These portraits of the Valero station at Westheimer and Crescent Park Dr., now largely bereft of its branding signage and its gas pumps, come from a reader on the scene this morning who speculates that the changes “must have happened very suddenly” on or before Saturday. The fencing has ensnared the Royal Oaks Cleaners’ retail spot as well, though that business’s allegiances and pricing are still proclaimed on nearby signage:
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Gas Station Regime Change
Fox26’s Isiah Carey reports that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be investigating a Royal Oaks resident’s complaints earlier this week — that security guards at the west-side neighborhood’s front gate had been refusing entry to visitors who were black. David Williams, who’s been renting a 3-bedroom home on Stuart Manor in the northern reaches of Royal Oaks, says he saw a note in the gatehouse informing security guards that “David Williams . . . is not allowed to have any company,” and that a guard told him “We personally don’t have a problem with you, but we’ll lose our jobs [if we let your friends in].” Williams also says that a group of people in a golf cart banged on his garage door on Memorial Day, used racial epithets, and said “You’re not going to move into our neighborhood.” Williams’s African-American guests have been getting through more recently, but community officials at Royal Oaks still have not returned Carey’s phone calls.
A reader reports that the large and well-turreted home at the corner of Rivercrest and Westheimer — not far from State Rep. Hubert Vo’s curious mansion — is almost complete:
The home belongs to Mike James, formerly of the Houston Rockets, who was traded to the Timberwolves, only to be traded back in exchange for Juwan Howard. The irony is that the home is an exact replica of Juwan Howard’s home in Royal Oaks, just a few miles down the road (Mike and his wife were unaware of this as their “Manager” picked out the plan — they were not amused when they found this out after Mike and his manager parted ways). It was designed by Berrios Designs (exceptional building designer), as was the guest house and the full NBA regulation indoor basketball court at the back of the ~3.5 acre property. The property also features two putting greens complete with dual sand bunkers and a water hazard, a “sunken” pool between the guest and main house, and a gym and dance studio attached to the basketball court. Sadly, the project, which had so much potential, is being finished on the cheap because of cost over-runs caused by their former manager (trying to do things cheap generally ends up costing a lot more money). Regardless, it is turning out pretty decently, but could have been done so much better.
Mike James’s house under construction in Rivercrest is pictured at the top of this story; Juwan Howard’s home in Royal Oaks is the one below it.
We hope the house-plan trade works out better than the player trade: James was sent to the New Orleans Hornets in February. But he says he’ll be back!
After the jump, more glimpses of Mike James’s Howardian manor and sports compound, plus a look inside the Royal Oaks home it’s modeled after!
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Looking for a couple strategic locations on Westheimer for Big Box stores . . . say one near the Galleria, the other near Kirkwood? You’re in luck: CompUSA is toast.
Turnaround firm Gordon Brothers Group has acquired computer manufacturer CompUSA for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Boston-based Gordon Brothers is closing all 103 CompUSA stores, which will remain open through the holiday season.
Sound familiar? CompUSA shut down 176 locations nationwide this past February, including stores in Sugar Land, Baybrook, Willowbrook, and another on FM 1960.
Photo of empty Willowbrook CompUSA: Ailona Gellert