The Midtown Garden Plot That Went for Just Short of a Million

THE MIDTOWN GARDEN PLOT THAT WENT FOR JUST SHORT OF A MILLION Midtown Community Garden, Baldwin and Drew St., Midtown, HoustonCraig Hlavaty’s writeup on the abrupt closing of the Midtown Community Garden has a few additional details about the fate of the 3-and-a-half-year-old garden space at the corner of Baldwin and Drew, in amongst his chronicling of the efforts of member gardeners to yank out their tubers before the property was shuttered: The 13,000-sq.-ft. vacant-but-for-vegetables lot that Swamplot reported on earlier in the week was sold to developer Urban Living for $975,000. (On MLS, the asking price was $799,000.) The company plans to build townhomes on the site. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Update, 11:30 am: According to this later version ($) of the story, 2 garden-friendly potential buyers of the property who submitted offers were outbid. Photo: Swamplot inbox

14 Comment

  • Well, I guess there’s some consolation in the fact that these guys have to pay through the nose for the properties they acquire.

  • I think the work and money being poured into Memorial Park and Buffalo Bayou is commendable. I think the city also needs to look at increasing the number of smaller neighborhood parks. These spaces are easily accessible and provide value for the residents, both by increasing property values and social value.
    Maybe instead of the city purchasing the green spaces outright, they could develop a loan program of some sort to help the residents to purchase available green space in their neighborhoods. From the article it sounded like there were a couple offers on the land that may have kept all or part of the park, but those bidding were not able to go up to almost 1m. I don’t know the feasibility or legality of this.

  • So sad to lose such a beautiful green space…whereas it added to the neighborhood, the UL townhomes will detract. A complete loss to the area.

  • Of course it was Urban Living. They probably thought of destroying a community garden as an added benefit.

  • I wondered what kind of douche would require all fruits and vegetables to be removed with less than 24 hours notice. Urban Living certainly has a reputation for being that kind of douche, and is currently living up to it.

  • “Of course it was Urban Living. They probably thought of destroying a community garden as an added benefit.”

    OUCH!!! LMAO

  • Urban Living? – yes the same people with the sales building on Washington that fell down like baby’s blocks during Hurricane Ike? If that’s their own building, you can imagine how they are going to build yours. Good Luck future Houstonians!

  • UL: Purveyors of crappy construction!!

  • Urban Harvest —-> Urban Living. How appropriate.

  • At those prices it’s hard to imagine the City buying any additional park space in Midtown. And Midtown TIRZ is too busy buying rentals in 3rd Ward. I agree with cesema. The big parks are nice but real neighborhoods that people love to live in have neighborhood parks.

  • Can’t wait to get out of this cellblock living!! Have a lot? throw up a Urban Living!! It’s overkill!!!! Houston is sucking!!!

  • One of several midtown community gardeners, I had gardened there for years whilst renting an apt in the area. With this closure and the ever growing density, my DH and I will be leaving as soon as we can for an area with better protected neighborhoods where lots aren’t carved up for maximum profit. Glad Midtown is now the place to be for so many but saturation has made the place feel less exciting and more toxic.

  • Great idea, Cesema. I wonder if they could set up subsidized loans for neighborhoods to buy greenspace by using a Community Development Block Grant from HUD. It has Community development written all over it. (It would also be nice if they set up a City-wide parks conservancy, to take care of the little parks the way conservancies take care of the big, flagship parks).
    Personally, I wonder why community gardens aren’t added as a part of Houston and Harris County parks. That way they wouldn’t be at the whim of real estate markets. The land is there: almost every park I’ve been to (with the exception of Discovery a Green, which is more urban plaza than park) has a corner that’s ignored and doesn’t get a lot of traffic. And the park-gardens program could dovetail into the farmers’ markets that they’ve set up.

  • Dana X – Midtown TIRZ is not buying up land in Third Ward. It is Midtown redeveloping authority. They are using this land to build affordable housing so that the people in these areas don’t get displaced like they did in Fourth Ward. They have also been very involved with several land deals in Midtown providing park space and helping to assemble land to get rid of bad property owners and bring in more residential development. I would say that they are going a great job of help development while looking to make sure that they do not displace lower income residents.