Owner Shocked, Shocked To Find Wilshire Village Apartments in Such Disrepair

The Wilshire Village Apartments at Alabama and Dunlavy have been surrounded with a chain link fence topped with barbed wire since Friday, reports a Swamplot reader. And over at the Chronicle, Nancy Sarnoff confirms that the now-vacant complex is “set to be demolished.”

Swamplot readers may especially enjoy parsing this passage:

In 2005, the owner announced plans to tear it down and possibly build an upscale tower in its place.

Matt Dilick, a commercial real estate developer who controls the partnership that owns Wilshire Village, said the demolition process will start “relatively soon.”

“The buildings are unsafe, and for numerous years prior groups have not kept the buildings maintained or the property up to city code,” he said. “The dilapidated buildings are an eyesore to the public and to the numerous homeowners and businesses in the area.”

Helpful hint: the “owner” who announced plans to tear down the complex way back in 2005 was . . . Matt Dilick.

Extra credit: Unwrap the sequence of events Sarnoff gently suggests in this passage:


After an inspection in January uncovered building and fire code violations, the owner gave the tenants 30 days to move out, according to public works official Doug Anders.

“The ownership had already decided to vacate the property for demolition,” he said.

Dilick won’t say what his plans are for the 8-acre park-like property, but tells Sarnoff the site “is best suited for apartments, shops and a hotel.”

Photo of Wilshire Village Apartments: Swamplot inbox

20 Comment

  • Mr. Dillick completed a development project at I-45 and Fuqua about 5 years ago called Settler’s Ranch which is your typical three-story, “high security,” sprawling “luxury” apartment complex.

    I hope Wilshire Village is not going to become another gated luxury community built to standards less than half those of the current Wilshire Village Apts.

    By the way, does anyone know if Historic Houston has been contacted? The stainless steel countertops and stair railings should be salvaged before demolition.

  • Does anyone have Dilick’s company’s website? I couldn’t find it yesterday.

  • Owner, “Shocked”!?! give me a freakin’ break!?!
    are we talking about owner Dilick or owner Cohen?
    having lived there 20 years, I did my own repairs, upkeep and security to the interior of my apt. at an expensive cost.
    10 years of requesting roof leaks be fixed, collapsing stairwells and tropical storms/hurricanes that took their toll, but you know what? I still miss the place. The owls, the magnolias, the friendly and comforting feel of Wilshire Village can’t be replaced.

  • “…for numerous years prior groups have not kept the buildings maintained or the property up to city code” Naaaaaawww! Prior groups like Wilshire Village Corporation, Flat Stone II and Alabama & Dunlavy Ltd c/o Commerce Equities perhaps ?

    With thanks to the Houston Architecture Info Forum:

    “Records show that the property changed hands from the Wilshire Village Corp. (run by J. Howard Cohen and registered in 1939) to Dilick in November 2002.

    In 2002 it was Flat Stone II (run by Dilick) and then it changed to Alabama & Dunlavy Ltd c/o Commerce Equities (both of which are run by Dilick).”

    Now let’s be reasonable. Perhaps Dilick had been kidnapped by aliens and came back too sore and disoriented to pay attention to the condition of his properties – we all know what those nasty aliens can’t wait to do. Or maybe his evil brother who wouldn’t give him the key to that consarned iron mask was just having too good a time collecting rent on the property until it was….Too Late. Regardless, the fact that Houston is losing an important piece of architectural history couldn’t possibly be his fault!

    I might have a modicum of respect for Dilick if he just came out and said he bought the property to eventually develop and never gave a rat’s ass about its condition, history or the tenants who lived there, but that would require something he apparently doesn’t have. Perhaps he could borrow the set of the elderly man I saw shuffling about the property in February methodically removing all of the Fire Marshall signs from his home of 40 years.

  • Ugh, what a sad day. I noticed the fencing this weekend. I can’t imagine that a company run by such a fool will be able to secure financing. Am I the only one envisioning an Astroworld-looking plot set in one of Houston’s most interesting neighborhoods?

    Let’s cut to the chase, Dilick will forever be known as the man with and extra i and an l in his name.

  • Don’t underestimate Dilick. He learned from Tillman (Big Dilick) Fertitta.

  • I sure hope Mr. Dilick doesn’t have a problem with the city over his building a mega-complex on the corner of a two-lane street and a three-lane street in these times of “traffic impact” and “appropriateness” and of course “driveway access” the way the developers of 1717 Bissonnet did but I suspect he has something they didn’t have -an in at City Hall.

    As for the preservation organizations, they don’t seem to be too adept at preserving much in this city. They huff and they puff and then as soon as the big boys start huffing and puffing back they shrink away and cower in the corner.

    Eventually one of the developers, or one of the “nouveau riche” types wanting to have the biggest and splashiest house in one of our historic neighborhoods, will decide the “state landmark” plaque proudly displayed by the previous owner doesn’t mean a thing and will tear down one of our historic mansions. And maybe when the preservation organizations tell us we need better preservation laws people will finally get the message about the preservation organizations.

    Everyone should have gotten the message when the Shamrock was leveled for a parking lot.

  • I would think that the property could be sold at a premium if it was divided into decent size lots (aka at least 5,000 sq ft) for new HOUSE development. Too many new midrise apartments in the area already. People want location and some land these days after all the 3-story-sewage-busting might-as-well-be-three-tiny-apartments-on-top-of-each-other-and-will-never-hold-value-due-to-NO-PROPERTY-domiciles that have plagued all inner city development (minus a few single home replacements and the Woodland Heights).

  • Hotel? am I the only one that noticed this word?

  • the places actually look pretty good in the pic you posted. i guess it’s kind of over-exposed, so you don’t notice how much the exterior is in bad shape. and one thing about cohen – he always kept the grass cut and the grounds tidy.

  • I LOVE Hellsing’s suggestion that aliens, or the evil twin, made him do it!
    Too funny.
    Yet like Dumas’ stories this does have all the pathos, human frailty and drama of fiction, doesn’t it?

  • But, it’s NON-FICTION. A still beautiful, but neglected property which were once HOMES, humble as they may have been, will be destroyed. For what? Sheer greed and mendacity. The sad part is their replacement will not be something better, but will be a totem of Dilick’s ugliness, arrogance, and, dare I mention it again, GREED. This is a grand project from such a small man, and quite awesome to contemplate.

  • Well, we don’t know yet if the replacement will be something better, but the signs don’t look good. And personally, I have no problem with Dillick’s “greed” per se. I will put on my kjb434 hat and say that the owner of a commercial property does have the right to try to maximize revenue from that property (as long as he or she doesn’t break the law). The problem with Dillick wasn’t merely that he was greedy, but that he was ethically and morally bankrupt. He acted as a slumlord for 7 years to save on his insurance, and when he was finally ready to develop the property, he used the fire department to evict his tenants–because the buildings he had owned for 7 years and which he was responsible for were unfit for human habitation!

  • Shouldn’t Dilick be fined for the condition of his properties?

  • @RWB-Yes, I agree with you. Dilick’s level of greed is not the appalling factor, but his bankrupt character and how he treated his tenants is. You’ve been a very reasonable, compassionate advocate for WV in these threads. Thank you.

    @Emme-Not if he has friends in the right places. As you mentioned before, he had tutelage under Fertitta. It wouldn’t surprise me if he attempts a splendiferous high rise to compete against the one already on Dunlavy/Richmond, but with white tigers in the lobby and crystal fountains spouting champagne at the entry way, because it’s classy, y’know?

  • Whether or not he has friends in high places has no bearing on whether he “should” be fined, it has mucho bearing on whether he “will” be fined.

    Fertitta bought the property under the SomeBurger at the corner of 11th and Studemont. So far, no movement, but WE ARE WATCHING!

  • A barbed wire fence around most of the property was put up on Sunday

  • When I returned to Houston earlier this years, I was really surprised that these buildings had survived the demolition craze. I went to a party there almost 20 years ago and they were scary and run down then with only a few residents, but I always thought that they could be brought back and made into something really nice.

    Sad to see that they will be torn down and a loss for Houston.

  • so what if he learned from Fertitta, we see how he is in debt….