11/29/17 5:00pm

Work is almost complete on Pipeline Realty’s conversion of the 2-story office building at 2617 Bissonnet (seen at top in a recent photo) into a new second-story coworking space called Local Office. The 13,500-sq.-ft. building, pictured above before the 2 trees standing in front were removed and larger windows were poked into its north and west facades, previously served as the offices of Industrial Audio/Video.

Local Office, due to open sometime next month, will be joined early next year by a ground-floor coffee shop, labeled “Local Coffee” on the rendering below but more likely to be a third outlet of the growing local Cavo Coffee chain:

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Offices of West University
05/31/17 1:45pm

That big metal-skinned house on Centenary St. in West University is on the market as of yesterday, listed for a smidge under $2.2 million.  The home’s construction in the early 2010’s touched off some nasty comments and light contractor harrassment from some of the folks in the area (though architect Cameron Armstrong said around the time of completion that most folks thought the final product was fine).  The big shiny box holds 2 floors and 4 bedrooms, with a rooftop patio that allows visitors to rise above any neighborhood hubbub and gaze off toward the Medical Center:

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Shiny New Listing
04/13/17 11:00am

Design Options for Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park, 6446 Sewanee St., West University, TX, 77005

6446 Sewanee Ave., West University, TX 77005Sunday’s the deadline for giving the city of West University some honest feedback on which of 3 proposed park layouts you think would best flatter this residential lot at 6446 Sewanee Ave. — along with any specific details you like about the other 2 options. The home’s former owner, architect James M. Hughes, passed away just over a year ago; Hughes bequeathed the property and some funds to West University for conversion into Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park (named after his mother, who bought the empty lot back in 1928).

Option A of the choices highlights the corner lot’s time as a residence by adding a rocking-chaired, freestanding front porch as an entryway (though of a totally different design from the existing front porch). That option would also include a partial outline of the house’s foundation:

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Sewanee Ave. Parking
10/25/16 10:00am

ADORABLE VENOMOUS CATERPILLARS BACK ON THE CRAWL FROM SEABROOK TO WEST U Asp warning sign at Weir Park, 3012 Nottingham St, West University Place, TX 77005‘Tis the season for stinging asps, notes Kaitlin McCulley while recounting a Seabrook resident’s recent encounter with one of the critters (also known as the puss caterpillar or, on occasion, the “toxic toupee”). The woolly caterpillars, whose delicate venomous spines are known to cause reactions in children such as 5-hour screaming fits and to necessitate the occasional emergency room visit in adults, are up in numbers for the fall as per usual, though their population and season varies from year to year depending on weather and food conditions. Over in West University, a sign currently hanging on the gate of Weir Park notes that the city’s parks folks will be putting out diatomaceous earth to kill the asps they’d spotted; the caterpillars have also been sighted (or felt) lately near the Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center in Golfcrest and in Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land. [ABC13] Photo of puss caterpillar warning sign in Weir Park, 3012 Nottingham St.: Swamplot inbox

09/26/16 11:00am

WEST U SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER JUST LIFTED FOLLOWING THIS MORNING’S ‘SOUTHWEST HOUSTON’ SHOOTING Weslayan Plaza, Weslayan at Bissonnet St., Montclair, Houston, 77005The city has just cancelled stay-put orders for the folks in a zone straddling the borders of West University and the Montclair and College Court Place neighborhoods, as the crime scene investigation of this morning’s rush-hour shooting spree at the Weslayan Plaza strip center wraps up. The shelter-in-place request was active while the bomb squad was checking out the now-deceased suspect’s Porsche near his residence in The Oaks condominiums at Weslayan and Law St. Folks ranging from KPRC to the FBI reported the shooting as taking place in “Southwest Houston”; the shopping center is technically in the southwest quadrant of the city, though a good deal closer to Downtown than the area that usually gets that descriptor. [Houston OEM, KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Weslayan Plaza: Regency Centers

08/10/16 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SECRET INGREDIENTS IN ANY GOOD BEDROOM COMMUNITY RECIPE Illustration of Soggy Burger“The idea that The Woodlands is a mecca because of some secret sauce is absurd. Places like that can only exist in the vicinity of a larger city. The Woodlands has maintained itself as a high-end housing community, which is of course an achievement that took careful planning, but it’s entirely unsustainable without nearby cities to absorb the lower service economy sector/poorer individuals that any city needs and will have regardless. A similar point can be made about West U, which recently made some list about wealthy cities.” [MrEction, commenting on Avoiding the Lonely Drive to Work; Houston Olympics Speculation] Illustration: Lulu

04/28/16 10:15am

3606 Bissonnet St., Greenway/Upper Kirby, Houston, 77005

Construction fencing is already up around the Cleburne Cafeteria, which burned down for the second time at 3606 Bissonnet St. earlier this week. The 75-year-old cafeteria business was bought by Nick and Pat Mickelis in 1952 at its original location on Cleburne and Fannin streets (which was recently occupied by DiverseWorks for a brief pre-MATCH stint, and currently houses the Zoya Tommy art gallery). The cafeteria moved to the Bissonnet spot in 1969; shortly after Nick Mickelis’s death in 1989, the building burned down for the first time.

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Restaurant Re-Reconstruction
02/18/16 10:00am

Mattress Stores in Strip Center at Kirby Dr. and Wroxton St., West University, TX 77005

Semi-boutique mattress chain Urban Mattress has jumped into the cluster of mattress retail options at the edge of West University, setting up shop between Einstein Bros. Bagels and Verizon Wireless just south of the sleepy corner of Kirby Dr. and Bissonnet St. Since 2008, the Boulder-grown franchise chain has opened 6 stores in Colorado, 3 in Austin, and a few others in cities including Berkeley, Albuquerque, Dallas, and San Antonio. The company purports to send 2% of its sales price to local charities of the franchise owner’s choice, and offers mattresses (both regular and organic) ranging from about $300 to $30,000.

The new store sits right across Wroxton St. from a few of its all-caps competitors: mattress and ergonomic furniture store Relax the Back is buffered from a Mattress Firm by narrow custom shoe store Foot Solutions:

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Bouncing into the Market