Medical alert: Texas-based Hospitality Health ER has acquired about 1.9 acres at the former Fort Crockett military housing complex with plans to build a 24/7 emergency room.

Crews in January are expected to begin work on the emergency room; it could be open by summer. Family owned Hospitality Health ER has facilities in Longview and Tyler. The existing Hospitality Health ERs are about 9,100 square feet, but the one on the island might be a little larger, Jill Shipp, vice president of business development, said.

Hospitality Health ER acquired the land under the venture Galveston Realty LLC.

V.J. Tramonte of Joe Tramonte Realty represented Galveston Realty LLC. Mike Wallace from Longevity Real Estate Partners represented the sellers — Juan-Hijo Investments and Jeff Bowen.

More than a year ago, Juan-Hijo and Jeff Bowen had the entire 6.4 acres of Fort Crockett land for sale with the asking price of $10 million. But the Hospitality Health ER transactions signal a willingness to sell the property in parcels.

For decades, the deteriorated conditions of Fort Crockett properties had angered neighbors. Until last year, it was at the center of a legal battle that didn’t end well for preservationists hoping the buildings could be revitalized.

Last year, the land owners, who won a hard-fought court battle for permission to demolish old U.S. Coast Guard housing, were, in an ironic twist, ordered by a municipal court to finish tearing down the Fort Crockett structures, which had been part of the seawall landscape since the 1930s. The owners complied.

Coast Guard housing on the site was one of the few remnants of a massive military installation dating back to when coastal gun emplacements were important to national security. The installation at one time encompassed 125 acres between 45th and 49th streets that the federal government bought in 1897.

Making the rounds: On the subject of medical development, look next week for news about the status of the Memorial Hermann Health System’s 48,000-square-foot Convenient Care Center planned for land along the south boundary of Pinnacle Park at Interstate 45 and Big League Dreams Parkway. Memorial Hermann hasn’t scheduled an official groundbreaking ceremony for the sizable League City development, but there appears to be some dirt moving at the site.

Memorial Hermann intends to build a free-standing, 24-hour emergency facility offering on-site imaging and lab services. The Convenient Care Center in League City will mark the ninth and largest for Memorial Hermann. Stay tuned.

Game changer: After a six-week hiatus, Board Game Island in Galveston’s downtown has returned with new owners and a new business plan. Lana Hughes and business partner Debra Bergland have reopened the 213 23rd St. venue where patrons play board games and can order food and beverages. The thing about board games is they take a few hours to play, making table turnover very slow. Restaurants need turnover to be profitable.

Hughes and Bergland have a game plan, however. Board Game Island now charges a $2.50 per person, per hour gaming fee, which will help generate revenues for the business. And judging by comments on social media, patrons have embraced the reopening and the new fees.

Hughes and Bergland also have added about 12 new board games — there are more than 500 at the venue — and have kept the menu but changed up the pizza, sandwiches and appetizers. And they’re planning to add a few fun items, such as A Touch of Evil shake and a Sorry Sandwich.

Grand plans: Look for a Dec. 10 grand opening From the HeART Gallery, 511 23rd St. in the island’s downtown. Scott and Samitha Edwards in October acquired the gallery formerly known as Tremont Gallery Galveston, from Joey Quiroga, who is focusing on his Strand Gallery, also downtown.

Quiroga will remain an active artist at From the HeART, but Scott and Samitha Edwards plan to fill up the 3,000-square-foot space with new artwork. Grand opening festivities are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 and will be catered by the island’s Mediterranean Chef and will include music, games, prizes and, of course, art.

What’s that? Readers are wondering what’s soon to replace the Underground Surf Depot, 4116 Seawall Blvd. on the island. According to city permit documents, a nail shop will replace the surf and souvenir shop, which closed earlier this year. No word on the name of the shop yet. Stay tuned.

Next week: A Friendswood developer is planning a community for residents age 55 and older. Find out more next week in Biz Buzz.

Reach reporter Laura Elder at 409-683-5248 or

Managing Editor

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.