08/10/18 4:00pm

 

More than $100,000 worth of liens have now been placed on the stalled Victoria Condos at 829 Yale St. by contractors that worked on the 40-unit midrise. It’s one of the remaining Fisher Homes properties that the Harris County court system hasn’t yet liquidated as part of its ongoing efforts to pay back the developer’s creditors — including some who’ve sued it for failing to pay their invoices on developments such as the Yale condos.

A rendering put out around the time sales began at the beginning of June 2016 shows what they would look like if they had people in them now:

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Somebody To Lien On
08/08/18 4:00pm

The former art and event space dubbed the Indian Summer Lodge — tucked in between the MKT Trail and Blue Line Bike Lab on the corner of White Oak Dr. and Columbia St. — is now being shopped around to potential new owners. Pictured at top from the north is the 16,170-sq.-ft. trapezoidal property, home to a Quonset hut (shown above) and adjacent lodge building.

A year after the land was briefly rumored to be taking on the Tacos A Go Go that eventually moved in 4 blocks east of it, proprietor Jeff Law sold it in 2010. Since then, most portions of a third treehouse building that also sat on site and included a rooftop balcony have been torn down.

Here’s what $1,649,000 gets you now:

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Indian Summer Lodge
07/30/18 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NOT THE ONLY BURGER JOINT OFF 20TH ST. “Really needed another burger option in that area. So within a couple minutes drive of each other there will now be The Burger Joint, Balls Out Burger, Hubcap, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Becks Prime, Christian’s Tailgate, Whataburger, Cedar Creek, and all the other fast food options.” [DL, commenting on Blank Abel Motors Sign Now Directing N. Shepherd Traffic to Its Burger Joint Replacement] Illustration: Lulu

07/30/18 10:15am

The complicated thing about trying to turn an old Heights home — like this one at 733 W. 24th St. — into a coffee shop is that the neighborhood’s original lots are smaller than Houston allows for commercial use. Although the house pictured at top sits on a pair of adjacent 25-ft. lots, their combined frontage still falls short of the 60-ft. minimum required to lump them together into a space for something other than single-family residential.

But that’s not stopping the owner that bought the house earlier this year from seeking an exception to the rule. On Thursday, Houston’s city planning commission will consider a variance that’d allow the plans to go ahead anyway by consolidating the lots into a single 50-ft.-wide, business-friendly parcel.

Then comes the question of parking. Right now, a driveway leads up to a carport on the west side of the house:

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Cafe Conversion
07/27/18 11:45am

Although the lettering’s been gone from Abel Motors’ roadside sign since the auto shop moved in 2016, it’s still got a helpful pointer for passers-by: The Burger Joint is about to take the place over. Pictured above is what the dealership looked like on the northeast corner of Shepherd and 20th St. in its heyday. Since peeling out for a new spot at 9102 Airline Dr., its old digs have been transformed by the brick strip center pictured at top — soon to house the burger restaurant’s first venture north from its sole existing location on Montrose at Westheimer.

Another view of the new burger sign shows it’s still drawing a blank on lower-level messaging:

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Shifting Gears
07/24/18 1:15pm

VEGAN FOOD TRUCK NOW PARKING AT HEIGHTS WATERWORKS ON NICHOLSON ST. Vegan food truck Ripe Cuisine is now well on its way to a brick-and-mortar spot in the soon-to-be redone Heights Waterworks utility turned retail complex on W. 20th St. According to a building permit filed yesterday, the owner is signing up for a 2,061-sq.-ft. renovation of one of the structures Braun Enterprises is leasing out. The map above from the developer — which began buying up portions of the property last year — marks the restaurant’s territory fronting Nicholson St. and its parallel bike trail with the bright red tomato logo that’s native to its food truck. But that’s not really the look to expect from the plant-based restaurant once its fully-grown; it’s rebranding to Verdine. Derived from the Latin for “green” and “truth,” explains the restaurant’s fledgling website, the name comes with a brand-new V-shaped logo, complete with a small bird nested in the crook of angled capital letter. [Previously on Swamplot] Map: Braun Enterprises

07/10/18 10:00am

BOBCAT TEDDY’S NEW BCYCLE STATION IS READY TO ROLL The recent docking of a new BCycle station outside the former Jimmy’s turned Bobcat Teddy’s Ice House on the corner of White Oak Dr. and Threlkeld St. brings the total number of bike hubs in the system to around 60. Its installation was supported in part by a fundraiser held at the bar last month during which representatives from Texas Gold Sprint’em — an operator that hosts stationary bike races complete with emcees and accompanying AV equipment — were on hand to organize competition. Now that road-ready vehicles are on-site at the venue, they fill in a gap along White Oak Dr., where no other BCycle station currently exists. [Houston City Planning Department; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Houston City Planning Department

06/25/18 9:30am

A Swamplot reader stopping by Nourish + Kalos’s coffee and juice venue this weekend sends a photo of a new shipping container that’s now filling in the food gap between the beverage spot and Wendy’s’s drive-thru, visible on the south side of Cornish St. above. The box landed recently in the western end zone of a third-acre field off Durham — adjacent to GH Leather’s tan warehouse — that’s been starved for attention, save for that of the occasional food truck. Another less recent and less visible development for the container-containing parcel: an electrical permit filed on it in late April.

While the property housing the container — as well as a 5,000-sq.-ft. vacant lot abutting it — have been owned by the same entity since 2012, the grass-less corner lot shown beyond newly-installed black fencing in the photo above is in the hands of a different party. Nothing’s been built on any of the flatlands in over a decade, even as the neighboring strip building home to Gumbo Jeaux’s, Vape HQ, and Nourish + Kalos went up to the north in 2014.

Photos: Jason Cockerell

Need a Box for That?
06/04/18 1:00pm

Engineering firm The Interfield Group is hoping to score a trio of variances that will allow it to swap out its existing dingbat office building (above) at the Heights landing point of the Studemont St. bridge for a much larger mixed-use development (depicted at top) dubbed Heights Gateway. The new 8-story complex rests on the stealth-bomber-shaped parcel at 401 Studewood outlined in the aerial above. It’s split between a residential portion (shown beneath the lettering in the rendering) and a glass curtain-walled office section to the north — all of which rests atop a floodable 2-story parking garage plinth.

Its lowest parking level — indicated in the site plan below — includes a main entrance off Studewood that runs between the work and live sections of the complex:

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Heights Gateway
05/18/18 10:00am

All car-related signage has come down from the Heights building North Loop Auto Supply once occupied 9 blocks south of the North Loop on the northeast corner of Harvard and E. 20th. In its place, a banner for new restaurant Neo Baguette now hangs over the building’s 20th-St. doorway. An entity connected to developer Steve Radom bought the 2,331-sq.-ft. freestanding structure late last year and set about reworking it into something more suitable for a restaurant tenant to occupy.

Included in that effort: gardening work to add the tufty beds of flora that now front 20th St., the removal of the front gates and awning from the storefront entrance, the addition of new windows, and the erection of the 4 steel columns now attached to the building’s face. A parking lot to the east separates it from its next-door neighbor, Revive Salon and Spa.

Photo: Ken Barnes (Neo Baguette); LoopNet (auto parts)

Sandwich Signage
05/16/18 10:45am

Multiple angles on the fully built, but not-yet-open Heights Mexican restaurant building dubbed Calle Onze show how it’s shaped up on the corner of Allston and 11th St. long home to Jozzie’s Mobile Home Park. In its new format, the 13,200-sq.-ft property relegates parking to the lot on the right in the side view above from Allston. A patio, complete with fake grass, wraps the building to front 11th St (pictured at top), where it butts up against the western boundary of Eight Row Flint‘s corner spot off Yale.

The mobile home park, home to about 9 trailers in its final days, cleared out of the lot in March of last year:

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By Eight Row Flint
05/07/18 11:00am

SHIPLEY DONUTS WILL ROUND OUT THE NEW STRIP CENTER ON 28TH AND YALE Here’s one early sign of life at the new 8,040-sq.-ft. strip building that developer Ancorian recently finished putting up on the corner of Yale and 28th St. — 2 blocks south of the new Whole Foods that’s under construction on the N. Loop. When the coming Shipley Do-Nuts outlet opens at 2723 Yale., it’ll be a brand-new complement to what’s now the chain’s only Heights location, the standalone drive-thru on the corner of N. Main and Walton St. a few blocks west of I-45. (Shipley’s corporate office at 5200 N. Main is just under a mile up the road from that location.) Most recently demolished at 2723 Yale to make way for the new donut store and accompanying tenants: an L-shaped commercial building home to Heights Insurance and Multiservice that stood on the block for well over a decade. Photo: Swamplox inbox

04/30/18 1:30pm

Update, May 1: At the request of the copyright holder, images of the proposed development have been removed.

Michael Hsu designed a new 2-story structure (depicted in a rendering posted on HAIF) for a spot directly across Yale from the existing retail building (above) he created as part of the Heights Mercantile complex near 7th St. Like its neighbor — which went up not long ago in place of a Pappas Restaurants warehouse — the new building will replace a metal-sided structure, this one currently occupied by Urban Jungle Self Defense:

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Westward Expansion