01/10/19 9:30am

ALDI IS MAKING ITS MOVE AT THE CROWDED CROSSROADS OF WESTHEIMER AND S. GESSNER Aldi punched its ticket for entry into the Tanglewilde Center yesterday by filing a building permit to convert the closed 21,300-sq.-ft. Batie’s Ace Hardware at 9525 Westhimer into a supermarket. It’ll be the third grocery store within a 2,000-ft. radius of the intersection of Westheimer and S. Gessner Rd. Randall’s sits at the northeast corner, and Kroger is just west of the crossroads. The hardware store being converted closed down late last year. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

09/13/18 10:45am


The mark of Aldi now appears at 9525 Westheimer, smack in the middle of the strip where Batie’s Ace Hardware is going out of business. Liquidation sales began there on Tuesday — reports a Swamplot reader — with the goal of creating an 18,900-sq.-ft. hole in the portion of the building pictured at top, adjacent to Party City.

Currently about half a dozen Aldis are open inside the Beltway, with additional reinforcements scheduled to arrive soon.

Photo: Swamplot inbox. Map: Brixmor

Westheimer Near Gessner
10/30/17 3:30pm

A 2-page letter posted to the front door of the Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill in the Westside Plaza shopping center at 8383 Westheimer on Friday explains that the landlord has terminated the lease on the property and is demanding the tenant pay close to $71,000 in back rent. Fadi Dimassi opened the first Fadi’s at this location in 1996; with this closing Fadi’s is now down to 8 locations, including 3 franchised spots in Dallas.

According to the letter, the lease term officially expired at the end of January. Since that time, Texadelphia has moved into the spot next door, replacing the Potbelly Sandwich shop shown in the photo above.

A Swamplot tipster notes the restaurant was open for business on Saturday but locked out on Sunday, with all tables, chairs, and restaurant property still inside. In an interview with the Houston Press in 2015, Dimassi noted that the $18,000-a-month rent his company was paying for the Dunvale location had spurred his interest in purchasing real estate for subsequent locations.

Photo: Miguel Paez

Done with Dunvale
08/09/17 10:45am

TEXADELPHIA’S TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO THE WESTHEIMER STRIP A little more than 2 years after retreating from its last Houston outpost — and later, having to see its former Westheimer location festooned with a giant Beaver statueTex-Mex cheesesteak chain Texadelphia is ready to return. Houston’s very first-in-a-while Texadelphia franchise is scheduled to open by late next month in the endcap of the Westside Plaza strip center at 8383 Westheimer Rd., on the corner of Dunvale, where it will replace the recently shuttered Potbelly sandwich shop pictured above. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: The Square Foot

04/28/17 9:30am

6529 Beverly Hill St., Woodlake/Briarmeadow, Houston, 77057

The recently remonikered Margaret Long Wisdom High School is prepping for its scheduled student body transplant as the school year winds down. The shot above shows the main entrance of the school’s almost-ready new building, tucked behind the old one along Hillcroft Ave. south of Beverly Hills St. That older structure, which cut its Confederate ties about a year ago, should be getting erased altogether starting in June, a reader involved with the project tells Swamplot.

Here’s the flip side view of the glassy main entrance above, which should be unlocked in time for fall classes:


Creeping South on Hillcroft
12/18/15 12:30pm

Construction of Lee Highschool Rebuild, 6529 Beverly Hill St., Woodlake/Briar Meadow, Houston, 77057

Currently rising behind Lee Senior High School: Lee Senior High School. The new building is going up on the south side of the block east of Hillcroft between Beverly Hill St. and Skyline Dr., 1 block south of Richmond Ave. The first foundation slab was poured last Friday, and steel has been going up this week— pictured above are the servery, kitchen, and utility areas, according to the Twitter narration of Brent Oldbury. (The distant Williams Tower can be seen peeking through the steel on the right.)

A north-facing entrance is planned, allowing the school to hold on to the current Beverly Hill St. address despite shifting to the Skyline side of the block. The old building (behind the steel to the left, in the photo above) will watch its younger, prettier replacement going up next door until demolition in early 2017 makes way for sports facilities and parking.

A few renderings were presented at an October 2014 community meeting about the new building’s construction and timeline:


Second Secondary on Hillcroft
06/26/14 1:30pm

Demolition of Prosperity Bank and Landry's Seafood Restaurant, 8808, 8816, and 8820 Westheimer Rd. at Fondren, Houston

The northeast corner of Westheimer and Fondren, where until recently a Landry’s Seafood restaurant and a Prosperity Bank building stood, is the scene for this remarkable series of photos sent to Swamplot by reader Roy Cormier, showing the demolition in progress earlier this month. Above, an excavator nibbles away at the remaining urban oasis at the end of the parking lot. Below, we find the drive-up ATM at the end of civilization:


Crest, not Complete
12/07/09 1:13pm

When Borders announced back in November that it would be closing 200 Waldenbooks, Borders Outlet, and Borders Express bookstores nationwide, only 3 Houston stores were on that list: the Waldenbooks in Willowbrook Mall, Houston Center, and the Northwest Mall. Not included: the Borders Books & Music in the former Houston Jewelry building at 9633 Westheimer, at the corner of Gessner. But employees have apparently been telling customers for months that that store would be closing in January. And now a reader reports that “Store Closing” sale signs are up in the windows. The shopping center, says an employee, is being redeveloped. Last day of business: January 16th.

Photo: Hennie Schaper