Doing Their Level Best

DOING THEIR LEVEL BEST Latest poster child for the approximately 9,000 abandoned, vandalized, or dangerous structures the city is working bit by bit on demolishing: the 43-unit Park Place Apartments at 7410 Park Place Blvd., near the corner of Long Dr. and Telephone Rd. in southeast Houston — which neighbors say has been vacant of paying tenants for at least 20 years: “More than $84,000 in back taxes is owed on the property, according to the Harris County Tax Assessor Collector. Owner Rodolfo Yannarella, 67, said he fell on tough times and wants more time to get a loan so that he can repair the place, which he called his last chance for retirement. ‘It is very Draconian,’ Yannarella said of a Houston police order earlier this month that it be leveled. ‘I plead with you, I want to repair this property. It is my only future,’ he said moments before he was told the building would have to come down. Five years ago, the city delayed demolition and gave him a chance to fix it up. He claims he was making progress until Hurricane Ike ripped it further apart in 2008 and he fell ill. Then, thieves ripped apart the walls and ceilings in search of copper piping and wires, he said.” [Houston Chronicle]

8 Comment

  • I don’t mean to sound unfeeling, but this gentleman has had ample time to bring his property into sound order. Properties like this need to be leveled faster around Houston.

  • Properties like this need to be leveled faster around Houston.

    I agree. They should all be condemned without warning within a week the way Wilshire Village was. The point is they’re not. But Wilshire Village was. Which, again, raises the question no one wants to answer. At least no one at City Hall.

  • If he can get a loan to make this place livable again, which is a very big if, can he even come close to making enough money from this place to pay off that kind of a loan? Assuming he has a clear title, wouldn’t he be better off scraping and selling, or building something else? It’s sad if he really has to count on this place for any kind of income.

  • This is sad, and similar situations exist all over the city. The owner needs to sell for the dirt value, pay his tax bill and walk away. If this weren’t such a shaggy neighborhood, there might be some hope of rebuilding. But I agree w. Trevor — he’s had PLENTY of time to deal with this.

  • Good bye mid-century modern apartments. Hello taqueria, dive bar or strip club.

  • Matt, the building has already been condemned. In fact the City condemned it at least 5 years ago. The difference here is that the owner is resisting demolishing it.

  • This is sad. I feel bad for him but taxes are not optional.

  • Agreed, Claire. At least he would have the land value, less demo costs. And was the property really twenty years without paying tenants?!