- 3222 Freshmeadows Dr. [HAR]
This Briarmeadow contemporary with broken-pediment facade bleached its previously ruddy exterior as part of an all-over renovation sometime after last December. That’s when it was bought by its current seller — for $247,000. It’s back on the market now, lighter in color but heftier in price, listed for $449,900. The home’s dog-leg driveway across the front lawn still feeds into a side-entry garage, now showing a newly uncovered cinema-screen expanse of wall to the street. Replacement landscaping at the base of that blankness will screen more of it, eventually. Despite the speedy roof-to-garden change-outs outside and flooring-to-cabinetry swap-outs inside, the listing explicitly declares that the transformed 1977 property is “NOT A FLIP.”
This remodded 1966 Mod in Charnwood was once featured in Southern Living magazine, its listing declares. The furnishings from that photo shoot are long gone, but a boatload of built-ins and some ravine views remain. Appearing in the market mid-month, the 4,077-sq.-ft. home has staked out an initial asking price of $939,000.
If Beyoncé still wants this deeply discounted Piney Point Village mansion for her mother, she might have to bring back Sasha Fierce and grab a paddle: It’s going up on February 19 for auction. The 21,640-sq.-ft., 4-kitchen rental property near Briar Forest was listed as recently as January 3 at $5.9 million — and, says the website of California-based auction house Premier Estates, that’s just where bids will start.
How difficult will it be for developer Sandy Aron to fit the 6- or 7-story apartment complex he’s planning for the lakeside site of the shuttered Vargo’s Restaurant at 2401 Fondren into its peacock-filled Piney Point Village neighborhood? Last month the owner of Hunington Properties was forced to send plans for the complex back to the architects at the Steinberg Design Collaborative so that they could add an emergency vehicle lane inside the property — after residents of the 15-townhome community directly to the east voted to deny driveway access to the proposed development from Woodway. And last night other neighbors gathered in front of teevee cameras to voice general complaints about the plans for Vargo’s on the Lake, which according to abc13′s report has now been cut back to 288 units from 312. Deed restrictions established in the seventies will require the apartments to sit back 50 ft. from the lake on the property. Aron told the Houston Business Journal last month that he expected to close on the land — which he’s buying out of bankruptcy — in late August.
Photo of Vargo’s back yard: Rolando Silva
It’s not just the Hunington Properties sign posted in front of Vargo’s announcing a new mixed-use development on the 8.71-acre property, or the more plaintive and direct Land for Sale notice put up more recently. (Asking price: $9 million.) Now there’s another, more compelling harbinger of doom for the 47-year-old lakeside restaurant and event venue at Fondren and Woodway festooned with azaleas and peacocks: A trustee appointed to manage the restaurant’s bankruptcy (which was filed last October but converted to Chapter 7 last month) has ordered Vargo’s shut down for failure to pay rent.
A reader catches workers installing the rising-sun Del Taco logo yesterday on the new fast-food joint going in at 8910 Westheimer, on the northwest corner of Fondren. Houston’s first Del Taco in a long long while is expected to open there “soon,” according to the installation crew.
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A reader is wondering what mysterious forces have brought to a halt plans for the sushi restaurant at 7801 Westheimer on the corner of Stoneybrook, a block west of Hillcroft — the former site of the ABC Flower & Garden Center. Construction on The Fish and Knife Sushi Bar and Club (at least that’s what the sign calls it) began about 3 months ago, says our reader: “They were blowing and going 7 days a week. Then, about 6 weeks ago, all construction halted.” Nothing’s been going up since, save a healthy serving of weeds.
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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:
Scuttlebutt on that decrepit parking lot on Richmond, plus what’s ready to pop up on the site of the Hooters on Gessner:
We would love to force our landlord to get this mess fixed as soon as possible…any advice from anyone? We’ve been on him for the last 10 months or more (since we took the space in mid-September 09).
Commenter marmer notes a repair job may involve significant drainage work. “Simply patching the holes won’t last long enough to be worth the trouble.” Plus, where are Yelapa, Blue Fish House, and Hobbit Café customers gonna park while the work gets done? Also left unanswered: Is the existing parking lot required to meet any drivability standards?
Next: What comes after Hooters?
Got an answer to any of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.
While I can kind of understand Blue Fish and Hobbit [Café] not wanting to spend too much money on improving the parking lot since they are not high dollar places, Yelapa [Playa Mexicana] is trying to position itself as this new chic Mexican/Seafood eatery and thus I would have thought they’d care more about a customer’s initial impression.
A related question from the same reader: “Are there any City ordinances that require a parking lot used by the public to have a certain amount of drivability?”
Next: What about the Hooters?