris county infiltration rates for soil are extremely low. Adding pervious parking lots would require under parking lot drains to storm sewers. Many previous parking experiments conducted in the region quickly realized how little water gets absorbed by the ground. Currently, new pervious parking installations that are LID compliant send no rain water to the soil. It all gets captured and sent to the storm sewers.

    Houston experiments with all the low impact development (LID) and flood reduction techniques used elsewhere, the problem is the volume of water we deal with is so much greater than other areas. Our storms are 25% larger in rain fall volume than Dallas and tend to hang around longer. Our storms are 50%-60% greater than the Midwest and northeast.

    What works is onsite detention and especially regional detention. The biggest problem is redevelopment. If I buy a property that is currently paved and discharges developed flow, why do I have to detain? I’m not going to increase run off if no new pavement is added. I’m not creating something worse in storm water run off.

    As for raising properties for new development, no developer willingly wants to import fill for a site. They only do it if the site is located in the floodplain. Guess what, if your house is next to this new development and you are in the floodplain…you were already going to flood. Your property is out of compliance. FEMA guidelines will eventually force you to sell unless you have really deep pockets to put yourself into compliance. Houston only recently updated their floodplain ordinances to these strict standards. This is why in Meyerland you see tear downs and new raised houses. It’s either this or federal home buyouts, which I predict in great number after this years’ rain fall amounts.

  • @K – you are incorrect. Developers routinely elevate properties one to two feet in areas previously concreted and it DOES contribute to flooding neighbors. Think about this: If an existing parking lot is level with houses, when you raise that parking lot, the water has to run off and force that water into the residential or older commercial areas.

    Stop with the elevation arms race and require developers to detain their own water runoff.

  • “If an existing parking lot is level with houses, when you raise that parking lot, the water has to run off and force that water into the residential or older commercial areas.” OR drainage ditches…

  • Get flood insurance before the designation changes and insurers get wise. I can’t wait for a shelf of Colt 45 and Boone’s Farm to be available.

  • In our Heights neighborhood the City says to drain the property to the ditches. However some people don’t maintain their ditches or they bootleg illegal parking pads w/o culverts thus blocking the ditches. After over 100 years of taxes you would think we could get curbs and widen the streets to current codes.

  • So, the Dry Heightsers have realized that nobody likes bluenoses. So they’re posing as Concerned City Planners.

  • This process of seeking petitions has already shown what a bad neighbor H-E-B aspires to be. I will not be signing and I will be voting a resounding – NO!
    Keep the Heights fun and dry and residential and quirky.
    Don’t expect us to bend over for a chain supermarket.

  • The smashing has begun! Heavy machinery is on site, and the bricks are crumbling down. Where are the Friends of Heights Fiesta? Aren’t these bricks special enough to be saved???

  • @Heights neighbor, but would you bend over for a non-chain organic and socially conscious farm to table super market???

  • HEB will invest money to build a grocery store that will sell wine and beer just like Kroger, and other stores already in the area. HEB meat dept and their deli are 100% better foods, and more efficient than the 2 Krogers. Love their salad bar, fruit juicer too. It’s become comical, and predictable, the usual Heights self appointed taste police tell everyone else what they want done, what to build, how it should look, what color, what to eat, or telling people to take Metro bus but these uppity folks don’t take buses, or walk. They’ll report a person as suspicious on Nextdoor for walking on a street if your’re deemed a poorly dressed dude, it goes on, and on.

  • “Keep the Heights fun and dry and residential and quirky.”

    ^ Are you even reading what you type?

  • I have an idea. HEB wants a variance to build in this small dry area where some approve of this and many do not. Why HEB cannot build outside of the area is beyond me. They are already planning one at Heights and Washington that will be built.

    Here is my proposal: to all of the people who live in Woodland Heights and Norhill – if you repeal all of your historic and deed restrictions, the dry area will consider doing the same. I read on here and Nextdoor from sooooo many people that live in these two areas bashing the residents of the dry area that are against the change and yet you have more safety nets in place than any surrounding area. Pot, meet kettle. Allow the David Weekly’s and Terry Fisher’s into your backyard and maybe the dry area will allow MORE alcohol sales. The fear has never been about HEB, the fear is once the law is repealed that convenience stores will pop up everywhere due to lack of zoning and then hey why not just repeal the whole thing so bars can be on every corner. Your move Norhill and Woodland Heights. Let them build it east of Studewood in your hood. We’d love a HEB too.

  • Huh? What do deed restrictions regarding size and setback of residential buildings have to do with commercial properties?

    We had a Fiesta (that had a pretty excellent wine selection) in Norhill at 14th. We all loved it, but the land value increased so much they sold out. It’s a senior apartment complex now.

    In Woodland Heights we have 1 “Stop and Rob” convenience store at Beauchamp and Bayland (which also has a pretty decent wine selection – do you see a pattern here?). Everything else is localized to the more natural habitat of White Oak or Studewood. I enjoy being able to walk over to Premium Draught and fill a growler to take home and enjoy later. Oddly enough, many times when I go over there, there are hordes of children running rampant at Antidote next door while their parents enjoy a beverage of their choice. How is this destroying our neighborhood?

    And we unfortunately have had our share of interactions with Terry Fisher. Have you not seen the monstrosity he built on Morrison? It’s like some horrible combo of a Red Roof Inn and a prison.