08/03/16 12:00pm

5623 Willow Walk Ln, Champion Forest, Houston, 77069

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, HoustonHas it really been a whole year since the famed house at 5623 Willow Walk Ln. in Huntwick Forest — touted by its sales agent, Paul Gomberg, as “the Filthiest House in Houston”first appeared on the market? No, but the Chronicle‘s Darla Guillen has provided a “one year later” update on the storied property a full 4 months early. And really, with some of the newest pungent and juicy details she reports, why wait?

Gomberg first put the property on the market last December, detailing the home’s assembled collections of condiments, garbage, and animal deposits. “The foul stench of animals & their waste products permeates,” the listing summary noted, and at least one photo description included the always-colorful descriptor “feces galore.” In early January, Swamplot featured one of the tamer images from that listing as its Home Listing Photo of the Day. Later that week, Gomberg came out with this video tour of the property:

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The Smell Remains
01/15/16 1:30pm

Walmart Supercenter, 7075 FM 1960 W, Willowbrook Mall, Houston, 77069

The king of big-box retail announced plans this morning to close the Walmart Supercenter at 7075 FM 1960 West, behind Willowbrook Mall at the intersection with Cutten Rd. The Supercenter will close on January 28th after more than 2 decades of operation; a Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2740 Gessner Rd. (south of Kempwood Dr.) will also close on the same day.

The Supercenter (not to be confused with the one 4 miles up FM 1960 at the corner with T.C. Jester) is one of 154 US stores that will close, as the chain works to assure that its “assets [are] aligned with strategy”. Currently, there are 17 Walmart stores on or inside Beltway 8, and 4 Walmart Supercenters along FM 1960 between 249 and Atascocita.

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Boxing Up on FM 1960
01/07/16 10:30am

What better character to hawk a house slathered in animal dung than a leather-jacketed agent from Rockstar Real Estate Group? Rhinestone-loving Paul Gomberg, who operates under the umbrella of Keller Williams Conroe/Lake Conroe, posted a video tour yesterday of a house featured on Swamplot on Monday (which, as commenters noted, included captions such as “Feces galore!”).

Gomberg seems eager to share his delight for the house at 5623 Willow Walk Ln., calling it “one of the best listings he’s had in the last 2 weeks” (even while warning his cameraman to hold his nose against what his HAR listing calls the “foul stench” permeating the interior). Gomberg posted the tour to YouTube last night — despite the fact that the property appears to have been under contract since December 20, after only 1 day on the market.

The house, currently listed at $125,000, originally sold for $280,000 in 2012, when it looked like this:

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Video Shitshow
07/09/13 2:00pm

Polishing the woodwork in this 1975 neo-Tudor in Champion Forest Champions Northwest might take a while. The property comes with a  6-pack of bedrooms, of bathrooms, and of fireplaces — as well as heaps of lumber in both structural and decorative forms, starting with the half-timbering (and other-half-bricking) out front.

A note to agents in the listing brags that the home made some sort of appearance in Architectural Digest when it was young — who wouldn’t want to see the indoor pool? It was put on the market 6 months ago, but the listing expired in mid-June. Now it’s back with a new agency but the same asking price: $1,399,000.

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06/21/12 2:51pm

Is that an arrow or an anchor above the dining-room bay window of this well-gabled home a little more than a mile northeast of the Willowbrook Mall? Either way, the decorative timbering acts as a harbinger of the many accents, patterns, and imagery within:   CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

10/21/11 7:26pm

Have a look around this little 25,637-sq.-ft. castle on a 5-acre lot at the edge of the Champions Golf Course. The master suite alone measures 3,000 sq. ft. Construction began in 2005, but last year the property was taken over by the lender, Encore Bank, before the final touches could be completed — like the elevator connecting the 3-car underground garage to the rest of the house. The MLS listing announced the bank planned to auction the home by November 5th to the highest bidder. But it was scooped up before then — for $3.5 million — by someone who could truly appreciate its fine marble and plaster finishes: the founder of a drywall contracting company and his wife. Wayne and Karen Martin tell the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff they plan to finish the home and landscape it with “European-style” gardens and reflecting ponds. “There’s a lot of history in that place. It’s phenomenal,” Martin tells Sarnoff.

But they don’t plan to move in.

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05/28/09 11:51pm

Time to award another Rice Design Alliance membership!

Your guesses for this week’s game: the Memorial Park area, Crestwood, Camp Logan, “just south of Rice off of Greenbriar,” “somewhere off Briar Forest,” Sugar Land (3 guesses), off Gessner, off Gessner north of Westheimer, the Gessner and Westheimer area, Copperfield, “north of Memorial, on Crestwood or Arnot,” Sugar Creek (2 guesses), Venetian Estates, Kingwood, Champions, Champion Forest, Bellaire, Hudson Oaks, Hudson Bend, “near U of H around MacGregor and Cullen,” “the Stella Link and Braeswood area,” Stonehenge, Memorial just inside the Beltway, Greatwood, Alief, the Fondren and Braeswood area south of Bissonnet but north of Bellfort, south Fondren, Fondren Southwest, Northampton, West University, League City, Country Village, Lakeside Place, off Memorial between Eldridge and Highway 6, Clear Lake, Fort Bend County, Riverstone, Piney Point Village, Estates of Highland Creek, “Spring Branch area south of I-10,” “near the intersection of Dairy Ashford and Memorial, north of Briar Forest,” Bellaire, Meyerland, Friendswood, “west side,” Boulevard Oaks, Walden on Lake Conroe, and Afton Oaks.

This week’s home was suggested independently for the contest by two Swamplot readers. And the winner is . . . elnina, for this sharp entry:

Bit to big entrance for a townhouse, the lay out, the kitchen and nice parquet flooring make me think about a mid 70’s two story house somewhere north of Houston. Good size back yard with nice swimming pool.
No rugs or carpet – is the owner allergic to it or just prefer bare floors? Not sure about the flooring upstairs. Is that concrete? I will behave and not comment the lady of the house shoe fetish room
I agree with “marmer”, there must be interesting view from the second floor: a park, golf course or perhaps a lake? I guess north, northwest – maybe Champions?

Congratulations, elnina! You’ve won a one-year individual membership in the Rice Design Alliance — and earned extra credit for identifying the owner’s allergies.

A very close second place finish goes to recent NGG champion David W, for this guess:

This one is from the super 70’s – parquet floor abounds, flagstone fireplace, I bet all those windows facing the pool had vertical blinds back in the day. Stained cabinets in the kitchen painted white, dramatic entry with stairwell and upstairs hallway open to the to the living room with vaulted ceiling. Is that a beam I see coming down to the left of the fireplace? That was stained dark when this place was built and recently painted along with the kitchen. The laugh room doesn’t match – converted garage maybe? Tile downstairs says near water or maybe a golf course? Doesn’t seem too big, inexpensive range in the kitchen. Hmm. My first guess would be Sugar Creek or maybe Venetian Estates but it seems like they would have spent more on the updates if it was in Sugar Creek and it seems too new for Venetian Estates. I am going with the north side of town instead. Lots of 70’s construction in Kingwood and Champions Forest – given the modest updates and contempo style I bet this one is in one of those neighborhoods. . . .

Now about those shoes . . . Do they look a little familiar?

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07/24/08 1:29pm

Huntwick Apartments, 5100 FM 1960 Rd., Houston

A Dallas real-estate firm is ready to rescue the Huntwick Apartments on FM 1960 near Wunderlich Rd. from receivership — and also from its management, before that, by Louisiana real-estate investor Michael B. Smuck.

As of last year, just as it prepared to file for bankruptcy, Smuck’s Louisiana-based MBS Companies owned 65 apartment buildings in Texas — 33 of them in the Houston area. Even prior to that, the company’s property-maintenance skills had reached legendary status. The president and executive vice president of the Houston Apartment Association relayed complaints from residents and neighbors of MBS apartments to the Wall Street Journal last year, and reported that the griping had only increased after the influx of residents fleeing Hurricane Katrina in late 2005.

Here’s a commenter on the Houston Politics blog back in April (quoted in Swamplot), describing the scene at the 288-unit Huntwick:

Balconies have collapsed, lots of overgrown vegetation, the paint is peeling, there is obviously a total lack of maintenance. A large tree split in half on their property adjacent to Coral Gables Dr., and after the dead half lay on the ground (in plain view) for over 6 months, a crew finally cut it into smaller pieces, which then lay in the same spot for another 6 months.

After the jump: What’s happening to the Huntwick, plus the complete Michael B. Smuck Houston apartment roster!

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