In between showing off various multicolored interchange tangles, the new flyover preview video of the huge changes proposed for I-45 North and the downtown freeway circuit glides viewers by a handful of areas where freeways will dive underground — while splicing in some new renderings of the tops of those tunnels-to-be as they could look, if somebody wanted to pay up to turn them into a park. (The animation is careful to emphasize once again that said parks would have to be developed and funded by a source other than TxDOT — and so far, there are no signs that anyone has stepped up.)
The rendering up top shows the would-be-parallel sections of 45, 59, and SH 288, running behind the convention district where 59 sits now — the whole bundle would be pulled down below flood grade and covered up, evidently with concrete if the park thing doesn’t work out. (A clip of just that section of the 10-minute animation is included above; a tiny rendered version of the Cheek Neal Coffee building can be spied along the edge of the freeway, though SEARCH Homeless Service’snew building one block north isn’t specifically drawn in next to it.)
The video also gives the section of 59 from Main to San Jacinto streets the same burial and dressup treatment:
A reader’s drive-by shooting at the corner of N. Shepherd Dr. and W. 20th St. captured a few photos of Abel Motors, whose new signage announces a move to parts even further north. The dealership’s new location at 9102 Airline Dr. will put it just south of Halls Bayou at the intersection of Airline and Gulf Bank Rd. across from the Cathedral of St. Matthew. (and amid a suite of other car sales and auto repair operations up and down the street).
The N. Shepherd spot to be vacated sits catty-corner to the former car dealership property currently being redeveloped as a Mellow Mushroom-containing retail strip, and a block north of the Take 5 Oil Change getting into gear at the corner with 19th St. Here’s another shot of the corner, looking north across 20th toward the ex-Fiesta a few blocks up the road:
Cast in projector blue above: a snapshot of renderings for the remodel of Jefferson Davis High School, which is planning to expand. The Northside school, one of 8 in HISD changing names to drop references to Confederate figures, is getting some shiny new teaching facilities, including upgraded spaces for its culinary arts and management students (as shown in the projection above). The campus on Quitman St. is also staking out new parking lot territory across Tackaberry St.
Hungry for the details? HISD is hosting a community meeting on April 7th at the school to talk design plans. Until then, here’s a preview of the planned new exterior for the performing arts space:
The past caught up with Houston Cafe & Bakery’s former location at the corner of Tackaberry and Quitman streets last week. The Mexican cafe and panaderia departed to a more northern, more strip-center location at 2435 Fulton St. back in 2015, when Houston ISD bought the Quitman property. A demo permit for the site was issued last Thursday, and by Friday the scene above was already playing out.
Across Tackaberry, soon-t0-be-renamedJefferson Davis High School is in the early stages of a redo that will upgrade its 1926 building and add some new facilities for the school’s culinary arts and hotel management specialization. Finalized designs from Bay-IBI aren’t out yet, but a community meeting is planned for Thursday of this week, and demo work on some nearby houses has already been going on to make room for expansion.
Here’s a peek at a preliminary site plan from back in 2014, which shows the campus expanding across Tackaberry all the way to Fulton St.:
Beer and trucking: 2 great Texas pastimes will unite under one roof this September, once the brand new SpindleTap Brewery opens up its brewing operation and tavern inside the brand-new tilt-up warehouse at 10622 Hirsch Rd. built for trucking company Lightning Logistics (pictured here under construction in a photo from February). SpindleTap’s facility is taking up 10,000 of the building’s 70,000 sq. ft., reports the Houston Business Journal‘s Joe Martin. (It’ll also include an outdoor patio space and possibly a dog run.) Much of the remainder of the building, which is located just south of Little York, a superblock east of I-69, will serve as headquarters for Lightning Logistics’s 250-truck fleet.
Looking a bit like a bricked-up, tricked out Americanized Florentine chapel, a solidly built property facing N. Main St. east of I-45 could swing either way. The property would work as a home or office, the listing suggests. (The second level could be a separate unit.) In a relisting this week after a 9-month break from the market, the undecided property knocked more than $100K off its previous ask, bringing the price tag to $249K. Back in May 2014, the sellers wanted $355K. But even that price was a second whittle for the property. It had first hit the market in June 2012 at $485K, but several adjustments had brought the price down to $385K before the listing expired 6 months later. In other words, the property is available now for just over half of the previous offering’s peak price.
A funny thing happens in Pooja Lodhia’s teevee report on the whole Tampico Heights dust-up. Yes, she gets Jim Badger, the creator of the Tampico Heights website, to come on camera, and she notes that his renaming project was meant as a sort-of joke. But more interesting: She finds a couple people who claim that the inside-the-Loop neighborhood west of I-45 and east of North Main St. should be called Northside.
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.
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.
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: