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Studemont Kroger update

The Heights Life brings news about the proposed Kroger at Studemont and I-10. Of particular interest is this bit:

The property on which Kroger plans to build lies on the east side of Studemont north of Arne’s. The store will be at the south end of the property, facing the main customer parking lot to the north of the store. A fuel center will be placed at the north end of the property together with a small, secondary parking lot needed to fulfill code requirements.

Delivery docks will be located on the east and west faces of an extension on the south side of the store. The three main delivery dock doors will face east toward an industrial area. A small dock door will face west toward Studemont.

Hicks will be cut through to meet Summer Street on the east side of the property. The City’s intent is that this will become a through street, but there are some unspecified impediments. The portion of the block that is now Hicks will be improved to current City standards, and the whole block will be built like a City CIP project. Kroger will eventually dedicate that property to the City as street Right-of-Way in exchange for a smaller area of water/sewer ROW that the City will dedicate to Kroger. Access to the delivery docks will be from Hicks/Summer. An employee parking lot will occupy the portion of the lot south of Hicks/Summer next to Arne’s; Kroger expects that Arne’s will also use this lot at some point (possibly for its employees).

Couple things here. First, there may be “unspecified impediments” to extending Summer Street, but that doesn’t mean they are unknown. Behold, the view from where Summer dead ends heading eastbound at Oliver Street:

Presidential Heads Rear View

Yes, it’s the Giant Presidential Heads. And in what may be fortuitous timing or a harbinger of their doom, there’s this:

Now a source says that the [Alamo Drafthouse] plans to open a new central Houston location in the Sculpturworx compound. The 78,175-square-foot former studio of artist David Adickes (the man behind the giant president heads) was sold to Bartlett Lofts developers Phil Arnett and Chap Chapman in 2010, according to Swamplot, with plans for artists’ studios as well as significant commercial space.

That report may be a bit premature, but never mind that for now. Having an Alamo Drafthouse in there would greatly increase the need for and the value of a connected Summer Street. It also nearly guarantees a traffic light at the Studemont intersection, which I predicted in February. If nothing else, having Arne’s employees, and possibly its customers, park there will necessitate a stoplight, as the pedestrian crossing at I-10 isn’t really safe due to the right turn from the service road onto Studemont, which isn’t controlled by the light. Given what a mess that area can be during the evening rush hour, I’d hold out for a pedestrian crossing bridge as an alternative, but I don’t expect anyone to listen to me on that.

Anyway. As both Swamplot and Houston Politics note, the development is up for a 380 agreement this week. If that happens, and if the extension of Koehler Street to 2nd at the Heights Wal-Mart happens, you will be able to travel directly from one 380 agreement location to another, without using I-10 or Washington to get there. Just take 2nd to Harvard and turn on Hicks, then follow it along – see this Google map for the details. Note that Hicks passes over Studemont – it’s what on top of that underpass you pass under – and voila, there you are. Keep that in your back pocket for when you might need it.

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4 Comments

  1. Jules says:

    COH should NOT be doing 380’s.

    On this one, they say Kroger is “donating” $40K to Olivewood cemetery. Sounds good, right? But it’s reimbursable under the 380. With interest. So really the taxpayers are donating $40K to Olivewood and paying interest on it to Kroger.

    They are also supposed to provide 170 jobs. These can all be part-time, no minimum hours specified.

    The 380 has not been made publically accessible, to my knowledge. The vote is planned for Wednesday.

    Council Members, vote NO on this giveaway.

  2. Jules says:

    COH is trying to justify causing excessive runoff from Walmart and Kroger on Olivewood Cemetery by saying Kroger is “donating” $40K to Olivewood if the Kroger 380 passes.

    That $40K is reimbursable by us to Kroger plus interest.

    It’s not a donation and it doesn’t fix the detention issues.

    COH should require detention at the Heights Walmart and Studemont Kroger sites.

  3. […] its 1999 ordinance that created the 380 program. One presumes that would have an effect on the Studemont Kroger, for which a separate 380 agreement was voted on by Council yesterday. Under the deal headed to […]

  4. […] Long term, I may have to think about using Sawyer/Watson as an alternate route, though if the rumored plans of an Alamo Drafthouse come to fruition, it may not be much […]

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