09/22/17 11:00am

A spokesperson for the Houston Housing Authority tells Swamplot the city agency is not and will not be enforcing the previously announced 5-day deadline for all residents of 2100 Memorial to move out with their belongings. A notice delivered earlier this week by the building’s owner, an affiliate organization of the agency, to all 188 residents of the low-income-housing-tax-credit senior living facility labeled the structure “totally unusable for residential purposes due to health and safety reasons” after it was discovered that floodwaters had damaged the 14-story former Holiday Inn’s fire, electrical, and water systems.

The move-out deadline has not been altered, but the agency says it “understands it will take time to pack and move so they are working closely with the residents to help move in an orderly fashion.”

The photo at top shows the setup for a well-attended emergency meeting held yesterday afternoon on the second level of the building’s parking garage. At the meeting the HHA’s Board of Commissioners approved a $250,000 loan to the building’s management for relocation expenses, which it will then ask FEMA to cover. The funds will provide movers at no cost to residents to help them relocate their belongings to available residences in “Greater Houston” it has identified: 230 tax-credit units with similar rules to those governing 2100 Memorial — or 250 affordable housing units of other types.

Residents who have already hired their own movers, the spokesperson says, will be reimbursed. The agency says displaced residents will be given preference in returning to the building when it can be determined to be safe.

Photos: Swamplot inbox (meeting setup) Realtor.com (building)

Sixth Ward Exodus
09/19/17 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: DISASTER EVICTION DISASTERS “This just brings into focus how landlord tenant law is totally inefficient when it comes to natural disasters. When a landlord cannot repair the leasehold in a timely manner, they have no choice but to terminate the leases. While it certainly makes sense that you would want to free people from having to pay rent on a residence that was not habitable, the unintended consequence is that people are uprooted from their community and scattered about the city with little chance of returning to their homes. Likewise, landlords are forced to empty out their premises and pray that they will be able to fill up their building once renovations are completed. Why not give the landlord the option to obtain temporary housing for tenants and keep the lease in place. When repairs are complete, the tenants can move back in without worrying about breaking a lease and do not have to compete with other tenants for space. Tenants could keep their address, which is very helpful for getting credit.” [Old School, commenting on Residents of 2100 Memorial Senior Highrise Now Have 5 Days To Move Out of Their ‘Uninhabitable’ Apartments] Photo of fire-safety warning sticker at 2100 Memorial: Swamplot inbox

09/19/17 11:30am

A notice sent yesterday to all tenants of the 2100 Memorial senior-living facility just west of Downtown declares that the 14-story former Holiday Inn has been rendered “totally unusable for residential purposes” in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. All 198 elderly residents have been given 5 days to remove themselves and their belongings from their apartments.

The building is a tax-credit property of the Houston Housing Authority that includes both low-income and market-rate units. The notice, which came from V.J. Memorial Corp., a nonprofit entity owned by the authority, states that the company only recently learned that the building’s electrical and fire control systems were compromised by the flooding.

“Due to the damage and health & safety reasons, the building is uninhabitable and we must exercise our right under your lease to terminate the lease effective September 23, 2017,” reads the notice, a copy of which was obtained by Swamplot. A separate lease termination document sent in by a reader declares that “the damage to the Apartment is so extensive the Apartment has become as a practical matter totally unusable for residential purposes due to health and safety reasons. Furthermore, the damage could cause health and safety hazards to you and your family, if you returned to live in the Apartment in its present condition.” Residents have until 5 pm on the 23rd to get out: “If you do not remove your personal possessions by that time. we will be forced to remove your possessions and store them at a cost to you,” the document states.

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Everybody Out
02/02/15 1:00pm

Mimosa Ln. Apartments, 2415 Mimosa Ln., Avalon Place, Houston

Mimosa Ln. Apartments, 2415 Mimosa Ln., Avalon Place, HoustonLast call came for the Mimosa Lane Apartments a couple of months ago — residents of the 1960 garden apartment complex in Avalon Place (along with those of its neighbor, the Argonne Forest Apartments) were given notice in early October of an end-of-November clear-out. That was apparently plenty of time to get word out about a goodbye party or 2.

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A Garden Apartment Sendoff
01/28/15 2:30pm

Kirby Court Apartments, 2612 Steel St., Upper Kirby, Houston

The end of the year marked the end of residency for all tenants of the Kirby Court Apartments. Renters of the 2-story 1949 townhouse-style units fronting oak-lined Steel St. across Kirby Dr. from the Whole Foods Market were required to move out no later than December 31st. Houston-based Hanover Co. had a portion of the complex under contract, and was planning to complete the transaction early this year.

But funding for the apartment tower Hanover had planned for that parcel (marked down to 30 stories and 300 units at last report) fell through sometime in December, a company rep tells the Houston Business Journal‘s Paul Takahashi; since then, the company has been “scrambling to find new investors.” Hanover has now postponed completion of the purchase until August. The architect, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, is still reportedly working on the design.

