Heights - River Oaks - Montrose Edition | July 2022

HEIGHTS RIVER OAKS MONTROSE EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 4  JULY 2AUG. 5, 2022

ONLINE AT

Straining aordability

Property values have been on the rise throughout the Heights, River Oaks, Montrose areas, but not as fast as they have been in Harris County suburbs.

2021

2022

1 Lazybrook/Timbergrove/ Washington Corridor

$428,871 $492,728

13%

2 Heights/Studemont/ Brooksmith/Norhill

Harris County look: Percent increase in average property values from 2021 to 2022 12%-15.9% 22%+ <12% 16%-21.9%

Local look

IMPACTS

6

$609,657 $685,491

12%

290

Harris County puts toll money toward trail projects

3 River Oaks/Crestwood

$2,710,330

16%

2

1

$3,179,123

4 Afton Oaks/Highland Village/Weslayan/Greenways

10

$891,495 $1,001,697

11%

610

3

5

5 Mandell/St. Thomas/ Montrose/Old Fourth Ward

TRANSPORTATION

8

ERRD.

WES

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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4

$548,130 $603,249

59

9%

N

City of Houston adopts budget

Rising rents, costs put strain on aordable housing

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

aordable housing builder Avenue CDC, said the city’s reputation for aordabil- ity is becoming less of a reality for more and more people. In fact, Houston's aordability has been something of a

myth for a while, she said. “I think the city of Houston for a long time was considered an aordable city—seen as being low compared to

As housing demand soars in Hous- ton, Mary Lawler and her team are doing their best to keep up. Lawler, CEO of the nonprot

CITY & COUNTY

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2022 REAL

CONTINUED ON 18

ESTATE EDITION

SPONSORED BY • Belmont Village Senior Living • Life Savers Emergency Room • The Village of the Heights

Houston invests in pay raises, solid waste department

SPENDING PLAN Revenues rose in Houston’s scal year 2022-23 budget, but not as quickly as expenditures.

MARKET DATA

11

Expenses

Revenues

FY 2021-22

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

$5.2B

The city of Houston provided raises to police ocers, re- ghters and municipal workers in its scal year 2022-23 bud- get passed June 1 with more pay increases expected to come over the next three years. Although city ocials consider the raises crucial to remain competitive in a strained labor market, some City Council members and union representatives said more is still needed. CONTINUED ON 21

$5.3B

FY 2022-23

$5.7B

$5.5B

Roughly $160 million in federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act are included in the city's revenue plans. SOURCE: CITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

DINING FEATURE

23

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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If you hear celebratory gunfire: • Call 911 • Notify Crime Stoppers Anonymously at 713-222-TIPS

Stray bullets CAN KILL.

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

Don’t just watch from the sidelines. Joint pain Enjoy everything life has to offer without joint pain. The Orthopedic experts at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center offer a variety of noninvasive therapies, nonsurgical treatments, and minimally invasive procedures so you can come back sooner and stronger. What will your comeback story be? stlukeshealth.org

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM JAY: Electricity prices continue to soar here in Texas, but what is also soaring is the adoption of solar power, the fastest-growing source of energy in the state. Inside (see Page 17),we interview a solar energy specialist who answers some common questions and discusses the potential benets of adopting solar power into an energy plan. Jay McMahon, GENERAL MANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM SHAWN: We’ve heard a lot about the rising cost of homes in the Houston area over the past few years, which has put a strain on people across a range of income levels. Our front-page story this month looks specically at what the fallout has been for those who work in our city and with local nonprots to provide and preserve aordable housing, a resource that is becoming increasingly crucial as more people move to Houston. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHAT WE COVER

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MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Jay McMahon EDITOR Shawn Arrajj CITY HALL REPORTER Soa Gonzalez SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Anya Gallant ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Dimitri Skoumpourdis METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Kelly Schaer COPY EDITOR Kasey Salisbury ART PRODUCTION MANAGER Kaitlin Schmidt CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PRESIDENT & GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES & MARKETING Tess Coverman CONTACT US

BUSINESS & DINING Local business development news that aects you

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened, are coming soon or closed

W. 34TH ST.

4

290

W. 25TH ST.

14

20TH ST.

W. 19TH ST.

W. 18TH ST.

T. C. JESTER BLVD.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

COURTESY BLUE SUSHI SAKE GRILL HOUSTON

W. 11TH ST.

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area. Money Cat owner Sherman Yeung told Community Impact Newspaper that after taking over ownership of his rst restaurant in Katy, Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, and seeing it succeed, he decided he wanted to open a “polished concept” inside Houston’s Inner Loop. This will be Yeung’s rst time building a restau- rant from scratch, he said. Although the restaurant has yet to establish menu plans, Yeung said the restaurant will focus on sushi, elevated kitchen dishes, 9 The Bali-inspired CBD lounge Wild is expected to open its second location in Montrose in August at 1609 Westheimer Road, Houston, taking over the former UB Preserv space. Founders Adyson and Andrew Alvis said they will add a new ele- ment to the Montrose location—high-end plates and tapas. Wild oers CBD products such as Wild-branded tinctures, prerolls and gummies for pain relief, relaxation and recreational use. Coee menu items range from mocha lattes to CBD-infused lattes, and the drink menu includes specialty cocktails and hemp-infused cocktails dubbed “elixirs.” www.wildconcepts.com 10 The owners behind FM Kitchen and Bar are set to open PKL Social this fall at 1102 Shepherd Drive, Houston. The bar will have a focus on pickleball—a game that combines badminton, ping-pong and tennis. Once completed, the new venue will have four pickleball courts, a covered deck space, big-screen TVs, yard games, cabanas and 10,000 square feet of patio space. PKL Social plans to also host pastries and hospitality. www.moneycathtx.com leagues, clinics and open play for all lev- els of players. Drink options will include cocktails, draft and packaged beers, selt- zers and nonalcoholic beverages. Popular food items from FM Kitchen and Bar will be featured on the menu. www.instagram.com/pklsocialhouston 11 Ocials with the Autry Park mixed- use development announced the early 2023 opening of a specialty clothing boutique called Piermarini . The fam- ily-owned business is run by mother- and-son duo Tina and John Piermarini. According to its website, Piermarini has a variety of shoes, clothing and accessories for both men and women. The store’s Autry Park location will oer items from brands from across the country. The new store will be located on the rst oor of the Hanover Parkview midrise luxury apartment building at 3737 Cogdell St., Houston. www.piermarinihouston.com

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WHITE OAK PARK

4

WASHINGTON AVE.

WHITE OAK DR.

10

2

5

6

MEMORIAL PARK

STUDEMONT ST.

10

BUFFALO BAYOU PARK

P K

45

610

UPTOWN PARK BLVD.

11

W. GRAY ST.

12

527

9

W. ALABAMA ST.

1

RICHMOND AVE.

8

69

288

MAP NOT TO SCALE

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3 Dallas-based chain Zalat Pizza opened a new shop June 7 at 4802 Wash- ington Ave., Houston. The new location features limited seating while also serv- ing takeout and delivery. Zalat is known for its innovative topping combinations, including Nashville Hot Chicken & Pickles, Pho Shizzle, Elote, Loaded Notato and Pineapple Express. The chain also has a trademarked srirancha dipping sauce, which combines sriracha and ranch dress- ing. 832-612-3420. www.zalatpizza.com 4 Flagship Restaurant Group opened Blue Sushi Sake Grill on June 15 in the M-K-T Heights development at 600 N. Shepherd Drive, Ste. 500, Houston. The sushi menu has maki rolls with cooked or raw options, nigiri, sashimi and 18 vegan maki options along with specialty vegan nigiri items. Other menu items include a coconut crab soup; a tuna tower; and the River Rock Beef, a beef tenderloin served on sizzling rocks with jalapeno ponzu and yuzu kosho. As for beverages, the restau- rant has cocktails, sake, wine, beer and Japanese whiskey. 346-816-2583. www.bluesushisakegrill.com 5 The rst Texas location of World of Sourdough , a California-based fast-casual concept, opened in late April in the Lower Heights mixed-use development at

2799 Katy Freeway, Ste. 120, Houston. The restaurant oers specialty and traditional sandwiches on housemade sourdough bread as well as soups, salads and a signa- ture macaroni dish. 713-432-9719. www.worldofsourdough.com 6 Medicinal cannabis provider Texas Original opened a new permanent pickup location June 21 at 1714 Houston Ave., Houston. Patients can use the location to access medical cannabis products, includ- ing gummies, tinctures and lozenges. 832-685-8706. www.texasoriginal.com COMING SOON 7 Agricole Hospitality’s latest concept, EZ’s Liquor Lounge , is slated to open late summer at 3302 White Oak Drive, Hous- ton. According to project leaders, patrons who visit will be greeted with a “playful, laid-back bar with a vintage feel” inspired by the co-owners’ shared love for dive bars. The menu will feature on-tap and frozen cocktails, on-tap and bottled beers, a wine selection and classic bar snacks. www.ezsliquorlounge.com 8 Japanese-inspired restaurant Money Cat is slated to open in August at 2925 Richmond Ave., Ste. 140, Houston, just north of Levy Park in the Upper Kirby

NOW OPEN 1 BrightStar Care opened a new home care agency May 2 at 2990 Richmond Ave., Ste. 525, Houston. The new location caters to those in the Texas Medical Cen- ter, River Oaks, Greater Heights, Spring Branch, West University, Shady Acres, Memorial and downtown areas. Bright- Star provides a variety of home care ser- vices, such as personal care, transitional care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and child care. The oce is co-owned by Seun Solesi and Ruth Martinez. 713-393-7520. www.brightstarcare.com/ downtown-houston 2 On June 13, modern cantina El Ve- nado opened at 6502 Washington Ave., Houston. The venue features a large bar, chandeliers and 1,500 square feet of interior space, including a mezcal bar that has accents to reect deep blue Talavera Mexican tiles. The drink menu includes agave cocktails, margaritas, palomas, ranch waters, a Mexican 75 cocktail and a Mexican hot chocolate that can be paired with a spirit. Food items include queso, salsa, salads, tacos, tostadas, sopes, na- chos and street elote. Dining at El Venado is by reservation only. 832-804-7370. www.elvenado.bar

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & SOFIA GONZALEZ

9

10

Wild

PKL Social

Agility Bank opened May 23 on North Shepherd Drive in the Heights.

COURTESY WILD CONCEPTS

RENDERING COURTESY LOE ORTEGA ARCHITECTURE

SOFIA GONZALEZCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN Agility Bank opened May 23 at 2401 N. Shepherd Drive, Ste. 140, Houston, as the rst minority depository institution in the U.S. to be primarily owned and led by women. To be considered an MDI, a bank must have 51% minority ownership and board membership. A total of 54% of Agility’s ownership is minority; 75% of its board is minority; and 85% of Agility’s shareholders are Houstonians, ocials said. The bank’s goal is to promote nancial parity for women, founder, CEO and President Lauren Sparks said.

12 The rst Texas location of Nando’s Peri-Peri , a South African fast-casual chain, has been announced for Post Oak Plaza in Uptown. The eatery will open in spring 2023 at 1751 Post Oak Blvd., Hous- ton, and will bring the chain’s menu of spicy ame-grilled chicken. The Uptown location will be the agship in Houston and will be located in a space that is being redesigned by the Michael Hsu Oce of Architecture. The venue will also include a patio with space for 80 diners. A second location is slated to open in the La Centerra development in Katy around the same time. www.nandosperiperi.com 13 The team behind Hando and Kanpai Club are slated to open Dinette —a Vietnamese-inspired kitchen and bar—in July at 1018 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston. The menu will feature small and medium plates, such as tamarind wings and thit

kho on crispy rice. Larger family-style dishes will include a brisket with pu pho noodles. A 50-seat dining room will oer a mix of traditional tables, bar- height communal tables and seating at a full-service bar. www.dinettehtx.com CLOSINGS 14 After four years of operating in the Lazybrook/Timbergrove area, Tea + Victory closed in mid-June at 2030 E. T C Jester Blvd., Houston. Tea + Victory was a board game cafe with 600 games avail- able for guests to play as well as drink and food options. Ocials announced the plans to close in a Facebook post, citing challenges in trying to “survive the long-term eects of the pandemic and the economy.” The doors of the T C Jester Boulevard location rst opened in April 2018.

Sparks said she also wants to support small- and midsize companies in Houston. One of the services for small businesses, A2B Express, pulls documentation and information needed for a loan application, which allows for an accelerated response time. 713-324-8810. www.agility.bank

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

COMPILED BY SOFIA GONZALEZ & EMILY LINCKE

Harris County commissioners approve $53M for trailway projects Harris County commissioners

PROJECT UPDATE

Ramsey said he voted against the item because he believes the project has “too many unknowns.” “Safety is my No. 1 concern, and I’ve not seen enough of the concept to confidently say it’s properly being addressed in these projects,” Ramsey said in an email May 17. Meanwhile, Cagle said he would have preferred additional trails be funded by the county’s parks budget. “While Commissioner [Cagle] is a major proponent of hike and bike trails, and has considerably expanded their availability throughout Precinct 4, he voted against this measure because he believes it sets a bad precedent of diverting toll road money to projects not originally envisioned when toll roads were first pitched to Harris County voters,” said Joe Stinebaker, Precinct 4 director of communications, in an email May 17. The HCTRA identified 22 priority projects that were ranked as having the highest community benefit and were given a prioritized timeline. These projects would cover 65 miles

New ways to commute The Tollways to Trailways project will bring biking and walking paths to Harris County for local commuters to use daily.

approved $53 million on May 10 for the Harris County Toll Road Author- ity’s new Tollways to Trailways initiative, which will add 236 miles of new recreational trails across each of the county’s four precincts. According to the HCTRA’s planning documents, most of the trails will be placed adjacent to existing toll roads, providing access to existing parks, public transit hubs, schools and neighborhoods. A timeline for the project has not yet been announced, but the cost estimate for all 63 proj- ects total more than $601 million. “Tollways to Trailways make the county healthier and more resilient by expanding healthy mobility choices, creating more local green spaces and giving people transporta- tion options that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve regional air quality,” HCTRA’s plan reads. The request was approved in a 3-2 vote with Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey and Precinct 4 Commis- sioner Jack Cagle dissenting.

236 miles of trails will be added across Harris County. 63 projects are envisioned for the Tollways to Trailways plan across Harris County’s 4 precincts. $601 million in funding will be needed to cover the plan’s trailways.

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 29. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT HRMNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. tion could start in the fall. Timeline: fall 2022-TBD Cost: TBD Funding source: city of Houston 11th Street Bikeway After pausing the project to determine if it should move forward, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner gave his bless- ing to the 11th Street Bikeway June 14. The project involves adding bike lanes and making safety improvements to 11th Street between Shepherd Drive and Michaux Street and on Michaux south to Stude Park. Car lanes will be reduced from four to two with some center turning lanes. The design phase is about 90% complete, and construc-

$53 million in funding was approved for the project by Harris County commissioners on May 10. SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY TOLL ROAD AUTHORITY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER and cost $131 million. Local projects include the Brays-Buffalo Connector Trail, an $8.3 million project that involves building a north-south trail from San Felipe Street near River Oaks to Braes Bayou between Newcastle and Weslayan streets.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & COUNTY

NOTICE Virtual Public Meeting with In-Person Option I-10 from Heights Blvd. to I-45 CSJ: 0271-07-326 Harris County, Texas

CITY HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced two candidates are under consideration for the elections administrator position during the June 15 meeting of the Harris County Election Commission. Both candidates are from out of state, so neither would be able to start until Aug. 1, according to Hidalgo. According to Hidalgo, each nalist has extensive election experience: One has worked each election since 2000, and the other has worked over 100 elections. The commission did not provide the names of the candidates. HOUSTON At the June 1 meeting, Houston City Council voted to require residential parking permits in certain designated areas around the Washington Avenue corridor, Montrose and River Oaks. The aected areas include parts of Converse, Whitney, Moy, Allen, Rose and Avondale streets as well as Reba Drive. To park in those areas, residents will be required to have a valid permit for on-street parking during certain hours of the day. Residents who do not have permits could be towed. HOUSTON Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Reliant Energy’s 17th annual Beat the Heat program for the city during a June 16 press conference. According to Turner, Reliant is donating $75,000 to assist in providing 200 portable air conditioning units and getting cooling devices to senior citizens and those with disabilities. Reliant is also putting up 21 Beat the Heat Centers across Houston. These spaces will have air conditioning, activities and refreshments. The facilities are free and will be open through September. HARRIS COUNTY Following the May 24 Uvalde school shooting, Harris County Commissioners Court discussed gun violence and school safety, requesting a report on county youth gun violence and creating the Harris County Safe Schools Commission on June 14. In an unanimous vote, commissioners asked the court’s analyst’s oce to create a report on data surrounding Harris County youth gun violence trends from 2015-22. Houston City Council will meet at 9 a.m. July 6 for a consolidated public comment and regular meeting at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. Harris County will meet for its regular meeting at 10 a.m. July 19 at the Harris County Courthouse, 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. Meetings are streamed live at www.harriscountytx.gov. MEETINGS WE COVER

The TxDOT Houston District is proposing improvements along Interstate Highway 10 (I-10) from Heights Boulevard (Blvd.) to I-45 in Harris County, Texas. The project proposes to raise the existing main lanes above the White Oak Bayou floodplain and construct a new shared use path and detention pond. This notice advises the public that the project team will be conducting an on-line virtual public meeting on the proposed project with an in-person option. The virtual public meeting will be available starting on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at 5 p.m. To log onto the virtual public meeting, go to the following web address at the date and time indicated above: www.txdot.gov, and type “I-10 from Heights Blvd” in the search box. The virtual public meeting will consist of a pre-recorded video presentation and will include both audio and visual components. Please note that the presentation will not be available on the website until the time and date listed above. If you do not have internet access, you may call (713) 802-5560 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to ask questions and access project materials during the project development process. Formal comments may be provided by mail or email as explained below. Additionally, TxDOT is providing an in-person option for individuals who would like to participate in person. In-person attendees will be able to view the same presentation delivered in the online public meeting, review hard copies of project materials, ask questions and submit written comments. The in-person option will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2022, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the TxDOT Houston District Office Auditorium located at 7600 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007. The proposed project would raise the elevation of the existing I-10 main lanes above the floodplain of White Oak Bayou from Heights Blvd. to I-45. The proposed construction area would be approximately 1.8 miles in length. The project also includes the construction of a 21.7-acre detention pond located on the north side of I-10 between Taylor St. and Houston Ave. and would construct a 10-foot shared use path on the north side of I-10 along White Oak Bayou between Studemont St. and I-45. Although additional right of way would be required, no residential or non- residential structures are anticipated to be displaced at this time. Information concerning services and benefits available to affected property owners and information about the tentative schedule for right-of-way acquisition and construction can be obtained from the TxDOT Houston District Office by calling (713) 802-5270. Any environmental documentation or studies, maps and drawings showing the project location and design, tentative construction schedules, and other information regarding the proposed project are on file and available for review by appointment only Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the TxDOT Houston District Office, 7600 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007. Project materials are also available online at www.txdot.gov, keyword search “I-10 from Heights Blvd”. The public meeting presentation will be conducted in English and Spanish. If you need an interpreter or document translator because English or Spanish is not your primary language or you have difficulty communicating effectively in English or Spanish, one will be provided to you. If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. If you need interpretation or translation services or you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend and participate in the virtual public meeting, please contact Tunisia Smith, the Houston District Environmental Project Manager, at (713) 802-5560 or by email at Tunisia.Smith@txdot.gov no later than 4 p.m., Thursday, July 21, 2022. Please be aware that advance notice is required as some services and accommodations may require time for the project team to arrange. Written comments from the public regarding the proposed project are requested and may be submitted by mail to the TxDOT Houston District Office, Advanced Project Development Director, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, Texas 77251-1386. Written comments may also be submitted by email to HOU-PIOwebmail@txdot.gov. All comments must be received on or before Friday, August 12, 2022. Responses to comments received will be available online at www.txdot.gov, keyword search “I-10 from Heights Blvd”, once they have been prepared. The proposed project would involve construction in wetlands. The proposed project would involve an action in a floodplain. If you have any general questions or concerns regarding the proposed project or the virtual public meeting, please contact Amanda Austin, P.E., at (713) 802-5270 or by email at Amanda.Austin@txdot.gov. The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 9, 2019, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.

A six-year-old child receives the coronavirus vaccine in November.

SHAWN ARRAJJCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COVID19 vaccine oered to children under age 5

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

Ocials boost tax exemptions BY RACHEL CARLTON & SOFIA GONZALEZ HOUSTON As of June 22, children who are 6 months old and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at city of Houston facilities. The following Houston Health Department centers are oering vaccines: Northside Health Center at 8504 Schuller Road, Houston; Sharpstown Health Services at 6201 Bonhomme Road, Houston; Sunny- side Health Center at 4605 Wilming- ton St., Houston; and La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center at 1809 N. Main St., Houston. The change comes after a new recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention deemed it safe for children as young as 6 months old. HOUSTON The city of Houston and Harris County have increased property tax exemptions for resi- dents who are age 65 or older and some residents who are disabled. During a June 8 meeting, Houston City Council approved an ordinance that increases exemptions from $160,000 to $260,000. The increase will go into eect for the 2022 tax year, which includes tax bills that go out in October. Meanwhile, the Harris County Commissioners Court voted to increase the property tax exemptions for those groups from $229,000 to $250,000 during a June 14 court meeting.

9

HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER IS PROUD TO SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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The Community Built for Life. You worked hard to create a good life for your family. Now it’s time to live the life you earned. At Belmont Village, we take care of the details. Residents enjoy expansive amenities and services in thoughtfully designed apartments and common spaces for Assisted Living, and Memory Care. Our community design and award-winning programs make it easy for residents to make new memories with family and friends, continue lifelong learning and stay active. Hospitality is unparalleled, with a dining program second to none, concierge and transportation services, full-service salon and spa, heated pool, o-site trips, and a daily calendar of enriching activities tailored to resident interests. Resident health and wellness are supported by highly trained caregivers and nurses on-site 24/7. Telehealth with board-certied physicians is available around the clock. A professionally managed tness center oers therapy services and resident-centered wellness. Tours available. belmontVillage.com/Houston.

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Life Savers ER was created to provide a safe and comfortable environment for our community to receive emergency medical care without having to experience long wait times in crowded and busy Emergency Rooms. Your emergency or concern is our priority. Life Savers ER has three convenient Houston emergency room locations; Willowbrook, Heights, and Summerwood. We are a team of health care providers dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care. Our goal is to deliver high quality, aordable, and ecient adult and pediatric emergent and urgent care. We understand what it means to have to visit an Emergency Room and our goal is to make the experience as comfortable and seamless as possible while providing high-quality medical attention. The Life Savers ER leadership consists of Dr. Foyé Ikyaator (Medical Director), Ethan Thorup RN (Facility Nurse Manager), Erik Ingram (Radiology/Laboratory Manager), Alicia East (Marketing Ambassador), and Stephanie Alfaro (Front Desk Supervisor).

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You shouldn’t have to leave the Heights community you love to enjoy life with the personalized assistance you might need. Situated in the heart of The Heights, o 14th and Studewood, our pet-friendly community oers a vibrant senior living option in Houston. Whether you are in search of a spacious apartment home with well- appointed features and amenities or a friendly, active community with views of the gorgeous Houston skyline, you or your loved one will nd their perfect t in our inviting community. At the Village of the Heights, our residents Live Life Well® with the person-centered approach we take to Assisted Living and Memory Care living options. You all can count on unmatched assistance, care, and an inviting community to call home. Stop in & take a tour, you won’t regret it!

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE DATA

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

2021-22 Heights | River Oaks | Montrose Real estate market at a glance

610

77019 77098

77006 77007 77008

45

The average days on market fell sharply in all ve ZIP codes covering the area during the 12-month period from June 2021-May 2022 when compared to the previous 12 months. The median price of homes sold also rose across the board during that time, though total home sales fell in the 77008 and 77019 ZIP codes.

10

SOURCES: KIRSTEN ABNEY, BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE GARY GREENE, FREDDIE MAC COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

N

59

Median home sales price

Number of homes sold

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

77006

77019

$662,000 $646,500

$887,000

+2.4%

+14.43%

$1,015,000

77007

77098

$461,500

$820,000 $783,000

+8.32%

+4.73%

$499,900

77008

$499,500

+9.71%

$548,000

77006

77007

77008

77019

77098

National mortgage rate data Mortgage rates steadily declined early in the pandemic with the 30-year xed-rate mortgage dropping to as low as 2.65% in January 2021. Rates have since increased, spiking to their highest point since 2009 as of early May.

Average days on market

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

30-year xed-rate mortgage

15-year xed-rate mortgage

5.27%

5%

4.51%

3.72%

4.52%

4%

2.65% 3.22%

3%

3.99%

3.16%

2% 0 January 2019

2.16%

2.43%

January 2020

January 2021

January 2022

77006

77007

77008

77019

77098

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

A LIFE WELL LIVED. A LIFE WELL EARNED.

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12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

RENTAL MARKET Local rental rates continue climb

Market snapshot Apartment rents are rising locally, though not as fast as they were in 2021.

Heights/ Washington Avenue

Greater Houston area

Highland Village/ Upper Kirby/West U

ROOM REPORT BREAKDOWN

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

in November of that year, they have increased to $1,804 since then. “We all knew this was going to slow down, temper itself back to more normal times,” McClenny said. McClenny said the Houston metro area is still more aordable than Dallas and Austin. Houston’s average rent hit $1,233 in May, which compares to $1,475 in Dallas and $1,648 in Austin. San Antonio has the cheapest average rent of the four cities at $1,193, accord- ing to ApartmentData.com. “That’s, in a relative sense, more positive for people that live here and want to live here,” McClenny said. Moving forward, McClenny said prices are likely to continue to rise. If rental rates were to drop, it likely would not be for desirable reasons, he said, giving job losses as an example. McClenny said Texas generally does a good job of adding apartment supply, but it still is not adding supply fast enough to bring rents down. “I don’t think it could add supply fast enough to make a dierence this

Recently completed: 403 Under construction: 257 Proposed: 1,088

Recently completed: 1,642 Under construction: 1,051 Proposed: 1,840

Recently completed: 22,340 Under construction: 14,498 Proposed: 33,996

Rents have continued to rise in Houston in the rst half of 2022, driven by an inux of new residents to the area and a single-family home market that is pushing more people to consider renting. Those trends can be seen in the Heights, River Oaks and Montrose areas, according to survey data from ApartmentData.com. Between February and May, average monthly rent prices rose 3.3% and 2.3% in two local submarkets tracked by the agency—Highland Village/Upper Kirby/West U and Heights/Washington Avenue, respectively. That compares to an average rent price increase of 2.7% across the Greater Houston area over that time. However, the rate at which rents have been increasing so far in 2022 has been slower than the pace seen in 2021, ApartmentData.com President Bruce McClenny said. Although rents in the Heights submarket jumped from $1,472 in February 2021 to $1,752

$1,954

$1,877

$1,891

$1,853

$2,000 $1,500 $1,000 $500 $0

$1,757

$1,804

$1,752

$1,764

$1,705

$1,586

$1,233

$1,201

$1,179

$1,155

$1,092

MAY 2021

AUG. 2021

NOV. 2021

FEB. 2022 MAY 2022

100% 96% 92% 88% 84% 80% 0%

89.9% 91.7%

91.3% 91.4%

90.1%

91.1% 91.7%

90.2% 91.5%

86%

88.1%

87%

86%

85.9%

80.1%

SOURCE: APARTMENTDATA.COMCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

year and next,” he said. Moving forward, McClenny said the rent and occupancy trends of the pre- vious six months are generally a good

predictor of what the next six months might bring. He said the market will probably settle down to some degree in 2023.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

Discover the Difference

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Local businesses oer home improvement tips

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION

HOME IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

ASK AN INTERIOR DESIGNER

Missy Stewart has more than 25 years of experience in designing homes and other spaces. She spoke on trends and the overall interior design process.

