04/07/16 3:15pm

Proposed 30-story tower on former Macy's site, Galleria, Houston, 77056

This morning Simon Property Group released renderings of a planned residential highrise in the Galleria, shown here at the corner of W. Alabama St. and Sage Rd. in what’s left over of the land previously occupied by the mall’s second Macy’s. The tower is slated for the same spot previously colored purple for “future retail/office residences” on one of the developer’s Galleria redo maps back in 2014. (That map didn’t mention a highrise specifically, but previous info on the redevelopment plans floated the idea.) Simon says it plans to break ground on the tower by the end of 2017, with a 2019 or 2020 opening in mind.

The rendered view above looks northeast over the Berachah Church across W. Alabama at the glassy highrise, which may hold somewhere between 75 and 100 residential units atop 220 hotel rooms (with separate amenities areas for permanent and temporary residents). The design shows 2 pool decks; the nearby Westin Galleria’s existing pool can be spotted on the right, past an existing parking garage.

Here’s the view from the other side, looking south down Sage across Westheimer Rd. over the new Saks Fifth Avenue building (set to open at the end of the month):

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One Tower to Live Above the Mall
03/24/16 1:00pm

Starbucks, 5540 Richmond Ave, Galleria Area, Houston, 77056

Rising in this photo, from left to right: the back-t0-searching Williams Tower, the 30-story Mercer condo building, and the vertical sign for the new Starbucks that opened yesterday morning at the northeast corner of Richmond Ave. and Chimney Rock Rd. The freestanding coffee shop at 5540 Richmond (next to the spot previously occupied by now-demolished Taco Cabana) is right across the street from the freestanding former Starbucks no longer listed on the company’s website at 5549 Richmond, between wine-themed Pinot’s Palette and probably-not-intentionally-wine-themed Night Train Luggage.

The store is a 4-minute drive from the Starbucks-turned-Minuti on the corner of Fountainview Dr. and Westheimer Rd., and just a 3-minute drive from the new AT&T-adjacent Starbucks on S. Rice Ave. south of 59, at the edge of the Walmart Supercenter parking lot next to relocated MicroCenter. Folks who want to get their coffee and split can head east to the drive-through lane; folks looking to stick around can hang out inside, out front, or on the semi-sheltered side patio which will eventually be partially screened with greenery, if the planter plants follow the plan:

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Coffee’s Back On