12/09/16 12:15pm

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE SAYS IT’LL OPEN 4 MORE HOUSTON SPOTS NOW THAT VINTAGE PARK IS OFF ITS HANDS Imperial Market, Sugar Land, TX  77478Alamo Drafthouse followed up this week’s confirmation that its Vintage Park theater is becoming a Star Cinema Grill by announcing that it plans to open 4 more Houston area locations. Details on where and when are still murky (other than a reiteration that plans for the Imperial Market spot in Sugar Land are still on), but a rep told Kyle Hagerty earlier this week that the company has already signed 3 leases. That may or may not include the 10-year lease signed back in 2013 for a spot in the long-stalled Regent Square development — which did get some permits this fall, as somebody at Morris Architects previously claimed would happen. [Previously on Swamplot] Rendering of proposed Alamo Drafthouse in Sugar Land: Imperial Market

02/26/15 2:15pm

Survey Flags at Proposed Site of Regent Square, Allen Pkwy. at Dunlavy St., North Montrose, Houston

Remember way back in 2007, when excavators tore down portions of the Allen House Apartments in North Montrose to make way for GID Development’s massive mixed-use project known as Regent Square? Well, it’s okay if you don’t. Anyway, the thing hasn’t happened yet, though the nearby apartment tower that opened last year called the Sovereign (seen in the background of the photo above), which wasn’t included the original plans, is now cited as Regent Square’s first phase. What of phases 2 and above? Swamplot reader Mike Bloom reports there’s evidence of recent action on the now empty lot at the corner of Dunlavy St. and Allen Pkwy., dating from the middle of last month: little pink flags on stakes — the kind typically used for surveys.

Photo: Mike Bloom

Stakes in the Neighborhood
03/28/14 10:15am

WHAT A PLACE AT THE SOVEREIGN WILL COST YOU Sovereign at Regent Square Under Construction, 3233 West Dallas St., North Montrose, HoustonA couple of readers have written in noting their own sticker shock at the pricing announced for the 290 apartments at the still-under-construction 21-story Sovereign at Regent Square tower. One bedrooms will start at $2070 a month, two bedrooms at $3070, and studios at $1615. A temporary leasing office run by Boston-based Windsor Communities will open in a couple of weeks; the first units at 3233 West Dallas St. should be ready for occupancy by July 15th, the company says. [Swamplot inbox; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Alonso Ortega

07/24/13 11:00am

A reader sends this photo of the construction progress of that Regent Square-ish residential tower the Sovereign. The 21-story, 290-unit building designed by Ziegler Cooper is going up on West Dallas between Rosine and Rochow, where some of the old Allen House Apartments used to stand.

The North Montrose site is just around the corner from Dunlavy, where other dirt is being pushed around to make way for Regent Square. The Sovereign, contrary to its name, was originally planned by Boston developer GID to become one of the uses in that mixed-use spread, but the 2 projects are listed separately on the company website. After the jump, you can see the renderings of the Sovereign that Swamplot published last summer.


06/28/12 1:05pm

A reader passes onto Swamplot an unconfirmed report that a groundbreaking ceremony for the Sovereign, the 21-story apartment tower from the developers trying to kickstart Regent Square that Swamplot reported on back in April, is scheduled for July 11th. That date’s not too far off from the June window predicted in a Houston Business Journal story earlier this month. The site is a cleared lot on West Dallas St. between Rosine and Rochow, where a surviving portion of the Allen House Apartments was recently demolished.

Is the Sovereign the first piece of GID Development’s long-stalled Regent Square development? It fits within the massive North Montrose mixed-use project’s eastern boundary, but the 4-year-old drawings for Regent Square show only low-rise apartments on that spot. On the other hand, the 2 projects are listed separately on the Boston company’s website. And the proposed 290-unit highrise appears to sport more modern look in its renderings than the images of brick-caked structures still floating around in old Regent Square drawings.

Here’s a view of the site from the 1000 block of Rochow, looking toward West Dallas:


04/30/12 11:35am

Here’s a late addition to the demolition of the Allen House Apartments, the first portions of which went down in 2007, in anticipation of the giant Regent Square mixed-use development in North Montrose that never happened — or rather, hasn’t yet. The smashing of one Allen House’s 2 remaining buildings is now taking place across West Dallas from Teala’s Mexican Restaurant, just beyond the back windows of the Piedmont at River Oaks condos on Rosine St. A Swamplot reader sent us the above photo last Friday. Does this mean the long-dormant Regent Square is at long last ready to stir?

The North Montrose Civic Association announced in a recent newsletter that a “big announcement” about Regent Square is due in May: “Rumors are that a high rise residential [tower is] being planned as [the] first building.” Separately, Regent Square developer GID Development has promised additional details in May or June about this 21-story highrise apartment building, called the Sovereign, which happens to feature a large number of dog-friendly amenities, including canine wash/dry facilities, a pet grooming room, and a private doggie park:


09/20/10 11:29pm

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Answers — of a sort — to your questions-about-town:

  • Southwest Freeway: More than a week after our source noted the problem, that dangling loop of fiber-optic lighting gone dim is still taped to a cable (see photos above) on the Dunlavy St. bridge. TxDOT, the agency in charge of the lights, has swooped in to fix problems with the lights sporadically since at least 2004. But the situation has apparently accelerated to the late-drooping stage. What’s next? Are they just gonna leave us hanging?
  • North Montrose: Pat Wente finds the source of the Regent-Square area jackhammering: demolition of a slab leftover from the Allen House demo on West Dallas (see photo below). And hears Bernard’s somewhat blunt though unofficial assessment of the prognosis for construction on the giant mixed-use project:


09/15/10 12:51pm

Got an answer to one of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Southwest Freeway: Driving over the Dunlavy Bridge, a reader spots a loop of fiber-optic lighting cable hanging off the southern end of the structure. Later the same afternoon, the reader snaps these photos, showing that someone had taped the loose strand to one of the bridge cables: “When the bridges over this part of 59 opened a few years back, the lighting was pretty cool, but I don’t think it has worked for a while. Friends and I have wondered who is supposed to be responsible for keeping this up — think one of your readers might know?”
  • North Montrose: Jackhammers have been thrumming for the last couple mornings on West Dallas, reader Pat Wente reports. And she wonders if it might have something to do with Regent Square: “Anybody know of any official new start dates or plans on this long-delayed project?”

And then there’s this little item:


12/07/09 11:40am

Driving around North Montrose, a reader is surprised to find the Allen House Apartments still standing. Weren’t those units part of the Allen House that was demolished more than 2 years ago — so the land could rest for a bit while Regent Square tries to get some funding?

I am curious as to why 2 buildings of the erstwhile allen house were left untouched. Was Regent square never expected to cover these lots or is this allen house a new entity with no links to the GID Urban Development Group ? Are these going to be demolished in the future?


05/15/09 4:52pm

Okay, whichever of you folks has been doing that weird secret ceremony thing with the chicken and the bone and all down at the cemetery at West Dallas and Gross St.? Well, the gig is up! Swamplot is on to you! Or . . . at least a couple of camera-wielding readers are:

College Park Memorial Cemetery on W. Dallas (where Jack Yates among others is buried) is getting cleaned up and cleaned out, the better to walk the dog through. Interestingly enough, it may be getting used for other purposes as well. We have seen two dead chickens – having never seen any live ones there, and just yesterday, after discovering the second chicken, we also found a tableau of objects at the base of a hollow tree – a large, LARGE bone (about 15 in long), conch and scallop shell, nicely arranged, and a dead bird, stretched out to show his skeleton.

Hmmm . . . could this have anything to do with that 28-story Regent Square condo tower that’s slated to go up next door?

Parade of shocking, non-vegetarian-friendly photographic evidence follows:


05/06/09 2:57pm

Okay, everybody out with your Regent Square renderings! HAIF’s lockmat digs up images of additional structures planned for the 15-acre North Montrose mixed-use complex, including two separate projects from the Venezuelan Miami architect Luis Pons.

What’ve we got here?

Pons’s “Regent Square Launch” looks more like a transit station than a boathouse. But who knows? Buffalo Bayou is just across Allen Parkway!

Many more pics:


05/05/09 12:45pm

Here’s a view of the 28-story condo tower New York’s Handel Architects is designing for Regent Square, the 15-acre mixed-use project GID Urban Development Group is planning for North Montrose. The 450,000-sq.-ft. tower is meant for Regent Square’s westernmost reaches: the corner of West Dallas and Greenwich Place, just east of the College Memorial Park Cemetery.

Each of the 150 condos in the building has a balcony. All the units on the western face, shown above, have indented double-height outdoor spaces. The sleek eastern face, looking toward Downtown, is very different: It has a floor-to-ceiling curtainwall. Handel expects the building to be LEED-certified.

More images:


04/09/09 10:36am

LETTING THE TIRZS FLOW Work on public improvements connected to the 4-million-sq.-ft. Regent Square project in North Montrose will begin by October, and work on the actual development will begin by a year later, according to an agreement approved by city council yesterday. GID Urban Development Group, the project’s developers, will be reimbursed for $10 million of its work on public streets and sidewalks through the Memorial Heights TIRZ. What’s next? “[Mayor] White said he generally has shied away from such public-private development efforts, but would continue to review opportunities on a case-by-case basis for distressed properties, such as Sharpstown Mall, and for other major projects already in the works that have been delayed or canceled amid the national economic crisis. . . . The mayor made note of a number of properties to which he hopes to attract developers, including in the Leland Woods TIRZ near Homestead Road and East Little York, the Near Northside TIRZ immediately north of downtown Houston, and in the Fifth Ward TIRZ. Other potential incentive packages may not be administered through a TIRZ, he added.” [Houston Chronicle; previously in Swamplot]

04/01/09 11:31am

What’s inside that special $10 million life-support package for the Regent Square development City Council is considering?

The reimbursements proposed for Regent Square would be administered through the expansion of the Memorial Heights Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone. Under a TIRZ, property tax revenues generated within the boundaries are frozen at a specified level. As development occurs and property values rise, tax revenue above that level, known as the increment, is funneled back into the zone to pay for infrastructure and capital improvements to help attract further development.

Under the plan before council today, part of the increment will be given back to the specific developer rather than the redevelopment authority that operates the TIRZ.


11/21/08 1:14pm

What effects have difficulties with bank financing stemming from the global financial crisis had on some of those big new developments planned for Houston? The Houston Business Journal‘s Jennifer Dawson weighs in with a “Where Are They Now?” roundup: