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Photo courtesy of © TK Images

Editor's Note: Houston, the surrounding areas and beyond are loaded with must-have houses for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. In this continuing series, CultureMap snoops through some of the best and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.

Malvern Estate at 7 Winston Woods, one of Houston's grandest John Staub-designed homes, is now up for sale. It carries a $11.5 million asking price and boasts direct ties to old Houston society of the rich, educated and sophisticated — and lots of oil men.

A bit of background
Malvern was completed in 1938 by Staub for late Houston businessman James O. Winston Jr. The acreage was carved from equestrian property owned by the late Stephen Power Farish of Humble Oil and his late brother, William Stamps Farish II, former president of Standard Oil.

William Stamps Farish II brought Staub to Houston in 1921 when he was a young architect in New York. Staub’s inspiration for Malvern came from The Wick, an 18th-century late Georgian house in Richmond, Greater London.

Winston Woods’ private road is bordered and curbed with Belgian block cobblestone from the streets of lower Manhattan.

Staub is reported to have traveled with the Winstons to England to acquire some of the antique elements that now grace Malvern. In addition, Winston commissioned Houston Brick & Tile Co. to reproduce the sand-surfaced bricks at the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Va., for the Houston estate The wall enclosing Winston Woods also was inspired by the wall surrounding that post-colonial building.

The present owners purchased Malvern and its original 12 acres from the Winston family in 1997. Since then, they subdivided the property to create the 12-acre Winston Woods, a gated enclave of eight home sites and private nature preserve. Their comprehensive, research-driven restoration and detailed modernization was a 14-year project.

The house
Original hardwood floors, inlaid with parquet patterns, extend from the rotunda foyer throughout the house. Highlights in the formal living room include a centrally framed ceiling panel with trompe l’oeil sky distract and antique fireplace with an ornate marble frieze carved with mythological figures. The dining room overlooks the terrace and park.

The more informal morning room is bright and lively with Brunschwig & Fils-covered walls, and the library is paneled in rich mahogany. The spacious kitchen is up-to-date and professionally equipped, with a cozy family room just steps away.

On the second floor, the master suite has access to a rear balcony and includes two updated bathrooms and dressing areas with custom walk-in closets. Also on the second floor, four additional bedroom suites offer private bathrooms and walk-in or multiple deep closets. The Winstons left the third floor of the house floored but not finished, and their children (reportedly) used it as an indoor skating rink.

Re-purposing its original, long-leaf pine planks, the present owners converted the large open space into two dormer bedrooms. In total, the house has nine full baths and four half-baths.

The grounds
Lush parterres near the kitchen are stocked with culinary herbs, mature fruit and berry trees and perennial flowering plants. Pennsylvania green stone terraces surround the house and transition to stacked-stone and brick paths that travel to a contiguous 2.134 acre wooded, restricted reserve and to the bayou. There, owners enjoy a flagstone waterfall, flowing pond and a fire pit.

The guest quarters above the three-car garage was constructed almost entirely from reclaimed materials salvaged from the original garage and its second-floor living quarters.

Winston Woods’ private road is bordered and curbed with Belgian block cobblestone from the streets of lower Manhattan. When those streets were renovated in the late-20th century, 60 tons of cobblestone was purchased and shipped to Houston by rail for Winston Woods.

Square footage: 10,153

Asking price: $11.5 million

Listing agent: Steve Baumgardner, John Daugherty Realtors

Welcome to Malvern, located at 7 Winston Woods.

Photo courtesy of © TK Images
Welcome to Malvern, located at 7 Winston Woods.
Photo courtesy of Kirksey Architects

Iconic Houston skyscraper earns coveted Green status after uber modern makeover

Iconic Skyscraper Goes Green

International real estate firm Hines is on a high, literally and figuratively, after the redesign of its Galleria-area office has earned a coveted platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED system for commercial interior ratings.

The 49th and 50th floor offices of the iconic Williams Tower were transformed by Kirksey Architecture from the original design, created more than 30 years ago by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Focus of the new design is a two-story lobby offering grand vistas of the city skyline where 12 of Hines' 17 downtown projects are visible.

The focus of the new design is a two-story lobby offering grand vistas of the city skyline.

A key element in earning the top LEED certification is the adaptive re-use of existing materials. The figures are convincing: 42 percent of materials and 62 percent of furnishings were salvaged, 750 cubic yards of construction waste material was recycled and the majority of the English Oak paneling that once defined the space was reused, refreshed and slightly modified to allow natural light into the floors.

“We are tremendously proud of this achievement and we recognize the importance of leading by example and demonstrating our commitment to the environment,” Hines senior vice president, corporate operations services Ilene Allen said in a statement. “Achieving LEED-CI Platinum is the result of more than 18 months of preparing, planning, and execution by our architects, contractors and employees."

Hines is setting the example for other tenants in the 64-story, 1.5 million-square-foot office building that the firm developed and opened in 1982.

Kirksey Architecture did design work for the Platinum LEED certified remodeling.

Photo courtesy of Kirksey Architects
Kirksey Architecture did design work for the Platinum LEED certified remodeling.
Photo courtesy of Pogir & Pogir/Briggs Freeman Sotheby's

Condo fever rules Texas: It's only the start of the townhouse and condo craze — many more are coming

Condo Fever Takes Over

It's not just Houston's sultry summer weather that's heating up.

Condominium and townhouse sales are also hot, with an average double-digit growth among Texas' four major cities during the first half of 2014, making these properties the fastest-growing segment of the state's housing market.

"Condos offer greater affordability and inventory than other housing types on the market and, as a result, are playing an increasingly important role in the Texas housing market as a whole."

Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio experienced an average 10.5-percent jump in condos sale between January and May, according to the 2014 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report from the Texas Association of Realtors.

Individually, San Antonio condo sales jumped 18 percent, followed by Austin at 14 percent, Houston at 6 percent and Dallas at 4 percent.

"The thriving economic growth in Texas’s major metro areas has led to a revitalization and redevelopment of our urban centers, providing new needs and opportunities for condo development," Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said in a statement. "Condos offer greater affordability and inventory than other housing types on the market and, as a result, are playing an increasingly important role in the Texas housing market as a whole."

The report shows that in Houston, 2,678 condos were sold during this time period. The median price increased to $145,000 — a 6 percent gain from 2013. At the same time, average days on the market dropped to 55, a 16-percent decrease from the year before.

In Austin, 1,349 condos were sold between January and May, a 14-percent increase from the same period in 2013. The median price increased to $214,480 — an 11-percent gain from the prior year. Average days on the market dropped to 47, a 24-percent decrease from the year prior.

In Dallas, 2,383 condos were sold during this time period, a 4-percent increase from the same period in 2013. The median price increased to $160,000 — a 4-percent gain. Average days on the market dropped to 62, a 15-percent decrease from the year prior.

In San Antonio, 271 condos were sold between January and May. The median price increased to $105,300 — a 9-percent gain. Average days on the market dropped to 95, a 15-percent decrease.

"Developers are now looking upward for opportunities to build and investing in multifamily developments both in (urban) centers and even in some suburban areas," Jim Gaines, economist with The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said a statement.

"Condo sales will likely be a strong driver in the Texas housing market for the rest of the year.”

Condo sales in Dallas are up 4 percent during the first half of 2014 over the same period in 2013.

Photo courtesy of Pogir & Pogir/Briggs Freeman Sotheby's
Condo sales in Dallas are up 4 percent during the first half of 2014 over the same period in 2013.
PatrinelyGroup.com [http://www.patrinelygroup.com/experience_springwoods_village.html]

Mammoth new Exxon Mobil campus lures a fancy new mixed-use development: The next CityCentre is here?

Exxon Mobil Campus Change

With employees already starting to move into the new Exxon Mobil campus in North Houston, it should come as no surprise that a 60-acre mixed-use development located just south of The Woodlands is already in the works.

Formerly known as Springwoods Village Town Center, the upcoming development — situated at the nexus of I-45, the Grand Parkway and the Hardy Toll Road — has been renamed CityPlace and will feature millions of square feet of office, retail and living space, as well as restaurants and at least two hotels.

The master plan for CityPlace includes a lakefront public plaza that will be surrounded by office buildings as well as lakefront restaurants.

The property for the CityPlace project, initially purchased in 1961, was held for development until 2008 when Exxon Mobil purchased nearby land for its new Houston campus. The project has three investors, CDC Houston Inc., the Houston-based Patrinely Group and USAA Real Estate Co. from San Antonio.

According to the Houston Business Journal, Gensler's Houston office and the office of James Burnett assisted CDC Houston and the Patrinely Group with the master plan for CityPlace, which includes a lakefront public plaza that will be surrounded by office buildings as well as lakefront restaurants.

“We see CityPlace as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Robert Fields, president of the Patrinely Group, told HBJ. "A blank development canvas adjacent to a remarkable new transportation hub, which will allow us to holistically create from scratch an 18-hour urban center like no other in Southeast Texas.”

Transwestern's Houston office is to oversee leasing of the 400,000 square feet of retail space in the development. While no leases have been signed yet, managing director of retail for Transwestern Nick Hernandez said interested parties include movie theaters and a health club. He anticipates that a variety of restaurants and clothing stores will sign on to the project as well.

JPI.com [http://jpi.com/developments/current-projects/memorial/]

New apartment complex is all about downtown views and bike trails: A modern young professionals playpen?

