Demo Crews Take a Fence, Ashby Highrise Neighbors Take Offense

“Nice!” says homeowner Scott Reamer in this video he shot today from his backyard, just 5 ft. away from the Ashby Highrise site, when a bunch of bricks from the Maryland Manor Apartments wall that demo workers were banging on to take down topples his fence.

Video: Scott Reamer via Tyler Rudick

50 Comment

  • I still feel sorry for the people that live there. I don’t think I could keep my sanity if I had to live next to a tall building being built and deal with these people that don’t give a crap about the neighborhood

  • No worries. They are going to build you a much, much nicer fence than the crappy one that fell over (and taller, too).


  • And it begins.
    The guy will claim 1 million in damages, will settle for a new fence and a doggie treat.

  • BTW, is this what Swamplot will become for the next 12 months, a megaphone for the Ashby whiners with their insufferable blurry cam clips?

  • Agree with RickInHouston. My respect for Swamplot has plummeted as it attempts to drum up support for the whiny neighbors.

  • Seems like a pretty legitimate thing for Swamplot to upload to me. You’d also think that the Ashby guys would have told their demolition crews to be extra careful so this sort of thing doesn’t bode well for the neighbors. Accidents can happen, but this one could have been easily avoided.

  • The fence does look old. Maybe someone should call the special 311 emergency hotline for the residents and report the rotting fence that could fall over on one of the construction workers. No doubt the oral hearing on the lawsuit on June 7th will be focused on the fence and how it is just another example of why this building must be stopped. Of course if the developers had decided to merely rebuild a complex of townhomes that no one would have objected to the old complex would still have been demolished and the brick wall would have still fallen. I wonder how many inspectors our mayor sent out once the 311 lines were flooded with calls about the poor fence that was killed by the mean old nasty tower monster that will indeed devour Southampton if it’s not stopped.

  • I’m sure he will be well compensated for any damage. Has he even contacted the demolition company–I’m not saying I wouldn’t be annoyed but this happens all the time around demolitions, he’ll probably get a really nice new fence, tho I have a feeling he’ll find something wrong with that fence and send the pic to Swamplot

  • So glad when they start to officially pour the foundation, so tired of all that money wasted on banners, yard signs and stickers. What about the pollution that crap creates both visually and not to mention landfill worthy.

  • Based on Scott Reamer’s comments, the tone of voice, and that he bothered to think to record video at precisely that moment, I have to wonder…maybe he was heckling the demo guys, asking for it in a way.

  • Wow. I didn’t realize how darn close that high rise is going to be to the neighboring houses. Seems there should be more of a set back.

  • I’m really amused by all the schadenfreude around here. You guys are getting a real kick out of this, aren’t you? It’s the old line: You shoulda read the fine print! Bought a house. Didn’t read the 8,000 pages of city ordinance governing neighborhood development. It’s *your* fault you’ve got a monster going up next door.
    I worked briefly for a title company in Austin about 10 years ago. The deed restrictions for the Circle C community took up two entire shelves in our office, each about four feet long. I bet all those diligent and righteous home buyers for Circle C must be a real hoot. “We’ll need to delay closing six months so we can read the deed restrictions. Don’t want to get hoodwinked!”
    I find it all so completely and transparently disingenuous. I’m torn between my own amusement at watching the upper crust homeowners in that neighborhood get so indignant, but I’m equally appalled at the sheer joy of folks high-fiving this whole thing, as if they just had it coming.
    Speaking of deed restrictions…anybody read the story in Texas Monthly this month about John Carona and gross corruption and legislative complaisance of our state’s HOA’s? He uses that “you’re free to move” line a lot, too.

  • some yahoo looking to file suit or to get a new fence out of the deal..david v thinks golieth will win…take your activist camera and go away….and swamplot you and culturemap seem to be encouraging all this by even mentioning it….

  • haha. I bet the homeowner “hurt his back” when fence fell over, calling slip n fall lawyer now!!! this is WW III. Dont worry folks this Ashby highrise will never make it without first floor retail.

  • They are not whining. This is the wrong place for this building.

  • Although, it does look like both buildings encroach on the utility easement. Our pool did, but we knew if the utility companies wanted we would need to take out the pool.

  • I’m with doofus, the demo contractor should have taken steps to ensure falling debris would not fall onto a neighboring property. There should be a lawsuit, to replace the fence, and to enfore work safety. Does someone need to be hurt for simple precautions to be taken? Some consctruction netting from the roof to ground may have prevented the incident, if not, then it would have least shown better busniess practice.

  • The demo folks probably told him it may happen, then probably asked for permission to remove his fence so the demo could be done properly, with a promise to completely replace it with a brand new much better one.

