07/25/17 10:30am

One clue that the Social Junkie Sports Bar has come to the end of its almost-4-year run at the northwest corner of Washington Ave and Sawyer St.: The end-zone-styled valet parking lot pictured in the above recent photo is empty — all the way to the 25-yard line. Another clue: the “It’s been real . . . we outgoodbye notice posted to the establishment’s Instagram feed over the weekend. A reader tells us the place is shuttered and everything inside has been “thrown away.

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Gone Braun
07/19/17 1:30pm

The self-styled “House of a Million Parts” at 1225 Sawyer St. once known as Johnny Frank’s Auto Parts Company was torn to pieces last summer. Freshly applied to the chain-link fence surrounding the now-vacant lot: a new TABC notice, announcing to passers-by that an establishment named the Sawyer Ice House is hoping to sling cocktails on the premises before too long. The land is across the road from those arted-up rice silos on Sawyer St., which are across Edwards St. from the Shops at Sawyer Yards. It appears to be another of the projects in that neck of the woods that trace back to Lovett Commercial, which is working on parking lots and a slew of other developments in the area as well. Here’s what Sawyer Ice House might look like, per what appears to be the bar’s new save-the-name Facebook page:

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Car Lot Reincarnation
05/30/17 12:00pm

Catty-corner to the southwest of the area’s newest self-storage midrise, the block at N. Shepherd Dr. and Nett St. housing Bethel Church is now broadcasting plans for a mixed-use development from several large signs standing around on the property. A couple of readers reported the new decor from various angles late on Friday (including the one above, which includes a glimpse of finally settled, named, and opened FM Kitchen + Bar on the former Alva Graphics lot across the street). The church’s 1.48-acre block (bounded by Durham Dr. and Center St. on the other 2 sides) hit the market last summer, and looks to be getting wrapped into the Hunington development fold.

The conversion of the church property would put a mixed-use development right next to the Azure Apartments midrise currently going up right across Durham:

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N. Shepherd Conversions
05/09/17 5:15pm

A little more of the what’ll-go-where has been filled in lately for Midway’s H-E-B-footed midrise, planned at the corner of Waugh St. and Washington Ave. (and now under construction following the corner’s clear-out earlier this year).  The glassy box overlooking Washington from above the main H-E-B entrance will hold the structure’s office spaces, with the face of the parking garage visible a bit further to the left; an updated siteplan also shows that the sides of the development will also be insulated from the street and sidewalks with a layer or 2 of parking spaces:

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Buffalo Heights Close-Ups
05/08/17 11:30am

The green-and-yellow speckled warehouse at 1005 Sawyer St. has a new blue leasing sign from Braun Enterprises tacked to its forehead, as regular real estate surveillor Chris Andrews noted over the weekend. Braun bought the mid-sixties building last month, per county records of the transaction; the 6,360-sq.-ft. structure sits north of Washington Ave. sports-nightclub Social Junkie (which Braun also bought early last year), under the watchful gaze of the 24eleven Washington apartment midrise (to the left below):

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Center St. Industrial Turnover
03/07/17 1:15pm

4504 Nett St., Washington Corridor, Houston, 77007

4504 Nett St., Washington Corridor, Houston, 77007The little house on the angular 10,000-sq.-ft. lot along Patterson St. (wedged between Nett St. and the railroad tracks that run along scattered segments of Allen St.) is looking more like a bar these days, now that a tentacled tree logo has been applied to the side of the building. That logo doesn’t match the name originally picked for the spot on its TABC application — Mission Athletic Club and Drinkery — but a few other aspects of the plan have likely changed since 2015 as well, given the handful of revisions to the house-to-bar conversion plans on file with the city (the most recent of which dates to January).

