07/21/17 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE MIDTOWN HOME OF DESTINY’S CHILD HAS MET ITS DESTINY “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but House of Deréon is but a memory now, a pile of rubble.” [Fe Bencosme, commenting on Destiny’s Child Mural on House of Deréon Media Center Wins Midtown Demolition Staredown; more here] Photo of House of Deréon Media Center, 2204 Crawford St., Midtown Houston: Jordan

07/21/17 4:00pm

THE INVENTION OF UPPER KIRBY Among Houston’s grids, strips, and cul de sacs, let a million neighborhoods bloom! Perhaps the story of how the area around upper Kirby Dr. came to be known as Upper Kirby can form some sort of template for this city’s vast numbers of undifferentiated districts just waiting to be branded? “We weren’t Greenway Plaza, we weren’t Montrose, we weren’t Rice Village,” Upper Kirby Management District deputy director Travis Younkin tells reporter Nicki Koetting. It was a section of town that lacked identity. “This nameless neighborhood, Koetting adds, “was the sort of place you drove through on the way to other, named neighborhoods.” One helpful step along the way: Planting the shopping areas with red phone booths. “The authentic British phone booths are an homage to Upper Kirby’s acronym, and actually operated as phone booths for a few decades until cellphones became the norm,” Koetting notes. “Now, the telephone booths are lit from within and locked, serving today as a visual indication to visitors that they’ve arrived in Houston’s own UK.” [Houstonia] Photo: WhisperToMe

07/21/17 1:15pm

The neon signage facing the I-10 feeder road at the former home of the Mason Jar has been stripped off, as the spot gets built out for a takeover by the Goode folks (as seen in this shot captured by a reader this week). After the ongoing expansion and patio-making wraps up, the spot will offer a menu at least somewhat reminiscent of the company’s Kirby Dr. taqueria, based on barbecue heir and current owner Levi Goode’s musings to Eric Sandler last month. The new brand’ll be called the Goode Company Kitchen & Cantina; Goode told Sandler there’s a second one planned for the Woodlands.

A few old Mason Jar labels are still visible to the east of the building:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Kitchen & Cantina Conversion
07/21/17 12:00pm

Sponsoring Swamplot again today: the Downtown District, so you can get another good look at the recently launched Downtown Houston web portal. Thanks for supporting this site!

Check out the new Downtown Houston website! It’s your destination for everything Downtown. The website should answer what most people want to know about heading into the city.

Curious about what events are happening? Check. Have an itch to discover hidden gems? Check. Hungry for good eats from a chef-driven restaurant, or looking for great brunch and breakfast spots? Check. Not sure where to find parking around your destination? Visiting for work and searching for leisure activities? Check and check.

The Downtown District’s new online platform aims to inform, educate, and entertain — so that residents, visitors, and commuters can enjoy the abundance of Downtown’s amenities and offerings: dining, playing, enjoying the arts, worshipping, and learning!

“The Downtown Houston website has always been a great one-stop shop for information about restaurants, parking, events, and more,” says Angie Bertinot, director of marketing and communications for the Downtown District. “With this major update, we have expanded our focus on living, working, exploring, and staying Downtown, as well as improving upon the resources that the public has come to rely on.”

In addition to comprehensive guide listings and an all-inclusive event calendar, the website features an interactive map that assists with parking (where to park, for how much, and an option to reserve spaces), while also letting visitors know what’s nearby and what events are happening that day — a feature you cannot find in a parking app or by using Google Maps alone.

The new site features portraits of Downtown’s unique and historic neighborhoods — as well as an editorial section with articles and videos highlighting Downtown lifestyles and area businesses. The content reflects the Downtown District’s efforts to support the growth of the residential population, provide a premier work environment, and attract locals and out-of-town visitors.

Your adventure begins Downtown!

Swamplot readers want to know what you’re up to. Become a Swamplot Sponsor of the Day and let them know.

Sponsor of the Day
07/21/17 10:30am

IN WHICH THE OWNER OF THAT MANNEQUIN-PACKED HOUSE IN RICHMOND ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY’S “I’m just trying to sell my house,” says the long-time artist resident of 4302 Colony West Dr. in Richmond (the mind-boggling contents of which sent no fewer than 10 readers scrambling to send the listing to the Swamplot tip line earlier this week).  “No, I’m not a hoarder. I could go down the list of things people are accusing me of. Yes, I own a weird business, but artists are weird, and if you find a normal artist [they’re] probably not a good one.” Those answers are all prompted by questions from Marcelino Benito, who toured the house this week for KHOU after the listing went nationally viral. The house and its contents have been viewed millions of times and have made the news in such far flung locations as St. Louis, MO, (where local station KMOV referred to its interior decor as ‘the stuff of nightmares‘) — in addition to being gawked at by readers of both the Huffington and the New York posts. As for what seems to be another burning question on the minds of some of the folks calling in with actual offers on the home — “Will you leave a mannequin for me?” — the owner’s answer appears to be a furrowed eyebrow or 2 and a “well . . . okay.” [KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Photo of 4302 Colony West Dr.: HAR

