10/19/16 5:24pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOU CAN LOVE THE BAY YOU’RE WITH AND STILL HARBOR SHIP CHANNEL FANTASIES Bayou illustration“I know that Galveston Bay is the economic engine of the Houston area, but it’s fun to ponder what 42 prime bayside acres could be other than a barge staging area, or what the bay woulda/coulda been had oil not been discovered nearby. Coulda been San Francisco, got Can Cerisco.” [JoeDirt, commenting on Kirby To Lease New Ship Channel Barge Parking Area, Pay for Barge Collision Oil Spill] Illustration: Lulu

10/19/16 4:45pm

922 Boros Dr., Hunters Creek, TX 77024 922 Boros Dr., Hunters Creek, TX 77024

Behind the well-spotted Lucite front door of the 1958 mod above, living and dining room spaces wrap full-circle around an open-from-all-sides central kitchen. The home, full of floor-to-ceiling mirror walls and other retro finishes, was put on the market in June at just under $1.1 million, took a quick break in early October, and was put back up for sale a week ago with the current asking price of $975,000. Journey onward to check out the house’s eclectic light fixtures, the 3-ish bedrooms, and the guest suite out back by the pool:


Following Yonder Pendant Lights
10/19/16 2:00pm

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE FOR SWAMPLOT? Help Wanted SignWe’re looking to add a few occasional-ish contributors to Swamplot’s editorial mix. Got a way with words and a fresh take on this city (or know someone who does)? Here’s a terrific chance to dig into the ups, downs, ins, outs, wets, and dries of the local real estate scene —- and to get paid (well, something) for doing it. To apply, send an email to the tip line with the subject Freelance Contributor. (Please note: If you’re in the real estate biz, this is not the gig for you.) Tell us about yourself in a paragraph, and spend another telling us what kinds of stories you might be interested in working on. Will you trawl HAR for gawk-worthy listings? Review the artistic merits of sparkly refinery incidents? Scoop up tidbits on restaurant shakeups? Let us know the Houston real-estate-related stuff that you get excited about. Do include writing clips if you have ’em. If we like what we see, we’ll get in touch. 

10/19/16 1:15pm

42-acre Avera site, Independency Pkwy. near Lynchburg Ferry,  Baytown, TX 77520

Some of the 42 acres of land just purchased for development by Avera Companies are shown here from above, east across the Ship Channel from the San Jacinto Battleground (that’s the bottom half of the star-topped obelisk visible toward the top left).  The property is on a peninsula of land about 2 miles downstream from the I-10 bridge and the San Jacinto Waste Pits. The eastern terminal of the Lynchburg Ferry can be seen here at the end of Independence Highway, with the Lynchburg reservoir lying  to the north.

The company says Kirby Inland Marine is set to be the first tenant for the property, and will use a section of the property to let up to 76 barges tie up and hang out as necessary. Kirby just agreed last month to a $4.9-million settlement with the Department of Justice over its role in that March 2014 barge-meets-carrier oil spill that shut down the Port for a few days and spread oil along roughly 160 miles of Texas coast between Galveston Bay and Padre Island National Seashore. (Kirby Offshore Marine, another of the corporation’s subdivisions, is currently dealing with fallout from last week’s tugboat-meets-shore fuel spill off the coast of British Columbia.)

Here’s a view of the rest of the property, showing a bit of Burnet Bay on the left and the San Jacinto River upstream toward I-10 on the right:


Floating Around Near Baytown
10/19/16 11:00am

3111 Chimney Rock, Lamar Terrace, Houston, 77056

The graffiti on the tall face of the former Big Woodrow’s spot at 3111 Chimney Rock Rd. has been joined lately by new signage for Rotana Mediterranean Restaurant. The 2-story 2-bar space north of Richmond Ave. shut down near the end of August last year after a planned temporary closure for building repairs turned into an unplanned permanent landlord dispute, and the building went up for lease around the same time. Some of those repairs to the 5,928-sq.-ft. space may have been getting done over the past year since the closure, if building permits issued in March and at the start of this month are any indication.

