08/28/14 1:15pm

White Stripes on Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

White Stripes on Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, HoustonWas it something you said? A couple readers have informed Swamplot that the stenciled nametags that appeared recently apportioning every single parking space in the lot in front of the Shoppes at Memorial Heights shopping center to one of the resident businesses at 920 Studewood St. have just as suddenly been covered over. Stripes of white paint have now been painted on top of the stenciled signs throughout the parking lot. Which means that next time you’re visiting Hair Desire, Absolve Wine Bar, Urban Cleaners, or (more likely, apparently) Beer Market Co., you will no longer have to check underneath or behind your car to make sure that you’ve parked in a space appropriate to your shopping-center visit.

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Here Come the White Stripes
08/28/14 11:45am

Demolition of 2414 Capitol St., East Downtown, Houston

Demo crews are clearing away a metal warehouse building and chopping up the surface concrete on the block surrounded by Dowling, Rusk, Capitol and St. Charles streets, across Dowling St. from BBVA Compass Stadium in East Downtown. Last year, Mill Creek Residential announced and then canceled plans for a possibly mixed-use apartment development it was calling EADO Station on that block and the one immediately north, facing Texas Ave.

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JLB in East Downtown
08/28/14 8:30am

LAZ Parking on Congress near Austin

Photo of LAZ Parking on Congress near Austin: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
08/27/14 4:15pm

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Is this Avondale property a home, a compound, or a discrete semi-plex? From the street, at least, the exterior remains discreet about its reworked interior space. And the downstairs does maintain much of the home’s original flow, heavy-with-trim formal rooms, and many of the 1940 structure’s early features (top). The same is true upstairs, though a section on that floor functions as an extensive separate suite. An aerie on the third floor adds even more living space. The property in the Avondale East Historic District appeared as a listing yesterday — with a $579,000 asking price.

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4 Quarters
08/27/14 12:00pm

707 Saulnier and 707 Robin Streets, Fourth Ward, Houston

Two separate apartment buildings, one 8 stories tall and the other 5, will be going up at the far east end of the Fourth Ward, just over the Gulf Fwy. from Downtown. The building bounded by Saulnier, Crosby, Heiner, and Robin will cover the entire 1.136-acre block, which is currently a surface parking lot (see photo above), and bear an address of 707 Saulnier St. The (presumably taller) building one block to the south, labeled 707 Robin St., will take up the vacant two-thirds-of-an-acre L-shaped portion of the block bounded by Robin, Crosby, Heiner, and Andrews.

Developer Alliance Residential (the same company behind the Broadstone complexes at Main St. and West Alabama in Midtown and next to the new SkyHouse downtown, as well as other complexes in the Houston area) doesn’t appear to have announced the project publicly, except to let neighbors know that construction will begin on September 8th and will shut down portions of the surrounding streets for the duration of construction, which is expected to last through October 2016.

A Swamplot reader sends these pics of the sites:

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Fourth Ward
08/27/14 8:30am

1625 Alabama St.

Photo of 1625 Alabama St.: Molly Block via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
08/26/14 5:15pm

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Even before hitting the courtyard pool, an Asian-inspired home in Pearland’s Green Tee Terrace golf community takes a dip with its pagoda-style roof — and hand-dipped gold leaf panels on the living room ceiling (top). Could the distinctive 1982 property be too distinctive for the area? In a series of successive listings, its price has kept dropping. Last week, the stately home popped back up on the market again, this time seeking $699,000. In its initial listing back in 2011, the asking price started at $1.2 million and was whittled back to $895,000 over a 2-year period. A 6-month interim listing in September 2013 found no takers at $800,000 or at the $750,000 reduction in December. Back in 2005, it sold at $614,000, down from a 1999 sale for $649,000.

Attention to detail is one of the property’s hallmarks; so are shoji screens in many of the rooms . . .

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Serving Tee
08/26/14 3:30pm

Astrodome Interior Minus Seats, Houston

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett’s new “not fully hashed out” plan for reusing the Astrodome is to turn the structure into the world’s largest indoor public park and recreation area. The park might incorporate a number of public institutions and museums within it. Plus: a pavilion for music and other events, and sports facilities such as archery ranges and hiking and biking trails, an archery center, and a large open green space. The fully air-conditioned park would be open to the public every day — except when used by the Rodeo and conferences such as the OTC.

Will Harris County citizens support turning the Astrodome into a park? Strangely, the best evidence that a majority would favor it may come from a recent survey commissioned by 2 organizations that have been trying very hard to get the building torn down.

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Texans and Rodeo Fans on Board?
08/26/14 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: POLLUTION CREDITORS Drawing of Duck in Polluted Waters“It’s good to see that the Feds will help clean up the CES Environmental Services site. I’m of the opinion that bankruptcy law should be revised to require that environmental clean-up be paid for before creditors can be paid. It would help in cases like this, but it would also make lenders push dirty industries to clean up their act. Companies with bad environmental records would feel it in their ability to get credit.” [ZAW, commenting on Predicting Houston Real Estate Hotspots; Drinking Water from Lake Conroe] Illustration: Lulu

08/26/14 2:00pm

How is it that Kyle Naegeli is able to catch so many fish — including bluegills, bass, and catfish — simply by dropping lines into the storm-sewer inlet at the intersection of Carnation St. and Camilia Ct. in Katy? Well, the now-16-year-old has had 4 years of practice fishing in the same sewer, for one thing — as attested to by the many videos demonstrating his more recent exploits, available on his YouTube channel. (His latest bass catch — demonstrating Naegeli’s well-honed long-arm grab technique — is shown above.)

And it doesn’t hurt that the same inlet drains directly into a large pond south of Bartlett Rd. and behind the houses on Carnation St. — where Naegeli regularly fishes as well, and the bass are jumping:

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The Fishing Channel
08/26/14 12:15pm

Former Meridian Nightclub, 1503 Chartres St., East Downtown, Houston

A little more than a year after settling into the new location it rehabbed from the former Phillips Paper Company warehouse at 1100 Elder St. in the First Ward, Ecclesia Church appears ready to begin another renovation project and move — this time to East Downtown. The church, which began its life 15 years ago as part of the Taft St. Coffee House complex in Montrose, signed a contract last Friday to purchase the 50,000-sq.-ft. former Meridian nightclub building at 1503 Chartres St. for $3.75 million, pastor and church founder Chris Seay announced during his sermon over the weekend.

The church plans to continue its serial-renovation, just-add-coffee-house growth strategy in the new space. (Taft St. Coffee House’s successor cafe in the First Ward is Paper Co., built into the church’s space there.) The Meridian building, where the nightclub closed in 2010, lies south of the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Toyota Center on the east side of the 59 overpass. The church had originally made several attempts to purchase the building back in 2009, Seay said. But a new chance arose recently, after a bankruptcy sale:

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Stripping Buildings in East Downtown