Heights | River Oaks | Montrose Edition - July 2020

HEIGHTS RIVER OAKS MONTROSE EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4  JULY 8AUG. 4, 2020

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Nowwhat?

BY EMMA WHALEN Houston advocates, ocials debate new era for policing

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IMPACTS

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About 60,000 people attended a June 2 protest in downtown Houston, seeking justice for native Houstonian George Floyd. (EmmaWhalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

IINS IIDE

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Houston ISD pursues District of Innovation status

2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

Regent Square, a mixed-use project near Allen Parkway, is one of

dozens of projects in the pipeline inside the Loop.

With widespread economic uncertainty and historic unemployment shaking nearly every industry, at least one sector has kept going: multifamily construction. “When COVID hit, it was a lot of, ‘Oh, my goodness, what’s actually going to happen here?’ … But once these projects get under construction, it’s been in the works for years, and at that point, there’s no sense in stopping it,” Multifamily construction boomfaces headwinds BY MATT DULIN

15 projects opened in the last 12 months

23 projects opening in 2020 and 2021

19 proposed projects

EDUCATION

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

SEEING A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR Is Still Important

For everything from annual checkups to managing chronic conditions, taking care of your health should always be a priority. Houston Methodist primary care doctors are still available to provide personalized care for you and your family — safely. We offer a variety of convenient ways to get care from us, from same-day sick visits to extended hours at select locations. And, you can be confident that we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe during your visit, including:

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Nicole Ray,

FROMNICOLE: As we continue to track fast changing social issues and COVID-19 updates, being a source for trusted news has never been more important to our team. We take this responsibility very seriously and will continue to post daily updates and breaking news to keep you informed between print editions. We appreciate your continued trust and support. Nicole Ray, GENERALMANAGER

nray@communityimpact.com SENIOR EDITOR Matt Dulin CITY HALL REPORTER Emma Whalen SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Anya Gallant ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Keenan Porter METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across six metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON

FROMMATT: While putting together this edition and the ones before it, we weighed how to cover the most helpful local information while trying to anticipate what comes next—a task that has become particularly daunting in 2020. This month’s deep dive by City Hall Reporter Emma Whalen is just the beginning of our eorts to look at the criminal justice system. Matt Dulin, SENIOR EDITOR

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 8 I45 project moving forward EDUCATION 9

HISD District of Innovation CORONAVIRUS BRIEFS

11

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Real EstateEdition

Local sources 24

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3

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REAL ESTATE DATA

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Real estate market at a glance HOUSING Housing availability, aordability GUIDE Home improvement, maintenance

New businesses

Road projects

Home improvement ideas

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN & EMMA WHALEN

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

time frame is not immediately available. www.voodoodoughnut.com RELOCATIONS 9 Houston’s longest-running organic farmer’s co-op, Central City Co-Op , moved into its new location at 420 E. 20th St., Ste. A, and marked its last day June 11 at Montrose Kindred Church—formerly Grace Lutheran Church—after over 10 years. The co-op was formed by Houston chef Pat Greer and Gundermann Farms in 1998. The nonprot is focused on supporting local farmers, ranchers and purveyors with annual membership dues of $120 and day 10 Fitness studio Dene Body & Mind reopened in its new River Oaks location, 2515 Morse St., on May 18 with limit- ed in-studio classes and on-demand virtual workouts. The new, two-story 7,800-square-foot building includes De- ne Foods, oering prepared meals and cold-pressed juice drinks available to-go, as well as expanded classroom space and an infrared sauna. www.denebody.com 11 After eight years, Kendra Scott has relocated her agship Houston store from Rice Village, 2411 Times Blvd., to Highland Village, 2701A Drexel Drive. The new location opened June 22, featuring a Color Bar, gift-wrapping room, on-site engraving and an expanded jewelry passes for $7. 832-690-1216. www.centralcityco-op.com oering. With the grand opening, Kendra Scott donated $59,000 from curbside or- der proceeds to the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Texas-based chain has seven Houston locations and online shopping. 713-965-4056. www.kendrascott.com EXPANSIONS 12 Dog day care center Wag’n World opened its new location at 1616 Mon- trose Blvd., Houston, on June 15 to help support its original 3230 Yoakum Blvd. location. The new center was completely renovated from the former Action Pawn shop and oers playrooms based on dog size, outdoor play areas and overnight boarding. 832-849-1545. ww.wagnworld.com CLOSINGS 13 Patrenella’s , 813 Jackson Hill St., Houston, announced May 30 plans to close. “It is time to say goodbye. All good things must come to an end; and after 28 glorious years, our time is now,” the restaurant shared on Facebook. Owner Sammy Patrenella, 85, converted his childhood home into the restaurant in 1992, eventually adding two adjacent properties and creating a backyard gar- den. www.patrenellas.net IN THE NEWS 14 The Marvy Finger Family Founda- tion Scholarship , 99 Detering St., Ste. 155, Houston, announced June 2 it is awarding 80 Houston ISD high school graduates full-ride scholarships to pursue

