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

07/18/13 10:00am

This corner of Richmond and Wakeforest appears likely to be developed into a new office building, part of what a recently approved application to reduce the building setback on both streets from the Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority suggests is a plan to transform this block between Wakeforest and Eastside into a “mixed-use pedestrian-focused transit node.” The demolition of vacant office buildings here near Levy Park appears to have begun in 2009; the office building shown in the photo above, also apparently vacant, is likely the next to go.

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07/15/13 10:00am

“Soon!” You can almost hear this dormant excavator warning the Montrose Fiesta. The first one started sneaking up on the strip center at Dunlavy and W. Alabama back in March, but it wasn’t until late last week that the permits were granted and the real smashing began. The Fiesta closed for good almost exactly a year ago, not long after the H-E-B Montrose Market went up across the street where the Wilshire Village apartments once stood. Fittingly, developer Marvy Finger has said he plans to replace the soon-to-be-felled grocery store with apartments.

More shots of the carnage:

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07/09/13 10:00am

A WEST AVE SUSHI SHUTDOWN Friday was the last day for West Ave sushi joint Katsuya in Upper Kirby. Next up to throw its use into the mix? Nara, which claims in a press release that it will be Houston’s first Korean restaurant inside the Loop. Katsuya was open here for about a year and a half, reports Eater Houston, feeding the likes of NFL pals Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, but seemed to lose a certain something: “One Eater tipster reported that things had become grim at the end, with the restaurant only serving sushi but not prepared entrees.” Nara is expected to open this fall. [Eater Houston] Photo: Ryan Forbes

07/05/13 10:00am

MONTROSE ART COLLECTIVE TO HAVE SEX CHANGE BEFORE REPLACING DOMY BOOKS Culturemap is reporting that Westheimer Rd. purveyors of fine comics and doodads Domy Books will be closing July 14. Apparently, building owner Dan Fergus (who also owns Brasil next door and the smaller building next to that that Space Montrose is trying to raise money to leave) has already secured a new tenant: Cody Ledvina, the painter of weiner dogs and poolside cats and co-founder of Montrose art and performance whatchamacallit the Joanna. And though it seems this relocating incarnation will be undergoing gender reassignment to become the Brandon, Ledvina says that that won’t alter the quality of what goes on there: “The programming, as far as the art goes, will be basically the exact same. Not any more refined or professional.” [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Larami Culbertson

07/02/13 10:15am

Where’s Mini? A reader sends this photo of the burned rubber sticking to the stucco wall of design and furniture store Internum at 3303 Kirby Dr., where the 350-lb. promotional fiberglass shell of a Mini Cooper had been not-quite-parallel parked since December. And parked illegally — at first, anyway, garnering a red tag on December 27 from city inspectors to go with that red holiday garland wrapped around the Upper Kirby street lamps.

Photos: Lisa Garvin (Mini); Creative Accidents (wall)

06/27/13 3:45pm

A tilted 2-story skylight provides a star-command view within a 1970 townhome just behind West Ave. The area was dubbed the Upper Kirby District decades after this home and 4 related properties appeared on their stretch of block north of W. Alabama in the antique-shop-and-eatery hinterlands east of Lamar High School. The group of townhomes have varying facades of stucco, glass brick, timber and awnings, each over a 2-car garage. This home, slightly taller than its brethren, counters its contemporary origins with Old World-y flourishes. It was listed the first week of June, for $469,000.

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