07/15/14 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CALL IT MIXED PARKING Drawing of Multi-Purpose Parking Spaces“The true benefit of mixed-use developments is the opportunity to reduce the amount of parking provided. Certain program types work well with others. For example, an office worker is usually parked in their space between 8 and 5 while other uses, such as residential and retail, pick up before and after those hours. This means the same space can potentially serve multiple uses, reducing the amount of garages and lots. This is a big deal in Houston, where market parking demands for office require about the same square footage of parking as the office space itself. Mixed-use development can be about convenience, but the true potential lies in the opportunity to reduce the amount of useless parking and increase density and thus walkability. Houston actually has a mixed-use parking code that allows for this reduction. Ultimately, one could argue that mixed-use developments are not just good for reducing costs for developers, but they are also good for the planet.” [Mixitup, commenting on Comment of the Day: Stuck With That Same Ol’ Mix of Uses] Illustration: Lulu

07/15/14 12:00pm

LUCKY BURGER REPLACEMENT: DRIVE-THRU BANH MI FROM THE LES GIVRAL’S CREW? Former Lucky Burger Building for Lease, 1601 Richmond Ave., Montrose, HoustonIt looks like a new drive-thru Banh Mi spot from the folks behind the rapidly expanding Les Givral’s restaurant empire is hoping to take over the recently vacated Lucky Burger building at the corner of Richmond and Mandell St. in Montrose. That’s the strongly hinted story, at least, implicit in the new teaser Twitter account for the venture, called Oui BanhMi, affiliated with the Les Givral’s Kahve restaurant on Washington Ave (as well as the recently opened Oui Desserts at 3411 Kirby and the Banh Mieria food truck), which pinpoints itself at Lucky Burger’s old 1601 Richmond Ave address. Any more evidence of the plans? Well, there’s this blurred sheet of “brainstorm” notes posted to the Les Givrals Instagram account last month. [OuiBanhMi on Twitter, via Chic Chick Chic Eats; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Lucky Burger: Swamplot inbox

07/15/14 11:00am

Site of Proposed Market Square Tower, 777 Preston St., Market Square, Houston

Proposed Market Square Tower, 777 Preston St., Market Square, HoustonDowntown surface parking lots have been disappearing left and right, notes reader Debnil Chowdhury, who works downtown. The latest to bite the dust is the vacant lot at 300 Milam St. (above), directly adjacent to the Market Square Parking Garage, on account of Woodbranch Investments’ 40-story, 463-unit apartment tower going in there. The lot was closed permanently last week, Chowdhury reports.

If the Preston St. elevation of the proposed building (pictured above right) looks vaguely like Discovery Green neighbor One Park Place but without the tack-on pediments at the roofline, that might be because the new Market Square Tower was designed by the same architects, Jackson & Ryan, and because the roof is reserved for a glass-enclosed gym, sundeck, and pool, as shown in this more recent rendering:

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777 Preston
07/15/14 8:30am

buffalo bayou at I-10

Photo of Buffalo Bayou at I-10: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
07/14/14 5:00pm

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It’s a mod with original features still intact through and through. Attributed to architect Joseph Krakower and Herb Greene, a designer who worked in his office, the well-preserved and well-screened (top) custom mid-fifties property has deep eaves beneath a hipped roof (redone in 2008) and spreads across a quarter-acre Braes Heights lot. The location is on the spit of homes between Brays Bayou and N. Braeswood Blvd. near Edloe St. The home was listing a week ago with an asking price of $518,000. 

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Lots of Slots
07/14/14 3:00pm

STREET POOPING, WIPING, AND PHOTOGRAPHING IS BACK IN THE WOODLAND HEIGHTS Man Pooping on Sidewalk, 500 Block of Byrne St., Woodland HeightsAccording to a Houston Chronicle report, a resident of Byrne St. reported to police earlier today an encounter with yet another act of public pooping in the 77009. And it appears to be the work of a familiar figure from that neighborhood: that of the defecating, toilet-paper-toting man commonly referred to as the, uh, “serial pooper” of Woodland Heights. Back in May, a surveillance camera posted in a tree had caught images (above right) of the sidewalk hijinx of a man who, residents say, had repeatedly been defecating in and around the yards and driveways of the 500 block of Byrne St. A 56-year-old man had confessed to the defecatory acts after he was later picked up on a related charge of public urination near the Fiesta Mart at Quitman and Fulton  — but was not charged with a crime at the time, because “the man had serious mental health issues,” Heather Alexander reports. There’s apparently a photo of the man’s most recent exploits as well; Harris County precinct 1 spokesperson J.C. Mosier tells Alexander “there’s a very good chance it is the same guy,” but is waiting to receive a copy of the photo before confirming. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Click2Houston  

07/14/14 2:00pm

Harrisburg Crossing, 4300-4500 Harrisburg Blvd. at Lockwood, East End, Houston

Former Historic Houston Salvage Warehouse, 4300 Harrisburg Blvd., East End, HoustonUpdate, 3:30 pm: A spokesperson for H-E-B informs Swamplot that the company has no plans for a Joe V’s Smart Shop in this area. Separately, a rep from Lovett Commercial indicates that the plans and declaration posted on its website that a Joe V’s Smart Shop is coming to the center are “outdated,” and that no grocery store is currently planned for that site. We’ve updated the story below accordingly.

This row of metal warehouse buildings at 4300 Harrisburg Blvd. was used for a time recently as a temporary home for the Historic Houston salvage warehouse and more recently as a spraypaint-covered tribute to the deceased graffiti artist known as Nekst (see video below) — will be torn down to make way for a new grocery store from H-E-B, according to site plans posted online by the property’s developer. The 5.34-acre site, which stretches between Oakhurst St. and Eastwood St., sits just east of the Maximus Coffee plant east of Downtown, and just north of Eastwood. This should be the first new grocery store built on a light rail line, but it won’t be a conventional H-E-B. Instead, the plans show it’ll be a Joe V’s Smart Shop, the Texas grocery chain’s low-cost, low-selection, high-volume, low-touch warehouse-style market.

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No Ice
07/14/14 11:00am

THERE SHALL BE NO NET LOSS OF SUGAR ON GRAY ST. IN MIDTOWN Former Sweet Lola Yogurt Shop, 304 Gray St., Midtown, HoustonTop Chef: Just Desserts contestant and $53,580 Kickstarter winner Rebecca Masson has finally announced the exact Midtown location of the Fluff Bake Bar storefront she’s been working on since late last year, on account of she just signed a lease last week: It’s set to go in place of the shuttered Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar, (pictured) which ended its reign at 304 Gray St. in Midtown last September. The spot is one of the city’s relatively small number of to-the-sidewalk retail spaces with actual apartments above. Downstairs, customers will be able to dig into Fluff’s Chocolate Stout Syllabub, risotto fritters with gingered blueberries, or chocolate beet cake with cream cheese ice cream — along with beer and wine — but give her another 3 or 4 months to build out the space before you come knocking, please. [Food Chronicles; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Bluebirds and Butterflies

07/14/14 8:30am

nance and west

Photo of David Adickes sculptures at Nance and West: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
07/11/14 5:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STUCK WITH THAT SAME OL’ MIX OF USES Drawing of Apartments and Retail“I don’t get people’s desire to live in a Mixed Use development, I lived in one for a couple of years and it’s as useless as a sh*t flavored lollipop. You get tired of the couple of restaurants there within 2 weeks, the drycleaner is not as good as the one you’re used to and you end up driving there anyway, you get all the noise and the traffic to deal with without any real world benefit. It’s the true case of the ‘grass is greener on the other side.’” [commonsense, commenting on Studemont Grocers Supply Redevelopment To Feature Fast Food and Bank Drive-Thrus, Store Pods in Parking Lot Now, Apartments Later] Illustration: Lulu

07/11/14 5:00pm

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A woodsy-sited Broad Oaks property hidden from the street sports and sprouts enough ivy on its walls and walkways to offer a high-end diploma. But how secluded can the 1957 home’s side pool (top) be from view of the more recent townhomes next door (at right in the photo above)? From inside, there are extensive views out of the window walls — sun dappled no matter where you sit — and plenty of perching possibilities from which to appreciate the inside-outside views . . .

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Ivy and Light