01/24/13 4:00pm

Office building or home? It depends on which listing you read. One on LoopNet appears to have marketed the property for a while at $599,000 — as an office building. But it popped up as a single family item this week on HAR, asking $535,000. Built in 2001 and updated in 2010, the corner-lot custom live-work structure is 2 blocks south of the Katy Fwy. in the Brunner subdivision in Cottage Grove.


11/01/12 3:25pm

ALL PATIO, NO PATIO HOME IN COTTAGE GROVE A reader writes: “Any news ever come down the pike about the huge empty lot on the Northeast corner of Larkin and Arabelle? It’s been empty for years, and all I’ve ever seen done is occasional mowing. . . . When I first moved into the neighborhood in 2006, there used to be an old blue shack house and the rumor was it was a brothel. But it was knocked down (I THINK in 2007 or 2008?) and goes from overgrown grass forest to freshly mown about once every 3 months. I could have sworn there was a real estate agency sign on that fence before, which was what I thought that No Trespassing sign was from afar, but it seems to be gone now. The other weird things is that they are CONSTANTLY building new patio homes in the area. . . . 3 more just went up a few doors down on Larkin street. But this land . . . just sits.Photo: Swamplot inbox

01/06/12 11:57am

Another reason for checking Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Reports on a regular basis: You might find your home listed on it. Two years ago today, the city’s neighborhood protection department took out demo permits on the houses at 1315 and 1317 Shepherd Dr. at the southeastern tip of Cottage Grove, listing them as dangerous buildings; they showed up on Swamplot the next day. But in a lawsuit filed this week, Bellaire Bead Shop owner Katie Koenig claims she was never informed about the impending demolition of her 2 houses, where she stored her bead inventory. Koenig says she only discovered the houses had been torn down when she tried to visit them sometime around January 8th, 2010; she also claims she was injured on the property after tripping over fencepost stumps left after city crews came back later and partially removed a 6-ft. privacy fence she had had built surrounding the houses.


06/22/11 11:56am

Startup Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. will be located much closer to I-10 than to its namesake waterway, but founder Rassul Zarinfar says that’s by design. A Swamplot commenter dug up the address yesterday: The company has leased a 7,800 sq. ft. warehouse at 5301 Nolda St., at the corner of Detering, in Cottage Grove.

Zarinfar tells Swamplot he was happy to find a location that wasn’t “on the outskirts of town in a super-corporate industrial project.” The company plans to hand-deliver all the kegs it brews themselves, so highway access mattered. Having a location people could easily walk or bike to was also important to him. “Plus,” Zarinfar adds, “we wanted a warehouse that didn’t feel too much like a warehouse, but instead more like an art studio (since beer is art!).”


10/18/10 11:24pm

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Answers to your questions:

  • Downtown: Flagspotters pinpointed the not-so-wavy Lone Star banner pictured above on the parking-lot side of the small office building at 1515 Rusk St. between La Branch and Crawford, directly behind the new Hess Tower parking garage. Yes, it’s even visible on Google Street View, reader Brian points out.
  • Cottage Grove: What’s that freshly built structure at 1500 Shepherd Dr. on the corner of Maxie, right across from the shuttered Shuck Daddy’s (which is slated to become another Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant)? According to marketing director Heather McKeon, Bullritos Management is “finalizing the details with the franchisee” to bring the 12th area (and first freestanding) version of that burrito-and-margarita chain to that location. The 2,500 sq.-ft. Bullritos is expected to open in February or March of next year. Here’s a view:


10/13/10 2:28pm

Next establishment
moving into the restaurant testing ground known as 1511 Shepherd, according to a tipster: pidgin-Spanish promoters Lupe Tortilla. Shuck Daddy’s, which replaced Mak Chin’s just last year in the Cottage Grove location between Maxie and Eigel, closed up its oysters last month. Before that, yes, the building was home to fine-dining-establishment Richard Head’s.

Photo: Fred Eats Houston

10/12/10 11:42pm

Got an answer to one of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Location TBD: A reader who’s seen it used as a backdrop for engagement photos wants to know the location of this wall painted with the Texas flag. The pic above was snapped more than 2 1/2 years ago — does the Lone Star-splatted wall yet wave?
  • Cottage Grove: Reader Eric Nordstrom wants to know what that new construction going up on Shepherd across from the shuttered Shuck Daddy’s is gonna be when it grows up. That’d be on the corner of Maxie St., for all you online map Googlers.
  • First Ward: Yet another reader sends in these notable surveillance photos (below) from the scene of the old Harris Moving and Storage warehouse at 1824 Spring St. What’s going on there? “They dug up the fuel tank a few months ago, and lately there are fleets of HVAC and plumbing trucks in front every day. They’ve amassed a number of curb mosaics and appear to be laying them out for parking spaces. The most recent thing I observed was framing out of some of the windows — for AC units maybe? The other morning I also saw a truckload of what appeared to be room dividers being delivered. There is a rumor in the neighborhood that the warehouse will be turned into artist space, but I have no idea how credible that is.” Swamplot readers: What credible rumors about this building do you have to contribute?


