03/03/14 3:30pm

Grand Parkway Segment D, Fort Bend County, Houston

The portion of the newly tolled Grand Parkway between U.S. 59 and US 90A (and a little further north, to FM 1464) quietly opened to traffic last Thursday. Segment D of the third or fourth ring road around Houston (depending whether you count the Hwy. 6 and FM 1960 combo), which extends about 18 miles from the Southwest Fwy. to I-10, has been open since 1994 — but mostly as a sleepy divided double-lane highway with a super-wide grassy median. The new tollway redo is being opened in spurts. The Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, which controls this portion of Segment D, expects to have the complete stretch of tollway open between the Southwest Fwy. and the Westpark Tollway open by the end of April. When it opens, 7 automated toll booths will line that stretch.

Photo: Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority

59 to 90A and Growing
10/15/13 4:15pm

A PREMATURE PHOTO OF PREVIEW, OPENING SOON IN SUGAR LAND This signless storefront, a reader reports, will be the home of Preview, the seafood restaurant opening this November just a few doors down from the forthcoming Welfresh Market on Hwy. 6 in Sugar Land. Chef Jason Liao explains to Eater Houston why he chose the ’burbs: “[B]ecause it fit into his budget, is a high-end area and he ‘saw what was happening with Underbelly, Uchi and Oxheart opening in uptown, midtown and [central] areas’ but wanted to take a different route.I’m not trying to do volume or turn tables,’ Liao says. ‘I can afford that small space in that area, and can have people who appreciate what we do [want to] go out there and eat.’” [Swamplot inbox; Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

10/15/13 1:15pm

Here’s a pic of the foliage and signage of the closed Wel-Farm Supermarket in Sugar Land — which, a reader reports, will soon have its hyphen removed and hyperbole reduced when it opens later this fall as the Welfresh Market. The grocery store, specializing in Asian produce, is located inside the shopping center near Dulles Ave. at 4635 Hwy. 6.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

10/02/13 3:45pm

It would seem that tilt-wall technology is not just for office buildings in the suburbs — but war memorials in the suburbs too! Yesterday, the Sugar Land Parks Dept. and local members of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (whose national conference is in Houston this year) dedicated this site in Sugar Land’s Memorial Park for the Veterans’ Memorial, designed by the same firm, Powers Brown, that’s engineering the 6-story Sierra Pines II in The Woodlands, thought to be the tallest tilt-wall building in Texas. If you’re into this sort of thing, you can see how the memorial was propped up into place, thanks to plenty of pics the Parks Dept. posted to Facebook:

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09/09/13 11:00am

That slow-to-develop retail district on the old prison farm in Sugar Land, rehabilitated into The Crossing at Telfair, appears to be locking up a new occupant. This sign, says the reader who snapped the photo, recently popped up behind the Whataburger and the H-E-B on Hwy. 6, just to the north along University Blvd. of the site where that new 6,500-seat performance hall is planned to be built. No opening date for the Austin Tex-Mex chain has been announced, though the Sugar Land Sun reports that the place should be good to go by the end of the year.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

09/05/13 3:45pm

Here’s a look at the recently approved designs of the new arts and concert venue that could start being built as soon as 2014 in Sugar Land. Drawn up by Washington, D.C., firm Martinez & Johnson, the 200,000-sq.-ft., 6,500-seat theater will eventually sit on 39 undeveloped acres in Telfair, just off the Southwest Fwy. and University Blvd.

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04/09/13 10:00am

First things first: A sign off Hwy. 6 welcoming you to Imperial Sugar Land is so far the only part of the 716-acre master-planned community that’s under construction, touts a press release from the end of March. Up next? Starting this summer, adds the press release, something like the spout-centered roundabout shown here and a 254-unit apartment complex will begin going up around the minor-league Skeeters’ Constellation Field in the so-called Ball Park District. Plans show that that district will be flanked by a mix of uses:

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11/06/12 4:51pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: PALE IN COMPARISON “Stephen Fox does a real disservice to drag queens, whose mummery and satire are rooted in fascinating questions about gender identity and the plights of powerless human beings. They have nothing to do with shoddily built, ostentatious and vulgar houses. Drag queens are necessary and even essential to a healthy civilization, they parody and mock for the forces of goodness, but shitty architecture benefits nobody.” [Scott Bodenheimer, commenting on Waving the Fronds on Palm Royale Blvd.]

11/05/12 4:32pm

WAVING THE FRONDS ON PALM ROYALE BLVD. As they cruise through Sugar Land, columnist Lisa Gray monitors Houston Architectural Guide author Stephen Fox’s vital signs: “We drove south. He drooped as we drove past red-brick privacy walls, red-brick houses, red-brick office buildings, red-brick churches. For me, everything began to blend together — until we turned on Palm Royale Boulevard, lined with humongous red-brick houses from the last couple of decades, most with turrets, all slight variations on the same nouveau-riche theme. I drove slowly, ogling the spectacle, one whacked-out showstopper after the next, interspersed with undeveloped lots. The red-brick reassurance of niceness clearly wasn’t an assurance of good taste. ‘These 10,000-plus-square-foot Mediterranean extravaganzas bear the same relation to architecture that drag show queens bear to women,’ Stephen had written tartly in The Guide. ‘Not the real thing, perhaps, but entertaining nonetheless in their bold and hilarious voluptuousness.’ Abruptly, the street dead-ended into a T-intersection facing a utility easement. Stephen laughed. ‘Such an ignominious end,’ he said wryly, ‘for such grand ambition.’” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: HAR