Property lines: Despite an unusually cold winter, island residential sales stayed warm in the first quarter, rising 4 percent to 127 residential sales transactions compared with 122 a year ago.

Sand ’N Sea Properties compiled the data from the Galveston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

The data represents all island properties in the multiple listing service, not just those listed with Sand ’N Sea Properties.

Some spots were hotter than others. Sales of West End canal and bay properties jumped 64 percent, to 18 sales from 11 a year ago.

Sales for lofts and condominiums in the downtown and near the University of Texas Medical Branch rose 25 percent to 30 from 24. Some West End areas, including Pirates’ Beach, Jamaica Beach and Sea Isle saw decreases in sales. And West End beach front sales stayed the same with eight transactions.

Sales in seawall protected neighborhoods such as Adler, Campeche Cove, Denver Court, Evia and Havre Lafitte saw a 10 percent increase.

Meanwhile, the median price — the price of the house that falls in the middle of the total number of homes for sale in an area — was $242,750, compared with $199,500 a year ago, a 22 percent spike.

Houston’s economy, largely fueled by the still strong energy industry, continues to fuel the island’s real estate market.

It’s important to note the Galveston Association of Realtors’ multiple listing service does not include data for all real estate transactions on the island, which means many more transactions occurred in the first quarter.

Some developers or owners might sell their properties without listing them on the service.

What’s that? Inquiring readers want to know about all that construction in the 18000 block of state Highway 6 in Algoa.

County officials say crews are building a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General at the site. Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General Corp. is the nation’s largest small-box discount retailer, posting $17.5 billion in sales in fiscal 2013. No word on an opening date.

Strip tease: Meanwhile, the 11,000-square-foot strip center underway, 4111 FM 1764 (at Sixth Street) in Santa Fe will house five shops or services.

The first tenant to sign a lease is a nail salon, Santa Fe Building Official Benny Davis confirms. No word yet on the other tenants.

Moving away: As businesses move into Santa Fe, one is moving away. After four years, Crisanta Gamblin will close her Crisanta’s Fashion Jewelry, 13111 state Highway 6.

Gamblin, the owner and designer of the handcrafted jewelry store and bead supplier is moving out of town. She’ll be offering a closing sale through June.

Steak out: The grand opening time for Quaker Steak & Lube, 2502 Interstate 45, in League City has been set for 11 a.m. June 4.

The eatery is expected to bring with it 120 jobs and this week was interviewing potential employees. Quaker Steak & Lube, known for its chicken wings and 25 sauces, will accommodate seating for 350 guests in League City.

The 60-store chain is playing off motor oil maker Quaker State. Aside from the wings, the concept is known for muscle cars.

George “Jig” Warren III and Gary “Moe” Meszaros created the Quaker Steak concept in 1974 when the nation had its first gas crisis, according to the company’s history. Gas stations were closing, and carmakers at the time were exploring how to develop cars that got better mileage.

Warren and Meszaros wanted to create a place that would preserve the culture of those old gas stations and high-powered muscle cars.

Patrons of the League City eatery can expect to see muscle cars stock cars, motorcycles and other motor sports memorabilia hanging from the wall and ceilings, officials have said.

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to laura.elder@galvnews.com.

(2) comments

DonnieB

Hey Laura, could you dig for an opening date of the new outdoor bar on 6th street in Texas City. I have not been by to see if it's open yet, but I know they are very close to opening it. Thanks! Also, on the other side of Holland RD from Buc-ees on I-45, It looks like they are going to build another large commercial development. Any idea what this might be? In an interview, the head of the commerce talked about a movie theater being built near Buc-ees. Could this be it? Just curious.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Hi Donnie,
Are you talking about America's Ice House? I will give the owner a call to get an opening date.
Texas City officials say all that dirt-turning near Buc-ee's is just clearing out the land. I've buzzed rumors about a movie theater near there, but there's nothing official on that. I'll keep my eye on it.

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