09/20/17 1:30pm

HOW IT CAME TO PASS THAT HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES PURCHASED HOMES INSIDE HOUSTON’S RESERVOIRS Many of the flooding victims upstream of Addicks and Barker dams learned for the first time that their homes were inside government-designated reservoirs only after rains from Harvey flooded their neighborhoods, reports Naomi Martin. How had they come to live there? “The corps didn’t feel the need to acquire all the land at the time the reservoirs were built, [the Army Corps of Engineers’ Richard] Long said, because that land was nothing but rice farms and fields where cattle grazed. It didn’t stay that way. In 1997, developers came before Fort Bend County government for approval to put subdivisions on the pastures. Aware of the flood risk to the area, the county was in a bind. It didn’t have the authority to prohibit development or establish zoning rules, said County Judge Robert Hebert, who has been in office since 2003. So the county insisted, ‘over great objection’ by developers, on including a warning on the plat, Hebert said. The county, he said, ‘felt it was a defect on the land that should be pointed out.'” The warning appeared as a small note on the plat document establishing some later Fort Bend County subdivisions, but equivalent declarations were absent on documents establishing nearby Harris County subdivisions. [Dallas Morning News] Aerial view of flooding in Canyon Gate, Cinco Ranch: Michael Fry

09/26/14 2:00pm

Los Robertos Taco Shop, 3200 S. Fry Rd., Katy, Texas

This fire-lane-accessible structure at 3200 S. Fry Rd., on the eastern edge of Cinco Ranch, will soon be the home of Los Robertos Taco Shop, a 3-location (soon to be 4-) chain expanding east from San Antonio. The taco outpost, which will stay open 24 hours, 7 days a week, will be taking over for the Chicken Express that closed at this spot earlier this year. Conveniently located immediately north of the Cinco Ranch Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, the drive-thru lies just one parking lot south of Westheimer Pkwy.


Los Robertos Taco Shop
11/11/13 3:15pm

A regular Swamplot reader has a question about the sidewalk on the south side of Cinco Ranch Blvd. as the street passes between retention ponds for the North Lake Village and South Lake Village neighborhoods, just west of Cinco Lakes Dr. (map here). “The sidewalk exists on the south side of the street block from Peek Rd. to Mason Rd. When it reaches the pond, the sidewalk moves to the inside of the fence and becomes private. The fence is between the street and the sidewalk.” What’s a pedestrian supposed to do when the only sidewalk moves into a gated area, and is marked as off limits? Asks the reader: “Can a pedestrian be cited as a trespasser? Note the North side of the street is a golf course with no sidewalk.”


09/04/13 4:30pm

Here’s a look at Houston’s next Trader Joe’s, set to open in Cinco Ranch sometime next year. It’ll be at 2643 Commercial Center Blvd., right in the center of all that commerce just west of the Grand Pkwy. This new 12,500-sq.-ft. store will be the 4th in the area. The last to open was the one on San Felipe and Voss in January, across the street from the Randall’s that has since been torn down to make way for a new Whole Foods.

Rendering: Trader Joe’s

10/12/12 1:56pm

SPROUTS FAR OUT The Sprouts Farmers Market grocery chain’s long-awaited Houston-area landing will begin with 3 outside the Beltway locations next year. Sprouts scout Ed Page of UCR MoodyRambin Page says leases have already been signed for a 25,300-sq.-ft. spot at the southwest corner of Cinco Ranch Blvd. and Peek Rd.; for a 29,000-sq.-ft. store at FM 529 and Hwy. 6 in the Copperfield Village Shopping Center; and for a 28,000-sq.-ft. location off the Tomball Pkwy. at Spring Cypress Rd. in the Spring Cypress Village shopping center. Page tells reporter Shaina Zucker leases are being negotiated for several other sites. The southwest organic-friendly chain swallowed up competitor Sunflower Farmers Markets earlier this year. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Colorado store: Sprouts

03/25/11 2:16pm

EVERYTHING WAS GOING FINE AT THE BERRYHILL IN CINCO RANCH — UNTIL THIS HAPPENED The Berryhill Baja Grill in Villagio Town Center — that Tuscan-themed shopping center in Cinco Ranch — has closed. “Not hugely newsworthy,” a Swamplot reader admits — except for one little part of the story. According to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Villagio Partners, the restaurant hasn’t paid its rent in twenty-seven months. Berryhill moved into the shopping center in August 2007 but the franchise’s operators haven’t paid at all since the beginning of 2009, according to a filing with the Harris County District Court. [Ultimate Katy] Photo: Villagio Town Center

10/14/10 4:46pm

A few pix from around town, in our occasional photo feature: First, a reader sends in this view of the curious paint job now in progress on the original Ruggles Grill on Lower Westheimer.

Next, we discover the just-opened new home of I-10 refugee Las Alamedas, on the simulated Main Street of Katy’s LaCenterra shopping center in Cinco Ranch:


09/24/10 3:51pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CINCO RANCH SPRAWLS WEST “This is really, REALLY good news. It brings us one step closer to the ultimate goal of expanding this wonderful neighborhood all the way to Fulshear. Although they may have to change the name to something like Catorce Ranch, since there are likely several more cattle farms in this community’s God-given territory.” [Gucci Mane, commenting on School-District Manifest Destiny]

09/24/10 12:37pm

SCHOOL-DISTRICT MANIFEST DESTINY Cinco Ranch — recently named the fastest-growing residential community in the country by a real-estate consulting firm — will keep expanding west. Newland Communities just purchased 492 acres west of neighboring Pine Mill Ranch, way out near Firethorne between FM 1463 and Katy-Flewellen Road; the company plans to have new Cinco Ranch-branded homesites available there within a couple of years. Further west, there’s even more land available for cheap: the 742-acre Tamarron Lakes subdivision was foreclosed on in April. Kirk Laguarta of Land Advisors Organization, who’s marketing that property for $19K an acre, tells the Houston Business Journal that the property that Newland just bought is considered more valuable that that, in part because it’s zoned to Katy ISD. But Newland may not be interested in expanding Cinco Ranch into Tamarron Lakes — that development belongs to the Lamar Consolidated ISD. [Houston Business Journal]

10/15/09 3:13pm

Updates on a few restaurants Swamplot has been following:

  • Reopened: Azzarelli’s, an Italian-American restaurant that began the year in Cinco Ranch’s Tuscan-themed Villagio Town Center, then (after a notable exit) camped for a while (as Azzarelli’s Corner Café) in another center at 6455 South Fry Road, opened last week in its 4th location within just a couple of years: 17754 Katy Freeway, Suite B, I-10 at Barker Cypress. “With this great location, I will be open 365 days a year,” owner Frank Triola tells his press-release copywriter.
  • Opening Soon: The restaurant going into the former Cue & Cushion pool hall at 510 Shepherd that Swamplot reported on earlier this fall now has a name: Branch Water Tavern — and a more palatable label than “gastropub.” Try “Modern American Tavern.” Chef David Grossman says it’ll open later this month, but the Houston Press‘s Robb Walsh, who’s toured the construction site, thinks Christmas is more likely.

More eats: