07/09/15 2:15pm

Fire at Courtyard By Marriott Hotel, 18010 Park Row Dr., Ten Oaks, Park Row, Energy Corridor, Houston

12 hours after the Courtyard by Marriott under construction at the corner of Park Row and Barker Cypress burst into flames, fire crews are still dumping water on the building, a reader reports. Here’s a post-conflagration view of the soaking going on at Texas Western Hospitality’s hotel project. The 135-room, 4-story hotel on a 5.2-acre site at 18010 Park Row Dr., next door to the West Campus of Texas Children’s Hospital, had been scheduled to open in October. No injuries have been reported.

Photo: Brian Walz

Courtyard by Marriott
07/08/15 4:45pm

Construction Trailer for Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, 1111 N. Dairy Ashford St., Memorial, Houston

From the street, a Swamplot reader notes, the roll-on vehicle pictured here looks just like your typical construction trailer. But come around the side you can see the banner pinned to it, announcing a new Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. The latest link in the growing fast-food chain is about to arrive on the former site of the Lucky Village Chinese Buffet that was torn down at 1111 N. Dairy Ashford last year. The new Freddy’s between St. Mary’s Ln. and Barryknoll will join a parade of beef purveyors (Sam’s Burgers, Lynn’s Steakhouse, Hebert’s Specialty Meats) and fast-food joints (Jack-in-the-Box, Sonic, and the Raising Cane’s right next door) lining the west side of Dairy Ashford, roughly opposite Spring Branch ISD’s AstroTurf-lined Darrell Tully Stadium.

Photo: Brian Walz

04/24/15 12:00pm

Little White Church on Barker Clodine Rd. Being Moved to Iglesia Sobre La Roca, 433 S. Barker Cypress Rd., Katy, Texas

The white woodframe church that until recently stood with a collection of small buildings including the Barker General Store on the main, retracted campus of the Marks LH7 Ranch at 1010 Barker Clodine Rd. has been spotted nearby, fleeing encroaching apartment development along the far east end of Kingsland Blvd. at the northwest corner of George Bush Park. The church hasn’t traveled far: It’s arrived on the grounds of the neighboring Iglesia Sobre La Roca, aka Church on the Rock, at 433 S. Barker Cypress Rd. in Katy — just a quarter-mile to the north.

Here’s a photo of the church building as it was picked up from its previous home at 1010 Barker Clodine Rd., beyond the street-facing plaque that explains the remains of Houston’s last ranch:


Last Roundup at Houston’s Last Ranch
03/27/15 1:00pm

13501 Katy Fwy., Energy Corridor, Houston

Here are pics of some of the clearing work PM Realty Group has been orchestrating along the south side of I-10 between Eldridge and Hwy. 6. The company bought the headquarters of the ExxonMobil Chemical Company at 13501 Katy Fwy. in late 2013, and announced plans for a mixed-use development including office towers, apartments, a hotel, a fitness center, restaurants, and convenience retail” on the 35-acre site. ExxonMobil was scheduled to exit the building (pictured below) this year:


Scrubbing ExxonChemical
03/23/15 11:00am



Windows have been replaced in a 1979 Shadowbriar home, its listing earlier this week at $375K proudly declares. But . . . where are they? Walls of solid brick and a deeply sloping roof appear to seal up the façade curbside (top); the deck out back has just a few panes by the French door access. What windows there are, however, appear to be heavy lifters:


The Mortar Shell
03/04/15 11:45am

Cornelius Nursery, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford Rd., Energy Corridor, Houston

Remember the Cornelius Nursery at 1200 N. Dairy Ashford Rd. just south of I-10, which closed down at the beginning of the year? (The photos here show the establishment, which sat at the corner of St. Mary’s Ln., just before its final uprooting.) The 3-acre property, it turns out, had been bought by an entity set up by Trammell Crow Residential in early December. A new complex called the Alexan Ashford Apartments is slated for the site. At least that’s the plan.