09/20/10 10:23am

AW, SHUCKS No official confirmation yet, unless you count one corroborating report on Yelp — but reader Jack McBride reports that Shuck Daddy’s seafood restaurant at 1511 Shepherd in Cottage Grove appears to have closed. Writes McBride: “I drive by here everyday on my way home from work, and it was just in the last week that I saw it super packed.” [Swamplot inbox] Photo: Jack McBride

08/03/10 3:43pm

Bringing you the happening sounds of the vacant former Morse Wholesale Paper Co. on the east side — live, via YouTube!

Can’t get enough of this sort of thing? More Industrial:


12/14/09 2:57pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: TRUST THE WEBSITE “I live in a bungalow in cottage grove . . . since 2005. [7677 Homes] bought the house in 8/2006. We have paid our rent on time and have asked SEVERAL times even as short of time as 3 months ago (when I saw land being surveyed next door) if they had plans on doing something with our home. They reassured me no worries the market is bad and we would give you 90 days to 6 month notice before doing that. Told me how well we have always paid, yada yada yada, well guess what found out Saturday they have plans on demolishing the house, only after we had to pay 155.00 so we could have heat, we have a 4 yr old in the house. They gave us 30 days to move (verbally) . . . and ofered us “another” house for 200 more a month, and failed to tell me it is listed as being demolished as well. I really thought the men were nice when we met them, but to do this behind our backs when we asked them to please give us alot of notice. Sad thing is, it is Christmas, times are hard, and they have had our house on their website to demolish since September and we never knew it or else we could have had all this time to save money to move. . . .” [Susan Dugas, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Truck Tired]

07/13/09 5:46pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BATHTIME IN COTTAGE GROVE “I took a look at the flood map which gave me the first inclination of worry. I guess hurricanes don’t give me the biggest concern since they’re not as frequent… *knock on wood* – I guess I’m just trying to get a feel for how often you might find water in your house. One of my friends lived in the Heights and would have a couple inches of water in her house everytime it rained reasonably hard and I’m just trying to avoid that situation. Once again, any insight or other experiences people have had or heard of in Cottage Grove would be great!” [Ryan, commenting on The New Inner Loop Townhome Poster Child]

06/29/09 12:39pm

THE NEW INNER LOOP TOWNHOME POSTER CHILD “Density hasn’t been kind to Cottage Grove, a small neighborhood with narrow streets, few sidewalks, poor drainage and scarce parking for the owners of its many new homes and their guests. Like many neighborhoods inside Loop 610, Cottage Grove in recent years has experienced a flurry of construction of large townhomes that loom over 80-year-old cottages next door. Two or three dwellings crowd sites where one house stood previously. Streets are cluttered with vehicles parked every which way. Water stands in the streets after heavy rains. ‘It was shocking to see this jewel of a neighborhood in this condition,’ said former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, a senior fellow with the nonprofit Urban Land Institute who toured Cottage Grove two years ago. ‘It was about the ugliest thing I’d ever seen, to be honest with you.’” [Houston Chronicle]

02/27/08 9:26pm

5248 Larkin St. D, Cottage Grove, HoustonA househunter writes in with questions about the townhome at 5248 Larkin St. Unit D, calling it “possibly the strangest property I’ve ever seen.”

When I saw it on HAR.com, I thought I’d better be ready to spring with an offer immediately . . . I’m a first time home-buyer, so honestly, no expert. I’ve looked in Cottage Grove before, but with the exception of 2620 Detering, nothing of this size is that cheap.

On the same lot are three other identical townhouses, all advertised as new and offered at $315,000 by Mike Adams Enterprises. Unit D is listed for $219,000 and is being sold by a division of Sallie Mae.

The price is not weird for the neighborhood — I just think it’s odd that you have this foreclosure that is discounted $100k below the three new properties and they are on the same lot. . . .

The foreclosure sign is still hanging in the hallway, the red code violations are still on the door, and I’m just curious. . . .

Inspections were performed in spring of 2007 . . . but it doesn’t look like the code violations were addressed. If someone lived there, I’d be very surprised. . . .

I mean, it’s weird because they had nails in the wall –lots of nails, including ones in spots you wouldn’t necessarily hang pictures. At some point, someone had hung a television in the master bedroom. But it didn’t look as if the range had ever been used, that the showers, etc, had ever been used. If someone lived there, it was an extremely short period of time and they didn’t do anything but watch television. We were wondering at first if it had been a model home and that would account for the wear on the stairs and the holes in the wall and the nails. . . .

There were way too many red flags for me . . .

After the jump: more photos from the listing . . . and flags!