Changing Houston

Yet another midrise complex is coming to Houston, this one called Jefferson Heights, a seven-story, 198 residential-unit community to be built at 2018 N. Memorial Drive near downtown with completion by fall 2015.

Bounded by North Memorial Drive and Trinity, State and Houston avenues, the multifamily Jefferson Heights will feature five levels of residential units over two levels of parking on the 1.47-acre lot.

"The project will have unmatched views of downtown and direct access to the Buffalo Bayou hike/bike trails and entertainment park," Irving-based developer JPI/TDI promises on its website.

"This is a high profile location and the ideal setting for this project."

Apartments will be available in one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 607 to 1,253 square feet. Units will feature granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, nine-foot ceilings, large closets, garden tubs and separate showers, as well as washers and dryers.

There will also be a resort-style pool overlooking downtown, three courtyards, fire pits, an outdoor kitchen and grill area, Wi-Fi in common areas, coffee bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

"This is a high profile location and the ideal setting for this project," Blake Ingram, vice president and investment manager for JPI/TDI, said in a statement. "We will offer the market a superior product with unprecedented views of the city and unparalleled connectivity to several major Houston employment centers.

"Jefferson Heights will be an ideal home for both young and seasoned professionals."

Just recently, CondoSmart Realty LLC revealed plans for Topaz Villas, an Italian Renaissance-inspired midrise complex set to break ground within the next month in the Montrose/Museum District area, with construction complete within the next year.

Other new projects inside the 610 loop include the Masterson Oaks at Westmoreland, a seven-house, eight-townhome residential development with lots starting in the $800,000s, and Azalea Court, a midrise featuring 645 apartments in the River Oaks area is slated to open in June 2015.

Photo by Eric Sandler

New Houston grocery store to bring high-end goods into a food desert: No 40 ounces of trouble allowed

New Houston Grocery Store

One of Houston's most notorious food deserts is about to get some irrigation thanks to a public-private partnership.

Local grocery chain Pyburn's Farm Fresh Foods will open its 12th store at the intersection of Scott Street and Corder to bring fresh food and vegetables to an underserved area. Houston Mayor Annise Parker joined council members Stephen Costello and Dwight Boykins, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Pyburn's owner John Vuong at the site Monday morning to kick off the construction.

Vuong bought the property more than eight years ago with the intention to open a store on it eventually. Now, thanks to a $1.7 million dollar loan that makes use of Federal Community Development Block Grant funds, "my vision has become a reality," he says.

Boykins believes the new store will help the neighborhood he represents. He promises it "won't be selling no 40-ounces of Old English."

For Parker, combating food deserts represents one part of what she called a "holistic" approach to neighborhood development. Helping people get access to fresh food from a grocery store instead of processed food from a convenience store helps improve public health issues like diabetes and childhood obesity.

"If we don't do a better job of providing education on nutrition for kids, we'll have bigger problems down the road," Parker says.

As part of the agreement, the city ensured that neither liquor stores nor pay day loan providers could lease space in an adjacent center that's planned for the land, Parker adds.

Both Parker and Vuong emphasize the new Pyburn's will have the same overall quality and appearance as high-end grocery stores in wealthy neighbors. For his part, Vuoong promises to bring a "wow factor" to the development, which will be the first Pyburn's to be built new from the ground-up.

Council member Stephen Costello notes that the project will bring at least 25 jobs to the neighborhood. He shared that he met his wife when they both worked in a grocery store 40 years ago. While a H-E-B is only a 1.2 miles from the site at Scott and Old Spanish Trail, Costello says that distance is a challenge for people who rely on public transportation. Between walking to the bus stop and waiting for it to arrive, a trip that might only take 30 minutes total in a car could take an entire afternoon.

"This property means a lot to me," Council Member Dwight Boykins tells the crowd. "I grew up here. I lived in those apartments . . . I played football in this field." Boykins believes the new store will help the neighborhood he represents. He promises it "won't be selling no 40 ounces of Old English."

Citing a 4-year-old she met in the crowd as a symbol of who stands to benefit most from the new store, Jackson Lee says Pyburn's will bring "hope, determination and optimism" to the neighborhood.

Mayor Annise Parker stands with Pyburn's owner John Vuong, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and o ther officials.

Photo by Eric Sandler
Mayor Annise Parker stands with Pyburn's owner John Vuong, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and o ther officials.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Wildly popular Nashville hot chicken chain's big Houston cancellation heats up week's top stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Wildly popular Nashville hot chicken chain cancels plans for first Houston location. Construction costs and other issues scuttled the restaurant's plans.

2. Creative Heights burger joint quietly shutters after more than a decade. Fans of Sticky Monkey burgers and Buffalo fries will have to drive to Pearland or Galveston to satisfy their cravings.

3. Longtime Houston fast casual restaurant darts into The Woodlands with fresh new location. The restaurant serves the same updated menu as the recently-renovated River Oaks location.

4. Thriving drive-thru salad restaurant freshens up Houston with first outpost and more on the way. The Arizona-based restaurant's first three Houston-area locations are opening this month.

5. Towering downtown skyscraper and former headquarters for oil giant set for new high-rise apartment conversion. At the time of its opening, the building was considered the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams heads to Houston with Jett-setting rock icon for 2023 tour stop

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to the Houston area — and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping at Sugar Land's Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical draw huge crowds when it recently stopped in Houston for a limited run.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.

Beyoncé adds second Houston date to highly anticipated world tour due to massive surge in ticket demand

back-to-back bey

Houston Beyoncé fans, rejoice: Queen Bey has added another show to her just-announced Renaissance World Tour.

As CultureMap previously reported, Beyoncé is returning to her hometown in a show originally planned for September 23 at NRG Stadium. Now, due to surge in ticket demand, a second show at NRG has been added for the following day on September 24.

This comes as tour organizers have added seven new dates to the North American leg of the tour, based on Beyhive buzz.

According to LiveNation, fan demand for Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour now exceeds the number of available tickets by more than 800 percent, based on current registration numbers in the Group A cities.

Even with these added dates, LiveNation expects a majority of interested fans "will not be able to get tickets because demand drastically exceeds supply," per a press announcement.

Beyhive fans who miss the second Houston show can try to catch Bey in Dallas two days prior to the Houston show, where she'll play AT&T Stadium on September 21.

Ticketing for the world tour dates go on sale Monday, February 6. BeyHive members will enjoy an exclusive presale, while other fans can register now with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan technology here. Those interested can score tickets, schedules, and more information at beyonce.livenation.com and tour.beyonce.com.

Note to jet-setting Houstonians: The queen kicks off her world tour on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Friends Arena. She'll dot Europe with big stadium shows through June 27, where she'll play Warsaw, Poland.

Her North American tour starts July 8 in Canada, where she'll play Toronto's Rogers Centre. Beyoncé will trek the U.S. through the summer and into September; her Dallas and Houston shows are the sole Texas performances.

In a bit of a head scratcher, the Houston native will end her tour in New Orleans (Caesars Superdome) on September 27.

The world tour comes as Beyoncé is awash in Grammy glow: in November, she was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, tying her with her husband (neé Shawn Corey Carter) for the most nominations in Grammy history. Critics and fans have lauded Renaissance, her first solo work since the wildly popular and deeply personal 2016 effort, Lemonade — even through its minor controversy.

Here is the entire world tour schedule:

Europe

May 10, 2023 – Stockholm, SE – Friends Arena

May 14, 2023 – Brussels, BE – King Baudouin Stadium

May 17, 2023 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff Principality Stadium

May 20, 2023 – Edinburgh, UK – BT Murray Field Stadium

May 23, 2023 – Sunderland, UK – Stadium of Light

May 26, 2023 – Paris, FR – Stade de France

May 29, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

May 30, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

June 08, 2023 – Barcelona, ES – Olympic Stadium

June 11, 2023 – Marseille, FR – Orange Velodrome

June 15, 2023 – Cologne, DE – Rhein Energie Stadion

June 17, 2023 – Amsterdam, NL – Johan Crujff Arena

June 21, 2023 – Hamburg, DE – Volksparkstadion

June 24, 2023 – Frankfurt, DE – Deutsche Bank Park

June 27, 2023 – Warsaw, PL – PGE Narodowy

North America

July 8, 2023 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre

July 12, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field

July 15, 2023 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium

July 17, 2023 – Louisville, KY – L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium

July 20, 2023 – Minneapolis, MN – Huntington Bank Stadium

July 22, 2023 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field Stadium

July 26, 2023 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field

July 29, 2023 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium

Aug. 01, 2023 – Boston, MA – Gillette Stadium

Aug. 03, 2023 – Pittsburgh, PA – Acrisure Stadium

Aug. 05, 2023 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field

Aug. 09, 2023 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium

Aug. 11, 2023 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Aug. 16, 2023 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium

Aug. 18, 2023 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium

Aug. 21, 2023 – St. Louis, MO – Dome at America's Center

Aug. 24, 2023 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium

Aug. 26, 2023 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium

Aug. 30, 2023 – San Francisco, CA – Levi’s Stadium

Sept. 02, 2023 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium

Sept. 11, 2023 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place

Sept. 13, 2023 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

Sept. 18, 2023 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium

Sept. 21, 2023 – Dallas – AT&T Stadium

Sept. 23, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

Sept. 24, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

Sept. 27, 2023 – New Orleans – Caesars Superdome

As always, Beyoncé will create activations, programs, and giveaways via BeyGOOD, the foundation she created in 2013.