Lovebird Hideaways: 3 Out of 4 Fourplexes on West Gray

Three fourplexes in a row, plus a vacant lot that used to hold one, are for sale on West Gray between Stanford and Taft, across the street from Barnaby’s and next to the West Gray Café. And Swamplot brings you this exclusive color commentary from a former tenant:

. . . they’re roach motels inside. Plus, the back parking has potholes deep enough for cars to get stuck in. The maintenance was horrible while I lived there, and then they jacked up the rent. But, for the price, the apartments were quite large with central AC. Just had to ignore the mice, roaches, ants and leaks.

No idea why, but there have been instances of lovebirds using the back parking lot to get some privacy in the past. Guess they drank too much at Cecil’s.

Why is the listing agent insisting all 4 properties “must be sold together”?


“Looks like they want them gone for a teardown,” declares our correspondent:

No idea how they think they’ll get a total of 2.05 million for the lots, they’re listed in HCAD for around $381k each. Plus, the 4 lots are listed under 3 different names. . . .

It’ll be interesting to see if the lots will sell, its a good piece of land on a well-traveled strip. Plus its large at about 26,500 sf.

17 Comment

  • Those “love birds” are likely “professionals”

  • “Mice, roaches, ants, and leaks.” Really? That’s a problem? I’ll bet it describes 95% of the rental housing stock in the Greater Montrose area.

    Spray, trap, and complain to the landlord. And be happy you’ve got a big place at a reasonable price in a convenient location.

  • After reading ‘love nest’ and ‘mice’ I want to see these buildings linked together by colorful, people-sized plexi tubes, like a hampster environment!

  • How sad. These have always been my favorite style of “urban” rental that covers the gap between apartment and house, without being a townhouse. Up North these are the kind of properties that are sought after and well maintained to keep young professional tenants happy. It gives a sense of community. Houston makes me so sad sometimes with the constant push forward to demolish and stick up cookie-cutter McMansions or shoddy townhouses.

  • Would hate to see these torn down. I spend a lot of time in the area, particularly at Barnaby’s and Cecil’s. They might be roach motels inside, but the exterior is much more pleasant on the eyes when sitting on the porch having a beer than bland new construction would be.

  • “‘Mice, roaches, ants, and leaks.’ Really? That’s a problem? I’ll bet it describes 95% of the rental housing stock in the Greater Montrose area.”

    Also pretty accurately describes my cousin’s $1400+ Alexan Bunker Hill apartment a couple of years ago.

  • Also pretty accurately describes my cousin’s $1400+ Alexan Bunker Hill apartment a couple of years ago.

    Yes, well, sometimes you don’t get what you pay for. Some of the luckier ones who rent the dumps in Montrose for $600 have never seen a mouse, only rarely see a roach, occasionally find ants in the dog and cat bowls on the patio, and tend to just live with the leaks. What do you expect for $600? The Alexan?

  • fortunately most all of the young professionals that move to houston never look at this part of the market so there’s still good deals that can be found on these multi-family properties. bugs are a small price to pay and are always an afterthough once you move in anyways (unless you got them really bad i guess).

    the main thing is that all these properties have a lot of character that can’t be replicated in modern construction and a lot of the layouts can be quite genius when compared to standard apartment layouts. i personally treasure my 6-ft sink and it can certainly feel priceless when you recognize the same bathroom tiling in an old Nan Goldin photograph as found in yours.

    i find these kind of properties the ideal type for inner city neighborhoods, so it’s a bit dissapointing that they just slowly dissapear as the montrose continues to be re-built for a specific income bracket. most all of these are in the position these days where the property is worth more than the home though so it doesn’t make sense to keep dumping money into the house to renovate it. i also expect that these will start to dissapear at a quicker rate as a lot of the owners get older and look to sell.

  • $75 a foot for dirt value? I’m not a buyer…it doesn’t have the depth you need to redevelop with a retail project, or small office building. The value’s in the address, being a Gray Street site. There is zero available on Gray Street for retail back to Shepherd, and the line of interested parties forms to the left. At $1.5M it’s in the ballpark, but still pricey.

    Great site for Breadwinner’s out of Dallas…

  • I lived for several years in a fourplex near HSPVA – living room, dining room, long hallway, bedroom & sunroom for $200 a month. Think I cared if the water heater was on plain display in the kitchen and raccoons ran up & down the back stairs when I could walk to the Black Labrador?

  • Hellsing,

    Any chance you lived in a grey fourplex across the street from HSPVA? I’m looking for people that used to live there.


  • They are great looking buildings. I lived in something similar back east.

    I wish someone would buy them and clean them up. But it looks like they are going to be torn down like so many other mistreated historical properties in this city. Sad.

  • I’m the one who sent this in to Gus. These places were horrid when I lived there a few years back, I’m sure nothing has been done to fix them up. When I first moved in they charged $625 a month; I moved out when they tried to squeeze me for $725.

    They looked to have been gutted around 30 years ago; all traces of architectural uniqueness were wiped out for generic layouts. Leaks created waterfalls on my bed every time it rained an appreciable amount; management response was to ignore maintenance requests and phone calls. After months they went in and painted over the leak. Guess how much that helped? This was a trend with them, ignoring repeated maintenance requests by both myself and neighbors.

    I moved out for a property with history worth preserving and owners who cared.

  • csoakley: if you’re talking about the one on Greeley, I knew two Celtic musicians who lived there in the upstairs units. Have you seen it lately? It ain’t gray anymore! Complete rehab.

  • Looks like a great place to relocate the long dead but sorely missed Aquarium. Connect two. Demolish two for for parking. Win.

    Take a look behind the front room addition at Kenneally’s and you’ll find a building nearly identical to these: obsolete for housing, but many other uses.

  • Just had to add a comment to mention that recently the owner has begun major overhauls on many of the units here. An elderly woman owned these apartments and was swindled by the company (not to mention names even though their run down shack of an office is just a few hundred feet down the road at the corner of Taft) she hired to perform the needed maintenance in the past. She has passed away and the new owner and family have been diligently working to improve the conditions. For the last several months there have been maintenance workers here daily renovating the interior of several units. The drive way is still bad but there are plans in the near future for repair. They have repaired the 6 foot cyclone fence around back and 3 new barbed wire strands have been secured along the top of the fence. All and all the units are improving considerably and the new management is eager to work with the tenants in many ways. In my opinion, this place is a diamond in the rough and I don’t mind saying that I recently renewed my lease for another two years. The units are all around 900 square foot, some with carpet others have hard wood floors.