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T. C. JESTER BLVD.

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Gaúchos Do Sul

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TM; © 2020 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPENREOPENINGS 1 White Oak Music Hall , 2915 N. Main St., reopened June 20 following an ex- tended closure under COVID-19 restric- tions. The music venue enforces social distancing, masks and limited seating indoors. Outdoor concerts, including a July 17 Robert Earl Keen show, will use a grid spacing system to minimize contact between guests. Show schedules are subject to change. 713-237-0370. www.whiteoakmusichall.com 2 Brazilian steakhouse Gaúchos Do Sul opened its new Highland Village location, 3995 Westheimer Road, Houston, on June 11. Reservations are recommended as the restaurant is following COVID-19 occupancy limits to ensure spacing be- tween guests. The location also has two private dining spaces capable of hosting parties and business meetings ranging from eight to 48 guests. 832-879-2926. www.gauchosdosul.com 3 Fainmous BBQ , previously located in the Meyerland area, opened its new loca- tion at 1201 Oliver St., Houston, on June 1 with reduced capacity and following oth- er state COVID-19 guidelines. Fainmous BBQ had originally planned a mid-March open date before statewide closures took 4 Clark Cooper Concepts opened a new summer pop-up concept, Daddy’s Burg- ers , at The Dunlavy, 3422 Allen Parkway, Houston, on May 29, though it closed in mid-June until at least early July after a conrmed case of COVID-19. It oers $8 grass-fed beef burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, milkshakes, cocktails and local beers in frozen mugs. For break- eect. 713-728-9663. www.fainmousbbq.com

fast, Daddy’s serves burgers, tacos and beignets. 713-360-6477. www.thedunlavy.com 5 Collectivo , a high-end women’s fashion boutique carrying a mix of Latin American and local artisan brands, opened a new shop in the Heights at 733 Yale St., Houston, on May 15. The store previously operated a pop-up in Bush Intercontinental Airport. Prior to that, the store had a location in the River Oaks area. 832-831-8818. www.collectivostore.com COMING SOON 6 A new Italian restaurant and oral boutique, Fiori , was scheduled to open at 4315 Montrose Blvd., Houston, on July 1 as of press time. The restaurant said it will practice all required guidelines. Ann Davis-Bruch, of Flours and Flowerless, curates the restaurant’s oral arrange- ments and oerings. 346-333-7433. www.orihtx.com 7 A new tness-focused coee shop, Active Passion , is expected to open this fall at 802 Uesner St., Houston. The concept will combine all the tradition- al features of a coee shop, including locally roasted coee drinks as well as teas with an active health and wellness approach, including healthy meal options and post-workout mocktail drinks, bike racks with locks, a bike service station, community events and regular group activities. www.myactivepassion.com 8 Six months after cutting the ribbon on its rst Houston location on Wash- ington Avenue, Voodoo Doughnuts has signed a lease for its next shop, at 1214 Westheimer Road, Houston. An opening

Kendra Scott

COURTESY ASHLEE CRIANZA

13

Patrenella's

MATT DULINCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

a certication or technical career track at a local two-year college. Recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 in assistance in addition to advising and job placement. Finger, a longtime multifamily developer, started the foundation to help students pursue a career path. Since 2013, the foundation has given $3.5 million. 713- 867-7044. www.mfscholarship.com 15 City ocials said Google ’s decision to open a new sales oce at the Bualo Heights development at 3663 Washing- ton Ave., Houston, next year is a sign of progress for attracting more technology rms. “Google is one of those entities we have been targeting, and the fact that they are expanding to city of Houston speaks well,” Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters June 17. “We are no longer walking; we are sprinting in terms of this development of this ecosystem.”

