Friday, July 29, 2016

Another move-in day at re-developed Central Square

Moving truck in front of glass facade of Central Square Office Building
with reflection of 2016 Main apartment building on Gray St. 
Spiffy sky-reflecting glass shell with vintage sign atop the roof - nice touch. 

 Re-development with a nod to history

A major eyesore up the road: Former Days Inn, Holiday Inn 
(The new Holiday Inn is another example of a successful redevelopment) 

Travis Street signage on sidewalk in blue and white tiles

2016 Main - one of the more "established" residential highrises  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Condo Darwinism: Reversion to greenfield in Montrose

Revention at Bayou Place, Reversion in Montrose 
With the non-conforming perimeter boards adorned with renderings of lofty living quarters dismantled, and glassy condo visions shattered, the corner lot on Montrose and Marshall has reverted to green. With a special amenity still in place on one corner: A horsey posts with a pair of rings suitable for adaptive reuse, such as the interim tethering of your canine while you are visualizing a brightly-colored food truck surrounded by patio furniture on the ample green. 


Meanwhile, RNR tells the confused condominium-centric segment of the market that "Condos are a Hot Commodity with Texas Homebuyers" while the HBJ is keeping count of the expanding list of cancelled and shelved condo projects, summing up the sentiment on the supply-side with a not so subtle allusion to the most memorable insights bequeathed to posterity by a certain bearded Charles: Charley the Naturalist, not the continental Karl of Political Economy fame:
"Only the Experienced Survive in Houston's Condo Market".

Coming Soon ... Not So Fast 

3615 Montrose development (project sign, rendering), since shelved

Looking back: 3615 Montrose at 900 Marshall and the Grand Promise of Luxurious Living 
No longer coming soon: The 3616 Montrose Development

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Topping the sweltering heat news: Houston Meltdown Coverage cum Pictorial

Take it from Wolf Street: There's a real estate meltdown happening in Houston, ... not to mention a meltdown in the matching of the alphanumeric stuff with the right assortment of pixels, 


ABOVE: Stuttershockingly Dyslexic Image Selection 

BELOW: Geo-syncronized Houston melt-down imagery 

Allen Parkway Sunset at SCI, the Funeral Company 

H-Town Juxtaposition: The pre- and the post-Millennial, architecturally speaking

BG Group Tower (left) and Niels Esperson Building (right)
Longshot from the West 
Top Gulf Building (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.) with mirror image of
new high-rise office constructiona in glass skin of late-model office tower 

Pictures of a Style Evolution ...

... now under way at The the Galleria 

Still Fifth, not Sixth: The new Saks after the side-step to the West 
Directions to the Fifth Avenue valet 
Pardon  the dust. Heavy-equipment-assisted style evolution in progress

5115 Westheimer demolition and image of what's coming (rendering)
Beckoning: Visions of a glorious Galleria III renaissance 
Mind the alphanumerics: 5115 Westheimer construction.
For cuisine and cocktails, see --> 51fifteen 
No Trespassing onto the Fifth Avenue Hard Hat Zone 
Definite article with lower case: the Galleria signage on corner of Westheimer and Sage with towering landmark
North-West corner of The Galleria - 51fifteen - the new Saks Fifth Avenue store - Williams Tower in the distance 
Also see earlier post on --> Partial Galleria Makeover and construction projects nearby (2/15/2016)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

11683 Westheimer - A new name to go with the address

Hint: Joe, private-label trader, reputedly quirky.   

Extra! Extra! Fearless flyer, mixer of metaphors, dropping anchor in West Houston, Texas on July 29, 2016!
11683 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77077
Hitherto Incognito: Trader Joe's new haunt prior to landing and anchoring  
11683 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77077

