04/28/17 4:15pm

A reader alerted Swamplot back around February to the removal of that the cluster of classic cars generally visible inside the mysterious former Southwest Lincoln-Mercury dealership on US 59 a block southwest of Hillcroft Ave. — you know, the one with the glassy peaked showroom that’s often illuminated but usually empty except for the lone security guard (as the Houston Press’s Aaron Reiss documented in 2014). Some of the cars made a return soon after and have been sighted frequently since then — but as of early April the whole property is now up for lease.

Colliers International is listing the mid-sixties building and its 7.44-acre surrounding lot complex, previously owned by late Oilers owner Bud Adams (and still owned by the corporate entity that now owns the Titans.) The Lincoln-Mercury dealership itself — which opened as Southwest Dodge — shut down some time after it filed a 2002 lawsuit against nextdoor amusement park and unskilled minigolf hotbed Celebration Station, alleging thousands of dollars in property damage caused by multi-colored golf balls flying over the fence. (The offending minigolf course is now part of Zuma Fun Center, visible on the bottom right in the top photo.)


Revving Back Up in Sharpstown
04/28/17 2:30pm

Sure, nervous economists and friends, go ahead and fret about how the coming robot revolution is likely to decimate the availability of middle-class jobs. But the likely wide-ranging effects of technological change are notoriously difficult to predict. For example, after viewing the dramatic promotional video above, which brings to the treed expanse of a 0.78-acre vacant lot in The Woodlands the full power of remote-controlled robot-camera cinematic glory, does another possibility come to mind? With this marriage of drone footage, music-video-intro aesthetics, desktop video software, and soundtrack punch, has a Woodlands-area real estate agent stumbled upon the secret to unleashing desires hidden deep inside us all . . . to feed a new vacant land boom?

As delicate orchestral swells matched to lingering aerial pans and zooms tug at our emotions and the full majesty of 67 N. Glenwild Cir. (conveniently located  between The Woodlands Preparatory School and the entry gate to the Club at Carlton Woods Creekside) comes into view, can we imagine a new — dare we dream? — vacant-lot-buying frenzy, the wider availability of new technologies enabling craftily orchestrated drone footage to surround and tempt us, and transforming this once dowdy sector?


Flyover Country, The Woodlands
04/28/17 12:00pm

1709 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest, Houston

1709 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest, Houston

Today Swamplot is brought to you by the home at 1709 Ebony Ln., which is being offered for sale by Nan and Company Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate. Thanks for the support!

If you enjoy entertaining in a spacious residence, you’ll want to take a second look at this one-of-a-kind new home located in Oak Forest. This 4,435-sq.-ft. residence is only a couple blocks away from T.C. Jester Park and has 4 bedrooms and 3 full and 1 half bathrooms.

The front door opens to a well-lit, double-height foyer overlooked by an upstairs balcony. To your immediate left, a pair of French doors leads to a study that faces the front of the home; ahead is a staircase to the second level. Dark wide-plank engineered-wood floors throughout the home match the name of the street. The family room, to the left of the stairs, has built-in cabinets along one wall and a trio of windows along another.

The kitchen (pictured above), which is open to the family room, features black and light gray granite countertops, white cabinets from Madeval, and stainless steel appliances and fixtures. There’s also a wine rack, a wine refrigerator, and a breakfast bar lit by decorative pendants.

Past the kitchen and dining area, also on the first floor, is the master suite. Built-in cabinetry in the walk-in closet makes efficient use of the room’s complete height. The master bathroom has a contemporary look, with light gray walls, a granite bench, and glass shower doors. Upstairs you’ll find the 3 remaining bedrooms and a 17-ft.-by-20-ft. game room.

An extra room to the back of the home provides space for additional furniture or storage — and access to the home’s back yard, through a wall of French doors.

More information and photos are available on both the property website and the Christie’s International Real Estate website. If you’re interested in this home, contact Nan and Company Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate at 713.714.6454 — or info@nanproperties.com. To stay updated on the latest listings and announcements from Nan and Company, check out the company’s website — or follow Nan and Company Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate on Facebook or Instagram.

Become a Swamplot Sponsor of the Day! Here’s how to get on our schedule.

Sponsor of the Day
04/28/17 9:30am

6529 Beverly Hill St., Woodlake/Briarmeadow, Houston, 77057

The recently remonikered Margaret Long Wisdom High School is prepping for its scheduled student body transplant as the school year winds down. The shot above shows the main entrance of the school’s almost-ready new building, tucked behind the old one along Hillcroft Ave. south of Beverly Hills St. That older structure, which cut its Confederate ties about a year ago, should be getting erased altogether starting in June, a reader involved with the project tells Swamplot.

Here’s the flip side view of the glassy main entrance above, which should be unlocked in time for fall classes:


Creeping South on Hillcroft
04/28/17 8:30am


Photo of I-10: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

04/27/17 5:15pm

5124 Palm Royale Blvd., Sugar Land, TX, 77479

5124 Palm Royale Blvd., Sugar Land, TX, 77479The 7-bedroom house at 5124 Palm Royale Blvd. isn’t the only one of the street’s “10,000-plus-square-foot Mediterranean extravaganzas” (as archi-historian Steven Fox put it to Lisa Gray on a Sugar Land driving tour a few years back) to cuddle up against a couple of the golf fairways winding through the neighborhood. (The 12,400-sq.-ft. house may well be one of the homes most directly in the line of incoming golf balls, however.) Inside, the 1995 house is fully coated with intricate calligraphy, carvings, and geometric patterns; the massive star-shaped chandelier above dangles through a star-shaped hole in the second floor, coming to rest above the indoor courtyard-style fountain.

