Property Details

Mid-Century Modern in Galleria / Highland Village (Houston, TX)

Bored with doing the same "Turn-of-the-Century" restoration projects for the previous five years, in 2002 I decided to mix things up bit with a little Mid-Century Modern.

This classic 1950s 8-plex is one of only a few remaining, original, small complexes built in Afton Oaks in the 1950s (before the Galleria was even a twinkle in Gerald Hines' visionary eye. (

Because of its excellent in-town location, unusually large lots, and strictly enforced deed restrictions, the prevailing model in Afton Oaks is to tear down the existing 1950s ranch style houses (@ $600-$700k a pop) and replace them with faux French McMansions and falso Italianate Villas (@ $2 million + a pop). Most of the original, smaller, vintage 4plex, 6plex, and 8plexes like this one have been laid low by that same paradigm shift in recent years.

As tempting as that might be to me financially, I kinda liked Afton Oaks the way it was--quaint and unpretentious--so I decided to recycle this classic building instead of sacrificing it to the gods of consumption.

This project was fun mainly because we got to work and re-work the same basic floor-plan eight times. This allowed me to tweak the scope & look of each unit, improving the functionality and aesthetics of each as we moved through the building. (My own mini Case Study project.) My goal was to end up with eight unique units--and I think I achieved that goal. No two units in the building are exactly alike. Some lean more toward the Vintage and some more toward the Modern--but they are all Vintage Modern.

Aside from the common floor plan of two bedrooms and one bath--and some shared color schemes--every unit has its own personality. Sometimes the differences are subtle. Sometimes they are drastic. But each has its own individual character.

The tenants are generally an eclectic mix of young professionals (25-45). Probably owing to the central courtyard, this property has more of a community feel to it than any other property that I have owned--which I like--and which is why certain types of people prefer a small complex like this over 200, 300, 400 unit complex.

If you work or play inside the loop, this location is hard to beat. "Galleria" is an oft over-used reference point in Houston real estate--especially in apartment listings. This property is literally three blocks due east of the Galleria shopping centers--tucked just inside the 610 loop. You could walk out your front door & be trying on shoes at Neimans in about five minutes. There is also a Central Market, Best Buy, Target, Spec's, and three Starbucks within easy walking distance.

There is also great freeway access to 59, 610, and I-10. And the shopping is the best in the state. (Where else in Houston can you live close enough to walk to Crate & Barrel, Central Market, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie?)

For what they are (700 to 800 s.f., Mid-Century, two bed / one bath flats) these are about the nicest units in this price range that you are going to find anywhere near this location--possibly anywhere inside the loop. They are what they are. If you are looking for shiny new pennies, you'll have to live in a 400 unit property and park in a parking garage. This is eight units. Killer location. Two bedrooms. (Most of the tenants there use them as 1+ study / guest bed set ups.)

See unit details below for pics & info on each individual unit. Click any thumbnail to enlarge.

(Project Resources)
Thorntree (quartz & slate), DalTile, ICI Paints, K&N (appliance), the Detering Company (trim & moulding), Custom Precision Stainless (custom kitchen sinks & other stainless details), Ferguson (misc. plumbing fixtures), Trinity Hardwoods, Klassic Hardwoods (recycled flooring), Custom Cabinets Houston (, M&M Lighting, Bobbitt Glass, Emmanuel del Angel (sheetrock, paint, tile), Morales HVAC, St Charles Electric.

For more info about renting one of these units (policies, procedures, showing dates & times, etc.) send and email to

Oakshire Drive

 Unit 5
 vacant:  Yes  rent:  $1395
 bedrooms:  2  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  775
Unit 5 was one of the first units that I worked on after buying this property back in '03. I did a fairly extensive "update" at that time that included a kitchen face lift (added some cabinets, updated appliance to stainless, new quartz countertop, new backsplash tile, new floor tile, new lighting, new plumbing fixtures, etc)--and adding central air & heat. I also replaced all of the interior doors, all of the door hardware and cabinet hardware, installed crown moulding in the kitchen and living room, repainted everything, and refinished the hardwood floors. No small task. However, at that early stage, I didn't think I was going to be adding washers and dryers to all of the units--there really wasn't room for those without tearing the central closet apart and cutting lots of holes to run plumbing, gas, electrical, ductwork, etc--and I never seemed to have any push back about shared laundry @ my W Gray property in Montrose.

But I discovered pretty quickly that in this particular location and / or rental demographic, laundry in the unit was very important. So, I knew eventually I'd have to circle back to this unit and add a washer and dryer. (This unit is the only unit at the property that has its own big, private, outdoor patio off the back bedroom... and I think that has helped offset the lack of a washer & dryer up until now... because this unit has had similar if not lower vacancy over the past 13 yrs... and the same rent as the other units.)

The patio was a wreck when I bought the building--little more than a muddy hole in the ground--so I dug the whole thing up, fixed the grade so it drains properly, packed down a solid granite gravel base, then installed a nice recycled brick on top of that. Then I tore down the old, fence and put up a new 6 ft cedar privacy fence with a lockable gate, planted some banana trees, Mexican heather (which I subsequently had to pull out because it was taking over the patio). Gets lots of sun so container gardens do great. All in all a nice place to chill & grill when the weather is nice. Or a good place to store bikes, a kayak, hang a hammock, etc.

In early 2017 we did a phase 2 update to this unit, ADDING a new washer and dryer and a new 14 SEER HVAC system. The kitchen and bath were also gutted and REBUILT from the ground up. And, since I had it stripped down that far, I decided to go ahead and UPGRADE all of the original steel single pane casement windows to double pane low e vinyl sliders.

Those--combined with the new high efficiency a/c--should result in even lower electric bills... and a much quieter interior.


To receive the auto-reply with further info on the unit or to request a showing, please e-mail
Download Rental Application


© 2004 - 2017 Medusa Properties. All Rights Reserved.