03/16/18 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO MAKE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S NEW STRIP CENTER MORE PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY “Just walk around to the other side and pretend that’s the front. Then the parking lot will be in the back! A walkable solution!” [Memebag, commenting on The Strip Center with Offices Above Planned for the Corner of Chimney Rock and San FelipeSite plan of Shops at Tanglewood proposed for San Felipe St. at Chimney Rock Rd.: Edge Realty

03/16/18 4:30pm

When the owner’s work is finished on what he’s calling the McGowen Container House, the stack of boxes just west of 59 will be a 4-story house with a carport at ground level and a terrace atop the blue Hanjin unit shown in the photo above. A few windows, doors, and portions of the staircase that will climb through the building’s east side have been installed, according to the blog for the project. Rough-in plumbing and some preliminary electrical wiring is finished as well, but the utilities aren’t on yet.

Here’s a view of the cargo hold from the east, near Hutchins St.:


Third Ward Freight
03/16/18 12:30pm

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE THIRD WARD’S RIVERSIDE GENERAL HOSPITAL CAMPUS? The 3-acre Riverside General Hospital campus is home to 3 buildings: Houston’s first hospital for black patients fronting Elgin (pictured above) and a former nurses’ quarters along Holman (both opened in 1926 as the Houston Negro Hospital), as well as a newer 1961 hospital building. The entire facility closed in 2015 after its former CEO Earnest Gibson III was convicted of Medicare fraud. Earlier this week, the Harris County Commissioners Court voted to buy all 3 buildings. If they don’t become a part of the new mental health facility the county plans to open on the site, what purpose might the 2 older buildings serve? The neighborhood may get a chance to review smaller-scale proposals for those historic structures: a job training center, small business incubation facility, maker space, cultural museum, library, youth hostel, swing dance club, chess club, or dominoes club. UH architecture professor Alan Bruton tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen that the Emancipation Economic Development Council — a Third Ward nonprofit — invited him to collect residents’ ideas for the space. His students next fall will create designs for some of those concepts; the Council may use them to raise money and rally support for the proposals. [Houston Public Media; audioPhoto of former Houston Negro Hospital building at 3204 Ennis St.: Ed Uthman [license]

03/16/18 8:30am

Photo of Buffalo Bayou: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/15/18 2:45pm

YOUR GUIDE TO THE HOUSTON TOYS R US STORES NOW GETTING READY TO CLOSE As part of the bankruptcy filing it submitted this morning, Toys R Us announced plans to close or sell all of its 735 stores nationwide. Thirteen of those locations are in the Houston area: at the corner of Kirby and Old Spanish Trail, on Westheimer just east of Fountain View, in the Village Plaza at Bunker Hill shopping center on the Katy Fwy., in the Katy Mills mall, in the Houston Premium Outlets on 290 just east of the Grand Pkwy., on Beltway 8 just north of Fairmont Pkwy., in Pearland Town Center, in the Willowbrook Court shopping center next to the Willowbrook Mall, in Sugar Land’s Colony Square, in Baybrook Square on the Gulf Fwy., on the East Fwy. in Baytown across from the San Jacinto Mall, in Texas City’s Tanger Outlets on the Gulf Fwy., and in The Woodlands’ Pinecroft Center. Standalone Babies R Us locations are on the Katy Fwy. at N. Fry Rd., on Cypress Creek Pkwy. just west of I-45, on 59 northeast of First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, and on the Gulf Fwy. at El Dorado Blvd. in Friendswood. The OST and Westheimer Toys R Us boxes (both of which include in-store Babies R Us departments) measure 45,000 sq. ft. [USA Today] Photo of Toys R Us at 1212 Old Spanish Trail: Nhan N.

03/15/18 11:15am

Here’s another development that the Oxberry Group has planned: a strip center for the northwest corner of San Felipe and Chimney Rock Rd. dubbed Shops at Tanglewood. The 2-story retail building and its parking lot would go in place of 4 houses that currently occupy the corner east of the Gables Tanglewood apartments — one pair fronts San Felipe and the other sits along Chimney Rock, as you can sort of see in this map:


Residential Replacement
03/15/18 8:30am

Photo of Mattress Firm corral at RodeoHouston: Swamplot inbox

03/14/18 4:45pm

The Oxberry Group is ready to rechristen the vacant Gibbs Boats building at 1110 W. Gray St. as Rêve at Montrose: a new, patio-fronting shopping center. The boat business shuttered in the 11,696-sq.-ft. warehouse building it had occupied for 56 years after selling off the last of its fleet in 2014.

Major changes slated for the building now include a takedown of its shed-roofed portion closest to Montrose Blvd. In place of that area, outdoor seating — shown above in the rendering from Tipps Architecture — will line the street. A clock tower planted between the existing 1- and 2-story parts of the building would be its new high point. And at the north end of Gibbs’ former lot — next to the U-Plumb-It hardware store — a 2,630-sq.-ft. retail add-on would take the place of a yard once used for boat work.

The site plan below shows the addition (colored red) jutting out and separating the pedestrian plaza from a driveway to the planned parking lot:


Rêve at Montrose
03/14/18 11:45am

At least 4 different breeds are at play on the central lawn in front of Houston Dogbar & Boarding, but only humans are depicted with drinks in hand. Still, animals might be the ones that spend the most time in the new venue planned across from Hubcap Grill on W. 19th St.: preliminary permits filed for the project describe it as a “Dog Boarding House and Bar/Lounge.

A pet reception area borders the park on its west side, opposite the bar:


Booze and Hounds
03/14/18 8:30am

Photo of the University of St. Thomas: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool