09/25/17 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BEHIND THE ‘EVERYBODY OUT’ ORDER AT 2100 MEMORIAL “I’ve volunteered there and can tell you the entire ‘sub-basement’ electrical/fire control room was completely submerged. I assume that entities receiving government rent subsidies must meet current NEC (nat’l elect code) standards on renovations/repairs. . . . Thus, if entire elect/fire control room is gutted/replaced then all rooms’ receptacles, fixtures, elevators, laundries . . . etc. must be replaced to meet current NEC also. I doubt you can ‘scab on’ new equipment to decades old equipment on a major renovations. Would you trust it? You can’t make this type of systemic overhaul while residents stay in their unflooded upper floor apts. Unfortunately, for their safety they must be moved ASAP. The existing lights and limited A/C are being run off of generators. You can’t run a hi-rise indefinitely on generators. God forbid a fire breaks out or an elevator fails due to faulty electrical system. Help is needed now finding affordable & safe housing, transport, and followup assistance. Hard enough in ‘normal’ times but that much more difficult post-Harvey.” [Steve, commenting on Residents of 2100 Memorial Senior Highrise Now Have 5 Days To Move Out of Their ‘Uninhabitable’ Apartments] Photo: 2100 Memorial

09/25/17 12:15pm

2100 MEMORIAL LAWSUIT: LET THESE PEOPLE STAY Three tenants of the Sixth Ward senior housing facility known as 2100 Memorial filed suit against the Houston Housing Authority on Friday, a day before Saturday’s unenforced deadline for all residents to leave the building. Acting for the tenants, Lone Star Legal Aid claims the agency violated the rights of the building’s residents by failing to hold a hearing in which tenants could contest the decision. The agency has not given residents “any evidence to support any of the allegations of unreasonable danger which rendered the apartments uninhabitable,” the lawsuit claims. Although the building’s first floor flooded, the tenants’ apartments suffered “little, or no, damage” from the storms, the lawsuit states. Lone Star Legal Aid claims the lawsuit means the HHA will now have to “produce the facts that support its decision.” [Lone Star Legal Aid; KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Realtor.com  

09/22/17 11:00am

A spokesperson for the Houston Housing Authority tells Swamplot the city agency is not and will not be enforcing the previously announced 5-day deadline for all residents of 2100 Memorial to move out with their belongings. A notice delivered earlier this week by the building’s owner, an affiliate organization of the agency, to all 188 residents of the low-income-housing-tax-credit senior living facility labeled the structure “totally unusable for residential purposes due to health and safety reasons” after it was discovered that floodwaters had damaged the 14-story former Holiday Inn’s fire, electrical, and water systems.

The move-out deadline has not been altered, but the agency says it “understands it will take time to pack and move so they are working closely with the residents to help move in an orderly fashion.”

The photo at top shows the setup for a well-attended emergency meeting held yesterday afternoon on the second level of the building’s parking garage. At the meeting the HHA’s Board of Commissioners approved a $250,000 loan to the building’s management for relocation expenses, which it will then ask FEMA to cover. The funds will provide movers at no cost to residents to help them relocate their belongings to available residences in “Greater Houston” it has identified: 230 tax-credit units with similar rules to those governing 2100 Memorial — or 250 affordable housing units of other types.

Residents who have already hired their own movers, the spokesperson says, will be reimbursed. The agency says displaced residents will be given preference in returning to the building when it can be determined to be safe.

Photos: Swamplot inbox (meeting setup) Realtor.com (building)

Sixth Ward Exodus
09/21/17 1:00pm

The apartments inside 2100 Memorial are “quite hale and hearty,” a reader tells Swamplot — and were not individually affected by the flooding that caused enough damage to the building’s fire-safety systems to trigger a 5-day move-out notice to all tenants in the 14-story structure. That notice was issued Monday night to all 188 residents of the tax-credit elderly housing facility; prior to that, construction crews and volunteers had worked to mitigate the damage and help residents left for days without water and without easy transportation between floors. Above: a view of the first-floor hallway, lined with plywood. In the building’s computer room, the removal of wood paneling revealed wallpaper left over from the building’s days as a Holiday Inn:

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Repair Zone
09/19/17 11:30am

A notice sent yesterday to all tenants of the 2100 Memorial senior-living facility just west of Downtown declares that the 14-story former Holiday Inn has been rendered “totally unusable for residential purposes” in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. All 198 elderly residents have been given 5 days to remove themselves and their belongings from their apartments.

The building is a tax-credit property of the Houston Housing Authority that includes both low-income and market-rate units. The notice, which came from V.J. Memorial Corp., a nonprofit entity owned by the authority, states that the company only recently learned that the building’s electrical and fire control systems were compromised by the flooding.

“Due to the damage and health & safety reasons, the building is uninhabitable and we must exercise our right under your lease to terminate the lease effective September 23, 2017,” reads the notice, a copy of which was obtained by Swamplot. A separate lease termination document sent in by a reader declares that “the damage to the Apartment is so extensive the Apartment has become as a practical matter totally unusable for residential purposes due to health and safety reasons. Furthermore, the damage could cause health and safety hazards to you and your family, if you returned to live in the Apartment in its present condition.” Residents have until 5 pm on the 23rd to get out: “If you do not remove your personal possessions by that time. we will be forced to remove your possessions and store them at a cost to you,” the document states.

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Everybody Out
05/19/14 5:00pm

Aerial View of Katyville, Showing Location of Texas Tile Manufacturing Plant at 1705 Oliver St., Houston

A filing with the Texas Workforce Commission indicates that Tarkett, which operates one of the last industrial installations in the stretch of parking-lot-heavy retail south of I-10 that’s come to be known as Katyville, has decided to shut down its Texas Tile Manufacturing plant at 1705 Oliver St. and eliminate 109 jobs. The Tarkett facility is located between the Studemont Kroger and the Sawyer Heights Target, both of which were built on former industrial properties surrounding it. According to HCAD data, Texas Tile Manufacturing owns 21 acres at the Oliver St. facility — with frontage on Summer St., Oliver St., and the eastbound I-10 feeder road.

Photo: HFF

21 Acres in Katyville
03/20/14 10:15am

Construction of McDonald's and Capital One Bank, 1510 Studemont St., Sixth Ward, Houston

Construction of McDonald's and Capital One Bank, 1510 Studemont St., Sixth Ward, HoustonReader Debnil Chowdhury sends in these pics, taken yesterday, of the steel-framed structure that’s appeared over the last month just north of the new Studemont Kroger gas station in the formerly industrial district just south of I-10 that Swamplot readers have dubbed ‘Katyville’ — in honor of the suburban-style developments rapidly going in there, a mere 2 miles northwest of Downtown. And these latest additions do appear to be pad-site-alicious: Directly north of the McDonald’s going up at 1510 Studemont St. (and pictured here), there’s a sign announcing a new Capital One Bank. There’s no indication yet whether the bank building will have a drive-thru as well, but the signs look good.

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The Drive-Thrus of Katyville
12/23/13 12:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT DO YOU CALL THE TRANSFORMED INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT SOUTH OF THE HEIGHTS? Katyville“I think the stretch of land North of Washington but South of I-10, where all the big-box retailers are going in, should be called Katyville.” [el duderino, commenting on Grocers Supply Sale Will Supply 15 Acres for Apartments, Shops Across from Studemont Kroger] Illustration: Lulu

02/11/13 2:15pm

More room for groceries? The building immediately north of the Studemont Kroger that used to house HVAC company Johnson Supply is being torn down. The top photo shows the building from Studemont; the bottom photo shows the progress — or regress? — of the demo as of noon today.

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10/30/12 3:08pm

SCORING THE STUDEMONT KROGER The blogger grocery store reviews are in! Or at least one of them, for the just-opened Kroger south of the Heights at 1440 Studemont. Former Stop & Shop cashier Viula finds helpful price scanners, a few extremely wide aisles (and a few especially narrow ones), some discolored lettuces, some very shy salsa, and strange logic in the organization of orange and orange-y juices:Not life shattering or even really news worthy outside of the fact that I am writing about what a disorganized mess this supermarket seemed to be,” she writes. “But it’s counter-intuitive and makes a mundane task more frustrating than it should be.” In sum, she pronounces: “Eh.” Next up — if anyone publishes one — blogger reviews of the Kroger’s same-opening-day neighbor, the new Washington Heights Walmart? [The Heights Life; previously on Swamplot] Photo: The Heights Life

10/16/12 5:48pm

STUDEMONT KROGER MATCHES WALMART’S OPENING DATE October 26th is gonna be a busy day for the once-industrial zone south of I-10 just west of Downtown. Sure, it’s Halloween candy-hoarding time. And you’ll have 2 large new venues for it. It’ll be opening day not only for the Walmart SuperCenter at 111 Yale St., but for the new 79,000-sq.-ft. Kroger less than a mile away at 1440 Studemont. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Kroger under construction: Swamplot inbox

08/10/12 2:51pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NAMING THE NEW STUDEMONT KROGER “. . . It’s ‘Broger’ because the guys that hang out at the bars on Washington are ‘dude-bros.’ ‘Party Kroger’ makes it sound like a place where one might have a party, but ‘Broger’ describes the people who will be shopping there.” [Eric, commenting on Up Pops the Studemont Kroger]

08/09/12 2:07pm

“The thing went up in about two weeks,” writes the camera-toting bicyclist from the First Ward who sends us these photos of the new Kroger under construction at 1400 Studemont, just south of I-10. “I was hoping they would link it through to Target,” continues the tipster. “As all this industrial stuff redevelops in that area they are going to have to break up some of the super blocks or the traffic is going to be a mess.” As part of a “380” tax-reimbursement agreement approved by the city last year, Kroger promised to build a block of Summer St. behind the store (part of which is labeled Hicks St. on the plan shown here) to connect it through to Studemont. There’s also a tighter route:

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10/18/11 2:53pm

The Heights Life passes on drawings and details of the new Kroger grocery store and gas station planned for the former industrial property between Arne’s Warehouse and Party Store and I-10 at 1400 Studemont St. — from notes taken by a Super Neighborhood 22 representative who met with Kroger reps and council member Ed Gonzalez. Though at a planned 79,087 sq. ft. the store would be about 10,000 sq. ft. smaller than the recently renovated Heights store on 11th St. and Shepherd, it’ll look quite similar. The most interesting part of the site plan is the proposed connection of Hicks St., which turns off of Studemont south of the new store, to Summer St., which dead-ends into a parking lot currently filled with the heads of ex-Presidents, just south of the Sawyer Heights Target:

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