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
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
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
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:
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
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.
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: