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BlindTiger

Can anyone help an out-of-towner?

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Hey guys,

 

I was referred to this website by some friends who said it was the go-to destination for Houston Real Estate information.  After perusing through, I know I've found the right place and I'm actually overloaded with information. 

 

Long story short - I am trying to get information on development happening in the fourth ward. Here is a rough outline of the area I am interested in: https://imgur.com/a/oBzAu . More specifically I'm interested in the areas bounded roughly by Dallas to the north, Taft to the west, Gray to the south, and Buckner to the east. 

 

  • Can anyone provide any information as to what developments have happened in the area in the past couple years?  Are there any developments planned?  Anything to look out for? I'm familiar with a few apartment buildings having gone up along Dallas, but is there anything other than that?
  • In general, how would you describe this area?  Is it a dead zone? Is it up-and-coming?  
  • If you owned real estate here would you be enthusiastic about the future or looking to sell?  

 

I know there is a lot of vacant land and there have been some old shotgun homes that appear to be in disrepair.  It also seems highly residential and not much in the way of recreation or retail or grocery stores.  

 

The reason I'm interested in this area is on behalf of my significant other.  She owns a home here and has been renting it out. Due to moving for her job, she is also a long-distance landlord.  Her rental really took a hit in the past year when it became vacant at the bottom of the oil and gas cycle.  Her rent decreased by a ton and she is going to great expense to carry the property.  We're trying to figure out what the long term potential for the area is.  Almost everywhere I look in Houston it seems like real estate is developing and things are looking good, but this area seems to lag a bit.  Plus the oil market seems to be stabilizing a bit and I know how huge that is for Texas in general, but Houston specifically.  As an outsider, I would think being close to the best parts of midtown and having proximity to downtown would be great assets, but I understand real estate markets can be very local. 

 

What would you guys say is the 5-10 year potential for this neighborhood? Any other info you have to help me out?  Any links to developments that have taken place or are in the works would be GREATLY appreciated.

 

Thanks for reading and take care. 

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I used to live in this area, a few blocks closer to Downtown.  From my perspective, this area will keep growing and improving, lots of new townhomes going up (although slower now than a few years ago).  It's an excellent location right on the edge of Downtown/Midtown which are also seeing a lot of new development.  There are a few shady spots in the area you are describing, but those are slowly going away.    

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I personally find the area you describe as a bit of a dead zone.  It will likely see waves of development over the coming years but, I believe that this area, giving its historical context may face unique development challenges that other adjacent areas don’t.  I think that the legitimate political battle over the brick streets is an example of the challenges that this area faces.  Can the area be sensitively redeveloped while maintaining the history of the area?  Probably.  But, Houston developers are not world-renowned for being especially sensitive to history in their approach to development.  I think that they will find it easier to simply find a project half a mile away.

 

if you have a time horizon of 10-15 years, I think that you will do well.  If you are looking to see great things in a year or two or three, I think that you will be disappointed.  5-10 years is somewhere in between.

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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I’ll be the politically incorrect person who tells the truth. There’s a low income housing complex called Allen Parkway Village holding this area back. No one wants to live near it. I think the area still has a good future but it would be a lot better if the low income housing was torn down. I’m not saying that should be done, just stating the truth.   

 

The brick street political battle is an obstacle too. Who wants to get involved in a neighborhood with an issue like that? You could have protesters and TV news crews in your front yard. You also might get blamed for “gentrifying” the neighborhood if you are white. 

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Rents and prices all over town either went down or at best stayed level during the last downturn.  There are now signs of life, so I'll second UU's evaluation.

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On 4/14/2018 at 8:58 AM, jgriff said:

The brick street political battle is an obstacle too. Who wants to get involved in a neighborhood with an issue like that? You could have protesters and TV news crews in your front yard. You also might get blamed for “gentrifying” the neighborhood if you are white. 

Wow, they're still on that? I remember reading about that circa 2006. There have been signs in Hempstead protesting a landfill for over a decade, and there are probably still Ashby High Rise signs around the Museum District (haven't checked in a few years). Guess the more things change the more things stay the same. -_-

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Things like the Hempstead landfill and Freedman's Town bricks will remain battles until someone "wins" - either the people with "great new ideas" acknowledge the people who live there and give up, or the gazillion lane Katy Freeway becomes a thing and overlays what would have been a dandy commuter rail line.

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4 hours ago, IronTiger said:

Wow, they're still on that? I remember reading about that circa 2006. There have been signs in Hempstead protesting a landfill for over a decade, and there are probably still Ashby High Rise signs around the Museum District (haven't checked in a few years). Guess the more things change the more things stay the same. -_-

The last hearing on the landfill lawsuit pretty much killed it for good. There are a few Ashby signs still around, but not many. The lot is still empty.

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17 hours ago, Ross said:

The last hearing on the landfill lawsuit pretty much killed it for good. There are a few Ashby signs still around, but not many. The lot is still empty.

 

Hey Ross, do you have any more info on these projects - the Ashby or the Hempstead lanfdill?  I have seen some articles about the brick streets.  The only proposed development I have really seen in that area is "The Allen" which is at Gray st and Allen Pkwy.  Looks great if it were to ever get developed.    I've also noticed a lot of vacant land in the neighborhood - maybe these community issues you are alluding to help explain that. 

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I live close by, its run down and very unsafe. Its not worth driving through there because the gangs can be so bad.  Ive had guys on the corners trying to stand in front of my car to stop me, asking what drugs i was looking for. 

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8 minutes ago, terra002 said:

I live close by, its run down and very unsafe. Its not worth driving through there because the gangs can be so bad.  Ive had guys on the corners trying to stand in front of my car to stop me, asking what drugs i was looking for. 

Whoa - which streets do you see this activity on?

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