03/05/14 4:45pm

Chicago's Famous Maxwell Street Grill, 4902 Almeda Rd., Museum Park, Houston

A reader who’s already delved a bit into the menu at the “definitely not fine dining, but really tasty stuff” offered at the Maxwell Street Grill walkup (or more likely, driveup) that opened up last Saturday in the former Discount Liquor store spot at 4902 Almeda Rd. between Wichita and Rosedale has a few tips for follow-on sausage samplers: “A big pro is that it’s open late every night: until midnight Monday through Wednesday, and until 3am Thursday through Sunday. Definitely decent fare along the Almeda/Museum District corridor, for which there’s a demand. Happy to have it close to my house, especially since I’m from Chicago originally.”

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From Maxwell St. to Almeda Rd.
01/03/14 10:15am

Caroline Collective, 4820 Caroline St., Museum Park, Houston

Caroline Collective, 4820 Caroline St., Museum Park, HoustonA reader reports the sighting of an excavator and dump truck next to shuttered coworking space Caroline Collective at 4820 Caroline St. between Rosedale and Arbor Pl. in Museum Park yesterday. Plus, pictured at right, a little tag indicating that a required pre-demo sewer disconnect has been completed for the converted office property. “Sure enough, the time has come for it to be torn down,” the reader opines. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what will be going up, but according to [someone I ran into on the site] the correct answer is: townhouses.”

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Digging for Homes
12/12/13 11:15am

Tree and Home, 1704 Blodgett St., Museum Park, HoustonThe city has extracted $225,000 from the owners and contractors of a Bellaire developer who extracted two 100-year-old Live Oak trees from public property adjacent to 2 separate Inner Loop redevelopment sites over the summer. That’s a little less than half of the amount the city originally sought. The settlement ends the lawsuit it filed in October against Signature City Homes owner Barry Gomel and the demo contractor he hired to remove the 36-inch-diameter specimen pictured above at 1704 Blodgett St. (the home was torn down in July); it’ll also allow the developer to proceed with construction of the 4-townhome development it had planned for that location. The second tree was next to a bungalow Signature demolished at 801 Bomar.

Photo: Allyn West

When Trees Get in the Way
10/09/13 12:00pm

This is one of the trees that the city alleges was “wantonly” and “maliciously” chopped down over the weekend by developer Signature City Homes. (This and another 100-year-old live oak that used to stand across town on Bomar in Hyde Park.) In response, the city is seeking $500,000 in damages. The tree stood in front of 1702 Blodgett — which, you’ll remember, was demolished a few weeks ago to make room for 4 townhouses. That demolition was precipitated by an approved variance request by Signature City to reduce the setback on this lot at the corner of Blodgett and Jackson in Museum Park, just down the street from that strip center that caught fire in August.

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10/08/13 3:15pm

It looks like the former Discount Liquor is getting sobered up and converted into a restaurant. Permit documents hanging on that plywood indicate that the 1965 1,440-sq.-ft. corner store at 4902 Almeda will be transformed into a “take-out restaurant” to be named the Maxwell Street Grill — though it’s near the corner of Almeda and Rosedale.

Photo: Allyn West

08/15/13 11:30am

Yesterday, a HAIF user posted this rendering of what appears to be that twisty 42-story apartment tower Tema Development is considering building right next to its Parklane condos on Hermann Dr. This rendering of the “Helix Tower” sure matches the description provided by the Swamplot reader who saw the plans for the Corgan-designed highrise last week at a Museum Park neighborhood association meeting.

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08/09/13 10:00am

Tema Development is planning to build a 42-story residential tower on that recently surveyed fenced-in lot right beside its Parklane condos on Hermann Dr., according to a couple of Swamplot readers who saw the Corgan-designed building presented at a Museum Park neighborhood association meeting this week. One reader describes the highrise:

The building has a unique design that will twist as [i]t goes up, changing the viewpoint of the higher levels (towards downtown, I believe). They’re planning a 5-story parking garage with one level below grade. On top of the garage will be an amenities level, including a pool and clubhouse among other things. It’ll be connected to the tower via a skybridge. The tower will be bordered by Jackson St. (west), Hermann Dr. (south), and Ewing St. (north). A private drive will be built on the east side as the grand entrance of the building, which will include valet parking. Entrances to the parking garage will be off this private street with a secondary entrance off Jackson St. . . . I believe they’re working with the same landscape architects who worked on the Asia Society building. . . . Lastly, the units will be for lease and not for sale. They expect it to hold 550 residents. I don’t remember the exacty breakdown of units, but it’s something like this: 20-30 studios, 140 one-bedroom, 30 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom.”

Photo: Allyn West

08/05/13 11:30am

QUITTIN’ TIME FOR MUSEUM PARK COWORKING SPACE Culturemap reports that Caroline Collective, the coworking complex with that friendly fake zebra, is closing, after 5 years behind these gates in Museum Park: “The . . . site at Caroline and Rosedale is under contract to make way for Museum District’s current rush of development,” writes Tyler Rudick. It has not been reported yet what that development might be; Urban Deal, explains Rudick, has the deed to the 8,000-sq.-ft. property here at 4820 Caroline for at least a few more months. [Culturemap] Photo: Ed Schipul [license]

08/02/13 12:00pm

This big blaze early this morning destroyed much of the strip center on the 1500 block of Blodgett, where Gallery Jatad just opened back in June and catty-corner from the proposed site of 4 new Urban Living townhomes. According to the abc13 report, the fire sparked in the washateria on the west end of the strip center and burned east toward an about-to-open custom furniture shop and the art gallery, both of which appear to have sustained some water and smoke damage.

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08/01/13 11:15am

THE PARC BINZ GETTING SOME RESTAURANT BIZNESS Culturemap’s Eric Sandler is reporting that a coffee shop and wine bar and 2 new restaurants will be opening up this fall in Museum Park, all 3 of them going inside the 5-story, 50,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use Parc Binz building that’s currently under construction at the corner of Binz and Chenevert: “The first . . . will serve light bites and feature the same coffee beans from Greenway Coffee and Tea that are currently featured at Blacksmith . . . . The second will be a Korean fried chicken concept tentatively called Dak & Dop. The third will be a full service restaurant under the direction of executive chef Chris Leung, who’s already partnered with Balcor on ice cream shop Cloud 10 Creamery that’s set to open in Rice Village’s Hanover development this fall.” [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Energy Architecture

07/31/13 10:00am

Here’s the latest rendering of the once-protested Parc Binz development that’s going up on the corner of Binz and Chenevert in Museum Park. Prime Property reports that this mixed-use building, designed by Energy Architecture, should be all ready by the end of the year. During construction, though, the scale of it seems to have shrunk: Originally proposed to stand 6 stories and have 75,000-sq.-ft. of office, retail, and medical space, Sarnoff sizes what is actually being built at 50,000 sq. ft., and this brighter new rendering shows only 5 floors.

You can compare it with the previous one — featuring a solitary fellow brooding in the gloaming out on the terrace — after the jump:

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07/26/13 10:00am

Yeah, this old one is a goner: A rep from the city says that a variance application to reduce the building setback has been approved for this corner in Museum Park, making just enough room on the 8,100-sq.-ft. lot at Jackson and Blodgett so 4 townhomes can squeeze on in. The peach-trimmed, converted-into-apartments building at 1702 Blodgett St., catty-corner from the art gallery that opened in the strip center, was in the Daily Demolition Report this morning. County records show that the doomed 4,220-sq.-ft. building dates to 1935.

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07/25/13 2:30pm

A reader sends a photo of what still remains of this 1930 home at 1813 Arbor St. MLS data show that the 2,004-sq.-ft. house on this 8,000-sq.-ft. Museum Park lot was sold in May for $285,000. Reports the reader: “I thought that they were going to rehab this house but now it looks like they are dismantling it and salvaging bricks and materials.” You can find these ruins a block west of Almeda, directly across the street from those Intexure homes that were reviewed here when featured on the Art Institute of Houston’s 2011 Modern Home Tour.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

07/16/13 5:00pm

A builder working on these bungalows at 4204 and 4208 Crawford St. says the owner is freshening them up into rental properties. The Museum Park pair sat side by side on the market for about a year until they were purchased back in April, county records show. Dating to 1929, the roughly 1,100-sq.-ft. houses each have 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. They sit 2 blocks north of Wheeler at Crawford and Eagle St., near where the Southwest Fwy. vaults over Midtown.

Photos: Allyn West

07/15/13 4:00pm

A reader wants in on the scoop with this swath of fenced-in property, bound by Ewing, Jackson, and Hermann Drive in Museum Park: “There has been a lot of surveying and staking of the empty lot . . . between The Parklane highrise and The Plaza Museum District condos. Off-and-on for a month, Bury Partners personnel have been surveying both the perimeter and interior of the property as well as inspecting the sewer access on Hermann Drive. Any thoughts on what this means?”

Photo: Allyn West