A relatively sleek new style of Walmart Supercenter (rendered above) is set to open next week, hugged on 2 sides by the Timbercrest Village RV Park just north of Hufsmith Rd., Beth Marshall notes this week. The prototypical “smart Walmart” at 25800 Kuykendahl Rd. appears to have taken over part of the property that was previously part of the trailer park’s land, and will take the name Walmart Augusta Pines in reference to its east-west cross street (August Pines Dr.).
The new store will include a health clinic, a means of checkout-line-free purchasing mitigated by phone app, and that previously noted first Chobani Cafe to open in Houston (or outside of New York, for that matter). The clinic is also the first in the Houston area since Walmart began its pilot program to move into broader healthcare and disease management services in 2014, with an initial focus on Texas, Georgia and South Carolina — 3 states that didn’t accept federal money to expand Medicaid and also have a high concentration of uninsured residents.
Rendering of Walmart August Pines: Walmart
For Arbor Day, the Uptown Houston District is showing off the 800 live oaks earmarked for Post Oak Blvd. now being trained in Tomball for a life on the streets. The tree reboxers and transplanters at Environmental Design are breeding the trees on the company’s Tomball campus at 23544 Coons Rd.
Cattle grazing, dairy farming, and crops of hay and vegetables have been the order of business at this updated 1860s German farmhouse property, designated a “Century Ranch” by the Texas Dept. of Agriculture for its continuous operation by a single family. (Actual reported time of tenancy by the Hillegeist family: more than 130 years.) The Tomball homestead, outbuildings, and pastures occupy 133 acres west of SH 249 near the Oaks of Rosehill area off FM 2920 (which places it about 20 miles west of the new ExxonMobil campus, in case you’re calculating). The property has been on the market since June 2014, for $6.64 million.
Looks like Weingarten has lured another tenant into the Kohl’s-anchored Tomball Marketplace at the southwest corner of the Tomball Pkwy. and FM 2920: Super Yummy Mongolian Grill. The somewhat self-aggrandizing chain restaurant is expected to open in Suite 160 in early October or November, according to Community Impact News.
Photo of Tomball Marketplace: Weingarten Realty
Independent grocery store Klein’s Super Market closed down in April, after doing business in Tomball for 89 years — almost half of them at the corner of West Main St. and Buvinghausen. Next up for the 31,628-sq.-ft. vacant space at 1200 West Main: New life as a “community-based outpatient clinic” for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. The Veterans Administration has signed a 20-year lease for the property, Congressman Michael McCaul announced today. Renovations are expected to be completed next summer; the clinic should open to patients next fall. Also announced: a similar clinic at 750 Westgreen Blvd. in Katy, in an existing medical building.
Photo: Jesse Smith
Ever wonder what happens when a vat of liquid nitrogen wielded by a restaurant crew from Tomball is poured into the swimming pool of a Downtown Houston hotel? Your curiosity will be rewarded in the short video above from last March’s poolside Houston Star Chefs event at the Four Seasons Hotel, where Bootsie’s Heritage Cafe chef Randy Rucker and pastry chef Chris Leung both received Rising Star awards. The large-scale chemistry demo from Bootsie’s took place at the end of the evening. (According to Houston Press food critic Katharine Shillcutt, there were a few delayed reactions too: The hotel was left with a fair amount of cleanup afterward as a result, including completely draining the pool and fixing the chemical balance of the water.) The Bootsie’s crew’s latest project: A new restaurant in a well-vegetated just-purchased 1930 Museum District home most recently used as a doctor’s office, directly behind Yoshio Taniguchi’s Asia House at 5219 Caroline St.:
Hey, you showed up early! Nobody’s here yet, but pull on up and we’ll show you around anyway: