Sprucing Up Some Aging Apartments in the Third Ward

Frequent flipper and Swamplot commenter Cody Lutsch of Fat Property is upgrading this apartment complex in the Third Ward. A listing for the remaining 2-bedroom units on HAR describes some of the improvements: “central air, new paint, ceilling fans [sic], windows, blinds, refinished hardwood floors, etc.” Apparently, Lutsch has also found a buyer for the property, who will be closing on the 3-building complex at 3008 Truxillo, just south of Alabama, in October. The photo above shows the northwest face of the complex — right across the street from the Truxillo Washateria — as seen from Ennis St.


The property comprises 3 1948 buildings: 2 are 4,992 sq. ft., and the other is 2,300 sq. ft.

Here, Truxillo dead-ends at the Columbia Tap hike and bike trail, which runs through nearby TSU and farther on toward Brays Bayou. The empty lot, shown below, was also bought by Lutsch’s company, he explains:

Our goal was to turn it into garden space for our tenants. However, we did recently talk to a laundry company from Austin. They’ve been wanting to open a new facility in Houston to take advantage of the under served area of 3rd ward — mostly all the students. They are interested in buying this lot to build a new facility.

Photos: Allyn West

16 Comment

  • I have seen the project and the work Cody and his team has done, and again Cody, I tip my hat to you for a job well done.

  • Awesome. Finally a developer fixing something up not just tearing it down, they’re affordable, and inside the Loop. Nice job, Cody

  • @WASP the people at WestCreek Apartments need to check into this place.

  • Blush…
    I’m a big fan of 3rd ward. I’m typing this from a cool new restaurant that opened right across the street from the property (since I have been almost living at this place during the upgrade). Next door they’re building a food truck court. The building across the street is next to be upgraded. Should be fun.
    All around is new construction and you’re close to downtown, montrose, midtown, schools, shops, rail, etc. it boggles me how under valued the area is. That’s why when I hear people say there is no affordable housing inside the loop I have to reply. There is affordable housing all over the place in the loop… you just have to break free of the tiny Montrose bubble to find it.

  • I don’t think this will go for 700 a month for a 1 bedroom at WestCreek, and I don’t find it comical that young professionals are being priced at of the west inner loop and neither should anyone else.

  • WASP, I don’t know what young professionals are being priced out of the loop, but it’s certainly not the ones making $80k+ downtown. Even people making only half of that are probably going to spend a good bit of it in order to live close to the action.

  • Cody, what are your thoughts on crime and safety in the areas surrounding your various properties? I perceive Montrose to be a good bit safer than those areas. This is what holds me back from considering a move anywhere east of Fannin.

  • How many young professionals are making 80000 downtown? I mean 21-27, few of these at making 80000 with an MBA, I have no idea who these guys are you’re speaking of, even newly minted UH law grads don’t make that. at any rate, 700 dollar 1 bedrooms are being replaced by 1200 1 bedrooms, that’s a lot for anyone.

  • @Cody Yeah the third ward is so undervalued. There are affordable housing all over this area and the rail plus growth at UH (and TSU) is stabalizing the area. there are a lot of small complexes like this one sprinkled around waiting to be redeveloped. built next to neighborhoods that look like river oaks.

  • @Wasp – almost all engineering grads are making $80k+. Petroleum eng grads are making around $100k fresh out of undergrad. Accounting and finance undergrads are making $55K-70K (I was making $50k fresh out of UH 8 years ago – living in Westcreek). As for the UH law grads, my understanding is that they are extremely bifurcated in their salaries with the top 20% of grads, or so, getting picked up by big-law firms (V&E, Bracewell, Baker Botts, etc) at $140K and the rest of the grads struggling to find much of anything. And recent MBA’s out of top tier programs are making $100k+.

    Combined, the groups I listed above provide a sizable base of 22-30 year olds who can afford $1,200/mo for a 1-bed in Montrose, Midtown, or downtown.

  • Rodrigo: Apparently they caught the Columbia Tap Trail bike stealing gang.(See https://twitter.com/anniseparker/status/380161091373768704 )

    But the fact that there was a gang of thieves mugging people for their bikes in the first place is discouraging for the 3rd Ward.

  • Rodrigo: Honestly, the area seems pretty safe to me. It just “looks” scary (from feedback I get from potential tenants and people looking to buy. I’ll let you assume what that means).
    Everyone I’ve met around there has been great. Only problem is some of those old falling down buildings are hard to buy. Either because the owners don’t want to sell (prideful reasons) or the city is all over the property already, making any effort to fix it up not worth it.

  • Good point, Walt. A lot of foreign engineers and scientists are coming in at those salaries, too. There’s certainly demand for high-end rentals in Houston
    But still, there is also a sizable population of people who are being pushed out of neighborhoods like Montrose and Midtown. Grad students. Teachers. Intern architects and law clerks… They make in the $30k-$40k range and can afford $700-$800 1-bedroom apartments.

  • Hit post too soon….
    ….These people are the ones I think are moving to the apartments that Cody and others like him are renovating. And, quite frankly, they’re the ones I wish would start moving to my neck of the woods….

  • Look everyone had a really good ride here with the low cost of housing inside the Loop. I’m sure those that know more than I could say with more authority that so much of the Western Loop area was historically undervalued by comparison with other similar neighborhoods in large metro areas. Just because you have a degree doesn’t guarantee you a cheap apartment. I’d love to live on Tiel Way in a McKie Kamrath Modern but it’s not in my budget. So you go with what you can afford and pick up the pieces and move on…..I’m sure Avalon Place, Tree Tops in Briarhollow and The Georgian will be among the next to be developed.

  • JT, that’s a specious arguement, no one said anything about expecting to live in the heart of River Oaks. I agree with your list of apartments next to go, you might add The Creole and The Yorktown to that list as well