From reader Mark Lawrence come these farewell views of the almost-a-full-block compound one block north of Washington Ave at 1101 Reinerman St. that belonged to J and L Sheet Metal from the late eighties until recently. The company sold its land, bounded by Reinerman, Moy, Nett, and Center streets, to MHI McGuyer Homebuilders in late August. A sign taped to the front door (at right) notes the metal fabrication business is moving out of the Westwood Grove neighborhood, further north to 14102 Chrisman Rd., near the intersection of the Hardy Toll Rd. and Beltway 8.
Equipment was hauled out of the buildings over the weekend. The block is surrounded on 3 sides by townhomes, and includes these residential properties on Nett St.:
The property at 5209 Nett St., at the northwest corner of the block, does not appear to be included in the sale.
Photos: Mark Lawrence
Complain all you want about the cookie cutter Houston townhome, but you can’t deny they’ve vastly improved that area of town.
I also might sincerly moan about the loss of antique homes in certain areas due to the townhome boom but also like seeing areas, like Rice Military, sort of get cleaned up and gain some kind of cohesive identity. And townhomes are not cookie cutter. Unlike suburban tract home subdivisions where there might be a handful of styles repeated throughout, the townhomes repeat within the cluster, and maybe nearby, but there’s really a variety of styles. I look forward to seeing these new nabes mature although I wonder if they’re made of ticky-tacky and what will happen if the nabe ever declines.
Nobody complained, but since we’re on the topic, nothing says improvement like displacement of poor people.
What remains of the original housing stock is now 80-something years old and still standing. The 8- to 10-year-old “ticky-tacky” townhouses are already rotting.
The company owned the homes and, I think, rented them out to their employees. The same is true of the Gateman, Inc around the corner on Schuler and Moy. With the rising property values (and associated rise in county tax assessments), I expect they’ll be next to move.
While the neighborhood new housing stock is uniformly 3 and 4 story townhomes, they are built by different developers and there is a variety of style and trim levels on offer. We’ve been there since 2007 and I’m glad to see the appreciation happen.