Some digging around has been going on in the property’s yard of late:

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Digging In off Washington Ave.
12/29/16 10:45am

J. Black's, 110 South Heights Blvd., Memorial Heights, Houston,  77007

J. Black's, 110 South Heights Blvd., Memorial Heights, Houston,  77007The building housing the Houston expansion of Austin’s J. Black’s at the southwest corner of Washington Ave and Heights Blvd. now bears a new for-info-please-call sign, a reader notes. The bar appears to have events planned through at least New Year’s Eve; the 5,948-sq.-ft. space was only listed online as up for lease about 2 weeks ago. Back before 2012, the property was home to Phil’s Texas Barbecue, for about the same amount of time as it took Phil himself to restaurantize the corner’s original muffler shop setup. And soon another corner at the intersection will be getting a full workover as well, if all goes as planned — J. Black’s sits across Heights Blvd. from the subsection of the Memorial Heights apartments slated to go away some time next quarter, to make way for that planned Midway midrise with the H-E-B at the bottom:

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Cornered in Memorial Heights
12/19/16 12:45pm

Rendering of Buffalo Heights Mixed Use Phase I, at Washington Ave. at Waugh Dr.

H-E-B preliminary plans for Washington Ave. at Heights Blvd.The complex containing Midway’s planned H-E-B-and-midrise at the southeast corner of Heights Blvd. and Washington Ave. won’t be named Northbank Buffalo Bayou after all, Nancy Sarnoff reports this week — it’ll be called Buffalo Heights. Above is Ziegler Cooper’s rendering of the proposed structure, which would take up the northwest corner of the old Archstone Memorial Heights apartments property (which was bought in 2014 by the current owners). That development previously gave its moniker to the surrounding neighborhood; it remains to be seen if this latest rebranding attempt will stick.

The new midrise would sit about half a mile south of the official southernmost edge of the Houston Heights (as drawn for voting in last month’s local-option Heights moistening election), and about half a mile north of Buffalo Bayou (though only a quarter mile from the Buffalo Wild Wings a few blocks west down Washington Ave). The new design shows off 5 stories of apartments (tallying up as 232 units) on top of the 2-story H-E-B, with about 37,000 sq. ft. of office space and a couple of other retail spots in the mix.

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First of Its Name in Memorial Heights
11/04/16 12:45pm

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

Looks like the logo spotted in that Braun flier earlier this year wasn’t too far off the mark: a lease signed in May by H-E-B for a new store on Washington Ave., which Nancy Sarnoff noted yesterday afternoon, includes some preliminary layout drawings for the grocery chain’s claimed spot — at the foot of what looks to be a mixed-used midrise planned on the Memorial Heights apartment complex property. (Also included in the document: the name Northbank Condominium #1, which sounds a lot like that trademark that Midway was working on earlier this year.) H-E-B Houston president Scott McClelland told Sarnoff that this doesn’t change the company’s interest in putting a store on the former N. Shepherd Fiesta site (and backing the ongoing campaign to get the Heights dry laws dampened); Sarnoff reports that the company would ideally like stores on Washington Ave., N. Shepherd, and in Garden Oaks, if they can find places to put them.

Where exactly will the Washington store land? The lease shows a preliminary footprint right at the corner with Heights Blvd., stretching not quite to Wagner St. to the east. H-E-B’s yet-to-be-built space looks to include a 91,000-sq.-ft. ground floor store, topped by a layer of parking on the second level of the structure (plus about 6,600 sq. ft. more of non-parking space). The document filed with the Harris County clerk’s office also shows plans for 5 more levels split between more parking and room for other tenants — including what it tallies up as about 36,000 sq. ft of office space and about 262,900 sq. ft. of multifamily residential space. A 2,200-sq.-ft. retail spot is also tucked in on the ground floor on the east side of H-E-B’s main store area.

Drawings in the doc depict the H-E-B-footed structure fitting into the space marked Zone A in the diagram below, just north of the northern edge of the Memorial Heights Villages midrise:

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Northbank on Washington Ave.
07/20/16 12:00pm

4215 Washington Ave., Houston

A reader sends a set of quick driveby shots of the former home of Walter’s on Washington, which has been getting some cosmetic attention of late. After a 2009 relocation announcement, Walter’s slowly made its move to a former car and cabinetry warehouse on Naylor St.; the Washington Ave property was passed around to a few different owners (including corporate entities called Ay Papi and Carnegie Homes and Construction) before landing in the hands of The Mosaic Group in June of last year. Mosaic appears to have sold or transferred the property to one Joe F. West last August, but is still listed as the owner-slash-occupant of the space on the building permits that have been issued since then (including a few from as recently as May).

Mosaic also snapped up the empty lot next door last summer, which was bundled with the property during the August sale (and had been wrapped up together with the building behind the same now-absent construction fencing):

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Up Next on Wash Ave
03/16/16 10:45am

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

H-E-B has confirmed that the grocery store chain is considering a store on Washington Ave at Studemont St. Public affairs director Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells the HBJ that the chain has “been in discussion for that site for months,” though a deal isn’t finalized. The nod follows yesterday’s story about a Braun Enterprises leasing flier (advertising a property further east down Washington) that showed the company’s logo stamped over the site of the Archstone Memorial Heights apartments.

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Contemplating Memorial Heights
01/22/15 12:45pm

Los Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 5720 Washington Ave, Woodcrest, Houston

Los Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 5720 Washington Ave, Woodcrest, HoustonThe last date to order cheese enchiladas at Los Dos Amigos, the Mexican restaurant that’s stood at 5720 Washington Ave at the corner of Birdsall for the past 39 years, is February 28th. In early December, the longtime owners of an L-shaped group of parcels spanning the entire north side of the Washington Ave block between Birdsall and Malone — along with an adjoining “L” around the corner facing Birdsall (see map above) — sold the whole thing to a developer out of Dallas operating under the name of a partnership calling itself OSF Washington. Among the other entities linked to the buyers: Vintala Partners, which has developed apartments in the past.

Also on the block and going away: the Premo’s Grocery building at 5702 Washington. The entire site, including both buildings and parking lots, measures 26,675 sq. ft.

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Developers from Dallas
12/18/14 4:38pm

BIG NEWS ON WASHINGTON AVE memorial-heights-apartments-studewood300Update, 12/19/2016: A representative from Midway tells Swamplot that Midway didn’t buy the complex — it’s just been managing it for the folks who did (the Gordy family). This article has been updated. Archstone Memorial Heights, that 556-unit apartment complex at 201 S. Heights on 23.4 acres of Washington Corridor land (seen here pre-renovation 2 years ago), has been sold. The buyers? Midway Cos. and the Lionstone Group. Midway is perhaps best-known locally for its mixed-used CityCentre development and the Hotel Sorella. [RE Business Online] Photo: Charles Kuffner

10/13/14 5:15pm

701-patterson-01

701-patterson-07

Not many homes come with their own meat locker (top), but this one has kept its cooler from a previous life as a meat market and corner store. Located in the townhomey Magnolia Grove neighborhood of Brunner, south of Washington Ave. and east of N. Shepherd Dr., the former Laurnicella Meat Market (later Snow’s Corner Store) had living space upstairs for the proprietor. A 3-year renovation with various reconfigurations by the current owners (on top of efforts by their predecessors) converted the 1921 building into a tin-roofed home (middle) with back yardlet (above). Its listing, posted last Thursday, asks $2.1 million.

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On the Corner
09/08/14 11:00am

Parking Signs on Union St. Near White St., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

A reader is curious about the source of the new call-if-you’re-gonna-park signs (pictured above) that went up last week on Union St., which breaks off from and parallels Washington Ave, between White and Henderson: “Is this city of Houston? I’ve never seen signs like this before. Or, if this is a private individual, is this legal?” There are no meters installed on the street, the reader says.

The signs are near Julep, which opened at 1919 Washington Ave. in early August after a long gestation period, and the would-be restaurant and bar at 2003 Union St. pictured below, which Swamplot reported on at the same time, more than a year ago:

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Operators Are Standing By