06/15/16 5:00pm

A JUDGE’S ANSWER TO SOME OF THOSE TINY GARDEN OAKS QUESTION MARKS Garden Oaks Deed Restrictions Signs, Garden Oaks, Houston, 77018Erin Mulvaney writes in the Houston Chronicle this week that a county judge has issued a decision regarding the Garden Oaks deed restriction lawsuit that spurred editorial changes to some neighborhood signage earlier this spring. The Garden Oaks Maintenance Organization sued neighborhood couple Peter and Katharine Chang several years ago for building an oversized garage; a jury found earlier this year that the couple had violated the deed restrictions, but that the GOMO wasn’t consistently enforcing its own rules on all properties — including some properties owned by GOMO board members. Mulvaney writes that the recent ruling denied the Changs’ request for $80,000 in legal fees, but did confirm that GOMO doesn’t have the power to enforce the restrictions — at least, not in the specific case of the Changs’ property. It’s still unclear what the impact of the decision will be on GOMO’s authority over the rest of the neighborhood. [Houston Chronicle; previously on SwamplotPhoto of question-marked Garden Oaks sign: Swamplot inbox

03/29/16 2:45pm

West End Cleaners, 3406 N. Shepherd Dr., Garden Oaks, Houston, 77018

No, says a representative of West End Cleaners who’s been fielding calls this afternoon, the business isn’t shutting down. It’s just departing hastily from its branch location of a few more hours at the remodeled N. Shepherd strip center on 34th St. (in the spot between Pink’s Pizza and the Garden Oaks Veterinary Clinic) due to a rent hike. Plans have already been laid to land near the intersection of Westview Dr. and Silber Rd.; the business is also scouting for a new location in the old neighborhood, near 34th and Ella.

Furthermore, the rep emphasizes strongly that the clothing currently in-house will not be donated in 24 hours, as has been suggested on Facebook; all clothes will be moved over to the new location, and the business’s pickup and delivery service will continue as normal. The original actually-in-West-End location at 4918 Washington Ave is still in service, too out of service as well; the business’s phone system lists it along with additional spots in the Energy Corridor and Cinco Ranch.

Photo: ‎Isela Lopez Venecia

 

 

N. Shepherd Cleanout
03/18/16 1:45pm

Garden Oaks Deed Restrictions Signs, Garden Oaks, Houston, 77018

What’s the story behind the tiny question marks that recently appeared at the end of the low-dangling “DEED RESTRICTIONS ENFORCED” signs on at least a couple Garden Oaks welcome-to-the-neighborhood markers? More than just your usual neighborhood grumbling and graffiti-ing, it appears.

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Punctuation Add-Ons
03/01/16 4:45pm

Former Roznovsky's Hamburgers, 3401 TC Jester, Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, 77018

The shuttered former site of Roznovsky’s Hamburgers is now dark on the outside as well, as Tacos A Go-Go makes final preparations to dance into the space. A reader sends this shot of the current state of remodeling of the building at 3401 W. T.C. Jester (at the corner with 34th St.). The burger joint shut down last year a few months after proprietor Ron Roznovsky passed away in February.

This will be the third go-round for Tacos A Go-Go, which was previously thought to be headed for the former La Fendée’s spot on Westheimer as an addition to its Midtown and Heights locations — that spot got claimed by Cafe Layal instead, and the current location was announced in June. The strip center behind the once-and-future restaurant may be getting some other new neighbors in the coming year as well; the Leader reported at the end of last year that several spots were open for tenancy between 1 Stop Food Shop and Mirage Cabaret.

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34th at W. T.C. Jester
02/16/16 4:17pm

Rendering of Slowpokes Coffee and Wine Bar, 1203 W. 34th St., Garden Oaks, Houston, 77018

Remodeling is underway at the former Primary Purpose Alcoholics Anonymous meeting space, as Suite D of the strip center at 1203 W. 34th St. is converted into Slowpokes wine, beer, and coffee bar. The new business is busy building its digital presence as it rehabs its physical space just south of the corner with Alba Rd.

