07/19/18 2:00pm

The owners of the 22,860-sq.-ft. warehouse at the bend where Wash Ave becomes Hempstead Rd. have plans to refashion the building as Houston’s latest food hall, complete with 25-plus restaurant tenants, a few grocery and trinket vendors, and an adjacent beer garden — all fronting 22,000-sq.-ft.-worth of park space. Aside from homonymous salad bar concept Let Us, no specific tenants have been announced for the space yet — formerly home to the Emmett Perry oriental rug store and Sugar Creek Interiors’ design studio. But the developer hints that most food stalls at Railway Heights will be of the fresh-never-frozen variety, staffed by “the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread.

Later on, plans call for a 600-car automatic parking garage (about 2-and-a-half-times the size of that other robo-valet proposed next to Tacos A Go Go on White Oak) to be added on to the site at 8200 Washington, along with a complex of “container apartments” in the southeast corner of the things.

It’s all shown in the map below:

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On the Timbergrove Menu
07/17/18 3:00pm

HINES SIGNS UP FOR 48-STORY HIGHRISE ON FORMER HOUSTON CHRONICLE DIGS DOWNTOWN Building permits filed last week for a concrete foundation in place of the HoustonChronicle-building-turned-parking-lot at 801 Texas Ave. reveal the vertical extent of what Hines has planned for the site: 48 stories. They’ll soon rise up above the fought-over tunnel system where a judge buried the hatchet 5 months ago, awarding Hines’ neighbor Theater Square $200,000, reported Nancy Sarnoff. Theater Square owns the property across Prairie St. from 801 Texas and claimed it had the right to access tunnels beneath the former newspaper building that it needed to connect its own subterranean sprawl to Houston’s broader downtown tunnel system. That hookup is now complete — writes Sarnoff — though the neighboring developer has yet to break ground on its own planned tower. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Brie Kelman

07/16/18 12:30pm

On deck for the Berryhill Shopping Center on the corner of Westheimer and Revere: Stanmore River Oaks, an 8-story apartment building planned in place of the site’s existing tenants Antique Pavilion, Prism Cleaners, and the original Berryhill Baja Grill. This Thursday, Houston’s city planning commission will consider the developer’s request to slide the planned building (depicted at top from the north) up to sit just 10 ft. from Westheimer — closer than the existing strip pictured above, behind the variance sign that’s now up on the property.

If the commission signs off, landscaping could go up too along the roadway in the fashion depicted below:

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Stanmore River Oaks
07/12/18 10:00am

One keenly observant HAIFer who’s been watching for signs of change at 5521 Navigation Blvd. has now pieced together what’s happening there: it’s planned to house a new beer venue dubbed Symbolic Brewing. Renovations haven’t begun yet on the empty brick warehouse — shown see-through from its east side in the photo above — but according to a recent Facebook post from the business, brewers are now in talks with contractors about what to do with the place.

The building sits on narrow, just-under-an-acre plot that fronts Navigation — as shown in the photo at top — and backs up to a rail line running along the southern oxbow in Buffalo Bayou dubbed Turkey Bend. Roughly five times its size is the Farmer Brothers coffee plant across the street, where production emits strong notes of java.

Photos: Swamplox inbox

East End Uppers and Downers
07/11/18 12:30pm

A fresh batch of renderings released by Midway paints the clearest picture yet of what’s planned for the 136-acre former KBR campus that stretches along Buffalo Bayou, between Hirsch Rd. and Jensen Dr. Cobbled together from a mixture of glass and other materials, the tallest structure shown in the image at top spikes up behind a lower-slung retail building that fronts a junction of walking paths intersecting in a central park. You can see a further-away view of the airy column, foregrounded by street-level retailers in the view above.

A confection-colored map put out by the developer last month included a long strip of green along Buffalo Bayou’s north bank reserved for park space.

It’s now reappearing in the view below from up above the waterway:

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Great Glass Spike
07/06/18 1:00pm

KICKING OFF CONSTRUCTION ON THE HOUSTON SABERCATS’ PERMANENT HOME RUGBY TURF Building permits filed yesterday indicate that crews are about to get started turning the existing field at 2055 Mowery Rd. into a sportier one, fit for the Houston SaberCats rugby team (formerly the Houston Strikers) to call home. The land off Hwy. 288 remains owned by the city, which granted the team a 42-year lease in exchange for the promise it’ll host free kid-friendly rugby training events, on-site matches for high-schoolers. The city will also shell out $3.2 million to cover the costs of the 760-space parking lot the team plans to plant, along with seats to accommodate 3,500 fans (about half the capacity of what’s now the team’s temporary turf at Houston ISD’s Dyer Stadium, adjacent to the Northwest Mall). The expected completion date: sometime before next season — which the team hopes will go a little better than this current one. (After winning their second game of the year back in April, they’ve lost every match since, putting them in last place with a 1-7 record.) [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of 2055 Mowery Rd.: Swamplox inbox

06/19/18 5:15pm

Coming soon to the block across Durham from W Grill, just south of Washington: Otto’s Barbecue & Catering. The 67-year-old chain has plans for its first standalone location since the original on Memorial Dr. was sold in 2009 (for less than its owners felt it should’ve been) and demolished to make way for a collection of strip buildings.

Until last November, Luke’s Icehouse (pictured above) was the only structure standing in the way of the planned new restaurant on the corner of Lillian St. and Durham — but after shuttering last June, its building was torn down 5 months later. The rendering above shows Otto’s taking over the site from the north above Durham, where a courtyard fronts a covered patio adjacent to a parking lot.

Inside, the site plan indicates that 3,293-sq.-ft. would be devoted to the restaurant, while 1,722 would make up an attached catering kitchen:

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Smoke Signals
06/18/18 5:30pm

Inside the facility at 419 Emancipation that federal contractor Southwest Key Programs plans to use as a detention center for immigrant children, vestiges of the structure’s homeless-shelter past remain untouched. Christian nonprofit Star of Hope decked out the hallway of the smaller, 13,222-sq.-ft. building shown in the foreground of the aerial at top with both Old and New Testament scenes during its time on-site. It sold the property between Preston and Prairie streets in 2016 and moved into a bigger shelter on Reed Rd. near Hwy. 288.

In March, the complex wrapped up a 5-month stint as a temporary housing facility for 300 single adults displaced by Harvey. Its current owner (an entity tied to Dave Denenburg, the most recent renovator of Schlumberger’s former headquarters a quarter mile south) then leased it to Southwest Key, a nonprofit that operates facilities for unaccompanied minors in Texas. The organization plans to house as many as 240 children from infants to 17-year-olds inside — although most of the kids will be under 12, reports the Chronicle’s Lomi Kriel. That would make it “the first residential center in the nation detaining such small children without their relatives or other foster parents,” she writes.

A site plan shows how the 2 buildings sit on their 2-acre parcel, 3 blocks from BBVA Compass:

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Immigrant Kids Campus
06/14/18 10:00am

Only about 250 ft. separate I-10’s eastbound feeder from White Oak Bayou between Heights Blvd. and Yale — and within that never-developed span, Texas C.R.E.S. and an adjacent landowner are hoping to plant a food truck park, as advertised on the sign up near the southeast corner of the site. The conceptual plan above from architect Marshall Porterfield — not yet okayed by the city — indicates parking spaces for 10 vendors (and 6 patrons) accessible via entrances on the feeder and on Heights Blvd., across from the Heights Business and Mediation Center. A deck seating island in the middle of the parking lot provides some dining room within the third-acre site, owned by the current pair of developers since last year.

The rest of the land is devoted to park space for people and dogs. It backs up to an imagined spur of the White Oak Bayou Trail (currently only accessible on the other side of the bayou) that curves to the south.

Photos: Jason Cockerell. Site plan: Marshall Porterfield via Texas CRES and Delux Realty/Michel Coret

South of I-10
06/12/18 2:00pm

A construction permit filed yesterday reveals that Astral Brewing — the new beer venue headed to 4816 N. Shepherd — is beginning renovations to turn 9,208 sq. ft. of the 27,575-sq.-ft. warehouse building once home to Southern Truck Pros into a hub for brewing and drinking. The structure’s parking lot off Shepherd is shown full of trucks in the photo above, taken back before the auto shop shuttered.

A site plan posted on the brewery’s Facebook page indicates a combination of public amenities and mission-critical brewing facilities included in the redo:

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Independence Heights
06/12/18 11:00am

FIRST SEASIDE TEXADELPHIA SLATED FOR FORMER OCEAN GRILLE & BEACH BAR ON SEAWALL BLVD. Unobstructed Gulf of Mexico views,” will complement the food at the newest nearby location of Texas cheese-steak chain Texadelphia, situated right on the corner of Seawall Blvd. and 13th St. in Galveston, reports the HBJ’s Jen Para. The restaurant is picking up where Ocean Grille & Beach Bar left off in that spot when it shuttered 2 years ago, leaving behind a main building as well as the outdoor bar pictured above — and an even beachier Tiki hut structure with patio seating beneath it. How will Texadelphia make use of the existing amenities in this, its first ocean-adjacent spot? Its one corporate-owned, landlocked Houston location sprung up in Briar Meadow at 8383 Westheimer last October, bookending a 2-year hiatus the brand had taken from the city and its surroundings. It’s now mounting a three-pronged return: Earlier this year, it signed another lease for the spot in the Hawthorne Square Shopping Center that Yucatan Taco Stand vacated last year. [HBJ; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Ocean Grille & Beach Bar’s bar: Katya C.

06/07/18 2:30pm

Enter stage east in the video rendering above Gensler published of the new HOPE Clinic planned for 13800 Bellaire Blvd., a block west of Eldridge Pkwy. After a look around the fountains bubbling up in the L-shaped building’s plaza right along Bellaire, you’ll be ushered through the doors to its cafe-like intake center on first floor (no need to open them).

No buildings stand in the way of the soon-to-be built structure; it’s slated east of an auto shop on a never-before-developed tract abutting Alief’s Metro Blvd. that the Asian American Health Coalition of the Houston Area has owned since 2016. This health center — serving uninsured and unable-to-pay patients — would be its fourth in Houston. An existing Alief location sits less than a mile down the road, in the Presidio Square shopping center off Hwy. 6.

Video: Gensler Houston. Image: HOPE Clinic

Renderings, Stat!
06/06/18 5:15pm

Here’s where the neighbors of the soon-to-be filled and graded Stanley Park subdivision will go, in a larger, adjacent 207-home community dubbed Palisades Park that’s also planned by the floodable rail yard west of T.C. Jester and south of Timbergrove Manor. Unlike the tract next door, it’s almost entirely outside White Oak Bayou’s 100-year floodplain (but still almost entirely inside the 500-year).

Its current occupant: the complex of industrial buildings eyed from the sky at top — which sits behind Grace Bible Church and adjacent to Better Bags, Inc.’s facilities off 11th St. In order to connect to that street, a new roadway would be built through what’s now the church’s parking lot, as indicated in the subdivision map below:

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By the Tracks
06/05/18 10:30am

A new eatery is on its way to the Montrose shop called Montrose at 1723 Westheimer, a block west of Dunlavy. The toponymic women’s clothing boutique had about a 3-year run in the space before it went out of business, leaving the building vacant. Just last week, the developers behind the coming Eastern European restaurant filed plans with the city to remodel the 1,830-sq.-ft. structure into something more Turkish and culinary: Cafe Bosphorus. A banner hung up on the left storefront window store heralds its arrival.

Photos: Hipster Hotspots (Montrose Shop); Cafe Bosphorus (sign)

Cafe Bosphorus
06/04/18 4:30pm

The map above — taken from this week’s city planning agenda — provides a candy-colored indication of how Midway plans to divvy up the 136-acre former KBR site along Buffalo Bayou, east of downtown, that it’s redeveloping into an office, retail, and residential neighborhood dubbed East River. Among the more colorful land uses revealed for the site: a park-fronting hotel slated for the semi-circular red parcel to the east, as well as a nameless museum — shown in grape — that’s planned along Buffalo Bayou near the neighborhood’s western edge.

Sprinkled along the water is an extension of the existing trail that runs along Buffalo Bayou’s north bank. It would traverse the entire development, from its western edge to the boat dock planned at its eastern boundary. Along the way, “Pedestrian bridges are being discussed with Buffalo Bayou Partnership to connect the two sides of the bayou,” according to the plans Midway submitted to the city.

Those 7 consecutive yellow blocks at the north end of the site along Clinton St. represent the citadel of townhomes that’ll look out onto the surrounding Fifth Ward. It’s bookended by 3 blocks of retail to the east along Hirsch Rd. and one to the west on Jensen Dr.

As heralded by the sign — pictured below — now hanging the site’s construction fencing, Houston’s city planning commission will take up the special exemption request that Midway submitted for the development later this week:

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Sweet Deal