Daily Demolition Report: K Out

Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday.

The future cannot arrive until the present departs.


Commercial Structures


Photo of 5303 Mandell St.: HAR

22 Comment

  • So they finally are going to put that Mandell house out of its misery…

  • They’ve been picking pieces off of the Mandell house for a few weeks now.

  • Sadly, that’s a beautiful house that with about 100k could be gorgeous, but this is Houston, so its bulldozed for some hideous McMansion

  • Shannon: It seems those that want these things saved never put up the $ to buy them. That’s the shame.

  • Help me understand how homes west of Main St. are worth so much more than homes in Museum Park just east of Main St (and west of Almeda)? Seems like the Museum District is languishing in terms of sales, DOM, etc.

  • Beyond aesthetics, there are good reasons to regret the demolition of an older home, even if you can’t afford to prevent it. To start, it’s wasteful, so that that much more trash will be tossed into a landfill than would otherwise be the case. And then, the materials used in older construction are superior: brick is better than stucco in this climate, and old-growth wood is much stronger than the spongy quick-grow stuff used today. The too-frequent result is big and poorly built new houses.
    I mention this because every time someone laments a tear-down, Cody jumps on them for saying so because they didn’t fork over the $$ to buy it. And this, when he surely knows that few people could afford to do so. That’s just churlish. For the reasons given, I regret some of these tear-downs, and Cody has no business shaming me or anyone else for not being able to prevent it.

  • That house looks like it needed a lot more than $100k. In a location this expensive there is a chance than someone will build something really nice. If I paid nearly a million for this lot I’d probably tear down that house too. You can hire an architect and build something nice, you don’t have to build a McMansion.

  • When are they going to demolish the Tree Tops at Post Oak Park.
    Left empty and moldy smelling since Hurricane Harvey!

  • From having gone through major renovations inside the loop two years ago, here’s my best guess at what repairs and remodels would cost on this home, assuming all maintenance has been deferred as it appears from the exterior: kitchen (including cabinetry, flooring, counters and new appliances): $100,000 Exterior power-wash+paint: $10,000+, All new windows and gutters: $50,000 New roof: $12,000 plumbing+master bath: $55,000 Two new air conditioners: $5,000. Two new water heaters, installed: $5,000 Interior Paint: $8,000. Possible hazard remediation for asbestos and lead paint: $$$$??? So assuming that that there are no structural issues with the house (unlikely) and assuming there are no cosmetic interior changes outside of the kitchen and bath (also unlikely) You are looking bare minimum $250,000. Any foundation repair will put you at $300,000. At this rate you are getting close to $400/sq foot, including the cost of the land which is almost what you pay for new build home. The math just doesn’t work. And none of these calculations even include new fixtures, new curtains, aesthetic changes, landscaping, etc.. The real shame isn’t that someone is tearing it down, the real shame is that it wasn’t well maintained in the first place.

  • damn 100k for a new kitchen?

  • Nice neighbor, $8000 for a complete interior paint job including enamel would put that house at about $2.75/ft. That seems low but you get what you pay for.

  • I’d paint my own house interior before I’d pay 8 grand. It’s not Rocket Science to paint a wall and ceiling. (Empirical Evidence)

  • @ J.. I was actually trying to be conservative with paint costs, but to your point reinforces mine. I didn’t even notice until after my post that the house doesn’t even have central air conditioning so you would have to add that in as well.
    @whoa… EASILY 100k in this area and neighboring vicinity one would expect marble counters, a wolf range ($35,000+) a SubZero fridge ($15,000+) Bosch dishwashers, Thermador/Wolf vent hood $5,000-$8,000. I haven’t added in costs of reworking plumbing and electrical on a 1925 home to retrofit modern necessities. Anything less would be discounted upon resale. Its surrounded by multi-million dollar homes, formica and home depot cabinetry won’t suffice.
    Also left off the thousands of dollars for inspection and licensing fees. Regardless.. you can pay hundreds of thousands on this 3,000 sq foot house and possibly still have ongoing problems with it. I don’t blame the buyers at all.

    I want to add that my DREAM home is an old historic mansion. I totally get the sentiment and appreciate the craftsmen-ship. But when the cost of land is so high in the city, and sky rocketing fast, it just doesn’t make financial sense to restore these homes unless they have been maintained all along, and sadly this one has not.

  • Mistyped Wolf Range 15,000.. hit the 3 by mistake, but appliances alone could put you at around $40k before even adding in
    construction costs.

  • @whoa, yes…a high-end kitchen easily hits $50K and can go north of there in no time. For reference, appliances will usually cost $30K (Sub-Zero fridge is ~$10K, same for column freezer, Wolf range is $10-$15K, etc.).

    @Shannon, I’ve spent $100K+ upgrading a house in The Woodlands and it’s slightly smaller than this tear down–and I’m still have at least another $50K to go. Depends on your level of remodel, I guess.

  • I remember biking past that house on Mandell regularly ~10+ years ago when I was a student at Rice.
    More precisely, I remember biking past the mess of overgrown shrubs and untrimmed trees that contained the house. You could barely make out the building, for awhile. The place was a wreck then, imagine it’s even worse now. I wouldn’t shed a tear for it – there are plenty of well-preserved examples of this vintage in the area. It’s a shame when a beautifully-maintained or even recently-updated one gets torn down because some spoiled housewife feels that 3500 sq ft aren’t enough, but the Mandell house was too far gone to realistically save.

  • HoustonReader: I agree with you 100% and am not trying to shame anyone. What I’m saying is the people that would like to save these (and hey, that includes me. I buy what I can but I can’t pay what some of these crazy high buyers are offering), don’t seem to be the buy. So the fact that more people that want to save them are not buying them *IS* a shame, and I stand behind it.
    All that said, you’re only seeing the old homes that get sold to someone that wants to knock them down (thus the daily demo list). What we’re not seeing are all the properties that are sold to people that save them (as that doesn’t make any list). So maybe it’s not as bad as we might think.

  • Nicely put, Cody.

    I wonder if we have any realtors in the audience who might volunteer whether they’ve had many or any clients interested in staging a real life reenactment of that classic Tom Hanks / Shelley Long vehicle, The Money Pit?

  • Swamplot, we need another List!

  • I’ve seen the Money Pit……and its a show everyone should watch before renovation to be sure, but it’s a exaggeration to say the least, plus that was a true North Shore Gilded Age Mansion. Still, its a must watch before tackling a massive renovation of an older home.

  • Cody, I agree that this list tends to intensifies our focus (and dismay) on the tear downs. My list of culprits, though, is different from yours. To start, long-time owners that don’t maintain their properties increase the likelihood of a tear down. That, I think, is the biggest shame. After that, I have my biases about the home-buying market. Just as car companies have convinced consumers to crave unwieldy, gas-guzzling SUVs, builders and realtors have convinced us to want a maximum of square footage, 12-ft ceiling heights (or higher), massive bathrooms. Older homes don’t have those things, and so they’re less marketable.

  • True. Traditional Older homes are set up for a different lifestyle. Small kitchen for the maid, formal rooms, small closets, master bedroom upstairs et.al. I love all of that, but most want a massive master bedroom downstairs, gigantic closet, huge kitchen they never cook in and the rest of the house is an afterthought. I’ve walked thru so many horrible new houses in West U, I just can’t. People are so spoiled and they build such gauche, ugly houses, with no yard; it’s all just house. I know exactly what they’ll build on Mandell before I even see it.