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Riverside Terrace Cleanup


spikey2

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Why does it take so long for the city of Houston to raze dangerous buildings. This eyesore surrounded by some of the most beautiful homes along South Macgregor has sit for years, racking up citation after citation. The city need to step in and tear it down, its is unsafe and beyond the stage where it could be renovated.

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Edited by spikey2
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Reported several times. Owner notified . Only action by the owner was to have someone board up opeings that were broken into. They even used an old interior door to board up a front window. Owner has stopped having yard mowed, city keeps putting yellow violation notices but haven't stepped in to take it down. Maybe they will soon, an abandoned home on Prospect off N Macgregor was recently taken down on behalf of the city after years of compliants from neighbors.

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Based on the experiences our neighborhood had with two different properties, the pictured home will have to be literally crumbling in on itself before Neighborhood Protection will really concentrate on getting the place demolished.

I'm talking roof caved in, walls with gaping holes or sections of walls completely missing. It will speed things up if there are reports of drug activity taking place in the building. Even better, photograph and document the drug happenings.

The owner will have to answer to the complaints, he will be urged to demolish the place himself or, if the city has to do it, he will be billed for the cost.

There will also be a public hearing where concerned neighbors and civic groups can speak and which the owner or his representative is expected to attend . It is a lengthy process.

Edited by little frau
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Have you tried contacting your city councilor? I recently had an issue with a neighbor's trash in the street. After calling and reporting on-line to code enforcement, to little/no result, I sent emails to my councilor, all of the at-large councilors, the Mayor and the new Department of Neighborhoods. The responses were quite good. Worth giving it a try.

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Yes, contact your councilperson, that is a very good start. But also document everything everytime you call it in. Take photos. Send emails to all you can think of that might be able to help. The civic association absolutely must get involved.

Still, the city has steps to follow. They will cover their tracks. And be glad that they do work slowly because it is also a matter of property rights, regardless of where the owner lives.

COH will not go out and knock down a home/building/apartments without thorough investigation.

All that said, I agree that it looks as if the home could be saved. Perhaps the owner owes more than the home is worth.

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On a side note about your neighborhood, my wife and I are house hunting right now and were wondering a little bit about Riverside Terrace. We've driven around it and found it very pretty with nice people. That said, we're sensitive to the issues of gentrification. How do residents of Riverside Terrace feel about Caucasian neighbors? Would it stoke fears of "taking over the neighborhood" or is it a non-issue? Or, have the demographics in Riverside Terrace already started to change?

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We have lived in Riverside now for a little over 2 years. I honestly don't think the neighbors are wild about gentrification, and sometimes it can be hard getting some realtors to even show you properties. That said, since we have been here the neighbors have been nothing but nice. Our neighbors watch our house and I think they are great. We also have an abandoned property next to us on Calumet that I have reported to the police for people breaking into. The city was supposed to come and board it up, but they have yet to do it. At least in the case of the house next door, it would be salvagable. It is not to the point of tearing it down, but it is a sad state to just see it fall to disrepair, and it is frustrating to have it happen next door to you with no real recourse.

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How do residents of Riverside Terrace feel about Caucasian neighbors? Would it stoke fears of "taking over the neighborhood" or is it a non-issue? Or, have the demographics in Riverside Terrace already started to change?

I think you'll find that most residents of Riverside Terrace don't care about the race of their neighbors, at least I don't. Interestingly enough, back in the late 50s when Riverside Terrace was becoming THE place to live for black professionals in Houston, some white residents resisted the white flight and resisted the tactics of the realtors to get them to sell their homes and stayed with the hopes that the neighborhood would become a mixed race neighborhood. Those efforts lasted until the late 60s when the neighborhood finally tipped the scales and become majority black. Some of those white residents took it as a sign that their efforts to mold Riverside into a rougly 50/50 mixed race area failed and thus finally left. But, some white residents stayed until the 1980s before moving into retirement communities or smaller homes or condos in other neighborhoods. I think the efforts to make Riverside Terrace a throughly mixed neighborhood are being re-kindled. While it's still majority black, I have observed many white residents, and LGBT families living in the area and everyone seems to get along nicely.

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I think you'll find that most residents of Riverside Terrace don't care about the race of their neighbors, at least I don't. Interestingly enough, back in the late 50s when Riverside Terrace was becoming THE place to live for black professionals in Houston, some white residents resisted the white flight and resisted the tactics of the realtors to get them to sell their homes and stayed with the hopes that the neighborhood would become a mixed race neighborhood. Those efforts lasted until the late 60s when the neighborhood finally tipped the scales and become majority black. Some of those white residents took it as a sign that their efforts to mold Riverside into a rougly 50/50 mixed race area failed and thus finally left. But, some white residents stayed until the 1980s before moving into retirement communities or smaller homes or condos in other neighborhoods. I think the efforts to make Riverside Terrace a throughly mixed neighborhood are being re-kindled. While it's still majority black, I have observed many white residents, and LGBT families living in the area and everyone seems to get along nicely.

Very cool. Thanks for the info.

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Hopefully, all people will continue to recognize the historical and architectural contributions of the area, and save more houses from further deterioration and eventual demolition. It really is a special place.

Edited by NenaE
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Thanks for all the advice concerning this home in an area I truly love. I will start the paper trail and will also send copies of all letters I sent to officials here in Houston to the property owner also. To the family asking about moving to this area, I most say Riverside is open to all races. Although parts of Riverside became nearly 100 % African American some areas such as the S Macgregor section always had a small mix of white families that never moved out. There are also Asians and Hispanics who have moved in recently to the townhomes and condos. Therefore we are no longer a black or white community but are on our way to becoming a 21st century American community, with all races and lifestyles welcome.

Edited by spikey2
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  • 2 weeks later...

So happy to see this thread! We have rented on Arbor off of Dowling for almost 3 years now, and I think are finally starting to convince our families and friends that YES IT's SAFE to come over! The worst things for us in this neighborhood are the motorcycle traffic to the bar down the street and the abandoned house diagonal from us. It's so sad every day to drive by these houses that were once so amazing and see them falling down. I would take the character of this neighborhood over the boring cookie-cutter suburb I grew up in any day. Oh, and we are young, white/Hispanic musicians if it makes a difference :-)

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Lived there in 2525 Prospect for a few years. Our neighbors were all really nice and we were the only white/hispanic people who lived on the block. We probably pissed them off a bit as we were either still in college or just graduating when we lived there, which meant a ton of cars and some parties, but overall it was good.

We had a garage apartment in the back that didn't have a locking downstairs, so everything that we would put in there would disappear, but that was about the worst of it.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all. My wife and I are looking at houses in the Houston area (inside or just outside the loop) and we stumbled upon Riverside Terrace. I see that some of you have commented on this area and am just wondering what you think of the neighborhood. Is it a good family area? we have an 8 month old who is going to Montessori school downtown. All info is appreciated...

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I like it. It is definitely more gritty though than your more typical family areas. As long as you are not expecting wonderful public schools, I think it is fine. I would think there would be some decent montessori type schools on the other side of 288. In my opinion you can't beat the value though for the amount of house and yard you can get in this area for the price. I think the trade off is the schools and no real grocery stores around. Maybe one day :/

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I find that neighborhood extremely fascinating! Such history and great architectural contributions. Someone really needs to research and document it's history, for posterity. Joseph Finger ~one of my favorite Houston architects.

Edited by NenaE
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Hi all. My wife and I are looking at houses in the Houston area (inside or just outside the loop) and we stumbled upon Riverside Terrace. I see that some of you have commented on this area and am just wondering what you think of the neighborhood. Is it a good family area? we have an 8 month old who is going to Montessori school downtown. All info is appreciated...

My wife and I were in your exact situation a couple months ago. We looked at Riverside, but ultimately decided on the South Braeswood area (Knollwood Village). I'm not sure what your price range is, but you can still find decent 3/2/2 for 300k. Yeah, it's more expensive... but the neighborhood is full of families. Our first weekend here consisted of our neighbors inviting us out and the kids on the street playing in the sprinkler (our 1yo daughter had a blast). Riverside Terrace seems like a nice place, but we decided to move where the schools are better and there are more families. Plus, there are a ton of grocery stores/restaurants/ and Rice Village is five minutes away. Good luck on your search. PM if you want more info.

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