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

HGAC groupwill look at craftingmultiparty agreement around I45 overhaul concerns After a yearlong public input

PROPOSED PROJECTS

ONGOING PROJECT

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PHASE 1

North Houston Highway Improvement Project

20TH ST.

process by the city of Houston on the proposed I-45 overhaul and heightened concerns over eects on communities of color, members of the region’s transportation plan- ning group will explore a possible agreement between stakeholders in a bid to ensure the project can move forward with minimal adverse eects. “This is a perfect way to get everybody all at the table,” said Carrin Patman, the board chair for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. “Then you have a document that reassures ... those that expressed very valid and painful concerns today.” The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council voted June 26 to form a working group to craft a mem- orandum of understanding that is envisioned as a way to secure commitments from the Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County, the city of Houston, METRO and the Harris County Flood Control District around the North Houston Highway Improve- ment Project. The recommendation to create such an agreement stemmed from a previous discussion by the Trans- portation Advisory Committee on June 19 amid discussion of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s letter to TxDOT addressing community concerns. The agreement would be

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Avalon Place neighborhood streets and drainage A project in the Avalon Place area will get underway in 2021 under the Capital Improvement Plan approved by Houston City Council on June 24. The project will move backlot sanitary sewers to the streets, coupled with street reconstruction, drainage, bike lanes, sidewalks, driveways and other improvements throughout the River Oaks area neighborhood. Timeline: fall 2020-23 Cost: $26 million Funding sources: Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund, Houston Public Works

11TH ST.

Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3

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The Memorial Heights Tax-Increment Reinvestment Zone will receive $25 mil- lion in Houston-Galveston Area Council funding for Phase 2 of improvements to Shepherd and Durham drives from 15th Street to I-10. In 2019, the TIRZ received a $40 million federal grant to fund half of Phase 1, spanning from Loop 610 to 15th. Construction is slated for 2022 and 2023 for phases 1 and 2, respectively, with each taking four years. In addition to improved street design and safety features, the rebuild of Shepherd and Durham is expected to coordinate with the forthcoming Inner Katy bus rapid transit corridor slated for I-10. The city of Houston has a project slated for spring 2021 for a section between Washington Avenue and Dickson Street. Timeline: 2019-26 Cost: $110 million (phases 1 and 2), $13.17 million (Washington to Dickson) Funding sources: Memorial Heights TIRZ, H-GAC, U.S. Department of Transpor- tation, Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund

reviewed at a future council meet- ing and would have to ultimately be signed by all participating parties as well, as the memoran- dum could involve contributions to support mitigation eorts. Members of the TPC also made it clear construction on at least Segment 3, which calls for over $3 billion in highway reconguration around downtown Houston, would move forward, though TxDOT pushed back its scheduled letting date by one year to 2022. Many of the concerns identied by the city of Houston input pro- cess were related to segments 1 and 2, which are not yet fully supported under HGAC’s Transportation Improvement Plan. Funding for Segment 3 was supported by the TPC last year.

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West Alabama paving and drainage As part of a bigger four-phase eort, Houston is responsible for two seg- ments. The Weslayan Street to Buf- falo Speedway segment is scheduled for construction in 2021 and calls for street reconstruction and other improvements. Timeline: spring 2021-TBD Cost: $15.87 million Funding sources: Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund, Houston Public Works

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 26. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT HRMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION Houston ISDdevelopingDistrict of Innovation plan for 202122

DISTRICT OF INNOVATION

101

Covering the basics

For districts that meet at least the “acceptable” performance level, this status allows them to opt out of following certain state guidelines to adapt district operations to local needs. The process was established by state law in 2015. The district forms a DOI committee to write the plan addressing the policy changes and new programs to be adopted. The plan must be posted publicly for 30 days.

What is a DOI?

BY MATT DULIN

is on the immediate needs,” said Jas- mine Jenkins, the executive director of Houston GPS, a district accountabil- ity group. The DOI process was created with the intent of allowing districts to tinker with practices to help students succeed, but the way the law was written, districts do not have to actu- ally prove to the state the measures are working, said Holly Eaton, who leads advocacy eorts for the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. “Unfortunately it has become kind of laughingly known as a ‘district of exemption’ moniker rather than a District of Innovation,” she said. Trustees Anne Sung and Elizabeth Santos and other stakeholders also voiced concerns about the potential for reduced teaching standards across the board, a fear Cruz said will not be realized. “That is not our intent, which is why the resolution is very, very limited to CTE,” Cruz said. Not having enough teachers for technical skill-based courses is limit- ing the district from being able to oer new and in-demand career tracks, such as information technology and process technology, Cruz said, as well as tapping into state funding opportu- nities targeted to these courses. CTE achievement is a component of state accountability rankings as well. The next step in the process is for HISD to form a committee, which it hopes to have in place by the fall, to craft the details of the DOI proposal. “We as an administration are not

How is it established?

After abandoning plans to adopt a year-round school calendar for 2020-21, Houston ISD is moving ahead with another route to allow it to adjust operations for 2021-22 and beyond. The HISD board of education approved a resolution May 14 allowing the district to begin developing a District of Innovation plan, a designa- tion created in 2015 allowing districts to claim exemptions from certain state policies. “It’s all about giving districts more exibility to adapt to meet the needs of students and families,” said Rick Cruz, the district’s chief strategy and innovation ocer. HISD is calling for three exemp- tions: adjusting the school year start date; allowing teachers without certications for career and technical education courses; and allowing a revised attendance policy from a rule that requires students to attend 90% of class days to earn credit. If adopted, HISD would be one of almost 900 school districts that have adopted DOI status to take exception to various state laws. HISD ocials have been discussing the process for years, Cruz said, but several stakeholders and trustees questioned the timing of the push amid the COVID-19 crisis, particularly when the DOI plan would not take eect until next school year. “Parents and the teachers union community were questioning why pursue this at a time when students are dispersed and the parents’ focus

How long does it stay in effect?

A DOI plan can remain in eect for up to ve years. It can be renewed, suspended or amended by the board of trustees. The state can suspend it in cases of unacceptable performance.

A local look

A total of 897 out of the more than 1,200 districts in Texas has the designation. However, Houston ISD and Cy-Fair ISD, the two largest districts locally, do not.

Who else has this?

Why does HISD want it? 1

HISD is proposing three innovations under the DOI designation, which the Innovation Plan Committee will explore in detail:

2

3

Teacher certication: The district wants to be able to hire professionals who do not have a teaching certication to teach career and technical courses.

The 90% attendance rule: The district wants to allow some students exibility in completing coursework at their own pace and free up time for internships, jobs and other opportunities.

School calendar: The district would move the school start date to earlier in August to allow for more instruction time in the fall.

What about 2020-21? Classes will resume Aug. 24 , and the district said it plans to release more details by July 15 for reopening school buildings, oering online instruction and other options. Follow updates at communityimpact.com. SOURCES: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY, HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

drafting the plan. The committee works autonomously,” Cruz said. According to the Texas Education Agency, once the committee drafts the plan, it must be posted publicly for 30 days. It then must be approved by the District Advisory Committee by a majority vote. At that point, the plan must receive a two-thirds vote of the board of trustees.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CORONAVIRUS BRIEFS

Gov. GregAbbott: ‘Closing down Texas againwill always be the last option’

Testing rates

The number of COVID-19 tests administered in Harris County jumped in mid-June. As of June 28, almost 300,000 people had been tested.

THROUGH MAY 3 THROUGH MAY 10 THROUGH JUNE 21 THROUGH JUNE 14 THROUGH JUNE 7 THROUGH MAY 31 THROUGH MAY 24 THROUGH MAY 17 THROUGH JUNE 28

BY DANICA LLOYD

up testing eorts in regions considered “hot spots.” According to the Texas Division of Emer- gency Management, there are about 32,000 tests conducted statewide daily with 840 testing sites operating. “Our goal is to keep Texans out of hospitals and to reduce the number of Texans who test positive,” Abbott said. “COVID hasn’t sud- denly gone away, but neither has our ability to slow the spread of it.” Ocials said COVID-19 patients still make up a minority of patients in hospital beds across the state, and Abbott said hospitals still have an abundance of capacity to treat incoming patients. Abbott said should cases continue to rise at the same rate ocials have seen in recent days, tighter restrictions would be necessary to contain the virus.

As Texans see an uptick in conrmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations related to the virus, Gov. Greg Abbott announced no new restrictions for businesses and gatherings June 22. “Closing down Texas again will always be the last option,” he said. Within the ve days before the June 22 press conference, Abbott said the state has seen more than 3,500 new cases and 3,200 hospital- izations daily, almost twice the average from previous weeks. “To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled,” Abbott said. Additionally, the testing positivity rate is nearly 9%—up from about 4.5% in late May, he said. Abbott said part of the state’s strategy to slow this continued spread includes ramping

40,870

0

10K

20K

30K

40K

50K

In a two-week span, June 14-28, the number of COVID-19 patients doubled in Harris County hospitals and occupied 1 out of every 3 ICU beds.

Hospital capacities

Bed surge Operational beds Beds in use

1,200 1,600 2,000

COVID-19 patients

400 800

0

May 31 June 7 June 14 June 21 June 28

SOURCES: SOUTHEAST TEXAS REGIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

County’smask order extended until Aug. 26

Unemployment stimulus pay to end July 31

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

BY DANIEL HOUSTON

The state said more than half a million job listings were available on the state’s jobs portal. “Let me be clear: We are not over it,” TWC Executive Director Ed Serna said. “But we’re seeing employment opportunities begin to bounce back in Texas as our economy restarts.” Since March, 2.6 million Texans have applied for unemployment insurance. Texans can receive up to $521 per week in unemployment benets, plus another $600 per week from the federal stimulus law. The federal payments expire July 31.

tool they needed but didn’t have.” The order is designed to comply with orders issued at the state level by Gov. Greg Abbott, Hidalgo said. Under the order, businesses are required to have a plan in place that requires anyone age 10 and older to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth. Businesses are subject to nes of up to $1,000 per violation under the order, though customers are not subject to nes. Violations can be reported to the county hotline at 832-839-6914.

All commercial businesses that service the public in Harris County are required to have employees and patrons wear face coverings through Aug. 26 under an order extended by Harris County Commissioners Court on June 30. The original order went into eect June 22. “This order is not just the right thing to do for your health and safety; it’s also good for business,” Hidalgo said when the rst order was given. “It gives businesses a

Texans receiving unemployment benets will soon have to prove they are actively looking for work to continue receiving assistance. Unemployment recipients will have to start documenting their eorts to nd a new job July 6, with the rst reports due July 19, the Texas Workforce Commission

announced in a news release. This requirement had been

suspended temporarily during the ongoing economic downturn related to the coronavirus pandemic.

IMPACT ma k e a n Become a #CommunityPatron.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER IS PROUD TO SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSOR

Our purpose at Marine Military Academy is to inspire positive academic, physical and moral growth in every cadet. To achieve this, we provide a disciplined, distraction-free setting that allows cadets to focus on their educational and personal development. Throughout this journey, cadets learn to take ownership of their lives and develop the tools they need to succeed not only in college, but in life.

2020 REAL ESTATE EDITION

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

201820 HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE REAL ESTATE MARKET AT A GLANCE 77008

DAYS ON THEMARKET AVERAGE June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

45

77006 -2.9% 77007 +0%

77008

77027

69

67

45

47

76

65 -14.5%

+4.4%

In the past 12 months, the area saw a slight slowdown, with fewer homes sold and a 1% drop in overall prices compared to the previous year. Over the last two years, houses in the area tended to stay on the market for two months on average.

10

77098 -3.5%

77019

610

58

58

57

55

69

75

77007

+8.7%

77019

Harris County

Studying the stats 61 Average days on market in the Heights-River Oaks-Montrose area June 2019-May 2020

77006

77027

48

49

+2.1%

77098

69

N

HOMES SOLD NUMBER OF

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

HOME SALES PRICE AVERAGE

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

168

210

+0.6%

-17.14%

$995,000 $973,000 -2.2% $541,000 $522,000 -3.5% $553,000 $541,000 -2%

$1,600,000 $1,700,000 +4% $1,500,000 $1,400,000 -3.2%

169

174

812

94

-4.8%

+8.51%

773

102

1,033

145

-6.97%

-9.66%

$761,000 $746,000 -1.9%

961

131

Harris County

Studying the stats

2,310

Harris County

Studying the stats

Number of homes sold in the Heights-River Oaks-Montrose area June 2019-May 2020

45,190

44,789 -0.89%

$773,625

$313,000 $317,000 +1.28%

Average home sales price in the Heights-River Oaks-Montrose area June 2019-May 2020

SOURCE: BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE GARY GREENECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

13

HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

HOUSING

Report: Harris County is losing its grip on aordability as costs rise

report found. “Renters are stretched and can’t keep up, and so you can see a cycle where they are stuck where they are,” Shelton said. This is particularly troubling, he said, with home ownership declining among Black households and income tied up in higher-rent properties. “Housing dollars are dollars spent you can’t spend on something else. ... They aren’t paying for education or health care, and they aren’t building generational wealth,” Shelton said. The report also noted a mismatch between supply- and income-based demand, with more multifamily units being built to serve the higher end of the market, for example. “The next step I would really think about is setting some targets, ... really thinking about production targets by income band,” Cunningham said. “Supporting aordable housing in your neighborhood is a great place to start.” Advocates also called for lon- ger-term strategies rather than responding to natural and economic disasters as they come. “We keep working on a knee-jerk reaction,” said Allison Hay, the exec- utive director of Houston Habitat for Humanity. “We don’t have a plan that goes far enough along to help families for generations and help Houston grow as a city.”

BY MATT DULIN

the vice president for metropolitan housing and community policies at the Urban Institute. She was one of three panelists invited to weigh in on the report June 23. Using aggregated data from the American Community Survey as well as the Houston Association of Realtors, the Kinder report noted the increasing trend toward renting overall as home ownership pulled further out of economic reach, with 57% of Houstonians and 45% of Harris County residents renting as of 2018. A household earning the median income in 2018, $60,146, could aord a home priced at around $186,000, but the median market price was $220,000 that year. “The aordability gap is even worse for renters, making it nearly impossi- ble for the average renter to purchase a home without signicant subsidy,” the report notes. Renters are also increasingly unable to build the savings needed to work toward a home purchase, with 47% paying over 30% of their income on rent and 25% paying more than 50%, according to the report. Homeowners do not see the same challenges, the

Even before the pandemic was a factor, nding an aordable place to live was becoming increasingly dicult in Harris County, with prices outpacing incomes and more people at risk of being overly burdened by housing costs, according to data compiled by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. “The sense is, with COVID-19 ... aordability is only going to get worse,” said Kyle Shelton, one of the authors of the institute’s rst com- prehensive look at housing in Harris County, which was released June 23. Inspired by Harvard University’s “State of the Nation’s Housing” annual report, the Kinder Institute hopes to oer this annual snapshot as a benchmark for informing housing and policy decisions, though the institute did not advocate for any approaches in its rst year, Shelton said. “We’ve done a great job at describ- ing the problems ... but more and more we want to think about, ‘What are the solutions?’” said Mary Cunningham,

STATE OF HOUSING REPORT K E Y F I N D I N G S

Here are some of the data points noted by the Kinder Institute report.

HOMES AT RISK

AFFORDABILITY GAP

falls in a 500-year ood plain in Harris County. This could increase as ood maps are redrawn. 1 IN 4 HOMES

The median home sales price in 2018 was $220,000 , but a person at the median income level could aord only $186,256 .

of renter households 23%

of homeowner households 9.6%

Residents paying more than 50% of income toward housing:

RENTING ON THE RISE

IN HARRIS COUNTY:

57% of Houston residents compared to 53% in 2010 45% of Harris County residents are renting compared to 42% in 2010

of all new housing units permitted in 2018 were multifamily 50% of residents live alone live with 26% 6% nonfamily occupants

On average, Harris County residents pay 47% of their income on housing and transportation.

