08/01/14 12:30pm

Pink's Pizza, 1009 Moy St., Washington Ave., Houston

Bellow Parallel, 1009 Moy St., Suite B, Washington Ave., HoustonIt looks like workout gear store Below Parallel has missed its promised July opening date, notes the reader who’s been monitoring construction progress at the the side-standing strip center that used to house a laundromat at 1009 Moy St. on Washington Ave. How long will it be? Count the conflicting clues: The city inspector’s red tag gracing the front door in this photo (above left) from earlier in the week; the shoes already arranged on display shelves in an interior pic posted to the store’s Facebook page.

But something’s definitely cooking next door, where Pink’s Pizza has been moving in for almost an entire year, and where for many months, our tipster reports, work had appeared stalled. Signs of actual recent construction progress are present — most notably in the corner spot’s newly installed windows.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

The Pizza Racers
07/29/14 11:30am

Demolition of Memorial Club Apartments, 904 Westcott St., Rice Military, Houston

Cherry Demolition crews are attacking portions of the Memorial Club Apartments at 904 Westcott St. this morning. A tipster tells Swamplot the section of apartments on the east side of Westcott have been vacant for a few weeks, and that ovens, washers, dryers, and other appliances were hauled off last week.


Tearing Down for Elan
06/26/14 11:15am

Pinks Pizza and Below Parallel, 1009 Moy St., West End, Houston

Pinks Pizza and Below Parallel, 1009 Moy St., West End, HoustonThe reader who sent Swamplot a steaming hot tip late last summer — Pink’s Pizza is coming to Wash Ave! — brings us up-to-date on construction progress at the sidestreet-facing strip center at 1009 Moy St. (above) a full 10 months later: There’s been none. “Other than the signage on the building and on Washington at the front of the shopping center, there’s been no work done in months,” reads our report. One door over from the Pink’s spot in Suite B (pictured at right), however, a sign is up for Below Parallel, a new retail outlet where customers will be able to equip themselves to work off their pizza before even eating it. The banner promises shoes, supplements, and apparel —- and an opening date next month. “Strange location,” declares our tipster — the shuttered Blue Moose Lodge is around the corner — “but I guess the four Crossfit gyms in a mile radius can shop there.”

Photos: Swamplot inbox

West End Cycles
04/28/14 12:45pm

Site of Future Pearl Washington Ave Apartments, 5424 Washington Ave at T.C. Jester, Houston

Here’s the scene at the northeast corner of Washington Ave and T.C. Jester this weekend (the view is from Schuler St., to the north), where lots are being cleared for a new apartment complex. It’ll be called the Pearl Washington Ave, after the other Pearl-brand apartments the Morgan Group has developed around town, but not necessarily after Washington Ave’s Pearl Bar. Permits filed with the city don’t yet indicate the size of the project, but the newly assembled parcel at 5424 Washington Ave measures 3.1 acres and extends all the way to Detering St. And commenters on HAIF are noting that it’s expected to be 8 stories tall — and may include some sort of retail space. Buildings currently on the site, including Gary Fruge Automotive, are being removed.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

8 Story Apartments, with Retail?
03/03/14 11:15am

Sign, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

Tyler Flood, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, HoustonThe DWI defense specialist whose enormous “Do Not Blow” billboard presided over Washington Ave early this decade (in the words of the Houston Press) “as the enormous and bespectacled eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg looked out on The Great Gatsby‘s Valley of Ashes,” has just purchased the long-vacant 11,604-sq.-ft. wedge-shaped former car lot at 2019 Washington Ave in the Old Sixth Ward. Attorney Tyler Flood (shown standing his ground on the lot, at left) plans to build a 6,700-sq.-ft. 3-story building on the corner of Washington and Henderson — with a café space on the first floor, lease space on the third floor, and his own law firm on the second. He’s hired Element Architects to design the building, which should look something like this:


Do Not Blow It
02/27/14 3:00pm


Strip Center, 4720 Washington Ave., HoustonA little smoothie-and-juice bar lodged in a glorified corridor set deep in a 19th St. retail building will be sextupling its space (and expanding and solidifying some portions of its menu) sometime this spring. That’s when Juicy in the Sky with Vitamins is scheduled to move on down from the Heights to the strip-center spot of recently shuttered Teahouse 101 (pictured above and at right) at 4720 Washington Ave. Architect-turned-vegetable-crusher Deborah Morris will shut down her tiny juice spot at 238 W. 19th St. when the new space opens — next to Max’s Wine Dive at Shepherd Dr.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Juicy in the Sky
02/21/14 3:45pm



The 1998 transformation of a former auto shop on Washington Ave to the 9-unit Lopresti Lofts was a bit of a quirky redo. McGregor Real Estate Group gave the building a mash-up of infill materials, various porch-balcony-terrace views of downtown, and a piggyback stucco-faced addition topped by roof flaps saluting crisply above each unit (top). The amalgamation sits right across across the street from the gated entry of peaceful, park-like Glenwood Cemetery. A corner unit (in the building, not the graveyard) listed last week but quickly dropped its asking price by $20K to $370,000. Inside (above), lots of tubing ties together 4 levels of wide, somewhat open, sometimes high gallery space . . .


Show Us the Door
02/14/14 1:45pm

1814 Washington Ave., Houston

Sign, 1814 Washington Ave., HoustonHere’s a sign of some stirrings in the Dittman Building at 1814 Washington Ave, just east of Silver St. It’s a TABC notice indicating an application has been made for a company named B & R Butchers to serve alcohol at this location. Who’s behind this future restaurant, and will it wield such a formidable, meat-carving name over its menu, whenever it gets around to opening? Here’s one clue: The company’s registered agent appears to be Houston Smith & Wollensky general manager Benjamin Berg.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Noticing a TABC Notice
01/13/14 1:30pm

IT’S DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGN SEASON ON WASHINGTON AVE Fire Station No. 6, 1702 Washington Ave., HoustonBrand strategy outfit Axiom is applying its “creative communication” skills to a campaign to gain recognition for the company’s rehab of the former Fire Station No. 6: A banner now hangs outside the firm’s compound at 1702 Washington Ave (at right), asking passersby for help procuring wider recognition for the company’s multi-year office conversion project. The Fire Station renovation, along with northeast Houston’s James Berry Elementary School, the Heights’s Don Sanders pet adoption center, Dynamo Stadium, and BG Group’s wrench-shaped downtown skyscraper have been nominated in separate for-profit and nonprofit categories in this year’s local Urban Land Institute awards program, but only a group of 3 judges will pick those winners. Separately, though, they’re all competing against each other for top spot in the new-last-year “people’s choice” category, which you can sway with votes on this website — before January 21st. [ULI] Photo: John Luu/Axiom

10/24/13 11:00am

This building at the corner of Washington Ave and Wagner between Studemont and Heights Blvd. will soon be the home to a restaurant-bar-market combo called Lucky’s Urban Eats. At least that’s what Swamplot reader Debnil Chowdhury has deduced, from careful study of the TABC notice now hanging in the window — and the new venture’s website. Heights-area homebuilder Robert Sanders Homes put a new brick facade on the older 2-story structure (which it owns) back in 2005; more recently, the company tacked on the stucco-clad addition to the east side of the building, which is adjacent to Houston Fire Station No. 6. Here’s a site plan:


10/17/13 3:30pm

Here’s a pic of the new storefront of Houston’s 3rd Three Brothers Bakery. You can see it for yourself at 4602 Washington, between Shepherd and Patterson. (It’ll share that retail center with Bedrock City Comics.) Apparently, behind those mirrored windows there’s quite a buildout of the former District Lounge going on: This new location will be open a bit later than the others and will include a coffee bar and patio where you can chill outside with your dawgs. Or dogs. Both, it seems, will be welcome. There’s been no opening date announced, but a PR rep says that the place should be ready to go early next year.

Photo: Allyn West

10/01/13 11:00am

Maybe this mystery has been solved: That old building at 908 Henderson just a block south of Liberty Station on Washington Ave is being converted into a restaurant called Big Eyed Fish. The owners just started posting some pics of the renovations to a Facebook page, and a new website promises that the place — “think southern upscale cuisine,” the website explains — is opening soon.

Photo: via Facebook

09/27/13 11:00am

The owner of Hughes Hangar is building another bar about 50 ft. away on Washington Ave. Culturemap reports that the De Gaulle, rendered here with old-timey airplane, will share the property at 2811 Washington that backs up against the Washington and Glenwood Cemeteries. Owner Bien Tran explains to Culturemap that the concept’s name, design, and accoutrements, all right across Rue Washington from that recently opened Sonic, “will create an old world Parisian atmosphere complete with a miniature Eiffel Tower.” Opening night will be Halloween, Tran hopes, following an Edgar Allan Poe theme party.

Wanna see a rendering of the interior?


09/17/13 5:00pm

A reader has spotted some signs hanging on the fence outside 4003 Washington near Leverkuhn, where the Guadalajara Bakery used to be: The slick one in the photo above for La Roux, and another just a few feet away indicating that La Roux has applied to sell alcohol. County records show that the 1930 4,368-sq.-ft. building at 4003 Washington and 2 nearby vacant lots — the 5,100-sq.-ft. one at 4011 Washington, and the 28,045-sq.-ft. one at 4015 Washington — are all owned by Kaplan Kalan Properties.


08/28/13 10:00am

So much for that walkable plaza with bike stations and jugglers and food trucks: It appears that an office building is going to go up instead on this underused triangular slice o’ land along Washington Ave. The variance is to reduce the setback from 25 ft. to 5 ft. in order to make room for parking and a 3,517-sq.-ft. office building. The 0.26-acre triangle is bound by Henderson, White, Union, and Washington. A site plan included in the variance request shows that the office would go up on the Henderson side, across the street from Liberty Station.