01/24/14 1:30pm

2015 W. Alabama St., Montrose, Houston

Jazzy Girls Beauty Boutique, 2015 W. Alabama St., Montrose, HoustonAn episode of Animal Planet’s hit show Call of the Wildman that aired 5 months ago featured the show’s star Ernie Brown Jr. (who goes by the nickname “Turtleman”) and his sidekick Neal James ridding a Montrose beauty salon of an infestation of about 20 Mexican free-tailed bats. The escapade filmed in the back storage rooms of the Jazzy Girls Beauty Boutique on West Alabama St. just east of Shepherd was only one of several dozens of purported animal rescues performed by Turtleman “with his bare hands” in the course of the top-rated Sunday night cable TV show, which is now in its third season. In the other segment of the episode, called “Bat Hair Day,” he rescues a raccoon from a cave.

The supposedly cruelty-free “live action” Montrose winged-creature extrication, which was filmed in April, was reported locally in the Chronicle and Culturemap as another quirky Turtleman success story shortly before the episode aired in early August. But an investigation published earlier this week by Mother Jones reveals that the show’s creators had themselves planted the bats in the salon to allow them to film Turtleman and his assistant removing them.

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Jazzy Girls Have Left the Building
12/10/13 4:00pm

1820-south-01

Once past the Jello-bold color adjustments to the listing’s exterior photo, this 2000 contemporary home by Rice School of Architecture professor Carlos Jiménez unfolds rather quietly on its in-the-trees and oversized lot on South Blvd. in Ormond Place, part of Boulevard Oaks. The property made its market debut in late October. Its asking price then, $3,285,000, remains.

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Ormond Place
11/21/13 3:00pm

Demolition of Former Elgin-Butler Brick Co. Building, 2619 Westpark Dr., Upper Kirby, Houston

Behold the final moments this afternoon of the Goode Company building at 2619 Westpark, just west of Kirby Dr. A reader sends in these images of the once-swank former Elgin-Butler Brick Company Building, built in 1966 with a fine sampling of the company’s glazed wares attached to its facade and converted in 1988 to an office building and commissary for the extended Goode Co. barbecue-seafood-taqueria-armadillo empire. In this hallowed hall — and the attached warehouse building, totaling more than 14,000 sq. ft. altogether — many a brick was spec’ed and many a pecan pie was congealed. But it’s all going away now.

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Goode Riddance
11/15/13 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHICH HOUSTON HOTSPOTS WILL MERGE FIRST “I think West Ave.-to-Rice Village will become contiguous before Highland Village-to-Galleria ever will.” [Anon22, commenting on Comment of the Day: A Linear Shopping District from Highland Village to the Galleria] Illustration: Lulu

11/13/13 10:00am

A different style of furnishings and a new set of HDR-ish photos that focuses on the home’s outdoor areas show off another side of Rick Sundberg’s “Handmade House,” which has been up for sale since September for just shy of $1.6 million. Developer Carol Isaak Barden brought Sundberg to Houston to design a couple of high-end Boulevard Oaks-area homes in the late noughts. The listing for 1916 Banks St. credits the design to Sundberg’s longtime firm, then known as Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen. But Sundberg went out on his own while the home was under construction, and it’s now featured on the website of his new firm, Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects.

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09/12/13 10:00am

Update, 5:45 p.m.: A rep from Midway tells Swamplot that these plans are “nearly a year old” and “conceptual in nature” and writes in an email: “We should have a better idea in the next 60 days of what the project will actually entail.”

Marketing materials on the website of Midway Cos. — developers of CityCentre and GreenStreet — include this rendering of a 16-story office building standing at the corner of Richmond and Wakeforest in Upper Kirby. The materials show the building as part of a “mixed-use pedestrian-focused transit node,” with additional restaurants and retail, that Midway appears to be planning with the Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority here to jazz up Levy Park. An application to reduce the setback on this site along Richmond was approved in July.

Also included in the materials are renderings of a 300-unit loft building facing the Southwest Fwy. and flanking a greenspace:

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08/28/13 1:30pm

Its earlier morph from 1940 cottage to pet grooming shop with easy-care flooring could remain or revert to home use, declares the listing for this property in Dearborn Place. It’s tucked behind a couple of strip centers fronting S. Shepherd, just south of West Alabama. Pens and gated areas — inside and out — make it easy to contain any unruly guests, as do the quarters out back.

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08/26/13 11:00am

It appears that this former caterer’s at 3030 Audley St. and Sul Ross is being converted into a restaurant. Photos of the building show that permits for the Upper Kirby location on the other side of W. Alabama from Lamar High School have been acquired to rebuild the roof, which, according to info on NuHabitat, was damaged by Hurricane Ike. The name of the new restaurant will be the Audley Street Cafe.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

08/16/13 10:30am

Now that Cafe Adobe is coming down on the corner of Westheimer and S. Shepherd, Hines says it is going to start building this apartment complex later this month. A Hines rep tells Swamplot that this rendering of the so-called 21 Eleven at — wait for it — 2111 Westheimer is current — though it doesn’t appear to be all that different from the one published back in April that Hines said wasn’t. At any rate, the complex is planned to hold 215 units in 5 stories that will sit atop 2 levels of “podium parking.” And no ground-floor retail.

Rendering: Hines

08/06/13 2:00pm

With the nearby bridges over the Southwest Fwy. slated for re-lighting, a softly glowing 2008 Vassar Court townhome could be facing some illuminary competition down the line. The front-loading property rises 3 stories along a block of older properties, adjacent to a crook in the one-way street, which travels west and ends at Hazard St., by the bridge. The residence may be 5 years old, but apparently it’s only been gently occupied: The 4-day-old listing describes it as a rarely-used second home for its art-collector owners. Price tag: $849,000.

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07/31/13 3:15pm

It is no more: A few weeks after the rest of this old strip center on Dunlavy at W. Alabama started coming down, the Montrose Fiesta was finally reduced to rubble, this reader’s photo, taken just before 1 p.m. today, shows. And what’s next for the site? Developer Marvy Finger says he will replacing the grocery store with apartments, telling the Houston Chronicle’s Nancy Sarnoff in early 2012 that the ensuing complex will be both “Mediterranean” and “really beautiful.”

Photo: Thomas Stazer

07/30/13 10:00am

WILL GREENWAY PLAZA SALE MEAN NEW GREENWAY PLAZA TOWERS? The 10 buildings and 52 acres that make up Greenway Plaza have been sold by Crescent Real Estate to Atlanta firm Cousins Properties for $1.1 billion. (The 3-city deal also gives Cousins a 40-story office tower in Fort Worth.) For now, reports the Houston Chronicle, it doesn’t appear that the change in ownership will change the property — though Cousins doesn’t seem to have ruled anything out: “Though there are no immediate plans for development, the . . . complex could house an additional 2 million square feet worth of office buildings, [Cousins CEO Larry] Gellerstedt said. The future development sites are parking structures that could be replaced by new towers.” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo: Crescent Real Estate