Train Coming in for Those Heights Blvd. Track-Side Townhomes?

A reader writes in to share the exciting news that one of those Northgate Custom Homes townhouses on Heights Blvd. that’s snuggled up next to the train tracks and just behind the recycling center on Center St. is now listed as “option pending” on MLS. Readers chose the complex as the city’s Best Vacancy in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate just a few months ago. Is someone buying right next to the tracks?

Well, not exactly. 114 Heights Blvd. Unit B, priced at $309,000, is the one that’s now listed as option pending. It’s shielded from those noisy trains by the full 20-or-so-ft. width of the adjacent townhome, Unit A. And here’s the featured view from one of its balconies:


The unit featured more prominently in the video — and previously on Swamplot — is Unit M, fronting both the tracks and Heights Blvd. (behind a fence). Our reader shouts words of encouragement:

Looks like there are only 3 other units left. Better get in now before they are all sold!

Oh, they could probably drum up a couple more than just the 3 currently listed on HAR. HCAD still lists Villas on Heights LP as the owner of all but 2 of the 7 built townhomes in the development — and the land to build 6 more!

Video: Dave McC

9 Comment

  • I drive by these everyday, what is even funnier is the sign out front indicating “Large Back Yards”. Since we also use the the recylce center direct behind them I just can imagine trying to sleep late on Sat or Sun listening to breaking glass and the COH trash truck.

  • I am not sure if those townhomes are built strong enough to withstand vibrations. It is almost like living in California or Japan but with an 4.0 earthquake every 15 minutes. Not only will glasses, vases, pictures need to be extra secure, but also (hopefully) structural beams are vibration springs. I am not sure if city inspectors here have enough experience here to deal with vibrations before approving a residential building.

  • Uhhh…I can guarantee that there are no vibration springs on structural portions of these townhomes.

    With that being said, I wonder if the Houston media will continue to call these new homeowners ‘idiots’ for buying this place that they’re probably super-proud of.

    Also, there are dozens of townhomes built in just as close of proximity to the railroad tracks as these townhomes, but they aren’t on main streets so the media doesn’t get a whiff of it. (e.g. HHN townhomes off of Bonner St. Those are about 5 ft away from the railroad tracks as well.)

    Anybody remember the genius taking the video of the train honking it’s horn as it goes by these townhomes? Anybody think that person ever realize the train was actually honking at THEM since they were practically standing on the tracks in front of a moving locomotive?

    LOL, people get smarter and smarter these days.

  • Just watched the vid. Wow. Is that the typical duration of train horn toot? It seemed excessive, though as Terry mentioned the conductor probably thought the camera person was some wacko videotaping their imminent suicide.

    I recall reading a lot of negative train toot-related reviews about one of the “loft” apartments near Minute Maid park when I was apartment hunting a few years ago. Apparently a train line ran directly behind the brick wall of the building and carelessly-hung pictures would fall off the walls when trains went by. After reading that, I lost all interest and never even drove by to check them out.

  • Speaking of these tracks and the train horns, anyone know how the Washington Quiet Zone is progressing? The website seems to have not been updated in a while.

  • ARP, a fellow neighbor told me that he was told during a relatively recent Rice Military Community Association meeting that the quiet zone is expected to be in full-swing by the end of April.

    I’ll believe it when I hear it, although it does look (to my untrained eye) that construction on the rail barriers has already started on certain streets (such as Shepherd/Durham).

  • The quiet zone should be OK now that the UP has made the improvements on the Washington Corridor. For example, you can no longer take a left once you go over the tracks and will have the circle down and U-Turn.

  • The engineers really do lay on the horns for a long time. I suspect there are a lot of stupid people on the tracks/racing the train to the next intersection (yes, I’ve witnessed this) that it’s just habit when they go through the Washington corridor.

  • You can email for complaints about engineers blowing horns through the Washington Quiet Zone and he’ll pass your complaint along. I’m pretty sure engineers will use the stupid people on tracks as their excuse for blowing horns. But IMO, the engineers could care less about the Quiet Zone Ordinance. The engineer that comes thru Wednesday nights is the worst. Toot toot tooooooot.