10/18/18 3:15pm

STATE OF QATAR CHIPS IN $2.5M FOR RIVERSIDE GENERAL HOSPITAL REDO Standing alongside ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani yesterday in the archway of the hospital’s 92-year-old nurses’ quarters, Ed Emmett thanked Qatar for its donation to help get the hospital back open. It’s the first allocation the country has made from the $30M Qatar Harvey Fund it created last September. (Its diplomatic rival the United Arab Emerites volunteered $10M the same day, according to Al Jazeera) What is it that the money will actually pay for at the Third Ward property the county bought earlier this year? TBD, Emmett tells News 88.7’s Davis Land, although he notes that the county does plan “to have Riverside provide primary and mental health care as part of the Harris Health System,” the network of publicly-owned county hospitals that provide care to under- and uninsured patients. [Houston Public Media] Photo: Ed Emmett

10/15/18 12:15pm

A building permit filed last Thursday reveals that an ice cream shop plans to take over the corner Hazard-St.-and-Westheimer storefront shown on the left in the photo above. Backed by a group that calls itself Milk + Sugar Creamery LLC, the new store plans to grab just a 1,542-sq.-ft. portion of the building’s west side — which has been occupied by a trio of clothing shops over the last decade.

Mio Boutique was the last of them; it picked up from Coquette in 2014, which picked up from Pixie & Ivy about 8 years ago. Although all 3 of the stores dealt in womenswear, Coquette went a step beyond, retaining an “onsite psychic” — reported Culturemap — to assist customers along with its regular sales staff.

Photo: LoopNet

Vermont Commons
10/12/18 2:45pm

A local franchisee of nationwide chain Camp Bow Wow is getting started transforming about 8,000 sq.-ft. within the 30,000-sq.-ft. warehouse building shown above into something more pet-friendly than what’s inside now. About 150 Camp Bow Wow kennels are currently spread across the U.S. and Canada, according to the chain’s promotional materials, but this so-called “Greater Heights” location would be the first in Houston.

The building is one of 3 with identical exteriors that make up the Wynwood Park industrial complex, part of the even larger landscape of industrial buildings north of Hempstead Rd. and just east of 610. Some of the dog facility’s soon-to-be neighbors in those whereabouts: laser printer retailer Alpha Laser, construction tool supplier Expert Equipment, and a distribution center for specialty food purveyor Swiss Chalet.

Photo: First Industrial Realty

Camp Bow Wow
10/12/18 11:45am

Spotted on the Instagram story for a not-yet-open venue calling itself The Gypsy Poet: TABC signage going up where it plans to move into Core Church Midtown‘s former home at 2404 Austin St. It’s the fifth liquor-purveying establishment planned for the block — bounded by McIlhenny, Austin, McGowen, and Caroline streets — in the past year-and-a-half, none of which are open yet. But which together have now succeeded in reserving almost all of the space there for themselves.

According to its pastor Jim Stern, Core Church had been negotiating to move into a smaller spot at the back 2404 when the landlord tabled that option and switched its current lease over to a month-to-month agreement. Shortly after, in mid-February, the church was given 60 days to hit the road. It left in mid-March. “I am wondering if we were ‘pushed’ out because of the bars,” Stern tells Swamplot.

Photos: The Gypsy Poet (sign); Core Church (Jim S.)

Change Comes Knocking
10/11/18 11:30am

A Swamplot reader reports that renovations to the shopping center on Westheimer across from Light Bulbs Unlimited “suddenly stopped about a month ago,” leaving a few gaping holes open in the face of the strip. Pictured at top is the space where Radio Shack once stuck out a few ft. from the rest of the building before it shut down along with the rest of the chain and sat vacant prior to the remodeling that began earlier this year.

Despite their presence on the marquee shown above, a number of the other tenants recently hit the road from the center as well: Tanacious Tanning, which occupied the spot (also wide open) just west of Radio Shack; Stars Cleaners, located off Commonwealth St. to the far west; and Consign It!, which punctuated the building’s eastern end. Their spaces are all up for lease right now, according to a LoopNet listing posted back in June. Nidda Thai Cuisine and its next-door neighbor Erotic Cabaret on the other hand appear to be sticking around.

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An Inside Look
10/01/18 12:30pm

Drink specials set the stage not only for what Moon Tower Inn billed as a “gluttonous celebration” of its 8-year anniversary 2 weeks ago, they also helped management get rid of all its inventory so that the venue could close down while workers install a new patio in place of its old one. Following 3 days of clearance festivities, the bar ran dry in the afternoon last Sunday — although some “cheap ass” food remained in stock until Friday, August 25, when it finally shut its doors. Now, a Swamplot reader sends the photo at top showing what used to be the Moon Tower’s covered patio transformed into an earthen field. From it, the new heated and cooled outdoor seating area will materialize with help from the equipment pictured above.

It’ll span the yard between the corner of Canal and North Ennis streets and the shipping container that architecture firm Kinetic Design Lab repurposed for the bar’s reopening in 2012:

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3004 Canal St.
09/27/18 4:30pm

Tune Up: The Manly Salon got the city’s approval yesterday to start renovating the building shown above into the latest member of its barber-shop chain, now roughly 20-stores strong. Following those locations’ lead, the 626 W. 19th St. shop — next to the former Southern Goods — would appeal to guys by offering them free drinks and access to an arcade stocked with video and old-fashioned games while they wait to get groomed. Hair care services include standard cuts, beard trims, straight shaves, and eyebrow waxing. Perhaps less manly are the cosmetic offerings: manicures, pedicures, and a mani-pedi combo for 4 bucks less than the cost of the two combined.

