- 6803 Prairie Dunes Dr. [HAR]
Is that an arrow or an anchor above the dining-room bay window of this well-gabled home a little more than a mile northeast of the Willowbrook Mall? Either way, the decorative timbering acts as a harbinger of the many accents, patterns, and imagery within:
Have a look around this little 25,637-sq.-ft. castle on a 5-acre lot at the edge of the Champions Golf Course. The master suite alone measures 3,000 sq. ft. Construction began in 2005, but last year the property was taken over by the lender, Encore Bank, before the final touches could be completed — like the elevator connecting the 3-car underground garage to the rest of the house. The MLS listing announced the bank planned to auction the home by November 5th to the highest bidder. But it was scooped up before then — for $3.5 million — by someone who could truly appreciate its fine marble and plaster finishes: the founder of a drywall contracting company and his wife. Wayne and Karen Martin tell the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff they plan to finish the home and landscape it with “European-style” gardens and reflecting ponds. “There’s a lot of history in that place. It’s phenomenal,” Martin tells Sarnoff.
But they don’t plan to move in.
Time to award another Rice Design Alliance membership!
Your guesses for this week’s game: the Memorial Park area, Crestwood, Camp Logan, “just south of Rice off of Greenbriar,” “somewhere off Briar Forest,” Sugar Land (3 guesses), off Gessner, off Gessner north of Westheimer, the Gessner and Westheimer area, Copperfield, “north of Memorial, on Crestwood or Arnot,” Sugar Creek (2 guesses), Venetian Estates, Kingwood, Champions, Champion Forest, Bellaire, Hudson Oaks, Hudson Bend, “near U of H around MacGregor and Cullen,” “the Stella Link and Braeswood area,” Stonehenge, Memorial just inside the Beltway, Greatwood, Alief, the Fondren and Braeswood area south of Bissonnet but north of Bellfort, south Fondren, Fondren Southwest, Northampton, West University, League City, Country Village, Lakeside Place, off Memorial between Eldridge and Highway 6, Clear Lake, Fort Bend County, Riverstone, Piney Point Village, Estates of Highland Creek, “Spring Branch area south of I-10,” “near the intersection of Dairy Ashford and Memorial, north of Briar Forest,” Bellaire, Meyerland, Friendswood, “west side,” Boulevard Oaks, Walden on Lake Conroe, and Afton Oaks.
This week’s home was suggested independently for the contest by two Swamplot readers. And the winner is . . . elnina, for this sharp entry:
Bit to big entrance for a townhouse, the lay out, the kitchen and nice parquet flooring make me think about a mid 70’s two story house somewhere north of Houston. Good size back yard with nice swimming pool.
No rugs or carpet – is the owner allergic to it or just prefer bare floors? Not sure about the flooring upstairs. Is that concrete? I will behave and not comment the lady of the house shoe fetish room…
I agree with “marmer”, there must be interesting view from the second floor: a park, golf course or perhaps a lake? I guess north, northwest – maybe Champions?
Congratulations, elnina! You’ve won a one-year individual membership in the Rice Design Alliance — and earned extra credit for identifying the owner’s allergies.
A very close second place finish goes to recent NGG champion David W, for this guess:
This one is from the super 70’s - parquet floor abounds, flagstone fireplace, I bet all those windows facing the pool had vertical blinds back in the day. Stained cabinets in the kitchen painted white, dramatic entry with stairwell and upstairs hallway open to the to the living room with vaulted ceiling. Is that a beam I see coming down to the left of the fireplace? That was stained dark when this place was built and recently painted along with the kitchen. The laugh room doesn’t match – converted garage maybe? Tile downstairs says near water or maybe a golf course? Doesn’t seem too big, inexpensive range in the kitchen. Hmm. My first guess would be Sugar Creek or maybe Venetian Estates but it seems like they would have spent more on the updates if it was in Sugar Creek and it seems too new for Venetian Estates. I am going with the north side of town instead. Lots of 70’s construction in Kingwood and Champions Forest - given the modest updates and contempo style I bet this one is in one of those neighborhoods. . . .
Now about those shoes . . . Do they look a little familiar?
A Dallas real-estate firm is ready to rescue the Huntwick Apartments on FM 1960 near Wunderlich Rd. from receivership — and also from its management, before that, by Louisiana real-estate investor Michael B. Smuck.
As of last year, just as it prepared to file for bankruptcy, Smuck’s Louisiana-based MBS Companies owned 65 apartment buildings in Texas — 33 of them in the Houston area. Even prior to that, the company’s property-maintenance skills had reached legendary status. The president and executive vice president of the Houston Apartment Association relayed complaints from residents and neighbors of MBS apartments to the Wall Street Journal last year, and reported that the griping had only increased after the influx of residents fleeing Hurricane Katrina in late 2005.
Here’s a commenter on the Houston Politics blog back in April (quoted in Swamplot), describing the scene at the 288-unit Huntwick:
Balconies have collapsed, lots of overgrown vegetation, the paint is peeling, there is obviously a total lack of maintenance. A large tree split in half on their property adjacent to Coral Gables Dr., and after the dead half lay on the ground (in plain view) for over 6 months, a crew finally cut it into smaller pieces, which then lay in the same spot for another 6 months.
After the jump: What’s happening to the Huntwick, plus the complete Michael B. Smuck Houston apartment roster!
Well, where were we? This week’s mystery sky-pad fetched individual guesses of: Greenway Plaza, Museum District/Med Center, “near Woodway,” Gessner and Memorial, Memorial between Shepherd and Westcott, The Woodlands, Champions, Champion Forest, Riverside Terrace, Sugarland, Missouri City, River Oaks, Glendower Court (actually, “North of Westheimer and probably west of Shepherd, in that town-house filled area south of River Oaks”), and the Galleria.
Some of you guessed particular buildings. Two of you took a stab at Regency House, 2 1/2 fell for Four Leaf Towers, and 2 said it was the Timber Top. We also had guesses of the Huntingdon, the Willowick, Bayou Bend Towers, “the highrise near the Medical Center and Hermann Park” (the Parklane or the Warwick Towers or the Mosaic?), the Endeavour, “a small mid-rise apartment complex” on Augusta between San Felipe and Westheimer, the St. Clair Condos near the Post Oak YMCA, 14 or 15 Greenway Plaza, Hermann Towers (?), and the Spires.
The winner is LawrenceDean, who was first to name the Timber Top highrise in Champion Forest — and threw in this bit of color commentary:
I’m going to go with this being a glimpse of the lifestyle of a (very old) northside baller…..
However, this came after some excellent advance work by Bernard, who is apparently expert in staring out of windows:
I don’t see how it can be “in town”. Take a look out the window. There’s nothing but green space. It’s hard to imagine a high rise in town that wouldn’t have a view of at least a couple tall buildings popping up from the tree tops.
It’s clearly a two story unit. Must be a penthouse. But it doesn’t look too high up. The building can’t be more than 15-20 stories.
Maybe it’s on the west side of town with a west facing view. It would suck to have a penthouse facing the wrong direction. . . .
There are two patches of green out the window. Is that a golf course? Maybe some forward thinking developer stole (I mean borrowed and never repaid) some S&L money and built a mini-high-rise out in The Woodlands or Champions. I don’t know those ares very well.
If only you had! That’s enough for an honorable mention, though!
Special recognition goes to our two fully authorized troublemakers this week — Jeff and GoogleMaster — who identified the listing to us privately and then vied to keep easily swayed guessers focused on inside-the-Loop neighborhoods. This loopy comment by Jeff, in particular, is priceless:
Seriously, only an Inner Looper would have elephant tusks next to their couch.
After some initial overreaching, this Timber Top penthouse has been sitting on the market for quite some time. How long? See our summary:
Champions has a golf course, Cy-Fair schools, and FM 1960. What’s not to like . . . unless you’re a loser? Plus: tall trees, and neighborhood names like Champions Park, Champions Place, Champions Colony. This weekend’s tour of open houses includes a home in nearby Barrington Woods. It’s a winner too!
Location: 5907 Lookout Mountain Dr.
Details: 3-4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths; 2,335 sq. ft.
The Scoop: Late-seventies 2-story home on large cul-de-sac lot next to Champions Golf Course, in Champions Colony. Mostly tile floors; partial brick exterior. Beamed-ceiling Living Room has adjacent Bar. On market for 2 weeks.
Open House: Saturday, 1-4pm
More Champions . . . after the jump!