08/25/14 11:00am

Zelko Bistro, 705 E. 11th St., Houston Heights

Zelko Bistro, 705 E. 11th St., Houston HeightsLast week Judge Randy Wilson (yes, the same judge who ruled earlier this year in the Ashby Highrise case) granted a temporary injunction preventing the owner of the converted bungalow at 705 E. 11th St. from locking out or evicting Zelko Bistro — or putting a for lease sign in front of the Heights restaurant (as caught in the photo at right from last month). Zelko was required to post a bond equal to a single month’s rent under the previous lease; the ruling requires the restaurant’s owners to comply with the terms of that lease as well.


Still Serving
08/19/14 1:15pm

Substation Expansion, 612 Yale St., Houston Heights

Without making a big alert-the-neighbors fuss about it, CenterPoint Energy appears to have begun expanding the electrical substation across the street from the new Alexan Heights apartment complex going up on Yale St. into an adjacent vacant lot, a reader reports. Crews began breaking up the 6,600-sq.-ft. lot’s concrete surface yesterday. CenterPoint has owned the lot at 612 Yale St. since 2004, according to county tax records, though the neighboring 6th and Yale Collision and Repair shop had often used it as parking space.

The lot appears at the top center of this recent aerial view of apartment construction and the substation:


Not Shocking
07/31/14 1:45pm


It might look like a neighboring property (in the background of the photo above) towers over an updated 1926 bungalow on Heights Blvd., but the addition is actually part of the mixed-use complex. Balcony-wrapped, the modernish appendage mashes up with yesteryear’s residential front-end, which is currently employed as a law office. The switched dual personalities (and dual purposes) co-exist behind a wrought-iron fence on the southbound side of Houston Heights’ main drag. Listed Tuesday, the combo offering has a $2,101,948 asking price.


Heights Face, Yale Face
07/22/14 5:00pm




Without its stylized pediment and lip of aging awning, a funky mixed use property in Houston Heights is just a boxy building, its stucco in fading 1984 hues of seafoam green and coral. Inside, though, a more modern vibe takes hold (top) above studio space occupying the entire ground floor (middle). In its listing last week, the updated work-live pad’s asking price was $665,000.


Paint it Black
07/22/14 4:15pm

ZELKO BISTRO: WE’RE NOT GONE YET Zelko Bistro, 705 E. 11th St., Houston HeightsWas the “for lease” sign (at right) posted and then removed this morning in front of Zelko Bistro at 705 E. 11th St. just part of a high-stakes lease-extension negotiation? Responding to reports that her restaurant is a goner from the Heights location and that the converted bungalow is available “immediately,” owner Jamie Zelko reports it’s all part of . . . the process? Here’s the latest from the restaurant’s Twitter account this afternoon: “Hello everyone. We are currently in negotiations to exercise our option to renew our lease. We should come to agreement soon!” [Twitter] Photo: The Heights Life

07/22/14 11:15am

ZELKO BISTRO IS SOON TO BE GONE FROM E. 11TH ST. Zelko Bistro, 705 E. 11th St., Houston HeightsA real estate agent representing the owners of the building at 705 E. 11th St. just west of Studewood tells neighborhood blog The Heights Life that the converted bungalow home of restaurant Zelko Bistro is available for lease, “effective immediately.” For the moment at least, Jamie Zelko’s restaurant is still open for business, but “Zelko will be moving out,” the blog reports. “[Berkshire Hathaway Suzanne Anderson Properties agent Mike Huff] doesn’t know when and can’t disclose much about why, but whether they close or re-locate is uncertain.” The for-lease sign that appeared this morning in front of the property (above) has been removed at the restaurant’s request. [The Heights Life] Photo: The Heights Life

07/18/14 1:45pm

Did the tiny bench-and-planters installation now parked in front of a Heights mattress store strike a nerve for some Swamplot readers? Judging from the comments section for some of Swamplot’s coverage of the project, that certainly does appear to be the case. But it looks like the PR firm charged with promoting the city of Houston’s first officially permitted parklet is set on tapping that nerve as if it were a gold mine. The video above, just posted to YouTube by the Black Sheep Agency, shows purported actual Heights residents performing dramatic readings of Swamplot readers’ more entertaining comments about the parklet, which now blocks access to what was formerly a single angled, head-in parking space in front of the firm’s client, the New Living Bedroom store at 321 W. 19th St. (New Living paid for construction of the parklet and is responsible for maintaining it, according to an agreement with the city, which considers the effort a pilot program.)


Tempest in a Heights Parking Space
07/11/14 2:45pm

Parklet, 321 W. 19th St., Houston Heights

Parklet, 321 W. 19th St., Houston HeightsInspired by the outpourings of support issuing forth from Swamplot’s comments section for the city’s new smallest park ever, the folks behind the parklet on 19th St. have sent in a bunch of photos of the completed project outside a Heights mattress store — including the aerial drone’s-eye view above, which was taken shortly before Thursday’s inauguration ceremony attended by the mayor, a few city councilmembers, and a couple of boy-scout-uniformed salesmen from an adjacent shop who roasted s’mores for the occasion.

By Popular Demand
07/08/14 12:15pm

Parklet at 321 W. 19th St., Houston Heights

No, it’s a bit more than a sidewalk planter. That thing you’re looking at that’s sitting across from the New Living Bedroom store in the Heights is the city of Houston’s first-ever permitted parklet — or at least it will be after Thursday, when an official ceremony with the mayor and a couple of councilmembers in attendance inaugurates it officially as a tiny park. (A parklet was set up on Travis St. Downtown for a weekend last year, but the parking disruption was just a temporary thing.)

The “semi-permanent” green installation in front of 321 W. 19th St. measures a whopping 125 sq. ft., taking up a single street parking spot. Designed and built by some of the workers in the “Made at New Living” program run out of New Living and its Kirby Dr. storefront, the 19th St. installation is meant to be the first piece in a pilot parklet program promoted by the city.

Photo: New Living

Bedroom Community
06/13/14 10:15am

Fire Aftermath at 717 E. 8th St., Houston Heights

Builders of a home under construction in the 700 block of E. 8th St. in the Heights, near Antidote coffee house, are looking at the damage to the large structure after an apparent fire that took place a few hours ago. “We heard a fire truck, with sirens blaring, at 4:30 this morning,” reports a Swamplot tipster. The house, which is being constructed by Whitestone Builders, “dwarfs its bungalow neighbors and appears to fill the lot,” writes the tipster: “I have no idea how the fire started but it appeared to have been underneath the house with visible damage to the siding on both sides and on the porch.”


Under Construction
06/05/14 3:15pm



Better watch the decimal point when listing a property — though the resulting 90 percent drop in asking price did certainly catch a few eyeballs for this snappy Houston Heights home. When first listed on Tuesday, the initial asking price had an extra zero at the end of it, but was quickly revised later that day to $759,900. Back in 2011, the current owners paid $403,000 for it and appear to have re-renovated, further toning the trimmed abode.


Adjusting the Contrast
05/13/14 2:15pm

Home and Office Under Construction at 832 Yale St., Houston Heights

What’s this new construction being framed in wood and steel on the site of 2 former bungalows at 828 and 832 Yale St. in the Heights? A single 23,000-sq.-ft. residence that will also serve as the offices of homebuilder Fisher Homes, a source tells Swamplot. The builder is perhaps best known for the Morrison Heights 5-story condo building near Houston Ave. and White Oak; it is also planning a Studemont Mid-Rise at Studemont and Center St., just north of Washington Ave.


Fisher Homes
04/29/14 11:00am

Fencing, 2401 Nicholson St., Houston Heights

Chain-link fencing has gone up around the warehouse buildings at 2401 Nicholson St. in the Heights, a reader reports. There’s a total 139,126 sq. ft. of building space on the large alley-divided block surrounded by Nicholson, 24th, 25th, and Lawrence St., on 3.6 acres. JLB Partners doesn’t appear to have announced the new apartment building it’s planning for the site, but its builders received a couple of permits for a parking garage and an apartment building at 525 W. 24th St. late last year. And a TCEQ notice for the construction — identified as the Heights Block 39 Apartments, at 525 W. 25th St. — has gone up at the site as well. The block is catty-corner to the cleared National Flame & Forge site on the other side of Nicholson.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Block 39