Ashes to Ashford
02/20/15 1:30pm

The Heights at Park Row Apartments, Central Park, Energy Corridor, Houston

And now, a new 5-story apartment complex that’s outstanding in its field. Which is directly across I-10 from BP headquarters, and just south of the Addicks Reservoir. The reader who sent in this photo (showing the building at 13710 Park Row Dr. right in the center of the image) dubs it “Houston’s loneliest apartment complex.” But not for long — right?


Where the Action Is
01/27/15 2:15pm

UH LOOKING TO BUILD NEW CAMPUS IN KATY, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THE ENERGY IS University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch, 4242 S. Mason Rd., Cinco Ranch, Katy, TexasThe University of Houston has asked state lawmakers to begin work on a $60 million tuition revenue bond that would fund a new campus in Katy, including a 60,000-sq.-ft. facility on a not-yet-identified site. The new campus would be separate from the system’s existing facility at 4242 S. Mason Rd. in Cinco Ranch (pictured above). The move closer to oil and gas firms in the Energy Corridor is part of what UH vice president for government and community affairs Jason Smith tells Community Impact news is the institution’s goal “to become the energy university for the United States.” The Katy campus “would serve the oil and gas interests there, the companies and their campuses there,” he says. Separately, university president Renu Khator last week called the award of a multi-million-dollar grant for the establishment of a UH-led Subsea Systems Institute “the culmination of years of work to establish the University of Houston as the Energy University.” (Grant monies for that institute will come from payments made by oil company BP to the state of Texas after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.) [Community Impact News; UH] Photo of University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch: Directron

01/09/15 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON’S WESTWARD TILT Energy Corridor, Houston“News flash: the energy corridor is now the economic center of town. Downtown is just where companies go to save on rents bc the EC might be too pricey. There are — of course — big legacy companies still downtown but three super majors are between HW 6 and Dairy Ashford.” [Houstonian, commmenting on Another Chelsea Gets Away] Illustration: Lulu

01/08/15 2:45pm

ATLANTA COMPANY UPGRADING ENERGY CORRIDOR, WOODFOREST APARTMENT COMPLEXES FROM COUNTRY TO CITY Saddle Ridge Apartments, 12800 Woodforest Blvd., Woodforest, HoustonA note on the purchase of 2 Houston apartment complexes by Atlanta’s Radco Companies noted in this morning’s roundup of Headlines: Urbanization — in advance or in recognition of actual changes-on-the-ground — appears to be part of the plan. In taking over the properties from Fannie Mae, Radco has renamed the 122-unit Country Place apartments at 1015 Country Place Dr. in the Energy Corridor to City Terrace. And the 458-unit Saddle Ridge apartments (pictured here) at 12800 Woodforest Blvd. at the northern tip of Riviera East, east of Uvalde Rd., is shedding its rural shadings under new ownership as well: It’s new name is City Crossing Apartments. The company also plans to spend an average of $13,300 per unit in upgrades. [Real Estate Bisnow; more info] Photo: Radco Companies

12/30/14 10:00am


Last chance for those seeking to buy pansies, raspberry bushes and fig trees near the corner of N. Dairy Ashford Dr. and the Katy Fwy, as the location of Cornelius Nursery that has stood there for decades is closing down in a matter of days. “Most likely on the fourth,” an employee says, but possibly as early as Friday.

The nursery and parking lot sprawl across about 3 acres of Energy Corridor land at 1200 N. Dairy Ashford Dr. According to online property records, Calloway’s Inc., the nursery company with which Cornelius merged, sold the property to an entity called 1200 North Dairy Ashford LLC earlier this month.

Two Swamplot readers heard differing tales regarding the property’s fate:


Horticultural Institutions
12/15/14 10:30am


Tank up and get your real fruit smoothies and other convenience store Kicks while you still can at this ConocoPhillips service station and market at the corner of N. Eldridge Pkwy. and Dairy Ashford Rd., just north of the Omni Hotel Westside and just west of the petrochemical giant’s 62-acre Energy Corridor corporate campus.


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