05/12/17 3:45pm

In between showing off various multicolored interchange tangles, the new flyover preview video of the huge changes proposed for I-45 North and the downtown freeway circuit glides viewers by a handful of areas where freeways will dive underground — while splicing in some new renderings of the tops of those tunnels-to-be as they could look, if somebody wanted to pay up to turn them into a park. (The animation is careful to emphasize once again that said parks would have to be developed and funded by a source other than TxDOT — and so far, there are no signs that anyone has stepped up.)

The rendering up top shows the would-be-parallel sections of 45, 59, and SH 288, running behind the convention district where 59 sits now — the whole bundle would be pulled down below flood grade and covered up, evidently with concrete if the park thing doesn’t work out. (A clip of just that section of the 10-minute animation is included above; a tiny rendered version of the Cheek Neal Coffee building can be spied along the edge of the freeway, though SEARCH Homeless Service’s new building one block north isn’t specifically drawn in next to it.)

The video also gives the section of 59 from Main to San Jacinto streets the same burial and dressup treatment:


Bridging the Gaps
09/30/16 4:30pm

Whole Foods Montrose, 701 Waugh, North Montrose, Houston, 77019

View of New Whole Foods Market, 701 Waugh Dr., North Montrose, HoustonFrom the AIG tower neighboring to the north, a reader peers down behind the construction fencing now up at the corner of Waugh Dr. and D’Amico St., in an effort to figure out what might be gettin’ real in the Whole Foods Montrose parking lot. An employee tells Swamplot over the phone that the store is planting additional parking spaces on top of what was previously a walkway lined with grass and picnic tables, adding parking has been a squeeze on the weekends (which lines up pretty well with earlier reports from the scene). The rep also says that the tables (positioned across Waugh from BMW service garage Bavarian Machine Specialties and catty-corner to the health-and-beauty-shop-laden strip center across D’amico), were almost never used. Permits for the pave-over were issued at the end of May.

Photos: Randy Saad (top), Swamplot inbox (bottom photo showing opening day, 2011)

Leaner Green
05/13/16 11:30am

WAXING POETIC OVER THE DEMOLITION OF AN ALLEN CENTER SKYBRIDGE Planned Remodel of One Allen Center, 1200 Smith St., Downtown, Houston, 77002“The age of confinement is over,” pens Realty News Report editor Ralph Bivins this week in his first foray into real estate poetry. Bivins was moved to verse by the details released last week on the upcoming redo of the 3 Allen Center towers at Smith and Dallas streets — more specifically, by the fact that Brookfield’s plans for the site includes the removal of one of the skybridges between One and Two Allen Center, as well as the earthen berm beneath it. The demo will turn the long-sequestered landscaped green space between the buildings into a street-accessible events lawn. The rest of the poem, entitled A quick verse by R. Bivins for Kenneth Schnitzer, Texas Eastern and the prior generation of downtown development, can be read here. [Realty News Report; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of planned Allen Center redo:  Studio AMD