Sure, there’s been a whole lotta talk lately about how In-N-Out Burger is on its way to the redo of Texas Instruments’ 192-acre Stafford campus that developers have dubbed The Grid. But what about those not-yet-named retailers that renderings put out by Gensler, the architect for the project, show taking over the air conditioning towers that TI left behind at the site? The photo above shows what those decommissioned cooling units looks like right now.
They sit behind the centerpiece of the site, TI’s abandoned office building:
That’s El Rancho’s signage taking the place of Randalls’ in the photo above — which views the Keegan’s Meadow shopping center from the north along W. Bellfort. At 53,200 sq.-ft., the new Stafford store will be slightly bigger than El Rancho’s one other Houston location, opened along I-45 just inside the Beltway in June. There, all the typical grocery standards are present, along with a butcher shop, seafood counter, produce section, and bakery. Plus, there are some extras: a tortilleria and in-house Latin-American-style kitchen.
Two more El Ranchos are in the works, too: the first further up the North Fwy. on the outskirts of Spring, and the other in the old Oak Forest Randalls,gone from 34th St. since earlier this year.
Yet another Randalls is seeing itself out of a major shopping center space — this one in the Keegan’s Meadow complex at the corner of W. Bellfort Ave. and S. Kirkwood Rd. in Stafford. The photo above looks beyond the pumps at the grocery chain’s street-fronting gas station to show the store decorated with a liquidation sign identical to the one that’s currently posted on the Oak Forest location. The white Randalls lettering on the 53,250-sq.-ft. grocery store at 11711 W. Bellfort came down last month from the façade now taken up by the banner. An in-storeWells Fargo branch occupies the northeastern portion of the store, opposite the Avalon Discount Liquor adjacent to the its west side.
An enormous flock of Purple Martins has gathered in and around the parking lot of the Fountains Shopping Center facing the Southwest Freeway in Stafford, where they’ve taken up a noisy nighttime roost on nearby power lines and the allée of oak trees that leads through the concrete expanse to Rack Room Shoes and Old Navy. This is likely the same group that hung out in Sharpstown or the eastside KBR campus in previous years, on its way to Brazil; it appears to be the birds’ first window-shopping experience at Mattress Giant.
59 BORDERS: THE END Late addition to the Borders Books store closing list: The company’s 27,483-sq.-ft. store at that retention-pond-by-the-freeway shopping center in Stafford, Fountains on the Lake. The Stafford location is expected to be the only Houston-area casualty of the company’s bankruptcy, and is scheduled to close by “late May.” It and 2 dozen other stores around the country were added to the 200-store axe list at the end of last week. [Revised closing list (PDF); previously on Swamplot] Photo: Melissa M.
This grand 8,000-sq.-ft. residence in Braeburn Gardens comes with its own private bridge to whisk you and your beloved over the moat drainage ditch in front. And the 1.6-acre-plus grounds are protected (mostly) by a brick wall — which helps to block out the view of all those trucks hanging out in that lot facing Airport Blvd. in back. “Construction Company is not part of property,” the listing helpfully informs.
But the gazebo is!
Sadly, no photos of the home’s presumably impressive main entrance are included, though several interior shots demonstrate that walls throughout the structure are “incredibly thick” — in the words of the reader who brought it to Swamplot’s attention. That includes the wood planter in the Family Room, the whirlpool tub in a Sitting Room off the Master Bedroom, and the “Cement block room” hidden behind Bedroom #3.
How much does a single-story, 3-4 bedroom, early-’80s castle go for these days?