March 2010 Market Report from Fine Home Houston blog

Meg Zoller of the Fine Homes Houston website recently blogged a market report for March.  Click here to view the complete blog detailing many Houston neighborhoods, or read below for the Montrose excerpt:



The Montrose area in Houston, TX is generally bound by Highway 59 to the south,  Allen Parkway to the north, Bagby Street to the east and Shepherd to the west; Montrose market area boundaries expand beyond the subdivision.

Originally pronounced as if it were two words, that is, “Mont Rose”, Montrose is generally bound by Highway 59 to the south, Allen Parkway to the north, Bagby Street on the east and Shepherd to the west. The Museum District is located in the southern part of Montrose and many bars & restaurants, thrift/vintage/second-hand shops, eclectic boutiques and small galleries maintain the unique flavor of this part of the city.


Initially envisioned as a planned community and/or streetcar suburb and dating back to the early 20th Century, Montrose comes with the most distinctive character of eccentricity and diversity in Houston.It is one of the prettiest areas with renovated mansions, bungalows with wide porches and cozy cottages lining shady boulevards where people can walk and cycle easily. There is even a small pocket of homes called Courtland Place where all of the houses are listed in the National Historic Registry. Other surrounding neighborhoods include Westmoreland, Avondale and Cherryhurst, all generating a Southern, cozy atmosphere. Townhouse/Condos and Lofts are very prevalent in the Montrose area as well.


Based upon information gathered from the Houston Association of Realtors there were 5 single family homes sold in the month of February in the Montrose market area ranging in price from $279,000 to $710,000 for an average price per square foot of $179.35. There were 9 town house/condos sold in the Montrose market area during this same period with prices ranging from $60,000 to $350,000 for an average of $130.63 per square foot.

Currently there are 79 active available single family homes for sale in Montrose with list prices ranging from $220,000 to $1,375,000 and 12 properties option pending, pending continue to show and pending sale. There are 85 active available town house/condos in the Montrose market area with prices ranging from $83,500 to $899,000 and there are 18 properties in various stages of the pending process.

Montrose market area residents continue to enjoy stable property valuesas reflected in the following data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors. There were 4 single family homes sold in January 2010 with prices ranging from $264,500 to $550,000; averaging $169.70 per square foot. There were 7 town house/condos sold in the Montrose market area during this same period with prices ranging from $97,000 to $312,000 for an average of $133.71 per square foot.

RPCA General Meeting Minutes – February 2010

Richwood Place Civic Association
General Meeting
February 23, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Zoe’s Kitchen


Approximate count of neighbors present: 52

Moustapha El-Hakam, president, calls meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.

Announces officers:

Vice President: Daniel Baker
Treasurer: Larry Wood
Secretary: Andy Stefaniak

Discussion Item No. 01:

Officer Elections:

Vice President and Treasurer run unopposed.

President: Moustapha El-Hakam versus Laura Mullen
Secretary: Andy Stefaniak versus Davide Houston

Floor opened to each candidate for 2 minute discussion

Open floor for questions from neighbors 7:30 p.m. :

  1. Neighbor from1800 Block of Portsmouth: How is each candidate going to reach out to new neighbors who not aware of the Neighborhood Association?
      Moustapha – continued use of signs to announce meetings, published newsletters, and use NING site and Yahoo news board.
      Laura – use existing means of communication and have an open door policy.
  2. Neighbor from 1800 Block of Norfolk. (1). Can we have write in candidates? Answer: Yes none nominated. (2). How do you interface with city council representation? Both presidential candidates have working relationships with Wanda Adams and Sue Lovell. Moustapha has good relations with City Planning Commission.

No other questions. Ballots are cast.

Treasurer’s Report: available funds $1795.00; prior to dues paid on night of meeting.

Vote to create Deed Restrictions Committee:

Rebekah El-Hakim (chair)
Karen Copeland
Eric Houston
Stanley Jones
1 other (Alice ??)

Safety Committee Report (7:45 p.m.):
Neighborhood watch deemed successful with good participation from those who are trained. ID cards are available. For those of you who are interested in signing up contact Larry Wood (281-384-8291)

Capital Improvement Plan Committee
Motion to create standing committee. Motioned approved. Moustapha appoints Daniel Baker chair of the committee. Request to neighbors for help. Committee formed.

Old Business (8:00 p.m.)
Fence on 1800 Block of Portsmouth: City will not enforce deed restrictions.
1800 Block of Portsmouth (Fairmont Museum District Appartments) no new news.
2000 block of Norfolk – Property owner acknowledges deed restrictions
1700 block of Norfolk – new residents
New neighborhood maps illustrating minimum lost size, minimum building line, and deed restricted houses presented.

New Business (8:10 p.m.)
Sign Toppers for road signs. Will discuss further at next meeting when new information becomes available.

Next General Meeting: May 11th.

Announcement of New Officers:

President: Laura Mullen
Vice President: Daniel Baker
Treasurer: Larry Wood
Secretary: David Houston

Meeting Adjourned at 8:20.

Alabama Theatre’s Future Uncertain

From KUHF:

Houston’s historic Alabama Theatre could soon undergo renovations. As Laurie Johnson reports — Weingarten Realty is considering a plan to gut the interior and lease the space as a big box retail store.

The Alabama Theatre on Shepherd is one of two surviving Art Deco theaters in Houston, along with the River Oaks Theatre.

It was built in 1939 and operated as a movie theatre until 1983. It was then converted into a Bookstop, but as David Bush with the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance points out, the bookstore maintained the theatre’s art deco interior.

You can read the full article on the KUHF web site.

Where you live – 2010 Census Underway

It’s census time again! Don’t forget to submit your forms. To get into the spirit, my wife and I looked up the 2001 census data for Montrose, which happens to be online at the City of Houston website which provides multiple ways to access the data

It shows that over 60% housing units are occupied by renters — the Houston average is just under 50%.

It’s not as diverse as you might imagine.  Jennifer wants to meet the native Hawaiian family.

Neartown Meeting — March 2010

I attended the March 2010 Neartown meeting this evening, hosted by David Robinson, the Neartown president, at the Cherryhurst Park Community Center. Richwood Place is now a member in good standing of the Neartown association. The meeting was attended by members and officers of Neartown Civic Associations as well as representatives from the offices of Council Member Wanda Adams, Council Member Stephen Costello, and Senator Rodney Ellis.

You can expect that minutes will be posted on the Neartown web site, but I have a few notes from the discussion topics:

Capital Improvement Planning

    The Neartown Association is working on a number of CIP requests on behalf of the superneighborhood and the 21 civic associations that Neartown represents. David Robinson, Neartown President, has complained to the city and our council members about the lack of transparency in this process and the difficulty of the request process.Richwood Place has submitted a request to Council Member Adams and I will forward that request to Neartown’s leadership. There are many other neighborhoods in our superneighborhood that are having severe sewage problems and other matters that need to be addressed by CIP as soon as possible.

Carnegie Vanguard High School

    Carnegie Vanguard High School (web site) is a HISD magnet school for gifted and talented students. It is currently located in South Houston and will be relocating to Taft and West Gray in 2012. They will have 600 students in 2012.

    They are currently seeking a parking variance to prevent having to create an excess number of parking spots on a green lot. The city requires they have in excess of 300 parking spots, but they only have 104 in their current location and are requesting a variance to allow 225 parking spots.


    There has been a lot of talk in the neighborhood, in the news, and on this web site about a proposed HEB on the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama, which by some is considered the most valuable piece of open property in the city. HEB has purchased the property. They have applied for a re-plat without variances. This does not require a vote before the planning commission.

    The City has encouraged HEB to work with Neartown and the association President has met with HEB’s Director of Real Estate at HEB’s corporate headquarters. He reports that HEB has hired an arborist to assist with the tree-filled property and that HEB is pointing out that a supermarket would create new jobs, be an increase in the tax base, and that they could offer a green plan that is conservation oriented.

    Representatives at the meeting discussed a number of potential layouts, traffic issues, and land use concerns. The property is on the agenda for the City of Houston Planning Committee on April 1st.

There will be a Neartown Development Forum at the end of May for residents to work together and with the city to discuss the development and planning of the Montrose area. I will post an update when there are more concrete details.

Have you paid your 2010 dues?

All residents of Richwood should become members of the Civic Association. The dues are only $25 annually per household. As a member, your dues will support the beauty, security, and historic preservation of the neighborhood. Additionally, members have voting rights at the quarterly association general meetings.

Please pay your dues online today — it only takes a minute. You can pay $25 for the year or subscribe to pay annually.

RPCA Board Meeting

There will be a RPCA Board meeting on Monday, March 15th at 7pm at my house, 1922 Lexington.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Sorry for the short notice, but we finally got enough people available to meet to finalize the transition.

Google Street View — Richwood Place

Google Street View is an online feature for Google Maps that shows panoramic views up and down virtually every street in Houston (and other major cities). You can use Street View to virtually drive up and down every street in Richwood Place (as well as throughout Neartown) with photos from ~2006 (if you know the exact date, please comment and let me know).

Here are a few notable moments Google Earth captured as they drove through Richwood:

Notice something else that’s interesting, different, or changed since Google Street View drove through? Please click “Link” from the Google Street View page and post it here as a comment.