Photo: MiraDry team at Mosaic Clinic Dermatology

Rotana Remodeling off Richmond Ave.
10/19/16 8:30am


Photo of Meyerland: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10/18/16 4:45pm

CityWestPlace Parking Garage, Briarforest, Houston, 77042

A reader sends a shot of the roof of the last of the 4 former BMC Software campus parking garages to get put on the parking-space straight-and-narrow. Last Friday the angled stripes got powerwashed off of the top floor of the turn-of-the-millenium structure, which sits along CityWest Blvd. north of the new Phillips 66 campus just outside Beltway 8. All of the remaining garages on the site appear to have been restriped one at a time over the past decade or so with 90-degree parking spots (as can be seen on the roof of another of the garages in the upper right, further north along CityWest). The office complex goes by CityWestPlace these days; the complex is one of the properties held by new Houston-only REIT (New) Parkway, which was formed earlier this month when old Parkway and Cousins Properties merged then dumped all of their Houston holdings into a new, separate REIT.

Perpendicular spaces will better fit in with the campus’s general rectilinear motifs — for example, with this series of narrow rectangular water features on the other side of that northern parking garage:


10/18/16 2:30pm

Bethany United Methodist Church, 3511 Linkwood Dr., Linkwood, Houston, 77025

Bethany United Methodist Church recently posted some FAQs and answers about its plans to put a nonprofit senior living development on its property, a reader in the area tells Swamplot. The land south of the intersection of Linkwood and Bevlyn drives, and may be one of the 4 potential adult active-living housing projects Stream Realty mentioned to Paul Takahashi back in April, as the church’s website says the project’s developer is currently working on the Solea Copperfield senior living complex in Northwest Houston (just south of Birkes Elementary on Queenston Blvd.). The website also notes that 51 of the 101 living units would be rented out to folks with a household income between 33,000 and 45,000 at below-market rates.

The church’s main entrance is about a third of a mile from that set of lots stretching from Buffalo Spdwy. to Main St. where some stirrings were seen in July; a drawing submitted as part of a variance request put in for that land calls that project Traditions Buffalo Speedway Senior:


Plans Maturing in Braeswood Place
10/18/16 12:00pm

844 E. 25th St., Sunset Heights, Houston

844 E. 25th St., Sunset Heights, Houston

Today on Swamplot our sponsor is the 2-story home at 844 E. 25th St. in Sunset Heights. Thank you for supporting this site!

In this recently completed home by Design 3, all 3 bedrooms are downstairs. That leaves the open living space you see above in command of the second floor. The main living area opens up to the front porch (visible through the open French doors in the top photo). The front door is the single-light door at the right of the top photo; it’s at the top of a set of stairs rising from street level at the front of the home. Beyond the open island kitchen (above, with marble countertops) is a study-flex space that could serve as a fourth bedroom. It opens to a balcony overlooking the back yard.

Upstairs the floors are pine; downstairs they are mostly stained concrete. The first-floor master bedroom opens directly to a deck jutting into the back yard.

If you’d like more info about this home or want to see additional pix of it, check out the property website. There’s also an open house this Sunday, October 23rd, from noon to 2 pm.

Help keep Swamplot alive and kicking! Become a Sponsor of the Day.

Sponsor of the Day
10/18/16 11:00am

Worcester's Annex site, 1433 N. Shepherd Dr., Houston Heights, 77008

The Kirby Group folks (behind Midtown beer and cocktail bar Wooster’s Garden and those since-demolished converted funeral home bars in Upper Kirby) look to be setting up for their Worcester’s Annex cocktail project south of N. Shepherd and 15th St.  The new bar (which is taking off the linguistic gloves and using the full-on British spelling of the name) is being built on the far southern end of the former Longhorn Motor Company lot at 1433 N. Shepherd, previously tapped as the intended site of the Heights Bier Garten; Greg Morago reported this summer that the 2 developments would be near one another. The bar is going up across the street from legally-tangled tortilla factory La Espiga De Oro (which was infiltrated and raided by ICE officers last year, after which the company’s owners were indicted for allegedly hiring undocumented immigrants).

Photo: Worcester’s Annex

Seeding the Heights
10/18/16 8:30am


Photo of Bellaire: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool