06/23/14 1:00pm

Former Dream's & Bros. Hand Car Wash, 4303 San Felipe St., Houston

The Dream’s & Bros. Hand Car Wash at the corner of San Felipe and Bancroft just east of the Target parking lot has shut down, a bunch of readers have reported to Swamplot. The car wash was founded by Afis Olajwon, brother of former Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon (and himself a former guard for the UTSA Roadrunners), in 1998. On Friday, a large piece of demo equipment was hanging around in the parking lot behind a new chain-link fence surrounding the property at 4303 San Felipe St. Earlier in the week, the basketball-themed signage was removed.

Photo: Ray Hankamer


To That Great Car Wash in the Sky
05/21/14 12:00pm

Construction of Aria and Olympia at Willowick Park, Highland Village, Houston

From reader David Hollas come these pics showing portions of the 2 apartment complexes Martin Fein Interests is building at the southeast corner of West Alabama and Las Palmas Dr., 2 blocks south of the Highland Village Shopping Center. The building at left, stretching its wings to get ready for its facade finale, is the 325-unit Aria at Willowick Park. Facing off across the central ellipse will be the slightly more Modern-looking Olympia, which will include 189 units, but they’ll be larger:


Highland Village Apartments
04/14/14 3:45pm



One of the contemporary townhomes with courtyards in a 7-property subdivision dubbed West Lane Place was under contract last month but returned to the market a week ago with an asking price of $575,000 — $10K higher than the previous listing. The listing identifies the townhome’s designers as some form of the firm once known as Wilson, Morris, Crain, and Anderson — also known as the architects of the Astrodome. Courtyards, it says, are by landscape firm McDugald-Steele. The 1982 property is tucked between Afton Oaks and the railroad right-of-way east of Newcastle.


Steel Away
03/07/14 12:30pm

The Fresh Market, 3745 Westheimer Rd., Highland Village, HoustonThe Fresh Market grocery store that opened across Weslayan from Central Market at 3745 Westheimer Rd. last August will be shut down within a week or 2. The national chain galloped into the Houston area last year by moving into 4 former locations of Rice Epicurean. The company cited “meaningful profitability hurdles” in announcing the single-store closure, along with the closure of 3 additional locations in California. Still alive, apparently: plans to open a store at 1519 West Bay Area Blvd. in Webster this year.

Photo: John W.

Central Market Wins Again
02/05/14 1:30pm

Proposed Westcreek Centre, 2040 Westcreek Ln., Highland Village, Houston

Here’s the 21-story spec office tower Peloton Commercial Real Estate is planning for the expanded site of one of the former Westcreek Apartment buildings. The 7-story parking garage, along with a driveway and a new street cutting through to Westcreek Ln., will snuggle up to the northbound feeder road of the West Loop. The tower and lobby, which will hold 14 floors of offices on top of the garage levels, will front Westcreek. So it kinda makes sense to call it Westcreek Centre — at least until a major tenant is roped in and maybe decides to flip the R and the E around, no?


Westcreek Centre
01/28/14 4:45pm

Aerial View of Former Westcreek Apartments, Westcreek Ln., Highland Village, Houston

It’s mixed use, Houston style! Which means one use over here, and another over there. The Houston Business Journal‘s Jenny Aldridge has a full accounting of plans to divvy up the low-slung (at least in retrospect) Westcreek Apartments once they’re all emptied of renters. As Swamplot reported earlier, work has already begun on a 25-story SkyHouse River Oaks tower and adjacent parking garage on the northern portion of what used to be 2041 Westcreek Ln., one lot south of San Felipe and just west of the Target parking lot.


A Little of This, a Little of That
01/28/14 10:30am

Proposed SkyHouse River Oaks, Westcreek Ln., Highland Village, HoustonA pair of renderings are out showing the sorta-near-River-Oaks River Oaks SkyHouse, which has already broken ground, the developers declared yesterday. And — surprise! — it looks a whole lot like the SkyHouse Houston going up downtown (as well as the 9 other SkyHouses completed or under construction in other Southern cities). Two views — one more polished than the other — will allow map sleuths to pinpoint the tower’s spot within Cypress Realty Advisor’s redevelopment of the former Westcreek Apartments: It’s on the plot of the now-vacant apartment block at 2041 Westcreek Ln., directly adjacent to the, uh, “River Oaks” Target. It’s identified as Building D in the site map below. Ashley Furniture is the white box at the top left of the image above, on the other side of San Felipe.


