08/19/13 3:00pm

Maybe attracted by the gravitational pull of the hulking 185,000-sq.-ft. Idylwood Walmart going up on the other side of S. Wayside Dr., Shipley Do-Nuts is moving into this strip center. This location is about 2 miles closer in than the one near HCC Southeast, also on the northbound Gulf Fwy. feeder.

Photo: Allyn West

07/23/13 12:00pm

This crosshatched highrise shows up in a recently published marketing video as a potential development to densify the low-slung Uptown Park. The 50,000-sq.-ft. site HFF and AmREIT seem to have in mind for these apartments-upon-retail is right off the Loop, across Uptown Park Blvd. from the Ziegler Cooper-designed 27-story Villa d’Este condo tower — a site occupied now by a 12,000-sq.-ft. 1-story building at the northern end of the low-density Euro-style shopping spread.


07/22/13 10:00am

Here’s another of the occasional photos a reader sends of the construction progress of the Whole Foods at the mixed-use BLVD Place just north of the Galleria. Thanks to the photos that span almost a year now, you can watch the development develop here at the intersection of San Felipe and Post Oak Blvd.: Witness the preliminary site work beginning last August to the installation of piers and rebar in October and the rising of the parking structure in February. So what else is new? That parking structure appears just about ready, and even more dirt has been moved around — where those cars are parked in the foreground — for the proposed Hanover apartment tower.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

07/12/13 4:20pm

A glowing (at least at dusk) example of Prairie School–style architecture by self-taught designer Richard S. Condon hugs the horizontal and hovers above the flatlands of Tanglewood. Its second level is almost entirely capped by casement windows. Condon passed away in January 2012. The residence on Doliver Dr. he built for himself in 1999 appeared on the market in March of this year, and has kept its asking price at a flat $3,260,000.


07/11/13 10:30am

A development report from Hines includes this rendering of what appears to be the new Apache Corporation headquarters planned for mixed-use BLVD Place just north of the Galleria. The report names the wafer-like building “Project Alpha” and describes it as 34 stories and 750,000-sq.-ft. of office space with a fitness center and cafeteria. Currently, Apache is headquartered at Post Oak Central.

Rendering: Hines

07/01/13 12:00pm

FEDERAL MONEY ROLLS IN FOR UPTOWN’S POST OAK BRT One of the last few items on Uptown’s to-do list was crossed off Friday: The Houston-Galveston Area Council voted to allocate about $62 million in federal scratch to help pay for the construction of bus rapid transit along Post Oak Blvd. This money, along with continued revenue from Uptown’s recently enlarged tax zone, will fund the estimated $177 million project that, like light rail, will run 60-ft. buses in dedicated lanes between 2 transit centers. Uptown Management prez John Breeding tells the Highwayman that construction could begin as early as 2015. But one notable dissenter, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, doesn’t seem convinced this whole public-transportation thing is gonna work out: “I am afraid we are going to look up in 10 years and say ‘What did we do that for?’ I think I know Houstonians enough to know they are going to want to drive.” [The Highwayman; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Uptown Management District

06/10/13 4:15pm

And now that the former Art Institute of Houston at 1900 Yorktown and Inwood has been smashed to pieces, the Finger Companies can get going on these new apartments. Accurately, if not creatively named 1900 Yorktown, the complex will comprise 262 units spread out among 8 floors, whose shape seems to welcome a cat’s cradle of laundry lines hung above its U-shaped courtyard. In Uptown, this is just a few blocks north of the Westheimer bank building where Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is relocating from Richmond Ave.


06/07/13 11:00am

POST OAK BRT THAT MUCH CLOSER TO GETTING ITS MONEY After a month’s delay to take a longer look at the project, the transportation arm of the Houston-Galveston Area Council finally decided to go ahead and recommend that Uptown receive $62 million in federal funds to pay for the proposed Post Oak Blvd. bus rapid transit system. This is just a provisional step, of course, since 2 actual approvals, not mere recommendations, are needed — but it does move things along. Through tax revenue, Uptown is already paying for about half the estimated $148 million project. The Houston Chronicle’s Dug Begley is reporting that this federal money would help buy up $30 million of land so Post Oak could be widened for the bus lanes. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Drawing: Uptown Management District

06/06/13 12:00pm

If this deluxe 26-story residential tower is built, as proposed by Interfin and Pierpoint, it’ll add 44 new condos and 2 penthouses to Uptown’s deluxe stock. And it’ll come at a premium: The Houston Business Journal is reporting that the Kirksey-designed, so-called Belfiore will be built with just 2 4,650-sq.-ft. condos per floor, each going for about $600 per sq. ft. These pricey places are planned to start going up in 2014 on a site inside Uptown’s recently expanded tax zone, just west of the Loop on S. Post Oak Ln., near that horseshoe of Wynden Dr.

Rendering: Interfin

05/29/13 11:30am

Since its beam-boosting renovation in 2009, a Briarcroft corner-lot property on an oxbow street off Chimney Rock has been listed a few times — and offered itself up as a rental property. A year-and-a-bit-long break from the market for the updated 1963 home ended earlier this month when the agent upped the asking price to $825,000 for its latest run. That’s just shy of $150K more than the previous 2 efforts, both of which gave $675,750 a shot back in 2011 and 2012. Back in 2009, though, the pre-reno property sold for $282,150. If you want to rent this home today, it’ll run you $5,850 a month.


05/17/13 11:00am

So the days are numbered for Ruth’s Chris on Richmond — that much is obvious. And a reader sends us this photo showing the steakhouse’s next location, in that Uptown pad site where Prosperity Bank used to be at 5433 Westheimer. (And you can see the aloft Hotel in the background.) A rep from Ruth’s Chris says it should be open by July. And marketing materials from building owner AmREIT seem to position the steakhouse as an anchor for a redevelopment project on this triangular slice of property bound by Westheimer, W. Alabama, and Yorktown: A flyer on the company’s website mentions “a renovated office building” that doesn’t seem to have had a named tenant since Prosperity moved out and took its logo away almost 3 years ago. There’s also a second, 3,000-sq.-ft. retail space that AmREIT’s advertising as available on that building’s first floor. Attempts to contact AmREIT for details about the project haven’t been returned.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

03/11/13 11:55am

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE WILLIAMS TOWER The $412 million sale last week of the Williams Tower seems to have provoked some curiosity in the Houston Chronicle’s Katherine Feser: Pursuing a lead from a retired employee that, were it not for those pesky FAA regulations, the record-breaking 64-story skyscraper would have been even taller, Feser goes into the paper’s archives and finds evidence that the tower’s slab was something to behold, too: ”The foundation pour . . . started at midnight Friday and was completed early Saturday night. The contractor, J.A. Jones Co., said it was believed to be the largest continuous pour ever made in Houston — more than 10,000 cubic yards of concrete. There have been larger pours but they have been completed in several stages. The area of the poured mat is 200 feet by 200 feet, almost an acre.” [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Russell Hancock