Changing of the Guard at a Castle Court Complex

Tenants of the Andover Richmond Apartments at 1301 Richmond Ave. near Graustark got notice today that the complex has been sold to an entity connected to investment company Behringer Harvard. One of them writes in: “I hope the Swamplot team can stay on top of this one since this 2.9 acre plot was earlier rumored to be on Trammell Crow’s Alexan radar. BH is a big REIT player but I can’t find much information about their history regarding redevelopment of acquired properties. I fear same fate will befall us here as those at Chateau on Greenbriar.”

Photo: Swamplot inbox

29 Comment

  • I suspect your fear is well founded.

  • I lived at the Andover Richmond Apartments when I moved to Houston in 1998. I stayed until 2003. It was a great place to live. Affordable. Well run and maintained. Close to everything. It’ll be a shame to see it go. But I guess it was only a matter of time.

  • Property is being torned down. TrammellCrow backed out of the deal 3 to 4 months ago and then the deal hit the streets again. Guess there was room on one more plate for 400 units!!!!

  • I hear bulldozers starting up!

    The level of apartment development along Richmond of denser facilities is mostly due to anticipation of the light rail (if it ever makes it through there).

  • Lived there in 1986 as a college student at UH, when it was called something else and before it got remodeled. The units were undersized and drab. I’m really surprised it’s lasted as long as it has. Anyone remember what it was called back then?

  • Montrose is about 20 years away from being home to some world class ghettos.

  • I wonder if they have the clause in the leases that new owners can force residents out with a 30 day notice. It’s the real estate equivalent of “If you’re reading this, the bulldozer is already in your living room.”

  • Progress !!!

  • I wonder whether St. Thomas took a swing at landing that parcel. They have made a few purchases over the years to expand the campus. Might be too rich for their blood.

  • Just for the record, markd’s comment couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Montrose is getting better by the day and there are NO signs that it will stop. The junk is being removed and improved. The process started in earnest 20 years ago and has another 20+ years to go. Every year the Montrose area gets more dense, more affluent, and more dynamic.

    Greater Montrose is where people want to live.

    Close to downtown? Check.
    Close to Galleria? Check.
    Close to Memorial Park? check.
    Close to Rice U? Check.
    Close to Med Center? Check.
    Close to bars, restaurants, and night life? Check.
    Close to museums and cultural events? Check.

    Smart people with money to invest have spent BILLIONS of their own dollars to buy and improve Montrose.

    There are mega trends at work here. If you can’t see it you’re not looking.

  • I hope this one is a high rise

  • We would have LOVED to buy this and keep it running as apartments. Sadly the value as land to someone wanting to build new is more than we could pay to run as-is. That, and the fact that financing is near impossible. Adding to the problem is CAP rates in Montrose are low due to the area demand so the financials don’t fit into the underwriting box of people comparing to higher return properties in shit areas of Houston.
    What would help is if there was easier access to funding for purchasing these types of properties. That’s the “long pole in the tent” so to speak. If you want to see this type of stuff saved, try to work with local investors that buy this type of property.
    We have had some people in the community invest with us, which has allowed us to buy target properties with the specific intent of fixing them up. Soon after they are paid off having made a nice return but more importantly, having turned around a once horrible building (which helped with their home value if they lived near by). Those were great projects because the investors could see what their money was doing.
    I’d encourage anyone with cash rotting away at 0% in the bank to find someone that works with these types of properties and see how you can get involved to clean them up (or save them from the wrecking ball). Who knows, you might make some good money and improve your neighborhood.

  • I currently live in this apartment and completely love it due to the proximity to everything and the affordability. I knew this was happening when I asked a few weeks about upgrading to a 2br. They got all weird and vague with me when I inquired and continued to inquire up to all about 3 days ago. I received my notice on the door today. I started off 3 years ago with rents being 650/month for 1br now it’s 730/month.

    I hope whoever knocks this down does try to keep some of the mature trees.

  • A little secret: Whenever I look at low-income and affordable housing, 1301 Richmond is the benchmark that I compare them to. I admit, it’s partly because I live there. But they did a good job at 1: keeping the rents affordable; 2: screening out bad tenants; 3: keeping the lighting and gates working for safety; and 4: keeping the complex clean and livable. If only EVERY apartment complex in Houston did this, I don’t think you’ve have the “apartments always become slums” sentiment like what Markd said.

  • My dad lived in those apartments when he first move to Houston in, what must have been, the mid-to-late 1960’s. I think about him driving his brand new 1969 Barracuda every time I drive by that place. (Incidentally, he’s made serious progress on its full restoration, btw!).

  • montrose/museum district/kirby/westheimer is hot. hot hot. bernard hit the nail on the head. just drive down richmond or westheimer west from downtown proper and see all the new multifamily going up. i’m sure most everyone knows this on here but the housing crisis caused a major shift to multifamily. houston is one of the hottest if not the hottest market in the country right now. plus many of us youngsters like the hipstery, yuppish downtown lifestyle as opposed to the suburbs where a lot of us grew up

  • @ markd; you’re right!

    @ dom; trees are a gone brother!

    @ Cody; get in contact with me…

    @ Bernard; are you serious… I like how you use the term affluent to describe all those helping to gentrify the Montrose. If you are native to the HTX, you know houstonians are fickle about our neighborhoods. People said the same thing about NoDo “north downtown” and Midtown. I don’t know if you have been to either of these lately, but I have. They are ghetto with a capital G. Developers over speculated these markets too. I live a block north of Richmond at the spur and right now I can look out my second floor window and see two new 400+ units going up a stones throw away from each other. Both of which mind you have no visitors parking forcing parking onto the street in my historic district, but that is another story all together.

    Push people from lower to moderate incomes who are typically artists and made this environment what is and we’ll move on… it is just sad to see it go day after day. Let’s just pass zoning already and put a halt to all of this!

    RIP, Dunlavy Fiesta
    RIP, The Tavern
    RIP, Château at Greenbriar
    RIP, 1301 Richmond (I’m sure)
    RIP, 1500 California
    RIP, Robinson Warehouse

  • These new so called luxury apartment developments inside the loop are becoming a joke. Most of these developers are stuck in 1990 and keep building the same unfriendly looking gated prison towers instead of street friendly urban buildings. The biggest joke is how close to the streets they build which causes the apartments to be so noise filled they rarely keep lease holders and end up empty with reduced rents in less than 10 years……

  • “Rents will range from $1,209 to $1,959 on units between 708 and 1,250 square feet.”

    …This is what a developer speaking in the Chron thinks. Sorry folks, that bird isn’t gonna fly too far, especially when I’m sure all these developers are thinking the same thing..

  • devin,

    ive lived in houston for 35 years, and i’ve never heard anyone say that north downtown was going to be a good area (at least no one that wasn’t trying to sell me beach front property in AZ). as for midtown, it is leaps and bounds beyond where it was 15 years ago (especially the western side; east of main still leaves something to be desired). i think the better comparison you should have made would have been gulfton and greenspoint (and to an extent, far west westheimer (e.g., hilcroft), although that area is coming back a bit). those areas became a ghetto, but they faced many problems that midtown/montrose don’t face (namely being far away). are there any inner loop areas that can have apartments that won’t become a ghetto?

  • I’ve lived in this complex more than once… it’s a Montrose treasure… and I’m sad to see it go…. The complex will absolutely be demolished… Some residents have already been informed….Andover, the property manager has been wonderful… and the lush landscaping within the complex will be hard to duplicate elsewhere…. Some call this progress.. I call it another neighborhood tragedy…. the bohemian affordable aspect that many of us love about Montrose is vanishing….. complex by complex……

  • It used to be the SOHO Apartments and was quite the place if you were looking for deep Montrose cruising. The owner, Frank Montgomery did an outstanding job on renovating and renaming it 1301 Richmond. Prior to Montgomery, the property was headed for the bulldozer and with $$, perserverance and foresight the property lived another 25 years. Any thoughts that Montrose or the Inner Loop is heading for ghettodom is ridiculous and let me come buy your property at a huge discount today. I am a native to the area and it has ALWAYS gone up, maybe in fits and starts over some years but, always up. Progress is a bitter pill to swallow but accept it or get run over.

  • We’ve had a few people from this location call on our property down the street (1901 Richmond). The Richmond units are not as big and the property isn’t as nice, but it’s an option. Not a lot of places that are under $700 and all bills paid (even if the few that are out there are studio units). I wish we had more stuff available for those looking.
    I hate to see this place go.

  • It’s called change, folks. Best to get used to it, because it will be with you for the rest of your lives.

  • @ GARX. Immensley profound words filled with thought provoking insight……(gag)
    Gentrification of urban areas isnt always something to be proud of…..Montrose and the Heights are urban neighborhoods filled with character worth preserving…..

  • @Bohemian, right on.

  • The Place!

  • Sorry not The Place. I saw Castle Court before I looked at the photo. I cannot remember what those were called, but they were “the” gay apartments in the 70’s. It will come to me eventually. Wow. I’m sorry but in this case, I’m not sad to see them go. They are sad, and always were sad little places.

    The only negative is it’s that many hundred more people looking for affordable rent in Montrose. Time to move to another hood.