COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHY IT PAYS TO RAISE THOSE FLOODED MEYERLAND HOMES
“Also, let’s remember that flood insurance pays out $250k for structure and $100k for contents max (and these Meyerland homes are pricey, so maxing out the payment is possible). So, paying $350k to raise a house to avoid a future claim is — long-term — a better use of money. Yes, the amount itself is a shock out of context. Yes, it borders on ridiculous that this is related to the 2015 flood. Yes, the tax base would benefit more from paying to knock down the house and build new million dollar homes, but this is a better solution than buying the properties and removing them from the tax base.” [travelguy, commenting on What Houston Will Spend To Raise a Few Floody Houses in Meyerland] Photo of 5150 Braesheather Dr., to be elevated: HAR
Everyone likes a good comeback story: 2 N. Braeswood houses a few doors down from the West Loop are rising above their floody circumstances with the help of wood-framed columns placed below their foundations. The photos above show 4718 N. Braeswood, just outside the West Loop, lifted on stilts months after Hurricane Harvey showered it with attention. The house’s chimney has been removed, leaving a gap in its street-facing facade.
Two doors down, 4710 N. Braeswood now sits at a similar elevation:
The first ever H-E-B with a skybridgeconnection to a neighboringJCPenney is indeed on its way to Meyerland Plaza. The grocery chain’s new 95,000-sq.-ft. building will replace its previous store at South Braeswood and Chimney Rock, which flooded during Harvey. Some of the land that the H-E-B is taking over is occupied now by the BBVA Compass bank branch building at the mall-turned-shopping-center’s northwest corner, although the store will extend back all the way to the existing JCPenney, far southeast of where the bank branch sits now.
The rendering at top shows the grocery store’s second-story entrance; like the new stores under construction in Bellaire and the Heights, this one will sit on top of a parking deck. The second rendering shows the structure fronting a driveway that heads into Meyerland Plaza from Beechnut St. A replacement BBVA Compass branch is planned inside the new complex.
Below, a view of the store’s reinforced northwest corner just across Endicott from an off-camera Chick-fil-A on the right:
A DOUBLE-DECKER H-E-B FOR MEYERLAND PLAZA Ralph Bivins reports that grocery chain H-E-B is planning a new 100,000-sq.-ft. store on the western edge of Meyerland Plaza, near the mall-turned-big-box-collection’s JCPenney. The company announced earlier this month that it would not reopen its store at South Braeswood and Chimney Rock, which flooded after Hurricane Harvey. Stores at Meyerland Plaza, on Beechnut at 610, were damaged by flooding as well. The new structure H-E-B is planning there, Bivins says, would be 2 stories; if the configuration is similar to the company’s new Bellaire and Heights locations, that would mean the store itself would be built on the second floor, on top of a parking-only lower level. [Realty News Report; previously on Swamplot] Photo of parking lot in front of Meyerland Plaza JCPenney: Melanie H.
Pet Supermarket in Meyerland Plaza has reopened after taking on water after Hurricane Harvey, but it appears to be an exception among big-box stores lined in a row on the former mall site. Signs in front of Old Navy, OfficeMax, and Dressbarn declare the stores are closed — and direct customers to other locations, according to these photos and a report from a Swamplot reader. Here’s the scene in front of Old Navy, where notes in the window declare the store is closed “until further notice“:
Continuing arrangements set up for the Jewish New Year last week, families from the nation’s largest Conservative synagogue will assemble this evening and all day tomorrow for Yom Kippur services at the nation’s largest megachurch. Congregation Beth Yeshurun’s own facilities have been unusable since the synagogue on Beechnut St. — on the other side of the West Loop from Meyerland Plaza — took on as much as 4 ft. of water after Hurricane Harvey.
The interfaith arrangement was brokered initially by Congressman John Culberson. After receiving extensive criticism for not opening its doors to flooding victims immediately following the first Harvey storms, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church eventually served as a shelter for as many as 450 evacuees. For Rosh Hashanah services last week, Lakewood arranged for a rotating slide show of 40 high-resolution photos depicting portions of Beth Yeshurun’s damaged sanctuaries to be displayed on the 24-ft.-by-12-ft. Jumbotron behind the stage of the 16,800-seat former Houston Rockets basketball arena in Greenway Plaza.
