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.)

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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.
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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.”

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Under Construction
06/05/14 3:15pm

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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.

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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.

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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
04/25/14 5:00pm

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A wee corner lot in the Houston Heights East Historic District carries a 1920 home’s addition on its back instead of in its back yard, which is occupied instead by the “tandem” one-car-wide garage. Renovations to the property since last summer, when it sold for $342K, moved around some of the interior walls and overhauled the kitchen and bathrooms. The current listing’s asking price of $574,900 is the ninth price point sought by a series of listings that ticked down nearly $75K in price reductions since the home’s January 2014 market debut at $650,000. 

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Spacing Out
04/24/14 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW THE HEIGHTS IS PUTTING ON WEIGHT? Cupcake“I think they are going to have to change the name of the area from the ‘Heights’ to the ‘Widths.’ In addition to Fat Cat and the soon to be new doughnut shop, Gelazzi on White Oak is opening in May to serve gelato and other Italian treats. RED Dessert Dive & Coffee Shop is building out on Studewood. Then there is the recently opened Heights Candy Store on Studewood. All of this is in addition to great pastries, baked goods and other treats at Angela’s Oven, Kraftsmen, Revival Market, Boulevard Coffee (possibly the best cinnamon rolls in Houston), Happy Fatz, What’s Up Cupcake, Mighty Sweet Mini Pies and Dacapo’s. Yikes.” [Old School, commenting on More Sugar Headed for the Sweetest Strip Center on North Shepherd] Illustration: Lulu

04/23/14 12:30pm

Strip Center, 1901 N. Shepherd Dr., Houston Heights

For months, local ice cream shop Fat Cat Creamery has been the only business open in the recently expanded and redone strip center at the northeast corner of N. Shepherd Dr. and 19th St. (It’s over around the left side in the photo above.) But now there’s a sign up announcing that Smoothie King is headed for the spot a couple doors down from it along 19th. And there’s more to this sugar rush: It appears a donut shop is headed for a space next door to Fat Cat in the same center. A buildout for Hugs and Doughnuts, from the folks behind the H-Town StrEATs food truck, is now going on in Suite 4 of the 8,000-sq.-ft. center at 1901 N. Shepherd, a source tells Swamplot.

Photo: Re:Vive Development

Hugs and Donuts
03/31/14 1:30pm

Boil House Restaurant Under Construction, 606 E. 11th St., Houston Heights

Here’s a pic of the latest sign of the growing Heights-area crawfish swarm: The just-painted front of the former audio repair shop at 606 E. 11th St., just east of Oxford, showing the new home of Boil House. “A hot pinch of authentic Louisiana flavor” is offered in the wall sign just behind the spray-painted trashcan above, and the mudbugs are implied in the name of the company behind the venture: Boil House Crawfish, LLC. But don’t confuse this under-the-radar venture with the other crawfish restaurant setting up camp in nearby Shady Acres. Cajun spot The Boot just opened (on weekends only for now, it appears) in the former Shady Tavern spot at 1206 W. 20th St., between Bevis and Beall.

Photo: T.S. Noble

Cajun Heights