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Houston City Scope Aug 2015

Gracepoint Homes is starting construction in Rebekah, a townhome community in Montrose.

Gracepoint Homes is starting construction in Rebekah, a townhome community in Montrose.

Gracepoint Homes Releases Designs For New Montrose Townhome Community

Gracepoint Homes has released home designs for its newest community, Rebekah, a contemporary townhome community in Montrose.

The four-story detached townhomes will reflect urban modern ambiance and range from 2,875 to 3,180 square feet. The plans offer second-floor open living areas, third-floor master suites, private elevators, fourth-floor balconies, 10- and 11-foot ceilings and two-car garages. Six floor plans are available and prices start in the $730,000s.

Construction has started on a model home, which is expected to open in August. Work also is under way on four inventory homes, with construction on three new homes starting about every two to three weeks. Presales have started.

“This is an aggressive schedule that should have most of the homes in Rebekah completed by the end of the year,” said Tom Cox, Jr., president of Gracepoint Homes. “This is a rare opportunity to purchase a new home in one of Houston’s most historic and well-located neighborhoods. We think these luxury townhomes will sell quickly.”

Rebekah is being developed on a 30,000-square-foot parcel of land near Taft and W. Drew streets. Fifteen homes will be available.

Gracepoint Homes develops communities throughout Houston, including Madeline in The Heights area, Lily and Marion near The Woodlands, Wright’s Landing in Spring, Stillwater in Conroe and Lakeside Cove in The Woodlands. The builder also offers homes in Imperial at Sugar Land and Woodforest in South Montgomery County.


A veteran is reunited with his war dog.

A veteran is reunited with his war dog.

Rover Oaks Pet Resort Raises Over $34K For U.S. War Dogs

Rover Oaks Pet Resort just wrapped up its fifth annual Operation: War Dogs fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Mission K9 Rescue, which is the Houston chapter of the United States War Dogs Association. The fundraiser began on Memorial Day and ended on July 4. This year, Rover Oaks raised $34,575 for Mission K9 Rescue through Operation: War Dogs. To date, Rover Oaks has raised more than $70,000 for this amazing organization.

Mission K9 Rescue is dedicated to the service of war dogs, including retiring and retired military working dogs and dontract working dogs. It provides monetary, transportation, adoption and professional assistance for these retired heroes. Over the past year, Mission K9 Rescue has reunited many hero dogs with their handlers, and it has worked tirelessly to find adoptive homes capable of meeting the needs of a retired military working dog. Videos of some of these reunions can be viewed on its website, missionk9rescue.org.

“Rover Oaks is in a unique position to help an organization like Mission K9 Rescue because of the types of clients that use our services,” said Steve Smith, owner of Rover Oaks Pet Resort. “Our clients believe that pets are members of the family and should be treated as such. Their overwhelming response to this fundraiser shows that they feel the same way about the war dogs who have loyally served to protect our country.”

During the fundraiser, Rover Oaks encouraged its clients to donate by giving away a free night of lodging to anyone who donated $100 to Mission K9 Rescue. It also encouraged other pet-care facilities to participate in the fundraiser. As a result, a group of 10 other pet industry leaders from across the country launched fundraisers of their own to benefit War Dogs.

Mission K9 Rescue founder Bob Bryant said, “Rover Oaks stepped up to the plate and hit a home run for war dogs everywhere. These donations provide for care, boarding, transportation and development. Without organizations like Rover Oaks, we would be very limited in our ability to effect positive change for U.S. war dogs.”

“We are so grateful to Rover Oaks for this amazing fundraiser,” said Kristen Maurer, president of Mission K9 Rescue. “This money helps us continue to rescue and care for more war dogs and achieve our mission. These dogs do so much for mankind, and this fundraiser allows us to continue to give back to them.”


Houston Food Bank Earns Food Bank Of The Year

The Houston Food Bank has been named 2015 Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that represents 200 member food banks across the nation.

This is the highest honor given to one food bank among the Feeding America members. The Food Bank of the Year award recognizes the Houston Food Bank for its commitment to community engagement, increasing the number of nutritious meals distributed and continuous improvement of operational efficiency.


Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch was awarded the Order of Australia. Photo - AMITAVA SARKAR

Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch was awarded the Order of Australia. Photo – AMITAVA SARKAR

Houston Ballet News

Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch was awarded the Order of Australia for his contributions to the world of dance. The award recognizes his significant service to the performing arts as a ballet dancer, mentor, choreographer and artistic director. The prestigious Order of Australia Award, established in 1975, is bestowed on Australian citizens for meritorious service in a particular area or field.

“I am exceptionally humbled to receive this recognition. One of the greatest privileges in my life is the ability to create and share dance with audiences around the world, so it gives me immense pleasure and pride to have my hard work and passion recognized. I am a proud Australian and to be awarded the Order of Australia is a great honor,” said Welch.

Welch was born in Melbourne, Australia to Marilyn Jones, O.B.E. and Garth Welch, AM, two of Australia’s most gifted dancers of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1989 he began dancing with The Australian Ballet, where he rose to the rank of leading soloist. In 1995, Welch was named resident choreographer of The Australian Ballet. He has also created works for such prestigious international companies as Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet.

In 2003, Welch assumed leadership of Houston Ballet, America’s fifth largest ballet company. Since he took the helm of the company, Welch has revitalized Houston Ballet, bringing in new dancers, commissioning new works and attracting a top-flight artistic staff. For Houston Ballet he has choreographed more than 20 new works, including a new full-length narrative ballet Marie (2009) inspired by the life of the legendary Marie Antoinette and spectacular stagings of Swan Lake (2006), La Bayadère (2010) and Romeo and Juliet (2015).

Recently, Welch promoted Jared Matthews to the rank of principal dancer after a well-received performance as Lucentio in John Cranko’s production of The Taming of the Shrew in June.

“Jared has proven to be of principal caliber time and time again this season. As a member of Houston Ballet, he has tackled a variety of lead roles and given technically thrilling and deeply moving, nuanced performances. It gives me great pleasure to promote him to the rank of principal,” said Welch.

Since his arrival in June 2014, Matthews has distinguished himself in several roles, including Solor in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadère, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the male lead in Paquita; the Prince in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker and Lysander in John Neumeier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

A native Houstonian, Matthews received his early ballet training here under the guidance of Victoria Vittum and Gilbert Rome. He was awarded a full scholarship to study at North Carolina School of the Arts summer program as well as the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (ABT). While attending ABT’s Summer Intensive Program in 2001 as a Coca Cola Scholarship winner, he was invited to join ABT’s Studio Company. He joined ABT in 2002 and rose to the rank of soloist in 2007, before joining Houston Ballet in 2014.


A model home at The Reserve at Clear Lake City.

A model home at The Reserve at Clear Lake City.

Trendmaker Announces Grand Opening Of The Reserve At Clear Lake City

Trendmaker Development has announced the grand opening of The Reserve at Clear Lake City, a new home community located in the Clear Lake City area of Houston in Harris County. As the developer and builder of The Reserve at Clear Lake City, Trendmaker is now selling at the new community which, upon completion, will include 740 residences in two distinct product lines: traditional single-family homes on 55-, 70- and 80-foot homesites; and luxury patio homes on low-maintenance zero-lot line home sites.

“This is the first new home community to be built in this area in some time and so far, we’ve had an overwhelming response,” said Will Holder, president of Trendmaker Development and Trendmaker Homes.

Ranging in size from 2,433 to 3,168 square feet, phase one of The Reserve’s 39 Villas patio homes by Trendmaker Homes highlight elements of comfort and luxury including lavish patios, state-of-the-art kitchens, and three-car garages. The 11 different floor plan options offer spacious designs both indoors and out, with covered porches, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces for optimal entertaining areas year round. With two to three bedrooms and two and a half to three and a half bathrooms, prices on the patio homes begin in the high $440,000s. The Villas offer a solution for couples or families looking to downsize while maintaining a premium standard of living.

The 89 large traditional single-family homes on the 70- and 80-foot lots in phase one are being built by Trendmaker Homes and its builder partner Village Builders. The homes range in size from 3,266 to 5,090 square feet. With 42 floor plans to choose from, buycan customize their homes with various elements, including: dining areas with stylized light fixtures, ample storage spaces throughout the home, laundry chutes, backpack racks, double ovens, covered patios, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, game rooms, and closet organization systems. Plans include four to five bedrooms, three and a half to five and a half bathrooms, and two to three car garages. Prices begin in the $490,000s.

Later this year, Trendmaker Homes and builder partner Ryland Homes will also build 37 traditional single-family homes on 55-foot lots in phase one.

The Reserve at Clear Lake City spans over 372 acres of serene open green space. Residents will enjoy full access to all amenities offered throughout the master planned community, including a pool, splash park, tennis courts, neighborhood parks and playgrounds. The growing community can enjoy the continued establishment of retail shops, including a HEB Grocery Store-anchored retail center near the neighborhood entrance.

Situated east of the Gulf Freeway and south of the Sam Houston Parkway (Beltway 8), The Reserve at Clear Lake City provides quick access to both the coast and Downtown Houston.

Sales at The Reserve at Clear Lake City are currently underway with 70-foot and Villas patio home models by Trendmaker Homes available for touring seven days a week. For more information, visit reserveclearlake.com.


Local Professional Organizer Appears On Lifetime’s “Hoarders: Family Secrets”

Professional organizer Liz Crosswell and Amy Smith, of Crosswell Organ­izing, LLC, appeared in a recent episode of Lifetime’s popular and prime time Emmy-nominated series, Hoarders: Family Secrets. Crosswell and Smith worked behind the scenes in the episode with the professional team of Matt Paxton and Dr. Michael Tompkins as they documented the struggle of a Texas woman working to overcome her battle with hoarding.

Paxton is a frequent expert authority on Hoarders, author of The Secret Lives of Hoarders and the owner of Service Master Restore, based in Richmond, VA. “It was a joy to work with Liz Crosswell and her team at Crosswell Organizing. They were hands-on with our client and helped to solve a very challenging hoard.”

Crosswell, owner and operator of Crosswell Organizing, LLC, has been in business for five years. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), a member of the Houston chapter of NAPO. Her company is located in the Galleria area and mainly services clients in the River Oaks, Tanglewood, Briargrove, Memorial, West University and Bellaire areas. The Crosswell organizing team organizes everything residential, big or small, and specializes in turnkey move-ins.

The episode of Hoarders: Family Secrets aired on Lifetime Television on June 25. For more information, visit crosswellorganizing.com or mylifetime.com/shows/hoarders.


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