04/21/14 1:15pm

Jaguar Stuck in Concrete at Buffalo Speedway and Southwest Fwy., Greenway Plaza, Houston

This photo of a Jaguar F-Type V8 S stuck in a patch of freshly-poured concrete started making the rounds of internet auto-fan sites last Friday afternoon. The earliest online reference appears to be this tweet from SpeedSportLife before noon — but the Houston car publication was apparently just passing on a photo it had no more information about. In several forum appearances readers immediately speculated that the scene had likely taken place in Houston, and on the Houston Reddit board a poster tersely declared that the site was the intersection of Weslayan and 59. But a couple of other commenters help peg the incident location a couple of overpasses to the east:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Stuck in Traffic
02/14/14 3:30pm

3737-buffalo-spdwy-fence

Construction and don’t-touch-these-oaks fencing have gone up at the corner of Richmond and Buffalo Speedway, where the PM Realty Group has been planning to build a new 18-story office building attached to a 7-level parking garage on the open space and parking lot at the northern end of the site. The site plan shows retail space — likely for a restaurant — fronting Buffalo Speedway; the development is being called 3737 Buffalo Speedway.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

3737 Buffalo Speedway, Going Up
12/11/13 10:30am

Demolition Work at Richmond Ave and Cummins St., Greenway Plaza, Houston

This was the scene yesterday on the southeast corner of Richmond Ave and Cummins St. near Greenway Plaza, where the Redstone Companies and Hansen Partners are planning to build a new 11-story office building and 5-level parking garage with — if a Planning Dept. staff report describing the project is correct — an attached 5-story retail center. The development received planning commission approval last week for a reduced setback along the 2 streets that meets with planned but not-yet-approved standards for transit corridors; if Metro’s stalled University Line ever gets built, it’ll make its get-off-of-Richmond turn at this same corner. Accordingly, in documents submitted to the city, the developers appear to be holding out the undescribed retail portion for some later date: [Only] “the office building and related parking garage to be built on this site are nearing the time that a building permit will be required,” the variance application reads.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

5-Story Retail?
07/30/13 10:00am

WILL GREENWAY PLAZA SALE MEAN NEW GREENWAY PLAZA TOWERS? The 10 buildings and 52 acres that make up Greenway Plaza have been sold by Crescent Real Estate to Atlanta firm Cousins Properties for $1.1 billion. (The 3-city deal also gives Cousins a 40-story office tower in Fort Worth.) For now, reports the Houston Chronicle, it doesn’t appear that the change in ownership will change the property — though Cousins doesn’t seem to have ruled anything out: “Though there are no immediate plans for development, the . . . complex could house an additional 2 million square feet worth of office buildings, [Cousins CEO Larry] Gellerstedt said. The future development sites are parking structures that could be replaced by new towers.” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo: Crescent Real Estate

11/29/12 12:43pm

More details are out on the plans to pile taller buildings onto the southeast corner of Richmond and Buffalo Speedway that Swamplot reported on last week: PM Realty, which earlier this month bought the 5-acre site and the 5-story Solvay America office building that sits on the southern portion of it, plans to build the 18-story office tower pictured above on the park-like portion at the north end of the property — leaving in place a bank of oaks facing Richmond, as shown in this view, from the northwest:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

11/21/12 11:43am

A 20-story hotel with apartments perched on the top few floors is planned for the southeast corner of Richmond and Buffalo Speedway, just east of Greenway Plaza, Real Estate Bisnow‘s Catie Dixon reports. Engineering firm Bury + Partners is about to start work on construction drawings for the mixed-use project, a redevelopment of the block at 3333 Richmond. The plans also include 400,000 sq. ft. of new office space. The 22-year-old 8-story Solvay America office building sits at the southern end of the site.

Photo: Cushman & Wakefield (pdf)

09/26/11 11:05am

And now another Swamplot reader sends in this curious photo from this morning, showing the collapsed box formerly known as the Central Presbyterian Church on Richmond Ave. between Cummins and Timmons — and demonstrating to those of you who might have worried that the collapse of the 1962 building’s modern steeple could pose some threat to Richmond Ave. traffic that there was never anything to worry about. Everyone is safe. The congregation has decamped for the St. Philip Presbyterian Church just outside the Loop on San Felipe; the land is being cleared for apartments; the giant cross is at rest.

