Here’s what the restaurant just west of the Meyer Park Shopping Center looks like in its afterlife. Signage came down the same day that the store closed, last Wednesday. It’s now listed for lease by the franchisee that owns the land at 4904 W. Bellfort as well as that beneath about 70 other Taco Bells, KFCs, and Pizza Huts in and around Houston: KorMex Foods.
KorMex grabbed this location along with 15 other existing stores when it went into business in 2000. By then, the building itself had been around for 7 years.
Photo: Jason Karwacki
W. Bellfort and S. Post Oak
WESTBURY MOD SELLERS DROP PRICE, VIDEO OF SPACE AGE 3-BEDROOM OFF W. BELLFORT
Brubeck plays in the background as this new clip from the sellers of 5702 Warm Springs Rd. pans around the 1959 single-story just off W. Bellfort, showing off some of its era-appropriate renovations like laminate kitchen countertops, cork floors, a mosaic-patterned wall by the entrance, and Formica surfaces throughout. $10k fell off the asking price yesterday, bringing the house [a previous Swamplot sponsor] down to $379,000. [Oscar Fine Properties; listing] Video: Oscar Fine Properties
ORTHODOX SYNAGOGUE MULLS CROSSING THE LOOP TO SOMEWHAT HIGHER GROUND
The roughly 820 homeowners in Willow Meadows are now voting on a deed restriction change that — if passed — would allow the United Orthodox Synagogue to build a new structure outside The Loop, in place of 5 houses that sit 3 quarters of a mile south down Greenwillow St. from the congregation’s previous home at the corner of S. Braeswood. Many congregants walk to the synagogue — which could soon be leaving the 100-year floodplain for the 500 after flooding 6 times in the last 25 years, including 3 in the last 3. “According to preliminary renderings,” reports the Jewish Herald Voice’s Michael C. Duke on Studio Red’s proposed design, “the synagogue would be a single-story structure, measuring an ultimate height of 30 feet. Based on new building codes, the finished floor of the building would be built some 3 feet above curb height, and the building itself would have the same 25-foot setback as homes in Willow Meadows.” Passage of the proposal “would prompt Houston’s largest Orthodox congregation to hold its own congregation-wide vote on whether to stay at its current location north of I-610 South and rebuild portions of its campus at a significantly higher elevation; or, to move.” Most of the congregation’s 57-year-old building was demolished last month, except for a few portions including its social hall and mikvah. [Jewish Herald Voice; previously on Swamplot] Photo of United Orthodox Synagogue’s demolition, 9001 Greenwillow St.: United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston
A new Aldi supermarket is on the way to the vacant 3-acre lot at 5300 W. Bellfort once home to the longer vacant Westbury Centerette shopping center, torn down in 2015. Plans for a LA Fitness location on the site submitted the year before the Centerette’s demolition didn’t work out. Since then, not much has been in store for the space northeast of AutoZone and Pizza Hut on the corner of W. Bellfort and Chimney Rock — until a leasing agreement for the new supermarket was inked late last year.
In addition to Aldi, the site plan above from NAI Partners indicates
a new 26,000-sq.-ft. building of land available for lease on the corner of Chimney Rock and Cedarhurst, in the spot that a vacant gas station disappeared from in 2016.
Site plan: NAI Partners
COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANOTHER WILLOW MEADOWS FAREWELL “Willowgrove is a beautiful street, and sadly, I think we’re going to see several homes come down akin to what we saw & are seeing again in Meyerland (I believe there was another one yesterday). It’s predominately 1960s single-story ranch homes, many custom designed and some of them oversized vs. the rest of neighborhood, below a canopy of oaks that drape the street. It’s terribly sad that what it was before is just gone now. Willowgrove backs up to one of the feeder ravines that breached when the bayou did, and homes on both sides of it — Cliffwood and Willowgrove — took a massive hit compared to the surrounding streets that only had street flooding. The cap on flood insurance, if homeowners had it, wouldn’t cover the value of those homes. I’ve had neighbors ask me, and I genuinely do not know — are those concrete ravines/mini-bayous supposed to drain/connect to Willow Water Hole at some point? Was that already supposed to have happened? If so, what was the delay?” [Heather, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Lynn Parked] Photo of 10202 Willowgrove Dr. interior (now for sale): HAR
STATE COMMITTEE OKAYS BILL TO REQUIRE ‘CERTAIN COUNTIES’ TO VOTE ON ASTRODOME PARKING GARAGE-IFICATION The Texas senate’s committee on intergovernmental relations gave an early stamp of approval to that bill that would require Harris County to hold a vote on the plan recently set in motion to turn the Astrodome’s sunken field into an underground parking garage, Mihir Zaveri notes in the Chronicle this morning. The bill’s language doesn’t explicitly single out the Dome and the county commissioners; it would just mandate that “certain counties” — those with a population of 3.3 million or more — would need to call a vote on work related to “certain sports facilities” if the price tag of a given project reaches $10 million — namely, those sports facilities already more than 50 years old when the bill passes. (Harris County, with a population estimated around 4.5 million, is the only Texas county that comes remotely close to passing the bill’s size threshold.) [Houston Chronicle; Texas Legislature; previously on Swamplot] Schematic of Astrodome parking plan: Harris County Engineering Dept.
