Swamplot Street Sleuths: Giving 59 a Light Twist

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Answers — of a sort — to your questions-about-town:

  • Southwest Freeway: More than a week after our source noted the problem, that dangling loop of fiber-optic lighting gone dim is still taped to a cable (see photos above) on the Dunlavy St. bridge. TxDOT, the agency in charge of the lights, has swooped in to fix problems with the lights sporadically since at least 2004. But the situation has apparently accelerated to the late-drooping stage. What’s next? Are they just gonna leave us hanging?
  • North Montrose: Pat Wente finds the source of the Regent-Square area jackhammering: demolition of a slab leftover from the Allen House demo on West Dallas (see photo below). And hears Bernard’s somewhat blunt though unofficial assessment of the prognosis for construction on the giant mixed-use project:


The good news: Regent Square is ready to break ground as soon as:

1.) the economics of the proposed development are justified; and

2.) a construction lender can be found to fund a $500 million loan on spec retail, spec office; spec condos; and some for-lease apartments.

The Bad News: It’s rather unlikely that either of these two criteria will ever be met.

  • Avondale: Yes, we have a genuine rumor here, kjb434 is able to confirm. Montrose clubs South Beach, JR’s Bar & Grill, and the Montrose Mining Co., on the block bounded by Pacific, Grant, Hyde Park, and Crocker just maybe might be available: “It’s floating around the various gay clubs and bars that Charles Armstrong was putting his lands up for sale. The best rumors I’m hearing is that he’s trying to see if anybody will bite and isn’t too serious about it yet.”

We’ll post more reader questions Tuesday. Send us what you’ve got before then!

Photos: Swamplot inbox

11 Comment

  • Typical Houston. We put on a party dress for the Super Bowl. As soon as it’s over, it’s back to sweat pants and a staind t-shirt. What’s next, fix up the city again for the World Cup, with cheap fixes. And, as soon as it’s over so are the warranties. Houston does not get respect from the rest of the country, and we are showing why.City of Houston, take a little pride in yourself. I am not talking so much about the residents, as much as I am talking about the city government.

  • It’s basic human nature. Everyone likes to build. No one likes to maintain. I would concur that Houston shows its human nature unashamedly; however, I would posit that that only makes the places that make a concerted effort to cover it up somehow…less human.

  • who cares what other people think as long as i can enjoy a hearty standard of living. something just aren’t worth our tax money and flashy lights are definitely one of those things.

  • as for north montrose, they have also started work on a site across from the Pei Wei on Waugh between Dallas and Bell (not the Whole Foods, but to the sout of Dallas). not sure what it’s suppose to be . . .

  • Joel, are you that naive, or just stupid? Your tax dollars already paid for the lights. Don’t you feel a little cheated that you didn’t get what you paid for? They only worked for 2 years. It’s like going to the Wal-Mart you go to every week, buying some fancy cover alls, and you split the ass on the first wearing. You are going to be upset, and return them for some new ones. Wake up and see what is happening.

  • matt, your Wal-Mart analogy is inadequate to describe the situation. Houston’s size was not a factor in the deterioration of the lights. They were very cheaply made expensive things supplied and installed by the lowest bider and which fell apart on their own.

    This is more like going to Marshall’s to buy some expensive jeans that are slightly too big for you but that you feel comfortable in, and then continuing to wear them after the seams come apart along one of the pants legs even though Dallas de-friended you from Facebook because you were subsequently deemed an embarassment to them by association.

  • Niche. What?? You make no sense at all. The point is, we paid to have these lights for the Super Bowl, and they crapped out soon after. To be honest, I don’t care that much about them, but, I will say that they were something to look at while stuck in traffic. They were paid for, and they don’t work. That just seems silly to me. Do I want to spend more money to fix them, no. I just think that the people involved in this(contractors, and city government, etc.) should be ashamed.

  • Armstrong rumor has been around for a while. Really anything is for sale at the right price. And the 800 Pacific price will be very high. He owns a lot of land around there undr his name and other guises.

  • wow Matt, i see you’re a regular on the internetz.

    we all agree that we don’t want more money spent on them to be maintained so just tone it down a notch. frankly, they’re just lights and there’s a hell of a lot bigger fish to fry.

  • These lights remind me of the thousands of trees planted along the Katy Freeway that later died because no one watered them. But I get so pissed off thinking about it, that I cease and desist with my comment…

  • Joel, what does that even mean, I am a regular on the internetz? So let’s just sweep it under the rug, huh? So let’s move on to those bigger fish? Do you really think things will change? If something like lights can’t even be fixed, do you really think those bigger fish problems will be solved? Wake up from your little candyland world filled with gumdrops and rainbows.