- 8211 Katy Fwy. Unit 44 [HAR]
What’s next for the modestly proportioned home in Bunker Hill Village that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1954 for insurance executive William Thaxton (top and middle photos) and the more recent, more commodious addition (above) of 1995 by Bob Inaba of Kirksey Architecture? The pedigreed and restored property, on a cul-de-sac off Strey Ln., which peels off Memorial Dr. east of Gessner, landed on the market Monday with a $3.195 million asking price. That’s a bit less than the $3.5 million sought in 2010 when owner Allen Gaw previously tried to move on — but a little more than the $2.9 million that earlier listing shrunk to after a year of no takers.
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A 13-and-a-half-acre park-like lot on Memorial Dr. just north of the Ethan’s Glen condo complex and across the street from the Lantern Lane Shopping Center where Fresh Market took over a former Rice Epicurean market is the planned site of a new mixed-use development. A joint venture between the property’s longtime owner, Methodist Hospital, and the developer of nearby CityCentre is behind Memorial Green, which is meant to include apartments, offices, and restaurant and retail space, as well as single-family homes. “The project will center around an urban green space, which connects the uses in a pedestrian environment,” reads a description of the project in the annual report of Midway Companies.
“Local dog owners will be devastated,” notes a Swamplot reader. The lot has long been used as an informal dog park. Surveyors have been seen at work on the property, which is sprinkled with tall pines.
A couple of blocky renderings (above and below) of early concepts for Memorial Green, planned for Methodist’s lots and 12505 and 12601 Memorial Dr., were also included in Midway’s annual report.
IZAKAYA-WA OPENING REAL SOON IN MEMORIAL Eater Houston’s Darla Guillen reports that that Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar that a Swamplot reader in August reported would be opening in the Memorial Bend Shopping Park will be opening this Wednesday. And Guillen suspects that the location just inside the Beltway at 12665 Memorial Dr. could very well prove to be very well chosen: “It seems that the restaurant’s proximity to some Japanese corporations will likely encourage a strong Japanese following.” [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Houston Sushi
A reader sends this photo of a suite being renovated in the Memorial Bend Shopping Park, where a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar is planning to begin serving, the reader suspects, sometime near the end of the year. And a brief in Ultimate Memorial shows that Izakaya Wa requested last month the permits to operate here at 12665 Memorial Dr., which is just east of the Beltway 8 feeder.
Photo: Swamplot inbox
The Woodway store is closing, Whole Foods announced yesterday, and the grocer plans to build a new one on the site of the recently closed and approved-for-demolition Flagship Randall’s at 1407 S. Voss near San Felipe. That’s right across the street from the brand-new Trader Joe’s. A Whole Foods rep says that new store will be 40,000 sq. ft., double the size of the store at 6401 Woodway that’s been there since 1983.
Photo of Flagship Randall’s: Allyn West
COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: WHEN RANDALL’S WAS SWANK “It sounds crazy nowadays but I remember back in the ′80s when this store opened up and they had valet parking under their porte cochere with valets wearing tuxedoes. We were very impressed by the little restaurant inside, too. It was so ritzy! Sad to see the prosperity all gone now.” [AW, commenting on Yes, the Voss Rd. Randall’s Is Closing]
Update, 3:30 p.m.: Randall’s president Paul McTavish confirms that this store will be closing. No date was mentioned.
A few readers are reporting that they’ve heard from Randall’s employees here that the store near San Felipe and Voss will shut its doors by the end of the month.
One reader even has a date: May 23. County records show that the 56,511-sq.-ft. building sits on 157,149 sq. ft. of pricey Memorial property across Voss from the new Trader Joe’s — the parking lot of which appeared a bit less barren than the Randall’s lot in this photo taken this morning. Attempts to contact Safeway haven’t been returned.
Photo: Allyn West
Note: Story updated with new photos.
An update comes in from reader Nicole Sherman, who saw this bare facade-to-be and fruity Sprouts Farmers Market sign at the end of last week and snapped these photos: Filling in for the former Sports Authority in the Kirkwood Shopping Center at 11940 Westheimer, this will be the 4th Sprouts in Houston and the farthest in, only 2 miles beyond the Beltway. In October, the green grocer revealed the first 3 locations it would open in Houston this year:
Houston architect Wylie W. Vale passed away early this morning. He was 96. Vale’s career, according to photographer Ben Hill, who has documented his works, spanned from 1939 to 2001. Working in an array of styles, Vale played a substantial role in shaping the looks of River Oaks, Tanglewood, and Memorial. The home pictured above is in Katy.
Photos: Ben Hill