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Moving Downtown vs River Oaks District


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You can tell that Spring is here, because my wife is once again talking about moving us back to Houston.

We're still months away from the end of our current lease, so there's no hurry.  But in light of recent events, I thought I'd throw this out there to see if it's a factor or not:

Two of the places she's considering for us are SkyHouse River Oaks (2031 Westcreek) and SkyHouse Downtown (1725 Main).  

SkyHouse R.O. gives us more space in our budget, which is nice.  But SkyHouse Downtown puts us within walking distance of the Cathedral, the train, and all the other downtown goodies that didn't exist when we last lived in 77002.

It's my understanding that SkyHouse Downtown is on a high-priority section of the electrical grid, so during the storm it never lost power, while SkyHouse River Oaks did.  Sure, the chances of Houston getting hit with another big winter storm are pretty small.  But it's certainly going to get whacked by another hurricane in the next five years or so.

Any thoughts about those properties, and the value of being on a certain section of the electrical grid?

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I would highly suggest you don’t live in either Skyhouse property. The type of people those places attract are not who most people would want to live next to or interact with. There are a few buildings nearby that are in the same price range which will be much more enjoyable. I lived off mid-lane at the James for over 3 years so my vote is ROD area over downtown. 

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Toured one of them 2 years ago and reeked of Mary J. The views were great, small but good price, and the location was cool. Felt more like a Dorm though. Given you're used to the city with all the sights, sounds, and smells it brings - I'd chose Downtown. 

Left the westside for the East End, and I love being close Downtown. Montrose, Midtown, Museum District, Heights, Rice Village, Upper Kirby, everything great about the inner west loop is so close. Traffic in Uptown sucks so bad and everything feels further away. Being able to hop on the light rail is nice too. 

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On 2/28/2021 at 7:08 PM, LBC2HTX said:

I would highly suggest you don’t live in either Skyhouse property. The type of people those places attract are not who most people would want to live next to or interact with. There are a few buildings nearby that are in the same price range which will be much more enjoyable. I lived off mid-lane at the James for over 3 years so my vote is ROD area over downtown. 

Interesting about the people at Skyhouse.  We're quiet types, so we'd prefer a building that is also quiet, and slightly older.  

How did you like The James?  That one is on my wife's list, too, along with The Ivy, which I believe is next door.  Is it problematic being right next to the train tracks?  

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On 3/2/2021 at 8:29 AM, Montrose1100 said:

Toured one of them 2 years ago and reeked of Mary J. The views were great, small but good price, and the location was cool. Felt more like a Dorm though. Given you're used to the city with all the sights, sounds, and smells it brings - I'd chose Downtown. 

Left the westside for the East End, and I love being close Downtown. Montrose, Midtown, Museum District, Heights, Rice Village, Upper Kirby, everything great about the inner west loop is so close. Traffic in Uptown sucks so bad and everything feels further away. Being able to hop on the light rail is nice too. 

I'm like you.  If I smell pot on a tour, it gets crossed off my list.  I'm not into the dorm vibe, either.  I prefer to live like an adult.

Any downtown buildings you'd recommend?  When we lived there, there were only three apartment buildings.  There seem to be a bunch now, and from this distance, I'm sure there are ones we're missing.

We prefer newer construction, and I prefer a larger building because they tend to have on-site maintenance.  

Interesting about the East End.  We have friends who live there and also rave about it.  With any luck, I'll be able to keep my job and work from home.  My wife will almost certainly end up working in the Galleria area.  What's your thoughts on that commute?

Does anyone have any opinions about Water Wall Place?  Also, Gray House?  It's above the shops in the River Oaks District.

Also on my wife's list: Museum Tower.  Anyone know anything about it?

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15 hours ago, editor said:

I'm like you.  If I smell pot on a tour, it gets crossed off my list.  I'm not into the dorm vibe, either.  I prefer to live like an adult.

Any downtown buildings you'd recommend?  When we lived there, there were only three apartment buildings.  There seem to be a bunch now, and from this distance, I'm sure there are ones we're missing.

We prefer newer construction, and I prefer a larger building because they tend to have on-site maintenance.  

Interesting about the East End.  We have friends who live there and also rave about it.  With any luck, I'll be able to keep my job and work from home.  My wife will almost certainly end up working in the Galleria area.  What's your thoughts on that commute?

Does anyone have any opinions about Water Wall Place?  Also, Gray House?  It's above the shops in the River Oaks District.

Also on my wife's list: Museum Tower.  Anyone know anything about it?

Really depends on your budget. The closer you get to the Greyhound Station to more crime pops up on the citizen app, but the area is changing. There's life on that side during the weekends.

One Park Place with Phoenicia at your door step would be a ideal... also expensive. I bought some random cold cuts there and I still dream about them. If you like lounge bars the Four Seasons is right there along with a few eateries within a few blocks. Green Street is dead on the weekends, even the restaurants, which might be due to Covid. Discovery Green is lively and the Houston Center renos will also help.

The Market Square area would be nice too since Main Street has a lot of buzz.

Have you looked at Hannover Rice Village? All the retail and restaurants at your front door and very much within walking distance. Close enough to get to the Galleria area. 

If you need to commute to the West Loop I wouldn't recommend the East End. We have an onramp at Cullen to get on 59, but everything you need is 15 minute car ride away. I can walk to a few bars and restaurants, also to 2 light rail stations. However, the freight trains are loud and blast all night long. Were you ever in Houston, specifically the Washington corridor in the late 90s/early 00s? Area kind of reminds me of that. It's not much now but will be with time.

You can't go wrong in the lower Montrose/Museum District, it's just a bit more quiet.

Whatever you chose I do not recommend a property run by Greystar.

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On 3/11/2021 at 5:15 PM, editor said:

Interesting about the people at Skyhouse.  We're quiet types, so we'd prefer a building that is also quiet, and slightly older.  

How did you like The James?  That one is on my wife's list, too, along with The Ivy, which I believe is next door.  Is it problematic being right next to the train tracks?  

The James was great, very mixed crowd with some older residents and even families. The Ivy is the connected sister building with rents that are about 50% to 100% higher than a similar unit in the James. That said, it’s a huge building in a busy area so I wouldn’t expect quiet. It’s a quiet zone for the train so you won’t hear the horn blowing but it’ll def be annoying to get stuck behind.

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