With the tear down of historic temples complete, a new shopping center is rising in The Heights

CULTUREMAP

Residents a taste of what's to come at the bustling corner of 20th and Rutland.

With two vintage buildings once owned by the Heights Baptist Temple Church now nothing but a memory, Houston developer Braun Enterprises will build a one-story brick retail strip close to Rutland, allowing for plenty of parking in the back.

Broad storefront windows and a bit of decorative overhang across the sidewalks are designed to tap into the neighborhood's steady foot traffic, Braun president Dan Braun tells The Leader. Judging from the renderings, there will be room for up to five small-sized restaurants and stores.

Braun Enterprises — which owns office and properties throughout the Inner Loop — has earned the affection of architecture preservationist for its recent restoration of the iconic Harold's building on 19th Street, a project that houses Torchy's Tacos and the upcoming Heights General Store after some 26 months of constant construction.

Filled with asbestos and lacking proper roofs, the aging Baptist Temple buildings were beyond repair, Braun insists. And the company wasn't up for another project that took as long as the Harold's conversion.

“We’re not in the business of spending two years on a project,” Braun says, while noting that the Harold's rehab was a “hard, fun and exciting” project of which the company is extremely proud.

Meanwhile, the Baptist Temple Church will use the money from property sale to fund its own 1960s mod chapel, which faces 20th Street adjacent to its former buildings.

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