Next up at 3704 Fannin, known to some as the old Evelyn Wilson Interiors building, The Vanderbilt Sports Lounge.
It’s a block or two from the bustling Ensemble MetroRail stop and the under-construction Mid Main mixed-use development.
Once complete, the Vanderbilt promises 55 teevees airing football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, boxing, and UFC, an “upscale menu,” and a third-floor cocktail lounge with a panoramic view of the city.
The building is owned and being renovated by Cody Lutsch of Fat
Properties Property, a frequent Swamplot commenter and until now, known more as a purchaser of aging Inner Loop apartment buildings.
Lutsch sent us a few pics of the Vanderbilt’s ongoing renovations, along with a few “before” shots:
Here we see it before:
And after a paint job and palm tree excision:
Now we go around to the Winbern St. side of the building, first before, back when the building was adorned with what looks like an illegal, somewhat interactive homage to I Get Wet-era Andrew WK:
“I’ve wanted this property for years,” Lutsch tells Swamplot. “I’d walk by when I went to Tacos a Go Go or that area. As I saw it sitting there, empty, I knew that it was most likely going to be bought by someone that was going to blow it up. Add all the work the city wanted done, and I figured it would be a goner. This is the type of place that sits there, no one wants to take it on, it rots, then someday it shows up on the Swamplot demo list and everyone gets upset and chants ‘Greedy developers!'”
The building once housed antique emporium Herzog Galleries.After Wilson retired in the 1990s, the 1930s structure has gone through a head-spinning succession of incarnations, including the restaurants Valentino’s and Route 66 Classic Cafe and nightclubs Club Level & Charlie’s Lounge, Les Deux Dior, Cobalt Lounge, Incognito Club, the Corridor, and Vivid Lounge.
Lutsch thinks the timing is right to de-jinx the location. (He’d hoped to open this month but is dealing with City of Houston red tape at the moment. “One inspection failed because the wall color chosen for the bathroom was too dark,” he says. “Never knew there were rules controlling that.”)
“Like some of the other abandoned, boarded-up places we’ve bought, I’m glad this could be saved,” he says. “Ironically the last few properties we bought in Montrose that were boarded-up were about the same age (late 1920’s, early 30’s). Oh, but while I’m glad we could save these properties, I’d be lying if I also didn’t think this was a good investment and [that’s] a major factor in my purchase.”
- Previously on Swamplot: Sprucing Up Some Aging Apartments in Third Ward; Taking on a Rough Midtown Trio; Third Montrose Skylane Apartment Building Turns Over
Photos:Robert Boyd via Facebook, (first “after” shot of exterior); Loopnet (first “before” shot of exterior); Cody Lutsch via Swamplot inbox (all others)