Just Off Target
01/10/14 2:30pm

Rendering of SkyHouse Houston, Downtown HoustonAtlanta’s Novare Group is getting ready to announce construction of its second SkyHouse apartment tower in Houston. According to the company, it’ll be “just like” the 24-story building (and adjacent parking garage) currently under construction on Main St. between Pease and Leeland downtown (shown in the rendering above, which in turn looks very similar to the company’s SkyHouse developments in other cities). Novare appears to have designated the building the River Oaks SkyHouse. Though it’ll be a bit south and west and on the other side of the tracks from the actual River Oaks, the new building will sit closer to its namesake than the River Oaks District mixed-use project currently under construction directly south of it.


Just Like Downtown
11/14/13 11:45am

What’s slated for the block just west of the Highland Village Shopping Center, tucked between the railroad tracks and the shopping area on Mid Lane where construction — on a rumored highrise — will reportedly “begin in a few weeks“? An affiliate of Stonelake Capital Partners owns an entire block at 4200 Westheimer, which it assembled in a series of 3 purchases completed in July of 2012. It’s currently the site of the Westheimer Oaks office complex and a still life of demolished modern apartment buildings behind it, accessed from Bettis St. Mid Ln. forms the western border.


11/14/13 10:30am

A note in a newsletter from a restaurant website hints that some long-rumored changes to that quaint shopping district on the west side of Mid Lane north of Westheimer, just west of the Highland Village Shopping Center, are about to begin: “Yes, the block that Crapitto’s Cucina Italiana is in has been sold. No, Crapitto’s is not closing and will remain there. The block will be developed and most of the businesses have moved out so construction can begin in a few weeks.”


09/19/13 10:00am

The resident tipster who let us know about the pending evictions at Westcreek at River Oaks Apartments sends in this “makeshift map,” which provides a more accurate view on the changes coming — for now, anyway — to the complex directly behind the so-called River Oaks District. As the map makes clear, the tipster explains that, according to the Westcreek property manager, only 2 of the 6 buildings have been sold and are slated for demolition: B and D, right next to the Target on San Felipe. Still, the remaining 4, to which some of the displaced residents have agreed to be relocated, are for sale.

Map: Swamplot inbox

09/16/13 10:00am

Note: Story updated below. And read more here.

Though their neighbors at 4444 Westheimer were assigned “move out concierges” to help with their “residence transitions,” it doesn’t appear that the tenants at the Westcreek at River Oaks apartments, just east of the Loop and south of San Felipe, will enjoy the same luxury, now that they’ve been asked to leave, too. (Though they will get their security deposits back!) A tipster explains that eviction notices from property owners Kaplan Management Co. were delivered late last week politely requiring that 2 of the buildings at 2049 Westcreek Ln. be vacated by the end of November, so they can be torn down. Why? The notice explains that “the community is being redeveloped.”


08/22/13 12:30pm

Just north of the just-underway River Oaks District and in the shadow of the Highland Tower, 24 of these homes are going up in what will be another cheek-to-jowl gated community. The first 8 are almost done, apparently, and all but 1 has sold; the whole set of ‘em should be ready by March. Located at 2200 Briarglen Ln. just south of San Felipe on the site of some apartments that were knocked down in 2008, the homes range in size from 1,989 sq. ft. to 2,305 sq. ft. They’re starting at $600,000.

Rendering: Pelican Builders

07/02/13 3:30pm

It’s got some of the cachet of that tony ’hood’s name and none of the fuss of its actual hard-and-fast boundaries: The River Oaks District is, at long last, going up. The $150 million in construction financing that California-based developer Oliver McMillan scored started being spent Monday morning.

And other new numbers are in: The 14-acre mixed-use and misnomered development will comprise about 252,000 sq. ft. of retail and 92,000 sq. ft. of office space as well as 279 places to live — including the 18 3-bedroom homes planned for the gated Bancroft Place community-within-a-district.

Of course, the demolition is imminent of the old 4444 Westheimer apartments whose residents were assisted late last year with their evictions by “move out concierges” provided by Oliver McMillan. But hey — why let something like that stand in the way of something like this?


06/11/13 3:00pm

The gate is not depicted in this rendering, but Pelican Builders and Martha Turner Properties are saying that there will be one around the 18-home ’hood they are developing just east of the Loop in the not-really-in-River-Oaks River Oaks District. Named for the lane they will sit on, these 3-bedroom Bancroft Place houses are going for $1.3 million. They’ll sit near the 16-story Highland Condo Tower and south of San Felipe, where Liberty Kitchen is replacing Vida Sexy Tex-Mex and that 5-story apartment complex is going up on E. Briar Hollow Ln. If you want to buy in, you’ll have your choice among 3 floor plans: