06/30/17 10:30am

We only count 1 basketball court, 1 stuffed elk head, and 3 faux finishes in the 9.74-acre setup at 17020 Cypress Rosehill Rd. —previously kinda-sorta-abandoned by Anna Nicole Smith (the listing agent tells the Chronicle’s Fernando Ramirez) during some part of the bankruptcy proceedings that followed her billionaire husband’s death (and the news that she might not inherit). But maybe the relatively tame suburban stylings aren’t so surprising, given that the property has been de-vandalized, remodeled, and expanded by the current owners since the home’s last sale in 1998 (years before Smith’s death, the posthumous Supreme Court ruling, and the debut of the opera cataloguing a few of the more storybook-scandalous aspects of her life).

The property, “income-generating equestrian operation” and all, is up for sale now for $2.842 million. Also new, since Smith’s departure: a modest backyard sports complex (including a gym building, multi-use court, and putting green). Make the full circuit:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Room to Horse Around
09/15/16 10:30am

Tin Hall Dancehall, 14800 Tin Hall Rd, Cypress, 77429

Tin Hall (the building itself, anyway) is now back in the hands of pre-2014 owner Fred Stockton, report Shawn Arrajj and Emily Donaldson. The Tin Hall property was bought by Mark Martinez in 2014, who sold the land to MHI McGuyer Homebuilders later that year; Martinez was allowed time after the Hall’s closing to relocate the structure, and made plans to move it down to a spot off Spring Cypress Rd. just east of Dry Creek — a process slowed down by issues with finding water for the venue and its planned nextdoor retail development.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

05/03/16 4:30pm

A set of 4 new FEMA disaster recovery centers opened yesterday, sprinkled around the north and west sides of Houston hit hardest by the Tax Day flooding. The locations include a Greenspoint office building right across Greens Bayou from some of the apartment complexes evacuated during the flooding (including Arbor Court). The other centers opened Monday in Meyerland, Cypress, and Spring, and additional temporary help centers might get set up elsewhere around town.

As of yesterday night, FEMA had already received nearly 12,000 applications for post-flood assistance. Harris County reported last week that more than twice as many homes were damaged by the April floods as reported during last year’s Memorial Day flooding. Farmers Insurance agent Peter Zografos told the Houston Press last week that many of the same houses have filed claims a second time: “Some of these homeowners may have to be insured directly with the National Flood Insurance Program due to repetitive claims, [and] basically will be charged more for too many flood claims.”

Map of FEMA disaster recovery centers: City of Houston

Still Under Water
04/05/16 10:00am

The Crossing, Towne Lake, Cypress, TX 77433

2013 Map of The Crossing, Towne Lake, Cypress, TX 77433A high-flying reader sends this mid-March progress shot of the segment of Cypress’s Towne Lake development known as The Crossing. The other major crossing planned for nearby — a continuation of Towne Lake Pkwy. over the less-holy water feature under construction to the south and east, as shown in this selection from the development’s master plan — looks to still be in the works. The parkway will eventually connect all the way down to the Kroger just south of Tuckerton Rd. 

The site also seems to have resolved some of its earlier crises of purpose: Originally the land just north of David Anthony Middle School was labeled as a potential church, but developer Caldwell Companies appears to have opted for the secular route since the 2013 version below was published:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Driving on Water
02/05/16 1:45pm

BUILDING AROUND 1 CEMETERY AND POSSIBLY OVER ANOTHER IN CYPRESS’S ALDEN WOODS Site Plan for the Alden Woods Development, Huffmeister Rd., Cypress, TX 77429 “I said to the county attorney’s representative, this looks like the spot, this looks like a cemetery,” University of Houston anthropology professor Ken Brown told ABC 13’s Ted Oberg, discussing a visit two years ago to the land currently being developed as the Alden Woods subdivision. Darling Homes is developing the 70-acre tract off Huffmeister Rd., just north of the intersection with Maxwell Rd. in Cypress, into a gated community of 3,000-to-5,000-sq.-ft. homes with interior courtyards. Brown investigated another old cemetery on the land for the Harris County Historical Commission; neighbors took him to a site on the other side of the project area rumored to be the burial ground of the slaves held by nearby landowners (some of whom are thought to be buried in the graveyard Brown was sent to check out). The landowner’s cemetery got legal protection from development with the help of the county attorney’s office and still sits in a forested area in the subdivision. The slave cemetery site was not further investigated archaeologically, despite the alleged presence of an employee of the attorney’s office on the site with Brown as he identified groups of east-west-oriented depressions which “[suggested] family type plots within a cemetery.” A statement from the Harris County Attorney’s Office to ABC13 says that the office will now work with the subdivision’s developer to investigate the site. [ABC13] Alden Woods site plan: Darling Homes

01/27/16 3:45pm

Tin Hall Sign at 16614 Spring Cypress Rd., Cypress, TX 77429

Cypress’s Tin Hall has found a new place to set up shop, according to an announcement posted to the venue’s Facebook page this morning. The 127-year-old dance hall will move its operations and its building to a spot at 16614 Spring Cypress Rd., just over 2 miles from its long-time location off Huffmeister Rd. to the east. The new property is across the street from the Cypress post office, next to Cypress Woods High School.

The venue writes that an auction, to be held this Friday at noon, will help finance the move and the building’s preservation. Tin Hall posted a subject-to-change list of the items up for grabs, including most of its interior decor and equipment, 5 “vintage” urinal troughs, and “all taxidermy, including the buffalo.” (The building, included on the posted flier, is not for sale.)

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Dancing On in Cypress
01/07/16 2:30pm

CYPRESS BARBECUE TRAILER THREATENED WITH GUN VIOLENCE FOR SUPPORTING OPEN CARRY Brook's Place,  18020 FM 529, Cypress, TX 77433​Perennial Allison Cook’s Top 100 listee Brooks’ Place, the parking lot barbecue joint in Cypress which began offering a discount on New Year’s Day to those visibly bringing a holstered gun to the establishment, received a review via its Facebook page this morning threatening a Saturday shootup (with explicit reference to the spot’s “gun-toting patrons”). Owner Trent Brooks tells the Houston Chronicle’s Sid Kearney that he has contacted the authorities and that he is “not taking the threat lightly, not with all the crazy stuff that is going on in the world today.” But the barbecue shed-trailer will be open this Saturday, with peace officers stationed nearby if necessary. [Houston Chronicle, previously on SwamplotPhoto: Cletus O.

12/30/15 12:00pm

Brook's Place, 18020 FM 529, Cypress, TX 77433​

Brook's Place Barbecue, 18020 FM 529 Cypress, TX 77433​Nationally ranked Cypress parking-lot barbecue trailer Brooks’ Place will offer a 25 percent discount on New Year’s Day to anyone celebrating Texas’s new open carry law with a properly holstered firearm. Owner and master of smoked beef Trent Brooks will also offer a permanent 10 percent discount those who show up armed after January 1st. (A sign posted on the premises notes that “judicious marksmanship is appreciated” if the need to draw does arise.) Things you shouldn’t show up with, according to other noticed posted to the shed (tucked next to the Ace Hardware in the shopping center at FM 529 at Barker Cypress Rd.): short-shorts and saggy pants.

Photos: Cletus O. (trailer) Angela S. (sign)

 

 

With Open Arms
12/03/15 10:45am

Tin Hall Dancehall, 14800 Tin Hall Rd, Cypress, 77429

Cypress may be losing a piece of its history: 126-year-old Tin Hall, Harris County’s oldest and largest country dancehall (and perennial first listing among area attractions on the Cypress community’s Wikipedia page). The venue is slated to close its doors on New Year’s Day.

The 24,000-sq.-ft. facility sports a 4,400-sq.-ft. dance floor on the second story, and sits on 40 ac. of wooded land surrounded by suburbs on two sides and the Longwood Golf Club on another. The property was sold last December to an entity that shares a Woodway address with McGuyer Homebuilders.

A New Year’s Eve bash is billed as Tin Hall’s last public gathering — at least in its current locale. A spokesperson for the dancehall said on Facebook that they hope the hall can be moved in pieces and rebuilt:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Dancehall Blues
12/08/14 12:00pm

Sign on Huffmeister Rd. South of Fleur de Lis Blvd., Cypress, Houston

Signs at 1102 Shepherd Dr. at Center St., Washington Corridor, Houston“I found him!” declares reader Kristen W. The portrait she happened upon, captioned “Jesus, I trust in you” over draped ankles, had originally been noted by Swamplot readers 4 years ago in ready position adjacent to a redevelopment site on Shepherd Dr. at Center St., just north of Washington Ave. (See smaller photo above right; similar sightings were also reported at the time in Lindale Park and on Westpark between Fondren and Gessner.) Later, the icon’s purported property-restoring powers were noted in its nomination for the Washington Ave Award in that year’s Swampies.

Kristen W. reports the latest visitation: “He’s just hanging out on the east side of Huffmeister Rd. south of Fleur de Lis Blvd. among the cattle and horses. . . . I was making the long trek up north for a job interview [Friday] morning and had to turn around to snap a few photos because I couldn’t believe it.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

A Sign