01/24/18 11:30am

Victoria’s Secret is the latest retailer to retreat from the Highland Village Shopping Center. The photo at top shows the former underwear and other mentionables store at 3942 Westheimer dressed down with a sign outside announcing its closure — which took place this past weekend. The vacant storefront now blends in better with its neighbor, the former Joseph shoe store that shuttered late last year:


10/23/17 9:45am

Halloween is almost upon us, and again the full-store gift wrapping and Christmas trees have gone up at the Highland Village shopping center — as these pics sent in by a reader show.

You now have 9 full shopping weeks before Christmas (and a little less than 5 before Thanksgiving), but if you’re still getting your gifts ready for Halloween next Tuesday, you’d better hurry.

Photos: Swamplot inbox



’Tis the Preseason
06/10/15 2:00pm

Cupcake ATM, Sprinkles, 4014 Westheimer Rd., Highland Village Shopping Center, Houston

Here’s the new view looking left as you exit the back front door of the Apple Store in Highland Village. The long-promised Cupcake ATM at the back of Sprinkles is all ready for its grand opening tomorrow at 4014 Westheimer. Why buy cupcakes from a glorified vending machine when you can walk in the store and have one handed to you by a real live person?


Sprinkles Redo
04/28/15 3:45pm

CUPCAKE ATM IS REALLY COMING TO HIGHLAND VILLAGE THIS TIME, SPRINKLES PROMISES Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, Beverly Hills, CaliforniaIf news that Sprinkles plans to bring a Cupcake ATM to Houston sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Today’s announcement marks the third time in 3 years that the California chain has declared that its lone Houston location — in Highland Village, snuggled up next to the Apple Store — would soon have one of the company’s signature baked-goods vending machines installed for all-hours use. Houston was to receive the second-ever such machine, after the Beverly Hills pilot (pictured here), in the summer of 2012. A second announcement the following year earmarked Houston for the fourth-ever Cupcake ATM that October (by then Chicago and Dallas stores had received theirs), after a holdup caused by “design issues.” Now Sprinkles is promising Houston the ninth Cupcake ATM in the country, opening this June 11th. It’ll be installed on the back side of the building at 4014 Westheimer, facing the parking lot. Inside, Sprinkles will be expanding its offerings to include cookies, ice cream, and attendant shakes, malts, and floats. Frequent Highland Village shopping center cupcakers will want to mark May 12 through 19th on their calendars — though perhaps only in pencil. That’s when the store is scheduled to be shut down for the installation of dipping cabinets along the back counter and cookie trays in its cupcake display area, as well as the exterior vending station. [Sprinkles Houston] Photo: Sprinkles

11/13/13 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A LINEAR SHOPPING DISTRICT FROM HIGHLAND VILLAGE TO THE GALLERIA “I love that all these projects are coming to fruition on Westheimer. As more and more private investment comes to this area of Westheimer between Post Oak and Weslayan, will the city of Houston invest in the walkable infrastructure to make this one coherent district as it fills in? What would we call it? East Uptown? Lower River Oaks? Highland West?” [DNAguy, commenting on The River Oaks District’s New Box of Dior] Illustration: Lulu

01/29/13 2:00pm

There sure has been a lot of activity in the past few months here in Highland Village: the former Tootsie’s building is having a little taken off the top and being split in two for new J. Crew and Anthropologie stores coming this spring, though these recent photos of the building at 4045 Westheimer suggest that Anthropologie — or at least that mauve and understated storefront — is further along. But then J. Crew has farther to go: Anthropologie’s moving only across the street from its 4066 Westheimer store (shown at right).


11/30/12 12:34pm

Workers at the Highland Village Shopping Center appear to be doing some demo work to the vacant building at 4045 Westheimer, a reader notes: They’re removing bricks from the parapet wall of the front facade. The dramatic Mod overhang that once wrapped the front and framed the entrance of Tootsies is gone. The building has been without a tenant since the upscale boutique left for Upper Kirby 2 years ago. A year before that, as Tootsies announced its move to West Ave, Highland Village owner Haidar Barbouti said he planned to tear down the building and build a 100,000-sq.-ft. multi-level retail space — with underground parking — in its place.


05/03/12 11:00am

How well does a store built of structural glass hold up under gunfire? Probably better than your typical plate-glass storefront — though the repair costs are likely to be higher. A reader sends Swamplot this photo showing the smaller of 2 glass panels damaged by bullets earlier this week at the brand-new Apple Store in Houston’s Highland Village Shopping Center. Between the hours of 4:40 and 5:40 Monday morning someone in a vehicle speeding down Westheimer shot at 5 businesses, including 2 gas stations and the Cantoni furniture showroom past Gessner. No one was injured. Apple Store customers were routed to the building’s rear entrance after it opened for business, according to Click2Houston reporter Courtney Zavala.

Views of the damage from the outside, from Monday’s TV report:


03/15/12 11:42pm

Live from the corner of Westheimer and Drexel, photographer Karen Dressel sends Swamplot this first view of the Highland Village Apple Store, which opens Friday at 8 am. The black paper covering the panels on the company’s first-ever glass-roofed, double-sided store was just removed this evening, in front of a dozen or so new-iPad camper-outers lined up in back.

Photo: Karen Dressel

03/14/12 2:09pm

The first-of-its-kind Apple Store scheduled to open to long lines of new iPad buyers 2 days from now in the Highland Village Shopping Center is much bigger than it appears from the outside. That’s because more than a third of the space in the 9,000-sq.-ft.-plus seemingly single story store is disguised from street view above 2 adjacent shops. A 3,510-sq.-ft. you-wouldn’t-know-it’s-there second floor extends above both the Sprinkles Cupcakes shop (shown at right) and the Paper Source to its west. Some of this secreted space may be open to customers at various times. Included in the hidden second story are a briefing room with a capacity of 46 people, as well as offices, work spaces, a break room, employee restrooms, and storage space.


03/07/12 2:41pm

CONFIRMED: NEW IPAD WILL HIT NEW HOUSTON APPLE STORE ON OPENING DAY To guarantee there’ll be Apple addicts camping outside the new Highland Village store on its opening day next Friday, Apple announced today that March 16 will also be the day the new iPad — yes, that’s what it’s being called — goes on sale for the first time. The Highland Village Apple Store, the company’s first not-in-a-mall store in Houston, will also be the first glass-front, glass-back, and glass-roof location to have entrances at both front and rear. Does that mean there’ll be 2 separate lines too? [Mashable; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Vinson

03/01/12 12:55pm

HIGHLAND VILLAGE APPLE STORE TO DEBUT WITH THE IPAD 3 The Apple Store still under construction at the corner of Drexel and Westheimer in the Highland Village Shopping Center will open just in time for the debut of the iPad 3. If, that is, workers scramble quickly enough to get the glass-roofed, walk-through structure ready to open by March 16th — which a super-secret source tells Chron tech columnist Dwight Silverman is the official opening date. And, uh, if Apple actually goes ahead and introduces an iPad 3 on March 7th. Oh yeah, and also if the new iPad actually goes on sale on the 16th or later. Please form your line to the left, in front of Sprinkles Cupcakes. [TechBlog; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Vinson

02/28/12 4:30pm

Lines aren’t forming outside Houston’s first non-mall Apple Store, and the glass on the front on back facades are still blacked out and protected — it’ll be a little while before the building at the corner of Westheimer and Drexel in the Highland Village Shopping Center is ready for business. But passersby were treated recently to a few glimpses of the store’s innards. Because it will be Apple’s first glass-roofed store with both front and rear entrances, you can expect the interior to turn out a bit different from other local locations.

Here are a couple of sneak peek views snapped through open doors and leaked to Swamplot:


02/24/12 9:51pm

The black curtains that shrouded the exterior scaffolding at the Apple Store construction site at the corner of Westheimer and Drexel in the Highland Village Shopping Center came down today, a reader reports. But a full reveal of Apple’s first-ever glass-roofed see-through-and-walk-through store — and (perhaps) whatever secrets lie below or next to it — will have to wait for a further strip-down: of the material still covering the all-glass front and back facades.


02/23/12 3:49pm

Basements are relatively rare in low-lying Houston. But a Swamplot reader who’s been following the progress of construction at the first not-in-a-mall Apple store ever to be built in this city thinks Apple dug deep into its curtained Highland Village Shopping Center site:

Apple not only tore down the existing building they dug down far more than was necessary. . . . I saw big excavators, much larger than what would be expected and I saw an excavation that was far deeper than needed for a typical strip center foundation. If there was anything below grade that needed removal such tasks would have been done during the previous construction. . . . [The excavators] were at full extension which would suggest a foundation 15’ below grade. Sounds like a basement to me. The old saw about you couldn’t have basements in Houston is certainly not true. Many buildings downtown and in the medical center have multilevel basements.

So . . . what might Apple be hiding underground?