11/06/18 2:45pm

Trying to pin down where Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke stand before casting a ballot this afternoon? Here’s a last-minute rundown: O’Rourke, the out-of-towner, slapped his trademark black-and-white signage in August on the concrete OST building shown, picking up where the Encore Theatre — a venue focused on works by black playwrights and casts — left off inside. The structure shares a wall with a back-door bar dubbed Speak Easy, a 1,000-sq.-ft. outfit that’s been around off Conley St. for over a decade.

Cruz’s team on the other hand, has been holed up on the seventh 12th floor of the Phoenix Tower (shown above) in Greenway Plaza, off Buffalo Spdwy. near 59. He’s a longtime fan of tall Houston buildings: In 2008, he and his wife Heidi bought a condo on the 19th floor of the Royalton at River Oaks — shown below — which then became ground zero for sightings of the couple, as well as a choice spot for the occasional protest. They sold it last July a few months after picking up a $1.6 million house in River Oaks proper.


Electoral Tales
11/04/16 3:15pm

Alice McKean Young Library, 5107 Griggs Rd., South Union, Houston, 77021

The replacement for the Alice McKean Young Library’s strip center headquarters in Palm Center will have its grand opening party tomorrow morning in the branch’s new nearby building at the corner of Griggs Rd. and Martin Luther King Blvd. The rendering up top from Perkins+Will looks south across Griggs toward the Village at Palm Center mixed-income apartment building on its way up across the street (where once Speedy Automotive Center and King’s Flea Market reigned). Catty-corner to the 16,000-sq.-ft. new building is the Houston Texans YMCA, and the METRO Purple Line can be swinging into and back out of the frame on the left on its way to the last station on the line.

Check out the glassy new front, as seen from Griggs:


South Union Swap
06/18/15 1:30pm

THE KROGER ON OST AT CAMBRIDGE ST. IS CLOSING Signature Kroger, 1990 Old Spanish Trail at Cambridge St., HoustonCiting the demographics and income levels of the surrounding neighborhood, officials from Kroger tell Dwight Boykins that the Signature Kroger at 1990 Old Spanish Trail, immediately north of UTHealth’s Research Park complex, is closing, the council member reports. The store is the closest supermarket to the Texas Medical Center main campus. Boykins cited the decision in explaining why he delayed a vote on Kroger’s request for a $775K tax abatement connected to the expansion of the company’s distribution center at 701 Gellhorn Dr., near the intersection of the East Fwy. and the East Loop. Kroger was granted the abatement by a vote of city council yesterday, with Boykins absent. Update, 6/19: Kroger responds. [Houston Style Magazine, via HAIF; Houston Chronicle] Photo: Juleena M.

12/30/14 12:00pm


Above you see the Alice McKean Young Neighborhood Library of the near future that is going in at 5106 Griggs Rd., and the one that stands at present in the Palm Center, catty-corner across the intersection with M.L.K. Blvd. at 5260 Griggs. Dirt started flying December 19 on the $10.6 million, Perkins + Will-designed structure, which at 16,000 sq.-ft., will more than double the size of the current facility. Books will be available for checkout in Fall 2015 if all goes according to plan.

Rendering and Photo: Houston Public Library

Booking It
03/26/09 10:07am

Here’s a construction-cam view from this morning showing progress on Baylor College of Medicine’s fancy new Clinic and Hospital on Old Spanish Trail, a stretch south of the main Medical Center campus — and, apparently, too big of a stretch for the financially strained institution. The Chronicle is reporting that BCM has decided to finish building the hospital exterior, but that it’s not gonna build out the building’s innards at all. For a while. Until it gets the money.

Or something changes. The medical school decided to build its own facility after breaking off an association with Methodist Hospital in 2004. A later bad hook-up, with St. Luke’s, ended in 2007. When BCM began serious conversations with Rice University about a merger last year, the new hospital was considered a major obstacle to a deal: Rice didn’t want it. If BCM becomes a part of Rice (which at this point appears quite likely), the hospital will have to be jettisoned somehow.

In an e-mail to faculty, [Baylor interim president William T.] Butler said the temporary suspension buys time to acquire additional capital through philanthropy, federal funds and other sources, gives the markets a chance to settle and provides an opportunity to consider project partners.

Sources said that by not building out the interior, it’s also possible the hospital shell would be more attractive to a buyer wanting to tailor the facility to its own desired specifications.

But in his e-mail to faculty, Butler dismissed such speculation: “Taking this pause will allow us to ultimately fulfill the plan to build the hospital,” he wrote. “The board has made it clear it is committed to this project.”