02/13/13 9:30am

Will the recent purchase, a reader wants to know, of a 105,000-sq.-ft. building out near Spring Branch by Admiral Linen & Uniform Services mean anything for the company’s much-smaller headquarters at 2030 Kipling St.? Well, Admiral Linen isn’t available for comment.

The company closed just after Christmas on the building at 8020 Blankenship Dr., near Hempstead and Bingle. Since 1998, according to city records, it’s owned the three-building, 24,000-sq.-ft. headquarters a block west east of South Shepherd and directly behind the Randalls on Westheimer.


08/21/12 2:04pm

Everything above the roof ridge of this 1959 ranch-style residence in Spring Branch Woods forms a massive, single room across the back of the home. Listed last weekend at $443,000, the biggest-on-its-block property is located in Spring Branch Woods, just west of Bunker Hill Rd. The tree-lined stretch of Westview Dr. street has mostly smaller, 1-story suburban homes from the mid-fifties, including one across the street with the proverbial white picket fence.

Since 1984, this home-with-pool has changed hands seven times, HCAD records show. And it’s been remodeled a time or two. A roof-raising addition in 2000 made way for the aptly named “Great Room,” a 26-ft.-by-19-ft window-display showcase:


07/03/12 2:52pm

Beneath all the pine trees of this Spring Oaks property there’s a redwood-sided garage big enough for a RV, or so says the listing. Although the single-story 1955 home has been updated a few times, most of the remodeling appears to be a decade — or two — old. Still, the $790,000 metal-roofed home comes with nearly a half-acre of land, a pool, some patios, plus that extra-large, multi-purpose car barn.


06/05/12 12:40pm

You might well expect a home on street named “Leafy Lane” to sport a woodsy setting. While this new Spring Oaks listing is on a 16,788-sq.-ft. lot more groomed than sylvan, it does back up to a ravine formed by a ribbon of Spring Branch Creek. The 3-2 window pattern beneath the low-slung gable in front is a tip-off that the front room is not one room at all. Rather, the street-facing space contains a family room and a bedroom. Both sides of that great divide at the roof ridge, however, have vaulted ceilings. Elsewhere inside, other unexpected treatments include a dual personality fireplace that features an ornately carved mantle tacked onto a plainer midcentury brick wall; a common room currently re-purposed as a dining room; and in the kitchen, wall paneling that matches the knob-free cabinets.


10/17/11 1:56pm

What large-scale construction project is that about to go up on the north side of the Katy Freeway opposite the 35-story spike-headed Memorial Hermann Tower, a reader wants to know. A sign for MetroNational contractor Anslow Bryant recently went up on the Gessner Rd. site, which was until last year the home of the Gessner Place Shopping Center and Korean grocery store Komart. “It appears that a portion of it (the immediate corner) has been fenced off & the construction signs have gone up,” asks the reader, who also sent in these photos. “My guess is whatever goes here will be vertical.”

A bit east of the tower, and on the opposite side of I-10, Anslow Bryant is currently constructing a 14-story tower for future MetroNational tenant Nexen Petroleum.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

08/10/11 5:26pm

Who said looking for a match online is easy? This remade 4,818-sq.-ft. home on a half-acre lot near Hilshire Village was on the market almost continuously from fall 2006 to fall 2008 . . . then again in the spring of 2010, and this year from April to the end of June. But you’ve gotta have hope: It’s back on the market again as of last week. How about: 61-year-old Bellewood belle has heart of gold, kitchen counter of granite, master bedroom floor of berber. Grew up in staid suburban Spring Branch Ranch; still inscrutable at first glance, very different on the inside. Dedicated to imagining romantic self, internal growth. Stuck on cul-de-sac, but willing to break down walls to get what I need. Given to recurring fantasies involving candles and wrought-iron balconies; ready to go for baroque if the right offer comes along.


03/09/11 1:58pm

A small group of homeowners that includes residents of Timbergrove, Brookwoods Estates, and Holly Park have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration claiming that the agency approved the expansion of Hwy. 290 along the 38-mile stretch from 610 to FM 2920 last August without properly analyzing how noise from the project would affect their properties. In the filing, the plaintiffs say they are not opposed to the project, but are concerned that TxDOT’s environmental studies of its planned elevated roadways at the 610 and I-10 interchanges — some of which will reach as high as 100 ft. in the air — didn’t account for noise impacts on Memorial Park and the Houston Arboretum as well.


12/23/10 12:46pm

Remember this home in Spring Branch Woods? Maybe not. Because the last time it went up for sale the home was in such bad shape the listing agent resorted to illustrating it with a gallery of cheesy stock photos, along with such enticing adjectives as “inhabitable.” And then there was this classic offer: “A diamond in the WAY rough, enter at your own risk, with a mask.”

The next day, enterprising Swamplot reader Claire de Lune drove by the property, and sent in a few photos of the place, including the one above, which helped explain the agent’s photographic choices — at least the image of all those children, running.

On October 15th, the home sold for $80,000, down a bit from the $110K asking price. And tax records dug up by a reader show the buyer, Titan Premier LLC, financed $71K of it — not exactly the “cash only” offer the seller had wanted. Then, at the beginning of December, the home went . . . gasp! . . . back on the market.

How does it look now? Just a little different: