07/17/18 10:00am

HPD HAS NORTH HOUSTON MATTRESS STORE MURDERER IN CUSTODY The manhunt for alleged mattress store killer Jose Gilberto Rodriguez came to an end at N. Eldridge Pkwy. and Wortham Landing Dr. earlier this morning after a brief police chase, reports abc13. Just last night, Chief Art Acevedo identified Rodriguez — a 46-year-old parolee who was released from prison last September — as a suspect in 3 homicides over the last several days. He was believed to be driving a dark Nissan Sentra — Acevedo explained — that he took from his latest victim, an employee of the Mattress1One pictured above at I-45 and Crosstimbers found shot to death in the store yesterday afternoon. Previously on Saturday night, the manager of a Mattress Firm across from the Willowbrook Mall walked into that location’s back office and found a 28-year-old female employee lying dead between 2 mattresses. Between the 2 retail slayings, Rodriguez also allegedly shot and robbed a METRO Lift driver (who’s expected to recover), and earlier last week, killed a 62-year-old woman after breaking into her house on Bent Pine Dr. in Cypress. [abc13] Photo of Mattress1One at 4400 N. Fwy.: Jessica Willey

02/07/18 1:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: TEXAS CENTRAL’S PARKING GARAGE ISN’T JUST A SIDE GIG “Site plans of both stations (Houston and Dallas) make it clear that the revenue model for this project isn’t selling train tickets — it’s selling parking. This site is ideal for that purpose: there’s no where nearby (walking distance) to compete for parking revenue, and it has a much cheaper land cost than Downtown. If you’re going to make the station 80 percent parking garage, why bother spending the extra money running it all the way to Downtown?” [Angostura, commenting on What Texas Central’s Proposed Houston Bullet Train Station Looks Like in Place of the Northwest Mall] Conceptual rendering of Houston bullet train station from W. 18th St.: Texas Central

04/01/13 2:00pm

And it looks like the Alamo is standing on its own again: Previously demolished, Alamo Tamales re-appeared last summer as nothing but leaning walls and steel rods, but it re-opened with a stalwart uprightness on Berry Rd. on Friday. Architect Tim Cisneros of Cisneros Design Studio sends the photo of the restaurant’s finished facade sandwiched between a dessert bar and cantina in the 21,000-sq.-ft. Northside strip center west of Irvington Blvd.

Photos: Cisneros Design Studio

12/04/12 4:11pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ART THAT EVEN A BANKRUPTED DEVELOPER COULD MAKE “It’s actually a field of sewer hookups that never grew into being the apartments (presumably) that they were meant to become. The Art Guys simply appropriated the site for an afternoon to be a sculpture. It’s what they do.” [Robert Boyd, commenting on Headlines: Parking Meters on Washington Ave; Census Finds 812 Missing Houstonians] Photo: The Art Guys

11/19/12 2:55pm

It’s either a store with small display cases or a home with really big curio cabinets. Fully-fenced and mostly burglar-barred, the shape-shifting property fronts the rebuilt roadway and drainage improvements of Fulton Street in Pine Grove, east of I-45. Metro’s Red Line extension plans its future Northline Transit Center just past Crosstimbers, 3 blocks north of the storefront-residence. Earlier this week, the mixed-use property reappeared in the MLS listings with a new agency and price, $99,900, after a 2-month market breather. That’s about twice the price of its sale for $45,500 in 2009 — but significantly lower than the $135,000 sought in a year-long listing that expired down a bit ($124,900) just this past September.


07/20/12 5:29pm

The Alamo reinforcements have arrived! Okay, they’re just temporary steel props, but they’re now holding the tilt-up concrete facade out of the mud around the tamale-themed strip center Warwick Construction is putting up on Houston’s Northside. The 23,000-sq.-ft. Alamo Tamale Company development at 809 Berry Rd. just west of Irvington will include a bakery, a reception hall, a restaurant and cantina, a dessert bar, and — yes — an on-site tamale-construction facility. Plus: a drive-thru meant to accommodate about 20 tamale-pickup vehicles.


07/19/12 11:42pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: AND LIVING THERE WOULD DRIVE ME HALF OUT OF MY MIND “I pity the homeowner who has to enter ‘1513 1/2 E. 32nd 1/2 St.’ into any online form where they try to verify an address, or, god forbid, describe it to someone over the phone.” [j, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Double Barbecue Toast]

06/01/11 12:40pm

This somewhat industrial stretch of Berry Rd. just west of Irvington on Houston’s Northside will soon be home to a new food-and-entertainment strip center developed by the Alamo Tamale Company. The 21,000-sq.-ft. theme center and parking lot were designed by Cisneros Design Studio Architects (local ethnographers among our readers may recognize Cisneros as the designer of Katy’s recently shuttered Forbidden Gardens). Lining up on the south-facing strip at 809 Berry will be the best in tamale-themed entertainment: a full-service restaurant, a cantina open late, a panaderia that’ll open early, a banquet and reception hall, and a raspa and dessert bar open primarily on weekends. But the featured destination will likely be the new Alamo Tamale storefront itself, next door to the company’s existing handmade tamale HQ. You should be able to pick it out quickly — it’s the one with the Alamo-like facade:


12/13/10 12:23pm

A reader who says he’s been to many Walmarts tells Swamplot he was “stunned” to find this ice-cream counter and juice bar in the newly opened store at Northline Commons off I-45 near Crosstimbers — “serving horchata no less.” The new section is near the produce and bakery. Stunned? Really?

It makes so much sense for walmart to do this when you consider the number of kids who tag along with their parents. I also [saw] lots of kids and adults eating ice-cream in store while shopping. And at $1 they will be eating coldstone’s lunch pretty soon. . . . the only other store i can think of that has ice cream counters in store is costco. So the all around awesomeness of it was what stunned me i guess.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

10/28/10 5:20pm

NEW WALMART OPENS NEAR THE HEIGHTS This one’s to the north: The brand-new Walmart next to Northline Commons — the new, more parking-lot-friendly version of Northline Mall at I-45 and Crosstimbers — opened yesterday. The biggest-box store joins recent Northline newcomers Marshall’s, Ross Dress For Less, Office Depot, Conn’s, The Children’s Place, Verizon, Foot Locker, Shoe Carnival, Al’s Formal Wear, Urban Zone, Rainbow Fashions, Foot Action, Dollar Tree, and a relocated Palais Royal. [PR Newswire] Fake-looking photo: Berenson Associates

07/01/10 2:40pm

Note: Story updated below.

A little bird tells Swamplot that Walmart is close to buying a 5-acre piece of land on Heights Blvd. just south of I-10. Formerly on that site: the Sons of Hermann Hall, which was demolished last summer. The property also fronts Yale, and is bounded by the Center St. railroad tracks to the south. Just across the street: the Art Car Museum. If the discount retailer does close the deal and build on the property, it would be the first Walmart-owned store inside the Loop. (Of course, there’s already a Walmart and a Sam’s Club just outside the South Loop; the Sam’s Club is a direct train ride from Downtown.) Also in the works, though much further along: A new Walmart under construction next to Northline Commons, the former site of the Northline Mall.

Update: Reader Nick Banks is already trying out Walmart store models for size: