- 4622 Polk St. [HAR]
The back portion of Eastwood’s Stephen F. Austin Senior High School off Telephone Rd. is in the process of being pulverized to make room for a new western section of the campus that’ll go in its place. Like the demolished section, the soon-to-be built 184,000-sq.-ft. portion will back up to S. Lockwood Dr. along Jefferson St. Asbestos cleanup preceded the current demo.
Workers’ next job will be to gut the interior of the school’s original 1936 front section along Dumble St. — but not until it achieves an all-clear from asbestos as well:
Replica weaponry is now up on the white brick building at 1318 Telephone Rd. ahead of coffee shop Coral Sword’s planned opening in the space next month. Backed by former Houston Astro and self-professed video- and board-gamer Hunter Pence along with his wife Alexis, the venue will include communal gaming areas, a private podcast and game session recording booth, and “a membership driven co-gaming space.” Record and book store Wired Up closed down in the building last year, and renovations have been underway on the space since last month. The photo at top shows Coral Sword’s main entrance and storefront window to the right of it.
The cafe will share the building with East End Barber, which takes up the southeast portion of the structure. Below, you can see the barber shop’s sign on the corner of Telephone and Fourcade St.:
Last month Dominion Church International, the church most recently inhabiting the triangular block at Dallas St. and Telephone Rd. holding Eastwood’s former Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, finally sold the land after putting it up on the market last August. A couple of readers tell Swamplot that Nextdoor is abuzz with the claim that Mir Azizi‘s company Caspian Enterprises, which bought the property, plans to turn it into some sort of lofts or apartments. Caspian does have something of a habit of splitting up old buildings into residential units; a permit for some interior wall teardowns in the church was issued last month, but no formal announcements have been made about what the site’ll become.
A document filed with the county transfers the rooftop lease to the new owner for that T-mobile cellular relay visible atop the church’s belltower); Caspian has already gotten permission to knock down the complex’s parsonage, however:
The earth being pushed and shoved around on Lawndale St. between Hackney St. and the railroad tracks to the west this weekend looks like it’s being primed to sprout a field of new townhomes, if all goes according to Drake Homes’s plans. The irregularly shaped former warehouse site is already divvied up into more than 130 townhome-ready plotlets in the Harris County Appraisal District’s records system, each labeled with the moniker Magnolia Gardens. The land spreads between and behind the Eastwood post office and the Lawndale Street Carwash, right across Lawndale from the KIPP Explore Academy:
Across a parking lot from the stripy blue office of Air Alliance Houston, the 1940s building that has hosted Lee Printing Company since 1970 is now up for lease. The Lee family has closed the printing business, and the current listing for the property says the spot will be available starting in March. Eponymous co-founder Gene Lee (who started the business with his wife Hedy, and spent a decade running Houston’s first English-Chinese newspaper in the mid 70s and early 80s,) retired in 1994 and passed away in 2010. The storefront is being marketed as potential office, retail, or art studio space; Sandy Lee says the family is open to selling some of their old-school Chinese printing equipment, as well. The structure is a block up Hussions St. from Houston Elbow & Nipple Co.’s facility toward the corner with Jefferson St., and about a block south along Hussions from Super Happy Fun Land, which sits around the bend on Polk St.
Photo: Robert Downs
CROSSWALKS GIVE RED LIGHT WALKERS THE FINGER IN MIDTOWN, EASTWOOD The DON’T WALK hand at the corner of Holman and San Jacinto streets has been straightened out after a post-paint spree of flipping the bird to pedestrians, Steve Romo reports this week. The offending intersection is home to a number of HCC buildings and the parking lot behind recently departed Adkins Architectural Antiques, as well as a retail strip; Romo notes that his news team tracked down at least one other similarly altered sign over at the intersection of S. Lockwood Dr. and Leland St., near the Learn & Grow Academy daycare and Houston Fire Station 18. The city tells Romo it’s not the first time this kind of paint job has shown up around town (nor is it a uniquely Houston occurrence), and that the graffiti is a quick fix but diverts city resources, adding that folks should let 311 know if any more intersection signals are rude to them. [ABC13] Photo of signal at Holman and San Jacinto streets: Kate Erin C.
Now on the market for $2.5 million: the triangular Telephone Rd. block bounded by Dallas and Eastwood streets, complete with the still-well-labeled former complex of the storied Church of the Redeemer. The church’s congregation moved out of the literally crumbling structures in 2011 after receiving some $5-to-7-million estimates on bringing them up to minimum habitability standards. The property was later bought by Dominion Church International, which wrangled a new certificate of occupancy for the site in early 2014.
The current listing shows that the crown of T-mobile relay equipment atop the church’s bell tower appears to still be in place — county records show a rooftop lease agreement for the building was renewed for another 50 years in mid-2014:
Lovett has been dropping a few crumbs regarding the selection of restaurants and shops that will fringe the parking lot of the retail development planned for the former Fingers Furniture warehouse site on Cullen Blvd., across I-45 from the University of Houston’s main campus. No anchor tenant for the site has officially named (though talk of Walmart has made its way to several tipsters in the Eastwood Civic Association this spring, along with assurances that the marker memorializing the former site of Buffalo Stadium’s home plate will likely be preserved).
A site plan from December (shown above, with north angled roughly toward the top right corner) shows several pad sites along the feeder road marked up as QSR (presumably Quick Service Restaurant). A later sketch now up on Lovett’s website as well adds more clues, however — including a cryptic label on what could be the first Starbucks to venture into the East End:
A running reader caught sign of the leasing notice currently up at the former Macy’s outlet store just north of I-45 and S. Lockwood Dr. along Munger St. The clearance center operations moved out several years ago to the current location at Highway 6 and Westheimer Rd. (as noted by signage tacked to the S. Lockwood storefront’s doors, still redirecting missed-the-memo potential customers). The company’s distribution warehouse complex next door is still in action (and, per the same set of signage, handling customer pickup).
Lovett Commercial is marketing the space; its own (larger) signage currently refers to the property as East End Central. The flier on the company’s website marketing the property (dated January 2014) shows some proposed pad sites and some potential tenants; the flier also refers to the property only as 4500 Gulf Freeway or as South Lockwood Retail:
A little green man in a flying saucer heralds the looming takeover of the former Los Amigos space at 823 Dumble St. (at the corner with McKinney, a few blocks west of S. Lockwood Dr.). Los Amigos is prepping to be reborn as Invasion Ice House — a tipster tells Swamplot that the new owner wants to make the space into the “cool neighborhood hangout” that the area “desperately needs”. The 1,300-sq.-ft. building, formerly violet (and even-more-formerly lemon-yellow), has been repainted a dusty blue behind the sci-fi mural now adorning the front.
Invasion manager Monique Ramos applied for a TABC beer and wine license last month; a closer look at the signs posted on the space indicates that the interplanetary colonists will bring along Tex-Mex provender in the form of the Tako Box food truck.
Photo of 823 Dumble St.: Swamplot inbox