07/21/17 8:30am

Photo of Spring Branch: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
07/20/17 5:30pm

A Sunday field trip earned a reader a peek into the main sanctuary of the Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral, now being cracked open so a dome can be placed on top (along with more seating down below). The renderings of the planned changes, shown here facing the corner of Kipling St. and Yoakum Blvd., have been updated since they were submitted last year for that variance request application:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Montrose Revelations
07/20/17 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO HELP CANINO’S NET THAT DESTINATION FISH MARKET APPEAL “Something that seems to make other markets around the world such successful destinations (Pike Place, Borough Market, Reading Terminal, etc.) is their accessibility within a dense urban core. In each case, the locations are accessible to pedestrians and located near high-traffic public transit locations. They are also near other walkable destinations like stores and restaurants, art galleries and museums; within walking distance from hotels and other destinations. It will be interesting to see how this works out in Houston on Airline Dr., with all of the car traffic and expansive space needed to accommodate parking. I hope Airline and Cavalcade get to be a little more walkable, and buses run there more often.” [Nearnort, commenting on Destination-Ization Plans for Airline Dr. Farmers Market Show New Rooftops, Playground, Multistory Observation Tower, Some Whitewashing] Rendering of plans for Canino Market on Airline Dr.: MLB Capital Partners

07/20/17 12:45pm

As mentioned earlier today, more details on the plan to redo the 1940’s farmers market on Airline Dr. are now out — MLB released some sketches and site plans this morning, which the company says are meant to help turn the spot into a “destination retail experience.” The renderings show most of the gaps between the existing market buildings bridged by new rooftops and green spaces, connecting the structures into a single complex (some of which will likely get air conditioned for fish and dairy operations and the like).

It’s not totally clear whether some the existing buildings are actually going to be painted white, or if the details of planned finishes just haven’t made their way into the renderings at this stage of design — but the currently-yellow front of Canino’s can be spied rocking a pale grey skin in the sketches above and below, behind the market’s new double-height entry facade:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

The Canino’s Retail Experience
07/20/17 12:00pm

Sponsoring Swamplot today: the Downtown District, to highlight the recently launched Downtown Houston web portal. Thanks for supporting this site!

Take a good look at the new Downtown Houston website. It’s your destination for everything Downtown. The website should answer what most people want to know about heading into the city.

Curious about what events are happening? Check. Have an itch to discover hidden gems? Check. Hungry for good eats from a chef-driven restaurant, or looking for great brunch and breakfast spots? Check. Not sure where to find parking around your destination? Visiting for work and searching for leisure activities? Check and check.

The Downtown District’s new online platform aims to inform, educate, and entertain — so that residents, visitors, and commuters can enjoy the abundance of Downtown’s amenities and offerings: dining, playing, enjoying the arts, worshipping, and learning!

“The Downtown Houston website has always been a great one-stop shop for information about restaurants, parking, events, and more,” says Angie Bertinot, director of marketing and communications for the Downtown District. “With this major update, we have expanded our focus on living, working, exploring, and staying Downtown, as well as improving upon the resources that the public has come to rely on.”

In addition to comprehensive guide listings and an all-inclusive event calendar, the website features an interactive map that assists with parking (where to park, for how much, and an option to reserve spaces), while also letting visitors know what’s nearby and what events are happening that day — a feature you cannot find in a parking app or by using Google Maps alone.

The new site features portraits of Downtown’s unique and historic neighborhoods — as well as an editorial section with articles and videos highlighting Downtown lifestyles and area businesses. The content reflects the Downtown District’s efforts to support the growth of the residential population, provide a premier work environment, and attract locals and out-of-town visitors.

Your adventure begins Downtown!

Let locals know what you’re doing: Become a Swamplot Sponsor of the Day!

 

Sponsor of the Day
07/20/17 10:30am

CANINO MARKET HAD ALREADY KINDA GENTRIFIED, SAY FOLKS PLANNING UPCOMING $10-MILLION REDO “Over time,” writes Nancy Sarnoff for the Chronicle this morning after talking to some of the folks behind that in-the-works redevelopment of the recently sold Canino farmer’s market on Airline Dr., the market has already become “a place where produce [is] shipped and trucked in from places like Mexico and elsewhere, like it is to a grocery store.” The local farmers and early-morning bread-seekers are mostly gone, and property values  in the neighborhood are already on the rise — as are the townhomes. “We’ve come to the realization that no matter what we do here, it’s already happening,” MLB Partners’s Todd Mason tells Sarnoff; “We’ve looked around to buy more over here, and prices have already escalated.” The developers also run through some of the details for the $10-million project with Chris Baldwin over at PaperCity, who writes that “the 17.5-acre site is being almost completely re-imagined” — potential changes include some 60,000 sq. ft. of additional space, a “large lounging lawn,” a children’s play area, and “a distinctive towering sign from Studio Red Architects that can be seen from the freeway.” [Houston Chronicle and PaperCity; previously on SwamplotPhoto: Canino Produce Market