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.
- Judge rules city of Houston mistakenly booted condo residents [11 News]
- Construction Litigation [Caddell & Chapman]
- Previously on Swamplot: The Finger, the Gun, and Other Secrets of the Park Memorial Sale, Last Stand at Park Memorial, Park Memorial: Just Sitting There, Condos Condemned: Park Memorial To Become Parking Garage Memorial