Photo: Eric Nordstrom

09/23/11 6:19pm

Reader Brian Thorp sends in a couple of photos documenting the final hours of what he’s now labeled the “holiest” church in Houston — it was, at least for a time today. The Central Presbyterian Church at 3788 Richmond Ave. was designed in 1962 by Astrodome architects Wilson, Crain, Morris and Anderson; it sits on the site where the Morgan Group is ready to build a new apartment complex. By 9 am this morning (above), the church had developed a few punctures in its side. By noon, much of the dust, and a good portion of the church’s walls, had cleared:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

09/08/11 6:02pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THERE GOES THE CHURCH, THERE GOES THE STEEPLE “Yes, the stained glass is being salvaged. The old pipe organ went to UT and many other art pieces were saved. It is unfortunate to see this go, but it is just a building. The Church is the people. Mark 13: ‘1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”’” [Jeromy Murphy, commenting on Mod Richmond Ave. Church Ready To Fall for New Apartments]

09/06/11 9:39am

Construction fencing has already gone up around the Central Presbyterian Church at 3788 Richmond near Greenway Plaza, a reader reports. The Modern church campus was designed in 1962 by Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson — just a few years before the same local architecture firm set to work on a small project called the Astrodome. Two years ago the congregation moved a couple miles northwest to merge with the St. Philip Presbyterian Church, just outside the Loop on San Felipe. Houston Mod fans have been trying to save the vacant church from demolition ever since.

But the church buildings won’t be sticking around for long.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

02/28/11 2:38pm

When last we visited the lonely blue-glass office building next to the former site of the River Oaks Hospital, just west of Greenway Plaza, the brand-new structure had only a single tenant — a doctor. That was more than 2 and a half years ago. But Cushman & Wakefield’s latest flyer for River Oaks Plaza at 4140 Southwest Fwy. (it’s been on the market ever since) lists the 5-story, 105,000-sq.-ft. building as “fully leased.” Was there a huge influx of tenants in the meantime? Not exactly, though a second doctor’s office did move into the building a bit later. In fact, both offices are leaving the building. That’s so the Art Institute of Houston can move in, beginning in July. The institute and its 2,300 students will relocate from this somewhat less see-through 6-story building at 1900 Yorktown, in the Galleria area:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

01/06/11 11:50am

To the reader who wrote in to Swamplot noting that Japanese restaurant Oishii at 3764 Richmond near Greenway Plaza was closed and that a large For Lease sign had been posted in front: Do not worry. Your sushi happy hour is safe. The restaurant is resting temporarily so building surgeons can give a portion of the lowslung structure at the corner of Timmons that raised eyebrow look that’s been all the strip-mall rage since about 1992. The restaurant closed down December 19th, and is scheduled to reopen January 10th.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

09/01/10 11:41am

Spoiler Alert! Okay, so you see that “Still a Virgin?” billboard off 59 on the way to work yesterday and then, y’know, curiosity gets the better of you and the next thing you know you’re in some sort of voicemail comedy hell. And then the feelings of regret set in. You start asking yourself, “Okay, did I just lose my movie-marketing-campaign virginity?” Well, hey — you can’t get that back again, but you can brush it off. Swamplot is here to uh . . . help:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

05/28/10 11:10am

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Some fine sleuthing and rumor-mongering by Swamplot readers this week! Here’s what you dug up about the 2 properties in question:

  • Greenway Commons: That building going up at the corner of Richmond and Cummins is . . . an Iberia Bank! Just a little pad-site action for the sprawl-eriffic Costco Plus retail-and-parking-lot development that replaced the former HISD headquarters building a few years back. The most polite and knowledgeable-sounding response came from Amir, who added info about a nearby corner, for all you bank fans out there:

    The location currently going up on the CostCo pad site is an Iberia Bank ground lease. The property located at Richmond and Weslayan is owned by BBVA Compass, which operates the drive thru behind it and will eventually build a location there.

What about that Heights church building?

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

05/26/10 3:48pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON PAD SITE JUNKIES, JONESING FOR ANOTHER FIX “Woo hoo! Hopefully the other site will be a Chase. I’m in desperate need of more banking solutions. If not I can settle for an Arby’s.” [jb3, commenting on Swamplot Street Sleuths: Nestled ’Neath the Costco Oaks]