Joe will soon be sharing the adjacent tarmac with the mysterious Beer Nation 

Banner logic: The Wilshire Condos - 70% claimed sold


Percentage Sold Proclaimed  (7/22/2016 long shot)
A banner large enough to be visible from blocks away informs West Loop skyline gazers that The Wilshire is now 70% sold. Is that impressive? Is it lack-luster? Is it true? And when was now? The observant public is left to wonder. Is there cause for celebration; a subliminal message of urgency; or a perceived need to drum up a sense of scarcity, just as there are signs of overbuilding and impending glut at the high end of the residential market? And if the condominium tower is close to full already, if not to completion, what's the need for advertising percentage-status with signs tall enough to cover two unfinished condo units stacked on top of each other? -- If it's getting close to going, going, gone anyhow!? -- Perhaps 70% isn't really all much at this stage of the game. More than the equivalent of glass-half-full, but not enough for the developers and financiers to break even. Perhaps the condo bubble is on the horizon, to soon take the place of the construction cranes that currently populate the skyline. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

H-Town Juxtaposition Studies: Red hot señorita overseen by red China's blue-tinted but otherwise drab Consulate. Or should that be "overlooked"?

It's not just that the lack of zoning makes Houston special in an abstract and academic sort of manner. It's also what you find side-by-side, and on top of each other, in a visual kind of way. Like Mainland China and Peninsular Mexico. And it's not a geopolitical constellation on Post Oak's embassy row. It's a sight to behold right in the heart of Montrose.    

 Consulate of the People's Republic of Yucatan; - not quite 

New Taco Stand in former Berryhill's space with patio 
now sports a reclining Yucatán pin-up in red and matching beach umbrella
(a tad vintage perhaps, but hotter than La Tapatia anytime)
Consulate-General of the PRC looming behind 

Coming soon to Montrose: Yucatan Taco Stand 
There is already one on Waterway Ave in The Woodlands 

The last remaining Baja vestiges of yesteryear are being eliminated,
and most of the patio area is apparently being closed off from the dining room.   
Hawthorne Square Strip Center with two wings of establishments, starting with Starbucks in the left cap space
Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in the background on the right side 
Meanwhile on the other side of Montrose ... 

... the soaring Hanover Montrose apartment development is nearing completion at the spot of erstwhile Skybar fame, at least to the tune of a few resident-ready floors. "NOW LEASING" banners have been unfurled on the balcony-heavy North and South facing facades while spray-whitening continues on the East-facing wall. The latter boasts an impeccable geometry of square windows that handily defies any and all comparisons with the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse or the Chase Tower Downtown.  

Back to Basics: Tree & institutional ego trimming at STCL

 Non-Cougar innercity Houston law school getting a clipping to assure brand visibility: 

Cherrypicker at South Texas College of Law
Freely invented and attributed: Just doing my job clipping the trees, man.
Not changing the sign or anything.
Despite its ill-advised pretensions of being a big dog with big wuff in town, South Texas College of Law is now just practicing brand maintenance, it would appear, what with the lawsuit by UH  on file in federal court about the name change, and wanna-be aspirations of moving up a notch in the national league of lawyer-training institutions of note and rank dashed. 

Beaconsfield Renovation?

Notice of Application - Certificate of Appropriateness at The Beaconsfield
Notice of Application - Certificate of Appropriateness at The Beaconsfield 
The Beaconsfield is a more than a century old eight-story apartment building located across from the second SkyHouse on Main, which is currently nearing completion. According to one of several plaques at the entrance on Main, the historic structure was built in 1909 and renovated in 1977. Not all sources concur on the age of this historic building. See wiki page. HCAD records reflect 1911 as the year of construction and varying years for unit-specific remodels. The Beaconsfield is now a residential condo property. 

West-facing facade of The Beaconsfield with exterior fire escape 
The Beaconsfield (1909) is on the National Register of Historic Places
The Beaconsfield (1909) is on the National Register of Historic Places 
 According to a golden plaque at the entrance (brass, probably), 
the structure was built in 1909 and renovated in 1977. 

East-facing facade of THE BEACONSFIELD - 1700 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002

Houston Streetwise Summer 2015 - Thumbnails of Top Photos

Houston Streetwise Summer 2015 - Thumbnails of Top Photos
thumbnails of blog post pics Summer 2015

2015 Mosaic of Sample Pics

2015 Mosaic of Sample Pics
2015 Jan-Feb Pics Posted