Apartment teardown causes dilemma for Montrose residents

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Another mid-rise luxury apartment complex is in the works and it means dozens of people are looking for a new place to live.

The owner of three Montrose-area apartment complexes is tearing them down to make way for a brand-new five-story complex. The three adjacent properties are at 1920 West Alabama Street, 2810 McDuffie Street and 1924 Marshall.

The 73 tenants who live in the apartments knew their dwellings would eventually be torn down since they were purchased back in May. The tenants just didn't know when.

On July 24, residents received a letter on their door telling them they had to be out by Aug. 31 and according to the letter rent is still due on Aug. 1.

"The idea of trying to have the money to move in 30 days is nearly impossible," said Terry Suprean, who's lived at 1920 West Alabama for nine years.

The property is right on the cusp of Montrose, a prime location in Houston's hot housing market. The '50s and '60s-era buildings will be replaced with a five-story, 248 unit complex called City Centre at Midtown.

"It's changing the neighborhood," said Suprean, who worries that the new development will mean less diversity in the area because fewer people like himself will be able to afford the rent.

Frank Markantonis, who owns the West Alabama Ice House just across the street, is excited about the new complex.

"This means a tremendous increase in business, not only from the construction crews, but from the residents as well," he said.

"Residents here enjoyed very, very low rental rates for the last three years," Pace Realty Corporation spokesperson Sherri Schultz She said. "Only six of the tenants have leases that extend past August 31 and that the company is working one on one with those tenants to make the move as easy as possible.

Demolition of the three complexes is scheduled for September. It is not clear at this time when the new construction is scheduled to begin.

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