08/19/16 2:45pm

WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL READY FOR FULL OPENING, NOISE CITATION HEARING Rendering of White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main, Houston, 77009This week marks the official opening of White Oak Music Hall’s 2 indoor stages, writes Erin Mulvaney. Construction on the permanent concert spaces has wrapped next to the temporary-but-indefinitely-employed outdoor stage where the venue has been holding concerts since April. Per Jennifer Ostlind of the Houston Planning Department, all required parking for the venue is in place, though Mulvaney notes that “the temporary stage, which the partners plan to use in perpetuity for roughly 30 shows a year, did not require a permit or parking to accommodate the crowds.” Mulvaney also writes that the developers are getting ready for a September hearing on the noise ordinance citation the venue received in May; a study by hired sound scrutinizers on the night of the citation reportedly shows that sound at the venue didn’t pass 75 decibels. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of White Oak Music Hall complex: Shau

06/28/16 11:45am

Rendering of Heights Mercantile Building 3, 3A

Experimental ice cream shop Cloud 10 Creamery looks to be collecting building permits for a space at 711 Heights Blvd., one of the 1920s bungalows prepping for a second career in retail (as shown above) as part of the Heights Mercantile development. The project, which straddles 7th St. and its bike trail companion between Yale St. and Heights Blvd., hit a potential snag last year when the city didn’t approve a variance request that would have lowered the number of required new parking spaces. But the updated site plan below shows the workaround — the Golden Eagle Binder & Tab Co.’s former spots at 717 and 724 Heights, which were purchased by the developers last May, are depicted as additional parking lots:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

7th at Yale
05/11/16 3:30pm

TABC regional headquarters in Heights Medical Tower, 427 West 20th Street, Suite 600 Houston Heights, Houston, 77008

A group called the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition PAC is hoping to bring about a vote on allowing beer and wine sales in the technically dry section of the Houston Heights. The group published a notice on May 5th announcing an application to the city to start collecting the petition signatures required to get the measure on a local option ballot.

Here’s the text of the required public notice:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Watering Down the Dry Laws
04/29/16 10:45am

CITY RESPONSES TO UBER THREATS CITE BACKGROUND CHECK CATCHES, DATA UBER SUED TO KEEP PRIVATE Uber HQ in Houston, 5714 Star Lane, Houston, 77057Mayor Turner held a press conference this week in response to Uber’s current PR push regarding Houston’s licensing requirements on Uber drivers. The rideshare company and ubiquitous favorite ‘[blank] of [industry]’ fill-in is threatening to pull out of Houston over the city’s rule that drivers must pass more stringent (specifically, more fingerprint-requiring) background checks than what Uber internally requires. Turner says the city’s checks have turned up criminal history in applicants already OK’d by Uber’s screening processes, including charges for DWI, assault, and murder. Meanwhile, city administrator Lara Cottingham tells Michael Barajas that Uber’s claims of drivers waiting 4 months for city licenses are exaggerated; the actual normal wait is a few weeks, Cottingham says, but the city can’t release data to support that because Uber sued in 2015 to block open records requests regarding its business practices. “The number of drivers is increasing, their revenue is increasing, everything seems to be working out for them very, very well,” said Cottingham, adding that because of the lawsuit she “can’t tell you how successful they are.” Uber lobbied last legislative season for less-stringent state-level licensing rules that would supercede local regulations. [KHOU, Houston Press; previously on SwamplotPhoto of Houston Uber HQ, 5714 Star Ln.: Uber Houston

04/01/16 10:15am

3516 Montrose Blvd. Signs and violation notices, First Montrose Commons, Houston, 77006

3516 Montrose Blvd. Signs and violation notices, First Montrose Commons, Houston, 77006

The big blue sign wrapping around the lot at the northeast corner of Montrose Blvd. and Marshall St. got decorated with a dayglow red tag from the city this week, calling for the banner’s removal. The sign is advertising the midrise condominium building planned for the lot at 3615 Montrose, formerly the site of the River Cafe; the Philip Johnson/ Alan Ritchie design’s footprint also extends into the lot to the north, whose slated-for-destruction 1910 brick house is currently gigging as a sales center for the development. The shot above looks due south at the angled northernmost portion of the sign, toward the intersection of Montrose and W. Alabama St.

Tags from a city inspector call out the “130 x 8 x 10”-ft. ground sign, as well as its smaller next-door companion piece, which refers to the condo building as “The Glass House” (no, not that one). Here’s what the whole scene looks like from up in the air, from the Parc IV tower across Montrose:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Montrose at Marshall