- 2801 Colquitt St. [HAR]
A project to improve a 2.9-mile stretch of the Southwest Fwy. feeder road between South Shepherd Dr. and Newcastle St. could get started as early as May 1, a rep from TxDOT says. And the Upper Kirby Management District contributed some funds to the $19 million project, which might give you an idea about what to expect.
Behind the curbside growth gone wild, a far tidier contemporary home has been hiding (above) in plain view since 1998. The Upper Kirby property dropped its price April Fool’s Day to $745,000, down from an initial $770K when listed in mid-March. Facing west — and located across from older apartments and the back of a more recent mid-rise complex — this home on an end-cap lot not too far from Whole Foods Market saves its outdoor impact for the back side of the fenced lot (above) and uses the scene as its view from rooms within.
So the excavator is sneaking up on the old Fiesta. You knew one was coming. And you know there will be more. As of this morning, the low-slung building at the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama hasn’t yet received a demolition permit, but it’s been on the smashing block since closing in July, not too long after H-E-B opened the Montrose Market across the street. Developer Marvy Finger, who now owns the property here in Lancaster Place, has said he plans to build something Mediterranean — a 6- to 8-story apartment complex that might or might not have some retail, too: “We’re going to try to create something really beautiful,” he’s told the Houston Chronicle’s Nancy Sarnoff.
Photo: Loves swamplot
MINI COOPER PARKED ON KIRBY STORE WALL NOW PERMITTED Call it the artifice on the edifice: It took a few months, but the City of Houston seems to have embraced — or, at least, bureaucratically allowed — the fake Mini Cooper parked on the wall that was slapped with a red tag in early January at Internum, the interiors and design store at 3303 Kirby: ”After some back and forth about permitting,” explains The Highwayman’s Dug Begley, “the city granted a permit in late January. Turns out you need to let the city know when you hang something over the sidewalk, even if it is a temporary ad and not a permanent sign. Otherwise, you get a lot of attention . . . .” [The Highwayman; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Lisa Garvin
This casa appears to be keeping koi until the end. The 1935 property could go either way, as its Wednesday listing mentions both a need for TLC and a lot value price: $295,000.
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.
One-stop shopping: you can see the signage and new (and presumably sterile) cabinetry through the second-floor windows of The Centre at River Oaks (in Upper Kirby, in fact), where a 25,000-sq.-ft. branch of Texas Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Associates is expected to open in March; the makeover of the shopping center at West Alabama and Kirby began last summer; Ainbinder announced that Ulta Beauty would be operating out of the first floor of the bankrupt Borders; Texas Children’s will sit atop both Ulta Beauty and Brio Tuscan Grille.
Photo: Swamplot inbox
No more le breakfast, no more le lunch: Catching workers moving equipment out of Le Peep in Shepherd Plaza, a Swamplot reader sends in this photo. That’s a U-HAUL — er, le trailer — backed up to the doors. “Closed without notice!” cries le tipster. “I asked a worker and he said this location is closed for good.” Le Peep has 6 other restaurants in Houston.
Photo: loves swamplot
COMMENT OF THE DAY: ODE TO A DOOMED ALABAMA PLACE BUNGALOW, WITH CAVEATS “Poor, poor 2205 Branard. I know the standard Swamplottian response is ‘if you’re so sad to see it go, buy it.‘ I know that it was built in 1939, and wasn’t necessarily meant to last past 1989. I know that it may have structural problems, need electrical updates, and have a tiny kitchen. I know all those things, yet I can’t look at this adorable brick house, this poor condemned soul with its neck on the chopping block, and not get a lump in my throat. What did this house do to deserve such a fate? Did it not bow down to the ballroom-sized bathroom trend? Did it refuse to tart itself up in stucco to suit the Tuscan-craving masses? Did it commit the crime of having only (gasp!) 8′ tall ceilings?! Perhaps it was simply the offense of having a pleasing ratio of height, fenestration, and visual interest that doesn’t say ‘screw you, street, I don’t care what I look like outside, because I have granite countertops, slate backsplashes and crown moulding!‘ Does this make me a house-hugger? Probably. Will this earn me a thorough flaming from other commenters? Definitely. [Pours some out for fallen soldier 2205 Branard]” [Jennifer Mathis, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: No, Virginia]
Last March, this all was an empty lot. The owner’s home at 1648 Vassar had been destroyed by an electrical fire. Given a budget restricted by the insurance company’s payout, Scott Strasser and Dave Guthrie thought they’d build a replacement clad in untreated cedar.
St. John’s School has purchased 13 acres of land, expanding its 29-acre campus in River Oaks. Headmaster Mark Desjardins tells the Houston Chronicle that the school on Westheimer won’t be developing the new acreage right away and hasn’t decided what will become of the businesses already there at the intersection of W. Alabama and Buffalo Speedway. Those include a fortune teller, the River Oaks Plant House, known for its oversized topiary-like Chia pets (dancing at left), and Blanco’s Bar & Grill, sitting there in a dusty parking lot as though it’s on a far-flung farm road and not right across the street from the 23-story Lamar Tower. (It’s hiding behind the Blanco’s sign in the photo above.)
It might not be sporting an engine — and KHOU reported yesterday that the vertically parked car’s Fiberglas shell weighs in at just 350 lbs. — but at least the headlights work. Similar Mini Coopers have popped up before on billboards and storefronts, especially in Europe, but a rep from design and interiors store Internum told auto blog Jalopnik yesterday that the Mini on their Kirby wall is “the first example of a Mini-on-building ad in the U.S.” It’s also the first to have been given a special citation by the city.
A red tag from the City of Houston, a reader reports, has been posted on the window at Internum, the design and interiors store at 3303 Kirby where this Mini Cooper’s been mounted since December 18. “Remove car from building front,” the City of Houston violation reads, “barricade sidewalks at front — do this immediately.” The violation is dated December 27, but as of this morning the car’s still hanging in there.