What’s Getting Wrapped Up on the Corners of 19th and N. Shepherd

Former Tune-Up, 1818 N. Shepherd, Houston Heights, Houston, 77008

A slew of updates from N. Shepherd Dr. come from a nearby dermatology office with a regular lens on the rapidly-redeveloping retail scene. Above is the former site of Tune-Up Plus (on the southeast corner of N. Shepherd with 19th St.) which has been decked out in yellow, lately. A remodeling permit issued on the 23rd for the spot at 1818 N. Shepherd now refers to it as a Take 5; the oil-change and auto-repair chain currently has locations dotted all along I-10 and I-85 between Beaumont and the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with some Dallas locales; the first Houston-area Take 5 is purportedly on its way to Louetta Rd. just east of Steuber-Airline Dr. up in Spring.

Meanwhile, across N. Shepherd, the former Houston Alternator store that’s been getting the restaurant-retail treatment is almost ready to open as Cane Rosso’s first Houston spot, ahead of its also-under-construction Montrose branch:

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Cane Rosso Heights rendering

The restaurant’s Facebook page currently touts an April opening along with some canine adoption opportunities. Across 19th, signs have also been spotted of the next phase of the Re:Vive development on the sweets-heavy corner northwest of the intersection. The building underway next to the existing strip center looks like it will host a Benjamin Moore paint store in at least part of its 4,295 sq.ft. of planned retail space:

RE:vive Phase II, 19th at N. Shepherd, Houston Heights, Houston, 77008

Other swap-outs underway in the area include the Mellow Mushroom going in at the corner with 20th St., just north of the Re:Vive projects:

Future Mellow Mushroom and retail, 20th at N. Shepherd, Houston Heights, Houston, 77008

Further up N. Shepherd, the Texas Cafeteria remodel is underway, across 24th St. from closed-as-of-yesterday N. Shepherd Fiesta.

Images: Mosaic Dermatology Clinic (top photo), Cane Rosso Heights (rendering), Mosaic Clinic Hair Transplant Center (bottom 2 photos)

Heights Retail Replacements

24 Comment

  • We’re wasting a prime corner slot in the updated, walkable West 19th street area on an updated oil change and car repair place? REALLY? In my mind, redevelopment on Shephard = fewer car-related businesses, not more. I want a cool urban-seeming neighborhood, not just slightly nicer suburban sprawl. Why not add a Mattress Firm while you’re at it. <>

  • Can we pray to drive C&D out of the area? Sick of that cesspool. And, Lauren K, I agree – this area needs more retail/restaurants/bars – not car places. Go up N. Shepherd for that.

  • Hi Lauren, please specify what you mean by “we”. Are you part of a group that owns the property?

  • We is (obviously) a figure of speech. I can only speak for myself, but I live in the neighborhood and care about its development. Don’t own the property and understand the owners need to make money but, given the other development in that block, I would have thought there would be more lucrative options for the owners that would also be more appealing for the community.

  • @J “we” is well to do (or if only in their minds) bleeding hearts who desperately want organic grocers and trendy cafes lining the streets who scream for supposed social justice as long as its NIMBY and hold urban pioneering as a sacrament so long as they can avoid having the hypocrisy of displacing hard working people as a result shoved in their faces. These are people who can’t afford 12 dollar glasses of wine at Coltivare but are willing to change your oil in 15 minutes. Unfortunately employing people at sustainable real jobs and not inflated price artisan bakeries the yuppies and their privilege frequent isn’t in their grand scheme of a “walkable west 19th”

  • @Turningbasin: In most every city in the United States, a rational resident would prefer to see more development of retail/restaurants than have an quick lube, especially in an area that is seeing a nice renaissance of redevelopment. That is not some effete, pie in the sky new urbanism concept. It is just a painfully obvious fact to anyone that having a nice casual restaurant to add to an area that is starting to bustle with new development is preferable to a quick lube. There are loads of lots on the market up and down shep and along the 610 N feeder where you could easily stick a new quick lube without marring a nice little spree of redevelopment.

  • I believe they will use artisanal, heirloom oil.
    .
    @Lauren K: 19th street is not only walkable, it is drivable. If you want to live someplace without oil change shops (and the cars that depend on them) you will need to pay more for real estate.

  • @Gary Deller. What makes you think N. Shepherd needs or wants any additional car related businesses either. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing some restaurants, retail and bars in that area either as I live in Shepherd Park Plaza, but as others have mentioned lube shops have to go somewhere. What’s more, much as I would love to see some different retail in the neighborhood, you all knew what you were getting when you moved in.

  • Doesn’t the ability to walk to a place such as a mechanic, a hardware shop, a bank, a dry-cleaner, etc. make a place more “walkable”??? I’m grateful that I live in walking distance to my trusted mechanic; no long waits on their couch or trying to get a ride back home and then another ride back to their shop. Just want an oil change and an inspection? Drop your car off, walk to the coffee shop and have a sit down, then walk back and pick it up. Diversity of services is what makes an area practicably walkable.

  • @my two cents – N. Shep. isn’t undergoing a transformation like this area has in the last 3 years. The clientele in this area don’t buy the used cars from any of those junky lots and sure as hell don’t care if there is a quick lube within walking distance. Get them all out the sooner the better. There’s too much money here to keep with the status quo. N. Shep. isn’t in the same boat.

  • @old school: “renaissance of redevelopment”, gag me with that veiled gentrification spiel. “rational residents” not so veiled classism where you pocket enough money to displace the lube shop to eat bagels and cream cheese on a patio. please, “marring” a neighborhood with a half dozen living wage blue collar jobs instead of increasing your property value, you should be ashamed of your own pretentiousness.

  • It makes 100% sense to have service-oriented, normal businesses within walking distance. Someone can drop off their car for service, go shop, eat, drink on 19th at any one of the many existing trendy, overpriced places and then walk back and pick up their car, what a beautiful arrangement.

    I drive to Master Car Care on Yale early on Saturday when I need service, go eat breakfast at Yale Street Grill, stroll down 19th and then return for my car. I don’t want to have to arrange to have someone pick me up or wait 2 hours in some crappy waiting area.

    The idiots that want to banish normal service businesses to a non-walkable location so as not to offend their personal visions of utopia miss the point of walkability and real urbanism in the first place.

  • A very car-oriented business such as a quick lube doesn’t have to be a negative in a more walkable neighborhood. As some have noted, being able to walk home after dropping off your vehicle is a rather nice feature.
    .
    Back in the early to mid 1990s, in grad school, I lived in an Oakland neighborhood that had a decent mechanic less than two blocks from my apartment, right on the nice shopping street. It didn’t detract from the walkability at all, and I was glad it was there.
    .
    It’s really about urban design. Redeveloping, upscaling, and densifying neighborhoods will have more demand not only for car repair, but other non-glamorous uses like self-storage, branch banks, etc. There’s no reason these uses can’t be well-integrated into a walkable neighborhood through good design – and that doesn’t mean expensive design either.

  • Based on some comments here it’s apparent that when some people talk about wanting to live in a “walkable” area, what they actually mean is they want to be able to walk from a coffee house to a restaurant to a trendy shop and then to a bar. They basically want an amusement park of consumption. Nobody wants to actually walk to buy groceries or drop off dry cleaning. Pretenders!

  • @Local Planner.
    “It’s really about urban design. Redeveloping, upscaling, and densifying neighborhoods will have more demand not only for car repair, but other non-glamorous uses like self-storage, branch banks, etc. There’s no reason these uses can’t be well-integrated into a walkable neighborhood through good design – and that doesn’t mean expensive design either.”

    Please share two examples of somewhere in Houston where good design exists in the aforementioned statement.

  • @oldpostcommenter, I plan to use “amusement park of consumption” in conversation whenever possible. Spot on!!

  • @OldPostCommenter: Now that’s comment of the day for me. There are a bunch of people who want every business to sell something “sweet”, if not literally, then figuratively. Some of these people are super wealthy and move into neighborhoods bursting at the seams with such stores. Others want to do it on the cheap. They want to move into someplace less “sweet”, a real place as opposed to an “amusement park of consumption”, and then they want their investment to grow and the businesses to change to suit their hunger. That’s just greedy.

  • @oldpostcommenter – why don’t we bring more title loan and mattress stores while we’re at it? Spare me the utopian b.s. of where we have “service” stores and retail all mixed in one area. I’ll sacrifice having the quick lube not next to any retail/consumption stores in order to have the neighborhood gentrified. Some people won’t say it but I will.

  • man, amusement park of consumption is spot on. That’s a hard pill to swallow for our resident wanna be urbanists.

  • The only place that can legitimately be described as “an amusement park of consumption” is the modern shopping mall. Here, it’s just an over-reaction to what Lauren K originally posted.

  • @Gary Deller
    Absolutely. Bring on the pawn shop, the sex novelty store and that weird store that does both furniture upholstery and your tax return too. You are way too classist to realize that there might be people who need and want those stores as much as you need your $5 artisan doughnut. It’s completely ironic to me that you think mixed service area is “utopian”. To me that’s utilitarian. If anything is utopian, it’s your idea of what should be excluded from W 19th street.

  • So you want a walkable neighborhood…until it comes to businesses you need, but would rather not have to look at in your amusement park of consumption. So you get in your car and drive several miles for dry cleaning, liquor stores, auto repair, hardware stores, etc., in other neighborhoods that aren’t as effete as yours. So your neighborhood isn’t really walkable at all then, is it? Up to two-thirds of those “cool” restaurants, bars and little shops will be out of business within 5 years because of high rent or expensive merchandise that doesn’t meet the needs of the community at large. And for crissake, don’t mess with my Sand Dollar at 19th and Yale!!

  • The only way to get the businesses one *wants* in a neighborhood is to put up or shut up and actually patronize the places you like so they can survive. Buy places like the dilapidated (but which I find adorable) old garage at 14th and Yale and transform them into what you want. I live in Oak Forest and I hear a lot of moaning about what we need in the neighborhood–businesses I *needed* and patronized are gone due to things like an over-hyped Mexican grill.

  • @JT: To my knowledge, Houston doesn’t have existing good examples (though old-timey gas stations, decidedly unglamorous and utilitarian, somehow managed to integrate fairly well into semi-walkable areas). My point still stands: there’s no reason unglamorous utilitarian businesses couldn’t be done in a walkable fashion, or at least in a way that’s not damaging to the pedestrian environment. It might require a variance under today’s Houston development codes, but still it can be done. It has been done in other cities.
    .
    And to those who insist that unglamorous utilitarian businesses shouldn’t be in your ideal walkable neighborhood, you really have no idea what a walkable urban neighborhood really is.