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Independence Heights


TAK

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You can't beat its location no matter who lives there...the area isn't overlay crazy and alot of the people are moving further north anyway so eventually it's setting up for a change.

another spot I recommend watching is 5th ward near 610.....alot of rental properties there and an industrial area in addition to not being the best environment but you can't beat the location.

But for now...Independence Heights is worth taking a look at

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  • 2 years later...

I'm not sure if it's "worth" redeveloping, but there are a couple of organizations wishing to try an preserve the more valuable areas and promote economic and small business development. Here are some links:

http://www.houstonhope.org/Neighborhoods/IndependenceHeights/tabid/70/Default.aspx

http://www.ihrchouston.org/index.html

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So what's the consensus? Is now the time to start investing in IH?

I would say no due to the flooding and...have you driven around there? I wouldn't turn off of Yale onto a side street for anything. But, Midtown used to be a dangerous place, and now look. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for northside improvement (I grew up on the northside), but IH is rough.

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Why is that such a mistake? The intended original income strata for which something was platted and restricted determines numerous attributes about the area such as lot size, layout, and types and quality of construction, all of which are attributes which overwhelmingly define the character of the neighborhood.

Technically nothing. The 3rd ward encompasses whatever streets were laid out when the ward system was disbanded in 1906. That's how all the other wards in town are defined. Anything subsequent to that point was named something else.

Well, if geography is the defining criteria, then I don't see the need for more than one category, since geography is defined as the physical features of an area, and the physical feature of Houston consists of...well....FLAT. I suppose you could have two geographical areas...one for the more southerly area of town, with costal plains, and then another area comprised of the coastal forests found on the north side of town.

Just look at the old ward maps, that will tell you where the 3rd ward is.

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FYI when referring to old maps - One of the links above states that Independence Heights was originally named Studewood.

I've been hunting but I can't find any evidence to back this up. I have seen the name Stude on one of the old maps. Does anyone know? Maybe he owned acreage that was sold to developers. Also saw somewhere that Studewood Dr. or Rd. was originally named Studemont.

BTW, there are many "Heights" neighborhoods on those maps. Must have been a popular name for neighborhoods back then, Studewood Hts, Sunset Hts, Independence Hts, Highland Hts. woodland Hts. etc.

Edited by NenaE
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  • 3 years later...

I've always wondered why residents of the Independence Heights call it or refer to it at Studewood.  As far as I know Studewood ends in the Sunset Heights area. While looking this up I found some information from the 30's and 40's that once you crossed 31st street that area was know as N*^*er Town back then. I was wondering if maybe back then before 610 if Studewood  went on into Independence Heights

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This is stage, the black residents of today have been calling that area Studewood for some time now, I can remember as far back as the mid 90's but I don't know when they first started calling it Studewood instead of  Independance Heights. I know one exsample of people calling a neighborhood something else other than what it's name was, it's a small section in the Denver Harbor area across from what use to be called Englewood. The Hispanic residents there called it "El Crisol" because of the smell of the tar that was used on the tran tracks; but I still don't see how Studewood relates to Independence Heights.

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That area is Independence Heights-not Studewood. It's very historic but parts are very scarey at the same time. Alot of artists are relocating to the northern portions, however.

indhtsmaps.jpg independence.gif

 

For some reason or another people from the Independence Heights area call it Studewood. I've bee trying to find out why.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/27853-studewood-or-independence-heights/?p=420230

Edited by sinister1
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This is stage, the black residents of today have been calling that area Studewood for some time now, I can remember as far back as the mid 90's but I don't know when they first started calling it Studewood instead of  Independance Heights.

 

My mother grew up in that neighborhood in the 40s-60s and they were referring to that area as Studewood way back then.

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My mother grew up in that neighborhood in the 40s-60s and they were referring to that area as Studewood way back then.

 

I'm still wondering as to how Studewood would relate to Independence Heights? I currently stay near Acres Homes and I see the bus route that's 44. Wow the 40-60's. Someone must know as to why the neighborhood is nick named Studewood or Studewood Texas.

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I'm still wondering as to how Studewood would relate to Independence Heights? I currently stay near Acres Homes and I see the bus route that's 44. Wow the 40-60's. Someone must know as to why the neighborhood is nick named Studewood or Studewood Texas.

 

I think the neighborhood was a little more continuous in those days and thought of as one general area. N. Main runs straight up from Studewood to Independence Heights. 610 was built around 1962 and created a border of sorts. Highways have been known to do that. The referral to the area as Studewood is probably a carryover from those pre-610 days.

Edited by JLWM8609
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Grew up there and went to the same local h.school as my Parents & Grandparents. My family has lived in the area since the 30's and it's always been Studewood until you refer to the "The Heights", at this point "Independence Heights" generally comes into the discussion as Studewood is part of the "Independence Heights". They are one in the same, just when describing the the location it's easier to speak in terms of the "The Heights".

Edited by sowanome
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Hi guys thanks for your answers but this still doesn't explain why the two names. I've looked at maps going back to the 20's and Studewood has always ended where it runs into 23rd and Gibss I think it is the name of the other street in the Sunset Heights area. I know from History that people of that neighborhood named it Independence Heights to distinguish them selves apart from the back then racist neighborhood of the Heights.

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I did a little bit of research:

Henry Stude owned the land where Studewood street is today.  I don't believe he ever owned the land where Independence Heights is.

I get the impression that Stude's Woods were somewhere (or all) along present-day Studewood south of Sunset Heights.

However, I did run across the fact that the streetcar line (and later bus route #44) that served Independence Heights was called the Studewood.

The streetcar turned around at 30th and N.Main.  Maybe the residents back then would say they lived at the end of the Studewood line and they eventually just started calling where they were going Studewood.  And since there was no real "Stude's Woods" anymore (after the subdivisions filled in)......Just a thought.

 

Hope this helps.

 

EDIT:  Not sure when Metro (or its forerunner) changed the 44 from Studewood to Acres Homes.

Edited by gnu
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Hi gun,

 

Here is a copy of the bus route for the 44 Acres Homes(http://www.ridemetro.org/SchedulesMaps/Pdfs/044-acres.pdf). I looks like it only comes near the Independence Heights area when it comes down Crosstimbers but it never comes directly through the neighborhood like the 66 Yale does. Do you happen to have a copy of the old Street Cart route by any chance so we could compare?

 

I think you are really on to something here. Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

The Sullivan Brothers Builders are purchasing lots in Independence Heights and are getting ready to start building new homes. Anyone heard what the homes will be selling for? Would be a great opportunity to get in before the prices skyrocket.

 

 

Any idea exactly where?

 

They tend to buy large chunks of land (often formerly industrial) where they can do 20+ home projects. At least that's been the case in the Heights (W 23rd, W 17th, and now 700 block of Ashland).

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No idea what they are doing in Independence Heights.  Stating the obvious, that neighborhood is pretty tough.  They will not be getting 650k+ up there like they are getting inside the Heights proper.  They are building up by Exxon in Spring and are asking $450k to 600k for basically the same sort of product they are building in the Heights.  With the land cost significantly lower north of 610 and with a discount for being a pioneer in the neighborhood, I would guess that they will price the new development between $400k and 550k.

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The corner of Europa and 35th, 3500 block of Cornel and Omega St. With more to come. I've also noticed other new construction in the area. Once the building gets underway lots will go fast as the area is not that big and IH is not in as bad a shape as the Proper Heights was before its transformation started. I'm buying now.

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Interesting. I have always wondered if the gentrification line would jump into Independence Heights from Sunset Heights and Garden Oaks, or whether the area would retain a sharp socio-economic divide like Bellaire and Gulfton.

 

Independence Heights is currently pretty rough, but it does possess a number of attributes that could make it attractive to developers and homebuyers priced out of the adjacent Heights and Garden Oaks neighborhoods:

  • The location of Independence Heights provides convenient access to Loop 610 and I-45, linking the area to Downtown, the Galleria, IAH, and the Woodlands.
  • The location of Independence Heights also provides convenient non-freeway access to the popular Inner-Loop areas west of Downtown, as well as the increasingly popular Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area directly to the West.
  • There is a lot of vacant land in the area that easily lends itself to redevelopment.
  • Land prices are considerably lower than the adjacent Heights and Garden Oaks neighborhoods.
  • The lack of land use restrictions in the area can facilitate redevelopment.

It's definitely an area to watch...

 

Edited by 9075
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The corner of Europa and 35th, 3500 block of Cornel and Omega St. With more to come. I've also noticed other new construction in the area. Once the building gets underway lots will go fast as the area is not that big and IH is not in as bad a shape as the Proper Heights was before its transformation started. I'm buying now.

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off of the ground over this statement. As someone that was reared in the Sunset Heights, directly across 610 from Studewood. ..err Independence Heights, this historical reflection (and whoever originated it) is inaccurate.

The Heights has had some pretty rough patches throughout its history, but it can not hold a candle to the decay, desperation, and blight that is north of 610 and south of Crosstimbers.

I am certainly glad to hear that the growth and redevelopment is moving north of the Loop. As a property owner in the area north of there, I can only hope that the growth and new development will continue northward so I can drop our rental in Parkway for more than the $80k it's currently appraised for.

I hope any potential buyers know what they are facing. Take a look at San Julio Manor on Yale, right down the street from Barkwood. A collection of homes, in a gated community, that listed prices starting at only $225k on their sign. It was supposed to be the first in a line of redevelopment along Yale. Well, the only thing that has been developed along Yale is the windowless Kingdom Hall right down the street, and that's it. Barkwood is still a complete mess of an apartment complex, the businesses around San Julio are still loitering friendly, oh and let's not forget the various prostitutes and pimps that use San Julio's brick wall as a showcase backdrop.

I don't mean to be all doom and gloom, but anyone "pioneering" in this area is going to have some surprises in store for them, if they're not familiar with the area.

My best advice if you do buy? Lock your doors and stay in the gate after dark.

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The corner of Europa and 35th, 3500 block of Cornel and Omega St. With more to come. I've also noticed other new construction in the area. Once the building gets underway lots will go fast as the area is not that big and IH is not in as bad a shape as the Proper Heights was before its transformation started. I'm buying now.

Funniest comment in this thread. You have got to be kidding me.I remember that area well and you cant compare the Proper Heights and IH. Are you a builder?
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The corner of Europa and 35th, 3500 block of Cornel and Omega St. With more to come. I've also noticed other new construction in the area. Once the building gets underway lots will go fast as the area is not that big and IH is not in as bad a shape as the Proper Heights was before its transformation started. I'm buying now.

 

 

I'd put my money in Northside Village gentrifying before Independence Heights.

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http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cfm?mlnum=18552394&v=s

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cfm?mlnum=56182015&v=s

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cfm?mlnum=91104359&v=s

 

Lot value in Independence Heights is pretty minimal.  I am tempted to call bs on the claim that Sullivan Brothers is building up there.  Yale St. remains as a significant Maginot line for redevelopment.  Too many really, really bad elements in Independence Heights to see the kind of redevelopment that is happening in GOOF and south of 610.  

 

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Chech HCAD and see if the Sullivan Brothers are buying in IH you don't have to take my word. It's a natural progression. When people can't afford the Proper Heights or GOOF, IH is your only option in that immediate area. Especially with the redevelopment of Crosstimber that's about to get started just to the north and Booker T Washington High School is going to be torn down and rebuilt with the addition of a new stadium. IH is changing right before our eyes. The lots that you posted that are for sale look to see what they were selling for a year ago. How many properties are for sale in IH? The last time i checked maybe a handful. If you wait to see the big beautiful homes goin up. Thats a sign that you waited too long.

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If you wait to see the big beautiful homes goin up. Thats a sign that you waited too long.

If you wait a little longer, those big beautiful homes will have spray paint covering them, and the special treat of crack rock scents waffling out the windows.

Need an example of current renovations being done exactly as I've described? Drive by the Concord Church on Main. There's a historical building that is an original part of Studewood, rich in heritage. Work began on the restoration, and wouldn't you know it, they replaced all of the broken glasses, and cleaned up the exterior extensively...and then again...and then again...and then, you get the point.

If land is so valuable in IH, please explain to me the parcel of land surrounded by Crosstimbers, Main, Yale, and East 45th. That's been a huge vacant lot for the better part of 20 years now.

I'd also say that Booker T. will be demoed when snowflakes start dropping you know where, but Phyllis Wheatley's demise further proves nothing is sacred in this town.

Good luck to the builders, and most importantly to the future homeowners looking to scoop up one of these big, beautiful homes that are to be built. Independence Heights is not for the faint of heart.

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Sullivan brothers does own property in IH. Also Houze develepor has been building new homes in IH for a couple of years now. I think the area south of the rail road will gentrify and redevelop soon.

 

So they do own a couple of lots.  I really have a hard time seeing them do their usual product here.  Maybe they are going to do something cheaper and try to entice the lower end of the market into the neighborhood to try to be the pioneers.  Anyone who can pay $400k+ will have a long list of better options.  I do not see anyone willing to spend more that $300k to be a pioneer in IH. 

I will say that this neighborhood is a bit reminiscent of Cottage Grove fifteen years ago.  But there were some huge tracts in Cottage Grove that Frank Liu and others developer that really helped push the area past the "pioneering" stage.  And, Cottage Grove is within walking and stumbling distance from Memorial Park and Washington Ave.  IH is close in, but you will still need a car to get to most everything.  I also do not see those same sort of opportunities in terms of a big development or two leading the way for others.  It will be a lot by lot battle that will take a very long time to get the kind of momentum going to really open up the area. 

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Purpledevil drive up Yale and look at all the homes just north of Booker T Washington. You will notice that they are all vacant and boarded up as far as 43rd Street and that's because HISD has purchased them to be torn down to build the new school. Where Booker T stands now is where the new stadium will be. Again don't take my word for it do your own research. Google Neighborhood Livable Centers and see the plans for Crosstimbers. Sweetheart you have to do your research.

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If you wait a little longer, those big beautiful homes will have spray paint covering them, and the special treat of crack rock scents waffling out the windows.

Need an example of current renovations being done exactly as I've described? Drive by the Concord Church on Main. There's a historical building that is an original part of Studewood, rich in heritage. Work began on the restoration, and wouldn't you know it, they replaced all of the broken glasses, and cleaned up the exterior extensively...and then again...and then again...and then, you get the point.

If land is so valuable in IH, please explain to me the parcel of land surrounded by Crosstimbers, Main, Yale, and East 45th. That's been a huge vacant lot for the better part of 20 years now.

I'd also say that Booker T. will be demoed when snowflakes start dropping you know where, but Phyllis Wheatley's demise further proves nothing is sacred in this town.

Good luck to the builders, and most importantly to the future homeowners looking to scoop up one of these big, beautiful homes that are to be built. Independence Heights is not for the faint of heart.

 

Better get yourself some snow boots.  ^_^

 

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S3mh you've gotta be kidding me. You have the Proper Heights to the south, GOOF to the west, the new Fulton Rail and Lindale to the east and Crosstimbers borders the north. You can't ask for better borders.

 

Now I get it.  You must be a realtor.  Yeah, the new Fulton line is great if you want to walk a mile, cross under two hobo filled overpasses and wait for the train in an even worse neighborhood than IH.  I guess the benefit of Crosstimbers to the north is that you will know exactly where you need to turn around in case you get lost heading north out of the neighborhood.  Yeah, the Heights are to the south, but good luck walking or riding a bike over that way.  GOOF to the west is nothing more than a reminder that you picked the neighborhood with no schools and lots of crack houses.

 

Sure, the pioneers are coming, but turning around a neighborhood that has fallen as hard as IH takes a very long time.  You have absentee owners, long time residents who are dug in, speculators who are only waiting for someone else to build, properties with probate/title fights, and landlords who prefer the cash flow, all of whom keep the area from gaining momentum.  As hot as areas like Shady Acres and Cottage Grove are, there are still lots of people who will not sell or cannot sell.  IH is a long, long way away from gentrification.  The bets in that neighborhood are very long term.  If the Houston economy cools, you could lose your shirt in IH.  If the economy continue to roll, it will still take at least 10 years to see IH hit the critical mass to take it beyond a pioneer neighborhood.

 

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If land is so valuable in IH, please explain to me the parcel of land surrounded by Crosstimbers, Main, Yale, and East 45th. That's been a huge vacant lot for the better part of 20 years now.

Please explain to me what a vacant piece of land has to do with value or desirability of a area ?

There are plenty of vacant empty large parcels of land in very desirable and valuable areas throughout Houston.

No one said that it is valuable land now, the original poster only said that the property will increase in value as new development takes place.

A lot of the things being said about IH in this thread, have been said about areas that are completely different now such as Cottage Grove, West U, Washington Ave, Midtown, The Heights, hell even Montrose.

Look at Third Ward, people always said that the Third Ward would never be redeveloped and gentrified and so on and such. But look at the new town home development taking place in the NW corner of Third Ward that will only continue and spread.

Also it kills me when people act as if The Heights has always been the place that is today. The Heights has come a long way and still has a long way to go in places.

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Yep, 19514, I read it and am astounding that neither Wheatley nor Booker T. are to be with us much longer. Shame really, so much history. Such is progress in the big city. Hopefully some aspects of Washington can be incorporated into the new development as is reportedly now happening with Wheatley. Does Academy sell snow boots down here? Never thought I'd have to ask, lol.

Stuu67: Drive down any street in Independence Heights and you'll see boarded up windows and caving in roofs. Who can tell the difference? Some of those old homes and businesses have been abandoned for years. A few more have now been boarded up, and I just didn't notice.

Fortune: When you take into account that this property I referenced is surrounded by a closed elementary school, a closed furnIture store, a closed car lot converted into a barber shop/hair salon, a car wash complete with a crowd of 40oz sippin' patrons standing by, it's not hard to imagine why it has sat dormant all this time, and has not seen some type of development. That parcel stretches from almost Yale to N. Main. You'd think something more than just the newer convenience store they built over 10 years ago facing Yale, would've been established by now. It remains a vacant piece of land because of the undesirable surroundings. You are absolutely right, there are several large parcels of land available in Houston that are in superb areas, and this ain't one of them.

Wipe nearly the whole neighborhood clean like what happened to Cottage Grove, and start all over? Well, now you may have something. If they start building little pocket communities with in the confines of the current Independence Heights, it won't be long before those beautiful new homes start resembling the old boarded up ones that used to stand in the same place.

I couldn't agree more with your comment on The Heights. It has certainly changed a lot since the old days of overnight rapid gunfire, but the original comment of Independence Heights, Studewood, or whatever you want to call it, being less rundown and blighted than the "Proper Heights", voiced by Stuu67, is an absolute farce. The Heights was a rougher part of town back then, but it didn't have buildings just sitting there caving in on themselves like Studewood did, and still does.

...with the exception of Danburg's Department Store on Yale & 20th. That decrepit beast stood there rotting away for way too many years, lol.

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If land is so valuable in IH, please explain to me the parcel of land surrounded by Crosstimbers, Main, Yale, and East 45th. That's been a huge vacant lot for the better part of 20 years now.

 

 

I remember there being some sort of City of Houston facility at that lot, and it was maybe less than 10 years ago that it was still there.

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It was indeed, seems like it had to do with the water utilities. The old buildings were torn down this century, but it sat vacated for a few years prior to its demise, iirc.

Drove down there this morning in route to breakfast, and sure enough, a huge swath of old houses have fresh plywood up and numbers painted on them around Booker T. This is nice and all, I'm saddened a little that it will be another longtime institution lost, and will be a positive change for the neighborhood, but the unnecessary hyperbole initiated in this thread is what sent me off into a tangent. I honestly hope this redevelopment stretches clear up Yale to Parker. When 45 eventually widens up near Parker, where my rental is sitting will likely end up as commercial frontage for the freeway. The sooner the better, lol.

Stuu67, if you're looking for a property to snatch up along Yale, I've got a 3/1 I'd gladly dump on...er..negotiate a deal with you. That is, if you are truly "buying now". Bring cash. :D

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