06/22/18 5:00pm

About 2-and-a-half floors of the soon-to-be-5-story Broadstone Studemont apartment building are now standing on a 4-acre parcel between Hicks and Summer streets. The shot above takes a look at the complex from an extension of Summer St. laid down west of Studemont — and Kroger — prior to the apartments’ groundbreaking in February.

The road segment cuts between the north side of the apartments and the planned Studemont Junction retail center opposite them, highlighted in the site plan below:

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Graveside Mid-Rise
06/22/18 12:30pm

Here’s a nugget from the latest draft of Sugar Land’s 2018 land use plan: the map above, showing the 7% of acreage that still hasn’t been developed within the 32.2-sq.-mi. town and its roughly 20 sq.-mi. of extraterritorial jurisdiction. The thickest road running diagonally through the gray matter is the Southwest Fwy.; it’s intersected and then paralleled by Hwy. 90 to the north. Conspicuously blackened: the area on the top left edge indicating a tract west of Sugar Land Regional Airport and adjacent to the Chelsea Harbour subdivision off 90. There’s another vacancy along the Brazos River, way far south near FM 2759. And a few gaps show up between the hodgepodge of industrial buildings in the northeast corner of town.

A more detailed map below color codes what all that land — built and unbuilt — was used for as of 2016:

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Black Holes
06/21/18 4:15pm

The plaza outside UH’s basketball arena — soon-to-feature a statue of the building’s former namesake Roy Hofheinz — is currently a mess of dirt and constructions vehicles working to make the place look like the rendering above. The big red Fertitta Center sign isn’t up yet; it’s set to rise over the glassier new entrance fronting Cullen Blvd.

On the inside, a new scoreboard, new AV equipment, bigger bathrooms and new food and retail are being added. The ceiling is going up 30 ft. above a brand-new court and some lower seating sections, creating a crater-like hole in the roof that — viewed from nosebleed land — will look something like this:

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Hofheinz No More
06/21/18 1:00pm

The east side of the building that fronts McDuffie St. — next door to the River Oaks Theatre — has been quiet since an early Monday morning blaze torched Nail-Tique salon, doing some damage to the Steinway Piano Gallery in the process. It all started when an air conditioner on the roof overheated and caught fire, shorting the connection to an electrical box on the building that then ignited as well, reports the Chronicle.

No pianos caught fire — according to an employee at Epicure Cafe around the corner on W. Gray — but there was smoke damage in the music store, and firefighters busted out some of its windows to access the flaming salon next door. Nail-Tique is now closed indefinitely, while the adjacent piano store plans to reopen next month, as decreed by the sign now posted in its window. Unharmed by the blaze: the building’s movie theater anchor, reports one of its employees.

Photos: Swamplox inbox

McDuffie St.
06/21/18 10:30am

The shaggy customer base seeking a trim at the 1415 Richmond strip between Mandell and Yupon should see some increased biodiversity once The Pet Barber moves in 2-doors down from Henry’s Barber Shop. At nearly double the size of the neighboring human hair care facility, it’s ready to start transforming the space that once housed D&S Washateria (pictured at top) into a Castle Court companion to its existing Spring Branch grooming location.

The laundromat left sometime after Pepino’s gave way to Ms. Saigon Cafe and Michael’s Outpost on the west side of the building. Since then, The C Store also took off; its still-vacant Suite A — shown below in blue at the strip’s east end — is now the only hole left in the building:

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Well-Groomed
06/21/18 8:30am

Photo of Market Square Park: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
06/20/18 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SLEEPY STREETS HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD BUYOUTS LEFT BEHIND There is a community close to 290 and Windfern, on Cole Creek Dr. and another near Fairbanks and Hollister on Woodland West. Deep in the flood neighborhoods that were bought back by Harris County Flood [Control District] a while ago. All of the roads, utilities and everything are there. Just no homes or homeowners. Made a great place to take a post-lunch car nap when I worked close by. [bocepus, commenting on The Latest Wave of Harris County Home Buyouts, Mapped] Illustration: Lulu

06/20/18 3:30pm

Photos from the middle of Riverside Dr. between 288 and N. MacGregor Wy. show the new paint job underway on the building once home to the shuttered LaDet Motel. The central 88-year-old Riverside Terrace mansion now receiving a fresh coat is about 50-years older than the ring of 2-story lodging buildings that wrap it as well as its surrounding parking lot on 3 sides — closing off the inner court from all angles, except through the gate at the front of the 2612 Riverside complex.

Now up on that fence, these brighter-hued red tags from the city’s code enforcers:

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Ruddy Complexion
06/20/18 1:15pm

WHAT CHANCE WOULD THE KIRBY MANSION STAND TO STAY STANDING UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP? The demolition watchdogs over at Preservation Houston report that a buyer has the 36-room Midtown mansion on the corner of Pierce and Smith St. under contract and “does not intend to retain the building.” Seeking to thwart a teardown, Houston historic commission chair Minnette Boesel met with seller Phlip Azar last week — reports Nancy Sarnoff — and urged him to find someone instead who’ll keep the place upright. Aside from the house’s pedigree (built in 1894 for John Henry Kirby, it was expanded and remodeled 32-years later by architect James Ruskin Bailey), the Tudor at 2006 Smith St. has state and federal tax credits to offer any developer that renovates it for commercial use. That’s what its last would-be buyer Dennis Murphree hoped to do 3 years ago before the sale fell through. His plan: build a 15-story office tower designed “to look as much like the mansion as possible,” right next door to it — reported Sarnoff — and incorporate the 18,000-sq.-ft. house into the complex.[Preservation Houston; more info] Photo: Preservation Houston/The Heritage Society