What To Make of the Museum Gardens Sale

WHAT TO MAKE OF THE MUSEUM GARDENS SALE Residents of the Museum Gardens Apartments at 1123 Bartlett St. received notices taped to their front doors this week announcing that both the ownership and management of the 28-unit courtyard-style ensemble a couple blocks northwest of the Contemporary Arts Museum has changed. Contact info for the new owner matches that of real estate, construction and development, homebuilding, REIT, and mortgage firm Jetall Companies. A reader wants to know if Jetall might actually manage apartment complexes too — and asks “Is this lovely old complex a goner?” Photo: Midtown Houston Real Estate

24 Comment

  • They wouldn’t wait til the day after July 4th if it was good news.

  • I lived in this awesome little complex in 2005. The writing was on the wall then, when construction around the corner began on “garden homes” starting in the low 7 figures. The land for this little 2 story, block-long complex has to be worth a fortune. She’s a goner.

    Awesome neighborhood (short walk to the museums, Herman Park, light rail, Rice U), beautiful trees, gorgeous old brick building, wood floors. And a sizable one bedroom apt, albeit with window units, was about $500. There was no better place for a grad student to live in Houston. I’ll miss knowing it’s there.

  • Stop Ashby style overreaction in 3, 2, 1…

    The location of this site just scream mid-rise to high-rise

  • Wha? It’s a narrow neighborhood street–the kind where if there are people parked on both sides of the street, you have to wait for the guy coming from the other direction before you can proceed. I can certainly see high-end townhouses here, but a high rise? That’s crazy talk!

  • Yeah, that’s a high-rise. Tokyo and NY laugh at this concern for narrow streets. If it’s really a concern, you can just make that little grid into a bunch of one-ways.

  • Great building, I lived there in college. Hope they keep it but I won’t be surprised if it gets the axe. I doubt the numbers work for rehab plus higher rents, considering the value of that land.

  • btw, a high rise would only work here if the same developer bought the apartments on the back side, that front Berthea street.

    Which is not impossible, as those buildings can’t be worth a lot more than the land itself.

  • Montrose needs more apartments. It took a century to build the 7,000ish current apartment in Montrose, and it will take two years to double that. Get ready for some very serious incentives (3 months free and no money down for immediate move-in type)…

  • turds, if Montrose needs apartments (i.e., implying there is demand for apartments there), why would they need to offer incentives?

  • No doubt there is demand for apartments in Montrose, but to use that as a blanket excuse for building is a pretty risky (and I am being kind here) reasoning. In the last month, The Sovereign, Park Memorial, PM Realty’s corner of Westheimer & Montrose all were announced. Prior to that, there were already about 5,000 units coming in. And Fairmont’s plan B, Farb’s JV in Memorial and Midtown, and Archstone’s 28 acres are all not even announced yet. Do the math, then post on this topic.

  • I did a reverse search on the HCAD tax rolls and found that Jetall Companies (aka Ali Choudhri) owns a number of mostly-older single-family homes and some parcels of vacant land, along with a shopping center and an office building. It doesn’t look like he owns any townhomes that he would’ve developed.

    He’s definitely NOT a highrise developer. And that makes sense; this block is NOT a good highrise site. I could see it becoming townhomes very easily, though, at some point.

  • Whatever dude, that’s a 125×250. You could fit The Mercer on 125×250 if you rearrange the configuration of the tower and parking garage and delete the pool (or move the pool on top of the garage).


  • Robert: His (turds) point if I were to guess is this:
    It took Montrose it’s whole lifetime to get to ~7000 units. Yes there is strong demand, no one would doubt that… which is why you have people building. But they’re building at a frantic pace. So while it took Montrose it’s whole life to ~7000 units, we’re about to DOUBLE that in a few years.
    So strong demand brings strong supply. I believe turds is saying that the supply is coming so strong that it’ll outpace demand and thus create the need for incentives.
    Personally I think we’re going to have a Vegas (strip) style disruption in econ 101 where supply tends to CREATE demand. As these units come online, they’ll make the area better, and increase demand to live here. These units won’t be for the people living here. They’ll be for new people coming here. So I think Montrose can take these units on and be just fine (with respects to multifamily operator demand)

  • My friend lived there for years, while it was a little older, it always made me jealous, and his rent was insanely low for the area too. Kind of a bummer.

  • Awesome location next to contemporary arts museum and mega mansions of north and south blvd broad acres. I saw $4 Million dollar modern custom house being built next street over on an old complex that was torn down. Seems like major changes in the area. Bittersweet to see the changes. I’ll miss living here.

  • Great old apartment block – back when apartments were designed to be lived in – not transitory to our lives. They won’t last long in the hands of a developer. Make sure and take those pictures now, ’cause we will be losing another idyllic corner of our town.

  • Cody–yes, that makes sense. Given the lead-time for building apartments, there is likely to be a mismatch between supply and demand at any given point of time.

  • So hey guys, the new owner is making some repairs and still showing units to prospective tenants.

    Its a sad state of affairs when a random apartment complex trades hands and everyone just assumes that it’ll be immediately torn down, using that as an excuse to bitch and moan on the internet.

  • Speculation in the comment section of a blog entry titled “What to Make of the Museum Gardens Sale”! Oh the humanity! What a sad state of affairs!

  • @ mel: The first comment was an assumption that turned out to be false. The second comment was, “She’s a goner.”

    The third comment was by a highrise troll, prompting numerous absurd and off-topic comments and a discussion of large-scale apartment construction.

    Comment #6 figured that it was a land play, doubting the viability of a rehab. Comment #14, #15, and #16 all seemed to assume the worst and were an expression of sadness or angst.

    Then there are my informed comments, which are based on facts obtained from the residents of this complex.

    And that is the 100% complete history of this thread. With perhaps one exception and the usual trolling, what you call speculation, I call premature lament: bitching and moaning.

  • theyre gonna tear this place down and turn it into a highrise eventually. f*ck the small community when theres money to be made. all you poor scumbuags living inside need to face the reality and embrace the Ashby style of living. IT IS INEVITABLE!!!!

  • New owners may be too pre-occupied with litigation at the moment to do anything other than status quo. Do a record search at http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com; sure looks like they’ve got their hands full.

  • I’ve seen their homes and they are beyond amazing. They build extremely rare and unique structures. Rarely market their developments but due to high demand they sell out fast. They are pricey. This neighborhood is really changing. Awesome location. Still sad to see these apartments go. It’s such an eclectic complex.

  • @brix Worse than you expected.MG’s fate?After the halcyon tenure of Stuart Zidell it has passed from one Lowballer to another .The faithful tenants enduring the slow ,death of a thousand acts of (willfull )neglect.Defies any established business model -Western anyway,But that assumes that things are above board.Curious that a wrecking permit has yet to be sought.After standing up to yet another hurricane too(how many during it’s solid ,almost 70 year run ?)with barely a blade of grass displaced, new ,three story trendster townhouses across the street have yet to get a nibble .And ,after a year on the mkt. ,not to omit ,a considerable price reduction,to sell one unit.If any Houston niche plex deserved to be saved for posterity ….and a fair profit,it’s Museum Gardens.