Condos Condemned: Park Memorial To Become Parking Garage Memorial

Park Memorial Condos, 5292 Memorial Dr. at Detering, Rice Military, Houston

Sharp-witted observers, start your metaphors! Residents of the Park Memorial condos — who’ve been racing to sell their condo complex before any of the units start dropping into the parking garage that sits beneath them — have a new problem. City officials, terrified of a not-merely-figurative condo-market collapse, slapped bright orange notices on all the doors of the Memorial Dr. complex yesterday, notifying all 108 residents that they will need to permanently vacate their homes by September 15th.

The order came after a city inspector and an independent inspector both confirmed that the concrete parking garage structure underneath some of the condo units is in immediate danger of collapse. In late July, the city had warned residents that the garage “may experience catastrophic failure at any time.”

After the jump, a couple more photos of the condo campus . . . from the listing for a recent sale.


Pool at Park Memorial Condos, 5292 Memorial Dr., Houston

Walkway at Park Memorial Condos, 5292 Memorial Dr. at Detering, Houston

The Park Memorial condos sit on 4.85 acres at 5292 Memorial at Detering in Rice Military.

Photos of Park Memorial Condominiums: HAR

15 Comment

  • I still live here with many others. Yes, we have to move out, and still pay our mortgages, maintenance fees, taxes, and rent or another mortgage. The city tries to tell us they are doing us a favor by not making us move out in 72 hours, but in 30 days, but we cannot park here. It feels like eminent domain; loss of use of property but no compensation.

    I know the City is feeling political pressure and they should feel more. They are kicking informed people who know what the risks are out of their homes and trying to frame it as a favor, trying to protect us from ourselves. Smells like big brother in many aspects.

  • I live here and I am devastated that we are having to move. It is really sad. I am lost for words other than to say that darn the guy who called the city. Most of us knew we were going to have to move and going about it this way just forces us to make rush decisions to buy or get into an apartment. And yeah it definitely suxs that we have to pay two mortgages!

  • News flash – your condo is worth $0. Stop paying the mortgage and let them foreclose. Isn’t that the American dream? Sorry for your problems. That really stinks.

  • The condo is worth a lot more than $0 for its share of the land. The main problem is being forced to move *NOW*; everyone knew they would have to eventually.

    Interestingly, I viewed some condos here about 6 years ago when I was house hunting. I thought they were nice; I passed mainly for not having much shopping nearby.

  • Yes,

    Although the place is falling down, the property is worth a LOT!

    I’m watching closely to see how fast the property changes hands as soon as all the people are out….

    Old apartments/condos along this corridor prime targets for redevelopment.

    Getting the site condemn quickly puts it back on the market quicker.

    Does anybody know how the condemnation process works after the people are out? Is there any compensation to the remaining owners eventually? If they are compensated (mortgages cleared out?), I don’t have a problem. The issue is who compensates them. I don’t want the city involved in paying the owners. A potential sale of the entire site giving the remaining owners money to clear their mortgages is winning situation.

  • Sounds like some if not all the owners knew there was a problem. Did the ones who knew disclose to the ones who didn’t know when they bought? Those are the ones I feel sorry for. They were truly defrauded of their investment. The rest of you should have corrected the problem and obviously didn’t want to pay the additional assessments to do so. As for knowing the risks, how many homeowners have children who might be killed in a collapse? You all sound like a bunch of spoiled and very cheap brats. The land is at least valuable so you’ll get something back. You should be glad there hasn’t been a collapse that resulted in people being killed because even with tort reform you all would be wiped out by the judgement.

  • It is true that the condo association should have taken care of this, but at with any condo purchase it is buyer beware.

  • The condo assoc most likely would have had to pass a referendum with a significant majority of the condom owners in favor of what would have most likely been a significant assessment to repair the structural damages. They probably were not able to get the minimum majority in favor votes to pass the assessment.

    These remaining condo owners most likely are looking at a nice profit whenever the site is sold as the land is worth so much.

  • When you buy the condo, you don’t buy the land rights, you only purchase air rights. So no matter what the value of the land, you’re still out your home. What the city should have done is only condem the units that were built above the garages. There were several building that were built on the land and not the garage.

    Don’t listen to BuilderGeek. If you don’t pay your mortgage, it will adversely affect your credit and hinder your options to purchase in the future.

    I am a former owner of a unit in the complex and whenever an issue arose, it was addressed immediately. I assure you the owners didn’t know anything until recently. Matt, you have some nerve calling them cheap brats! They’re being thrown out of their homes–literally–and are now faced with the burden of two mortgages or one mortgage and rent. Get over yourself.

  • I bought a unit in 1985 as a foreclosure from University Savings Association. USA mishandled maintenance and back then it was a fight to get the place fixed up. Ultimately, insurers and whoever bailed out USA made a bunch of repairs and I thought things were back on track. This was a unique complex with lots of character and a real shame that things somehow deteriorated to the remarkable step that the City condemned the property.

  • I am truly sorry that all of these people, who at one time were my neighbors, were forced from their homes. I recognize that the city condemned these buildings because of possible structural failure however I wish that they would do something to maintain the area until a buyer is found. As I was going past the building today I couldn’t help but notice the deterioration of the exterior and there are several broken windows. Unfortunately the complex is turning into an eyesore.

  • Anyone know what the latest news is at Park Memorial?

  • I empathise so much for the folks who have lived here and have paid their mortgages and maintenance fees. But here are some thoughts…

    The 4.85 acres of land on which the community rests is probably worth ~$20MM to $23MM. Or ~$120 sq ft x ~40,000sqft/acre x 4.85 acres. This is prime redevelopment land. And don’t think for a moment that this was not understood when it was condemned. To respond to a previous poster: each unit owner doesn’t own merely air rights. Each unit owner shares ownership in a fractional amount of the land value as well.

    The process will go like this: unit owners will dribble out one-by-one and perhaps hope they can sell one-by one. You should all be communicating with one another to sell en masse to a developer or someone who can pay fair value for the land (taking into consideration the demolition/rehab costs) AND you should be working with an attorney to do so, or with said attorney be contacting the insurance company who has the master policy that the condo association should have to see what recourse/compensation there might be if a claim were to be filed or a lawsuit filed against either/both the insurance company, the homeowners association (and those whose job it is to act on behalf of the owners) et al.

    Bottom line: there is much value to be redeemed in the property, but that value will not be extracted if each unit owner acts alone. That is what the banks (who hold the notes and some that already have foreclosed), the insurance company(ies) want. My advice: organize unit owners, know that it’s in each of your best intereste to work together, and find an attorney ASAP.

  • While I am sympathetic to those who are inevitably losing out finanically in the short-term because of the structural issues and subsequient “kick out” there is still a chance to get your investment back. Or at least a portion of it.

    I agree with ZBK above that all the current owners should not only be communicating with each other, but communicating with an attorney to sort out this mess. There are so many possible outcomes in this deal, the only way it can be a positive (relative, of course) is for everyone to work together for a solution.

    However, if a developer comes to the table, it WILL NOT be to the tune of $120 per sf or ANYTHING close to $20 million. It’s just not in the cards. So don’t get your hopes up.

  • @CK: “Condom” owners typically don’t get that much ROI unless one considers the pregnancy prevention factor.