The Montrose Fiesta Is Over: Here Comes Lancaster Square

Over the weekend, variance signs were posted at the dead-ends of Sul Ross and Branard St. near the Menil Collection and in front of the bank of antique shops facing Dunlavy. The notices are the clearest indication yet that some big new development is being planned to replace the Fiesta Food Mart at the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama in Lancaster Place. Last month, Swamplot posted a reader’s report that the property had been sold and that a 6-or-7-story “West Ave-style” mixed-use project was planned for the 3.68-acre site.


The signs announce a new project, called Lancaster Square. The wording on the sign indicates the requested variance would allow the developers to skirt a city requirement that new developments cap dead-end streets with cul-de-sacs. A similar variance was requested by — and granted to — H-E-B for a different section of the same two streets behind the former Wilshire Village Apartments last year. The scheduled hearing date for Lancaster Square is December 15th, but the planning commission hasn’t posted a detailed agenda for that meeting yet.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

28 Comment

  • But what will we do for alcohol?

  • Please don’t let them tear it down before HEB gets it’s TABC licensing!!!!

  • Yikes. This is huge

  • Oh awesome! Maybe we will get lucky and they can build an HEB where Fiesta was. So many choices!!!

  • And Freaky Foods and King Cole Liquor on Richmond survive the latest Scouring of the Shire….for the time being.

  • It’s for one of those new smaller Walmarts, I’m sure.

  • The clerk @ HEB on Friday told me they were getting their license to sell beer and wine this week.

  • Maybe this explains why Fiesta was closed at 6:30 pm on Sunday night. Maybe they just gave up.

  • Re: allykins99
    The hearing was on December 1.
    A variance was given to HEB to sell/serve alcohol.
    City council members testified that alcohol was needed for the public.
    City Council person B: Stated that there was more than enough green space in the area.
    CC B stated that people requested the patio as a replacement for the green space.
    CC B stated that the bar would be a benefit to the public, and was needed.
    CC B tore the church to shreds for wanting to enforce the ordinance and protect the children.

    Anything else?

  • I loved that Fiesta. I’d always hoped to move back to Montrose when I could afford a house there someday. Now, that looks like 20% less likely, it wouldn’t be the same Montrose the way things are going.

  • Barry needs to open a wine store and play great music!

  • Lovely. More obnoxious “development” in da hood. I do like the HEB store,especially at night,driving west on W.Alabama.

  • Good if it’s mixed use. F it if it’s a suburban apt or strip mall.

  • This was my daily grocery for two years. I truly hope the manager — Barry, someone said, I know the face but not the name — finds a way to share his passion for wine. He ran a great store that was always pleasant to visit. Sad news.

  • I could’ve sworn I remember reading a plan a year or so ago regarding Montrose and tearing down some things to make through streets.

  • The staff at Fiesta is cool; not all scrubbed and sanitized like HEB. I was just there last week and it didn’t really seem that much slower than before HEB. Randalls is completely dead.

    It isn’t my project so I don’t get a say but it would be sort of cool if this was mixed use and included space for a new Fiesta. I don’t like losing the Fiesta and the traffic will get worse but I like the idea of some density on that corner. The Fiesta plaza is an eyesore.

  • Noooooo!!!!!

    The only grocery store that has a soundtrack I can stand! Man, what began with killing Westheimer Art Festival is coming to an end. Goodbye ‘Trose, loved you…

  • I wonder if this is gonna start an “Upperkirbyization” of that area. My gut says a major loss of funky and historic has already begun.

  • From Charlie:I don’t like losing the Fiesta
    All you have to do is call city council members Sue Lovell and Wanda Adams. They fought hard for HEB; they were instrumental in getting HEB their liquor license and green space reduction plan. Certainly, they will fight for Fiesta, unless they’ve been bought by HEB. Call them.

  • I wish they’d put one of those West-Ave styled mixed use things downtown – like in one of the surface lots. Specifically across from cabos. More people might help reduce the vacant store fronts that plague that part of town. Market Square is a nice destination but sadly Main street still struggles…

  • Montrose Slums: You’re assuming those council members fought for HEB because it was HEB. I think they would have fought for any new large project that brings in tax $ and jobs. So they’re not going to fight for Fiesta — rather they’ll fight (or support) building something newer/larger/nicer* (*nicer being more upscale and tax generating)

  • ^^ That’s my opinion at least. I don’t shop at Fiesta but I’m not in a rush to see it knocked down either. But old stuff is always being knocked down for new stuff. Montrose is no different. Montrose has had stuff knocked down and rebuilt for a long time. Knocking down a Fiesta isn’t going to turn Montrose into Katy/Woodlands/etc.

  • From Cody:Re: City Council
    Normally that’s what you would think, however, there’s more to it. The City wants the money for the City but CC members want money for themselves as in campaign support.
    For example, David Robinson fought for HEB against the neighbors while he was the Neartown Super Neighborhood President. At the same time, he was being paid by HEB. Later, HEB contributed money to his campaign for City Council. That’s a clear case involving conflict of interest.
    Wanda Adams fought for HEB as well. She also has been involved with HEB to help her neighborhood, outside of Montrose. I don’t think she’s been in Montrose since she was elected.
    Sue Lovell has been a huge supporter of HEB. In her case, she lives in an area where the store actually might improve her area, as well as her property value. So it isn’t clear in her case. She clearly opposed the larger neighborhood when they wanted more green space. And then later claimed that the larger neighborhood wanted HEB to have a bar, and testified as such. Clearly she contradicted herself in this case.

  • WestAve…to Montrose.

    Off the charts nightmare.

  • Montrose Slums: Obviously you follow this stuff more closely than I do so I’ll yield to your research :)

  • Let’s replace a grocery store and apartments with …. a grocery store and apartments

    makes sense – facepalm

  • Or, “Let’s replace a derelict falling down set of apartment buildings with a brand new nice grocery store… Then replace an ugly out-of-date grocery store + strip mall (that isn’t much needed due to above) with a brand new nice multi-million dollar multiuse development”
    Not sure where the ‘facepalm’ comes in. Sounds like some good development in community investment.

  • We here in Houston have NO regard for history, be it architectural or neighborly.