And that’s a wrap over at the 18th St. H-E-B, closed since yesterday so as not to distract from the new, double-decker H-E-B that opened today at 2300 N. Shepherd Dr. between 23rd and 24th streets. The photos above show the old store’s front entrance stripped of all red, hyphenated signage, blockaded by shopping carts, plastered with closure notices, and — in case that wasn’t enough — fronted by stack of wooden pallets with a blaze yellow flyer addressing anyone who’d still hoped to get inside. A few weeks ago, workers inside stopped restocking the aisles, slapped a few discounts on what they had left, and watched as the store’s inventory dwindled up until it shut down.
By 5 p.m. yesterday, reports a Swamplot reader, the parking lot was mostly empty:
A local franchisee of nationwide chain Camp Bow Wow is getting started transforming about 8,000 sq.-ft. within the 30,000-sq.-ft. warehouse building shown above into something more pet-friendly than what’s inside now. About 150 Camp Bow Wow kennels are currently spread across the U.S. and Canada, according to the chain’s promotional materials, but this so-called “Greater Heights” location would be the first in Houston.
The building is one of 3 with identical exteriors that make up the Wynwood Park industrial complex, part of the even larger landscape of industrial buildings north of Hempstead Rd. and just east of 610. Some of the dog facility’s soon-to-be neighbors in those whereabouts: laser printer retailer Alpha Laser, construction tool supplier Expert Equipment, and a distribution center for specialty food purveyor Swiss Chalet.
The owners of the 22,860-sq.-ft. warehouse at the bend where Wash Ave becomes Hempstead Rd. have plans to refashion the building as Houston’s latest food hall, complete with 25-plus restaurant tenants, a few grocery and trinket vendors, and an adjacent beer garden — all fronting 22,000-sq.-ft.-worth of park space. Aside from homonymous salad bar concept Let Us, no specific tenants have been announced for the space yet — formerly home to the Emmett Perry oriental rug store and Sugar Creek Interiors’ design studio. But the developer hints that most food stalls at Railway Heights will be of the fresh-never-frozen variety, staffed by “the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread.”
Later on, plans call for a 600-car automatic parking garage (about 2-and-a-half-times the size of that other robo-valet proposed next to Tacos A Go Go on White Oak) to be added on to the site at 8200 Washington, along with a complex of “container apartments” in the southeast corner of the things. Along with the food hall, they’ll all go in the area marked red in the map above, across the train tracks from InTown Homes’ forthcoming Cottage Grove Lake community.
The map below shows how the site will layout in greater detail:
A Swamplot reader reports that construction vehicles have started pushing dirt around on the east side of 610, opposite the Northwest Mall. That marks some down-to-earth progress on developer David Weekley Homes’ plans to turn the 5.4-acre northeast corner (indicated at top) into something homelier than what its encompassing 33.6-acre tract (indicated above) is now: vacant.
Weekley filed plans last month to create a new subdivision dubbed Heights at Minimax that’s entered where Salford Dr. now terminates in a roundabout. Those whereabouts set the neighborhood back some from the West Loop, beyond an undeveloped buffer zone.
You can see where the west end of that zone butts up against the highway behind the Miller Lite billboard in the photo below, taken back before construction wrapped up on 610’s elevated northbound feeder lanes above Hempstead Dr. last March:
Mounds of dirt are stacked high next to the West End Roofing building off Ella between 12th St. and Grovewood, which the developers of the Broadstone Heights Waterworks midrise a mile and a half away are using as a dumping ground for earthen debris involved in their project. A TCEQ notice posted by the dirt piles states that a plan was in place to prevent too much stomwater from running off the property between January 9 and June 1.
