08/09/16 12:15pm

HOUSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY RESIGNS IN WAKE OF BRIARGROVE MIXED-INCOME KERFUFFLE Proposed Housing Development at 2640 Fountainview Dr., Briargrove, Houston, 77057By both letter and Tweet, Houston Housing Authority chairman Lance Gilliam has announced plans to resign early following Mayor Turner’s criticism of the agency last week, writes Erin Mulvaney. During Wednesday’s council meeting, Turner chided the agency for not having constructed new housing units in the past decade (though Gilliam’s Friday resignation letter notes that thousands of additional people have been added to the organization’s voucher program). The agency has had the majority of its recent proposed construction projects blocked following last year’s US Supreme Court decision, which struck down Texas’s system of awarding public housing project tax credits because it was found to promote racial segregation into low-income areas (deliberately or not). The Briargrove project, which involved replacing one of the Houston Housing Authority’s own Fountain View office buildings with a mixed-income apartment complex, was the Houston agency’s first attempt to build new affordable units in a high-income area; following extensive neighborhood pushback, Turner asked the agency to look for other locations in the same area, and blocked tax credit financing for the project by not bringing it to a council vote. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of proposed apartments at 2640 Fountain View Dr.: HHA

03/15/16 5:00pm

Demographic Map of Houston Census Blocks and Public Housing Projects, from Texas Housers

The pale arrow pointing from W. Beltway 8 to Downtown in the map of Houston above is made up of census blocks recorded as more than 50 percent white, according to a post by Will Livesley-O’Neill for Texas Housers yesterday. The Austin-based nonprofit, which researches low-income housing policy around the state, published yesterday’s article as a followup to some previous posts about the mixed-income housing complex that HHA is planning for the site of its own office building on Fountain View Dr. in Briargrove. The demographic breakdown on the other 3 shades shown on the map, from lightest to darkest: 50 to 25.01 percent white, 25 to 5.01 percent, and 5 to 0 percent.

The map also marks the locations of existing Houston Housing Authority public housing developments as red stars, mostly outside of or skirting the majority-white census blocks; the proposed Fountain View housing site is singled out, tagged, and marked with a green star. Meanwhile, the black outline looping mostly around the majority-white areas is lassoing the market areas deemed strongest by the Reinvestment Fund‘s Market Value Analysis for the city.

Map: Texas Housers

Visualizations
03/08/16 5:00pm

Minuti Coffee, Fountainview Dr. at Westheimer Rd., Briargrove, Houston, 77057

The former Starbucks on the southwest corner of the damp intersection of Fountainview Dr. and Westheimer Rd. now appears to be flying the minute flag of advancing Houston chain Minuti Coffee. The green Starbucks siren formerly residing on the west side of the building has been shooed off and replaced by Minuti’s comparatively austere crest, though the Seattle company’s website still lists the store at 5903 Westheimer as operational.

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Corner Coffee Swap
06/16/15 10:45am

Crescent City, 6383 Westheimer Rd., Houston

Crescent City, 6383 Westheimer Rd., HoustonCrescent City Beignets closed its spot in the Lamar-River Oaks Shopping Center across from Lamar High School last April. Fourteen months later and 4-and-a-half miles to the west, something very much like it is opening up in a strip center strip endcap formerly occupied by a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit at 6383 Westheimer, outside the Loop and just east of Hillcroft. A reader tells Swamplot the interior of the shop is decorated with black-and-white posters of New Orleans scenes and scheduled to open late next week.

Photos: Carlos I. Velázquez (top); Joe Carl White (beignets sign)

Gone West on Westheimer
01/07/15 4:00pm

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Forty or so years of a family’s ownership of a 1958 rancher in Briargrove north of San Felipe Rd. is likely ending soon with the midblock property’s listing for $899,000 earlier this week. Briargrove Elementary School sits 3 blocks to the south. Painted paneling, a plethora of shuttered windows and built-ins, and laminate counters in the kitchen indicate some updates have been made over the years to the home, which displays original hardwood flooring — and a lot of tended landscaping front and back.

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Shutterstock
12/31/14 11:00am

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Converted to condos in 1977, hacienda-themed 1963 Trafalgar Place is part of an architectural lineup encompassing Georgian and French Empire inspired apartment, townhome, and converted properties of the same era — plus more recent residential developments. Old and new properties share a block-long street — extra-wide to accommodate both a median and complex-serving feeder lanes — that spurs south off Westheimer Rd. just west of Fountainview Dr. The tidy, stucco-clad property lies across Westheimer from Briargrove, and across Briarhurst Dr. from the Lambo Chinese Buffet.

One of its updated 1-bedroom units popped up on the market earlier this month, and it’s asking $93K. It last changed hands in 2010, for $65K.

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Converted
11/12/14 3:00pm

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A drive-by berm at curbside and greenery at the entry off a circular driveway double screen a 1965 Briargrove home from its San Felipe location across from Briargrove Elementary School, west of Fountainview Dr. Once past the privacy plantings, however, window walls let in the light and the sights. A recently updated kitchen freshened the property, which emerged from hiding a week ago and has a $799,ooo asking price.

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Nature Preserve
10/09/14 2:45pm

THE NEW H-E-B AT SAN FELIPE AND FOUNTAINVIEW WILL TAKE OVER WHERE LUPE TORTILLA’S SANDBOXES LEFT OFF Rendering of New H-E-B Market, Fountainview Dr. and San Felipe Dr., HoustonFormer Haven chef and now JCI (James Coney Island) and H-E-B consultant Randy Evans drops a few notable details about the new H-E-B now under construction at the corner of San Felipe and Fountain View, where he’s helping create the chain’s first Houston in-grocery-store restaurant: “We’re looking at beer and wine for this store. There’s going to be a great patio and a stage for live music. There’s going to be an [outdoor] area for the kids to play so you can sit and have a glass of wine, have some bites and have your kids have a good time before you go shopping.” The store is scheduled to open in January. [Eating Our Words; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: H-E-B

01/15/14 11:00am

Rendering of the Hudson Apartments, Fountain View at Inwood, Briargrove, Houston

Tanglewood Court Apartments, 5885 San Felipe St., HoustonFor all of you keeping score, the bounties of Briargrove-area apartment demolition should should now be clear. Arising from the site of the 634-unit courtyard-style Tanglewood Court Apartments on the almost-18-acre site on the southeast corner of San Felipe and Fountain View (knocked down last year and pictured at right), there will soon be a corner bank with drive-thru, a new 88,000-sq.-ft. H-E-B (moving west from down the street, and “modeled after” the chain’s Montrose Market), a 32,000-sq.-ft. strip center, and — announced yesterday — a new 5-story 431-unit garage-wrapping apartment block called the Hudson and featuring a reverse-Alamo-style tab (illustrated above) at the top of its garage entrance for some reason. Oh, yeah, also gained in the equation: A sea of concrete for the retail parking lot:

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What Tanglewood Webs We Weave
04/04/13 3:00pm

A reader sends this photo of what went down today at 6000 Richmond and Fountain View: The Magnolia Bar & Grill, cleared for demo last month, has been reduced to rubble and that sideways sign. And what’s in store for this Briargrove corner southwest of the Galleria? Kenneth Lewis, a rep from the partnership that owns the property, says you’ll soon see a McDonald’s.

Photo: Pat McCarley

02/28/13 5:00pm

A result of the news yesterday that H-E-B will be moving from its Fountain View and Westheimer store to a new one on San Felipe in 2014 is the impending demolition of Tanglewood Court apartments, which stand on the 18-acre property bound by Fountain View, San Felipe, and Inwood. (The photo shows the apartments from the corner of Fountain View and Inwood.) Lynn Davis of Fidelis, which purchased the site in September 2011, tells Swamplot that notice has been given to residents that they’ll need to move by the end of March or early April. Buses from neighboring complexes, says Davis, have been shuttling them around to help them find a new place to live.

And once they’re gone, what, besides the H-E-B, will go in their place?

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