COMPILED BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE SOMEONE ON THE BEST WAY TO FIND AN INTERIOR DESIGNER THAT SUITS THEIR PARTICULAR INTERESTS? I would suggest looking at websites; Google it and look at dierent designers’ websites. And I think a good designer’s portfolio should not have everything look identical. They should have a portfolio that is a little bit dierent. For example, mine’s fairly modern. But I have a midcentury modern job that looks very much like it has its own personality in hopes that the designer needs to listen to the client and design for them and for their house. Find a portfolio that speaks to you and that also shows a lot of experience if they have a large portfolio. We don’t just want pretty pictures; we want to make sure it was not painful getting there.

WHAT SHOULD HOMEOWNERS DO TO PREPARE FOR WORKING WITH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER? I think [it would help] if they would spend a little time looking at photos on the internet, either on Pinterest or even Google Images. [They] can just say whatever they’re looking for, like a modern living room, and show a few photos that you like. A picture really is worth 1,000 words in this industry. If a client can show me a few things that they like, it’s very helpful. They may or may not know their style, but an interior designer can decipher their style through a few photos. WHAT CAN SOMEONE EXPECT WHEN HIRING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER? They should rst of all expect a beautiful design and a complete design. They might also be pushed a little bit outside of their comfort zone. It should be very tactfully done by the designer, but ... if you’ve hired a professional, it should look a little more grand. Sometimes it’s hard for people to go that extra mile—maybe that little edgy pink color or rug—and so they should expect to be pushed a little outside their comfort zone and basically just expect it to look very professional.

ASK A REALTOR

From his oce on West Gray Street in Montrose, Realtor LeeRoy Smith provides his thoughts on what homebuyers and home sellers should know about the market.

on the market. Property values are still very high and, though buyer interest is starting to taper o a bit, people are still buying homes. HOW DOES THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN HOUSTON’S INNER LOOP DIFFER FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE CITY? The Inner Loop is unique because of property diversity. You’ll see a newly constructed townhome next to a historic bungalow. Homebuyers in the Inner Loop have very diverse options as far as property type, lot size and neighborhood features.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO BUY A HOUSE? The advice I would give to someone looking to buy a home right now is to make sure it is the right nancial decision for them currently. Rising interest rates impact buyers by limiting their purchase power, but the higher rates could also help curb ination. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SELLERS? My advice to sellers would be that this is still a great time to put their home

Missy Stewart Interior designer Missy Stewart Designs 713-936-4265 www.missystewart designs.com

LeeRoy Smith Licensed Realtor Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene 1705 W. Gray St., Ste. 200, Houston 832-221-7628 www.leeroysmith.garygreene.com

W. GRAY ST.

COMMONWEALTH ST.

N

ASK A MORTGAGE EXPERT

John Frels Lending adviser/NMLS #282056 The Kelso Group 9601 Katy Freeway, Ste. 420, Houston 713-822-0475 www.apmortgage.com/john-frels

Native Houstonian John Frels has been providing mortgage services and advice for more than 20 years. He spoke on loans and renancing. WHAT SHOULD FIRSTTIME HOMEBUYERS KNOW BEFORE

BLALOCK RD.

KATY FWY.

when they nish, the borrower should feel condent to be able to go out and shop. The most important thing is that, today, most Realtors probably wouldn’t even talk to you unless you had gone through that step rst. WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE REFINANCE THEIR MORTGAGE? Even with rates going up, there are still things that you might want to do. Say you want to remodel or you want to pay o some credit card debt. ... Even with rates going back up to the way they were

10

APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE LOAN? First-time homebuyers should get with a local lender and make sure that they’re prequalied for what they think that they want to get. Prequalication is where they ll out an application; they supply the lender with their bank statements and pay stubs and W2s; and they pull their credit and they go over the process with each other. The borrower is basically on the same page with the lender, and

N

places today. Rates are going to be generally the same from lender to lender. The thing I always tell people and what most Realtors tell people is work with somebody that knows your neighborhood. Work with somebody that knows your community.

right before COVID[-19], they’re still considerably less than what people are paying on credit cards. HOW MIGHT SOMEONE GET THE BEST DEAL FOR A MORTGAGE LOAN? We all get our money from the same

EMERGENCY CENTER ANY DAY, ANY NIGHT

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2022

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