10/27/17 1:30pm

Here’s the other new purveyor of brownish fluids at the corner of Richmond Ave and Woodhead: The 13th area Take 5 Oil Change — and the chain’s fifth location in Houston proper — is now open for business, a few steps ahead of the adjacent new Starbucks. The building takes the place of a pair of 2-story brick 4-plexes at 1823 and 1827 Richmond torn down last year.

Take 5’s leaky-oil-can logo will greet drivers lined up for the Starbucks drive-thru, as this site plan shows:


Now Open and For Sale
10/26/17 4:15pm

The mocha-colored drive-thru Starbucks that’s been brewing at 1801 Richmond Ave. since its predecessor building was torn down in January now appears just about ready to serve. Landscape crews are plopping in plants on the Richmond Ave. side; this view taken from an upper floor of the nearby Fairmont Museum District Apartments shows how the new building looks nestled next to its notable neighbors, which include the Big Tex Storage facility and King Cole liquor store across Richmond and Mexican restaurant La Tapatia just across Woodhead:


Montrose Drive-Thru
02/01/17 3:45pm

Lighting of Bridges over US-59

The newly LED-equipped crossings over US-59 between Shepherd Dr. and Midtown should be getting officially flipped on around 8 pm tomorrow, after a few weeks of on-and-off testing. The 2 Gandys of Gandy² Lighting Design tell Swamplot that the lights will likely run from sunset to sunrise; the tentative plan in the leadup to the Super Bowl is for the bridges to show off the competitors’ team colors. The Patriots’ red-white-and-blue are demoed above, but here are some shots of what else the new fixtures can do, now that all the tuning up is largely finished:


Getting Turned On
09/22/16 10:30am

LANIER MIDDLE SCHOOL CEREMONIALLY CHANGES NAME TO LANIER MIDDLE SCHOOL Bob Lanier crestThe Lanier-Lanier name change got the official seal of approval as of yesterday morning by way of a seal-updating and renaming ceremony at the middle school’s campus at Woodhead St. and Westheimer Rd. That previously threatened lawsuit over the HISD’s plan to flush out Confederate sympathizers from its campus name roster was in fact filed in late June by a group of parent-and-alumni-types; documents filed with the district clerk’s office show that a request by the plaintiffs for a temporary injunction to stop the renamings from moving forward was denied by the judge on August 22nd. Lanier’s campus is keeping all but its first name, swapping author Sydney for former Houston mayor Bob; the other 7 schools on the changeover list started the year with more dramatic shifts in nomenclature. [HISD Blog; previously on Swamplot] Image of new Bob Lanier Middle School seal: HISD    

12/30/14 3:00pm



Chomp goes the excavator on a portion of the 3 adjacent 1950s and ’60s-era complexes at 1920 W. Alabama St., 1924 Marshall St. (pictured at left), and 2810 McDuffie St., right across the street from the Alabama Icehouse and just south of Admiral Linens.

In late July residents of the 3 complexes were told to move out by September 1, so that new owners City Centre at Midtown, an affiliate of developers Dolce Living, could be begin tearing down the 2-story buildings to clear the 1.58 acre parcel for one 6-story, 258-unit luxury apartment building.

Though it will be situated in the western edge of Montrose’s Winlow Place area, the building will be named City Centre at Midtown.

Here is a rendering released to the media in the days after the 35-day eviction notices went out:


Making Way For Montrose’s CityCentre At Midtown
04/23/14 11:15am



Beneath the glulam arches of a 2004 contemporary home designed by Houston architect Scott Ballard, living spaces line up in an open floor plan (top) with double-stacked windows fore and aft. The east-west property in First Montrose Commons near the HSPVA campus was listed last week, but recently upgraded its listing photos. It carries has an asking price of $1.22 million.


Let’s Roll
12/17/13 1:00pm


A slope, a staircase, and 3 floors of living space likely make an across-the-traffic bayou-view 1998 townhome on Allen Pkwy. east of Montrose Blvd. a bit of a workout as well as a place to rest. The end unit rising behind Buffalo Terrace is part of the 11-home Townes of Buffalo Bayou development, designed by Looney Ricks Kiss. It went up for sale Monday, with a $450,000 asking price.


A Home You’ve Driven By
11/25/13 4:30pm



Is the weight of the holiday season and its accompanying festoonage taking a toll on this updated 1929 home in East Montrose? Or was the polished-up property just under a lot of pressure (top) during its listing photo-op? The 3-bedroom, 2-and-a-half-bath property popped up on the market Sunday with a straight-up $840,000 price tag.


Decked Halls
05/08/13 10:00am

That there’s some pretty bad Feng Shui going down in this commercial for Honda, which was filmed in Vancouver and shown on teevee and the web beginning last October. The man behind the wheel of the CR-V sure is driving some bad chi into the gullet of the far-from-the-prairie home at the end of the T-intersection, to the encouraging narration of Garrison Keillor. But isn’t the house kinda asking for it anyway, what with all that glimmering vortex-popping and all?

And gee, doesn’t the hole stabbing through the house look a heck of a lot like . . . that temporary sculpture that stood on Montrose Blvd. in Houston a few years back? Portal to another dimension? Naah — from here it looks more like a shortcut to Grant St.


02/11/13 4:00pm

Quite a few of you have sent in similar photos of this befaced sign at Hyde Park and Waugh for Urban Living’s proposed Hyde Park Maison — that’s French for a 4-story, 3-bedroom townhouse. According to the development company’s website there will be five such maisons, ranging from $589,000 to $689,000, squeezed onto the corner lot bound by Waugh, Hyde Park, Fairview, and Upas, just north of Westheimer. Want to see them without the commentary?


11/19/10 3:14pm

A “high-end” restaurant, led by a yet-to-be-identified “superstar chef,” will be taking over the space known for the last 16 years as Chances Bar, an owner of the property tells Houston Press reporter Craig Hlavaty. “It’s going to blow Montrose out,” Nick Vastakis tells him. “It’s going to be great.” Chances will shut down for good after a goodbye party on Saturday. Vastakis says his family, which has owned the property since the 1970s, will be getting out of the lesbian-bar management business and into property development.

What prompted the change? One of those spear-more-times-with-my-family moments, he tells Hlavaty: