01/30/14 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE FAR NORTH HEIGHTS TOWNHOUSE BOOM Housing Boom“A ride around the far north Heights (bordered roughly by Yale, Shepherd, 610 and, say, 23rd) reveals a staggering amount of residential construction activity. The Sullivan Brothers project on 23rd is finally nearing completion. A dozen new townhouses at 26th and Ashland. Eight single-family homes at the same corner, with 20 or so to follow between 26th and 27th. Eight single family houses at 26th and Rutland. Twenty townhouses about to go up at 24th and Lawrence. Plus a dozen or so 2-to-6-house developments. The numbers easily reach into the triple digits, and that’s without anything on the old National Flame & Forge site (the double block between Nicholson, Rutland, 25th and 26th), which could add another hundred.” [Angostura, commenting on Where a Couple Dozen Townhomes Are Going in the Far North Heights] Illustration: Lulu

01/29/14 1:30pm

Townhome Development at 241 W. 27th St. and Rutland, Houston Heights

A reader sends us this pic of the scene looking north from the corner of 27th St. and Rutland, just a block south of the North Loop, where a grid of townhomes is replacing the former site of the limestone-clad church and its parking lot at 251 W. 27th. The religious institution, known variously as the Houston Restoration Church, the Fulbright United Methodist Church, and the God’s Spirit of Faith Fellowship Church, was sold in August and torn down last month. An appraisal district map shows a new subdivision named Hannah Square with 12 townhome lots facing 27th St. on the old church site, and another one with another dozen lots facing 28th St., called Erin Park. The developer appears to be Colina Homes.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

There Was the Church
01/24/14 10:30am

View Showing Construction of Hermann Park Plaza Apartments, 5745 Almeda Rd., Houston

Hark! Ye down there, amidst the freewayishness and — what? Some sort of dirt hill? A bit of earthwork and foundation pouring appears to have begun on the new 193-unit apartment complex M-M Properties is developing along the southbound 288 feeder road between the misaligned block-long stretches of Hermann Dr. and MacGregor Way. The 2.1-acre site was forged by merging a drainage-friendly never-been-built-on swath that cuts diagonally through the site with a bit of extra feeder-road frontage to the north. The view, sent in by a Swamplot reader, is taken from high above in the northern Mosaic condo tower. Almeda Dr. extends along the left side of the photo; the new complex will have a 5745 Almeda address. The Amalfi at Hermann Park apartments are at the far left.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Construction Overview
12/23/13 10:15am

Scaffolding Collapse, Chateau Ten, Spann and Welch Streets, Vermont Commons, Houston

A reader who happened to be on the scene Saturday morning when scaffolding collapsed on the side of the Chateau Ten condo building going up at the corner of Spann and Welch streets just south of River Oaks sent Swamplot these photos and a report shortly after the incident. The Randall Davis development is under construction behind the empty lot on San Felipe on which Hines is planning to build a 17-story office tower:

“I did not see the collapse, but I heard it . . . It sounded like an explosionpower went out immediately.” The correspondent reports running out to find scaffolding for the 6-story building down, “completely covering a house (and Mercedes) and scaffolding bits were dangling from power lines. I called 911. I don’t think anyone is hurt.”

What could have caused this construction accident?


Stucco, Interrupted
11/25/13 2:00pm

Drawing of SkyHouse, 1625 Main St. at Leeland, Downtown Houston

Drawing of SkyHouse, 1625 Main St. at Leeland, Downtown HoustonJust what is it with these Atlanta developers and their ground-floor retail? More than a dozen years ago, Atlanta’s Post Properties interrupted Midtown’s otherwise consistent record of first-floor parking, gated windows, and shrubbery with a shopping street along its Gray St. apartment development. And now comes the same city’s Novare Group with plans to wrap the base of its Main St. and Leeland frontage of its 24-story SkyHouse Houston apartment tower downtown with a trio of shop spaces — including more than 2,300 sq. ft. on the ground floor of the building’s separate parking garage.


Ground-Floor Retail Detail
10/28/13 5:00pm

And here, from a reader perched at the top level of MD Anderson’s Braeswood Garage at Braeswood Blvd. and Pressler St., are photos of the land- and tree-clearing going on for the new just-across-the-bayou-from-the-Med Center apartments that Mill Creek Residential is going ahead with — after abandoning plans for a slightly larger complex (as close as it could get to Dynamo Stadium without crossing Dowling) in East Downtown. The photos are taken looking south, over Brays Bayou; the TMC South Extension Lot is behind the site, which fronts Wyndale.


08/22/13 12:30pm

Just north of the just-underway River Oaks District and in the shadow of the Highland Tower, 24 of these homes are going up in what will be another cheek-to-jowl gated community. The first 8 are almost done, apparently, and all but 1 has sold; the whole set of ’em should be ready by March. Located at 2200 Briarglen Ln. just south of San Felipe on the site of some apartments that were knocked down in 2008, the homes range in size from 1,989 sq. ft. to 2,305 sq. ft. They’re starting at $600,000.

Rendering: Pelican Builders

05/03/13 10:00am

A new stick frame began going up Wednesday on the corner of Heights Blvd. and E. 2nd St., on a concrete slab cleared of the heap of wood studs, trusses, shear walls, and framed staircases that had landed there with a crash last Saturday night. All remnants of the 2 toppled Keystone Classic Homes 4-story townhouses in the Madison Park development just south of White Oak Bayou have been swept away. The site, pictured above in a photo taken by a Swamplot reader this morning, now looks rather different from the way it appeared last Sunday:


04/22/13 11:00am

HOMEBUILDERS PLAYING THROUGH OLD KATY GOLF COURSE Just flip the sand traps to sandboxes and the water hazards to water features, and you’re most of the way there: A 440-home master-planned community, reports The Rancher’s Zach Haverkamp, is aimed for the site of the old Green Meadows Golf Course in Katy: Lennar Homes, Meritage Homes, and Village Builders have started construction on the first model homes of the Falls at Green Meadows on the 242-acre, 36-hole course groomed out of the prairie near Franz Rd. and Avenue D. The course was open from 1965 to 2008. Developer Tim Fitzpatrick tells Haverkamp: “We wanted to be in the heart of Katy, and if you look around, this is one of the few tracts . . . that remain.” [The Rancher] Photo: Zach Haverkamp

03/12/13 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT LUXURY REALLY MEANS “Although the term ‘Luxury’ is being thrown around loosely, it’s shorthand for New Construction with Upper Market Price. The truth is that from a developer’s perspective that’s the only thing that makes financial sense, there’s no money left in low end markets unless its government subsidized. Go big or go home.” [commonsense, commenting on Where Downtown’s New Residential Tower Will Go]

02/25/13 2:30pm

Most of this East Downtown property, according to city records, was purchased in November 2012 by CitySide Homes; signs recently posted here suggest that the contemporary townhome’s eastward expansion will continue to continue — this site is just 5 blocks from where Urban Living says it’s building around that leaning Leeland St. live oak — on these 2 purchased parcels between Polk, Clay, Nagle, and Delano that add up to a little more than an acre.


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?


01/28/13 1:15pm

“We’ve had a lot of angry calls about that tree,” says an Urban Living rep — calls presumably prompted by the sign posted recently here at 2917 Leeland in East Downtown. Renderings aren’t available, though Urban Living tells Swamplot that the designs for 3 Princeton City townhomes are working around the tree. They’ll also have an interesting neighbor:


01/18/13 4:00pm

NIMBY IN PASADENA This scruffy corner at Genoa Red Bluff and Space Center, right on the border between Pasadena and Houston, is the proposed site of a few 90- to 150-unit housing developments for low-income residents — a category which can include seniors and those with disabilities, reports teevee’s Samica Knight. But one potential neighbor Knight interviews doesn’t seem likely to prepare any welcome baskets: “‘If I had been looking for a new home and there had been low income property across, I wouldn’t have chosen this neighborhood,‘ said Pasadena resident Janet McClellan. ‘I would be afraid of crime, more crime. . . . Everybody does have to have a place to live, but I just think there are better more appropriate places to build those kinds of homes.'” [abc13] Photo: abc13