01/20/16 4:00pm

First Church of Christ the Scientist, 1720 Main St., Downtown, Houston, TX 77002

First Church of Christ the Scientist, 1720 Main St., Downtown, Houston, TX 77002Now pending: the sale of the First Church of Christ the Scientist at 1720 Main St., north of Jefferson St. The 1961 structure, designed by Texas architect Milton Foy Martin, was listed for $2.25 million; the listing caught the attention of the Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects, who had hoped to buy the building and move into it.

The organization made an offer, and even got Mayor Annise Parker to write a letter to the Church’s congregation in early December — Parker’s letter asked the Church to consider selling the building to AIA for the sake of historical preservation, citing fears that “any other purchaser would tear the building down.”

AIA was apparently outbid, however, by a cash buyer asking for no due diligence period. The sale is currently listed as pending on HAR. More detailed photos of the inside and out below, including that golden spire and turquoise tile:


It’s Blue Inside
04/06/15 3:45pm

HOUSTON CHRONICLE BUILDING GOES ON SALE TOMORROW, THE CHRONICLE REPORTS Houston Chronicle Building, 801 Texas Ave., Downtown HoustonThe Houston Chronicle’s 10-story downtown headquarters and neighboring parking garage will be listed for sale tomorrow — with the Hearst newspaper’s reporters and other employees still working away inside.Chronicle executives said prospective buyers have already expressed interest in the property and that more are expected once word spreads that the building at 801 Texas and an adjacent parking garage are up for sale,” writes real estate reporter Nancy Sarnoff from somewhere inside the complex. Indeed, company executives have already suggested to her the story’s conclusion: “’This building is likely to be torn down and replaced with a modern skyscraper that will generate more revenue for the city. It’s in a prime location,’ Paul Barbetta, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Houston Chronicle Media Group, said Monday.” Chronicle employees will be allowed to exit the building and take their belongings with them to a revamped, smaller, outside-the-Loop just-inside-the-Loop facility before that happens. [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Walter P Moore

03/13/15 11:45am

OFF-MENU SPECIAL AT GEORGES BISTRO ON WESTHEIMER: THE WHOLE SHEBANG Georges Bistro, 219 Westheimer Rd., Lower Westheimer, Montrose, HoustonGeorges Bistro co-owner Monique Guy tells Eater Houston’s Jakeisha Wilmore that the French restaurant in the space formerly occupied by whole-hog-HQ Feast — and before that by Guy’s Chez Georges — is not on the verge of closing. Who could be spreading rumors to the contrary? Well, there is that online listing for the 3,114-sq.-ft. converted foursquare that houses the property at 219 Westheimer that went up a few weeks ago, offering the building, the 5,500-sq.-ft. lot, and the restaurant, including all fixtures, furniture, and equipment, for $1.295 million. Guy, who with her husband, Georges, owns the building and operates Georges, tells Wilmore the couple only listed the property “to see what kind of interest it would generate.” She declined to say if they had received any notable offers. [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: LoopNet

03/05/15 11:00am

Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown Houston

A reader who maintains a post office box at the Barbara Jordan Post Office at 401 Franklin St. Downtown has forwarded Swamplot a notice that showed up with the mail earlier this week, inviting box renters to a “town hall” meeting about the upcoming move of post office services at the facility. “Our projected move date is fast approaching,” the flyer reads — though it doesn’t identify when it will be.


Barbara Jordan P.O.
11/24/14 10:30am

HOUSTON CHRONICLE COMPLEX DOWNTOWN GOING ON SALE — A YEAR OR 2 TOO LATE? Houston Chronicle Building, 801 Texas Ave., Downtown HoustonThe 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

10/21/14 5:15pm



2325-fannin-boot detail

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.


10/14/14 11:45am

LONGTIME HEIGHTS CAFE JAVA JAVA NOW TRYING TO SELL ITS GROUNDS Java Java Cafe, 911 W. 11th St., Houston HeightsA 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]

09/24/14 4:45pm

Gibbs Boats, 1110 West Gray St. at Montrose Blvd., North Montrose, Houston

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.


Setting Sail
09/22/14 12:00pm

Sparrow and the Nest, 1020 Studewood St., Woodland Heights, Houston

Sparrow and the Nest, 1020 Studewood St., Woodland Heights, HoustonOh, 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)

Bungalow Shop for Sale
09/10/14 5:00pm


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.


Chinatown Printing
09/08/14 1:30pm

2050 Jacquelyn Dr., Hillendahl Acres, Houston

2050 Jacquelyn Dr., Hillendahl Acres, Houston

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?


Palm Motor and Hearth
08/14/14 1:15pm

Swiss Alp Dance Hall, 7024 N. US Hwy. 77, Schulenberg, Texas

Swiss Alp Dance Hall, 7024 N. US Hwy. 77, Schulenberg, TexasSeeking 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.


Swiss Alp
04/15/14 11:15am

Park Place Baptist Church, 4105 Broadway St., Park Place, Houston

Park Place Baptist Church, 4105 Broadway St., Park Place, HoustonThe 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.


Park Place Baptist