AL RETZLOFF’S CARD ROOM WILL RAISE YOU ONE
First there’s the 5-ton A/C unit, installed so that guests of the late chemical executive and Indy car sponsor “could open the floor-to-ceiling doors facing the number 13 ladies tee box” at the neighboring Houston Country Club “while staying cool,” says the current owner of 302 Shadywood Rd., who’s now listing it for sale. The opposite wall, however, made it harder to get through to Retzloff and his pals: Windowless and 10-in. thick, it served “as a security feature against drive-by shootings.” Up top, “The TV came out of the ceiling using a 3/4 horsepower motor.” And on the roof directly above was a full-service helipad — but not for long: “The neighbors and the HOA shut it down due to the noise.” [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: HAR
3 GLASS AND STEEL CONDO TOWERS FOR COTTAGE GROVE Backed by unnamed foreign investors and still seeking a few more, pro-cyclist-turned-chiropractor-turned-Realtor Dr. Fabian Trujillo recently told Paul Takahashi of HBJ about his newest project: 3 glass-and-steel condo towers (the tallest at 35 stories) meant for the northeast corner of Shepherd Dr. and I-10, just east of Cottage Grove. Amenities accessible to inhabitants of the as-yet-unnamed trio (designed by “an Italian architect”) would include a pet area, on-site daycare, rooftop pools, a wine storage facility, and — above the 2-story penthouses atop the tallest tower — a helipad. Prices would start at $230,000 for 1,200 sq.-ft. units and rise to $1.2 million for the 3,200-sq.-ft. penthouses, which may or may not include private pools. The drawing above shows a “resident’s lounge”; no site plans, addresses, or exterior renderings have been released, which makes fixing the proposal on a map into a fun Google Earth guessing game — the corner in question currently contains a Shell station, Lonestar Orthopedics, the last surviving HoJo inside Beltway 8, the brand-new Johnstone Supply building, several small crops of townhomes, and a vaguely New York-shaped wooded tract owned mostly by the Harris County Flood Control District. Trujillo plans to open a sales office as soon as late next year, after finding “additional private investors from Central America as well as China”. [Houston Business Journal] Rendering: Fabian Trujillo via HBJ
HOUSTON METHODIST’S NEW SUBURBAN-STYLE TMC HELIPAD From reader Stephen J Alexander comes this pic of the new helistop that’s landed at the corner of Bertner Ave. and S. Braeswood, just over the southern (Brays Bayou) border from the Texas Medical Campus, as viewed during construction last month. It’s directly across the street from M.D. Anderson’s 25-story Mid Campus Building 1, but the helicopter landing pad is a project of Houston Methodist Hospital, according to permit info posted onsite; it sits on a portion of Methodist’s West Pavilion remote lot. Photo: Stephen J Alexander
A HELIPORT LANDS IN SPRING BRANCH EAST A Swamplot reader is wondering what the story is behind a new helipad that’s landed on the almost-12-acre former industrial site at the northwest corner of the intersection of N. Post Oak Rd. and Westview Dr.: “About a month or more ago they cleared all the brush. A couple of weeks ago they took out the crappy wire fencing. Then they put up a nice tall wooden fence around about half the property. Last week, a helicopter showed up! Google Earth shows the nice new helicopter landing pad, along with a support building. The last thing I expected in Spring Branch was a heliport!” County property records show the lot at 1495 N. Post Oak Rd. was purchased in April of last year by an entity called NPO 1495 LP. A new driveway blocked by a keypad-operated gate now extends off of N. Post Oak and leads to the pad, in the northwest corner of the site, our copter-spotter continues, and adds: “It’s damned weird.” Photo: Swamplot inbox
This sign, which showed up recently on the fence outside the 136-acre former KBR site at Hirsch Rd. indicates that the air over Clinton might soon be filled with choppers — but for what? City building inspector and helistop specialist Larry LaHaie says that that hasn’t been disclosed, but he does know that it’ll be a “private facility . . . not for hospitals, not for police.” The work will involve clearing the former industrial property that seems to have been “left to go au naturel,” he says, and cleaning up a defunct landing pad that had been discontinued “6 to 7 years ago.” The Ship Channel-fronting site in the Fifth Ward has sat vacant since most of its buildings were demolished a little more than a year ago and it was sold by KBR to undisclosed buyers.
Photo: @GoingUpCity via Twitter