Everybody Out: The Ghost Town at 3400 Montrose

A reader tells Swamplot a sticker on the front door of the 10-story mixed-use building at 3400 Montrose notes the building is unsafe and does not have a working fire-alarm system:

They have gated off the garage and also all the first level tenants have now moved out. Any word on what is going on? Is the building being closed up? Torn down?


The building’s highest-profile (and -altitude) tenant, Scott Gertner’s Skybar, moved out over the summer, after complaining that the building’s new owner, a company out of Waco called FH Properties, wasn’t responding to maintenance concerns.


Photos: Swamplot inbox

18 Comment

  • Do I smell asbestos insulation?

  • I’d love to get this building. Sadly, the city is going to make life impossible for anyone that would want to buy and fix it up so chances are it’s going to rot there for a while :(

  • Makes sense. The city will force them to tear that down while buildings owned by the Foteh family will become historical preservation sites.

  • I said it before and I will say it again. This will make great lofts if someone has the vision. The values in the neighborhood keep going up.

  • At this point, Jay, it’s not even about somebody having the vision. Read the comments on the previous Swamplot articles (linked above). The previous owners hired an architect to look at that possibility but the mechanical systems and code issues with the building make it an almost certain teardown.

    The saddest part is that you are right. The building had great potential as loft apartments.

  • It’s not the building that would keep it from being a great loft conversion (yes, I know it needs work). It’s the city.
    I understand why building codes exist but this is a perfect example (I can give a million more) of them doing more harm than good. If they’d work WITH an investor on the property (rather than against them) the place could be turned around. Do you know how many investors would love to make that building nice again if they knew the city would not shut them down .1 seconds into the job?
    I’ve bought plenty of bad buildings in the city to turn around and the conditions of the buildings never concerned me — but the city constantly scares the crap out of me.
    I’m still fighting with them on a Montrose ‘tear down’ I bought early 2010. It was sitting empty for years. I gutted it, made it nice, leased it out, cleaned up the outside, etc. Rather than seeing what they could do to help, the city has been trying to put red tags on the place like it were a paper mache (and for silly stupid stuff)

  • This city loves “Silly stupid stuff”.

  • I used to work in that building. My boyfriend’s company on the eighth floor has just moved out. They were given 30 days’ notice. The stickers have been on the doors for over a year. The last straw was Hurricane Ike. A lot of the windows blew out and the offices were flooded. His company never got their carpet replaced and the office was disgusting.

  • @Cody, what sort of silly stuff is the City trying to pull? Some specifics would be nice, so we can better understand the issues.

  • I used to go to a chiropractor there. Frankly, the building was disgusting. The restrooms were locked and you had to borrow a key from one of the building tenants. I absolutely hated going there and seriously considered finding a new doctor because the building was so dilapidated. Everybody talks about new lofts. Don’t we have enough in Houston? Why must everything old become lofts?

  • @Ross: Not a good idea for me to get into too many specifics here :) Me e-mail is cody biz at gmail

  • me/my. What’s up with the missing ‘edit’ button :)


  • The last time I visited a business in this building, there was someone breaking into the cars parked in the garage, in broad daylight. There didn’t seem to be any security in place. I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there.

  • What are the Foteh family properties? I keep seeing that mentioned, but I am not familiar.

  • I just looked it up. Now I know the places you are talking about. One of the Fotehs was on the Houston Planning Commission for a long time.

  • @#16

    That explains a lot.

  • watch kroger. my money says the building will be demo’ed and turned into a parking area for an expanded kroger.