Renter-occupied units by gross rent

2010 2018

50K 100K 150K 200K 250K 300K 0

Less than $800

$1,000 to $1,249

$1,250 to $1,499

$1,500 or more

$800 to $900

SOURCE: KINDER INSTITUTE FOR URBAN RESEARCH STATE OF HOUSING REPORT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

GROSS RENT

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

GUIDE

A guide to home and garden projects with advice from a local business

Anyone can make renovations on their home, but what projects have the best bang for the buck when considering future sales value? Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Houston contractor Rick Haines with Advanced Living Environments to get the rundown on some projects every homeowner can have done. HOME IMPROVEMENT &MAINTENANCE 2020 Heights | River Oaks | Montrose

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

2

5

6

SIMPLE HOME PROJECTS

1 KITCHEN RENOVATION A mainly cosmetic upgrade could include adding new countertops, a new tile backsplash, and new paint and hardware. Prices vary depending on many factors, but the average renovation will set a homeowner back $20,000-$30,000. 2 MASTER BATHROOM RENOVATION A master bathroom upgrade goes a long way to upping the value of any home. A homeowner could really add value by adding tile ooring, new countertops on the vanity cabinets, new tiles in the shower, frameless shower doors, and new plumbing xtures. These could set customers back $15,000-$30,000. 3 PAINTING EXTERIOR BRICK A popular trend in the Inner Loop, painting exterior brick could add to the curb appeal of a home. The added aesthetics to the home come at a cost, however. Depending on the size of the home, a full paint job could cost anywhere between $5,000-$10,000. 4 NEW FRONT DOOR A cost-eective way to make the outside of a home pop is to install a more attractive door. The cost varies widely but tends to start around the $1,000 mark for a quality door. A less expensive

option would be to paint the door a complementary color to the rest of the house. 5 REPLACE SIDING

7

1

4

Poor siding can cost a seller if a buyer wants them to pay for the replacement cost. Not so much an aesthetic upgrade as a practical one, siding replacement can prevent water penetration. Siding can cost about $10,000 for those looking for a full replacement and even more if the siding is made of other materials. 6 UPGRADE BACKYARD Is there just grass in the backyard? Homeowners might want to consider adding a wooden deck, a covered patio or even a pergola. Homeowners are home now more than ever, and new buyers might chomp at the bit for a more receptive outdoor backyard space. 7 WINDOW REPLACEMENT This might y under the radar, but installing new double pane windows costs a pretty penny: about $1,000 per window, depending on the color, style, and size. Such an upgrade would do wonders for energy bills but also add value when a buyer would gladly pay more for a home to not have to pay for new windows.

3

PICKA CONTAINER MAKE A GARDEN

The bigger the better—larger containers allow for larger root systems and larger plants as well as holding more water for hot days.

PICK SOME VEGETABLES TO GROW

• zucchini squash • bush beans

• carrots • beets • radishes

• tomatoes • peppers • cabbage

• lettuce

KEEP IT GROWING

Watch and treat for insects as needed. Support “climbing” vegetables with cages, twine or a trellis. Liquid fertilizer should be “fed” to plants at least twice per month.

Add about an inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of containers to improve drainage. Plants need at least ve hours of sunlight per day and may need to be watered once or twice per day.

