- 1721 61st St. [HAR]
HOUSTON CHRONICLE COMPLEX DOWNTOWN GOING ON SALE — A YEAR OR 2 TOO LATE? The Houston Chronicle‘s former real estate reporter says Hearst is putting the Chronicle complex at 801 Texas Ave. up for sale at a less-than-ideal time. Ralph Bivins reports that the newspaper’s parent company has just selected brokerage firm HFF to market the building, on the block surrounded by Milam, Travis, Texas, and Prairie, and its separate parking garage. But “Hearst would have met stronger demand by putting the Chronicle property on the market a year or two ago,” Bivins writes. “Hearst moved too late to catch the crest of the wave. The price for the Chronicle property is expected to be less than $50 million.” In July, the company announced the newspaper’s offices would be moved to revamped facilities in the former Houston Post complex at 4747 Southwest Fwy. [Realty News Report; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Ralph Bivins
Hunkered down behind a tagged security curtain, a bunker-like commercial building in Midtown’s mid-section popped up on the market overnight with a $585K asking price in a “lot-priced” listing. The corner building of uncertain vintage fronting Fannin St. has a history with commercial printers (and insurance companies), and more recently, shoe repair. Adkins Printing struck an exterior inlay on the building’s forehead (above) that’s still visible behind current signage, as is some faint lettering from its days as the offices of Pound Printing and Stationery. More recent signage attached the building’s blank north side (at right) touts available “stationary,” a spelling more appropriate perhaps to Al’s Handmade Boots, the store now occupying half of the building, than to the location’s printing history.
LONGTIME HEIGHTS CAFE JAVA JAVA NOW TRYING TO SELL ITS GROUNDS A reader notes that the owner of Java Java Cafe on 11th St. and Herkimer has placed the building at 911 W. 11th St. and its adjacent parking lots up for sale. Java Java is still open for business, however. Pay $1.25 million and you’d get close to 17,000 sq. ft. of land with street frontage on 3 sides, along with the 2,450-sq.-ft. building, which dates from 1940. But you’d need to fetch your own coffee. [HAR]
How cool is it that a boat store with metal siding and a groovy sixties-era sign stood at the corner of West Gray and Montrose Blvd. for 56 years? Well, pieces of the iconic Gibbs Boats sign floated away after the last hurricane; if the property sells, the store won’t be around much longer either.
The giant for-sale sign that went up on the storefront windows yesterday has drawn a bit more attention from potential buyers than the online listing for the 24,925-sq.-ft. L-shaped property, which has been posted for about a month now. The listed asking price is $150 per sq. ft. of land.
Oh, don’t worry too much about that for-sale sign out in front of the shop, note the owners of Sparrow and the Nest: “The shop remains open and we will be keeping regular business hours,” reads a note on the boutique’s blog. Expect just a few interruptions, maybe, commensurate with a non-stop open house atmosphere for the 1,344-sq.-ft. 1920 bungalow duplex at 1020 Studewood St. that Stephanie and Andrew Lienhard renovated a few years ago for their handcraft-retail venture — like last month’s week-long closure to paint the floors.
The residential listing posted over the weekend for the 2-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath structure calls it completely updated (there’s an ACK! mural on the side fence), and is asking $595,000. If and when the property sells, the Lienhardts plan to reduce the “retail aspect” of the business while growing its online presence. A smaller version of the boutique is planned for an unspecified location “a few blocks down the road.”
Photos: Houston Makerspace/Samantha Roberts (front); HAR (interior)
Were it nighttime and the glass a bit more seamless, this mod industrial storefront might work as a stand-in for the scene of Edward Hopper’s iconic Nighthawks. The contoured corner hugs the corner of Leeland and St. Emanuel St., a block past the Eastex Fwy. overpass and the eastern border of Downtown. The building’s 4,250 sq. ft. footprint sits on a 5,000-sq.-ft. corner lot in a warehouse-y district within eyeshot of the Toyota Center. It was listed on the MLS for $600K last summer, but has stayed on the market through various relistings since October 2013 for a bit more: $650K.
Or might it be the city’s finest home auto repair garage? It’s all a question of emphasis in this brand-new Hillendahl Acres (just south of Hammerly Blvd., east of Wirt Rd.) residential listing: The car-repair shop, known to customers for more than 20 years as Palm Motor Company, sits in the back of the almost-half-acre lot and has room for more than a dozen neatly parked cars. The home sits nearer to the street and contains 2 bedrooms. All this (minus the cars) could be yours for the $750,000 asking price. Care for a tour?
Seeking a spot about halfway along the drive from Houston to San Antonio where you might be able to kick up your heels — and hang your shingle? Look no further than the tin-roofed Swiss Alp Dance Hall on Hwy. 77 between Schulenburg and La Grange. The concert and wedding venue, which was built in the early 1900s but “remains very much as it was back in the 1950s,” was listed for sale earlier this week.
The owners of the Park Place Baptist Church building and campus just south of the Gulf Fwy. at 4101 Broadway St. have put the 8.694-acre property up for sale, with a list price of $3.9 million. The building, which also serves as a sixties-mod landmark at the freeway exit for mod-home bastion Glenbrook Valley (not to mention Hobby Airport), has been home to the church since the building was completed. But the congregation no longer owns the facility. In 2002, the property was deeded to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is based in Dallas. The campus currently serves as the Seminary’s J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies.
Notice anything different about the vacant former city code-enforcement building at 3300 Main St. lately? Well, go around to the Travis St. side (at left) and you’ll see it: A sign indicating the property is for sale went up there quietly last month. So quietly, in fact, that there doesn’t appear to be any information about the sale on the website of the building’s owner, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, which purchased the full-block property from the city in a curious deal 3 years ago for $5 million, and — as a public entity — isn’t required to pay any property taxes on it. “Everything real estate wise that Midtown does is very hush hush,” notes a reader who brought the sale to Swamplot’s attention.
The bids that were submitted to HISD yesterday to buy the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice High School in Magnolia Grove rang up almost $5 million more than those the first time around in July: Neighboring St. Thomas High School is still in the running to purchase the 11-acre campus on Dickson St., just north of Memorial Dr. and Buffalo Bayou; it offered $45 million, compared with the $42 million the private school said it would pay in July. But St. Thomas was again outbid, this time by an entity called Elk Mountain Ltd. — connected, it appears, to the Gordy Oil Company — which submitted a flat $47,927,114.
Its earlier morph from 1940 cottage to pet grooming shop with easy-care flooring could remain or revert to home use, declares the listing for this property in Dearborn Place. It’s tucked behind a couple of strip centers fronting S. Shepherd, just south of West Alabama. Pens and gated areas — inside and out — make it easy to contain any unruly guests, as do the quarters out back.