Heights Fiesta Out, “Senior Living” Complex Going In

Weingarten Realty has at last sold the 2.08-acre parcel under the Fiesta Mart on Studewood at 14th St. — to a Houston developer of assisted-living and independent-living complexes. Bridgewood Properties, the company behind the Village of Meyerland complex under construction at 4141 N. Braeswood Blvd. near Stella Link on the site of the former Rutlege Apartments and the Village at the Woodlands Waterway, plans to build a 4-story, 80-unit building in place of the grocery store — with independent-living apartments on the top floor, a bottom floor for “memory care” patients, and 2 floors of assisted-living units sandwiched in between. Fiesta’s lease expires in January; Bridgewood plans to begin building a “Craftsman style” structure in its place shortly thereafter, which should take 16 to 18 months to finish.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

33 Comment

  • It would have been a good location for a Spec’s.

  • Wow. Totally replacing the Fiesta (which was appreciated and adored) with something that is the opposite of fun. I had high hopes for that location’s potential.

  • I now know what the Dunlavy Fiesta people felt. I have lived within two blocks of this treasure for almost 20 years and it has been a great neighbor. What do we get as a consolation prize? The cookie cutter Kroger being built-not within waling distance-at I-10

  • Maybe they can send their employees over to the original fiesta Quitman. That Fiesta needs some serious TLC. Their current manager doesn’t care when they have expired milk on the shelf. I’ve written HQ about this – no response.

  • and that my friends is how you define gentrification. where have all my Fiesta’s gone?

    tried hitting up the one on Main last weekend for some cheap meats and it was a ridiculous waste of time going through/getting to that area. driving to Main from Montrose is not worth the effort for the vast majority of montrosians who already live within spitting distance of another grocery store.

  • WoW really LOL a olds folk home. What a disappointment.

  • Gerontrification.

  • That Fiesta sucked.

  • Brilliant business move. The area is full of senior citizens that want to stay in the area but want out of their houses & the maintenance.

  • Well the Heights residents should finally be happy, not some big box retailer coming into the hood. All the surrounding restaurants/cafes can have the “Blue Hair Special.” This seems really appropriate for the Heights folks that are always wanting to get back to the “Good Old Days,” the bygone era when the Heights was It!

  • I’ve been secretly hoping for Trader Joe’s to take that spot. I once thought of that Fiesta as a “gem” in my neighborhood until my wife picked up a bag of bread and found maggots squirming on the shelf.

  • The Mendenhall-Sosa is selling oout,or should I say has sold out .

  • I’ve been secretly hoping for a Walmart Grocery there. Much cheaper than Fiesta. Cleaner too!

  • 2 yrs of construction. ugh. there is a need for assisted living inside the loop. I guess it could be a car lot or something worse.

    what is going on with the mid rise by Someburger, $ 437,000 per unit.

  • A great spot for the senior development.

  • A few great pictures and info from its pre-Weingarten era as Studewood Food Market, under the ownership of Melvalene and Carl Cohen are a few pages into this doc: http://issuu.com/burge/docs/twtd_2011

  • I really will miss walking 200 feet to go shopping. But honestly, a seniors complex is about the best we could hope to get. Traffic will probably go down, and it certainly won’t have rowdy residents. I just worry what happens with the parking spur that goes through the block to Ralfallen, since I live next to it.

  • Got to say, it could be worse. There’s a need for more senior housing. While it’s pretty bad that they’re taking an affordable (if less than clean) food source out of the neighborhood, putting additional pressure on the remaining folks who needs such a resource, it could have been worse. It could have been yet more crammed in townhomes or frou frou trendy shops. At least this serves a need, even if it’s not ideal.

  • It’s disappointing to not have the convenience of that Fiesta (primarily for beer and wine) but senior living is a good use for the site. Ironically, the seniors won’t be within walking distance of a grocery store.

  • I hate to see Fiesta go, but if done tastefully, this might be the best possible outcome for the site. 4 stories is within the scale of the church buildings across the street. It could have easily been 6-8 or more. It could have also been another generic strip center.

    They will be one block from one of the Norhill esplanades. Maybe folks could spruce up that esplanade with some benches and gardens for the elderly folks.

  • 10,000 SUCKS! RIP to my favorite grocery store in the Heights. One of the few stores you can get in and out quickly and when the vegetables and fruit are good(which is more often than not) they are better than all options around at a 1/4 of the price. This is sad news, especially for folks who enjoy walking/biking to a neighborhood store and avoid the over priced Kroger nightmare like the plague. I assume replacing this urban-friendly grocery with an urban-friendly senior living center will likely be an even tradeoff in terms of traffic gained/removed, so that should keep everyone happy, I guess.

  • FYI, there is an Alzheimer’s care facility on 24th St, in Shady Acres. It’s built like a large house, so it blends into the neighborhood. These care facilities exist in the greater Heights, they just don’t jump out at you.
    Sad to see the old neighborhood grocery going away. Was a very convenient place to get into and out of quickly after work, without the hassles of parking at some of the larger “neighborhood” grocers.

  • Argh! Not happy as this was my second favorite Fiesta. What is up with that company anyway? They keep closing, but no more are opening.

  • Better than an apartment building….. My only beef will be having to dodge all the fat old people on their mobility scooters. It is bad enough over by Heights and 19th when they head over to the CVS. Where the heck are these folks going to scoot to? We will be dodging scooters all up and down Stude.

  • Oh noooo, Fiesta stocks my favorite yogurt and always has such good veggies. Why oh why do we have to have so many Krogers? Krogers never honors any requests for favorite items. And I always liked the music that Fiesta played too.

  • Is there such a thing as a food truck that’s a convenience store? I see a business opportunity.

    Will the facilty have a van that makes frequent runs to the drug stores and the somewhat pitiful Kroger on 20th? Another business opportunity.

  • Ah, the irony of Houston real estate. Take out a place that gives many Heights elderly a way to remain independent; replace it with something that promotes “independent living” for the elderly. Also, these don’t strike me as the kind of units that the average elderly Heights resident is going to be able to afford… I agree it could be worse, but it still makes me very sad.

  • @ Joe Virant, Thanks – love those old pics of the original grocery store.
    @ The Heights Life, It IS ironic but absolutely capitalistic to replace two properties with two similar properties. Without new projects, how would sellers or developers make any money?
    Used to be (when Houston was a sleepier place) a property owner would renovate / add on to improve a property. But today, with both a transient population & a growing population, it’s bomb’s aweigh!

  • From Matt:

    “Better than an apartment building…..”

    Umm…it IS an apartment building. For old people.

  • I hear ageism (see Webster) in many of these comments. Shame!
    Could be the “ageism” folks are young and don’t know any better…..just wait!

  • If they keep tearing down all the Fiesta Marts to build apartment complexes, where are all those people going to buy food?

  • Argh…..sad to lose Fiesta. Now I’m going to have to go to one of the huge, overcrowded Krogers. There are only 4 within 5 miles of my house…

  • Have to admit I was kind of disappointed when I found out it wasnt going to be replaced with a trader joe’s or something more to my liking. Then i thought about it and I felt bad. The elderly are just you and I in the future. Plus it’s doing the community a good service by keeping the (older) people of the heights in the heights. The heights is the way it is because of them.