02/27/19 2:00pm

A building permit filed yesterday reveals what’s going up on the half-acre vacant tract across Caroline St. from the Oaks On Caroline condo building: a 16,000-sq.-ft. parking garage. Home previously to a pair of 2-story homes, the property’s been vacant since early 2016, around the same time Nan and Company put the finishing touches on its neighboring 5-story condo structure which sits between Arbor and Rosedale streets. As shown in the photo at top, the garage’s construction site is surrounded entirely by townhomes. Not pictured: the Houston Museum of African American Culture, which is situated just north of the garage, at the northeast corner of Caroline and Wentworth St.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Museum Park
08/13/18 12:00pm

A new sketch of the Almeda Rd. building that Art Supply on Main wants to construct and move into shows the borders and outlines of what’s planned for its exterior. Like the current store — soon to make way for the highrise that’s taking over its lot between Drew and Dennis streets — the new one will include studio and living spaces along with retail, all within 2 stories. It’ll sit on a 2-plus acre site — highlighted by the red polygon in the map above (and nuzzled by a pale blue limb of 500-year floodplain) — originally part of Riverside Terrace, now just west of 288 and across from Our Legends Cigar Bar off Oakdale St.

Parking will remain in the back, with entrances off Oakdale and an alley to the south indicated in the site plan below:


Midtown Moveout
09/25/17 11:00am

Passenger-window-side pix sent in by a reader show the current state of Java Lava, the new coffee house under construction at 1201 Southmore Blvd. The entrance walkway shown in the photo (and in the rendering above from the building’s architects, Albany Studio), leads from Southmore. Some outdoor seating for the coffee house will back up to San Jacinto St., just behind a fence from the tracks for the northbound trains on the Red Line. The overall configuration of the corner site is better shown in an earlier rendering (below) posted on the architects’ website, though it’s missing the building’s relocated Southmore entrance:


Java Lava
10/17/16 12:15pm

5404 Almeda Rd., Museum Park, Houston, 77004

The fenced-off L-shaped strip center that previously hosted a string of smoked meat vendors at 5404 Almeda Rd. looks to be the planned site of a new restaurant connected to Breakfast Klub owner Marcus Davis. The strip center got a new roof during the summer of 2014, after permits were issued with Davis’s name in the occupant spot; plans to remodel the space for a new restaurant and bar were moving through the city review system again as recently as last month, and a tipster tells Swamplot the place could open early next year (if all goes as planned).

The site sits about 6 blocks south down Almeda from Davis’s Reggae Hut; the shot above looks west from Almeda down Prospect St. (not even a quarter mile down the road from that trio of light-up townhomes that just went on sale). The once-Green’s space became a Harlon’s Bar-B-Que for a few years before it was turned into Bar B-Que Blues (which shut down by early 2011). Here’s what the space looked like circa 2010, when the strip was also occupied by the Black Heritage Gallery and the Grape & Grain Liquor Store:


Joining the Klub
02/02/16 10:45am

1517 Blodgett St., Museum Park, Houston, 77004

The demo job on the strip center on Blodgett St. between Crawford and La Branch has finally been completed, following a multi-year pause. Until late last fall, the strip contained Sub-Saharan African art gallery Gallery Jatad (since departed to an Almeda Rd. location), while J Food Mart previously held down the fort on the opposite end of the row — but much of the middle of the complex (left, in the above photo) was gutted in 2013. Demo permits for the rest of the structure were issued on Thursday, and the building was down by late yesterday afternoon, a reader writes.

The land under the strip was bought by Trans Unity Partners in January 2015, with an eye toward developing the spot as the Chelsea at Museum District, an 18-story condo highrise. Back then, Trans Unity was uncertain about moving forward with the plan in light of predicted market conditions.

Specs for the Chelsea at Museum District (not to be confused with the highrise formerly known as Chelsea Montrose) mention 95-ish units atop 6 stories of parking. HAIF user urbannizer even dug up a draft rendering of the project, set artfully amid a field of flowers, last October:


Now Off Display
01/06/15 10:45am

ANOTHER CHELSEA GETS AWAY Construction of the Carter Apartments, 4 Chelsea Blvd., Montrose, HoustonGood morning! It’s 2015, oil is already checking out the territory south of $50 a barrel, and Swamplot is ready to begin its coverage of cancellation and delay announcements from real estate developers. We’ll start this one gently, with an Inside the Loop project you probably hadn’t even heard of — though its name certainly sounds familiar: The developers of Chelsea Museum District, a proposed apartment complex atop a podium garage with a bit of retail thrown in planned for the north side of Blodgett St. between Crawford and La Branch, tell the HBJ‘s Paul Takahashi they are “contemplating holding [the] project to see how the multifamily market fares amid low oil prices.” But don’t confuse Trans Unity Investment’s Chelsea Museum District with another project less than a mile to the west at 4 Chelsea Blvd. that used to be called Chelsea Montrose, but has since been renamed The Carter (no, not kidding), and which developer StreetLights Residential has already begun building (see construction photo above from just before Christmas). [Houston Business Journal] Photo: Marc Longoria

12/16/14 10:30am


These mighty fallen timbers are just “one of the costs of development,” writes a reader with a commanding, bird’s-eye-view of Tema Development’s just-commenced addition to the Parklane amid its planned four-phase Hermann Park-side portfolio. “I’d love to know when these trees were planted and what was originally on the lot. Purely based on size, most appear to be 30 to 60 years old and many are larger than the trees in Hermann Park.”


12/05/14 10:30am


And here is how Tema hopes all of its developments will fit together one day on the northern edge of Hermann Park.

That just-begun 7-story apartment building — “Phase I” above — is going in at 1699 Hermann Dr., immediately west of Tema’s thirtysomething-year-old, 35-story Parklane Houston Condos tower.

Phase II — also 7 stories, groundbreaking TBA — slots in behind the 7-story building and looks over Ewing St. towards downtown.

And then there’s the proposed tall and twisty Tower at Hermann Place, the 42-story behemoth that was once slated to be up by the middle of next year


Museum Park Plans
12/04/14 4:30pm


Construction commenced earlier this week on Tema Development’s Hermann Park Residences you see rendered above. The 7-story building is going up at 1699 Hermann Dr. overlooking the park and a heartbeat or two east of the Health Museum, a little to the west of Tema’s 35-story Parklane tower, and possibly within earshot of the lions roaring at the zoo.

The Residences are intended to be the first of Tema’s three-phase plan for their 6.8 acre plot. That twisty 42-story tower Tema has proposed is still 4-6 years away, according to a company spokesperson.


08/18/14 2:15pm

Demolition for The Southmore, Proposed Apartment Tower at Southmore Blvd. and San Jacinto St., Museum Park, Houston

This was the scene of almost-complete destruction on the Museum District block surrounded by Caroline, Southmore, Oakdale, and San Jacinto late last week, as crews from Cherry Demolition finished tearing down the gaggle of structures in the way of Hines’s 25-story apartment project, which it’s calling the Southmore. All the homes on that block are being torn down — save the one shown in the background of this photo, at the corner of Caroline and Southmore, where the owner did not sell to the developer:


Hines 25 Stories
06/13/14 2:00pm

Rendering of the Hampstead, 1508 Blodgett St., Museum Park, Houston

Deccan Development is the firm behind the unlabeled and unannounced 36-unit brick-and-stucco apartment building now under construction at 1508 Blodgett St. just north of MacGregor Elementary in Blodgett Park. And here’s a grayscale version of a rendering of the design, by Houston’s Clerkley Watkins Group (architects of the new District at Greenbriar apartments in town, among other apartment projects). For the Hampstead, 4 stories of apartments are going on top of 2 garage levels, which will be accessed from separate driveways on Blodgett and La Branch.

Rendering: Clerkley Watkins Group/Deccan Development

The Hampstead
06/12/14 11:45am

Construction of the Hampstead Apartment Building, 1508 Blodgett St., Blodgett Park, Museum Park, Houston

Construction of the Hampstead Apartment Building, 1508 Blodgett St., Blodgett Park, Museum Park, HoustonThere’s a sign up for the bank that financed the project, but that’s about it for a large construction project that just got going in Blodgett Park. Crews are digging on the southeast corner of Blodgett and La Branch streets, south of the 59-288 crotch and one block north of MacGregor Elementary. A few 75-year-old duplexes stood on the site until last month.

And they are digging — about 8 ft. deep so far, says reader Seán Murphy, who passed by the site at 1508 Blodgett St. and sent photos of the scene: “They’ve got piles keeping back a make-shift retaining wall up against the adjacent townhomes” (see photo at left). Going into that spot: a 36-unit apartment structure on top of a podium garage. According to permits approved earlier this month, the project is being called The Hampstead.


The Hampstead
03/05/14 4:45pm

Chicago's Famous Maxwell Street Grill, 4902 Almeda Rd., Museum Park, Houston

A reader who’s already delved a bit into the menu at the “definitely not fine dining, but really tasty stuff” offered at the Maxwell Street Grill walkup (or more likely, driveup) that opened up last Saturday in the former Discount Liquor store spot at 4902 Almeda Rd. between Wichita and Rosedale has a few tips for follow-on sausage samplers: “A big pro is that it’s open late every night: until midnight Monday through Wednesday, and until 3am Thursday through Sunday. Definitely decent fare along the Almeda/Museum District corridor, for which there’s a demand. Happy to have it close to my house, especially since I’m from Chicago originally.”


From Maxwell St. to Almeda Rd.