05/09/17 5:15pm

A little more of the what’ll-go-where has been filled in lately for Midway’s H-E-B-footed midrise, planned at the corner of Waugh St. and Washington Ave. (and now under construction following the corner’s clear-out earlier this year).  The glassy box overlooking Washington from above the main H-E-B entrance will hold the structure’s office spaces, with the face of the parking garage visible a bit further to the left; an updated siteplan also shows that the sides of the development will also be insulated from the street and sidewalks with a layer or 2 of parking spaces:

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Buffalo Heights Close-Ups
02/06/17 4:30pm

memorial-heights-gate

The peculiar scene pictured above, of a freestanding but fenceless gate, greeted residents of the Memorial Heights Apartments near the corner of Washington Ave and Studewood late last week. Demolition of buildings 1 through 6 of the complex, on the northwest corner of the complex, for a planned new 5-story apartment complex atop a new H-E-B market, appears imminent.

In anticipation, workers have been constructing fencing (now attached to the above gate) that appears to be intended to surround a portion of the remaining parking lot of the remaining complex. There’s also this construction going up at the corner of Studewood and Washington Ave.:

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Approaching Buffalo Heights
12/19/16 12:45pm

Rendering of Buffalo Heights Mixed Use Phase I, at Washington Ave. at Waugh Dr.

H-E-B preliminary plans for Washington Ave. at Heights Blvd.The complex containing Midway’s planned H-E-B-and-midrise at the southeast corner of Heights Blvd. and Washington Ave. won’t be named Northbank Buffalo Bayou after all, Nancy Sarnoff reports this week — it’ll be called Buffalo Heights. Above is Ziegler Cooper’s rendering of the proposed structure, which would take up the northwest corner of the old Archstone Memorial Heights apartments property (which was bought in 2014 by the current owners). That development previously gave its moniker to the surrounding neighborhood; it remains to be seen if this latest rebranding attempt will stick.

The new midrise would sit about half a mile south of the official southernmost edge of the Houston Heights (as drawn for voting in last month’s local-option Heights moistening election), and about half a mile north of Buffalo Bayou (though only a quarter mile from the Buffalo Wild Wings a few blocks west down Washington Ave). The new design shows off 5 stories of apartments (tallying up as 232 units) on top of the 2-story H-E-B, with about 37,000 sq. ft. of office space and a couple of other retail spots in the mix.

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First of Its Name in Memorial Heights
11/04/16 12:45pm

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

Looks like the logo spotted in that Braun flier earlier this year wasn’t too far off the mark: a lease signed in May by H-E-B for a new store on Washington Ave., which Nancy Sarnoff noted yesterday afternoon, includes some preliminary layout drawings for the grocery chain’s claimed spot — at the foot of what looks to be a mixed-used midrise planned on the Memorial Heights apartment complex property. (Also included in the document: the name Northbank Condominium #1, which sounds a lot like that trademark that Midway was working on earlier this year.) H-E-B Houston president Scott McClelland told Sarnoff that this doesn’t change the company’s interest in putting a store on the former N. Shepherd Fiesta site (and backing the ongoing campaign to get the Heights dry laws dampened); Sarnoff reports that the company would ideally like stores on Washington Ave., N. Shepherd, and in Garden Oaks, if they can find places to put them.

Where exactly will the Washington store land? The lease shows a preliminary footprint right at the corner with Heights Blvd., stretching not quite to Wagner St. to the east. H-E-B’s yet-to-be-built space looks to include a 91,000-sq.-ft. ground floor store, topped by a layer of parking on the second level of the structure (plus about 6,600 sq. ft. more of non-parking space). The document filed with the Harris County clerk’s office also shows plans for 5 more levels split between more parking and room for other tenants — including what it tallies up as about 36,000 sq. ft of office space and about 262,900 sq. ft. of multifamily residential space. A 2,200-sq.-ft. retail spot is also tucked in on the ground floor on the east side of H-E-B’s main store area.

Drawings in the doc depict the H-E-B-footed structure fitting into the space marked Zone A in the diagram below, just north of the northern edge of the Memorial Heights Villages midrise:

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Northbank on Washington Ave.
03/17/16 3:00pm

H-E-B SCOPING OUT ITS OPTIONS IN THE HEIGHTS H-E-B Bellaire Market, 5130 Cedar St., Bellaire, TexasIn response to questions about the possibility of building an H-E-B near the corner of Studemont St. and Washington Ave, H-E-B public affairs director Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells Swamplot that no contracts have been signed, and that the grocery store chain is talking to area developers that have “several tracts of land” in and around the Heights. Garza-Roberts told the Leader in 2015 that the Heights dry zone makes it hard to find suitable store locations, which also need to be at least 6 acres; the company is also eyeing the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of H-E-B at 5130 Cedar St.: Wayne A.

03/16/16 10:45am

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

H-E-B has confirmed that the grocery store chain is considering a store on Washington Ave at Studemont St. Public affairs director Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells the HBJ that the chain has “been in discussion for that site for months,” though a deal isn’t finalized. The nod follows yesterday’s story about a Braun Enterprises leasing flier (advertising a property further east down Washington) that showed the company’s logo stamped over the site of the Archstone Memorial Heights apartments.

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Contemplating Memorial Heights
03/15/16 10:15am

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

Later update, 2:30pm:  H-E-B’s Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells Swamplot that plans to place a store in the area are only in the discussion phase, and that no agreements have been reached — more here.

Update, 3/16: H-E-B has confirmed to the HBJ that the company has been in talks over a new store on the Archstone property.

A recent flier produced by Braun Enterprises in an effort to lease the former club space at 1815 Washington features a surprising extra: an overlay of the H-E-B logo planted squarely over a map of the not-so-square site of the Archstone Memorial Heights apartments on Washington Ave. between Studemont and Waugh. A 5-acre chunk at the southwest corner of the 1996 apartment complex was cleared out in 2008, then repopulated, then cleared out again in 2012 for redevelopment as the taller, denser Memorial Heights Villages complex (visible just to the right of the word “WAUGH” on the above aerial). CityCentre developer Midway bought the remaining 23.4 acres of apartments with the Lionstone Group at the end of 2014.

Also featured on the aerial: shuttered-over-the-weekend Hughes Hangar, which CultureMap’s Eric Sandler reports has closed along with Paris-minded parking lot companion The De Gaulle. Further east down the corridor is the space Braun is hawking: the former Pandora-turned-Throne nightclub space at 1815 Washington, marked with a star below, across the road from Bovine & Barley B&B Butchers:

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H-E-B Marks the Spot
12/09/14 11:59am

willia-st-pinto-2

In case you missed them late last month, here are a few renderings of Park Place at Buffalo Bayou, the 18-story office tower Pinto Realty Partners is putting up on Willia St., atop the rim of the Spotts Park bowl at Memorial Dr. and Waugh Dr., just north of Buffalo Bayou and atop the dust of the demolished Masterson YWCA.

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Willia Look At This
08/28/14 1:15pm

White Stripes on Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

White Stripes on Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, HoustonWas it something you said? A couple readers have informed Swamplot that the stenciled nametags that appeared recently apportioning every single parking space in the lot in front of the Shoppes at Memorial Heights shopping center to one of the resident businesses at 920 Studewood St. have just as suddenly been covered over. Stripes of white paint have now been painted on top of the stenciled signs throughout the parking lot. Which means that next time you’re visiting Hair Desire, Absolve Wine Bar, Urban Cleaners, or (more likely, apparently) Beer Market Co., you will no longer have to check underneath or behind your car to make sure that you’ve parked in a space appropriate to your shopping-center visit.

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Here Come the White Stripes
08/21/14 1:00pm

Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, HoustonVisiting a business in the stucco-deco Shoppes at Memorial Heights and can’t figure out where to park? Don’t worry, management of the Studemont St. shopping center just south of Washington Ave has figured it all out for you. Just drive around until you see an empty space that happens to have the name of the store you’re going to spray-paint stenciled onto the parking surface. And maybe move your car before you even think about wandering into any adjacent shops, because otherwise that might cause some problems, okay?

Still confused? Recent visitor PoppyPetalled has provided a helpful diagram showing how the best principles of parking-lot planning have been applied to laying out the individual spaces assigned Happy Belly Studios, Sam’s Cafe, Beer Market Co., Absolve Wine Lounge, Sushi Tora, Urban Cleaners, Hair Desire, and other establishments at 920 Studewood St.:

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Look for the Spray Paint Stencils
03/17/14 10:30am

Proposed Studemont Midrise, 1011 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

Morrison Heights Midrise, 2802 Morrison St., Woodland Heights, HoustonThe developer behind the Morrison Heights midrise building (pictured at left) now under construction in the southeast corner of Woodland Heights has plans to build a similar “apartment and condo” complex at the southwest corner of Studemont and Center St., just north of Washington Ave. Like its neighbor to the northeast, the Studemont Mid-Rise would be a 4-story structure of 36 units mounted over an open parking area underneath. To fit the proposed building on the lot at 1011 Studemont St., however, Fisher Homes needs a variance from the city that would allow a reduced setback on either Studemont or Court St. Its application was deferred at a meeting earlier this month, and is up for consideration by the planning commission this Thursday.

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All the Single Bedrooms
06/05/12 11:09pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SHORT-TERM APARTMENTS “Wait. When this place was built it was out of place because it was a brand spanking new apartment complex in the Washington Corridor which (with a few exceptions) was a dead area / no man’s land of heavy industrial uses and crumbling residential shacks. Now these well maintained, 20 year old garden apartments are woefully obsolete and cry out for demolition because they aren’t dense enough, hip enough, or mixed use enough for surrounding neighborhood. How can you not love this city?” [Bernard, commenting on Archstone Memorial Heights Clearing Out Residents Again for Bigger Buildings, 4 Years After First Attempt]

06/04/12 2:26pm

The long-delayed piece-by-piece redevelopment of the 28-acre Archstone Memorial Heights compound at the corner of Studemont and Washington Ave. into a denser style of apartment complex appears to be back on track. Residents of the 3 existing 3-story “garden-style” buildings in the southwest corner facing Heights Blvd. have received notice that they will need to vacate their apartments by August 1st. (“I was trying to figure out why rent prices went up $300 in 5 months,” a resident quips to Swamplot: “Now I know why.”) Did those letters from management sound familiar? Residents of the same buildings were cleared out in March 2008 in anticipation of a similar redevelopment. A letter sent to Memorial Heights tenants refers only to a new 4-story apartment building planned for the site of those structures: Buildings 7, 8, and 9.

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04/29/11 6:22pm

THE LEFTOVERS AT PHIL’S TEXAS BARBECUE Katharine Shilcutt at the Houston Press confirms what readers have been telling us: that Phil’s Texas Barbecue closed for good on Tuesday, leaving behind a large and now-vacant BBQ-and-picnic-style spread at the intersection of Heights Blvd. and Washington Ave. Former energy executive Phil Stephenson did manage to leave the corner a fair bit cleaner than the way he found it: Carving a 7,000-sq.-ft. restaurant space out of the former Southwest Muffler and Brake building took 9 months. Phil’s opened last June. [Eating Our Words, via Twitter; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Houston Foodie

04/27/11 11:56am

The YMCA of Greater Houston is considering several options for the 1.3-acre piece of land off Waugh Dr. that until last week held the vacant Masterson Branch of the YWCA, according to a communications document forwarded to Swamplot. Among the possibilities for the property at 3615 Willia St., which sits on a bluff above Spotts Park and overlooks White Oak Bayou: building a new YMCA facility, collaborating with the city and area nonprofits to develop “recreational opportunities” on the site, partnering with a developer on an unspecified project, or selling it outright. If the organization is considering selling the property, why did it decide to tear down the 1982 building, designed by Houston’s Taft Architects?

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