Here’s a cruel twist on all those DID NOT FLOOD signs popping up in front of homes in Harvey’s wake — and perhaps a cautionary tale for potential buyers of some of them: When it was offered for sale this summer, this 3-bedroom 1957 home on Yarwell Dr. in Meyerland between Chimney Rock and S. Post Oak featured a proud NEVER FLOODED topper on its for-sale sign. But Hurricane Harvey permanently altered that situation. Reader James Thomson snapped this shot of the front yard on September 4th, showing the first part of the sign painted over to reflect the home’s new status. The property has since been taken off the market.
By late afternoon on Sunday, August 27th, there were 2 ways out of several of the 3-story buildings at the Meyergrove Apartments at 4605 N. Braeswood — which back up to Brays Bayou in the southwest corner of the 610 Loop. There was rescue by boat (above) — from which you’d arrive to safety on a dry portion of the freeway:
Here’s an inside view of the aftermath and cleanup inside the Pool family’s 1964 Meyerland Mod on the south bank of Brays Bayou near S. Rice Ave. — from the point of view of the owners’ son-in-law, October Popular Mechanics coverboy Casey Neistat. Includes a few signature Neistat drone shots of recovering areas (he only arrived on Thursday), a view of damage in Friendswood, and a focus on the cleanup work of Team Rubicon.
If you had been wondering whether the sandbag and tarp barrier (pictured at top) mustered around Kristin Massey’s Meyerland home was able to hold back the floodwaters once nearby Brays Bayou overflowed its banks a block to the north Monday night, here’s your answer: “We did all that we could, but it would never have been enough,” Massey wrote on Facebook the following morning.
To prepare for the storm, Massey had spent close to $5,000 to arrange a perimeter defense using 18,000 pounds of sandbags. But the water reached the 9 ft. level on Braesheather Dr. a block south of Brays Bayou and just west of the 610 Loop (above) — and up to 4-and-a-half-ft. high inside her 1961 home:
SANDBAGGING IN MEYERLAND What kind of person would pay close to $5,000 to have 18,000 pounds of sandbags delivered and installed in a low stack in front of a 5-ft.-high waterproofing barrier surrounding her home? The owner of a Meyerland single-story 4-bedroom (pictured above) 1 block south of Brays Bayou that flooded “for the first time” in the Memorial Day deluge of 2015 (according to a real estate listing of that year) and then twice more in the past year or so. “This may not even work,” Kristin Massey tells Houston Public Media’s Marissa Cummings. “It’s just an effort to hope that it will.” Massey says she would have installed more sandbags if more had been available: “I would have liked to have gone higher than 11 inches, but I have about half or a third of what I need.” [Houston Public Media] Photo: Houston Public Media
Noticed that striking Meyerland Mod headlining our demolition report this morning? The 1956 home at 4815 Braesvalley Dr.first came to Swamplot’s attention 9 years ago, as the site of a remarkable scene. The then-86-year-old architect Lars W. Bang, a prolific purveyor of Modern Houston homes, was driven to the property in hopes that the real estate agent listing the 4-bedroom property might confirm that he was indeed its designer. “My husband, Jim, helped him out of the car and invited him into the house,” Meg Zoller wrote, “but Mr. Bang’s knees aren’t what they used to be . . . and he just wanted to stand out front and look at the house. After some time he decided that he could not confidently say whether the home was one of his designs or not.”
Bang passed away the following year, but not before his authorship of 4815 Braesvalley was confirmed. (It turned out his name was on a set of plans kept by the Meyerland Homeowner’s Association.) Writing in the next edition of the Houston Architectural Guide, Stephen Fox labeled it a home that “rescues Meyerland from being boring.” The plan contains 3 courtyard spaces, one of them now topped by a screen roof: