American ambitions: Just a couple of years ago, developers were planning apartments at the American Indemnity Building, 2115 Winnie in the island’s downtown. But the most recent plans call for self-storage on the second and third floors and 20,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor, island architect David Watson said.

California-based Kantor Properties, which owns the building, is working to secure permits to replace the roof. And the storage spaces are in the design stage, Watson said.

Developers over the years have had various ambitions for the building with an interesting island history.

In 2004, Ilan Amsalem bought the 140,000-square-foot building with ambitious plans to fill the top floors with businesses.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike came along, trailed by an economic downtown, and Amsalem’s plans never were realized. Kantor Properties eventually acquired the building.

Last year, there was talk of apartment development at the building, but that didn’t happen, obviously.

The original Ball High School structure, founded in 1884, is part of the building. In 1954, the school board sold the property to American Indemnity, founded by the Seinsheimer family.

Charles Zwiener was the architect for the original conversion from school to office space. In the 1950s, he designed a one-story addition that linked the two three-story wings that were part of the original Ball High School.

Louis Lloyd Oliver designed the curved addition linking the second and third floors of the two wings built in the early 1960s. Raymond R. Rapp Jr. designed the seven-story major annex on the south side of the site.

Coming clean: An inquiring reader wants to know exactly what kind of car wash is being built at state Highway 96 and Interstate 45 across from Shipley Do-Nuts in League City.

City officials report it’s a Spout Car Wash, 1508 W. League City Parkway. Spout Car Wash will feature a tunnel car wash system. Such systems use a conveyor to move vehicles through a series of fixed cleaning mechanisms.

Spout Car Wash has one location in Houston, and another underway in that city. The League City location will mark the company’s third, a representative for the owners said. No word on an opening date. Stay tuned.

What’s that? Inquiring readers want to know about the construction equipment and work on the shore of Offatts Bayou at 65th and Broadway in Galveston. Details were scarce, but city officials confirmed a company affiliated with contractor J.W. Kelso has a permit to “spread sand” on a tract at the site west of Bayou Bait & Tackle, which is at 6427 Broadway.

The operation entails dumping dredge spoil scooped out of slips at the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry landings, which Kelso has the contract to do. Representatives for Kelso did not respond to requests for information. Neighbors of the site have complained and the city has sent inspectors out to look at the work and determine whether it’s within the bounds of the permit. Stay tuned.

Under the hood: Everyone’s buzzing about it, but the parties involved aren’t yet divulging details about soon-to-be big changes at Galveston Battery & Electric, 3502 Broadway. Owner Sonny Neumann, whose family opened the automotive repair shop in 1921 in the island’s downtown, and in 1970 moved it to Broadway, last week said it was too soon to disclose news but promises more details soon. Stay tuned.

Caffeine buzz: In Santa Fe, you don’t have to get arrested to get a mugshot. The city is home to freshly opened independent coffee shop called Mugshots Coffee Bar, 12494 state Highway 6, where the owners just might take your booking photo.

The shop opened in May and offers coffee, lattes, frappes, pastries and more. The shop also offers custom-made sugar cookies from the popular Webster-based baker CaseBakes.

Good medicine: Elsewhere in Santa Fe, a business is getting national attention. In an industry dominated by major chains, Lone Star Pharmacy, 4111 FM 1764, is a finalist for the 2019 Good Neighbor Pharmacy of the Year award. The award, presented by the national independent pharmacy network, recognizes the top pharmacies within its network of more than 3,000 independent community pharmacies that display excellence in patient care, innovative practices and community outreach.

Andy McDonald opened the Lone Star Pharmacy in 2015.

The annual award will be presented July 26 at Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s 2019 ThoughtSpot conference and trade show in Las Vegas.

Raise your steins: Meanwhile, another relatively new business is generating buzz outside county lines. Devil and the Deep Brewery, which opened last year at 2425 Postoffice St. in the island’s downtown, proved to be the most popular competitor at the House of Blues Local Brews, Local Grooves festival June 15.

The popular festival featured more than 20 Houston-area craft breweries and various bands.

More than 2,100 people attended the event, during which breweries poured about 9,400 samples. Devil and the Deep Brewery poured nearly 800, more than any other. With that achievement, the Galveston brewery is in line to be on tap at the popular House of Blues venue in Houston for a year, said Eric Walker head brewer and one of the brewery’s owners.

Laura Elder: 409-683-5248;

(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.