10/24/17 12:45pm

Not too much in the way of timelapse settings, drone footage, pulsating but string-infused soundtracks, supertitles, or accompanying sound effects appears to have been spared in the making of this video ode to the Arch-Con crane assembly now hovering over the southeast corner of Washington Ave and S. Heights Blvd. That’s the location of the planned H-E-B Market with the office space and 5-story apartment building on top of it soon to be known as the first phase of Midway’s Buffalo Heights development, on the northwest corner of the former Memorial Heights apartments.

Video: Midway Companies

Going Vertical
02/06/17 4:30pm


The peculiar scene pictured above, of a freestanding but fenceless gate, greeted residents of the Memorial Heights Apartments near the corner of Washington Ave and Studewood late last week. Demolition of buildings 1 through 6 of the complex, on the northwest corner of the complex, for a planned new 5-story apartment complex atop a new H-E-B market, appears imminent.

In anticipation, workers have been constructing fencing (now attached to the above gate) that appears to be intended to surround a portion of the remaining parking lot of the remaining complex. There’s also this construction going up at the corner of Studewood and Washington Ave.:


Approaching Buffalo Heights
12/29/16 10:45am

J. Black's, 110 South Heights Blvd., Memorial Heights, Houston,  77007

J. Black's, 110 South Heights Blvd., Memorial Heights, Houston,  77007The building housing the Houston expansion of Austin’s J. Black’s at the southwest corner of Washington Ave and Heights Blvd. now bears a new for-info-please-call sign, a reader notes. The bar appears to have events planned through at least New Year’s Eve; the 5,948-sq.-ft. space was only listed online as up for lease about 2 weeks ago. Back before 2012, the property was home to Phil’s Texas Barbecue, for about the same amount of time as it took Phil himself to restaurantize the corner’s original muffler shop setup. And soon another corner at the intersection will be getting a full workover as well, if all goes as planned — J. Black’s sits across Heights Blvd. from the subsection of the Memorial Heights apartments slated to go away some time next quarter, to make way for that planned Midway midrise with the H-E-B at the bottom:


Cornered in Memorial Heights
03/16/16 10:45am

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

H-E-B has confirmed that the grocery store chain is considering a store on Washington Ave at Studemont St. Public affairs director Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells the HBJ that the chain has “been in discussion for that site for months,” though a deal isn’t finalized. The nod follows yesterday’s story about a Braun Enterprises leasing flier (advertising a property further east down Washington) that showed the company’s logo stamped over the site of the Archstone Memorial Heights apartments.


Contemplating Memorial Heights
03/15/16 10:15am

H-E-B mapped on Washington Ave. by Braun Enterprises

Later update, 2:30pm:  H-E-B’s Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells Swamplot that plans to place a store in the area are only in the discussion phase, and that no agreements have been reached — more here.

Update, 3/16: H-E-B has confirmed to the HBJ that the company has been in talks over a new store on the Archstone property.

A recent flier produced by Braun Enterprises in an effort to lease the former club space at 1815 Washington features a surprising extra: an overlay of the H-E-B logo planted squarely over a map of the not-so-square site of the Archstone Memorial Heights apartments on Washington Ave. between Studemont and Waugh. A 5-acre chunk at the southwest corner of the 1996 apartment complex was cleared out in 2008, then repopulated, then cleared out again in 2012 for redevelopment as the taller, denser Memorial Heights Villages complex (visible just to the right of the word “WAUGH” on the above aerial). CityCentre developer Midway bought the remaining 23.4 acres of apartments with the Lionstone Group at the end of 2014.

Also featured on the aerial: shuttered-over-the-weekend Hughes Hangar, which CultureMap’s Eric Sandler reports has closed along with Paris-minded parking lot companion The De Gaulle. Further east down the corridor is the space Braun is hawking: the former Pandora-turned-Throne nightclub space at 1815 Washington, marked with a star below, across the road from Bovine & Barley B&B Butchers:


H-E-B Marks the Spot
12/09/14 11:59am


In case you missed them late last month, here are a few renderings of Park Place at Buffalo Bayou, the 18-story office tower Pinto Realty Partners is putting up on Willia St., atop the rim of the Spotts Park bowl at Memorial Dr. and Waugh Dr., just north of Buffalo Bayou and atop the dust of the demolished Masterson YWCA.


Willia Look At This
08/28/14 1:15pm

White Stripes on Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

White Stripes on Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, HoustonWas it something you said? A couple readers have informed Swamplot that the stenciled nametags that appeared recently apportioning every single parking space in the lot in front of the Shoppes at Memorial Heights shopping center to one of the resident businesses at 920 Studewood St. have just as suddenly been covered over. Stripes of white paint have now been painted on top of the stenciled signs throughout the parking lot. Which means that next time you’re visiting Hair Desire, Absolve Wine Bar, Urban Cleaners, or (more likely, apparently) Beer Market Co., you will no longer have to check underneath or behind your car to make sure that you’ve parked in a space appropriate to your shopping-center visit.


Here Come the White Stripes
08/21/14 1:00pm

Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, HoustonVisiting a business in the stucco-deco Shoppes at Memorial Heights and can’t figure out where to park? Don’t worry, management of the Studemont St. shopping center just south of Washington Ave has figured it all out for you. Just drive around until you see an empty space that happens to have the name of the store you’re going to spray-paint stenciled onto the parking surface. And maybe move your car before you even think about wandering into any adjacent shops, because otherwise that might cause some problems, okay?

Still confused? Recent visitor PoppyPetalled has provided a helpful diagram showing how the best principles of parking-lot planning have been applied to laying out the individual spaces assigned Happy Belly Studios, Sam’s Cafe, Beer Market Co., Absolve Wine Lounge, Sushi Tora, Urban Cleaners, Hair Desire, and other establishments at 920 Studewood St.:


Look for the Spray Paint Stencils
03/17/14 10:30am

Proposed Studemont Midrise, 1011 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

Morrison Heights Midrise, 2802 Morrison St., Woodland Heights, HoustonThe developer behind the Morrison Heights midrise building (pictured at left) now under construction in the southeast corner of Woodland Heights has plans to build a similar “apartment and condo” complex at the southwest corner of Studemont and Center St., just north of Washington Ave. Like its neighbor to the northeast, the Studemont Mid-Rise would be a 4-story structure of 36 units mounted over an open parking area underneath. To fit the proposed building on the lot at 1011 Studemont St., however, Fisher Homes needs a variance from the city that would allow a reduced setback on either Studemont or Court St. Its application was deferred at a meeting earlier this month, and is up for consideration by the planning commission this Thursday.


All the Single Bedrooms
06/05/12 11:09pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SHORT-TERM APARTMENTS “Wait. When this place was built it was out of place because it was a brand spanking new apartment complex in the Washington Corridor which (with a few exceptions) was a dead area / no man’s land of heavy industrial uses and crumbling residential shacks. Now these well maintained, 20 year old garden apartments are woefully obsolete and cry out for demolition because they aren’t dense enough, hip enough, or mixed use enough for surrounding neighborhood. How can you not love this city?” [Bernard, commenting on Archstone Memorial Heights Clearing Out Residents Again for Bigger Buildings, 4 Years After First Attempt]

06/04/12 2:26pm

The long-delayed piece-by-piece redevelopment of the 28-acre Archstone Memorial Heights compound at the corner of Studemont and Washington Ave. into a denser style of apartment complex appears to be back on track. Residents of the 3 existing 3-story “garden-style” buildings in the southwest corner facing Heights Blvd. have received notice that they will need to vacate their apartments by August 1st. (“I was trying to figure out why rent prices went up $300 in 5 months,” a resident quips to Swamplot: “Now I know why.”) Did those letters from management sound familiar? Residents of the same buildings were cleared out in March 2008 in anticipation of a similar redevelopment. A letter sent to Memorial Heights tenants refers only to a new 4-story apartment building planned for the site of those structures: Buildings 7, 8, and 9.


04/29/11 6:22pm

THE LEFTOVERS AT PHIL’S TEXAS BARBECUE Katharine Shilcutt at the Houston Press confirms what readers have been telling us: that Phil’s Texas Barbecue closed for good on Tuesday, leaving behind a large and now-vacant BBQ-and-picnic-style spread at the intersection of Heights Blvd. and Washington Ave. Former energy executive Phil Stephenson did manage to leave the corner a fair bit cleaner than the way he found it: Carving a 7,000-sq.-ft. restaurant space out of the former Southwest Muffler and Brake building took 9 months. Phil’s opened last June. [Eating Our Words, via Twitter; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Houston Foodie

04/27/11 11:56am

The YMCA of Greater Houston is considering several options for the 1.3-acre piece of land off Waugh Dr. that until last week held the vacant Masterson Branch of the YWCA, according to a communications document forwarded to Swamplot. Among the possibilities for the property at 3615 Willia St., which sits on a bluff above Spotts Park and overlooks White Oak Bayou: building a new YMCA facility, collaborating with the city and area nonprofits to develop “recreational opportunities” on the site, partnering with a developer on an unspecified project, or selling it outright. If the organization is considering selling the property, why did it decide to tear down the 1982 building, designed by Houston’s Taft Architects?


04/20/11 12:12pm

Good news for those of you who enjoy the athletic side of demolition: At the moment, crews from Cherry Demolition are hard at work taking apart not just the Downtown Y, but this iconic vacant Y on Willia St. off Waugh Dr. as well, just north of Spotts Park. It’s the former Masterson Branch YWCA, designed by Houston’s own Taft Architects in a blaze of postmodern glory back in 1979, opened in 1982, but left to collect mold spores since its closing in 2005. The property was purchased a few years ago by the Greater Houston YMCA, with plans to open a new Wortham YMCA on that location.

Swamplot reader Jason Ezer was on the spot yesterday and captured these views of the formal decommissioning ceremonies:


03/18/11 12:06pm

Counting from the date on the notice taped to the front door, it’s only been a little more than 2 weeks since Terlingua Border Cafe got locked out of its space at the southern end of that super-festive Shops at Memorial Heights strip center at 920 Studewood. But already people have begun to notice the restaurant’s absence. A couple of Swamplot readers sent in these pics of the Border Cafe ghost town. A snapshot of that friendly little letter from the landlord, after the jump: