The Rotting Drywall Is Flying at Park Memorial

“There are at least 3-4 dozers making fast work of the demo” of the abandoned Park Memorial Condos on Memorial Dr. at Detering, reports Swamplot reader and real-estate agent David Hille, who lives nearby and snapped these photos of the onsite action this morning. The sale of the festering, overgrown property — which required the willing or resigned participation of 108 locked-out condo owners — was completed last month, and demo permits for 4 of the structures were granted yesterday.


Almost 4 years ago, the city condemned the complex and ordered all residents to leave. Mountains of paperwork, a few legal actions, a few foreclosures and bank-givebacks, and months of negotiations later, there’s a new owner: JLB Properties. The Dallas developer reportedly plans a new apartment development on the 4.85-acre property.

Photos: David Hille

14 Comment

  • I never thought I would be old and say that I wish they would put speed bumps on detering. also feagan and blossom

  • Love it! Only took 4 years of protracted legal wrangling , jacking with unit owners, negotiations with always honorable and above reproach banks ( yes I’m kidding about the banks) tons of City paperwork( we all know our wonderful government entities exist to make our lives miserable & more complicated,especially the ever inefficient City of Houston ). Congrats to JBL. At least Marvy Finger didn’t get his hands on it. Must tick him off especially since Finger Companies offices are very close by.Another property he can’t develop.

  • Benny: Exactly. There are a LOT of streets in Houston that need speed bumps. But our special interest loving Mayor Parkers administration purposely makes the application so drawn out; purposely to discourage TAX paying property OWNERS from demanding ,How dare we , City services. Of course Annise & Kathy don’t have speeding traffic on their street in the their Westmoreland Historical District neighborhood!

  • I am not in real estate so do not know the answer to this question. Concerning the washington area, why don’t they lay down culverts and pave over the ditches to widen some of those main roads. Detering, Blossom, Feagan?? Is it about money? does the original neighborhood layout call for curb and gutter??? I certainly would like to see a few of theses streets widened, and also people driving slower. I was at West End bikes last week and couldnt believe the speed of cars going by there. Maybe Im getting old. Memorial park would be improved if they layed culverts and widened that to include a bike lane as well. I guess my question is, is it preventably expensive to does this?

  • We were told years ago that Detering is considered some sort of route for ambulances and fire trucks and that it was not possible.

  • The traffic issues including travel patterns and existing infrastructure are different in every neighborhood along WAve and need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis especially in these older, grid layout areas. If you think traffic on these 20′-25′ paved streets with 2′ deep swales on either side is fast moving – just wait until the streets are widened to 30’+ with new, smooth concrete and nothing but someones entry, home office or garage 10′ away! I’m very happy that 2 wayward, late-night autos ended up in the swale in front of my house instead of on my porch. Successful traffic calming devices in my ‘hood include parked cars.

  • “I certainly would like to see a few of theses streets widened, and also people driving slower.”

    Wider streets encourage faster driving.

  • MSchuler, I agree with you 100%. I have lived in the The West End for almost a decade and the traffic barriers that work best to protect people and property are the ditches. I live near El Tiempo and the speed at which some people drive down my street is moronic at best. Improving Washington Ave. has helped curb the many cut through drivers recently, but if they try and widen our roads, the neighborhood will no longer be a walkable or ridable area. As a cyclist, I enjoy the narrow roads and the intimate setting of my neighborhood and I believe many of the residents, that don’t live in gated enclaves with stucco towers, would agree that widening the roads would ruin our neighborhood.

  • Also, the engineering department has a firm stance that the open culverts are better for drainage, due to the permeable ground. Curbs and gutters would actually drain less efficiently from a Civil perspective. Secondarily, curbs and gutters are expensive, which our broke city has no money for.

  • I live on Detering and we have looked in to petitioning the city for speed bumps and no parking zones. The speed bumps cannot and will not be installed as, like Dan mentioned, Detering is considered a firetruck route. Apparently firetrucks and speed bumps don’t fraternize. Regarding the parking, we’ve also been told that we cannot get “No Parking” zones, although a reason has yet to be given. If you look out of my window on any given Friday or Saturday night, though, you would see that there is no way a firetruck could make its way past the morons who decided to park on the side of a 20′ wide street without any attempt to minimize obstruction of traffic (because of the ditch). Why the city doesn’t care about that, I don’t know. Because it costs money to install the signs? Can’t be. They’re raking in $200+ for each car they tow during what we affectionately call “Tow Fest” (the moment when the nice lady in the City of Houston Prius rolls up to the “Permit parking after 10pm” signs, issues tickets, and the swarming tow trucks go to town). Every weekend night we watch at least 5 cars get towed. The way I see it, no parking zones on Detering (or at least permit parking during peak drinking hours) is a win-win: we have an unobstructed route for the firetrucks and the city makes revenue off of those who can’t read a sign. Heck, they could probably even charge a heftier fine for anyone who parked there for potentially endangering the life of someone in need of a fireman.

  • Lurker, the no parking signs are coming. The city will begin to enforce the existing engineering standards. They have the plans finished and told us it would just be a matter of time what with having to buy them, inventory them, schedule the work, etc.

    The reason you don’t have Residential Permit parking is becasue there is too much commerical at that end of detering – cvs, patio pub, the (former) hair salon, the ugly white building, the missionary baptist church. You can’t have residential permit parking with that many businesses. For example two blocks to the east, the Lutheren church would love to have it in front of them, all the surrounding streets are residential permit parking, but since the whole block is commercial, it is wide open parking for the clubbers.

  • @Patrick. You don’t know what you are talking about and bringing Kathy into the your post shows that you are a prejudiced besides being completley wrong. Mayor Parker is active and engaged in helping neighborhoods get the help they need, but there are more than 1 moving part such as the articulated firetruck issues. You can get speedbumps on some streets, but you have to get your neighbors in agreement. Based on your poor attitude and misguided cheap shot at Mayor Parker I doubt you would be able to get them to say hi to you, let alone join you. I don’t want speed bumps on my street, so you sure won’t get me to sign off on that. All residents of a street get a say so, not just you. That is hardly new with the City and Mayor Parker is a well known civic advocate. Years ago as a councilmember Mayor Parker was THE LEADER in getting 20 foot set backs so that builders couldn’t build to the street–this was a huge move for residents that had over-parking issues on their streets. She is a well known leader in helping civic clubs and communities get the help they want based on group decisions. Rice Military residents are very split on speed bumps and open ditches, so it is not up to 1 person. I really dislike your cheap shot b.s. comments about the Mayor who has balanced our budget, has kept our city in better shape than most major cities in the US and has been a role model and example of fiscally sound government. I have lived in Crestwood/Rice Military for over 20 years. I would love to have stopped every single townhouse from overbuilding on each lot, but guess what…I moved to Rice Military knowing the lack of deed restrictions, and so we each made our choice of what we like. Keep your political cheap shots to yourself because the rest of us know the Houston is a great city and does what it can to help its residents.

  • Does anyone know what the new apartment building is going to be like in terms of how large, how many stories, and how it is going to handle traffic/parking? This is obviously going to increase traffic and Detering is already so backed up, as is Memorial Drive now. I wonder if this new building will actually have access directly onto Memorial.

  • JLB Partners are building a narrow 7-level garage and two courtyard-style apt bldgs (one 5-levels on piers and the other 6-levels.) 372 shiny new units.