- 29 W. Rivercrest Dr. [HAR]
CITY WISHLIST FOR DAIRY ASHFORD: WIDER ROADWAY, HIGHER BAYOU BRIDGE On city council’s agenda for tomorrow: a vote of support for widening Dairy Ashford Rd. from 2 to 3 lanes on each side between Westheimer and I-10. As part of the roadwork, the existing bridge across Buffalo Bayou would be rebuilt — potentially above 500-year floodplain level, though the city hasn’t decided yet. New, wider sidewalks are on the table, too. With the council’s blessing, Houston’s public works department would next submit an application for the project to the Houston Galveston Area Council, which could choose to help pay for it with state and federal money. [Houston City Council Agenda] Map: Houston City Council
The 24.5-acre plot along the W. Sam Houston Pwky. formerly snagged by Schlumberger’s Cameron International looks to be back on the market, a reader notes. Dow Chemical’s quadruple-decade-plus facility got cleared off the land at the end of 2009 following the purchase of the property by an entity connected to Apache Corporation; the spot was sold to Cameron in 2013, when rumor had it that the company would build a skyscraper’s worth of office space on the site. The property was listed afresh by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank around the end of April.
A reader wants to know what, if anything, is happening to the run-down apartment complex at 1201 Wilcrest Dr. just north of Briar Forest Dr. and across the street from the Westside Tennis & Fitness Club: “Some renovation work began many months ago, including new windows and the start of a roof. Unfortunately, the roof was never completed, windows have been boarded up, and now the whole place looks abandoned.” The complex is called the Oaks of Brittany.
TEARING DOWN TOWNHOMES TO BUILD ANOTHER PEARL Prime Property reports that Houston developer Morgan Group will demolish a bunch of townhomes and a small office building on S. Gessner Rd. to make way for another of its Pearl-brand apartment complexes; the Briar Forest property was recently purchased, explains Nancy Sarnoff, and the demo of the 131-unit Quadrangle Townhomes at 2021 and the Tanney School building at 2055 S. Gessner might go down before the new year. The Morgan Group complex pictured here, Pearl Greenway at 3788 Richmond Ave., opened recently; another like complex is under construction in Midtown. Adds Sarnoff: “Morgan said it will work with . . . residents to help them find new apartments nearby before the building is demolished.” [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Morgan Group
Note: Story updated with new photos.
An update comes in from reader Nicole Sherman, who saw this bare facade-to-be and fruity Sprouts Farmers Market sign at the end of last week and snapped these photos: Filling in for the former Sports Authority in the Kirkwood Shopping Center at 11940 Westheimer, this will be the 4th Sprouts in Houston and the farthest in, only 2 miles beyond the Beltway. In October, the green grocer revealed the first 3 locations it would open in Houston this year:
MICHAEL B. SMUCK IS GOING TO JAIL Longtime Louisiana and Texas real-estate investor Michael B. Smuck pled guilty this week to one count of mail fraud in connection with the sale of the Briar Meadows Apartments on Dairy Ashford, just north of Briar Forest Dr. An investment company controlled by Smuck purchased the complex in 2004. Smuck sold the property in 2007, according to federal prosecutors, but didn’t tell his investors. Instead, he used the almost $3.5 million in proceeds to pay debts owed by other business entities he controlled: “Smuck continued to send documentation to investors in Briar Meadows in order to give the fictitious appearance that the investment property was still active. Pursuant to the plea agreement entered into by the parties, Smuck faces a term of imprisonment of 30 months and a $250,000.00 fine. In an effort to make the victims of this crime whole, the United States has secured from the defendant an agreement to pay a minimum of $3,299,480 in restitution to investors in both Briar Meadows and Yellowstone Ranch, which are apartment communities in Houston, TX.” [U.S. Attorney’s Office; background; previously on Swamplot]