Photo: LoopNet

Making the Cut
09/26/18 4:30pm

The building with a roof that’s bigger than its body at 3024 Houston Ave. is now slated to become a cafe operating under the name Uncle Bean’s Coffee Shop. The photo at top — posted to the venue’s fledgling Facebook page this morning views the structure from the west side of the road, just south of Alma St. Its most recent occupant: Mr. Details Hand Car Wash.

White paint hit the exterior sometime during the former tenant’s tenure, washing out the yellow splat marks that once graced its north and south sides:

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Woodland Heights
09/21/18 5:00pm

Here’s what the former Wabash Feed & Garden Store on Washington looks like with a second level stacked on top of its original storefront. Workers are now climbing around the outdoor portions of the new upstairs, setting the scene for what’s coming next.

What exactly they’re planning hasn’t shown up in the form of any physical signage yet, but some digital breadcrumbs dug up by a HAIF poster hint at what they’ve got in mind. Two active Facebook pages — one for something called Warsaw Houston, the other for “Axis & Alibi” currently sport similar branding and claim Wabash’s address as their own. Late last year, another page with the title Van Nuys made its internet debut with a 5701 Washington address, too — but it’s since been taken offline.

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5701 Washington
09/18/18 3:00pm

As heralded by strange sensations earlier this month, crews have begun transforming the former Montrose Mining Company into Houston’s second Postino Wine Bar by stripping the covered patio shown above from the building’s east side. So far, the rest of its gray brick exterior remains unchanged, except a portion of the facade on Grant St. that’s recently gone yellow as part of the redo:

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805 Pacific St.
09/11/18 10:30am

EL AHORRO SETTING UP SHOP IN FORMER AIRLINE DR. KROGER A whole ‘nother crop of building permits filed recently on the north end of the strip Kroger abandoned last year confirm that specialty supermarket El Ahorro is now getting situated there. It’s been working for the better part of this year on the property at 6749 Airline — which backs up behind the parking lot shown above to abut a house on the corner of E. Parker Rd. and Mano St. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Kelly Regan

09/10/18 12:45pm

The ice cream shop has plans to shoot the gap between its existing Heights and Rice Village locations with a new spot at 3502 S. Shepherd, in the house next to the Richmond Ave strip where Burgerim’s getting situated. Although Cloud 10’s summer menu — including mozzarella and black tea-corn flavors, as well as a sundae made with “freeze dried blueberries” — is still on rotation in the 2 current locations, it’ll probably be replaced by a whole ‘nother roster by the time the new store opens.

Five head-in parking spots line the building’s northern frontage along Colquitt St. They’ve been empty for the most part since hair salon All Decked Out checked out of the building, leaving it open to new arrivals.

Photos: All Decked Out Hair Salon (first); Tenavox (second)

The Scoop
09/04/18 10:30am

A recent tax filing reveals Sweet Bribery is the moniker of the corner ice cream shop Braun Enterprises has been showing in its site plan for 250 W. 19th St. without daring to speak its name. It’s the last of the 5 new tenants that the developer’s been ushering into the former Chippendale Eastlake Antiques store since buying it in 2015. (One of which — an ice cream offshoot of Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts called Lee’s Creamery — appears no longer bound for the building.) Pictured above is the western flank it’d occupy, which backs up to Urban Float sensory deprivation spa’s entrance off Rutland St.

Next door to the creamery, clothing stores Mary & Moss and Proper are already doing business along 19th St.:

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250 W. 19th St.
08/29/18 12:00pm

The bright red paint job that began creeping up the front face of the closed-down LaDet Motel at 2612 Riverside Dr. a few weeks ago has now reached its eaves, leaving the street-facing portion of the building completely recolored. It’s pictured at top in its current state, behind a trio of off-hue red tags stuck on the gate that closes it off from the street.

The original house — built between 1928 and 1929 — is wrapped on 3 sides by apartments put up decades later. Portions of them — the 2 side walls fronting the entrance driveway and the gables along the street — have gone red as well:

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Katharine Mott House
08/28/18 2:00pm

The latest generically named Houston co-working space is on its way to the BBVA Compass Plaza office building at 2200 Post Oak. Despite the corporate moniker, the brand isn’t all business. Its existing locations offer a few options for blowing off steam, like workout and shower facilities in the Austin Firmspace, as well as weekly catered lunches and “after hours events” both there and in Denver. (There’s even a private Firmspace social network that allows you to take your office relationships digital.) Topping things off are the picturesque views; the Austin location overlooks Lady Bird Lake, and Denver: the Rockies.

Setting the scene outside the planned Houston location: the Galleria. It’s just a block away from BBVA Compass Plaza, buffered from the tower by the Centre at Post Oak shopping center. Since going up in 2013 on the site of the former 15-stories-shorter Compass Bank building, the 22-floor tower shown above has changed hands once — in 2015 for what veteran real estate reporter Ralph Bivins then termed Houston’s new per-sq.-ft. record high price: $524.

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Nice Coworking if You Can Get It