Memorial Towers Apartments Going Blue In the Face During Mid-Century Makeover

5400 Memorial Dr., Rice Military, Houston, 77007

5400 Memorial Dr., Rice Military, Houston, 77007The sides of the 1965 Memorial Towers highrise apartment complex are currently getting the blues as part of a period remodel, a reader reports. Serial multifamily fixer-upper The Barvin Group bought the property in May. The side of the complex pictured above (also shown pre-paint for comparison) faces west down Memorial Dr. toward the recently flattened former roost of Pollo Bravo (occupied before that by Hartz Chicken Buffet).  A rendering of the complex’s planned new look (including a throwback cursive replacement of the signage currently pointed at east-bound drivers) is on display in the lobby:


5400 Memorial Dr., Rice Military, Houston, 77007

5400 Memorial Dr., Rice Military, Houston, 77007

The south-facing face of the complex is already getting done up as well:

5400 Memorial Dr., Rice Military, Houston, 77007

5400 Memorial Dr., Rice Military, Houston, 77007

Photos: Memorial Towers Apartments (2nd); Swamplot inbox (all others)

Rice Military Remake

9 Comment

  • I’m a fan, both for what the building has to offer and as a way to make money. apartments aren’t a charity business, so the idea is this can kill two birds with one stone.

    if i’m a renter, and this building is on my radar, it’s draws are area conveniences, location on Memorial near the parks and downtown, and the idea of living in a rare MCM atmosphere.

    It’s not for everybody. If a renter wants high ceilings, modern apartment layout, and tons of on-site amenities like yoga studio and community kitchen, this ain’t it.

    but that’s why there are 7MM people in this town. there’s enough demand for just about anything, including throwback apartments. it would be double cool if they could somehow catch that lightning in a barrel factor of other landmark urban revival complexes, like the flamingo in south beach miami. maybe minus the sidewalks littered with mopeds and scooters…

  • Glad to see that old poop-brown paint scheme is going away!
    I’m a fan of the building’s solid concrete construction. I’d take it over today’s wooden midrise ticky-tacky any day of the week.

  • Really glad that a good owner/operator like Barvin Group is doing this deal. All their deals look really nice once they have been completed. If done correctly, this could be the coolest “economic alternative” in town.

  • Looks like they copied the funky font for the building sign from the Mid Century Hillside Condos wall sign a block to the east.

  • I love it ! Glad that more and more property owners (landlords/developers) in the Houston area are beginning to see that PRIDE is important if you want to show that your property deserves to be purchased or rented out from you. This pride is showing in so many ways ALL OVER HOUSTON and I think it is high time this is happening. It’s infecting other parts of America as well and we’ll be a much better place to live as a result. So very exciting and a job getting well done at that. Keep up all of your great work Houston !!!

  • I looked at this place and really did want to buy it. I put in an offer. But this group was willing to pay more than I was. The amount they paid didn’t make sense (to me) based on the income it provided. But they’re likely better at this type of deal than I am.
    It did make a nice ‘trophy’ property to show our friends (“Check out this place I own, it’s awesome”). That’s something my stuff will never have. When someone comes to town and wants to visit one of my properties I just mumble and change the subject :)

    CREBBQ: It won’t be ‘economic’ based on the proforma rents used to justify pricing — unless you have a different idea of whats economical — which is possible. I didn’t think the proposed future rents were possible due to features you couldn’t upgraded — like you point out — low ceilings, amenities, etc.

  • Hooray for color. The 1990’s beige/cream/tan/poop colors are bland,boring and blah. NO more neutral colored buildings.

  • Although I’m a fan of the exterior of this building, I’ve only seen the interior via photos. The photos reveal apartment units that are stark looking, cookie cutter layouts.

  • I used to live in this building about two years ago. I really hope the new owners do more than take care of aesthetics. While I did love the midcentury architecture of the building when I first moved into it, there were just too many interior issues for me to continue living there.

    The building was falling apart badly. The back stairwell wall was pulling apart from the building (about 6-8inches!) – you could actually look down the wall from the second floor into the basement garage! The plumbing was horrible. Rusted water every time I turned my water on. You would have to let the water run for a minute until it cleared up. Not sure how safe the water was for bathing or drinking (even with a filter). The water temperature alsofluctuated badly. One minute it would be a perfect temperature then would fluctuate to ice cold or scolding hot.

    The building had a very bad black mold issue as well. My AC vents were constantly building up with mold. Other tenants I knew in the building also had issues with mold and I suspect a full building gut job would be THE ONLY way for the mold to be taken care of. Sadly my health was horrible living there with the mold so I had to move into one of the new cookie cutter apt communities.

    The building has the opportunity to be an iconic Inner Loop building to live in and has amazing views of downtown, Med Center, and Uptown/Galleria. The floorplans are also amazingly huge! Compared to the tiny 10×10 bedrooms developers expect people to live in today, I’d move back into that 16×13 bedroom I once had only if the internal issues are fixed.