The bar’s Instagram page shows the above photo of a screenshot of a rendering of the suite under renovation, which depicts a large patio spreading out into what is currently the strip center’s parking lot. Photos of carpet removal and wishful floor-taping have also been posted as interior construction begins:

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Repurposed in Garden Oaks
02/19/15 11:30am

Proposed Oaks on Shepherd Shopping Center, 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., Independence Heights, Houston

Sears, 4000 N. Shepherd St., Garden Oaks, HoustonA scheme to demolish the 1949 Sears building at 4000 N. Shepherd Dr. and the Pine Forest Business Park behind it and replace it with an “Americana”-themed shopping center headlined by a new Sears store and a supermarket is only part of an unsolicited proposal sent to the national retailer, a representative of Weingarten Realty tells Swamplot. A brochure describing aspects of the proposal, which would replace the Streamline Moderne department store between Garden Oaks and Independence Heights with a higher density shopping center that the body copy implied would be styled in a manner akin to the residential designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, was posted online by the publicly traded REIT earlier this week.

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Oaks on Shepherd
02/18/15 1:00pm

Proposed Oaks on Shepherd Shopping Center, 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., Independence Heights, Houston

Proposed Oaks on Shepherd Shopping Center, 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., Independence Heights, Houston

Update, 2/19: Weingarten says the brochure was a “vision book” that was released to the public in error.

“The time is right for redevelopment” of the Sears at 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., declares a brochure published online earlier this week by Weingarten Realty. The brochure, which appears to be part of a proposal to Sears, which owns the 11.7-acre western portion of the site, says the REIT plans to partner with the retailer to turn the sleepy department store and the Pine Forest Business Park directly to its east into a “wonderfully connected and designed retail shopping destination for Garden Oaks, Oak Forest and neighborhoods around it,” including a new grocery store and restaurants.

No site plan is included in the presentation, but Weingarten notes that it plans to keep “the 2nd longest operating Houston Sears” open in some form throughout the redevelopment. “Weingarten’s vision is to acquire adjacent land,” then “temporarily relocate Sears into an existing building” — the Family Bingo Center at 641 W. Crosstimbers — before scraping and redoing the whole site.

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Oaks on Shepherd
11/24/14 2:45pm

208-w-34th-01

208-w-34th-02

A Garden Oaks home likes balconies so much, it stuffs a few of them inside looking over the living room (top) as well as facing the street (above). The bones of the property beneath a tree canopied lot located just west of Yale St. date to 1940, but it’s been expanded and updated over the years. Last week, its tidy presence popped up on the market sporting a $695,000 asking price.

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Canopied Lot
01/27/14 2:15pm

LANDS’ END ENDING FOR GARDEN OAKS, BUT NO SEARS’ END IN SIGHT Sears, 4000 N. Shepherd St., Garden Oaks, HoustonGarden Oaks, Oak Forest, and Independence Heights–area customers who received a not-entirely-clear email this morning from Lands’ End calling attention to the “big savings on everything” in the Sears store at 4000 N. Shepherd Dr. in Houston, but noting that “Unfortunately, we’ll be closing that location on 1/31/14″: Here’s a little explication for you. Only the Lands’ End store within the Garden Oaks Sears will be closing at the end of the month. The Sears itself will remain open, for the time being. Photo: Louisiana and Texas Southern Malls and Retail

01/13/14 10:45am

Suchu Dance, 3480 Ella Blvd., Ella Plaza Shopping Center, Oak Forest, Houston

The 1,500-sq.-ft. space deep in the crotch of the Ella Plaza Shopping Center just south of the railroad tracks at 3480 Ella Blvd. is the new home of modern dance troupe Suchu Dance. It’s also the former longtime Houston haunt of Patsy Swayze‘s Houston JazzBallet Company and the Swayze School of Dance. Long before the dance teacher made it big with her choreography for Urban Cowboy in 1980 and decamped to Hollywood, Swayze taught hundreds of gyrating Houstonians — including her 5 children, in the strip center corner. Her son Buddy, who as Patrick Swayze went on to star in Dirty Dancing and Ghost, started barging in on classes there at the age of 3, long before playing football at Waltrip High School across the street; he met his wife, Lisa Niemi, in the strip-center studio as well. He died from pancreatic cancer in 2009; his mother passed away in California’s Simi Valley last September.

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Somebody Put Baby in a Strip Center Corner