10/15/14 5:15pm



An expansive deck with pool for physical therapy (top) links a home and its back-of-lot studio apartment at a Montrose compound, which started October as a $795K listing. Recent updates to the 1922 bungalow (above) included new AC, duct work, and wallboard. The studio space was added in 2012. Located east of Stanford St. near Lovett Blvd., the property is within walking — or rolling — distance of many neighborhood restaurants.


Single Level Living
10/11/11 8:57am

According to the Greater Houston Planning Alliance, which heard the news from the Texas Historical Commission — which heard the news from the project’s architect in Dallas — current plans for turning the former Alabama Theater into a Trader Joe’s now call for the terrazzo flooring at the theater’s Shepherd Dr. entrance to be left in place. Building owner Weingarten Realty apparently still has plans to move the front doors 7 or 8 ft. further toward the street, though; according to the GHPA, an accessibility consultant has advised project architect Don Sopranzi that there is no problem with the existing floor’s slope. Weingarten received approval from the city last month to scrape up the swirly patterned flooring outside the entrance and replace it with concrete.


10/07/11 11:03pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE DETAILS THAT MATTER “. . . The .5% grade, bathroom clearances and many of the other minutia of the ADA are the difference between a wheelchair bound person living a diginfied life (being able to go where everyone else can go and do what everyone else can do) and living as a second class citizen. Just try maneuvering a wheel chair around an ADA compliant bathroom or storefront. It is still a serious challenge. But if the door to a ADA stall is too close to the wall, it can be impossible. Poorly graded ramps can mean having to sit in the rain waiting for someone to give a push. And if you think the ADA requirements are an unfair burden that harms businesses, just try living with the burden of a disability. Anyone who wants to build a public building but doesn’t believe that they have a responsiblity to make the build accessible to everyone shoulnd’t be in the business.” [Old School, commenting on GHPA to Weingarten: We’ll Fix That Trader Joe’s Terrazzo Problem for You]

10/06/11 1:12pm

At a city historic commission hearing 2 weeks ago, a representative of Weingarten Realty noted that the swirly patterned terrazzo flooring at the front entrance of the former Alabama Theater was sloped a half-percent too steep to meet current accessibility standards, and therefore will have to be removed to allow Trader Joe’s to move into the space. Not a problem for the noted preservationists at Weingarten, the building’s owner — the company plans to rip out the decorative design and replace it with a brand new concrete surface for its new tenants.

Too bad for fans of the original front vestibule design of the 1939 Art Deco theater at 2922 S. Shepherd, which is listed as a protected landmark: The commission approved Weingarten’s plans. But the helpful folks at the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance decided to do a little homework for the building’s owners anyway.


03/26/10 2:03pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT MAKES THE ALABAMA THEATER SO EASY TO LEASE “Sigh. I’ve been told in the past that Weingarten would like to have a restaurant in this location, but with a rent that is probably in the low-mid 30’s/sf, that puts the monthly rent at around $35,000 a month, which is out of the price range of many retailers and restaurateurs. Also, 14,000 sf would be a huge restaurant. One of the other little discussed obstacles in this building is the balcony, and the low headroom that it provides at the lobby entrance. Most of the building is concrete but I’ve been told that the balcony is in fact a steel structure. I would not be surprised if the balcony does not survive. Regarding the sloped floor, it is extremely difficult to rent sloping space like that in the age of ADA. Bookstop was constructed prior (1984) to the implementation of ADA. . . .” [mt, commenting on Weingarten Realty: We Won’t Demolish the Interior of the Alabama Theater Until a Lease Is Signed]

04/06/09 5:34pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: GUESSING GAME MARKDOWN “This home was custom built as wheelchair accessible. The features noted are the obvious accessibility features. What makes this home a great example of universal design are the lack of thresholds and the curved radius walls which lessen the chance of crashes, but they also look great! The owners are not handicapped at all and are relocating. They now cannot imagine having shower doors and thresholds to trip over in their next home. The price has been reduced to $555,000.” [Thomas A B Johnson, commenting on Neighborhood Guessing Game Over: First Chair]

08/18/08 12:24pm

DOWNTOWN TUNNELS FOR WHEELCHAIRS “Eighteen years after the Americans With Disabilities Act became law, several spots along the 6.5-mile downtown tunnel-skywalk system, used by more than 150,000 downtown workers, remain blocked or altogether inaccessible to those in wheelchairs. These areas haven’t been made ADA-compliant because it would be difficult or impossible to put in ramps and still leave enough headroom for pedestrians, said Bob Eury, director of the Downtown District, a public-private association that promotes and manages downtown development.” [Houston Chronicle]