07/13/18 10:00am

YOUR ODDS OF WINNING A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF CHICKEN SANDWICHES AT CHICK-FIL-A’S NEXT PEARLAND GRAND OPENING One in 1,365, a little slimmer than the chance of landing heads on a coin toss 10 times in a row. The Chick-fil-A in question, Pearland’s fifth, opens at Hwy. 288 and Aldine-Fort Bend Rd. on July 25, and in keeping with custom, the store is giving away 52 free #1 meals (chicken sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries, and a medium drink) to a group of 100 lucky loyalists selected from those who spend the night before camped out at the location, reports the Chronicle’s Dana Burke. This time though, the franchise is taking measures to ensure that only hometown competitors 18-and-up get access to the prize by limiting eligibility by zip code. The challengers: 77584, 77581, 77588, 77578, 77048, and 77047 — home to 136,500 legal adult residents of Pearland, Brookside Village, Shadow Creek Ranch, Manvel, and parts of Southeast Houston including Crestmont. To keep things competitive, reports Burke: “All participants must remain in their designated spots the entire time, with the exception of bathroom breaks.” [Houston Chronicle] Photo of 2016 Chick-fil-A First 100 event in Prestonwood, Texas: Chick-fil-A

10/31/14 12:15pm

Headed to that spooky Halloween “party” at 3015 Fuqua St. tonight all the kool kids are daring each other about today on Twitter? Here are a few things you should know about what might rank as one of Houston’s eeriest properties still standing, one complete with both its very own murder and a ghost video.

Our chilling tale begins in early February 2008, when the property was last on the market. Back then vandals held sway at the decrepit 11,640-sq.-ft. mansion in Minnetex Place. Was it Swamplot’s showcasing of the home’s skanky indoor pool, 5-acre lot, decorative graffiti, and grand, red-carpeted staircase that made it move? It had languished on the market for 7 months, but just 2 weeks later, the property sold — to an entity controlled by a pair of Houston investors. They snagged the 1950 mansion for just $265,000 — greatly reduced from its original $451,900 listing.

Since then, visiting vandals have been joined by a new, possibly otherworldly tenant.


Fuqua’s Ghost?
03/20/14 12:15pm

INSIDE THE WORST STASH HOUSE IN HOUSTON 14714 Almeda School Rd., Orange Grove, Houston94 men, 14 women, and 2 elementary-school-age children were found yesterday deadbolted inside the 1,284-sq.-ft. house shown here at 14714 Almeda School Rd., just over the Houston border from Pearland. Police and ICE agents were sent to the scene a block and a half south of the South Belt after the mother of a pregnant woman trapped inside the house called authorities, claiming the men who smuggled her there refused to release anyone until they received more money, according to KHOU’s Malini Basu. Her teevee report doesn’t indicate how long the hostages had been held against their will inside the house, but does include harrowing descriptions of the conditions inside. The home had a single bathroom available for its 100-plus occupants — with a toilet that “partially” worked, according to an HPD spokesman — and no hot water. Feces were found “all over the house.” Outside on the home’s acre lot, more than 250 chickens were kept in coops. The hostages were turned over to immigration officials and taken away on a bus; 5 men were arrested. [KHOU] Photo: KHOU

09/29/10 12:25pm

THE TALE OF THE ENTERPRISING RENOVATORS The owner of the South Acres house where that angel dust lab burst into flames last night told arson investigators he hadn’t been living at home because it was being worked on, and didn’t know anything about any drug manufacturing operation going on in his single-car garage. Neighbors living a couple blocks away from the tiny Donegal Way cul-de-sac off Akard St. south of Sims Bayou said their houses were shaken by the explosion, and observers reported seeing flames leap 20 to 30 feet into the air. “The investigators said they are planning to question the people renovating the home.” [MyFox Houston]

04/30/10 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: GAME BIRDS OF THE SOUTH BELT “There is a gun range close to 288 and Beltway 8 that has about 10 Peafowls (just found out only the male is actually called a Peacock) running wild. It’s crazy to be shooting your gun and right next to you is a curious bird that is completely unphased by the banging of the pistol. Very beautiful, LARGE birds that are used to being around people and guns! Very strange!” [AJ, commenting on The Feral Peafowl of Nottingham Forest]

02/04/10 11:13am

Private security guards were stationed outside the premises of the St. Agnes Missionary Baptist Church south of the Loop yesterday, and an attorney for the bank that owns the property confirms to Fox 26 reporter Isiah Carey that the church has closed. The guards were originally under orders from Herring Bank not to allow anyone to enter or remove any furniture or equipment from the church building off Scott St. near Sims Bayou. However, bank attorney Dwight Jefferson told Carey late last night that

church workers have been given approval by the bank to remove certain personal items and belongings from the building. Just to make sure that’s all they take security guards outside the building are also video taping all activities.

What’s all the fuss?


01/28/10 1:26pm

REVENGE OF THE BLOWUPS A small fire at a new strip center on Cullen Blvd. just south of the Beltway early this morning is being blamed on a giant inflatable gorilla on the roof. “Houston Fire Department District Chief Fred Hooker says some type of a ‘blowup doll’ was on the roof, the item deflated and landed on some lights, leading to the fire. Fire authorities say two stores suffered minor water damage.” A new Houston law banning inflatable signs took effect at the start of this year. The strip center was just outside city limits. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]

04/20/09 11:37am

Art exhibitionist Mr. Kimberly visits that former Buddha Light Monastery ranch-house-plus-temple combo near 288 and Beltway 8 that was featured on Swamplot late last month, and reports:

The for-sale property had a big, unkempt lot, a cute house, a large garage/shed building, the temple structure and separate bathroom facilities. For a working artist with a desire to be removed from the Houston inner loop, this would be a great place to create far (but not too far) from the city and its distractions. Live in the house, make art in the garage, display it in yard or covert the temple to a gallery (easy!). When we stopped by, it looked like a black church congregation was looking at the property. It would be perfect for that too.

Photos: LoopNet

03/30/09 1:51pm

A little more than $40K has come off the asking price of this Texas Buddhist Temple off Almeda-Genoa, in the high northeastern crotch of 288 and Beltway 8. The 3-room, 1850-sq.-ft. building comes with an adjacent 3-bedroom, 2-bath ranch house and what looks like enough parking for several 18-wheelers.

Also on the 2.5-acre property: a 31×22 storage building and “bathrooms” behind the temple.


02/04/08 11:49am

3015 Fuqua, Houston

Vandalism, 3015 Fuqua, HoustonForeclosure, vandalism . . . what more could possibly go wrong at this mansion-on-the-prairie near Brunswick Meadows, off 288 in South Houston?

How about a lack of serious buyers since the home was put on the market back in August — even after two major price cuts?

The place was built in 1950, but the listing agent’s mysterious comment that the “Home was at one time almost completed” probably refers to the recent doomed redo attempt. The asking price was cut to $345,900 in November, from an original $451,900. And it’s listed on another site for $325,900. Not bad for a 11,640-sq.-ft. home on 5 acres inside the Beltway.

Or . . . maybe not. After the jump: when vandals strike!