04/11/13 10:10am

What’s going on here? From behind a window across W. Dallas, a reader sends this photo and wants to know. According to a construction manager on site, the work to this point has involved utility excavation for what will be, he says, “Class A apartments.”


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:


04/08/13 10:45am

GRAND TEXAS THEME PARK: FILLING THE ASTROWORLD VOID And this overgrown crossroads in the middle of somewhere near U.S. 59 and FM 242 is expected to be part of the Grand Texas Theme Park. Investors are in place, and the land between New Caney and Splendora in Montgomery County should be closed on this May, developer Monty Galland tells Click2Houston, when construction on the $200 million project — advertised to feature high-noon cowboy shootouts and tractor rides — will begin. And why all the fuss? “If there was an Astroworld,” says Galland, “we probably wouldn’t have even pursued this development. . . . The great thing about it is that we have enough land that we can create a lot of the elements Astroworld had, and it doesn’t detract from the other areas of the park. We’re not going to compete with Disneyland. We want to create an entertainment value that’s similar to going to the movies or going bowling.” [Click2Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Grand Texas Theme Park, via Facebook

04/04/13 10:30am

Construction’s expected to begin next week on this Whole Foods at that once-forested spot near Louetta and Cutten Rd. east of the Tomball Pkwy. The 40,443-sq.-ft. store in the master-planned community The Vintage, south of the path of the Grand Parkway, will be the first Whole Foods in North Houston. Houston Business Journal‘s Shaina Zucker notes that the Gensler-designed store will anchor the 18-acre Vintage Marketplace.

Image: Judy Nichols & Associates, via Houston Business Journal

04/01/13 11:50am

Spring’s a time of renewal: And the Yoakum St. apartments — and palm trees, too — pictured here came down this winter so something very like this office building could begin going up. Campanile South, it’s called, is being described by developers Hansen Partners as a 6-story, 82,000-sq.-ft. “boutique” space with retail and restaurants facing Richmond Ave. Setting up on a lot between Yoakum and Graustark, Campanile South will be be the 7th member of the Campanile family that’s clustered around St. Thomas University the University of St. Thomas and Montrose Blvd.; it’s expected to be ready for tenants in 2014.


02/25/13 2:30pm

Most of this East Downtown property, according to city records, was purchased in November 2012 by CitySide Homes; signs recently posted here suggest that the contemporary townhome’s eastward expansion will continue to continue — this site is just 5 blocks from where Urban Living says it’s building around that leaning Leeland St. live oak — on these 2 purchased parcels between Polk, Clay, Nagle, and Delano that add up to a little more than an acre.


02/19/13 10:00am

Meet Lasso, your mascot for the new Grand Texas Theme Park! The armed-and-friendly blond stud has been revealed as the long face of the Texas-themed theme park’s second-go-around in Texas. Back in July 2009, developer Monty Galland announced that he had a spot in Tomball for the park’s first phase to open by April 2010. Well, that was then. Now, Galland’s back — with Lasso in tow — and presenting a revised proposal to Montgomery Country leaders, reports the Tomball Potpourri: The developer’s eyeing property near New Caney, where Grand Texas might better hitch its wagon to dinosaur-friendly EarthQuest.


01/29/13 10:00am

It could become much trickier for vandals defacing murals of presidents to remain undetected, what with all these windows: Real Estate Bisnow‘s Catie Dixon reports that Alliance Residential has closed a financing deal on Broadstone 3800, a 203-unit apartment building planned for a 1.6-acre lot just across West Alabama from the yellow-brick former campaign headquarters where Reginald James’s mural of President Obama was given a rather sloppy second coat this week. The proposed site, at 3808 Main St. on the southwest side of the intersection, is home now to a surface parking lot; it’s bound by Travis, Truxillo, and West Alabama — where, Dixon reports, $8 million is expected to be spent on street improvements. This rendering shows how light rail might be incorporated into the 6-story project; the nearest Red Line stop along Main St. is Ensemble/HCC, where shops and eateries like Natachee’s and Double Trouble have congregated.

Rendering: EDI Architects

01/28/13 1:15pm

“We’ve had a lot of angry calls about that tree,” says an Urban Living rep — calls presumably prompted by the sign posted recently here at 2917 Leeland in East Downtown. Renderings aren’t available, though Urban Living tells Swamplot that the designs for 3 Princeton City townhomes are working around the tree. They’ll also have an interesting neighbor:


01/18/13 4:00pm

NIMBY IN PASADENA This scruffy corner at Genoa Red Bluff and Space Center, right on the border between Pasadena and Houston, is the proposed site of a few 90- to 150-unit housing developments for low-income residents — a category which can include seniors and those with disabilities, reports teevee’s Samica Knight. But one potential neighbor Knight interviews doesn’t seem likely to prepare any welcome baskets: “‘If I had been looking for a new home and there had been low income property across, I wouldn’t have chosen this neighborhood,‘ said Pasadena resident Janet McClellan. ‘I would be afraid of crime, more crime. . . . Everybody does have to have a place to live, but I just think there are better more appropriate places to build those kinds of homes.'” [abc13] Photo: abc13

01/15/13 3:30pm

The sporty midsize sedans are probably not included, but this rendering — included in a replat application to be voted on Thursday by the city planning commission — does give us a clue about what Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow might be considering for the 3.5-acre Heights lot between Yale and Allston that Swamplot reported on last week.


01/15/13 9:45am

Note: Story updated below.

This mud pit on Rustic St. is not long for the world; eventually there will be a 3-level parking garage here at very congested HCC Southeast. The East End campus is pressed up against the back of a strip center that faces the I-45 feeder road between Woodridge and Wayside. To make room for the garage, appearing to allow students and faculty to enter from both Rustic and Garland, the 100-seat Carlos Garcia Theater and some inadequate surface parking had to go. This is an otherwise expanding campus: last summer saw the opening of a brand-new Workforce Building (shown here), a 3-story, 60,000-sq.-ft. Brave Praxis Brave Architecture job where many of the campus’s vocational programs — including HVAC, cosmetology, massage therapy, and accounting — are now based.

Photos: Brave Praxis (academic building); Allyn West (site)

01/10/13 3:26pm

Stoked by the success of the Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park on Sabine St., the City of Houston earlier this week broke ground that’ll soon be smoothed over by 72,000 sq. ft. of concrete; the 10-acre Spring Recreational Area in Greenspoint will feature what’s being billed as the largest skate park in the U.S.

Something like the rendering above is planned for the site on Kuykendahl, just west of I-45 and north of Beltway 8. It’s projected to cost $5.5 million. That cost includes the construction of “speed hips” and “flow bowls” and “a couple of backyard-style pools,” the Greenspoint District says — things any park worth its vert ramps needs to attract national competitions.

Skateboarders will share the acreage with Dylan’s Park, a “Park Without Limits” that will include equipment and implements designed for children with disabilities. Greenspoint District says the designs are done; the whole thing’s going to be ready in Spring 2014.

Rendering: Greenspoint District

01/10/13 12:31pm

This drawing shows the proposed replat of a 3.5-acre lot in the Heights. It appears that Dallas-based Trammell Crow is planning to build apartments on the property bound by Allston, Yale, 6th, and 7th, about half a mile from I-10. Terra Associates, identified on City of Houston paperwork as the replatting applicant, tells Swamplot that the development will be 4 stories of apartments atop 2 levels of parking, one of which will be underground. There are no plans for retail. Seventh St. dead-ends here; the Heights hike and bike trail runs past the lot on the north. The replat is slated to be presented at a public hearing on Jan. 17.

Images: Swamplot inbox

01/10/13 10:08am

Doug Britton thought he had the deal of a lifetime: a contract to buy 101 acres of land (in red on the map) just south of the spot in Spring where — it was rumored at the time — ExxonMobil planned to develop a new corporate campus. And it was available for cheap: just $5 million. Britton contacted two brokers at Bandier Partners to help him move on it.