06/20/13 11:00am

APPLIED TECHNOLOGY AT UH’S NEW COFFEE NOOK A pair of University of Houston alums will be running a coffee shop and wine bar out of this new retail center in the cranny of Calhoun Rd. and Spur 5. The Nook, they’re calling it, will open July 15, reports The Daily Cougar, with more student-friendly hours, staying open until midnight — even on school nights. And there will also be a kind of caffeine-expediting service well suited to a spread-out campus that can require some serious between-classes hoofing: “‘The unique piece of The Nook that we’re actually proud of is a smart phone app where you can actually order your coffee the way you like it. You tell us when you’ll show up, you pay with your credit card and come to the pick-up counter and pick it up,’ Shaw said. ‘Anything on the menu, except for alcohol, can be ordered on the phone app.’” [The Daily Cougar; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

06/07/13 10:00am

It would seem that McDonald’s has resolved the steely staring contest between these 2 signs from 2 different eras, having gone ahead and ushered out the old restaurant here on Elgin and Cullen near the U of H campus to put up a brand-new one, a regional rep from the company confirms. No renderings of the next generation are available yet, but the rep says that it should be open in time for the fall semester.

Photo: Allyn West

06/04/13 2:00pm

Only Cougars allowed: Prime Property is reporting that Fountain Residential, a Dallas developer, will build, own, and operate this residential complex for students immediately southwest of the University of Houston campus. The 5-story, 347-bed dorm being called The Vue on MacGregor — which will indeed provide a vue of Brays Bayou — will be up by the fall semester of 2014, standing where there’s now a boarded-up gas station at the corner of S. MacGregor and Calhoun. This is just one of the many projects underway on campus, as the Robertson Stadium replacement continues to go up, along with another residence hall, student apartments, and a restaurant and retail space near Elgin St.

Rendering: 5G Studio Architects

05/15/13 11:00am

Let’s do 2: As construction at U of H on the $105 million no-name replacement football stadium plows on, the regents have decided to go ahead and redo the basketball arena, too. It probably won’t look like this; the rendering shown here has been circulating since February. No, the regents’ decision this past Monday really means that other, newer designs will be undertaken to freshen up the 43-year-old Hofheinz Pavilion — where fashion mogul and Houston real estate player Hakeem Olajuwon first honed his shakes before opening his DR34M store in the old Jim West Mansion in Clear Lake.

The Houston Chronicle reports that, if approved, the project — which some reports have costing as much as $77 million — would introduce nicer locker rooms for the players and “premium seating” for fans, as well as a new sound system and video boards above the court. UH athletic director Mack Rhoades tells the Chronicle that as many as 9 other schools in the newly formed American Athletic Conference have, or are building, new arenas.

Rendering: UH Athletics

05/03/13 1:05pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ISN’T EAST OF 59 AND 288 INSIDE THE LOOP TOO? “. . . I tell people all the time, I live inside the loop, a few miles from DT. Everyone is all ‘oh, where do you live? in Montrose, the Heights, on Washington, museum district?’ I’m all like ‘um, no, over by UH’ then they’re all like ‘oh, UHD, so like Last Concert, that’s edgy!!!’ then I’m like, sigh ‘no, the real UH, there’s a fleet of taco trucks by my house, and that soccer stadium thingy.’ Then they just start running away.” [toasty, commenting on Houston: The Divided City]

03/08/13 3:00pm

This is what’s going up on some prime spurfront property at the University of Houston. Next to a Chinese restaurant and that prideful parking garage on Spur 5 that inspired the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray and some student rappers back in 2010, the 2-story building at the end of Calhoun Rd. on campus is being billed as Cougar Den Plaza.


02/13/13 1:00pm

Thieves made off with copper wiring from UH’s University Center late Saturday night, a UH public safety department bulletin reports: A contractor noticed early Sunday morning that the wiring had gone missing; a reader tells Swamplot that this knocked out the building’s power and is delaying renovations. The Barnes & Noble and Cougar Byte stores inside the UC have been scrambling to set up temporary locations elsewhere on campus.


01/03/13 3:31pm

If you look closely at these new renderings of Robertson Stadium’s replacement that UH released a couple of weeks ago, you can see the Downtown skyline. UH, a member of the Big East starting in 2013, says that this 40,000-seat, $105-million stadium — whose naming rights are still being shopped around — will be built with a new east-west orientation, at least in part because that’ll make the skyline look real nice on teevee.

More details and even more renderings:


08/31/12 12:00pm

The sign isn’t up yet, but this new classroom building at the University of Houston’s business school is being named after a human-resources company. Insperity gave the school $8 million, apparently enough to warrant the company’s name appearing in 1-1/2-ft.-tall neon-backlit letters at the top of Insperity Center. According to a UH document, the sign should be clearly visible to visitors on the west side of campus.

The 140,000-sq.-ft. building, previously referred to as the “classroom and business building,” just opened west of the Bauer College of Business’s Melcher Hall. Construction began in 2009.

Photo: HAIF user fatesdisastr

06/13/12 12:45pm

University of Houston officials have asked Metro to move a portion of the Southeast Line, currently under construction, off its planned route — and off campus. Work on portions of the line on Wheeler and Scott streets near Robertson Stadium came to a standstill 2 months ago, West U Examiner reporter Michael Reed notes. Metro and UH officials have apparently been negotiating on the layout of the light-rail route since that time, but so far, according to Reed, there’s been no agreement.

Metro’s planned design for the line requires the transit agency to purchase a total of 4.48 acres of UH property, much of it in a strip along the eastern side of Scott St., just west of the stadium. A plan submitted to the Department of Transportation for funding last year shows the line and a Scott/Cleburne station on the east side of Scott St., on part of what’s currently a stadium parking lot. (The map, below, also shows that Metro adjusted the plan from a 2008 layout that would have eaten up more UH property.)


03/28/12 11:23pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHEN UH FOOTBALL GOT LOST IN THE ASTRODOME “I was at UH in the late 80′s when interest in football among students, alum and faculty was non-existent. Home games were held at the dome, where UH would be lucky to fill even 10% of the seats. The NCAA wouldn’t let UH use Robertson because of its size and condition. Despite that, calls for a new stadium were met with almost universal derision and open hostility from all but the most ardent athletic supporters. At the time, I was among the majority that ignored the football program and as the chairman of the student service fee allocation committee I successfully fought to cap its share of the student service fee. Despite that history, I’m glad UH fought for and succeeded in moving games to Robertson, and I’m glad that the boosters were correct in predicting such a move would rejuvenate interest in the program and the school as a whole. Kudos on the successful program and for the new facility!” [PaulP, commenting on Goodbye, Robertson Stadium: Replacement UH Football Venue Gets Go-Ahead]

03/27/12 12:23pm

UH’s new $120 million football stadium will go up on the current site of Robertson Stadium at Cullen and Holman Sts., the university’s board of regents decided today. An alternate plan to build the facility instead on intramural fields along Cullen Blvd. next to I-45, which would have cost an additional $40 million, was rejected. According to a timeline announced previously, Robertson Stadium will be demolished this December; construction of the new stadium would be complete by the summer of 2014.


03/07/12 3:14pm

A second Swamplot reader sends us a pic of another Burger King sporting what appear to be recently hacked-up live oak trees — this one at the corner of Scott St. and Cleburne. That’s far away from any freeway feeder roads, but across the street from UH’s Robertson Stadium. How recently were these trees guillotined? The reader isn’t sure, but the cuts look kinda fresh, and Google Street View is ready with images from last June showing how the sidewalk-side residents looked with their limbs still bushy and intact.

Spot any further Burger King beheadings around town? Snap a photo or 2 and send them in!

Photos: Swamplot inbox

04/20/11 2:37pm

Included in the upgrades to the University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum, scheduled to be complete by the start of next year: an actual bathroom for visitors. Plus: a better elevator. If you’d rather take the stairs, you’ll have this new proboscis to pass through, on the building’s north face, wrapped in vertical bands of clear and textured channel glass. That sorta-Cullen Sculpture Garden-looking slanted wall-column thing supporting it, which architect Dan Wood of New York’s WORKac calls the “wallumn,” should help block the view of the loading dock. And it’ll frame a brand new entrance on that side, facing the unnamed street and parking lot in front of it that parallels Elgin. The $2 million renovation (Blaffer spokesperson Jeffrey Bowen says $1.75 million worth of pledges have already been raised) won’t increase the amount of gallery space, but it should make the institution more visible on campus and allow for more activity in the back courtyard it shares with the rest of the university’s fine-arts building:


04/05/11 10:37am

THIS SCHOOL IS NOT FOR SALE The head of real estate for HISD tells Texas Watchdog’s Lynn Walsh that Jack Yates High School is not being sold, no matter what she’s heard. The Third Ward institution is wedged between a Texas Southern University parking garage and UH’s Robertson Stadium; rumors had HISD selling the 1958 campus to one university or the other. [Texas Watchdog] Photo: Nick Juhasz (license)