Park Memorial Condo Owners: Ready To Move Back In?

Welcome home to Park Memorial! More than 2 years after city officials ordered the entire Memorial Dr. complex evacuated, the coast may now be clear for owners of the Park Memorial Condominiums to move back into their homes! Except, umm . . . some of those sheet-rock, copper-wiring, and AC-unit removal operations that have been going on in the meantime on the locked and officially empty grounds might make moving back in a little rough. 11 News’s Gabe Gutierrez reports that a Harris County district judge has ruled that the city’s order to vacate the property violated the state’s due process rules because there was no prior notice or hearing, and that there was “no evidence that there was any emergency or immediate danger that justified” requiring the residents to leave without one. The city plans to appeal the ruling.


The city lawsuit was sparked by a small minority group of Park Memorial owners shortly after the condemnation order. Ninety-seven of the 108 owners had signed on to sell the entire 4.85-acre property in Rice Military to an entity connected to developer Marvy Finger. But the court action got in the way of that sale. In July 2009, the condominium association settled a separate case against its insurance company, which had denied a claim for the same parking-garage damage that spurred the city condemnation order.

One owner who tired of making mortgage, tax, and condo association payments on a home that couldn’t be lived in ended up walking away from the property, and tells Swamplot:

As usual it came down to money, I . . . was not interested in depleting my retirement to save that facility. I know of no one else in my position but out of 108 there HAS to be others who walked.

We are 2+ years after the situation began and that is a lot of mortgage payments. Many of the owners were younger couples/singles and I cannot imagine they are still affording two payments per month all this time.

Photo: HAR

7 Comment

  • And of course this is the same Marvy Finger whom Bill White used his office as mayor to promote when Marvy’s “Central Park pied-a-terres” weren’t leasing as well as expected.

    And of course this is the same Bill White whose former employer held a second lien on Wilshire Village.

    Does make one wonder.

    The city can appeal but I suspect in the end the city is going to have to settle a nice chunk of change on the homeowners. The city should then send the bill to Bill White.

    Shame someone didn’t sue over Wilshire Village.

  • What I’m wondering about is those 11 holdouts who tried to do their own “deal” with the proposed buyer 2 years ago.

    From what I’ve read, they are the FIRST reason that the whole mess stalled. The fact that the city jumped the gun with evictions just fueled the fire.

    The 11 tried to negotiate with Finger themselves contrary to the majority. What’s that all about??

  • Excuse homeless squatter dude, did you really tag my living, have an indoor bbq, and crap all over the kitchen? Ah yes, home sweet home. This place is rotting away, I for one hope it collapses. Yes the city sure screwed those homeowners bad, and right before the hurricane too. Heartless.

  • Perhaps the media should try interviewing some of the 97 residents who agreed to the sale. I think their tune might sound a little different. I doubt if anything will come of the lawsuit against the City, as the place WAS falling apart already when they condemned the place. There are plenty of pictures, as well as two structural studies to prove it. But, you never hear about that in the new reports, do you?

  • As things progress with this city appeal, hopefully other stations will pick it up and expand the coverage. I think if I’d lived there, I’d be in the city’s face about it and making waves wherever possible.

    It has to be a horrible feeling, having to pay for something that you don’t really have because of someone else’s screw up. Beginning with the original developer and builder who did the work on the sub par garages there are so many to blame all around. Sounds criminal to me.

    I do hope that the current owners are able to get some financial relief. Looking at HCAD, several have already defaulted. And who are all these “Current Owner” folks and why do they want to be anonymous? Are they the ones who started the lawsuit?

  • Foreclosures are going forward for several of the holdouts at this address. I’ve been there more than once to take pictures.

  • I lived here and was heart broken when we had to move. I am still holding out that we would move back one day, hahaha. I guess I soon can but I don’t want to reside with homeless peeps and rats. :(

    Moving was emotionally hard for me and not to mention we moved out the day the hurricane was coming in. We lost power at our new place and came back to the condo which not only had power but running water. We didn’t see the urgency in being kicked out since the structure with stood a hurricane.
    We finally got tired of paying double mortages on it and so my husband paid it off, but he was fortunate because many of our neighbors didn’t have such an option and they defaulted. It was such a wonderful place to live, for me at least!