03/18/09 11:32pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE GREAT WEST HOUSTON DIVORCéE BELT “It basically runs in between Beltway 8 and 610 and is crossed by the likes of Westheimer, Woodway, Richmond, Bissonnet et al. Basically these people met in drunken stupors along the Richmond strip in the early 80s at those cheesy night clubs; tried to make lasting marriages but eventually divorced; and then bought homes and patio homes close but not too close to their old stomping grounds. Incidentally, many of them work non-descript office jobs at middle market companies in the Westchase district and raaaaaave about the tres leches cake at the Churrasco’s out there on Westheimer. Yay Divorcee Belt!” [Bobby Hadley, commenting on Neighborhood Guessing Game: Blue Check]

02/25/09 11:35am

“What I see on my bike rides,” writes 2-wheeled real-estate observer Lou Minatti, “is that construction has ground to a halt in Katy.” A few more louminating observations on the cycles of West Houston real estate:

The main upscale neighborhoods in the Houston metro area lie between downtown Houston and Katy, in the corridor south of I-10 and north of Westheimer/FM1093. Houston residents know what I am talking about. That narrow 30 mile x 8 mile corridor contains the trendy new “lofts” near downtown, expensive new condo towers in the Galleria area, River Oaks, Memorial, the Villages and Cinco Ranch. . . .

Me? I live north of I-10, the crappy side. It was a nice quiet place when we moved out here in 1995. It’s still an OK place, no real problems. But property values have been flat since 2000. The houses on this side of the freeway are between $100k-$150k. Here’s the thing: Long-time readers here have seen my videos and have seen the inventory and foreclosures from my bike tours. The new houses in these videos [both featured in this Swamplot post from last fall] have all been sold, and this is AFTER the shady lending was stopped. I did a video update three weeks ago [above] and didn’t post it on YouTube because there’s almost nothing on the market! In my subdivision of 900 houses there are two houses for sale and one foreclosure. That’s it.


10/29/08 11:42am

Aerial View of I-10 West at Sam Houston Tollway, Houston

Let the Great Katy Freeway Lane Rush begin! More than 5 years and $2.8 billion in the making, West Houston’s new 18-car-wide and rail-free Main Street is at last officially complete — and open for more traffic than ever! The tollway on the four inside “managed lanes” won’t be instituted until April. Until then, those lanes are meant for cars with more than one passenger.

Photo of I-10 West and Sam Houston Tollway interchange: Flickr user Rustypicstx

06/10/08 8:42am

New Embassy Suites Hotel at Energy Plaza, Houston

A new Mini-Me for Energy Tower I is now going up at I-10 and Kirkwood. It’s an Embassy Suites Hotel!

The 216-room, 14-story hotel at 11730 Interstate 10 is Mac Haik’s third project in the development and will be situated just east of two office buildings. Energy Tower I, a 345,000-square-foot, 14-story building, is 100 percent leased, and Energy Tower II, a 428,979-square-foot, 17-story building under construction, is 90 percent preleased . . .

The developer is considering a third building, which could be a twin tower to the 17-story building or could be expanded.

Rendering of Energy Plaza Embassy Suites: Mac Haik Realty, via the Houston Chronicle

05/14/08 10:55am

Energy Tower I, Kirkwood and I-10, Houston

A reader asks about some new construction off I-10:

There’s a tall crane setup at the NW corner of I-10 and Kirkwood, next door to the existing Energy Tower I. I haven’t seen anything about that anywhere. Another office tower by Mac Haik Management? Energy Tower II??

Answers, anyone . . . ?

Photo of Energy Tower I: Flickr user Steven2005