Beacon Island (née Lighthouse Island, in its more pedestrian days) is up for sale once again, Brandon de Hoyos writes this week. The eponymous prison-striped beacon at the northern tip of the property has been in place since at least the late 1980s — by which time the 35-acre piece of land had also completed its transformation from Clear Creek shoreline to peninsula to full island, as channels were carved into the southern edge of Clear Lake to expand waterfront access. The land also currently hosts the roadways and underground infrastructure installed by woulda-been joint developers The Verandah Cos. and Crow Holdings, right before the housing market collapse and 2008 recession.
Current owner Isola Ventura previously had previously planned for a mixture of residential structures on the island, from townhome to highrise. The island has already been divvied up and okayed for those various purposes by League City’s planning department, roughly as labeled below in the current leasing materials:
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League City Layouts
What should League City expect with the first Houston-area Cabela’s, set to open in a year’s time near the Big League Dreams Sports Park off the Gulf Fwy. and Big League Dreams Pkwy.? All the wonders of wildlife and its stalkers brought indoors, for your perusal and entertainment. That means vast arrangements of deceased but realistic-looking animals mounted in museum-like displays, a “gun library” where you’ll be able to check out the latest in classic, antique, collectible, or just plain hoard-able firearms, an indoor archery range, a fudge shop, and other tourist attractions. Plus, for local flatlanders who may never have seen one, an actual mountain replica. All displayed as it should be, in a big-roofed, fully air-conditioned space not far from Kohl’s and H-E-B.
At 72,000 sq. ft., the store will only be one-third the size of the chain’s behemoth in Fort Worth, but it’ll be bigger than the outposts in Waco and Lubbock. A company press release says the store will feature log construction, as well as other outdoorsy-store mainstays such as metal roofing, wood siding, and stone add-ons.
Photos of Buda (interior) and Allen (exterior) stores: Cabela’s
Clear Lake is across and up the street from this wedge-lot property in League City’s Glen Cove Park neighborhood off FM 2094 (aka Marina Bay Dr.). Appearing a bit unchanged since Hurricane Ike left its mark in 2008, this 1972 home with small-windowed second floor living was listed “as-is” last week. The market’s rising tide of housing prices seems to have swept through, however, since the asking price is $35,000, up from the $23K paid for it at its previous sale March 2012. Raze or raise and redo? Some of the demo necessary for either option looks to have been started, at least . . .
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UNMARKED GRAVES UNCOVERED IN DICKINSON AFRICAN-AMERICAN CEMETERY Over the weekend, volunteers clearing brush and whacking weeds at the Magnolia Cemetery, the African-American cemetery between League City and Dickinson near FM 646 and Highway 3, found hundreds of unmarked graves that date back before the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, reports abc13’s Erik Barajas, the Galveston County Historical Commission is working to identify the graves as the cemetery seeks state designation and protection as a historic site: Pastor William H. King III of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, behind which sits Magnolia Cemetery, tells Barajas: “‘There are slaves buried here. There are people from World War I, World War II, school teachers, people who worked in the community. . . . We want to make sure.'” [abc13] Photo: USGenWeb
AND THE WINNER OF THE LOCAL WATER-USE RESTRICTIONS DERBY IS . . . League City, with these dry, dry, Stage 5 drought prohibitions: No washing your car; no refilling your pool; no spraying water for dust control; restaurants can’t bring diners water unless they ask for it; and no running those sprinklers or garden hose, day or night. Also in the no-watering-your-lawn-no-matter-what-day-it-is zone: Galveston [KHOU 11 News; restrictions]
RIG VOTE IN LEAGUE CITY League City’s city council voted last night to double the minimum distance oil and gas rigs must keep back from most buildings, including homes. The new requirement is 600 ft., though some residents of the Magnolia Creek subdivision — right next door to one of 2 proposed new drilling sites in the city — had hoped to get a 1000-ft. buffer approved. [abc13; more info; previously on Swamplot] Photo: abc13
GULF FREEWAY OUTLET MALL SITE: UP FOR GRABS? A possible complication in those plans to put a new 95-store outlet mall between the Big League Dreams sports complex and the Bay Colony shopping center west of the Gulf Freeway in League City: The Galveston County Daily News‘s Laura Elder reports that the 35 acres of land Tanger Factory Outlet Centers was hoping to purchase out of bankruptcy for $8.7 million will be going up for auction instead in just 10 days. A bankruptcy court ordered the sale last week. Tanger announced the project in January, just days after the Simon Property Group announced its plans to build another outlet center, the 100-store Galveston Premium Outlets, just 4 miles to the south, in Texas City. [Laura Elder’s Buzz Blog; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Tanger Outlets
Houston ranks 5th — below Long Island, Miami, Virginia Beach, New Orleans, and Tampa — in potential property damage from storm surges, according to an annual report from Corelogic. The company figures the resulting storm surge from a Category 5 Hurricane here would likely produce $20 billion in property loss — well behind Long Island’s $99 billion score. Can’t this city do a little better? We’ve got the high-hurricane-risk and low-lying-properties parts down cold. If we can just boost the property values a bit in those areas, we’ll be rolling with the high-stakes big boys next time.
The top at-risk area Zip Codes, according to the company’s report: 77573, 77554, 77059, 77571, 77062, 77566, 77586, 77539, 77546, and 77521. Locally, League City leads the way!
Just days after Simon Property Group announced it would build a new 100-store Galveston Premium Outlets shopping center in Texas City, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers is ready to talk about the outlet mall it’s been planning for a 35-acre site just 4 miles to the north, in League City. Tanger’s 300,743-sq.-ft. mall, which the company says is in the “predevelopment phase,” would sit just north of the Bay Colony shopping center and just south of the Big League Dreams sports complex. And like the Simon Mall, it’ll be right near a Walmart too — the Supercenter across I-45 at FM 646.
If both malls sign up enough tenants to get built along the I-45 feeder road, it’ll help adjust the impression that huge swathes of undeveloped land remain between Houston and Galveston — at least for drivers headed south. The Chronicle‘s Purva Patel also reports on a third new mall being discussed for the area — from Taubman, but that company hasn’t announced its plans.
Rendering: Tanger Outlets