What’s that? A reader emailed to ask: “I noticed a construction fence and workers on top of the old H-E-B location in Texas City. Any clue what’s going on?”
Answer: Doug Kneupper, the city’s engineer, reports that a firm by the name Wingfield Partners a few weeks ago acquired the Tradewinds Shopping Center on the northeast corner of Palmer Highway and 21st Street.
H-E-B had anchored the shopping center until 2015, when it moved to its larger store at state Highway 146 and Palmer Highway.
Scott Kell, a principal with Wingfield Partners, could not be reached for comment. But Kneupper said Wingfield is working on the roof and also plans to spruce up landscaping and improve the parking lot and the 142,329-square-foot center’s façade. Stay tuned.
On the waterfront: Development of a luxury waterfront project on Clear Lake in League City is showing progress. Newcor Ventures has completed four of the 15 planned homes at Marina Del Sol Waterfront Villas, 2220 Marina Way Drive.
Prices start at about $650,000 and go up to about $800,000. Of the four built, two have sold, said Phillip Newton, a principal of Newcor.
All the lots at Marina Del Sol Waterfront Villas face the marina. Residents have the option to lease boat slips in front of their property. Newcor Ventures has developed other Clear Lake area communities, including Seabrook Island and Taylor Lake Shores.
Tract traction? The city of Kemah plans to interview developers interested in a key 88-acre tract at the northwest corner of state Highway 146 and League City Parkway. The city has secured the right of way to complete a connector road on the property from League City Parkway to FM 518, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership reports. An expansion of Bel Road across state Highway 146 to the planned connector will give the property an additional access point to the highway. No more details were immediately available. Stay tuned.
Back on the market: It’s been a little more than a year since this column buzzed that Josh Godwin, a Texas A&M University at Galveston graduate, had the Beissner Building — also known as the McCrory’s Building — under contract. Godwin had hoped to develop apartments on the second and third floors of the building, 2123 Postoffice St., and to secure a restaurant tenant for the first floor, he said.
Godwin last week could not be reached for comment. But there are no signs of development and architect Michael Gaertner, who was working with Godwin on the development, said: “He wasn’t able to find an equity partner so the building is back up for sale to the best of my knowledge. “
The building, an eyesore on an otherwise thriving block that’s home to Mod Coffeehouse, The Witchery, René Wiley Gallery and more — was, until Hurricane Ike struck in 2008, home to an antiques store. Locals know it best as McCrory’s Five & Dime, which operated there from 1930 to 1997.
News of Godwin’s plans briefly raised hope among islanders about the possibility for rescue of the building, which was constructed in 1907 and originally used as office space.
The Galveston Historical Foundation listed the McCrory’s/Beissner Building on its 2017 Heritage at Risk list and on lists before that.
“The most visible threat to the property appears to be demolition by neglect,” the foundation said.
Shopping around: No-frills grocer Aldi hasn’t lost interest and is still shopping around for Galveston sites, city leaders confirm. Mayor Jim Yarbrough said Aldi is still interested in the property formerly occupied by Oleander Homes public housing development, 5228 Broadway. Crews demolished Oleander Homes after it sustained Hurricane Ike damage in 2008.
City and Galveston Housing Authority officials are working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to accommodate potential retailers at the site, including Aldi and McCoy’s Building Supply, a hardware retail store that is beginning to outgrow its island property at 7500 Broadway.
But Yarbrough and others are aggressively working to generate interest among grocers, including Aldi, in the building long ago occupied by Gerland’s at 2402 45th St. on the island.
Aldi initially had been interested in opening on part of a 3.75-acre tract at Broadway and 54th Street. But the supermarket wanted a traffic light at the intersection, which wasn’t feasible, officials have said. Stay tuned.