- 1303 Du Barry Ln. [HAR]
A strip-mall enthusiast cruising the northern edge of Oak Forest this week sends a few shots from a stop through the 5405 T.C. Jester Center just south of Tidwell Rd. The center, located east across Cole Creek from the Northwest Wastewater Treatment Plant, is home to Frio To Go, part of Houston’s budding tape-the-top frozen cocktail drive-thru scene. The daquiri store has been operating since 2014 under its traffic signal sigil; the shop’s placement also provides a handy opportunity for situational testing for the over-21 students of Prime Time Driving School, located a few doors down:
The name Yale Street Commons is currently sprinkled about the edge of the Pine Forest Business Center northeast of Yale and 34th St. in the form of a few variance request notices (like the one shown above standing by the abandoned strip of rail track running along the 36th St. side of the warehouse park). That notice is for a request to merge 2 chunks of land within the rectangle made by Yale, 34th, 36th St., and the north-south line where E. 35th St. currently dead ends into the industrial-slash-office park, a few residential doors west of Cortlandt St. The applicant also appears to be asking for permission not to extend E. 35th St. all the way through the property, which sits near the border between Independence Heights and Garden Oaks. The 6-acre center, which in recent years has housed a variety of construction contractors, was sold in May to Stonelake Capital — currently at work on the Westheimer Oaks center and that Westheimer-fronting 5-acre make-it-a-park-for-now on either side of Mid Ln.
Photo: Swamplot inbox
The shuttered former site of Roznovsky’s Hamburgers is now dark on the outside as well, as Tacos A Go-Go makes final preparations to dance into the space. A reader sends this shot of the current state of remodeling of the building at 3401 W. T.C. Jester (at the corner with 34th St.). The burger joint shut down last year a few months after proprietor Ron Roznovsky passed away in February.
This will be the third go-round for Tacos A Go-Go, which was previously thought to be headed for the former La Fendée’s spot on Westheimer as an addition to its Midtown and Heights locations — that spot got claimed by Cafe Layal instead, and the current location was announced in June. The strip center behind the once-and-future restaurant may be getting some other new neighbors in the coming year as well; the Leader reported at the end of last year that several spots were open for tenancy between 1 Stop Food Shop and Mirage Cabaret.
While not flashy, tweaks have tidied a 1952 rancher in Oak Forest’s section across from the White Oak Bayou Trail near T.C. Jester Park. Its listing a week ago attached am $450K asking price, up a bit from the $186K paid in 2006, when the property last changed hands. Its perky, red-painted planter full, the property is extra buffed for an open house on Sunday afternoon.
Update, 2/19: Weingarten says the brochure was a “vision book” that was released to the public in error.
“The time is right for redevelopment” of the Sears at 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., declares a brochure published online earlier this week by Weingarten Realty. The brochure, which appears to be part of a proposal to Sears, which owns the 11.7-acre western portion of the site, says the REIT plans to partner with the retailer to turn the sleepy department store and the Pine Forest Business Park directly to its east into a “wonderfully connected and designed retail shopping destination for Garden Oaks, Oak Forest and neighborhoods around it,” including a new grocery store and restaurants.
No site plan is included in the presentation, but Weingarten notes that it plans to keep “the 2nd longest operating Houston Sears” open in some form throughout the redevelopment. “Weingarten’s vision is to acquire adjacent land,” then “temporarily relocate Sears into an existing building” — the Family Bingo Center at 641 W. Crosstimbers — before scraping and redoing the whole site.
Three years ago, this 2011 custom Oak Forest home with porch and pool sold for $460,000. Now? A listing over the weekend of the Craftsman-with-stuck-on-stone property carries a $750,000 price tag. That’s where price reductions from a previous listing by the same agent had landed after an initial ask of $799,500 in November 2014 and pre-holiday drop to $775,000. If the back yard’s oasis doesn’t provide enough of an escape, Oak Forest Park is a (very long) block up the street, which is located east of Rosslyn Rd.
OAK FOREST BERRYHILL STILL ON ITS WAY In the course of providing an overview of Houston’s commercial permitting process likely to open further the eyes of any wide-eyed I-wanna-open-a-restaurant newbie, Betsy Denson provides a quick sorta-update on the current status of the long-delayed Berryhill Baja Grill on the site of a former gas station at 1201 W. 43rd St., even though franchise owner Park Blair isn’t commenting publicly: “Some conjecture that it was an encroachment issue or something similarly major that has caused the delay at Berryhill on Ella. The restaurant applied for a building permit in 2011 and construction has been sporadic for the last two years. Their last approval for a restaurant addition was in February of 2014 and from the looks of things, they will open in the near future.” [The Leader] Photo: Betsy Denson
Does beer taste better in glass or metal containers? The draught beers of a new craft brewery will soon be bubbling in yet another cleaned-up metal structure in Houston — this one the former Fredrick’s Auto Repair in the southern edge of Oak Forest. 3540 Oak Forest Dr. will soon be home to the brand-new Allen’s Landing Brewing Company, the company announced on its Facebook page.
Photo: Allen’s Landing Brewing Co.
Here’s the news that’s “all the rage in Oak Forest,” according to a reader: TxDOT has reopened the segment of the hike-and-bike trail along White Oak Bayou that wends its way between between Ella Blvd. and 34th St. That stretch of asphalt had been closed in December 2011 for construction on the North Loop overpass at T.C. Jester. TxDOT is planning an official celebration of the reopening this coming Saturday, but it’s unclear whether the path, which lines the east side of the bayou, will have to be closed again at some point. “Please note that TxDOT has not completed the reconstruction of the bridges that support the feeder roads across the bayou,” reads a note on the Houston Bikeways Program Facebook page posted this morning. “We hope to get more details shortly.”
Photo of trail at E. T.C. Jester and Loop 610 North: Jim Mackey/White Oak Bayou Association