59 BORDERS: THE END Late addition to the Borders Books store closing list: The company’s 27,483-sq.-ft. store at that retention-pond-by-the-freeway shopping center in Stafford, Fountains on the Lake. The Stafford location is expected to be the only Houston-area casualty of the company’s bankruptcy, and is scheduled to close by “late May.” It and 2 dozen other stores around the country were added to the 200-store axe list at the end of last week. [Revised closing list (PDF); previously on Swamplot] Photo: Melissa M.
On his Facebook page, Shaun Kelley claims to be just “moving my business.” But abc13 is reporting that the Shaun Kelley Weight Control storefront at San Felipe and Voss shut its doors for good yesterday — shortly after the local fitness guru declared bankruptcy.
An unspecified nearby gym will take on Kelley’s trainers and clients, according to the report. Shaun Kelley Weight Loss Center memberships cost $15,000 a year, though shorter memberships were available.
Kelley gained national attention 2 years ago after the FBI interviewed a former employee to determine if Roger Clemens might have obtained steroids or human growth hormone through Kelley or his clinic. The employee claimed Clemens had met with Kelley at that location, but Kelley claimed Clemens was an acquaintance who had never visited the clinic.
The Triyar Cannon Group has been threatening to give shopworn Greenspoint Mall a $32 million makeover since 2006. Most of what appears to be planned shows up in this knock-’em-down video: a new outdoor plaza at the mall’s east entrance, and a connected 22-story office building off Greenspoint Dr., designed by Ziegler Cooper. Just last week, demolition began on the vacant JCPenney building, site of a proposed Premiere Cinema multiplex that’s supposed to share a new parking garage with the tower. Not in the plans, but already happened anyway: the closing of Sears.
A reader notes that the little Piney Point Village add-on project that TV executive Douglas R. Johnson and his then-wife Melanie bought in 1996 as a 6,000-sq.-ft. starter home is back on the market with a new agent, a new set of photos, and a new price that’s 60 percent lower than the original. But is that an air of desperation wafting up from the listing?
BUY NOW FOR HALF THE COST TO BUILD~ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY~ALL OFFERS CONSIDERED!
C’mon everybody, that’s more than 23,000 sq. ft. now for only . . . $8 million! What will you do with all the money you save?!!
How about hiring the domestic staff that’s gonna be hard at work dusting and polishing this:
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT ROYCE BUILDERS SOLD ME “I bought a home from them in oct 2007 and got riped off. First I am still trying to figure out how I even got financed based on my income. I was making about $1200.00 a month and my notes where almost $900.00 a month. Then I have an adjustable rate morgage which would go up every 6 months. I thought about it after the fact (I had to give up my home) that they must have messed with the figures to get me in the home at the first place. I couldn’t get them to come fix things that come with the home warranty. If anyone knows what kind if any lawsuit is out on them would you please let me know.” [monmon, commenting on No-Charity Case: Royce Builders Education in Bankruptcy]
Did that more-than-half-off sale on the Piney Point Village bayou-front estate of Doug and Melanie Johnson work any magic? The cozy 8-bedroom, 10 full- and 3 half-bath playhouse recently disappeared from the MLS, but a Swamplot reader suspects something’s up:
I don’t think it sold because I watch it and I never saw it go into sale pending. I think they gave up trying to sell.
The 21,640-sq.-ft. home at 11682 Arrowwood Circle debuted on the market as a $19 million divorce listing back in 2007. According to a Chronicle blog post last year written by Shelby Hodge, that price was set by now-bankrupt broadcast executive Doug Johnson (his company, Johnson Broadcasting, is the “debtor in possession” of local TV station KNWS). After a couple of uneventful years at the top of the listings, the home’s price was eventually cut to $9.5 million — and the commission doubled to 12 percent — after Melanie wrested the right to control the sale herself.
What does it matter that it’s out of the listings? Really, don’t you think a quirky little property like this would do better in a . . . uh, private offering?
Real estate agent Sandra Gunn informs us that the Montage, the second glass Almeda St. tower across from Hermann Park, was foreclosed on yesterday. Originally named Mosaic to match its adjacent twin directly to the north, the Montage has been a rental property since it was completed.
Almost exactly a year ago, the developer of both buildings — a limited partnership between Phillips Development & Realty and Florida Capital Real Estate Group — declared bankruptcy in order to avoid foreclosure on the Mosaic, which at the time was officially a condominium tower. And Florida Capital’s chief operating officer expressed hope that the Montage’s separate $71 million loan with Corus Bankshares could be renegotiated.
WONMORE IN BANKRUPT ENDEAVOUR The sale of 44 unsold condos in high-flying developer Robin Parsley’s bankrupt Endeavour highrise on Clear Lake in Pasadena was approved by a court last week. “The winning bidder was a partnership named Wonmore Ltd. The group agreed to pay $9.5 million plus past-due taxes and interest, according to Houston attorney Walter Cicack, who represented Wonmore. The group also said it would pay normally budgeted homeowner assessments for 2010 for any condo owner current on their assessments for 2009. . . . The 30-story Endeavour, at 4821 NASA Parkway, had been in legal limbo since earlier this year when its developer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the day before the building was scheduled to be sold in a foreclosure auction. Regions Bank was listed as a creditor in the bankruptcy with a claim of $20.8 million.” [Houston Chronicle]
Channel 2 investigative reporter Amy Davis sends a KPRC newschopper to buzz the 80-acre Cypress party pad estate of former Royce Builders president John Speer. More than a year after we featured the innumerable builder upgrades of that Mack-Daddy mansion on Swamplot, it’s still sitting on the market — for the same $9.8 million.
Meanwhile, less than a mile to the west, sales aren’t going so well either in former Royce Homes subdivision Grant Meadows:
“Houses are in disrepair. Fences are in disrepair,” explained homeowner Matt Adams. “The whole neighborhood’s been left in ruins.” . . .
Royce stopped paying the bill for the street lights in Grant Meadows in July 2008.
Reliant recently switched them off, and told homeowners they must pay the $14,000 owed before they can turn them back on.
“It’s pitch black out here at night,” said homeowner Evit Byrd, who planned to retire in Grant Meadows with his wife. “You can’t see anything.”
But there’s some good news: Speer has been building again! His new company, Vestalia Homes, which Speer founded 3 weeks after he closed down Royce, is busy constructing and selling homes a little closer to FM 1960, in a subdivision called the Lakes of Cypress Forest.