Property Details

Mid-Century Lofts & Flats (Upper Kirby - Houston - TX)
upperkirby5@medusaproperties.com

I rescued this little gem from the chopping block in August of 2006. The tenants had all been evicted... the gas meters had pulled out of the ground & the main lines terminated... and the water to the property had been shut off at the main by the city: the wrecking ball was on its way !

But I felt like she had a lot of life left in her. So I got out the pencil & pad and started sketching. Then I got out the sledgehammer and starting demo-ing. And then I got out my checkbook and started writing checks... very big checks! :)

14 months later the first new tenants started moving in... and I've barely had a single day of vacancy since.

Before I bought the property the building had been owned by the same family since it was built in the late 1940s. The entire street used to have many similar properties on it; all but this one had been torn down over the years. (Well, actually Twin Peaks down the street is actually two fourplexes like this one--combined into one big building--then wrapped in a commercial facade. So, technically, it is an original structure.)

The 70 yr old woman who sold me the property had lived there with her family when she was a child; it had remained in her family ever since. Fortunately for me she had no interest in restoring the building. Getting on in years, she had been living off the rents & letting the property run down for the past few decades... (the classic "slumlord" scenario).

This property is just off Kirby, between 59 & Richmond--making it one of the shortest commutes you will find to just about anywhere in the city. 10-15 minutes from every university and college in town; 5 minutes from the Medical Center; walking distance to River Oaks, Greenway Plaza, movie theaters, shopping, and many great restaurants. (Japon & Miyako are both across the street... mmm... sushi!) (Haven, a new, mulit-million $$$, "green" / "farm to table" restaurant went in next door a couple of years ago.

The property has six units total: four larger one bedrooms in the main building (two lofts and two flats) and two one bedroom apartments over the garage.

The look inside is 50/50 "vintage/modern"--but definitely not "traditional", "contemporary", or any other easy / predictable style. I guarantee that you will not find ANY units at ANY property, in ANY price range that have the kinds of fixtures and finishes that I have in these units. I did not have a budget when I restored these units. I just did what needed to be done--and used materials and processes that would last a lifetime. Steel. Wood. Glass. Brick. Stone. Cement. The basic elements.

The two lower units in the main building (#1 & #2) have stained concrete floors & very large private patios in the front. The two upper units are all hardwood floors with nice private decks off the kitchen. The baths & kitchens are all completely custom & high-end with stainless steel appliances from Bosch (dishwashers), Siemens (dual fuel ranges), GE (microwaves fridges & washers & dryers) + natural stone counters, and built-in / under-counter laundry. Overall the look is very modern but with a shout out to the building's 1940s pedigree.

*****

(Project Resources)
- M&M Lighting - fixtures & fans
- Thorntree - natural stone (Quartz countertop material)
- Detering Company - trim, moulding, doors, & windows
- Custom Precision Stainless - custom stainless sinks, sink bases, shelving, etc
- Montalbano Lumber - misc building materials
- DalTile
- West End Roofing
- Ferguson Plumbing Supply
- Custom Cabinets Houston (www.custom-cabinets-houston.com)
- EnergyGuard - expanding foam insulation

For more details about these units send an email to:

upperkirby5@medusaproperties.com

Algerian Way
Houston, TX 77098
(map)

 
 Unit ONE
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  700
Mid-century modern flat with very contemporary updates.

- Clean, sleek, modern interior.
- Acid etched concrete floors.
- Exposed brick wall in living room.
- Great light / lots of windows.
- Awesome Upper Kirby District location.
- State of the art kitchen with high-end, all-stainless appliances.
- Full-size washer & dryer in the unit.
- Newer central air & heat + double glazed windows + expanding foam insulation for super energy efficiency and sound-proofing.
- Very pet friendly unit.

* In addition to the approximately 700 square feet of air-conditioned interior space this unit comes with another 200 square feet of fully fenced, private brick patio (12x18) with a high privacy wall covered in star jasmine and shaded by bushy bamboo, nectarine and bottle brush trees, and a tall queen palm.

This unit has everything built in--from the microwave to the washer & dryer. All designed into the floor plan from the beginning. In the kitchen you've got all stainless, high-end appliances like...

- Siemens / Bosch dual fuel range - with gas cooktop + electric convection oven. (I guarantee you will not find this range in any other apartment in town. Very rare, special order--and very expensive.)
- Bosch stainless "integrated" dishwasher. All stainless inside & out. Controls on top of the door for a clean look. Bosch makes the quietest (and most expensive) dishwashers on the market. (So quiet that sometimes I have to open mine to see if the darn thing is finished with the cycle or not! :) Has high-temp water heater built in to sterilize dishes, water bottles, etc.)
- GE front-loading, under-counter washer & dryer. Super quiet & super efficient--European style--built right into the kitchen cabinets.
- GE Spacemaker under-counter microwave. Hangs from the cabinets so you don't waste any counter space. Very clean, low profile, stainless design.
- GE top fridge / bottom freezer stainless unit. (They cost over $1500/each--and believe me, I DID NOT want to drop $6000 on the refrigerators alone for this project--but after I spec-ed out the other appliances, I just could skimp on the fridge... could I?
- Concrete floors. Super easy to maintain. They have a great patina from the original linoleum that was glued down in the 1940s which left kind of a light grid pattern on the floor that is very cool. (I buffed on the floors for about two days with a dozen different floor screens to get them smooth as glass, then acid washed them, then put a nice coat of diamond clear floor sealer to bring out the natural patina and to keep them from soaking in spills.)

This property is also just a block away from the newly restored Levy Park... which has been a great addition to the neighborhood!

http://abc13.com/society/abc13s-guide-to-the-new-and-improved-levy-park/1919403/


*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit TWO
 vacant:  Yes  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  700
Mid-century modern flat with very contemporary updates.

- Clean, sleek, modern interior.
- Stained concrete floors.
- Exposed brick wall in living room.
- Great light - lots of windows.
- Awesome location near Kirby & 59.
- State of the art kitchen with high-end, all-stainless appliances.
- Full-size washer & dryer in the unit.
- New central air & heat, double glazed windows + expanding foam insulation for super energy efficiency and sound-proofing.

* In addition to the approximately 700 square feet of air-conditioned interior space this unit comes with a 200 s.f., fully fenced, private brick patio (12x18) with a high privacy wall covered in star jasmine and shaded by bushy bamboo, nectarine and bottle brush trees, and a tall queen palm.

This unit has everything built in--from the microwave to the washer & dryer. All designed into the floor plan from the beginning. In the kitchen you've got all stainless, high-end appliances like...

- Siemens / Bosch dual fuel range - with gas cooktop + electric convection oven. (I guarantee you will not find this range in any other apartment in town. Very rare, special order--and very expensive.)
- Bosch stainless "integrated" dishwasher. All stainless inside & out. Controls on top of the door for a clean look. Bosch makes the quietest (and most expensive) dishwashers on the market. (So quiet that sometimes I have to open mine to see if the damn thing is finished or not!) Has high-temp water heater built in to sterilize dishes.
- GE front-loading, under-counter washer & dryer. Super quiet & super efficient--European style--built right into the kitchen cabinets.
- GE Spacemaker under-counter microwave. Hangs from the cabinets so you don't waste any counter space. Very clean, low profile, stainless design.
- GE top fridge / bottom freezer stainless unit. (They cost over $1500/each--and believe me, I DID NOT want to drop $6000 on the refrigerators alone for this project--but after I spec-ed out the other appliances, I just could skimp on the fridge... could I?
- Concrete floors. Super easy to maintain. They have a great patina from the original linoleum that was glued down in the 1940s which left kind of a light grid pattern on the floor that is very cool. (I buffed on the floors for about two days with a dozen different floor screens to get them smooth as glass, then put a heavy coat of diamond clear floor sealer to bring out the natural patina and to keep them from soaking in spills.)

This property is also just a block away from the newly restored Levy Park... which has been a great addition to the neighborhood!

http://abc13.com/society/abc13s-guide-to-the-new-and-improved-levy-park/1919403/

*** THIS UNIT IS COMING AVAILABLE OCTOBER 1, 2017.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit THREE
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  700
Restored loft in original 1940's innerloop building.

