For those who consume real estate like potato chips, here’s a 6-pack of homes in Kashmere Gardens that share a gated driveway on the north side. Identical in design, each home within the complex hit the market last week at $52,600. Although the tenant-occupied properties are located a block and a half south of the East Loop near Lockwood Dr., the banks of Hunting Bayou prevent direct access to the feeder road.
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All in a Row
Budget considerations ended up cutting the number of floors in the new ambulatory care center the Harris County Hospital District is about to build at its LBJ General Hospital campus north of 610, but the district is still calling the planned 3-story building a tower. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Ambulatory Care Tower (the low building shown in the center of the rendering above), a single-story connecting building that will link it to the existing hospital, and a similarly towering 3-story parking garage took place yesterday at 5656 Kelley St. on land owned by the district, portions of it the site of condemned housing lots.
Also claiming tower status, but with the extra credentials of 2 additional floors (with what looks like a little elevator cap at one end for good measure): the separate Ambulatory Care Tower the district is building on a former surface parking lot next to the hospital administration building at 2525 Holly Hall west of Almeda, closer to the Texas Medical Center. That building (pictured below) will house specialty clinics now located at Ben Taub as well as a radiation therapy center. A new 9-level parking garage serving both buildings opened last month:
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CASH FOR KASHMERE GARDENS A few residents of Kashmere Gardens are fighting Harris County Flood Control District plans to buy and demolish 40 homes in the upper Fifth Ward neighborhood: “The $175 million Project Hunting will widen and deepen a half-mile stretch of the bayou and create a 75-acre stormwater detention basin. The district plan purports to remove 5,000 homes from a 100-year flood plain.
The engineer-speak means those homes currently face a 1 percent chance of flooding each year. The 1 percent happened to at least some neighborhood homes during Allison and Hurricane Ike. It also happened, according to district information, in 1979. And 1980. Again in 1983. And again in 1989, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2006 and 2007.
But a group of holdouts does not believe that. Their homes flooded only during Allison, they said. The real numbers the district is acting on have dollar signs in front of them, residents said. Houses in their neighborhood can sell for as little as $30,000.
‘(The district) wants to go cheap because they consider Kashmere Gardens as poor, poor people,’ neighborhood resident Deborah Butler said.
District officials insist the buyouts are about protecting residents, not cutting corners.” [Houston Chronicle; map]