Here Comes the Heavy Machinery, There Goes the Dunlavy Fiesta

So the excavator is sneaking up on the old Fiesta. You knew one was coming. And you know there will be more. As of this morning, the low-slung building at the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama hasn’t yet received a demolition permit, but it’s been on the smashing block since closing in July, not too long after H-E-B opened the Montrose Market across the street. Developer Marvy Finger, who now owns the property here in Lancaster Place, has said he plans to build something Mediterranean — a 6- to 8-story apartment complex that might or might not have some retail, too: “We’re going to try to create something really beautiful,” he’s told the Houston Chronicle’s Nancy Sarnoff.

Photo: Loves swamplot

13 Comment

  • This Fiesta is now truly becoming Legend. None of the other Fiestas approach it either in product diversity or atmosphere. The HEB doesn’t even come close! I first shopped here in 1969 when it was a Weingartens (there’s that name again!). …legend…

  • Yes, I know developers are chicken when it comes to ground floor retail. Why take the risk when multi-family only is a sure thing? But with each new multi-family building come more people to parts of town with very little retail space. If you stuff too many people inside the loop and do not have enough room for additional restaurants, shops and grocery stores, quality of life inside the loop will drop and everyone will start looking to other areas for rentals. So, come one Marvy, take one for the team and put in a few restaurants and shops.

  • More douchey apartments, something really beautiful; I think not..

  • Clearly a case of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

    BTW, Old School, I think the same thing. When I go into Rice Village these days I wonder where the local grocery store is if not for Rice U students, for all those people in the new condos.

  • I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I can picture standing on the lawn in front of the Menil, looking westward down the length of Renzo Piano’s building, and seeing this 6-8 story Mediterran fantasy bursting forth over the treetops. It will be a classic Houston view. I am not judging, since Mediterranean can mean so much, but I suspect that, in a nod to Mr. Piano, we will see something vaguely inspired by the Italian side of the Med. But wouldn’t it be nice if Finger surprised us by going totally Moroccan or Mooorish for a change? Big Minarets and onion domes?

  • Anything is more beautiful than that craphole strip center–now or in its heyday.

  • Yes, ground level retail, second floor office, and double the stories.
    I miss that Fiesta.

  • yeah, Minarets!!

  • no 380 agreements to fix that worthless POS road it’s next to? tired of having to take two lanes just to drive down alabama.

  • Colleen,

    Trust me these Rice students are riding their bikes or driving their cars to Bissonnet or Montrose HEB. They know how to adapt…..

  • @JT

    Thank you for being honest, that place IS a total dump of a strip.

    I have a feeling that its the same people loathing every strip being built today that are also fighting to maintain this pile of trash. There is nothing aesthetically of functionally that this building has to offer. Its just the past contents and nostalgia people cannot let go of.

    HEB is just beating Fiesta in this area at the time, might last, might not, but thats the play. Besides another Fiesta can be found a whopping 1 mile away. Outside of items in one of the many of Houstons great asian markets out west, grocery options within 2 square miles of Montrose are insane. If someone can’t find 99% of their daily items within HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, Central Market (close enough), or Trader Joe’s then maybe they should consider cooking something that doesn’t require the pickled ovaries of a south american salamander.

    Couple nice retail shops/cafes on ground floor would be nice, but invariably would be either chain or some aristocratic boutique that has little approach.

    There is already a strip along Montrose between Branard and Sul Ross that could have some great potential, but nothing really of count ever ends up there except maybe Canopy and a little gelato shop.
    Even though Montrose has more Bohemian type settings here than most it sometimes feels like they are too rapidly being replaced by high society scene to be seen stops.

  • The same folks who are lamenting the loss of Fiesta would be be up in arms if some retail developer came in and built this exact same shopping center today. Go figure.

  • Traffic in the neighborhood is a fucking nightmare… more to come.

    Most of you people should go back to wherever you came from.