- 2810 Ellington St. [HAR]
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:
YOUR UPGRADE FROM SHEPHERD DR. TO THE NORTH FWY. WILL BE MUCH SMOOTHER STARTING TODAY Today at noon TxDOT opened the brand new connector ramp pictured here, which has been under construction since December 2013. It links northbound traffic at the northern end of Shepherd Dr. to northbound I-45. Wasn’t there a way to get from Shepherd to I-45 already? Yes, but it brought cars into the freeway’s left lane. The new flyover crosses over the freeway to bring drivers onto I-45’s right lane; it hops over the Little York, Victory Blvd., and Veterans Memorial intersections on the way. A separate connector from I-45 south to Shepherd is scheduled to open later this summer. [TxDOT] Photo: TxDOT
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.
The Austin-based developer of 3 Houston apartment communities was arrested Saturday in Virginia for his role in a failed coup of the West African nation of Gambia. According to an affidavit prepared by an FBI special agent, Cherno M. Njie provided funds for the ill-fated venture, and was to have been installed as Gambia’s president if it had been successful. Prior to the surprise military venture in his native country, the University of Texas graduate served as the tax credit manager of the Texas department of housing and community affairs, which during his tenure awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits to developers of affordable housing. Njie resigned from the agency in 2001 following the bribery conviction of a board member and founded Songhai Development, whose later contributions to the Houston landscape include the Chelsea Senior Community (pictured at the bottom of this story) and the Little York Villas apartments near Acres Homes and the Langwick Senior Residences (pictured at top) near Greenspoint. He also served as president of Songhai’s sister company, CMB Construction.
In 2011, 3.2 acres of land Njie donated next to the Langwick project at Langwick Dr. and W. Hardy Rd. were turned into a park designed for senior citizens — named Ida Gaye Gardens, after Njie’s mother. (The photo at right above, posted on Songhai’s website, shows Njie at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park with Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition’s Regina Lindsey.)
Harris County Housing Authority interim CEO Tom McCasland takes a visitor from Portland along the path of the bike trail he hopes will soon connect Downtown Houston seamlessly to the city’s northwestern suburbs. From Georgia’s Market downtown they head out the MKT Trail into the Heights, which dead ends near the Shepherd-Durham overpasses. “The lot turned into a truck path, which ended at a decrepit railroad bridge. We took a sharp right down a singletrack path along the edge of the bayou far below us,” writes Elly Blue, who’s been touring U.S. cities to assess their bikeability. McCasland, an advocate for expanding Houston bikeways, tells the Houston Press‘s John Nova Lomax that “part of the city’s latest grand biking plan is to dynamite [that burned-out bridge] and rebuild it as a bike/pedestrian thoroughfare. The trail will then continue along White Oak Bayou’s banks and connect with the existing trail that begins at West 11th and TC Jester and heads north through Timbergrove, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest and all the way up to Acres Homes.”
Where was this week’s paneled palace?
Three of you guessed Champion Forest. There were 2 guesses each for Inwood Forest, Sharpstown, the FM 1960 area, and Tanglewood. The rest? Memorial near Dairy Ashford, Lakeside, “North or West Houston,” near Hobby Airport, Bellaire, Third Ward between North MacGregor and OST, Briarmeadow, Antoine and Little York, Kingwood, Champions “on the way to Tomball,” Oak Forest, Timber Grove, Shepherd Park Plaza, Inwood, Braeswood area, “off Braeswood,” Maplewood, Glenshire, Westchase, Willowbend, Fondren Southwest, and off 249 near Cypresswood.
There was no winner this week, unless you want to give credit to Chris for mentioning, in passing, “North or West Houston.” Instead, how about some honorable mentions to the folks who came closest? That’d be tcpIV and Dave, who guessed Inwood Forest; CK, who mentioned both Shepherd Park Plaza and Inwood, and Richard, who got stuck at Antoine and Little York.
Great work, everyone! But how about . . . Aldine? Acres Homes? You’re looking at the original Hidden Valley Ranch!
What makes this place so hard to find?