The new 8-story Broadstone building is planned on a portion of the original Heights Waterworks at the northwest corner 20th and Nicholson streets that Alliance bought from the city a few years ago. It’ll go up, catty-corner to the development Braun Enterprises has planned on the neighboring soon-to-be reworked waterworks parcel, as indicated in the map below:
Here’s where the neighbors of the soon-to-be filled and graded Stanley Park subdivision will go, in a larger, adjacent 207-home community dubbed Palisades Park that’s also planned by the floodable rail yard west of T.C. Jester and south of Timbergrove Manor. Unlike the tract next door, it’s almost entirely outside White Oak Bayou’s 100-year floodplain (but still almost entirely inside the 500-year).
Its current occupant: the complex of industrial buildings eyed from the sky at top — which sits behind Grace Bible Church and adjacent to Better Bags, Inc.’s facilities off 11th St. In order to connect to that street, a new roadway would be built through what’s now the church’s parking lot, as indicated in the subdivision map below:
Hillocks of dirt dot the landscape west of T.C. Jester, adjacent to the train tracks near the end of Shirkmere Dr. where Lovett Homes is now elevating some of the 77 lots that’ll make up its new Stanley Park subdivision. Since receiving a commercial fill permit from the city in April, the developer has stacked soil across the site — which lies entirely within White Oak Bayou’s 100-year floodplain and has never before been built on.
Also included in that flood-designated realm: the Timbergrove Manor neighborhood just north of the development. Its southernmost street, Queenswood Ln., had it up to here during Harvey:
We don’t have all that many to spare, but it appears that there will soon be one fewer thin-shell paraboloid roof in Houston: HISD says it plans to demolish the 1958 James M. Delmar Fieldhouse (known now as the Delmar-Tusa Fieldhouse) and build a new facility in its place. According to a press release, the old stadium is “currently in poor condition with major roof leaks, flooding problems in the locker rooms and a sports medicine area that falls short of athletic league standards.”
The 5,000-seat swayback fieldhouse is located at 2020 Mangum Rd., just outside the Loop in Lazybrook and Timbergrove. Designed by Milton McGinty, who also had a hand in the Rice Stadium, the gym served as the home court in the ’60s for UH and the Elvin Hayes-powered Coogs. But it would seem that HISD wants to make haste and move on from that history: “The goal is to have the site ready for construction as soon as possible and complete the replacement facility by late 2016.”
A pair of new restaurants are moving into old places in the Lazybrook and Timbergrove area. The former Queen Burger at 1802 W. 18th St., shown here, is being renovated and rechristened as Hughie’s Tavern and Grill. (A menu posted on Hughie’s Facebook describes the food as “Asian fusion.”) No date’s been given for the opening. And not half a mile away at 1951 W. T.C. Jester there’ll be a new Spaghetti Western . . .
A small group of homeowners that includes residents of Timbergrove, Brookwoods Estates, and Holly Park have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration claiming that the agency approved the expansion of Hwy. 290 along the 38-mile stretch from 610 to FM 2920 last August without properly analyzing how noise from the project would affect their properties. In the filing, the plaintiffs say they are not opposed to the project, but are concerned that TxDOT’s environmental studies of its planned elevated roadways at the 610 and I-10 interchanges — some of which will reach as high as 100 ft. in the air — didn’t account for noise impacts on Memorial Park and the Houston Arboretum as well.
For a while, it looked like the effort to save the last five acres of the West 11th Street Park property from impending townhome development was going to fail. Having put up those acres of parkland as collateral for a bridge loan from Amegy Bank that allowed the city to purchase the remaining fifteen acres of the park, the Houston Parks Board had given park supporters only until August to raise $3.75 million to pay off the loan.
Private donors reaching into their own pockets were able to raise only about a quarter of a million dollars. Meanwhile, one donor was looking in other pockets: In the last legislative session, State Senator John Whitmire was able to slide funding for the park into the state budget for local parks grants. After some confusion, it now appears that Whitmire’s bill will allow the property, long a merely undeveloped HISD property with tall trees, to become an official city park.
Now what happens to the private funds already raised for that purpose?