AdvancedLivingEnvironments www.alehouston.com 713-666-0416 7941 Katy Freeway, Ste. 440, Houston

K A T Y F R W

N

CONGRATULATIONS NGRATULATIONS ATULATIONS ULATIONS ATIONS C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S RACHEL THOMPSON WEST GRAY OFFICE | 469.667.9500 | racheltxrealestate@gmail.com ROOKIE OF THE YEAR NATIONAL 2019 HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JULY 2020

CONG CONGRATU CONGRATULAT CONGRATULATIO CONGRATULATIONS SOURCE: THE OLD FARMER’S ALMANACCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

15

CONTINUED FROM 1

In a period when rent would typically rise, Houston has seen averages for Class A units—the top of the market—fall for two months in a row. SOURCE: APARTMENTDATA.COMCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The Heights-River Oaks-Montrose area has seen a nonstop construction eort for several years, with 15 new multifamily developments opening recently and almost two dozen more under construction. Multifamily hitting the M A R K E T

Change in price

$25 $20 $15 $10

$5

$0 $-5

$-10 $-15 $-20 $-25

$1.83 billion

Opened in the last 12 months Under construction, opening in 2020 Under construction, opening in 2021 Proposed/being planned Total number of units:

4,680

3,038

Total estimated construction permit values in the Heights- River Oaks-Montrose area since June 2019

3,962

2018

2019

2020

4,473

21,000 new units in 12 months like you see in a big wave of construc- tion in Houston is a challenge even for the best economies.” Essential, for now While having a blessing from Abbott allowing construction sites to stay active, worker safety remained paramount, said Jerry Nevlud, presi- dent of the Houston chapter of Asso- ciated General Contractors. “It’s been a tough time to try to balance that and [at] the same time to be safe and allow people to work. It’s been a dicult couple ofmonths,” Nevlud said. So far, no signicant “hot spots” have popped up at job sites, he said. The group’s state-level ocials were able to quickly craft guidelines for social distancing, personal protec- tive equipment and other measures, setting an industry standard before it was required, he said. “Time will tell if what we did is working, but we’re proud of it. … We can’t take the foot o the gas. We have to continue to monitor our peo- ple and work safely,” he said. Depending on the stage of con- struction, workersmay be completely outdoors or enclosed in an interior build-out, and a job site can have from two to over 100 workers on-site, which poses dierent challenges for ghting the spread of coronavirus. “Working to atline that curve is still key. We can’t get complacent,” Nevlud said. Not every state has been as friendly to construction as Texas. An April survey by the Associated General

Contractors’ national oce found 40% of U.S. rms are facing layos due to delayed or canceled projects. “Owners are not only halting many current construction projects but are canceling a growing number of proj- ects that have not yet started,” AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said in the report. It is a foregone conclusion that local projects that did not secure nancing before COVID-19 will not break ground soon, which could lead to a construction contraction in the months to come, Rodriguez said. “We are seeing activity and con- struction ramping back up as the economy comes back, … but the real- ity is some of the proposed number of projects might fall out due to nanc- ing,” she said. Market pressures Urban Genesis, a developer based in Montrose, was slated to open AvondaleHighline, its rst ground-up project in Houston, in the rst week of July. It also has three other projects under construction in the Heights andWashington Avenue corridor. Principal Matt Shaezadeh said the rm is not worried about leasing up the new property, as it focuses on aiming for below-market prices. “We build for the ‘missingmiddle,’” he said. “Wewill naturally be aected by a downturn, but we believe the pool we’re accommodating is wider, so we’re not going to be as impacted as badly. So we’re moving forward.” Design choices, such as building smaller communities with platform parking and foregoing pools, gyms

290

T. C. JESTER BLVD.

45

10

WASHINGTON AVE.

WESTCOTT ST.

O

610

N

69

N MAP NOT TO SCALE Visit communityimpact.com for an interactivemap.

SOURCES: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION, CITY OF HOUSTON, APARTMENTDATA.COM COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

said Christy Rodriguez, director of multifamily housing for Judwin Realty Group and an ocer with the Houston Apartment Association. The construction industry was deemed an essential service by Gov. Greg Abbott in his March executive order, allowing almost 23 projectsworth well over $1.8 billion in the Heights- River Oaks-Montrose area to continue. The catch: Most of these are Class A properties—priced for the high end

of the market and banking on tenant salaries of $75,000 or more to make rent—and they are all slated to open in a post-COVID-19 economy that is o- cially in a recession and in an oil slump. Another area of concern will be evictions, as the extra $600 a week in unemployment benets set out by the CARES Act will run out in July. “It’s not a good place to be,” said Bruce McClenny of ApartmentData. com, an industry data rm. “Filling

16

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