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.
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A lowslung brick 1965 building in the warehouse district in the northwest quadrant of the Inner Loop west of Timbergrove Manor and Lazybrook scored landmark status from the city today, marking the first such designation for an industrial, Modern, and suburban (well, at least used-to-be suburban) structure. NuSmile, a company that manufactures pediatric dental crowns, bought the former American Brakeshoe Company building in 2011 and then renovated it, adding a taller 6,140-sq.-ft. metal-wrapped extension to the back of the 8,584-sq.-ft. structure in 2013 and winning a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston in the process. A report the company submitted with the application notes that “no records of an architect, contractor, or developer have been found” for the original building. Among the former tenants of the property at 3315 W. 12th St.: Smith Industries, TelTex, and TD Rowe Amusements.
NuSmile on Building
A portion of the Riviana Foods complex at Summer and Taylor Streets in the First Ward was torn down this week. Reader Rony Canales’s panoramic photos of the former Riviana processing building and a few accompanying structures show the demo in process (above) and a little further along in the process (below):
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After the Rice Is Gone
WORLD’S LARGEST AIR CONDITIONING MANUFACTURER TO BUILD GIANT COMFORTPLEX AT NORTHERN REACHES OF KATY PRAIRIE Ah, Houston industry! Oil may be down, but air conditioning is booming — and ready to do its part to further our fine city’s sprawl-ward spread. Ralph Bivins reports this morning that Japanese HVAC giant Daikin Industries, which paid $3.7 billion back in 2012 to buy Houston’s Goodman Global, will build a $417 million, 4,000,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing and logistics campus on virgin prairie southeast of Hockley, off U.S. 290 a good 3 miles west of the Grand Parkway. Dubbed the “Comfortplex,” the facility (portrayed in the rendering above) will consolidate current company operations in both Tennessee and Texas, and increase the company’s Houston-area workforce to approximately 4,000 employees. The Comfortplex will replace an existing 525,000-sq.-ft. Goodman air-conditioner factory near Loop 610 and 290 when it opens in 2016, Bivins notes. The company produces ducted and ductless AC systems under the Daikin, Goodman, and Amana brand names. [Realty News Report] Rendering: Daikin Industries
If you’re wondering, like the person who took this photo earlier today, what the story is behind the smoke seen here coming out of the top of the new Karbach Brewing Co. building under construction at the corner of Karbach St. and Dacoma St., just west of Mangum Rd., there’s no need to worry: A small fire at the the construction site was put out quickly a short while ago with minimal damage, according to a company rep.
Karbach was rated last year as one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the U.S. The new 2-story, 19,000-sq.-ft. brewery building adjacent to its existing facility was designed by Three Square Design Group, and will include a public tap room and kitchen, along with a special-event space upstairs.
Photo: Swamplot inbox
Your Beer Is Safe
REFORMED OIL WORKER TYPES GIVING UP PUMP JACK, OPENING NEW BREWERY NEAR THE WILLOWBROOK MALL Why are the owners of the microbrewery set to open later this year in this industrial building in the Four Season Business Park at 6820 Bourgeois Rd., a mile southeast-ish of the Willowbrook Mall, calling themselves the 11 Below Brewing Co.? Should their beers be served that cold? “Start with the oilfield, and move to the brewing industry, just like our founders,” the company explains on its Facebook page. “There’s 42 gallons in a barrel of crude oil, but only 31 gallons in a barrel of beer. See what we did there?” You should also see that the original name, Pump Jack Brewing Co., encountered some “trademark drama,” according to the founders, prompting the change. [11 Below Brewing] Photo with superimposed logo: 11 Below
A filing with the Texas Workforce Commission indicates that Tarkett, which operates one of the last industrial installations in the stretch of parking-lot-heavy retail south of I-10 that’s come to be known as Katyville, has decided to shut down its Texas Tile Manufacturing plant at 1705 Oliver St. and eliminate 109 jobs. The Tarkett facility is located between the Studemont Kroger and the Sawyer Heights Target, both of which were built on former industrial properties surrounding it. According to HCAD data, Texas Tile Manufacturing owns 21 acres at the Oliver St. facility — with frontage on Summer St., Oliver St., and the eastbound I-10 feeder road.
21 Acres in Katyville
The recycling center at 3602 Center St. closed “pretty suddenly” on New Year’s Eve, reader Debnil Chowdhury reports — with these pics from the scene at the corner of Harvard St.: “Not sure how long the sign was up . . . I don’t remember seeing it a week or two ago but I might have missed it.” The sign directs would-be bottle tossers to 2 remaining City of Houston facilities:
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Inner Loop Recycling Apocalypse ’14
Swamplot reader Robert Meaney sends some observations along with these photos from the Fifth Ward of the 136-acre former KBR industrial property, sold a little more than a year ago and most recently designated for use as a private helistop: “I know they have been excavating for some time to get the contaminated soil out of the area. Currently they are scheduled to be finished digging up the lot by [December of] this year and according [to] the KBR manager I talked to on site the land will be up to commercial and residential standards.”
Photos: Robert Meaney
SOME REAL-LIFE OCCUPANTS FOR GALVESTON’S LONG-ABANDONED BREWERY? The endangered historic Falstaff Brewery that once harbored a bunch of scared architecture students in a horror flick might become a real refuge for Galvestonians looking for cheap housing — or so Culturemap’s Tyler Rudick seems to think, divining a hint about Dallas developer Matthews Southwest’s plans for the property from the very title of the rep he interviews: “Company officials are unable to reveal the full details until a purchase is finalized,” cautions Rudick. “But [we] spoke with current project leader Scott Galbraith, whose position as Matthews Southwest’s vice president of affordable income development suggests the company’s larger plans for the complex.” Perhaps, but Galbraith is also quick to point out that Matthews Southwest is keeping its options open while studying the site; previous environmental investigations have found plenty of asbestos in the 313,000-sq.-ft. building and soil contamination around it. [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Candace Garcia
This sign, which showed up recently on the fence outside the 136-acre former KBR site at Hirsch Rd. indicates that the air over Clinton might soon be filled with choppers — but for what? City building inspector and helistop specialist Larry LaHaie says that that hasn’t been disclosed, but he does know that it’ll be a “private facility . . . not for hospitals, not for police.” The work will involve clearing the former industrial property that seems to have been “left to go au naturel,” he says, and cleaning up a defunct landing pad that had been discontinued “6 to 7 years ago.” The Ship Channel-fronting site in the Fifth Ward has sat vacant since most of its buildings were demolished a little more than a year ago and it was sold by KBR to undisclosed buyers.
Photo: @GoingUpCity via Twitter
More room for groceries? The building immediately north of the Studemont Kroger that used to house HVAC company Johnson Supply is being torn down. The top photo shows the building from Studemont; the bottom photo shows the progress — or regress? — of the demo as of noon today.
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HUMMUS AND FALAFEL TAKING OVER FOR COLD CHICKEN IN SECOND WARD Pita Pal plans to turn the 93,000-sq.-ft. former refrigerated processed meats factory at the corner of Canal St. and North Palmer east of Downtown that it just bought from Tyson Foods into a well-oiled hummus, salad, and falafel-making machine — powered by 100 new employees, and maybe another 100 later. A full 39,000 sq. ft. of the warehouse space on the 4-acre site is refrigerated; when Tyson ran it there was room for 1,300 workers. Pita Pal president Melissa Navon tells reporter Molly Ryan it may be tough to find experienced food-service workers in Houston, but that she expects to find enough experienced oil industry and medical personnel to meet the company’s needs. [Houston Business Journal] Photo of 3100 Canal St.: LoopNet
ALONG THE SHORES OF BUFFALO BAYOU Catie Dixon comes up with a few gems in her interview with the team marketing the 136-acre campus HQ at 4100 Clinton Dr. in the southern portion of the Fifth Ward just east of Downtown that Halliburton spinoff KBR has just put up for sale. HFF has given a name to what may be the “largest infill site” near a major U.S. Central Bus District: “Cityscape on Buffalo Bayou.” And members of the sales team believe it’s ripe for a mixed-use development, now that KBR’s industrial buildings have been demolished. Five office buildings dating from the early seventies (totaling 720,000 sq. ft.) and a 36,000-sq.-ft. employee center are still there. The property’s outstanding “water feature” is a mile of frontage on Houston’s scenic Ship Channel. [Bisnow] Image: HFF
COMBINED ITALIAN WINERY AND PIPING PRODUCTS PLANT OPENING IN WESTLAND BUSINESS PARK What could better symbolize this city’s international sophistication and industriousness than the construction of an Italian winery in a Houston business park off West Rd. and Eldridge? Easy: Putting the winery inside a 60,000 sq.-ft. pipe-machining plant in said business park. Stefano Farina brand Chianti, Barolo, barbaresco, and prosecco will be fermented and bottled in a 5,000-sq.-ft. winery with its own separate cooling and ventilation systems after the dual facilities open, likely in March. Grape juice will be shipped there from the Farina Group’s wineries in Tuscany and Piedmont. Meanwhile, next door, the same company’s ITEX Piping Products plant will produce stainless steel flanges, stud bolts, nipples, swages and various piping products for Houston-area oil and gas businesses — from steel forged in the company’s Western European plants. [Houston Business Journal] Photo: Stefano Farina