Will this kill the 3rd ward?


#1

(Timothy Q. Chan) #2

Depends on what you mean by killing the 3rd Ward.

Gentrification is killing all the old wards as we knew them. When’s the last time you heard about 4th Ward/Freedmen’s Town? I bet most residents of the townhomes in Freedmen’s Town don’t know the history of who built the streets there.

There’s no more 3rd Ward west of 288. Now that’s “Museum Park”. Don’t you dare call it 3rd Ward anymore, that might hurt property values!

What is the 3rd Ward? Is it the close-knit black community? What about when it was the center of Houston’s Jewish community from the 20’s to the 50’s? Is it the wealthy diverse neighborhood that it’s been trending towards over the last 10 years?

Do long-time residents have a “right” to stay in what’s been affordable housing for decades? I’m sure they don’t, legally. What makes the 3rd Ward special? Is it just location, or is it generations of families living in the same neighborhood (something that’s not common in very many neighborhoods nowadays)?

I’m not arguing for or against gentrification. I’m just not sure what you mean by “killing the 3rd Ward”. I do have sympathy for those being priced out of the neighborhood. I don’t know where you go to find “affordable” housing anymore. My inner loop neighborhood isn’t yet gentrifying, but rents are rising. $1,500 a month to rent an 800 - 1200 sf house is tough for young families and single parents who aren’t blessed with a college education. Most are making it work by squeezing two or three generations of family into a 2 or 3 bedroom house. The affordability of housing is a big problem.


(Timothy Q. Chan) #3

This article from a few days ago is an interesting look at another area undergoing change.


#4

Gentrification is bound to happen no matter what. Whether it takes 5 years of 50 years, the current state of 3rd Ward won’t last forever.

If the 3rd Ward keeps the prices low compared to the rest of the inner loop, middle class and upper class will eventually force their way into 3rd Ward for the sole purpose of low cost housing.


#5

I think it will be a mixed bag of historical areas and gentrified areas which I think everyone can live with.

To the north of campus and northeast across Elgin, those areas have a lot of vacant properties and dilapidated houses. These areas are ripe for gentrification which are overwhelming rental properties.

I’m not so much worried about the younger renters because they can find another place to live. I am more concerned about the displacement of the elderly who may have lived in those homes for most of their lives.

I would hope that there would be a master plan for some areas that would include nice elderly or retirement housing that would go alone with new shops, apartments, townhomes, etc.

The neighborhood south of UH across Wheeler Avenue, seems like a vibrant organized community which would benefit from gentrification with higher property value. This would be duplicated in similar neighborhoods.

Gentrification is coming to 3rd Ward but I hope it’s done the right way which of course is the great debate.


#6

The most important stat is 75% of the residents rent their home.

Landords care about one thing.

The 3rd Ward is thext big real estate development.


(DERRICK KATELY) #7

I was born and raised in Third Ward and changes to the neighborhood won’t change the name to me. It will always be third ward.


#8

West of Scott and between Southmore and N MacGregor way is littered with new construction and half to million dollar home…I think the area is called Riverside Terrace! Not sure that’s even part of 3rd ward but it is no doubt where it’s all starting! New HEB going in at the corner of MacGregor and 288!


#9

In Harlem there’s a Whole Foods (motto: making white people comfortable since 1982) at the intersection of Martin Luther King and Malcom X Boulevard. There’s a Red Lobster next door to the Apollo Theater. I don’t think you can stop gentrification, especially in cities with high housing costs. West U, the Heights. The inner loop ain’t cheap.


(Timothy Q. Chan) #10

Well, some parts still are… But folks are working to change that. The City is suddenly very interested in our neighborhood.

They’ve got Neighborhood Protection out here every other day now putting up citations for tall grass, inoperable vehicles, yards that don’t drain, or whatever else they can find. If you don’t comply within 30 days you’re facing hundreds (and up to thousands) of dollars in fines…and potentially foreclosure.

Not sure who’s complaining, but it’s not the residents. I don’t care that my neighbor has an old pickup truck parked in his driveway. We have plenty of yards that hold some water after it rains; it’s a 70 year old neighborhood and it’s Houston.

It ain’t River Oaks and we don’t expect it to be. It is (was?) affordable for security guards, truck drivers, nursing assistants, painters, janitors, and others who live on low wages. Afraid it won’t be for long.

Everything changes, I get it. But for those that don’t have the means it’s tough. And it ain’t always easy to get the means just because you want it. But I suppose you roll with it and go where you can.

“The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit.” - George Orwell


(Timothy Q. Chan) #11

Of course, if this is “gentrification” then I welcome my new neighbors. :grin:

We got a new Pyburns a few years back on Scott Street, which was a nice addition, but I’m afraid they may lose some of my business. Pyburns still beats HEB on sausage and boudain. And koolaid pickles.