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IronTiger

The big Houston oil crash of the late 1980s

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In the late 1980s, Houston was riding the wave of big oil, but then in the late 1980s the price collapsed, taking the economy with it. But what happened? I can only tell that eleven banks closed (per Wikipedia), two large malls (Greenspoint and Town & Country) got into a tailspin that they never recovered from, and the closure of Sakowitz (related?)

Still, it's largely a blank (didn't College Station suffer too?) but I'd like to hear some more stuff about it...

Admins: if there is a topic for this, bump the topic by merging this post into it

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The short of it is that OPEC stopped holding back on oil production, not only resulting in a collapse in the price of it but pulling out from under us an incentive to enhance production domestically and in non-OPEC countries. Shortly thereafter, there was a global financial crisis. Houston (and the greater part of Texas) lost a massive chunk of oil companies and then nearly all of its locally-owned banks. Think Detroit, but less permanent. The bleeding stopped when the war in the Persian Gulf ignited, but we only really got back on our feet in about 1993-1994.

It's similar to what we have today, except that the disruption in oil prices is widely expected to be more temporary.

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And to the second part of your question, being from the area, 1987 was devastating to BCS. Hundreds of Oil based jobs vanished overnight, literally. About ten thousand people in Brazos County, lost their jobs. Banks closed all over town, things were tough. But as Niche said earlier, The oil crash was a mere ripple on the pond, as to what is going on now.

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The oil bust was more like mid-80's. My Dad took a package in 1985 and retired. I was laid off in January 1985 and never did find a job. Went back to school, got my degree, and when I graduated in 1989, there were jobs again, in the oil industry.

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The oil bust was more like mid-80's. My Dad took a package in 1985 and retired. I was laid off in January 1985 and never did find a job. Went back to school, got my degree, and when I graduated in 1989, there were jobs again, in the oil industry.

The oil bust actually started in the Spring of 1982. I should know. All of my easily obtained job offers in the oil field were unceremoniously yanked. Despite dating a girl whose dad was a big shot in the industry, and applying to 100 oil and equipment companies, I got nada that summer. I ended up with a commercial electrical contractor in August 1982. The construction business cratered about a year later. I ended up in law school.

The real estate bust occurred a bit later, with the hardest hit coming in 1986. The oil bust softened everything up in the early 80s, but the S&L crisis actually had its own origins separate and apart from the oil bust. Similar to today, there was a lot of fraud within the real estate financing industry, and lots of bankers thinking the good times would never end, and that continually rising prices would cover all of the fraud. Like today, they didn't, and it didn't. Also, like today, the taxpayers bailed everyone out. Also like today, a Bush was involved. Several, in fact.

But in early '82 oil prices began falling, stagnating at about $27 in '85. Then the bottom dropped out, and prices fell precipitously, finally reaching $10 a barrel in January 1986.

With 70 percent of jobs in the Houston area depending directly or indirectly on the oil industry, the bust was in full flower. Construction all but came to a standstill, and some financial institutions failed, while others tightened credit.

Thousands were thrown out of work. In January 1983, unemployment in the six- county Houston metropolitan area rose to 9.1 percent, the highest among the state's largest metropolitan areas. Beaumont-Port Arthur was hit even harder, with a rate of 14.9 percent. The overall rate for Texas was 8.5 percent.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/specia...rs/1074418.html

Edited by RedScare

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In July 1986 the oil priced dropped to $9.85 per bbl, the impact was felt immediately, and by 1987, banks all over BCS were closing and changing hands, and like I said, 10,000 people in Brazos County lost their jobs. In 1985 Oil was still over $30 per bbl, and not too bad, 1981 was a peak time for Oil prices, near $40.00, and spending was pretty frivolous back then. In 1982 things started trending down, but the bottom fell out in July 1886. By 1987 Bass Boats and Harley's were for sale everywhere. Repo's were a dime a dozen. I was Expat at the time, and didn't feel it like a lot of the locals did then. I had a lot of friends that lost everything

Oil_price_chronology-june2007.gif

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It bears mention, that domestic oil companies had been fairly conservative in ramping up new supply to correspond with higher prices during the last several years. Exxon, for instance, had a lot of people scratching their heads as they maintained a long-term strategic plan for oil to be in the $35-$45 / bbl. range, but...here we are and they're still in reasonably good shape. There's not nearly as much excess production capacity as there had been by the end of the 80's because the causes of the runup then are very different from the causes of the more recent price runup. Unless the third world stops growing permanently as a result of the financial crisis--very unlikely--then global demand growth will kick in once more within several years and prices will start to rise again. Probably not to $140/bbl. anytime soon, but enough to justify further growth of the energy industry.

The real estate bust occurred a bit later, with the hardest hit coming in 1986. The oil bust softened everything up in the early 80s, but the S&L crisis actually had its own origins separate and apart from the oil bust. Similar to today, there was a lot of fraud within the real estate financing industry, and lots of bankers thinking the good times would never end, and that continually rising prices would cover all of the fraud. Like today, they didn't, and it didn't. Also, like today, the taxpayers bailed everyone out. Also like today, a Bush was involved. Several, in fact.

It also bears mention that although there was government intervention, the problems weren't nearly as severe. Real estate that ended up getting owned by the government was resold very quickly and efficiently to new owners that could turn distressed assets around and make money on them again. Investors are so skittish right now that transactional volumes have basically collapsed. Nothing is going on and prices aren't really coming down (in Texas). The market is stuck in disequilibrium.

Say Mark, have you got that same chart with an inflation adjustment?

Edited by TheNiche

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Real estate that ended up getting owned by the government was resold very quickly and efficiently to new owners that could turn distressed assets around and make money on them again. Investors are so skittish right now that transactional volumes have basically collapsed. Nothing is going on and prices aren't really coming down (in Texas). The market is stuck in disequilibrium.

"In Texas" being the operative words in this phrase. I can tell you absolutely distressed financial assets (many secured by real property) from around the country are being auctioned off like crazy at very low prices. They are finding buyers now. Many of the same people who made tons after the last downturn have positioned for the next wave of this stuff.

The S&L crisis is almost a mirror image of what we see going on in NY right now.....nearly every bank in Texas failed. I think Frost Bank was the lone survivor. This problem is to NY was the S&L crisis was to Texas. And eventually it spreads.

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Considering I just entered my teens and only was aware of the news and such, the thing that I was aware of in the early 80's and late 70's was the price of fuel going through the roof and how Detroit was finally starting to gear up for smaller cars. The first one of note (to me) was the Chrystler 'K' car. Additionally, I can recall about how they were looking at oil alternatives.

It was about this time OPEC opened up the valves and made those not very cost effective.

The thing that stuck with me the most is my dad getting laid off for almost the entire decade living off savings and managed to support our entire family with it.

Since then, I've been fairly miserly with my cash and live well within my means, which is helping me not sweat this little bump.

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My dad took a company offered early retirement package in the late 80's from Union Oil. I knew a lot of people in the business that had to change occupations. In Houston that era was a lot worse than the financial crisis we are seeing today. Maybe that's why people in Houston have such a ho-hum attitude about what's taking place now. We have seen a whole lot worse.

Edited by LunaticFringe

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The oil bust actually started in the Spring of 1982. I should know. All of my easily obtained job offers in the oil field were unceremoniously yanked. Despite dating a girl whose dad was a big shot in the industry, and applying to 100 oil and equipment companies, I got nada that summer. I ended up with a commercial electrical contractor in August 1982. The construction business cratered about a year later. I ended up in law school.

The real estate bust occurred a bit later, with the hardest hit coming in 1986. The oil bust softened everything up in the early 80s, but the S&L crisis actually had its own origins separate and apart from the oil bust. Similar to today, there was a lot of fraud within the real estate financing industry, and lots of bankers thinking the good times would never end, and that continually rising prices would cover all of the fraud. Like today, they didn't, and it didn't. Also, like today, the taxpayers bailed everyone out. Also like today, a Bush was involved. Several, in fact.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/specia...rs/1074418.html

I find it sad that you felt compelled to bring up the Bush family name in talking about oil crises. :angry:

Especially considering Bush was only vice president at that time. <_<

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I find it sad that you felt compelled to bring up the Bush family name in talking about oil crises. :angry:

Especially considering Bush was only vice president at that time. <_<

Everything was Bush's fault. You should know that by now. I think he's even being blamed for the Civil War.

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I find it sad that you felt compelled to bring up the Bush family name in talking about oil crises. :angry:

Especially considering Bush was only vice president at that time. <_<

Tiger, he's referring to the S&L Crisis and the Bush's not the Oil Crisis. Neil Bush was at the head of Silverado, that cost the taxpayers almost a billion and a half dollars. But it was just a drop in the bucket of all the failures going on, but his dad being V.P. at the time, made him a lightning rod for all the media fallout. Besides dad did pull a few strings to keep him out of prison.

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Considering I just entered my teens and only was aware of the news and such, the thing that I was aware of in the early 80's and late 70's was the price of fuel going through the roof and how Detroit was finally starting to gear up for smaller cars. The first one of note (to me) was the Chrystler 'K' car. Additionally, I can recall about how they were looking at oil alternatives.

It was about this time OPEC opened up the valves and made those not very cost effective.

The thing that stuck with me the most is my dad getting laid off for almost the entire decade living off savings and managed to support our entire family with it.

Since then, I've been fairly miserly with my cash and live well within my means, which is helping me not sweat this little bump.

I thought the early 80's, with the price of fuel going through the roof, was the oil boom in Houston, with lots and lots of new businesses, restaurants, charitable giving, building, etc.

Then, when OPEC opened up the valves, that's what led to the oil bust, about 1986 or so.

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I thought the early 80's, with the price of fuel going through the roof, was the oil boom in Houston, with lots and lots of new businesses, restaurants, charitable giving, building, etc.

Then, when OPEC opened up the valves, that's what led to the oil bust, about 1986 or so.

That is exactly what happened!

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I bought my first house in Houston in 1982. Things were still going pretty well - so well in fact that I had to buy a negative amortization loan with increasing interest rates. (Who said that all these creative mortgages are new?)

It was in Concord Bridge - the SW corner of Eldridge and Little York. I think we paid about $69k for a Gemcraft home, and the interest rates went from 11% to maybe 13% (I cannot recall exactly) and the equity amount increased for the first four years. In other words, we weren't even paying all the interest we owed!

By the fourth year the house was worth much less than we paid for it, and the interest rate was 13%! About 1/3 of the houses in the neighborhood were abandoned. All the surviving neighbors got together to mow the lawns of the empty houses. It was a stinking mess.

I bought a house in The Heights (420 West 23rd - you can look it up) for $112,000 in 1988. (the house is now appraised for $402k. Not really such a big deal - that is only about 6.5% annual increases). We rented out the Concord Bridge house (on Lyndonville) for what we were paying on the mortgage. We finally sold it in 1990 for what we owed. I felt extremely lucky to get that much.

I keep telling people that we have seen this movie before. I just hope it has the same ending.

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I bought my first house in Houston in 1982. Things were still going pretty well - so well in fact that I had to buy a negative amortization loan with increasing interest rates. (Who said that all these creative mortgages are new?) I keep telling people that we have seen this movie before. I just hope it has the same ending.

My wife and I returned to Houston in 1988, after ten years in east Texas. That was just before Houston's enonomy started picking up again. By then every neighborhood in the county had foreclosed homes everywhere. By the thousands. We thought we could pick up a foreclosure at a bargain price, but after several weeks of looking at trashed out houses we gave up on that idea.

So we decided to shop for a new house, even though most name-brand home builders had ratcheted down to almost nothing to get through those times. We were looking in the CyFair ISD, and we finally found a small General Homes area named Sommerall West behind Langham Creek HS that still had some model homes and a sales office.

We were stunned to learn we could get a new home for less than most of the foreclosures in the same general area, so we bought one. For 68,500 dollars. That was in May of 88. After we picked our 2100 sq. foot floor plan and the empty lot, it took General Homes more than three months to build the house. That was because there were almost NO carpenters or house contractors in Houston at that time. Most had moved on to other cities not as hard hit by the oil bust.

We finally moved into the house in September of 88 and it proved to be the best investment we ever made. The economy started showing a pulse again around 1990, that little General Homes neighborhood Sommerall West was bought up by Friendswood Development in 1991, and it's now the much bigger Copperfield West Creek Village. We still live there, we paid off the mortgage early 6 years ago, and today it's worth 140K. I hope.

I think I and Flashman can speak from experience in saying that this too shall pass. If you're able to stay in your house, do so by all means and by any means necessary.

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I have a very similar story except it begins in Pearland in 1990 with a Pulte home. Wouldn't want to try to sell it, but it has been a darned good investment and it's just about paid off.

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Besides dad did pull a few strings to keep him out of prison.

Not surprising. While I do support the Bush family, there was certainly corruption in it. Of course, that's not unique (Kennedys!)

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My father was Operations Manager of Flexitallic Gasket in Deer Park then. Flexitallic makes these HUGE copper gaskets for all the oil pipelines in the surrounding areas. They were hit especially hard during this time as all the oil companies were scaling back production to counteract OPEC's B.S. Somehow, my father kept that business going and then 6 years later they made him CEO then 3 years after that they screwed him over, but he was ready to leave anyways, so it all worked out.

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In my area Lakeside and Walnut Bend it seemed like things hit hard because there were literally 10 for sale signs on some blocks, but a lot of people in that area were higher up and or pretty valuable and many were conservative with their cash....many many of our neighbors still live there today and some even call our house the (my last name) house even though the people that bought it from us have lived there now longer than we did :lol:

there were also a lot of people in that area not in the oil business....some of our neighbors on our street went over seas one with Aramco and another with Cooper and rented their houses out....houses if they sold sold for 30,000 - 40,000 less than when times were better.....some were vacant, but all were maintained.......WestChase went from being developed and streets cut and landscaping done on the edges of the raw land to just vacant space with nice landscaping and streets of nothing....same with CityWest.....the HPD was busy back then solving real crimes so all those vacant places like CityWest pond, end of Richmond...the drinking age was 18 then and cops and society were a lot less strict back then....every so often especially at the end of Richmond the cops would roll up in a car or two and those "new to the game" would go running off into the field and the cops would just laugh and not even get out of their cars and get on the speaker and say they were getting complaints and to pick up all the trash or they would run us off for good....when Richmond finally got extended the cops came by one night and told us a new place to go that was a four lane road just north of the west side police station where they stopped construction because a ditch there was polluted and the company went under and it was going to be forever before it was all settled...I don't think the cops ever came there

all over Houston was basically abandoned developments many commercial....streets, landscaping, vacant land......out west near Dairy Ashford they went from building two streets of houses at a time to building none.....you could go out there during the boom and 25-30 houses were framed at a time....then they just finished them and that was that....many did not sell for a year or more....same in Alief, Sugarland and many other areas on the west side

the SNL deal was really a separate issue, but it was like a kick in the nuts after a punch in the face....Houston lost all their major banks....Texas went from single banks under a holding company to branch banking, Texas Commerce, Republic, Gibraltar SNL and tons of others were bought up....the real kicker was many of the bankers jerked the strings on people pretty quick because they all thought oil was going to be back pretty soon....when oil did not come back those banks found themselves sitting on assets decreasing further in value and costing in upkeep...Frost was the only major Texas bank to not go under....Mortgage lending went to hell too

Commercial construction fell off the map as well and a lot of buildings sat as empty shells....times were bad, but it never seemed like a total panic...a lot of the USA was still doing OK and many people had moved out of Texas to build homes and commercial property so while some companies were down others were able to ride it out by working out of state or in Hong Kong (money seemed to flow out of Houston to Hong Kong for commercial properties then back from Hong Kong early on in the recovery)

apartments were what REALLY went to hell.....places like gulfton NEVER recovered...oil is hard ass work for young people....young people that liked to work hard and party hard and spend cash....so they rented apartments....also the yankees that were flowing in crapping everything out from places like Michigan were also dead ass broke so renting an apartment was their only option at first....the apartments in some areas of Huston have never recovered and many probably will not until the D8 runs them under.....crap built in a fashion that absolutely prevents any type of renovation and torn to hell and never maintained for decades now

a lot of schools had T-shacks so when things went bad Houston did not have tosit on a ton of empty school...the T-shacks just went away.....there was a LONG time where Houston did not build a lot of high schools or even many middle schools....the elementaries seemed to come after the subdivision filled out so there were not even a ton of those vacant...I think Alief shut off part of Hastings and or Elsik and even then they were HUGE schools in population so class sizes shrunk...a lot of people I knew lost their ass, but many seemed to have connections and they got into something else...others had actually saved some money and just stopped pissing it all away....a few moved back to California and rode that boom up again....there was a long time when Texas was way down and most of the rest of the USA was doing pretty well...people that were young and single or young with young kids were the ones mostly up and moving....higher ups were doing a lot of commuting during the week and back home on the weekend....or some overseas

looking back Houston really rode it out pretty well and with the exception of losing all the big banks and the clout that came with that it was probably pretty good for Houston it really diversified the economy over all and taught people about saving cash VS pissing it into the wind....for all the "high rolling" back then people were a lot more conservative in Houston then and even today....they were not house flipping every year they were paying houses off and buying things like nicer cars that were easier to toss the keys back on and cloths and other BS that did not totally kill them when they had to stop buying them....Texas also has the homestead exemption and back then it was unlimited amounts....so people that say it coming ditched a LOT of assets and went and bought a ranch or a big house and homesteaded it and that is what they were able to use to climb back out of the hole...Texas back then did not allow home equity loans so real estate had not totally blown out of proportion as well......the home equity and 2nd/3rd mortgages is what is killing the USA now

it was a pretty crazy time before the bust and pretty crazy after....Houston in the 70s - 90s was a wild time

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i started my oil and gas career in 1982, but in dallas at arco. the first sign of trouble was the voluntary retirement in 1985, after that it was lay offs about every other year. i also think the windfall profit tax was a huge disincentive to drill wells in the early 80's. and just shook my head when they talked about bringing it back last year. fortunately congress never got their act together and the natural market of supply and demand brought the price down without government interference.

don't know about the housing market in houston in the 80's, but i know that the market crashed in dallas because of flipping, especially condo's along lake ray hubbard. most of it was paper flipping and many s&l's went under. it used to be impossible to keep up with bank names as most of the texas banks were bought up my national banks, which were bought up themselves. our office used to be across from the "old republic bank building", because that was the name we were all familiar with.

i also bought a house in the 80's at double digit interest rates and actually took a transfer in 1984 and let my company take it off my hands and they kept me whole. didn't buy another house until 1997, 5 years after i moved back to houston just before the market took off again.

i too look at what is going on today as a second act of the 80's. it is sad that we didn't learn lessons from the 80's and many are repeating the same poor choices. glad there are a few that have learned from the past and are doing fine through this latest downturn.

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In the late 1980s, Houston was riding the wave of big oil, but then in the late 1980s the price collapsed, taking the economy with it. But what happened? I can only tell that eleven banks closed (per Wikipedia), two large malls (Greenspoint and Town & Country) got into a tailspin that they never recovered from, and the closure of Sakowitz (related?)

Still, it's largely a blank (didn't College Station suffer too?) but I'd like to hear some more stuff about it...

Admins: if there is a topic for this, bump the topic by merging this post into it

I think Town and Country mall closed because of Beltway 8

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I think Town and Country mall closed because of Beltway 8

That's true. The economy had nothing to do with that. T&C was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Extension of Beltway 8 was what killed it.

Sakowitz failed because all its very high-end stores were free standing, and because of the popularity and growth of shopping malls, such as the Galleria. The 80s oil bust didn't help and they were all closed by the 90s.

Let us not forget the Savings and Loan debacle. That had huge impact on Houston's economy at about the same time that oil went south.

Edited by FilioScotia

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I was working in the construction business in the mid '80's and when the S & L's went busted (after de-regulation allowed them to turn from places where people saved money to make big purchases like homes, into casinos) that busiuness tanked incredibly quickly.

 

I well remember speculative building projects setting empty for years afterward. The one that always comes to my mind was the Tang CIty Mall on South Main, an attractive Chinese themed mall that I can never remember having a tenant. The mall itself was finally demolished a few years ago.

 

Of course, that wasn't the only speculative building project that tanked. In the mid '80's you could drive all over town and see building after building advertizing for tenants, usually to no avail.

 

At about that time (1984?) I was looking to buy a house and attended several auctions for foreclosed properties, the most fertile area was out past what is now Beltway 8 in an area called Mission Bend. You could drive through that neighborhood and see multiple houses on every block that had been foreclosed on.

 

Maybe de-regulation isn't the answer to every problem.

 

 

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I bought my first house in Houston in 1982. Things were still going pretty well - so well in fact that I had to buy a negative amortization loan with increasing interest rates. (Who said that all these creative mortgages are new?)

It was in Concord Bridge - the SW corner of Eldridge and Little York. I think we paid about $69k for a Gemcraft home, and the interest rates went from 11% to maybe 13% (I cannot recall exactly) and the equity amount increased for the first four years. In other words, we weren't even paying all the interest we owed!

By the fourth year the house was worth much less than we paid for it, and the interest rate was 13%! About 1/3 of the houses in the neighborhood were abandoned. All the surviving neighbors got together to mow the lawns of the empty houses. It was a stinking mess.

I bought a house in The Heights (420 West 23rd - you can look it up) for $112,000 in 1988. (the house is now appraised for $402k. Not really such a big deal - that is only about 6.5% annual increases). We rented out the Concord Bridge house (on Lyndonville) for what we were paying on the mortgage. We finally sold it in 1990 for what we owed. I felt extremely lucky to get that much.

I keep telling people that we have seen this movie before. I just hope it has the same ending.

I personally know people who simply walked away from their homes in some of these "far away" (at the time) sub-divisions. They couldn't rent them and the value of the homes had gone from ..... Oh, something like $70k to $10k.

Office buildings, some brand new and never opened, were called "see throughs". There was nobody in them and you could see right through them.

The economy went from red-hot to dead-flat in about three years and stayed that way for a while. There were a lot of reasons for this other than oil: The banking system having mostly all local banks with lots of local exposure, the S&L crisis generally, etc.

Houston's economy is a bit different now. It is somewhat less dependent on oil. But, this is still an oil town. As with the last bust, it will take a while for the impacts to unfold. If oil stays at these levels or goes down over the next 1-2 years, there will be much more pain, but likely not as bad as the 80's. I do expect a decline in housing prices over the next two years however. How much is anyone's guess. Bad local economy, low oil prices, and likely some rising interest rates and possibly a bad national economy. That doesn't bode well for housing.

Edited by UtterlyUrban

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Is this why they built and never opened the Kingwood Mall? ( Now Kingwood hospital)

There were several malls in the area proposed but not opening. One intriguing one I read about on the HAIF (might be in papers, but they're not online) was a second mall across from Greenspoint but even more upscale (this from a time when Greenspoint was considered to be a nice mall, on par with Memorial City today).

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I was still a kid when all of this went down, but I do remember a few things about this period in Houston's history:

 

There were a lot of auctions. You saw them advertised everywhere.

 

My aunt and uncle bought a house in Clear Lake in 1987.  It was a foreclosure and they paid $18k in cash for it.

 

There was a large apartment complex under construction on Dixie Farm Road in Friendswood that sat unfinished for years.  All of the windows were broken out, and the exposed framing eventually started to rot.  It was finally torn down, and I think a nursing home was later built on the property.

 

The twin towers on the 610 West Loop near Memorial Park got into some sort of financial trouble and sat vacant until the late 1990s when they were renovated and received new curtain walls. 

 

There was another office building at 59 and Weslayen that sat vacant from the mid '80s until it was demolished about 5 year ago.

 

I had some other relatives that lived in Fondren Southwest.  Their neighborhood went from very desirable to a complete dump in a very short period.

 

Lots of gas stations closed, as this was also the period that new environmental laws regulating underground storage tanks went into effect.  Along with less revenue from lower fuel prices, many operators could not afford to replace their leaking tanks.

 

 

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I had some other relatives that lived in Fondren Southwest.  Their neighborhood went from very desirable to a complete dump in a very short period.

 

 

That happened to a few areas during this time (Greenspoint/Aldine, Alief, Sharpstown). Went from upper middle class to ghetto almost overnight.

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That happened to a few areas during this time (Greenspoint/Aldine, Alief, Sharpstown). Went from upper middle class to ghetto almost overnight.

Gulfton was also hit hard.

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There were several malls in the area proposed but not opening. One intriguing one I read about on the HAIF (might be in papers, but they're not online) was a second mall across from Greenspoint but even more upscale (this from a time when Greenspoint was considered to be a nice mall, on par with Memorial City today).

It was never a "mall", more like a glorified strip center. It was built, it didn't last long, and it's still standing across 45 from Greenspoint. Not sure what exactly the center is used for these days, but it opened with great fanfare anchored by Media Play. The shopping center was built in '94 or '95.

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It was never a "mall", more like a glorified strip center. It was built, it didn't last long, and it's still standing across 45 from Greenspoint. Not sure what exactly the center is used for these days, but it opened with great fanfare anchored by Media Play. The shopping center was built in '94 or '95.

Well, it was eventually developed into a strip mall, sure...it had Child World and Phar-Mor and a few others, and I believe it was re-developed into some sort of non-retail use within a decade. I was referring to this post.

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It was never a "mall", more like a glorified strip center. It was built, it didn't last long, and it's still standing across 45 from Greenspoint. Not sure what exactly the center is used for these days, but it opened with great fanfare anchored by Media Play. The shopping center was built in '94 or '95.

 

I think it's used by Level 3 as a data center or network center.

 

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I think it's used by Level 3 as a data center or network center.

 

 

Yep. When Enron was in the broadband business, they built out their Houston-area POP there, and ever since then that center has primarily housed network/data/colocation-related companies.  

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Its interesting to reflect on how much this downturn will will resemble the one in the 80s, which I lived through as a young professional in Houston.  I think (and hope) that it will not be as destructive as that one.  I remember the announcement of the Tang City Mall development, which like many others, was inauspiciously timed.  

 

A lot of decisions were made that might have been OK if the boom times had continued.  E.g., Sakowitz might have survived if Bobby S. hadn't gone willy-nilly on an expansion binge at the wrong time.  However, in his defense, a lot of other people have made similar decisions that failed because of events beyond their control.

 

Having lived through these cycles in Houston, it strikes me that investment money tends to arrive in Houston late in the economic cycles, perhaps too late, and then we get red-lined for a long time.  Despite the cyclicity of our economy, I think that the national/international lenders could make money here ... but, they just don't get the timing right.   If they do come in, they do so too late and too timidly.  When things heat up again, they have already missed the boat.  

 

I hate to be a downer, but I wonder if Oliver McMillan missed the boat in that way.  If they had stuck with their original plans and also had opened ROD in 2010 or so, I think they would have been wildly successful.  Now, I'm not so sure.  Despite that, if they ever get their restaurants open, I will certainly patronize them.  The fancy boutiques, not so much. 

Edited by ArchFan

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Is this why they built and never opened the Kingwood Mall? ( Now Kingwood hospital)

 

The mall you are poiting out was built as Deauville Mall. There were several of these built around town, usually close to existing major shopping malls. There's an old thread about it here on HAIF somewhere.

Edited by plumber2

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we seem to be in another bust.  I was laid off from my O & G related job in a Manufacturing Plant.  I still have my part time job.  I took time off but now that I am trying to get back to work, so far nothing.  Signed up with 5 temp agencies and not one assignment yet.  More than likely this new bust won't be as bad as the 80's.  Back then I was just out of high school and in Louisiana where there were ZERO jobs, but the competition is crazy right now.  In the last 2 weeks I have sent out 30 resumes and have not heard from one person.  It might just be time to finally leave Houston.

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