To get to it, you’ll need to dodge the pride of lions ringing the other fountain out front:


Par for Sugar Land
04/27/17 2:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE MARCH OF PROGRESS, AS PERFORMED BY HOUSTON MIXED USE PROJECT PLANS Rendering of Tianqing Group/DC Partners Allen Pwky. Mixed Use Site, Allen Pkwy. at Gillette St., Fourth Ward, Houston, 77019Rendering 1: Shiny multifamily tower, midrise condo and office buildings, multilevel retail center with parking neatly concealed in above- and below-ground garages tucked under the buildings. Sleek architecture looking like something on Vancouver Island or in Dubai. Rendering 2: [Single] midrise office building and 6-story stucco apartment complex with hats. Big parking garage with a 2 story retail strip center wrapped around one side. Rendering 3: 4-story ‘Houston wrap’ apartment complex. One-story strip center with big parking lot. Final rendering: Large strip center with big box anchor and acres of parking. Architecture identical to retail center recently built in Pearland. [Old School, commenting on New Gleaming Mixed-Use Visions of a Former Fourth Ward Incinerator Brownfield] Outdated rendering of mixed-use development planned along Allen Pkwy.: Tianqing Group

04/27/17 12:00pm

Peli Peli Restaurant in the Galleria, 5085 Westheimer Rd., Houston

Today’s sponsor is a South African restaurant group in Houston that’s raising money on NextSeed to open a new location in Austin: Peli Peli. Thanks for supporting this site!

Do you know Peli Peli? The restaurant’s many fans won’t need an introduction, but here’s a quick history: The original Peli Peli, a South African fusion restaurant, started out in the Vintage Park Shopping Center in 2009. The management team consists of 2 UT Austin grads — Michael Tran and Thomas Nguyen — and executive chef Paul Friedman. A location in the Galleria (pictured above) opened in 2015. Last fall, the company opened a fast-casual version — called Peli Peli Kitchen — on the corner of Campbell Rd. and the Katy Fwy. feeder. And now Peli Peli has plans to expand to Austin.

The Austin location is scheduled to open in September, at 210 W. 3rd St. in the 2nd Street District. To fund the Austin restaurant buildout, Peli Peli is raising money on NextSeed. (Does that sound familiar? Well, it should: Last year the company raised $358,000 from 128 individual investors on NextSeed. Investors in that offering have now been receiving payments for 10 months already, according to NextSeed. The video above provides more detail.)

If you like Peli Peli, or are intrigued by the idea of playing a part in the restaurant’s continued growth, you may be interested in this latest NextSeed offering. NextSeed is a national crowdfunding platform that makes it easy to invest funds in local businesses and potentially see financial returns with monthly payments. Peli Peli’s Austin expansion is just one of the offerings currently available to investors on NextSeed. Between its Texas affiliate and its newer national platform, NextSeed has facilitated more than $3 million in small business investments.

The minimum investment in a NextSeed offering is only $100 — and anyone can invest. Recent changes in the law now make it possible for people of all income levels to join entrepreneurs in creating new concepts for their cities (or the cities of their alma mater). NextSeed carefully reviews every deal before presenting an opportunity to investors on its website. On NextSeed, Houstonians are empowered to invest in local bars, restaurants, salons, and other places they’re excited about (as well as outposts of those same establishments in nearby cities).

To get the word out about important Houston opportunities, smart companies sponsor Swamplot. Here’s how to find out more about our Sponsor of the Day program.


Sponsor of the Day
04/27/17 11:30am

Beheaded Trees at Lyric Center garage site, 440 Louisiana St., Downtown, Houston, 77002
A weekend wanderer sends a few photos of the new sprouts now poking out of some recently beheaded trees alongside the Lyric Centre parking garage construction site on Smith St. It’s unclear exactly when the shortening occurred, though a shot taken of the site back in late October seems to show at least a few of the trees still tall enough to peek over the construction fencing:


Stumped Downtown
04/27/17 10:15am

EARLY VOTING OPEN NOW FOR HISD’S SPECIAL MAY 6TH ‘YOU SURE YOU WANNA DO THAT?’ ELECTION houston-isd-outlineEarly voting opened this past Monday and goes through next Tuesday, May 2nd, if you don’t wanna wait for the official May 6th election day to weigh in a second time on HISD Prop. 1. The ballot question, as Andrew Schneider notes this week for Houston Public Media, addresses the same funding recapture proposition that didn’t pass in November (meaning HISD voters opted not to send the state of Texas some $160-ish million in property tax money, as required under the current state education funding system.) The state responded in the spring with a list of $8 billion worth of skyscrapers, malls, refineries, and other properties it could pluck from HISD’s boundaries if the district doesn’t pay up; it also dropped the amount potentially owed this year down to $77.5 million as a nod to potential HISD revenue lost to the city’s homestead exemption. [Houston Public Media; previously on Swamplot] Map of HISD and surrounding school districts: Texas Education Agency District Locator

04/27/17 8:30am


Photo of Meyerland: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool