Property Details

Classic 1920s Montrose 4-Plex (Houston, TX)

Classic red brick 4plex in the ever popular Montrose area of Houston. Circa 1920s.

Built like a Sherman tank but with looks like Marlene Dietrich.

Easy walking distance to Whole Foods (@ W Dallas & Waugh) and a host of other great shops, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, etc.

Tall ceilings, original hardwood floors, original Art Deco hex-tile in the bathrooms, original cast iron sinks and cast iron tubs... this property has all the details that make these old buildings classics.

Additionally, every unit has been fully outfitted to modern standards underneath the skin of the building--with central air and heat, full-size appliances, new water heaters, etc.

There is also ample off-street, gated, covered parking--a MUST inside the loop.

This is a clean, quiet, peaceful building with great vintage architecture & detailing; the antithesis of "big box" apartment living. If you are looking for a home inside the loop and you love pure vintage but don't want to make the sacrifices that it often entails--this might be the perfect place for you.

I'm pet friendly in general but in these units I prefer no dogs upstairs (units #3 & #4). That's not iron clad but in the 14 yrs I've owned this building, I think I've had maybe one or two tenants with dogs in those upstairs units. So, never hurts to ask but don't be mad if I say no. :) Most dogs not a problem in the downstairs units (#1 & #2).

See pics below for more visuals. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge.

(Project Resources)

M&M Lighting: fixtures
Thorntree: stone flooring & backsplash materials
Yellowstone Marble & Granite: stone countertops
The Detering Company: trim, moulding, doors
Custom Precision Stainless: custom sinks, misc. stainless detailing
Montalbano Lumber: misc. building materials
Trinity & Klassic Hardwood Floors: new & recycled hardwood flooring
DalTile & Emser Tile: ceramic & stone
Custom Cabinets Houston: vintage cabinetry, custom closets & built-ins

W. Gray St
Houston, TX 77019

 Unit 1
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1095
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  425
The debate rages on... does size really matter?

Small but potent, this "studio" apartment has a lot of interesting features you would not expect in an apartment in this price range.

Ten foot ceilings, lots of windows, thick 1920s trim and mouldings, and warm, earthy paint unify the space. (Toasty Grey walls + Antique White trim.) Plus, the original hardwood floors throughout the apartment have a warm, nutmeg color not found in any other building that I own or in any other unit in the building... (I haven't figured that one out yet; they look like long leaf pine but they don't have the reddish color those floors usually have).

The bathroom has original hex-tile floors, deep (original) cast iron Art Deco soaking tub (w/ shower of course). In 2016 I replaced the original cast iron wall-mount sink with a new floating vanity + big vintage style vessel sink + vintage style Kohler faucet. (As much as I liked the original sink it was simply too dingy looking from nearly 100 yrs of tenants using harsh abrasives like Comet and Ajax on it... the original enamel was wearing off and that was allowing rust to form around the drain and overflow.)

One of the benefits of owning your own custom cabinet and furniture company is that you can reproduce any type of woodwork from any era... so the "new" vanity is an exact reproduction style-wise of the original kitchen cabinets (which are still in place in this unit).

The kitchen is a double-galley with LOTS of storage and prep space. Cabs have the original 1920s glass front doors with antique hardware. The fridge is a new top fridge / bottom freezer style. (All appliances are full size... not tiny "apartment" sized ones).

Off the kitchen is a small dining area that can be also set up as a work space / office.

The bedroom /living area is big enough for a queen or king bed plus a small couch or futon, TV, dresser, etc. There are also TWO large closets in the unit--one of which can be also be used as a small office or vanity / makeup area. (Has removable shelves.)

In 2011, at the request of a long term tenant in this unit, I designed and installed a central air conditioning system that did not cost one farthing of square footage inside the unit. I was able to put all the mechanicals up in the ceiling of the central closet in the unit thanks to the 10 foot ceilings in the apartment. So, in that closet, the ceiling height is now about 7' 6" but the hanging space and floor to ceiling shelves were re-installed after the a/c. The tenant offered to renew the lease and pay $100/month more for the central air--part of which was certainly off-set by savings in his monthly utility bills from the much more efficient central system. So, win-win for both tenant and landlord.

This property is fully fenced & this unit includes one off-street parking space + free use of the laundry facility and some outside storage space for bikes, boxes, etc. There is also a big attic space with some usable storage space.

This is a great little apartment! I lived in this unit when I first bought the building back in 1998 and was restoring the other three units. I tried to restore & maintain it in its original condition where possible--including the original solid wood, flat panel doors, original glass doorknobs & mortise locks, original trim & moldings, original cast iron fixtures, etc... even the original built-in ironing board! :) I love the 1920s and its style of design and architecture. I would take this little apartment over just about anything built since 1950--even twice the size.

Things to know:

- Deposit = 1 month's rent.
- Cat or small dog only ($250/395 deposit).
- Non smoking unit & building.
- Application required. $40 application fee.
- Only four units total at this property.
- Free on-site laundry.

Download Rental Application

 Unit 2
 vacant:  Yes  rent:  $1995
 bedrooms:  2  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  1100
At approximately 1100 square feet, this two bedroom one bath flat is the largest in the building and encompasses almost the entire first floor. (Only four units total at this vintage, boutique, Montrose property.)

In addition to the two bedrooms it has large living room, a large separate dining room, PLUS a flexible den / sun-room / studio space that can be utilized in a wide variety of ways.

