Demolition began yesterday on one of the 11 remaining structures of Westbury Square at Chimney Rock Rd. and W. Belfort Ave., according to a post on the Westbury Civic Club’s Facebook page. The post indicates that the first building on the chopping block was one damaged by fire in 2010, but that the rest were not scheduled by the owners to meet their unmakers on Tuesday.
An agent for Camelot Realty Group told HBJ last July that the run-down 1960s shopping plaza was under contract by the Villas at Westbury Square, and that the buildings were slated for demolition at the start of last August to make way for more than 100 townhomes (or maybe a commercial development, depending on how things went). A Swamplot commenter noted, however, that the buildings were still standing in early January.
Confirming a rumor Swamplot noted last week, the HBJ’s Roxana Asgarian reports that “one of the largest residential developers in Houston” has plans to transform two-thirds of the site of former pedestrian shopping district Westbury Square into 100 to 125 townhomes. Camelot Realty Group’s Tom Cervone tells Asgarian a group of developers going by the name of Villas at Westbury Square has the property on West Bellfort near Chimney Rock and West Bellfort under contract from its longtime owner, Alfred Antonini.
All 11 remaining Westbury Square buildings — including the longtime home of the Company OnStage theater group — will be torn down in 30 days, the real estate agent says. Two of the more dilapidated structures from the complex were demolished last year; the Home Depot next door (visible in the distance in the photo below) was built on land that previously belonged to the complex.
Yesterday demo crews began tearing down 2 buildings at Westbury Square, the once-quaint pedestrian shopping district at West Bellfort and Chimney Rock that in recent decades has been overtaken by a combination of bigger-box retailing (see the Home Depot lurking in the background of the photo at left) and neglect. Long-dilapidated Buildings 1 and 5 at 635 Westbury Sq. are being removed under an agreement with the city after a longstanding battle over a “repair or demolish” order, according to the Westbury Area Improvement Corporation. But owner Alfred Antonini still has 9 other 1962-vintage buildings standing on the property, according to appraisal district records.