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.

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Barbara Jordan P.O.
02/27/15 2:45pm

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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.

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Going Texan
11/25/14 12:11pm

METRO GETTING READY TO SELL OFF THE CLOSED PINEMONT PARK & RIDE Pinemont-Park-RideThis spring the ramp connecting Metro’s Pinemont Park and Ride to Hwy. 290 was removed as part of TxDOT’s 290 widening project. The facility closed down a few weeks before the ramp vanished. Now the 14.8-acre Pinemont site could go up for sale before the end of the year. Because the Park and Ride’s construction had been partially funded by Uncle Sam, the Federal Transit Administration will have to grant Metro permission to sell. Once that hurdle is cleared, Metro will begin reading sealed bids on the property. The site sprawls out behind Hwy. 290’s Cafe Red Onion, abuts an HISD motor pool and fronts Pinemont Dr. It also sports a handy shortcut to the 290 feeder road along Federal Plaza Dr. The Collier Regional Library stands across Pinemont and a trio of parks — Rosslyn, Forest West and Pinemont — dot the cityscape within a half-mile of the site. [The Leader; more infoPhoto: Metro

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.

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Setting Sail
09/10/14 12:00pm

Parking Garage, 1525 Garrettson Ln., Galleria, Houston

The Winhall Townhomes complex at 1525 Garrettson Ln. — tucked behind Willie G’s on Post Oak Blvd. — appears to be vacant, notes a reader who snapped the above photo of an empty (and chained shut) parking garage on one side of the Galleria-area residence. That’s notable because — unlike various other complexes around town that have been given the all clear in recent months — the Winhall consists of more than 30 independently owned condos. But sure enough, a for-sale listing has been posted online for the almost-2-acre site, which includes 285 ft. of frontage on Garrettson.

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All Together Now
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.

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Swiss Alp
04/24/14 12:00pm

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Little White Oak Bayou meanders by the back of a property (and so do a couple of uh, hikers in the background of the top photo) located east of N. Main St. and about 3 sidewalk-lined blocks from the Metro rail station at Fulton St. Is the Northside property located in De Noyles, as indicated in the listing, or is it Booth North Main, as recorded by HCAD for all addresses on the block? The listing’s all-cap message is all about redeveloping the acre-plus lot of land, not the 1960 home that sits on it at the end of a long driveway (above). A month ago, the asking price dropped to $1.1 million. Since January (and in a previous listing dating back to September 2013) it had been sitting at $1.6 million. But even that was down a bit from someone’s expectations: In 2008, a six-month listing’s asking price kicked off at $2 million.

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Mind the Gap
03/07/14 5:15pm

Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, Houston

Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, HoustonNotice 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.

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Hey, Pssssst!
02/19/14 4:30pm

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Previously packaged as a property combining home, pool, and horse-friendly grounds, this Rivercrest spread on more than 7 acres west of Gessner near Briar Forest was relisted this week — for lot value. The asking price is $2.9 million, a step down from the $3.199 million sought for 6 months ending April 2013. Since then, the back half of the property has been cleared. But horses are still welcome.

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Clearing Things Up
02/06/14 11:00am

Map of Site at 1701 Allen Pkwy., HoustonHaving completed demolitions of facilities it owned on the property, including its fleet maintenance facility at 801 Gillette St., a couple of public works buildings at 812 Gillette, and a former HPD SWAT substation at 1500 W. Dallas, the city has now listed for sale the 10-1/2-acre swath of land along Allen Pkwy between the Federal Reserve building and Allen Parkway Village. The land includes San Felipe Park at 1717 Allen Pkwy., which fronts Houston’s premiere waterfront roadway opposite Buffalo Bayou Park. Also included, apparently: Land underneath 3 streets that extend into the property: Hopson St., Bailey St., and Golf Link Pl. The listing from Cushman & Wakefield says bids are due March 14th.

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San Felipe Park and All
11/12/13 3:00pm

If you think this pool perched on an eastern bank of Lake Livingston is enormous — and with a jetted “lazy river” and 2 islands included it certainly is — just wait until you see the house that comes with it. You’ll be waiting for a while, though, because it isn’t built yet. This main-house-less property, which has been on the market on and off since spring of 2012 for $3.4 million, has a homesite all picked out — it’s just up the steps at the lower left of the photo immediately above. There’s a pool house and a boathouse and even an arbor structure already set up — just no house house.

While you’re waiting for one to show up, though, why not stay a while in the on-site warehouse? It’s got built-in living quarters:

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10/30/13 10:00am

HOW EASY IS IT TO GET OUT OF IDYLWOOD? A reader wonders if subdividing lots might get you new subdivision rules: “There is a great big ole sign [pictured at right] in the vacant lot at 6636 Meadowlawn in Idylwood. It is a notice of a request to replat the lot into two single family lots. It is plenty large enough, being one full lot and parts of the two lots on either side. As it stands, I can understand why they’d want to replat. The company that bought the property is Nadco LLC. That in itself is not so strange but what is strange is that the sign also says that the two new lots will create a new subdivision known as Idylwood Partial Replat #1. . . . I’m wondering if the ‘new subdivision’ would be subject to Idylwood deed restrictions or if they could totally disregard setbacks and lot lines among other things.” [Swamplot inbox; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox