All 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.
In August, Hanover Company purchased a 1.65-acre portion of the complex and a few adjacent properties from the Dickey family. The company plans to build a 30-something story apartment tower called Hanover River Oaks at the northwest corner of Steel St. and Kirby Dr., with a row of restaurants surrounding the existing Becks Prime facing Kirby. It intends to spare the oak trees fronting Steel St. along its portion of the property.
Swamplot’s source is under the impression that additional neighboring properties are included in this latest sale, and that the after-Christmas clear-out date was intended as “a bit of a reprieve” for the tenants.
- Previously on Swamplot: A Guided Tour Through 8 Renderings of Hanover’s New Kirby Dr. Highrise and Drive-Thru Restaurant Plaza; Hanover Tower Planned Across from Kirby Whole Foods Wants To Keep Oaks, Add Restaurants; New Hanover Apartment Complex Will Eat a Chunk of the Kirby Court Apartments Across from Whole Foods
Photos: Jessie Wilson (top and bottom); Swamplot inbox (middle photo)
My husband and I lived there for three years and just moved out because of the impending demolition. It was a great place to live. I had a two story, 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment for $950/month. Great neighbors too. It’s sad to see it go. Good luck to the suckers that move in to the new building! You’ll especially need it when you, and all of your other high rise neighbors down Kirby, all try to leave and come home from work at the same time. You had better order a Sirius account for your car, a Valium prescription and some audiobooks.
@Brittany: A high-rise or two doesn’t actually cause much increase in traffic. This is a good spot for them too, fits the character of the area and there’s a ton of stuff in walking distance. Sad to see one of the last affordable housing apartment complexes in this area go away though.
greedy people – why tear down a place to make a more expensive place to live = GREED. Burn in hell greedy beings/
Good, another derelict tenement being bulldozed for better things to take it’s place. This is a sign of progress and prosperity.
So, Greedy, what’s your objection to people maximizing their income/profit from something they own? Would you have said the same thing when farms were turned into West U or Bellaire – “look at the greed of those farmers, selling their land for houses”?
Derelict Tenement? Really? Commonsense, do you ever venture outside Loop 610? Try taking a drive out Bissonnet past Hillcroft. You’ll see what derelict tenements really are.
The economy of our city is booming and it’s population is growing – but the front half of the Kingsgate Village aka Houston Westlake apartments is STILL abandoned! THAT’s a Derelict Tenement! The Kirby Court Apartments was an older complex, but by no means derelict or a tenement.
At some point the high rises in the Galleria area and Upper Kirby along with those starting in Montrose and Downtown will connect decades from now and then we’ll have, not only Houston’s balcony belt but some serious traffic and density. The time to lay criss-cross rail/BRT, both the Univ line and several others is now. These will be the people who will actually ride regularly and it will be possible to live car-free here, if you live there.
@Brittany Havicam I think you might have moved into the space that I lived in? Next to the couple with 3 children? I loved that place.
city of houston acting very provincial in it’s planning. other small and large cities have prohibited residential and commercial buildings without conveniences on ground level such as restaurant, dry cleaning, bank, etc etc. this cuts down on traffic, creates more neighborhoody feel, and reduces crime. houston should not allow one more darn apartment building without this. wake up planning and annise. this still creates the tax revenues you want so badly, but creates a better city and saves costs of re-doing these 3rd-world streets that keep breaking our rims and axles
@christian- “a highrise or 2”??? Try like almost a dozen in a less than one square mile radius. All in stages of construction.
@ ZAW: I used to live in a derelict tenement and I cherished it because it was in a great neighborhood and relatively affordable. Nevermind the various insect infestations or that I’d had to hotwire a ground for my electronics or that I had only window units or that the attic had no firewalls or that the swimming pool had been filled in decades ago or that the parking lot was so tight that five-point turns into one’s space were mandatory or that it was the only place where I’ve ever had anything at all stolen out of my vehicle. People gushed about that building when Swamplot featured it in a story, but make no mistake about it — it was a derelict tenement.
What made it special were the people that lived in and around there, nothing particularly more, nothing particularly less. If it were filled with working-class minorities and their children as opposed to overeducated/underemployed native-born citizens then you and neighborhood groups would be labeling the building what it is — a derelict tenement — and calling for red tags and condemnations. You’d be calling the landlords slumlords. You’d appeal to the common good of the children (but only your children). You might even divest yourself from such a neighborhood. The difference between you and Commonsense and the reason that I pick on you so much is that you hide behind community advocacy, whereas commonsense is an out-and-proud bigot.
No, Niche, that’s a lie and you know it. Buildings don’t get red tagged just because there are minorities living there. I know you hate to admit it, but there are HUGE differences between truly derelict tenements, and the kind shabby-but-livable places guys like you and I lived in when we were younger.
Until you’ve walked a real, derelict tenement, you don’t know just how bad they are. We’re not talking about missing ground wires. We’re talking about units they flat out don’t have power! We’re not talking about pools that were filled in years ago. We’re talking about pools filled with brackish water and mosquitoes! I walked the old complex that used to be on the Braeburn Village site. It was terrible. Holes in the walls. Dead animal odors. Lack of lighting. Boarded up units…. I lived in some pretty shabby places in New York and when I first moved to Houston, and none of them were anywhere near as bad as that. And to think, of the three complexes between Sharpstown High School and Fondren Road, that was actually the best!!
And by the way, Niche: it’ easy to throw around the word “bigot,”. But maybe you should look in the mirror. You, after all, are the one who wants to maintain the status quo of substandard housing for poor black and brown people. We’ve gone through this argument over and over again and we always come back to that underlying fact.
@ ZAW: I have indeed known apartments that are in unthinkably horrible condition, matching your description. I know that they exist, but they are not the norm anywhere. I knew them because I’d get hired by the owners to do various sorts of consulting work on their behalf. Some of the time it would benefit them that I should know about only the best of the best of their units; and some of the time it would benefit them if I only saw the worst of the worst. Some of them were such assholes, they would plant evidence for me to find that would validate their financial objectives. Others were grossly incompetent, unqualified to be multifamily investors; and yet among that set were some of my most trustworthy clients, whom I would rather have as landlords than a professional outfit because they saw their property as an extension of their identity (and I’m thinking of a family that has two properties in Sharpstown, btw, leveraged to the hilt). You could say that I got hired by the good, the bad, and the ugly, and pretty much all over town. I know how it is. And I can tell quite easily when an owner is merely warehousing some land in an otherwise nice neighborhood by hosting some teardowns with curb appeal temporarily and haphazardly.
To your point that I’m also a bigot: I agree, but for a different reason. I play along in the immediate near-term when it suits my interests, and it often does, and that makes me feel rather shitty except that if it weren’t me that it’d be somebody else. However, I have never said that I desire to maintain the status quo and I have in fact contraindicated that to you personally on a number of occasions. There will be work for me no matter whether the rules change.
I suspect you’re downplaying just how bad the problem of substandard housing is in some neighborhoods, Niche. And that’s what I was getting at before.
Note that I said some neighborhoods. It’s easy to look at a building that needs a coat of paint in Midtown or Montrose, and say “that’s a derelict building.” It’s not. Get out to Westwood, an you’ll see real derelict buildings.
And that’s really the root of the problem. The places that need paint in the gentrified neighborhoods are the ones that get torn down and replaced with luxury housing. It’s an uphill battle, full of accusations and condescending comments, to get anything meaningful done about truly derelict buildings in poorer parts of town.