Featuring:

- High efficiency central air & heat
- Hardwood floors
- Vaulted ceilings
- Exposed brick
- Exposed steel I-beams
- Retro/Modern look
- High-end, stainless steel appliances
- Bosch d/w
- Siemens dual fuel range
- Washer & dryer in the unit
- Large private deck off the kitchen
- Off-street, covered, assigned garage parking

There is nothing else like this anywhere in town--at any price. These units are one of a kind, hand-built, money-is-no-object restorations.

Killer Upper Kirby location. Only six units total at this site. Tenants are a good mix of professionals (Dr, CPA, IT, oil & gas, etc.)

** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit FOUR
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  700
Sweet upstairs loft in vintage (1940s) 4plex in the Upper Kirby District.

Featuring:

-Hardwood floors throughout
-Vaulted ceilings
-Exposed brick walls
-Exposed steel I-beams
-Retro/Modern look
-High-end, stainless steel appliance package
-Bosch ultra-quiet dishwasher
-Siemens dual fuel range
-Full size GE front-loading washer & dryer
-Private deck off the kitchen
-Off-street, covered, assigned parking

These units are one of a kind, hand-built, money-is-no-object restorations.

Killer Upper Kirby location. Only six units total at this site. (Only two lofts.) All young professional tenants.

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit FIVE
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1095
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  465
SWEET one bedroom garage apartment in Upper Kirby area.

Garage apartments tend to be the bastard stepchildren of the rental world... poorly designed, cheaply executed, habitually neglected. This apartment is none of those things. Better bath & kitchen than you'll find in just about any apartment in the city--in any price range. I spend more per foot on these units than I did on the larger 1/1's in the main building (that rent for $1195/mo).

- Hardwood floors throughout.
- Great open floor plan.

- Sweet kitchen with all the major appliances built in (including gas range, disposal & dishwasher) + quartz counters & a DEEP, custom, commercial, stainless undermount sink.

- Awesome, sunny bathroom with deep soaking tub & rain shower w/ vintage subway tile.

- Double hanging space in the closet.

- Central A/C! (not always a given in garage apartments) 1.5 ton units are the smallest they make now that 13 SEER is the minimum efficiency rating (this square footage would really only need a 1 ton unit based on size--so, you get an extra 50% of a/c)--so this place will be nice & cool on even the hottest summer day.

- New--fully operable--single-hung, double-glazed, low-e windows. Great light but super energy efficient. (Also just insulated the entire building--including six to eight inches of expanding foam underneath the floor joists of the apartments.)

- Washer & dryer right below the unit in the garage. Free. (Shared only with the other garage apartment tenant.)

- Nice little garden patch / river rock courtyard behind the garage. Good place to store bikes, a kayak, grill, scooter, grow some 'maters & basil, etc.

*** WiFi. This property has a dedicated WiFi signal built right in for the tenants to share.

This space & location is the antithesis to the "big box" mega-complexes that are going up all over town. No neighbors above or below you... A simple, quiet place to call home in a phenomenal location.

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit SIX
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1095
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  465
Unique one bedroom garage apartment in Upper Kirby area. Close to Rice & the Medical Center.

Hardwood floors throughout. Compact apartment with a great open floor plan.

Eat-in kitchen with all stainless appliances including Siemens gas range, deep custom sink with disposal, dishwasher, and sub-zero style fridge with freezer on the bottom.

Large, sunny bathroom with deep soaking tub, overhead rain shower, subway tile, and big closet.

Central A/C! 1.5 ton units are the smallest they make now that 13 SEER is the minimum efficiency rating (this square footage would really only need a 1 ton unit based on size). So this place will be nice & cool on even the hottest summer day. (This apartment also has all new double-pane windows + all new insulation in the walls, ceilings and floors... which helps keep the bills low & the planet cool.)

WiFi. This property has a dedicated WiFi signal built right in. (included in monthly utils gas & water @ $35/mo)

Laundry. The two garage apartments share a washer & dryer located in the garage. The laundry is free.

There's also a pretty big area between the garage apartments & the building behind us that I've set up for gardening or grilling... so if you've got a green thumb or like to get your grill on, there's a place for you to do that at this property.

This space & location is the antithesis to the "big box" mega-complexes that are springing up all over the place. No neighbors above or below you... A simple, quiet place to call home in a phenomenal location.

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 


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