The bath and kitchen have the look and feel of a 1920s original but have been restored recently with new paint, fixtures, lighting, and appliances--including a Bosch stainless dishwasher & a Siemens stainless dual-fuel range (dual fuel = natural gas cook top + electric convection oven for the best of both worlds) AND a matching Siemens built-in stainless microwave / vent hood. (All you need to cook amazing food in this kitchen is a good Jamie Oliver recipe & some fresh ingredients... this is one of my personal favs: ; love that garam masala!)

This unit also has a very nice vintage bathroom with a basketweave tile floor, subway tile walls, pedestal sink, and original 1930s cast iron tub & Art Deco shower enclosure.

Also recently installed is high-efficiency central air and heat with digital, programmable thermostat.

As part of the phase II update we converted a central hall closet in this unit into a private laundry room and installed a new GE front-loading, high-efficiency washer & natural gas dryer. (The other three units at the building share the common laundry room out in the parking area.)

The kitchen has very cool glass-and-mirrored-door upper cabinets with built in cubbies to keep your wine / olive oil / balsamic vinegar handy. Vintage base cabinets have a combination of Lightning Black marble and Absolute Black honed granite counter tops (I like to mix it up a bit on my work surfaces). A large side x side fridge is flush mounted into the exterior wall (used to be a side exit from the kitchen to the back yard). The sink is a custom made, extra wide, extra deep, extra tall, stainless commercial job with a vintage style wall-mount faucet--set on a back splash of classic white subway tile. You can was every dish you own in that sink--even the largest pots--at the same time... (I love to cook--and you can usually tell that when you are in one of my kitchens). But if you don't feel like doing the dishes yourself--there's an ultra quiet Bosch stainless dishwasher as well.

(Part of the restoration included cutting open the wall between the kitchen & dining area to add bar seating, prep space--and to further open up the already fairly open floor plan.)

Lots of windows and French doors help keep this entire space sunny & bright while several large closets keep it functional and neat--and the new central a/c & heat keep it cool in the summer and toasty in winter.

You can definitely find a "cheaper" apartment or house to rent elsewhere in Montrose. But you won�t find a nicer, better equipped, better located unit for less money. This unit has a lot of square footage--and a LOT of unique features and architectural details--for the price.

*** Another recent addition to this unit is a 6 foot deep x 16 foot wide, private, covered porch (off the living room)... with stairs down to a small, private yard. A great place to grill, chill, and entertain. (Now I can truly say: "This unit has it all." ;)


To receive more info or to request a showing, send an e-mail to
Download Rental Application

 Unit 3
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  750
Units 3 & 4 take up the top half of the building. They are both large one bedroom apartments with tall ceilings, hardwood floors, big original mouldings, original solid wood, flat-paneled doors with original mortise locks and glass knobs--and lots and lots of big, wood-sash windows. The floor plans and color schemes of the two units are basically identical, though they vary slightly in features, colors, and details.

This apartment has:

- large double galley kitchen with original 1920�s glass-front cabinets
- full size appliances (including a natural gas range)
- newer high efficiency Rheem central air & heat (with natural gas furnace)
- large bathroom with big linen closet, original cast iron tub (with shower), original 1920s console sink, and original hex tile floors
- large closet with custom built-ins
- separate dining room with chair rail & crown moulding (this space makes a pretty good home-office also)
- large screened-in porch / mudroom off the back (shared with other upstairs unit)
- off-street, assigned, covered parking
- 2" white wood window blinds
- vintage ceiling fans in living room & bedroom
- washer & dryer (shared)

It is hard to describe the warm, peaceful vibe that these apartments have. They definitely feel safe, vintage, and "home-y". Hopefully the photos will convey that somewhat. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Can you find a cheaper apartment in Montrose? Sure you can. But not one that's been restored & maintained like this one--and not in this location.

Pets case by case but generally prefer no dogs in this unit. One or two cats possible.

Download Rental Application

 Unit 4
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  750
The top floor of the building is split down the middle. There are two, mirror image, one bedroom / one bath units on this floor. (Unit 3 & Unit 4)

Basic Features:

- about 750 s.f. of living space
- hardwood floors everywhere except the bathroom
- original 1920s hex-tile floors in the bathroom
- tall ceilings (about 9)
- original solid wood, 2-panel doors with original faceted glass doorknobs & mortise locks
- lots of functioning wood windows & natural light
- newer central a/c & gas heat
- gas range in kitchen (if you cook, you love gas)
- shared screened porch / entry in back
- off-street, covered parking
- one of the best Montrose locations (near W Gray & Waugh)

My intention with this project was not to "update" or "remodel" this building. Instead I have tried to restore the units to their original 1920s look and feel--keeping as much of the original charm as possible--while giving them as many modern amenities as possible. Consequently, there ARE trade offs here. (For example, this unit does not have a dishwasher. To some people thats a big deal. Personally, I have a $950 Bosch dishwasher in my kitchen that I have used a grand total of TWICE in the past year... and I cook every day. So, to me, not having a d/w is no big deal.)

Also, these units do not have a washer & dryer in them. There IS a big common laundry area that is free and shared by three tenants. (Again, to some people this is a big deal, to others, it is worth the trade off to have the big vintage apartment in a killer location--and more closet space (which is the only pace you can fit a washer & dryer in these older units).) Considering the fact that every single tenant in the building is a college graduate or post-graduate--and my average tenancy in this building is about 3 yrs per tenant--its obviously not that important or I would not be able to attract and keep the quality tenants that I have.

The upstairs units also share a screened porch / entry in the back of the building that is great for chilling out and having a nice glass of wine or reading a book on a cool spring day--without getting eaten by mosquitoes! Its also a great place for container gardening since it gets full sun pretty much all day (souther exposure)--or to keep your recycling--so it doesn't pile up in the kitchen. :)

This unit includes one assigned, off-street, covered parking space!

Download Rental Application


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