Freeland Rush: Your Best Chance To Mess with the Freeland Historic District

When last Swamplot visited the tiny Freeland Historic District at the foot of the Heights almost a year ago, Samantha Wood and her husband, architect Jack Preston Wood, had just given up on plans to purchase a little bungalow at 536 Granberry St., demolish it, and replace it with a new 1-1/2-story bungalow. The Woods’ earlier plans — to build two 4-story townhomes on the property — stirred up protests from neighbors and a rejection from the city historical commission.

Did all that hullabaloo in the newly-minted historic district scare off potential buyers? A Freeland neighbor says no — and suspects most of the neighborhood’s new attention is coming from builders:

525 Granberry Street (now listed on the tax rolls and MLS as 525 E. 5th 1/2 Street) went on the market last week. So many offers have been received they ask that final bids go in tomorrow, April 16.

Why would builders be so interested in this property?


For one thing, it isn’t on Granberry St. But better yet, the property is directly across the street from Clark’s Hardwood Lumber, which should make obtaining supplies for construction (or sure, renovations) on the site fabulously convenient.

The 1,064-sq.-ft. bungalow has 2 garage apartments — totaling another 1,232 sq. ft. — in back of its 5,000-sq.-ft. lot. Asking price: $169,900.

7 Comment

  • $169? Sounds too good to be true. Must be a lot of work inside or is in the floodplain.

  • The wording of the HAR listing suggests they are expecting multiple higher offers. With the multiple garage apartments it is probably worth more than 169 just as a rental property.

  • I viewed this property to keep as rentals, the house is somewhat okay condition but whoever lives there has never taken the trash out or cleaned a litter box! I couldn’t stay in it for more than a couple minutes. I would have to gut the house and most likely the apartments, way too much work and money for me.

  • Let the neighbors nag but the fact is there is no way to stop a building that meets code. Again – an historic district simply adds a 90 day wait – at worst – for a permit.

    People building for themselves are more often those who build tastefully, yet they are the ones that get run off. Spec builders don’t give a rat’s ass what the locals think. All the petitioning and grousing to the media is a waste of time. The city is playing Rope-a-Dope with y’all. Wake Up!

  • Amen to the spec builders comment. I try to squint and keep my eyes in the middle of the road when I pick up my co-worker on Wakefield in Oak Forest. Mel Reyna obviously has a Sonny Crockett mancrush stronger than faux Halston on a 31-story elevator ride. A shame he couldn’t just write fanfiction instead of building nasty stucco MiniMc’s. Then again, with all the permeable land they’ve eaten up, it could be considered waterfront property the next time we get a gullywasher.

  • sometimes i laugh at the fights people put up about some of these teardowns. it’s a shack. a dirty shack that makes the neighborhood look disgusting and keeps other values down. just cause it’s old doesn’t mean it is a treasure worth fighting to keep. there are some parts of houston where i wish mel reyna were housing czar and while i agree his creations in oak forest are minimc’s, i remember the houses each of those replace and i truly feel it is no loss. bu-bye one story shack with converted one car garage into den and a car port that can’t hold the five cars in front of it (including the one always being worked on), hello something that at least is clean and the owners might have some pride in and take care of

  • I would call three of them in this particular block of Wakefield “shacks”. The others were admittedly small, but well-kept. Some were rentals, some were owned by elderly residents who passed away or had to move due to health issues. I’m certain I toured most when my associate was considering purchasing investment rental property on her street and wanted a second opinion. A couple of the new homes are quite nice and fit in well with the fabric of the existing neighborhood. Some look as if they should have a sign touting a Businessman’s Lunch and a two-drink minimum.