- 5230 Grape St. [HAR]
Here’s what the restaurant just west of the Meyer Park Shopping Center looks like in its afterlife. Signage came down the same day that the store closed, last Wednesday. It’s now listed for lease by the franchisee that owns the land at 4904 W. Bellfort as well as that beneath about 70 other Taco Bells, KFCs, and Pizza Huts in and around Houston: KorMex Foods.
KorMex grabbed this location along with 15 other existing stores when it went into business in 2000. By then, the building itself had been around for 7 years.
Photo: Jason Karwacki
NEARLY 100 MEYERLAND HOUSES WILL SOON BE UP OFF THE GROUND Forty homes total have now been elevated in Meyerland and 57 are currently on the way up, reports Nancy Sarnoff. Their boosters are seeking the same degree of flood protection enjoyed by the 29 percent of Meyerland homeowners whose houses have never flooded in the past. A few elevations have been paid for by the City of Houston; others were self-funded. [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo of 4718 N. Braeswood Blvd.: Christine Gerbode
Bethany United Methodist Church has officially closed its doors at 3511 Linkwood Dr. after 68 years of services, putting a question mark on the map between Timberside Dr. and Buffalo Spdwy. At the back of the 5.5-acre religious complex, a portion devoted to the Bethany Methodist Weekday School remains open. But the church — which occupies the majority of the structure’s 48,000 sq. ft. — has been shuttered since early last month.
The last time Bethany planned to use its land for non-clerical purposes, it signed off on a 4-story senior living development that would’ve gone right up on a portion of the church complex — but the midrise never got off the ground. Had it risen, it would’ve been the first real shakeup on the block since the late ’90s, when the decades-old Dome Shadows nightclub fronting Buffalo Spdwy. bit the dust and nearly 70 newly-built homes rose up in its place — just east of the church.
Here’s what the club looked like on one of its slower days:
WHAT HOUSTON WILL SPEND TO RAISE A FEW FLOODY HOUSES IN MEYERLAND Houston City Council approved construction yesterday to raise 5 Meyerland houses — a subset of the 42 Houston homes FEMA paid the city $14.8 million to elevate back in 2015. One of those 42 houses has already been jacked up and 8 more are currently within the levitation process, according to the Chronicle’s Rebecca Elliott and John D. Harden. The costs to raise the 5 homes now slated for elevation 12 ft. above flood level — which include a few extra thousand dollars to put residents up in temporary lodging — range from $218,700 to $416,000 per property. In total, the bill comes to $1.6 million. Harris County appraises the total value of properties themselves from $125,906 to $507,152, with the value of improvements within that ranging from $34,700 to $201,200. One of the houses — 5150 Braesheather Dr. — shown above as it appeared before Harvey, is currently listed for sale. [Houston Chronicle; more info (items 24–28)] Photo of 5150 Braesheather Dr.: HAR
Everyone likes a good comeback story: 2 N. Braeswood houses a few doors down from the West Loop are rising above their floody circumstances with the help of wood-framed columns placed below their foundations. The photos above show 4718 N. Braeswood, just outside the West Loop, lifted on stilts months after Hurricane Harvey showered it with attention. The house’s chimney has been removed, leaving a gap in its street-facing facade.
Two doors down, 4710 N. Braeswood now sits at a similar elevation:
A DOUBLE-DECKER H-E-B FOR MEYERLAND PLAZA Ralph Bivins reports that grocery chain H-E-B is planning a new 100,000-sq.-ft. store on the western edge of Meyerland Plaza, near the mall-turned-big-box-collection’s JCPenney. The company announced earlier this month that it would not reopen its store at South Braeswood and Chimney Rock, which flooded after Hurricane Harvey. Stores at Meyerland Plaza, on Beechnut at 610, were damaged by flooding as well. The new structure H-E-B is planning there, Bivins says, would be 2 stories; if the configuration is similar to the company’s new Bellaire and Heights locations, that would mean the store itself would be built on the second floor, on top of a parking-only lower level. [Realty News Report; previously on Swamplot] Photo of parking lot in front of Meyerland Plaza JCPenney: Melanie H.
Pet Supermarket in Meyerland Plaza has reopened after taking on water after Hurricane Harvey, but it appears to be an exception among big-box stores lined in a row on the former mall site. Signs in front of Old Navy, OfficeMax, and Dressbarn declare the stores are closed — and direct customers to other locations, according to these photos and a report from a Swamplot reader. Here’s the scene in front of Old Navy, where notes in the window declare the store is closed “until further notice“:
Continuing arrangements set up for the Jewish New Year last week, families from the nation’s largest Conservative synagogue will assemble this evening and all day tomorrow for Yom Kippur services at the nation’s largest megachurch. Congregation Beth Yeshurun’s own facilities have been unusable since the synagogue on Beechnut St. — on the other side of the West Loop from Meyerland Plaza — took on as much as 4 ft. of water after Hurricane Harvey.
The interfaith arrangement was brokered initially by Congressman John Culberson. After receiving extensive criticism for not opening its doors to flooding victims immediately following the first Harvey storms, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church eventually served as a shelter for as many as 450 evacuees. For Rosh Hashanah services last week, Lakewood arranged for a rotating slide show of 40 high-resolution photos depicting portions of Beth Yeshurun’s damaged sanctuaries to be displayed on the 24-ft.-by-12-ft. Jumbotron behind the stage of the 16,800-seat former Houston Rockets basketball arena in Greenway Plaza.
Photos of Rosh Hashanah services in Lakewood Church, in front of projected image of stained glass from a Beth Yeshurun sanctuary: Lakewood Church
Here’s a cruel twist on all those DID NOT FLOOD signs popping up in front of homes in Harvey’s wake — and perhaps a cautionary tale for potential buyers of some of them: When it was offered for sale this summer, this 3-bedroom 1957 home on Yarwell Dr. in Meyerland between Chimney Rock and S. Post Oak featured a proud NEVER FLOODED topper on its for-sale sign. But Hurricane Harvey permanently altered that situation. Reader James Thomson snapped this shot of the front yard on September 4th, showing the first part of the sign painted over to reflect the home’s new status. The property has since been taken off the market.
Photo: James Thomson
By late afternoon on Sunday, August 27th, there were 2 ways out of several of the 3-story buildings at the Meyergrove Apartments at 4605 N. Braeswood — which back up to Brays Bayou in the southwest corner of the 610 Loop. There was rescue by boat (above) — from which you’d arrive to safety on a dry portion of the freeway:
Here’s an inside view of the aftermath and cleanup inside the Pool family’s 1964 Meyerland Mod on the south bank of Brays Bayou near S. Rice Ave. — from the point of view of the owners’ son-in-law, October Popular Mechanics coverboy Casey Neistat. Includes a few signature Neistat drone shots of recovering areas (he only arrived on Thursday), a view of damage in Friendswood, and a focus on the cleanup work of Team Rubicon.
Video: Casey Neistat
If you had been wondering whether the sandbag and tarp barrier (pictured at top) mustered around Kristin Massey’s Meyerland home was able to hold back the floodwaters once nearby Brays Bayou overflowed its banks a block to the north Monday night, here’s your answer: “We did all that we could, but it would never have been enough,” Massey wrote on Facebook the following morning.
To prepare for the storm, Massey had spent close to $5,000 to arrange a perimeter defense using 18,000 pounds of sandbags. But the water reached the 9 ft. level on Braesheather Dr. a block south of Brays Bayou and just west of the 610 Loop (above) — and up to 4-and-a-half-ft. high inside her 1961 home: