01/10/17 5:15pm

5405 T.C. Jester Blvd., Oak Forest, Houston, 770

5405 T.C. Jester Blvd., Oak Forest, Houston, 770A strip-mall enthusiast cruising the northern edge of Oak Forest this week sends a few shots from a stop through the 5405 T.C. Jester Center just south of Tidwell Rd. The center, located east across Cole Creek from the Northwest Wastewater Treatment Plant, is home to Frio To Go, part of Houston’s budding tape-the-top frozen cocktail drive-thru scene. The daquiri store has been operating since 2014 under its traffic signal sigil; the shop’s placement also provides a handy opportunity for situational testing for the over-21 students of Prime Time Driving School, located a few doors down:


GO/OF Detours
08/24/16 5:15pm

Rendering of NoLo Studios

Here’s a rendering of the 3-acre strip of property currently being rebranded as NoLo Studios. Per the drawings released earlier this month, the land (which touches the south side of Mansfield Rd. at the intersection with Midgeley St.) will be split up into lots for 14 new residences; that’s up a bit from the 9 mentioned in mid-2015 by Catherine Anspon (by which point 6 of the homes were reportedly already reserved.) The houses, marketed toward mid-career artists and priced between $300,000 and $450,000, are being designed and developed by Francois de Menil, the New-York-based architect son of Menil Collection founders Dominique and John. De Menil bought the land for the project in Acres Homes (which, after World War I, was reportedly the largest unincorporated African-American community in the South) back in April of 2015.

The view above appears to show the 4 houses planned closest to Mansfield, per the subdivision map:


Art House Review
05/20/16 11:15am

Future Site of Raspado Xperts , W. Little York Rd. east of Antoine Dr., Greater Inwood, Houston, 77091

Up on the docket for the White Oak Village redevelopment of the Evergreen Center shopping plaza at Antoine Dr. and W. Little York Rd.: the underway conversion of a long-empty drive-thru bank into a bike-and-drive-thru branch of Houston raspa-smoothie-snack shop Raspado Xperts. The structure sits at 5647 W. Little York on the north side of the complex, right between O’Reilly Auto Care and that eastern strip getting turned around to face White Oak Bayou and its hiking-and-biking enthusiasts.

A rep from Nankani Management claims that the raspa shop will be the first bike-thru business in Houston, and one of only 5 officially Bicycle Friendly businesses in the city (per a designation from the League of American Bicyclists). The shop is hanging on to the bank’s original bulletproof glass side wall and teller shield, which are becoming walls of the restaurant’s kitchen:


White Oak Village
03/01/16 11:30am

Art Guys Situation #4, Wheatley St. at Pinemont Dr., Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, Houston, 77091

Here’s the southernmost end of the newest work from the Art Guys: the designation of an existing ‘designated natural area’ in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest as part of their series of situation sculptures. The grassy median strip along Wheatley St. between Pinemont Dr. and Tidwell Rd. is evidently one of the no-mow zones labeled by the city’s parks and recreation department that spurred complaints in 2011, when area residents alleged that newly planted trees had blocked sight lines and created hazardous driving conditions.  According to the city’s website, the zones are carefully placed to “help promote the natural regeneration of the urban forest.

As for techniques employed by the artists: per their other pieces in the series, the duo appears to have left the area alone. They have, however, provided GPS coordinates and a Google map to help visitors avoid losing their way.


Adventures on Wheatley St.
01/26/16 3:45pm

6118 Oak Pass Dr, Antoine Forest Estates, Houston, 77091

Wood and tile details trim the spaces throughout much of this Northwest Houston home, starting with the large wooden arch positioned next to the front door between the living and dining rooms. Sold in 2007 for $121k, the 4 bedroom and 3 1/2 bath home went on the market last April at $320k; the 3,522-sq.ft. house was pulled in late October at $300k, and was relisted for the same amount in early November.  The 9,000-sq.-ft. lot, which abuts the White Oak Bayou Greenway trail, also includes a workshop and a small aviary.


6118 Oak Pass Dr.
04/10/15 2:00pm

Future Home of Farmstead, 6640 W. Montgomery Rd., Highland Heights, Acres Homes, Houston

Crews are hard at work converting the former hair salon (with 2-bedroom apartment upstairs, pictured above) at 6640 W. Montgomery Rd. in Highland Heights (aka the east side of Acres Homes) to an “edible garden center.” Farmstead is meant to become “the go-to spot for Houstonians wanting to grow their own food at home.” It’ll offer fruit trees, vegetable transplants, and herbs for purchase, along with seeds appropriate for this region. Plus gardening tools, supplies and DIY kits for raising your own garden bed above the gumbo line.


Grow House
09/19/13 4:30pm

White Oak Bayou’s concrete-lined banks are just off the unfenced back lot of this 2006-built side-entry 2-level stucco-and-siding home on a cul-de-sac in White Oak Terrace, across T.C. Jester from Highland Park. The balcony (at right), however, faces the front and looks over the single-story roofs of its ’70s-vintage block. Other 2-story homes of the current millennium pop up across nearby cross street Bayou Vista Dr. This double-decker property hit the market earlier this month. Asking price: $215,000.


07/26/13 12:15pm

An intrepid Redditor recently explored the vacant Oakbrook Apartments and snuck away with these photos. The 222-unit complex, currently for sale, sits on 7.3 acres at 5353 De Soto St., east of Antoine and north of W. Tidwell, right up against White Oak Bayou. Writes the creative trespasser: “The majority of [the apartments] are unsecured at this point. There really didn’t seem to be much of anything left in any of the apartments, and I went in a lot of them. Most of the drywall is crumbling and you can smell the mildew from 20 yards away. Wiring and other appliances have been torn out in most of them.”


07/08/13 12:00pm

NEW INWOOD YES PREP SAYS NO TO NEXT-DOOR LOAN STORE Calculating interest must not be part of the curriculum: The Leader reports that this vacant Kroger in the shopping center at W. Tidwell and Antoine is being renovated into a YES Prep School, with an inaugural class of sixth-graders ready to file in this August. But ACE Cash Express, the former grocery store’s next-door neighbor at 5616 W. Tidwell, seems to have become suddenly unwelcome, as a YES Prep rep explains: “’We’re worried that the activity there isn’t really compatible with a school, and we have some definite safety concerns. We’re hoping we can get them to relocate. If they don’t, we think their presence could have a negative impact on our ability to have students stay late on campus.’” [The Leader] Photo: Michael Sudhalter

05/13/13 11:00am

THE ART GUYS TO START UNRAVELING This is the route the Art Guys say they will be taking tomorrow morning when they stage the 5th of the yearlong series of monthly celebratory stunts they’re calling “12 Events:” Titling this one “A Length of String,” Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth will unwind a spool of thread they’ve had sitting around since 1983 while walking along White Oak Bayou between W. Tidwell and T.C. Jester, just north of the Loop, and then they’ll turn around . . . and wind it back up. Last month, you’ll remember, they donned tuxedos and conducted the sounds of the Ship Channel from the Santa Anna Capture Site in Pasadena. [Art Guys; previously on Swamplot] Map: Art Guys

05/09/13 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HERE COME THE GOOF-Y TOWNHOUSES “The revisions to Chapter 42 mean that the fringes of Oak Forest, Garden Oaks and Spring Branch can be built up with lots of townhomes and other inner loop-esque density. Given that you now have to shell out $500-$800k to live in OF, GO or many parts of Spring Branch, I would bet that, all things constant, this listing would be seen as a steal in five to ten years . . .” [Old School, commenting on Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: Number 1, Fan]