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s3mh last won the day on January 10 2013

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  1. Maryam's Cafe on 19th st appears to be gone. Building has been gutted. No permit sign in the window for the interior demo. So, no bread crumbs to follow. I thought the owners of Maryam's were going to be developing the spot next door where the junk dealer used to be. But nothing has happened over there yet. I am surprised Maryam's lasted as long as it did, assuming that the restaurant has closed and is not renovating (which seems like a safe assumption). The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't even close to be competitive with the many other breakfast and lunch offerings in the Heights. It is a great space for a restaurant. Hopefully something better is on the way.
  2. s3mh

    1344 Yale

    Soft opening is imminent. Looks like they have staffed up and are getting ready.
  3. People in the industry like to say "retail follows residential", but I think this development may have gone the other way. Independence Heights is still pretty rough even though residential construction is on the upswing. I think in about 5-10 years it will start looking a lot like Cottage Grove and will better support the Whole Foods and other retail. I do not think that people are staying away because of the neighborhood. The Whole Foods 365 concept stunk and then HEB opened near by. If HEB opened in the same spot, it would have been just as packed as the one on N. Shep.
  4. s3mh

    1344 Yale

    Ok. I can see where the wine storage is going to be. But doesn't look like it has been completed.
  5. s3mh

    1344 Yale

    The build out has taken almost a year. The interior design does look amazing considering what they started with. But it is a bit odd how they left the cinder blocks exposed on the exterior, looking kind of shabby and not in a decorative way. And the parking lot on the north side does not drain properly. A big puddle forms and hangs around for a day or two after a downpour. I thought for sure they would put in a drain when they did all the work on the parking lot. I have only been peeking through the windows, but I cannot recall seeing a big wine fridge anywhere. There is a big open shelf in the La Grande Rue part of the building, but if you are going to sell high end old world reds, you have got to have it ready to pour at the proper temperature. Maybe that will be one of the last things to go in before they open. I presume that they are going to have to valet park a majority of the people coming for dinner. The parking lot on site is tiny. Maybe they have a deal with the funeral home to use their lot in the evening. Given the long build out and quirks, I hope they hit it out of the park and have crowds like Coltivare every night. My fear would be that the restaurant is just another new flashy high end thing that gets forgotten when the next new flashy thing opens.
  6. I was actually shocked that they put in a green space in the middle of this development. Standard operating procedure in Houston is to fill the lot with concrete. Just look at what they did to poor Slowpokes next door.
  7. Sushi restaurant coming to the old Happy Fatz bungalow on 3510 White Oak.
  8. s3mh

    2714 White Oak

    They very purposefully used that background because one of the big issues for this thing is where will cars cue up when it is busy and the robo-garage can only handle so many vehicles at once. If you show people exactly where it is going to go, they will realize that the cue for the garage will spill out onto White Oak or Studewood and block traffic. And the only way this project will not stick out like a sore thumb is if someone puts an even bigger sore thumb next to it (which may be the plan for the Fitz lot).
  9. This building was a 2009 recipient of the Houston Mod preservation award: Primeway Federal Credit Union for the sensitive renovation of the Heights State Bank building (1962), 3800 Washington Avenue. The building, originally designed by the architects Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson, is a concrete and glass pavilion supported by dramatic tree-form cast concrete columns. I would presume that this is just going to be a change in ownership as I do not see any reason anyone would want to lose Primeway as a tenant and roll the dice on a new project.
  10. s3mh

    2714 White Oak

    Read my entire post. I clearly note that the business model stand alone automated garages is for downtown areas. My point is that they would never come to exist purely due to market forces in areas like White Oak Blvd because they are too expensive and demand would never be high enough to generate sufficient revenue. The only way they get built outside of the CBD is if the parking minimums force landowners to use them.
  11. s3mh

    2714 White Oak

    It is true. There are lots of places in Houston where parking is as bad if not worse than on White Oak, but no one has ever even thought about putting in structured parking without being required by the parking minimums. It is pure fantasy to think that these sort of parking garages will start popping up if we let people build retail developments with no parking requirements. The dirt is too expensive. The cost of an automated garage is too expensive. And even regular old structured parking lots are too expensive to run just for profit without having the city require the owners of the retail properties to fund. The robot garage business model for stand alone pay lots is taking very small and otherwise unusable plots in dense urban areas and building very skinny and tall parking garages. These are areas where they can charge $25-40 max for daily use and get contracts for monthly users. On White Oak, you are not going to have any contract parking and no one is going to be willing to pay much more than $5-10 for parking, assuming that there will be some amazing new retail establishments. I am not sure the crowd at BBs and Tacos Agogo are willing to pay anything for parking.
  12. s3mh

    2714 White Oak

    This parking garage would never have been built if there were no minimum parking requirements.
  13. s3mh

    2714 White Oak

    So, parking minimums are bad but giant parking garages are good. Hmmmm.
  14. Not soon enough. https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Significant-damage-reported-after-car-crashes-14019171.php
  15. An entity that looks to be connected to Hansen Partners owns the collection of little cottages at 513 E. 20th (I believe they were all demo-ed) and another lot to the north of that on Oxford. Some sort of small condo/apartment complex is in the works.
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