Lucky day: If you’ve heard rumors about a popular Houston and Dallas concept planning to serve up a Galveston version at 2410 Strand, it’s just Hearsay — the actual name of the concept is Hearsay Galveston.
Atul “Lucky” Chopra of Landmark Houston Hospitality Group plans to open Hearsay Galveston in the historic James Fadden Building. Chopra could not immediately be reached for comment, but the Hearsay website promises a Hearsay Galveston is “Coming Soon.”
Chopra, who bought the Fadden building last year and is known for redeveloping historic properties, operates Hearsay Market Square at 281 Travis in Houston’s downtown and in Dallas. The highly acclaimed Hearsay is known for contemporary and Southern-style takes on American cuisine and craft cocktails in a stylish setting.
The Fadden building, built in 1898, was the center of a legal dispute a few years back. In 2014, island businessman Allen Flores agreed to sell the historic building to the Port of Galveston and contractor Turner Construction to settle a lawsuit that for months halted construction of a $6 million downtown transit terminal.
Flores, who operated a restaurant and nightclub in the building, sued the port and Turner Construction in April 2013, claiming crews working on the nearby transit center had damaged the Fadden building’s foundation and footings.
Crews in 2015 stabilized the building, which is on the westernmost end of the historic Strand district. The Fadden building sits on 5,160 square feet of land and consists of two floors totaling 9,890 square feet of interior space.
Noted 19th-century island architect Nicholas Clayton designed the building for James Fadden’s wholesale wine, liquor and cigar business. Stay tuned.
Eating Crow: Those rumors that began circulating in August about Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. acquiring major parcels along Broadway in Galveston weren’t true after all.
While it was true the prolific development firm was in negotiations to buy two tracts between 57th and 54th streets north of Broadway for a sizable retail development, negotiations fell through, officials confirmed last week.
Trammell Crow had been negotiating to buy an 11.39-acre parcel between 55th and 57th streets off Broadway from Lowe’s Home Improvement and a nearby 3.8-acre tract at Broadway and 54th Street that had belonged to the county, city officials had confirmed last year.
Exactly why Trammell Crow didn’t finalize the acquisition isn’t clear. But one plausible reason is that Trammell Crow couldn’t secure a large retail tenant it had hoped would anchor the project, said Robert Boemer, director of Galveston County’s legal department.
Still, others are eyeing the properties, Boemer said.
“There are some other folks who have expressed interest,” Boemer said, without elaborating.
Hopes dashed: Securing a retail development on county- and privately owned land near the Criminal Justice Center — at what would appear to be prime tracts — has so far been strikingly difficult. High hopes were dashed in March 2016 after Pacific Ridge Properties terminated a contract to buy the county’s 3.8 acres. Pacific Ridge had planned a supermarket-anchored development at the site. The supermarket would have been Aldi. But the no-frills grocery chain wanted a traffic light at the intersection, which wasn’t feasible, Pacific Ridge President John Boswell said at the time.
Engineering issues can be sensitive along Broadway, a historic boulevard and major thoroughfare that already has a lot of traffic lights.
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s Home Improvement had big plans for its parcel, paying $3.1 million for what was then county-owned land with the intention to build a 117,000-square-foot store. But in 2011, Lowe’s abandoned those plans, at the time citing frail economic conditions. Lowe’s still owns the land, however. Stay tuned.
Retail refresher: Elsewhere on Broadway, a long buzzed-about retail move — at least two years in the making — hasn’t fizzled but is moving at a glacial pace. Although the county land didn’t pan out, Aldi, as previously buzzed, is considering other island sites. Pacific Ridge, on behalf of Aldi, has expressed interest in the property formerly occupied by the Oleander Homes public housing development, 5228 Broadway.
Crews demolished Oleander Homes after it flooded during Hurricane Ike 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. Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough last week said discussions are ongoing with HUD officials and the potential transaction is very much still in play. Stay tuned.
Room service: Notice all that site preparation at 2901 63rd St. on the island? Hotel developer Sam Shah is planning a 120-room, five-story La Quinta Inn. Shah is a principal of a company that owns several retail businesses and mid-priced hotels, including Hampton Inn & Suites and Candlewood Suites. No word on an opening date. Stay tuned.
Open Sesame: Readers are hungry for answers about the post-Hurricane Harvey return of the popular Sesame House Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant, 1101 FM 517, in Dickinson. The good news is the restaurant is planning a return. Owners could not be reached for comment last week, but said on social media they would soon announce a reopening date.
Owners are working on a complete remodel of the restaurant, which flooded during Harvey. Stay tuned.
Jack hits the road: Meanwhile, Dickinson Jack in the Box fans might not have cause to celebrate. The purveyor of the Jumbo Jack and taco combos likely won’t rebuild its 3815 Interstate 45 restaurant, said Zach Meadows, director of community development in Dickinson. An I-45 expansion project is the main reason for the fast-food chain’s decision, Meadows said. Also, Jack in the Box is building a new store on state Highway 96 in League City, which would be too close to the Dickinson restaurant.
Check-in lane: Dickinson residents are still eagerly awaiting news of the post-Harvey return of Ziegler’s Foods, 2308 FM 517 E. While large chain supermarkets have multiplied in the county in the past decade, family owned Ziegler’s enjoyed a loyal following and residents want their grocery store back.
Owners could not be reached for comment, but they’re still working out many details, including how to finance the repairs and reopening of the flood-damaged store, Meadows said.
Good hair day: Look for a summer opening of hair salon Fantastic Sams Cut & Color in front of Education Village on state Highway 96 in League City. Canon Doyle and James Brockway of Brockway Commercial represented Becky and Ben Sill in leasing their first of three Fantastic Sams locations, including the one in League City.
Fantastic Sams Cut & Color is a 44-year-old national brand providing full-service hair care for men, women and children. This League City salon and the two others will showcase a new sleek, upscale “oasis” feel.