    Like a snot, he probably told them to goto hell, and then videos the whole thing so that he can post a video and sue for damages.

    The thing is getting built. GET OVER IT. Move on with your life, or just flat move!

  • Building a 21 story highrise 5 feet away from homes makes no sense. What will happen when the cranes start swinging overhead and the piers are drilled. I expect the brick-flying incident will just be the first of many dangerous situations. Does anyone really believe this is makes sense?
    I know it is Houston so it makes it legal, but REALLY folks. When are the voters going to wake up to this madness.

  • Eh, he needed a new fence anyway.
    But seriously dude, even if they demo’d the apts for a new house(s), the same thing could have happened. Has nothing to do with AHR per se.

  • Please, everyone tell their friends and family to never hold their camera up and down, when filming video you should always hold the phone sideways!

  • “They are not whining. This is the wrong place for this building.”

    Despite two mayors pandering to the pretentious spoiled brats, the city in the end said it is just fine. Per the City Charter. Don’t like it? Put zoning back on the ballot and see if the voters approve it finally or reject it again.

  • Rather ironic that Scott Reamer is a developer himself. You think Mr. Reamer has ever been on the other side of this battle? Mr. Reamer is certainly justified in receiving a new fence, end of story. Possibly Mr. Reamer is experiencing sour grapes that he does not have any jobs going so he is spending his day at home filming.

  • “Wow. I didn’t realize how darn close that high rise is going to be to the neighboring houses. Seems there should be more of a set back.”

    Are you saying there should be some sort of a REQUIREMENT that towers be set back from single-family residential yards? Don’t you know that this is a ZONING thing? Do you want to take away from the PROPERTY RIGHTS of developers? Are you for COMMUNISM or for AMERICA?

  • If I were the neighbor, I wouldn’t do the bitching, I’d just ask the builder for some freebies that he would be glad to do instead of my possible bitching. I obviously would get a new fence, I would get my driveway repaved, maybe a little painting and some new landscaping. Would be free for the builder or cost next to nothing, we used to do it sometimes to keep the neighbors from chimping out.
    But once chimpout happens, gloves come off.

  • If something was being demo’ed that close to my house, I’d be out there with a camera, too, regardless of how I felt about what was being built after the demo. You gotta protect your property–even disregarding the fence, it’s happening awfully close to his house.

    But I don’t know that it necessarily means that because the structure two feet from his fence is being razed that any part of the new structure will be that close.

  • I have no dog in this fight, but the comments from pro-development people are definitely more obnoxious than a neighborhood unified against what is obviously a poorly-placed and proportioned highrise right in their midst.

    Who wants to look out of their backyard and see a 21-story high-rise half a block away?? A nice skyscraper view??

    Everyone in that residential area loses their backyard privacy, and their view.

    I am all for urban development, but this is an absolutely terrible spot for a high-rise, and when the neighborhood tried every card in their hand to stop it, every blindly pro-business stooge comes out of the woodwork calling “NIMBY” and such.
    Nobody in a quiet, wooded neighborhood wants a gad danged skyscraper in their backyard. Cheering against the homeowners is ridiculous, uncompassionate, and rude.

  • The site plans and elevations I’ve seen show the new building 10 feet away from the south property line and only 5 stories tall. The tower is almost 70 feet away facing Bissonnet.

  • Actually, higher density, it’s not surprising at all that Scott Reamer is a developer. Developers can be some of the worst when it comes to trying to shut down a competitor’s job. The last project built is usually the most difficult to lease up, so if they’re late in the game, developers have a strong interest in getting their competitors’ projects delayed. For developers who hold on to projects for a while, a new development can mean unwanted competition. They’ll try to kill it dead if they can.

  • Brings a whole new meaning to “not in my backyard”. It’s literally falling into it!

  • “But I don’t know that it necessarily means that because the structure two feet from his fence is being razed that any part of the new structure will be that close.”
    Right. A high rise needs ample space around it for servicing etc I would think, so the guy will be getting more of a buffer most likely, maybe more sun sometimes too.
    I always applaud people standing up for something,anything.. but I anticipate this building will not be the scary thing that they fear once it’s erected.

  • hm. horrible they are building so close to this guys fence and house? uh, brick wall was already there, for how many years ya think? Yeah, it’ll be taller, but still.
    Swamplot….this is boring. stop giving the whiners all the attention, and eventually they will stop. (it’s like dealing with toddlers/tantrums)….
    wall is down!

  • The anti-high rise AND anti-neighbor haters on Swamplot are blinded by a common truth – no matter what is getting built, if a demo crew next door wiped out your fence and endangered anything on your property, you’d be mad as hell too.

