11/28/16 4:15pm

Beaver's, 6025 Westheimer Rd., Houston, 77057

Beaver's, 6025 Westheimer Rd., Houston, 77057

The faux lighthouse atop Christie’s got some company this week — namely, the giant fake beaver now heralding the arrival of the second Beaver’s location, in the first and last Houston outpost of southern cheesesteak fusion shop Texadelphia. After a few years of looking around for potential second spot spots, the selection of 6025 Westheimer Rd. was announced early this year; the new trio of Beaver’s head chefs told Eric Sandler just this month that they’re planning to put of more seafood on the menu, while upping the chainlet’s barbecue game.

The beaver itself got craned into place on top of a steel frame last Tuesday, with the faux-rock ledge applied afterward (the shot above is from work spotted on Saturday). The chefs told Sandler that the plan is to open as soon as permitting and training wrap up in the next few weeks, and a Now Hiring banner was still on display over weekend:


Beaver’s in Briargrove
10/19/16 11:00am

3111 Chimney Rock, Lamar Terrace, Houston, 77056

The graffiti on the tall face of the former Big Woodrow’s spot at 3111 Chimney Rock Rd. has been joined lately by new signage for Rotana Mediterranean Restaurant. The 2-story 2-bar space north of Richmond Ave. shut down near the end of August last year after a planned temporary closure for building repairs turned into an unplanned permanent landlord dispute, and the building went up for lease around the same time. Some of those repairs to the 5,928-sq.-ft. space may have been getting done over the past year since the closure, if building permits issued in March and at the start of this month are any indication.

Photo: MiraDry team at Mosaic Clinic Dermatology

Rotana Remodeling off Richmond Ave.
08/09/16 12:15pm

HOUSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY RESIGNS IN WAKE OF BRIARGROVE MIXED-INCOME KERFUFFLE Proposed Housing Development at 2640 Fountainview Dr., Briargrove, Houston, 77057By both letter and Tweet, Houston Housing Authority chairman Lance Gilliam has announced plans to resign early following Mayor Turner’s criticism of the agency last week, writes Erin Mulvaney. During Wednesday’s council meeting, Turner chided the agency for not having constructed new housing units in the past decade (though Gilliam’s Friday resignation letter notes that thousands of additional people have been added to the organization’s voucher program). The agency has had the majority of its recent proposed construction projects blocked following last year’s US Supreme Court decision, which struck down Texas’s system of awarding public housing project tax credits because it was found to promote racial segregation into low-income areas (deliberately or not). The Briargrove project, which involved replacing one of the Houston Housing Authority’s own Fountain View office buildings with a mixed-income apartment complex, was the Houston agency’s first attempt to build new affordable units in a high-income area; following extensive neighborhood pushback, Turner asked the agency to look for other locations in the same area, and blocked tax credit financing for the project by not bringing it to a council vote. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of proposed apartments at 2640 Fountain View Dr.: HHA

06/14/16 12:45pm

8820 Westheimer Rd., Briarmeadow, Houston, 77063

The 4-story apartment complex going up on the northeast corner of Westheimer and Fondren roads (where Prosperity Bank and Landry’s Seafood Restaurant were torn down in a mildly apocalyptic display back in 2014) is now pushing leases and offering would-be tenants a chance to scope the place out. The place has also gotten a name tweak since the project was first announced: the former Crest at Fondren is going by West & Fondren these days.

The complex has sprung up just south of the late-seventies garden-style Victoria Place apartments (which appear to have been bought 2 summers ago by an entity controlled by developer Michael Novelli). The Fondren-side entrance of the 4-story building is clearly labeled as such:


Briargrove Revival
03/11/16 11:00am

Site of Proposed Housing Development at 2640 Fountainview Dr., Briargrove, Houston, 77057

Site of Proposed Housing Development at 2640 Fountainview Dr., Briargrove, Houston, 77057Here are some shots from the scene of the Houston Housing Authority’s office park on Fountain View Dr. north of Westheimer Rd., which the organization is planning to partially demolish and replace with a 233-unit mixed-income apartment complex. The sign shown here went up last month to advertise this week’s public meeting on the proposed construction, which drew standing-room-only crowds to the auditorium of Briargrove Elementary. A group of neighborhood residents is campaigning to stop the project; listed grievances include a lack of transparency surrounding the project, and asserting that school overcrowding wasn’t considered when HHA picked the spot.

The property, just north of the vacant H-E-B northwest of the corner with Westheimer, currently holds 2 office buildings sporting gently-bent-rectangular floorplans (that’s 2650 in the foreground, in the photo above, with 2640 behind it). An aerial rendering released by HHA shows 2640 swapped out for the apartment building, with the southern office building still in place below it:


Trading Spaces
03/08/16 5:00pm

Minuti Coffee, Fountainview Dr. at Westheimer Rd., Briargrove, Houston, 77057

The former Starbucks on the southwest corner of the damp intersection of Fountainview Dr. and Westheimer Rd. now appears to be flying the minute flag of advancing Houston chain Minuti Coffee. The green Starbucks siren formerly residing on the west side of the building has been shooed off and replaced by Minuti’s comparatively austere crest, though the Seattle company’s website still lists the store at 5903 Westheimer as operational.


Corner Coffee Swap
06/16/15 10:45am

Crescent City, 6383 Westheimer Rd., Houston

Crescent City, 6383 Westheimer Rd., HoustonCrescent City Beignets closed its spot in the Lamar-River Oaks Shopping Center across from Lamar High School last April. Fourteen months later and 4-and-a-half miles to the west, something very much like it is opening up in a strip center strip endcap formerly occupied by a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit at 6383 Westheimer, outside the Loop and just east of Hillcroft. A reader tells Swamplot the interior of the shop is decorated with black-and-white posters of New Orleans scenes and scheduled to open late next week.

Photos: Carlos I. Velázquez (top); Joe Carl White (beignets sign)

Gone West on Westheimer
01/07/15 4:00pm



Forty or so years of a family’s ownership of a 1958 rancher in Briargrove north of San Felipe Rd. is likely ending soon with the midblock property’s listing for $899,000 earlier this week. Briargrove Elementary School sits 3 blocks to the south. Painted paneling, a plethora of shuttered windows and built-ins, and laminate counters in the kitchen indicate some updates have been made over the years to the home, which displays original hardwood flooring — and a lot of tended landscaping front and back.


11/12/14 3:00pm


A drive-by berm at curbside and greenery at the entry off a circular driveway double screen a 1965 Briargrove home from its San Felipe location across from Briargrove Elementary School, west of Fountainview Dr. Once past the privacy plantings, however, window walls let in the light and the sights. A recently updated kitchen freshened the property, which emerged from hiding a week ago and has a $799,ooo asking price.


Nature Preserve
10/09/14 2:45pm

THE NEW H-E-B AT SAN FELIPE AND FOUNTAINVIEW WILL TAKE OVER WHERE LUPE TORTILLA’S SANDBOXES LEFT OFF Rendering of New H-E-B Market, Fountainview Dr. and San Felipe Dr., HoustonFormer Haven chef and now JCI (James Coney Island) and H-E-B consultant Randy Evans drops a few notable details about the new H-E-B now under construction at the corner of San Felipe and Fountain View, where he’s helping create the chain’s first Houston in-grocery-store restaurant: “We’re looking at beer and wine for this store. There’s going to be a great patio and a stage for live music. There’s going to be an [outdoor] area for the kids to play so you can sit and have a glass of wine, have some bites and have your kids have a good time before you go shopping.” The store is scheduled to open in January. [Eating Our Words; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: H-E-B

01/15/14 11:00am

Rendering of the Hudson Apartments, Fountain View at Inwood, Briargrove, Houston

Tanglewood Court Apartments, 5885 San Felipe St., HoustonFor all of you keeping score, the bounties of Briargrove-area apartment demolition should should now be clear. Arising from the site of the 634-unit courtyard-style Tanglewood Court Apartments on the almost-18-acre site on the southeast corner of San Felipe and Fountain View (knocked down last year and pictured at right), there will soon be a corner bank with drive-thru, a new 88,000-sq.-ft. H-E-B (moving west from down the street, and “modeled after” the chain’s Montrose Market), a 32,000-sq.-ft. strip center, and — announced yesterday — a new 5-story 431-unit garage-wrapping apartment block called the Hudson and featuring a reverse-Alamo-style tab (illustrated above) at the top of its garage entrance for some reason. Oh, yeah, also gained in the equation: A sea of concrete for the retail parking lot:


What Tanglewood Webs We Weave