The city signed off this week on the plan to put an outdoor concert and performance venue into one of the Willow Waterhole Bayou detention basins along S. Post Oak Dr., north of the intersection with S. Main St. Specifically, the project is planned alongside the basin just north of Gasmer Rd., west across S. Post Oak from that area previously wrapped in barbed wire to reserve it as habitat for endangered Texas prairiedawn. Rebecca Elliot writes that the stage will be paid for by the California-based Levitt Foundation, which has performance spaces geared toward public concerts and events in 6 cities around the country (and more in the works). The Houston venue will have to host at least 25 public events per year, and the city will be on the hook for up to $1 million in repairs during its first 15 years of operation.
Like some of the city’s other basin-bottom park infrastructure, the structure will be designed to flood on occasion: the rendering above shows the structure largely elevated on stilts, with the basin’s smaller permanent retention pond reflecting fireworks behind it. The structure should be somewhat hurricane-resistant, too — at least according to an information packet dating back to 2012. That packet also included a drawing of the potential placement for the stage, along with some landscaping and parking lot layout:
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
Staging in Westbury
Demolition began yesterday on one of the 11 remaining structures of Westbury Square at Chimney Rock Rd. and W. Belfort Ave., according to a post on the Westbury Civic Club’s Facebook page. The post indicates that the first building on the chopping block was one damaged by fire in 2010, but that the rest were not scheduled by the owners to meet their unmakers on Tuesday.
An agent for Camelot Realty Group told HBJ last July that the run-down 1960s shopping plaza was under contract by the Villas at Westbury Square, and that the buildings were slated for demolition at the start of last August to make way for more than 100 townhomes (or maybe a commercial development, depending on how things went). A Swamplot commenter noted, however, that the buildings were still standing in early January.
Photo: Westbury Houston
Chimney Rock at W. Belfort
Confirming a rumor Swamplot noted last week, the HBJ’s Roxana Asgarian reports that “one of the largest residential developers in Houston” has plans to transform two-thirds of the site of former pedestrian shopping district Westbury Square into 100 to 125 townhomes. Camelot Realty Group’s Tom Cervone tells Asgarian a group of developers going by the name of Villas at Westbury Square has the property on West Bellfort near Chimney Rock and West Bellfort under contract from its longtime owner, Alfred Antonini.
All 11 remaining Westbury Square buildings — including the longtime home of the Company OnStage theater group — will be torn down in 30 days, the real estate agent says. Two of the more dilapidated structures from the complex were demolished last year; the Home Depot next door (visible in the distance in the photo below) was built on land that previously belonged to the complex.
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
WESTBURY SQUARE HEADED FOR SALE, EXILE OF REMAINING TENANTS A sales contract is pending on the remaining portions of faded pedestrian shopping district Westbury Square, a note posted to the home page of The Company OnStage and sent to the group’s subscribers announces. The note does not address rumored plans to divide the purchased site near the intersection of West Bellfort and Chimney Rock into more than 100 townhome lots, but does indicate that completion of the sale will likely bring an end to the company’s 33-year residency at 536 Westbury Square (pictured here). The theater group is postponing the announcement of its upcoming season, and says it is looking to relocate. Two buildings in the complex were torn down early last year. [The Company OnStage; previously on Swamplot] Photo: The Company OnStage
There’s a peaked roof peeking over the flat front portion supported by columns at a 1962 Westbury home that listed last week. The home’s only street-facing window (located in the kitchen’s dining nook) peers through the home’s gated entry (above). The front door, meanwhile, faces . . .
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
Yesterday demo crews began tearing down 2 buildings at Westbury Square, the once-quaint pedestrian shopping district at West Bellfort and Chimney Rock that in recent decades has been overtaken by a combination of bigger-box retailing (see the Home Depot lurking in the background of the photo at left) and neglect. Long-dilapidated Buildings 1 and 5 at 635 Westbury Sq. are being removed under an agreement with the city after a longstanding battle over a “repair or demolish” order, according to the Westbury Area Improvement Corporation. But owner Alfred Antonini still has 9 other 1962-vintage buildings standing on the property, according to appraisal district records.
CONTINUE READING THIS STORY
Charm of Yesteryear