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

10/17/16 5:15pm

REPEATED 100-YEAR FLOODING ADDS UP TO HOUSTON’S WETTEST YEAR AND A HALF ON RECORD TxDOT Aerial Photo of Brazos River Flooding at FM 723, Rosenberg, TX, 77471Internet weather guy Eric Berger takes a look today at 6 major flooding events in the Houston area over the past year and a half: last year’s Memorial Day flooding, the pre-Memorial Day flooding that preceded it, the Halloween flooding, the pre-Halloween flooding, this year’s Tax Day flooding, and this year’s Memorial Day weekend flooding. The 6 events, Berger writes, collectively pushed Houston’s rainfall total for the 18-month period ending with August up to more than 119 inches of rain, breaking the previous record by more than a foot. “The ultimate cause of this flooding isn’t entirely clear,” Berger writes, noting that none of the rainfall events listed were connected to tropical storms except for the late-October remnants of Pacific hurricane Patricia. But he does add that “it’s safe to say that rapid development of rural areas — converting prairies into concrete — and a warmer climate likely played some role in exacerbating what were already heavy rains.” [Space City Weather; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Brazos River flooding in June 2016: TxDOT

10/17/16 4:45pm

76 GAS STATIONS HEADED TO HOUSTON, TRYING OUT DYNAMO SOCCER STRATEGY BBVA Compass Stadium for Houston Dynamo, East Downtown, HoustonOrange-logo’d gas station brand 76 has bought naming rights to an entrance gate at the Dynamo’s stadium in East Downtown, despite not having any stations in the Houston area — but a company rep on the chain’s Facebook page says there will be a few popping up around town soon. Phillips 66, which owns the 76 brand (and which also bought the naming rights last fall to a soccer stadium in Warwickshire County, England), made a deal in February to let Saudi-Aramco-and-Shell-owned Motiva use the brand in Texas and other Gulf Coast and eastern states. Currently most of the brand’s stations are in California and Washington — though a scattering of 76 stations are now marked on Google Maps on top of some existing Phillips 66 and Conoco stations. [Houston Dynamo, Convenience Store News] Photo of Dynamo’s stadium in East Downtown: BBVA Compass Stadium

10/17/16 12:15pm

5404 Almeda Rd., Museum Park, Houston, 77004

The fenced-off L-shaped strip center that previously hosted a string of smoked meat vendors at 5404 Almeda Rd. looks to be the planned site of a new restaurant connected to Breakfast Klub owner Marcus Davis. The strip center got a new roof during the summer of 2014, after permits were issued with Davis’s name in the occupant spot; plans to remodel the space for a new restaurant and bar were moving through the city review system again as recently as last month, and a tipster tells Swamplot the place could open early next year (if all goes as planned).

The site sits about 6 blocks south down Almeda from Davis’s Reggae Hut; the shot above looks west from Almeda down Prospect St. (not even a quarter mile down the road from that trio of light-up townhomes that just went on sale). The once-Green’s space became a Harlon’s Bar-B-Que for a few years before it was turned into Bar B-Que Blues (which shut down by early 2011). Here’s what the space looked like circa 2010, when the strip was also occupied by the Black Heritage Gallery and the Grape & Grain Liquor Store:


Joining the Klub
10/17/16 11:00am

JUDGE TO SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW: NOPE, SWITCH YOUR NAME BACK UNTIL UH LAWSUIT IS OVER 1303 San Jacinto St., Downtown, Houston, 77002On Friday a judge issued a temporary injunction on South Texas College of Law’s sudden June rebranding, agreeing that the University of Houston has a point that the new name (Houston College of Law) and new color scheme (red and white) might be a bit confusing. Gabrielle Banks reports that the 2 schools will get together on Wednesday to talk through the name-change reversal; UH’s legal team notes that South Texas will have to “remove their billboards, change their website, remove merchandise from stores and change their name [back] in the American Bar Association database” — at least until the lawsuit (filed less than a week after the name change was first announced) wraps up. [Houston Chronicle; previously on SwamplotPhoto of South Texas College of Law at 1303 San Jacinto St.: South Texas College of Law

10/17/16 8:30am


Photo of Highland Village: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10/14/16 5:00pm

Art Colony Phase 2, 5313 Chenevert St., Museum District, Houston, 77004

Like the looks of this light-display-slash-townhouse-trio at Prospect and Chenevert streets on the Almeda side of the Museum District? All 3 of the homes hit the market yesterday for between $925,000 and $975,000 (that’s 5313 Chenevert, 1805 Prospect, and 1807 Prospect, from left to right). Developer Dreamscape Modern posted the (rendered) view above to its website for Phase 2 of its The Art Colony townhouse development, which includes a see-through panel to catch shifting colored light projected onto the house after dark.

The light displays shown in the rendering and in the video above are a bit more intricate than the particular pattern shown in the new listing photos — though the illuminated driveway strips appear to be the same shade of aqua, amid the xeriscaping in place of the grass lawns originally depicted:


Lighting Up in the Museum District
10/14/16 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A DIFFERENT TAKE ON THE BELLAIRE HIGH CAMPUS SWAP QUESTION Bellaire HS, 5100 Maple St., Bellaire, TX 77401“Currently, Sharpstown High is being rebuilt. Rather than tearing down the old school building when the new one is complete, let that become the temporary home of Bellaire. Stagger hours of the 2 schools, rent parking space at nearby vacant lots, run shuttles, etc. They’re geographically not that far from each other. This would allow Bellaire to be rebuilt on the same footprint and keep the student body together.” [Terri Bamberger, commenting on Hitting the Brakes on the Bellaire High School Chevron Campus Swap Talk] Photo of Bellaire High School campus at 5100 Maple St.: Houston ISD