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Funding Dries Up
10/10/14 2:30pm

Kirby Court Apartments, 2612 Steel St., Upper Kirby, Houston

Kirby Court Apartments, 2612 Steel St., Upper Kirby, HoustonAll remaining tenants of the oak-tree-lined Kirby Court Apartments on the 2600 and 2700 block of Steel St. — across Kirby Dr. from the Whole Foods Market — received notice today that all leases will be terminated on December 31st, a source tells Swamplot. The notices — sent through regular mail and certified mail, taped on front doors, and bearing some lawyerly language — do not indicate the name of any buyer, or describe what might become of the site when it is redeveloped. But according to the source, all portions of the complex have now been sold.

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Upper Kirby
08/22/14 1:30pm

Brewery Incubator and League of Extraordinary Brewers Brewpub, 907 Franklin St., Suite 150, Downtown Houston

“Never would a game of strip Twister be so badly regretted,” writes Lucrece Borrego in announcing the sudden closure of her innovative Downtown food-business incubator turned brewery-incubator business on the ground floor of the Bayou Lofts building at 907 Franklin St. An eviction notice the two-time startup-startup starter was handed by an attorney representing her landlord as Borrego was cooking for a steak-night “bottle share” event last Friday cited several reasons for the termination of her lease, most of them focusing on items encountered in a common-area hallway outside the business: empty beer kegs and boxes (Borrego says they were left after deliveries), “personal items” (likely including a motorcycle, a source tells Swamplot) — and a live game of naked Twister.

“Indeed,” Borrego writes, “I had agreed to host a naked game night: a completely private event that takes place at bars all over Houston regularly. We covered all the windows and had someone working the door. Only one thing went wrong.

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Downtown Brewery Startup Space Evicted
09/19/13 10:00am

The resident tipster who let us know about the pending evictions at Westcreek at River Oaks Apartments sends in this “makeshift map,” which provides a more accurate view on the changes coming — for now, anyway — to the complex directly behind the so-called River Oaks District. As the map makes clear, the tipster explains that, according to the Westcreek property manager, only 2 of the 6 buildings have been sold and are slated for demolition: B and D, right next to the Target on San Felipe. Still, the remaining 4, to which some of the displaced residents have agreed to be relocated, are for sale.

Map: Swamplot inbox

09/16/13 10:00am

Note: Story updated below. And read more here.

Though their neighbors at 4444 Westheimer were assigned “move out concierges” to help with their “residence transitions,” it doesn’t appear that the tenants at the Westcreek at River Oaks apartments, just east of the Loop and south of San Felipe, will enjoy the same luxury, now that they’ve been asked to leave, too. (Though they will get their security deposits back!) A tipster explains that eviction notices from property owners Kaplan Management Co. were delivered late last week politely requiring that 2 of the buildings at 2049 Westcreek Ln. be vacated by the end of November, so they can be torn down. Why? The notice explains that “the community is being redeveloped.”

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08/05/13 10:15am

A resident at this 1970s apartment complex tells Swamplot that it has been sold and that notices to vacate by the end of September have been sent around: Demolition, the resident suspects, is nigh. The 21-unit, 13,750-sq.-ft. complex sits at 1407 Missouri, between Commonwealth and Waugh in Hyde Park just 2 blocks north of foodie row — Hay Merchant, Underbelly, Blacksmith, etc. — along Westheimer. County records show that the 18,625-sq.-ft. property was sold as recently as March to Legacy Community Health Endowment.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

03/07/13 3:00pm

PEARL BAR LOCKED OUT ON WASHINGTON AVE. Landlord Eva Hughes has changed the locks on her building, reports Chris Gray, for Pearl Bar’s non-payment of rent: According to Hughes’s attorney, adds Gray, eviction “proceedings” are underway. This isn’t the first time the tenants at 4216 Washington Ave. have had a visit paid by such sober guests: “[I]n January agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and state comptroller’s office visited the bar and confiscated cash to count against a back-tax bill a comptroller’s spokesman estimated at more than $40,000.” [Hair Balls] Photo: Pearl Bar

02/28/13 5:00pm

A result of the news yesterday that H-E-B will be moving from its Fountain View and Westheimer store to a new one on San Felipe in 2014 is the impending demolition of Tanglewood Court apartments, which stand on the 18-acre property bound by Fountain View, San Felipe, and Inwood. (The photo shows the apartments from the corner of Fountain View and Inwood.) Lynn Davis of Fidelis, which purchased the site in September 2011, tells Swamplot that notice has been given to residents that they’ll need to move by the end of March or early April. Buses from neighboring complexes, says Davis, have been shuttling them around to help them find a new place to live.

And once they’re gone, what, besides the H-E-B, will go in their place?

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06/30/11 5:03pm

LIKE PULLING TEETH: SCREWED UP RECORDS WON’T BE EVICTED EASILY Houston hip-hop landmark Screwed Up Records & Tapes is facing eviction from its longtime South Park storefront, says the Houston Press. The building’s owner, Dr. Zeb F. Poindexter III, reportedly has plans to expand his dental business into the store’s space at 7717 Cullen Blvd. From early 1998 until his death in late 2000, the CD and tape shop served as the musical headquarters for Robert Earl Davis Jr., also known as DJ Screw, who pioneered Screwston’s “chopped and screwed” sound. The store has been run by family and friends ever since. Blog reporter Rizoh says an eviction judge has ruled in Poindexter’s favor, but that Screwed Up Records & Tapes has filed an appeal and is waiting for a new court date. [Rocks Off; store info and samples]