  • This guy has every right to be pissed and seek damages for much more than the value of the fence. That was a wreckless, life-endangering act performed by a bunch of untrained morons who were probably picked up at the nearest Home Depot the morning of. Those kind of acts might fly in Guatemala or El Salvador but shouldn’t be tolerated here, even in “second-world” Houston.

  • I agree with Ian and Alan. Next time someone posts a comment about “too bad for the homeowners”, I also want you to post the neighborhood you live in so that I can get someone to open a gentlemen’s club, factory, or highrise next to your house. Then I want to see you post on here, “I am so glad they are building this next to me…that is the way of Houston, and I am not worried about having to sell and move or maybe loosing my property’s value, just so long as I always remember that every property owner’s rights are more important than mine.” I am aware that we all take risks in Houston when we buy, but to take glee in someone’s potential loss just because they happen to be wealthy is just plain tacky. People morn the loss of lesser things than their property or privacy, and who is to say that the developers property rights are more important than the home owners anyway? Just cus it’s a highrise?

  • Those are Houston’s finest craftsmen at work… they build the townhomes that fall down in the rain.

    But seriously – we got that shiny turd of an HEB on top of Wilshire Village, so building atrocities out of scale in the neighborhood seems to be the Houston theme of the day.

    Couldn’t think of a finer bunch of neighbors for that shiny turd of a highrise to tower over!

  • That was inexcusable sloppiness by the demo people.

  • Keep in mind that this would have happened, even if the old building was torn down for a new park. It’s demolition, folks, not construction.

  • These people started out proclaiming to one and all how pretentious they were. How they were the “movers and shakers” of our city. How they served on the boards of organizations and supported others. How they somehow were different from everyone else and so different rules should apply to them. And sadly two mayors agreed. When they were finally told the developers had every legal right to build whatever they wanted to build within the confines of applicable ordinances, they turned around and stated to conduct of vendetta against the developers and anyone associated with the developers including future tenants. That was the point most people lost all sympathy for them. Particularly when it became clear they intended to carry out their threat. Not nice people.

  • This whole thing is getting old… same thing brewing in the heights on Yale @ 7th. People want zoning without zoning. *sigh*

  • Is that what they did, Matt? They started out protesting the high rise by telling everyone how pretentious they were? And the rest of it.. come on man. They tried everything they could to keep a ridiculous development out of their neighborhood, anyone would do the same.

  • “”From sjh:
    I agree with Ian and Alan. Next time someone posts a comment about “too bad for the homeowners”, I also want you to post the neighborhood you live in so that I can get someone to open a gentlemen’s club, factory, or highrise next to your house.”


    I live in West University Place……bring that club, that factory, that high rise to my street…..I dare you, I double dare you…..

  • I have since moved from that neighborhood (and from Houston), but when I lived there and walked the streets, I always thought that a swanky highrise with a nice restaurant in it should be preferable to Maryland Manor.

    I cannot imagine that the highrise will perceptibly damage anybody’s quality of life; in fact, I’ll bet that the property values continue to rise; and it will enable many more people to live in that wonderful neighborhood.

    So, yeah… Build, baby, build.

  • It does seem that this blog, spur’s hatred.
    Surely the ones’ that control its contents, can do a better job! It’s like their trolling.

  • @jeff, *they’re

  • The only tantrums and whining I see on this page are from the usual crew of profits-at-all-costs-pro-development-anti-community-short-sighted-zealots. That they are shooting at one of their own (apparently a rich developer) is awesome, though.

  • @mel, you lump Pro Development, Anti Community, and Short sighted together, however they are completely different concepts which can be attributed to all parties involved.
    Pro Development is Pro Community by creating progress and improvements and upward property values and is certainly not Short Sighted because it’s the core of long term Growth of the community.
    Coincidentally, people who advocate for no development and maintaining the status quo can be described as Anti Community by dragging down everyone’s property values, preventing neighborhood wide improvement and in long term creating a neighborhood that will no longer be desirable by newer generations. That’s true short sightedness.

  • Nope. I am right.

  • I’m not taking any sides, but it seems like the number of comments on Ashby posts vs other posts indicate that Swamplot should MORE Ashby coverage, not less.

  • I’ll say this. It’s easy to call people whiners. Having been in a title dispute recently with the County, MUD, developer and Flood Control District I can tell you that, even when it’s clear to any reasonable person where a property line begins and ends, it costs real money to defend those lines against the capricious interpretation of another entity to satisfy their goals. I used to think that justice would step in to stop anyone from claiming my land. It’s simply untrue. It costs money and the consequences for those that lay false claim are negligible.