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Aris Market Square Tower

The Changing Face of Downtown Houston

August 2nd, 2017


Jason Miles, KHOU – August 02, 2017

HOUSTON – There’s a boom in downtown Houston.

Right now, there is more than a billion dollars’ worth of construction going on, and much of it is residential.

Developers hope people will not only want to work downtown, but live there, too.

“You know, we think it’s a smart gamble,” said Hines project director David Haltom. “The real estate game is about making smart bets, and we believe in the future of Houston and the future of this area in downtown Houston in particular.”

Hines is behind Aris Market Square. It’s a $120 million residential project. There are 224 units at Aris, which run from around $1,700 a month to more than $10,000.

Despite those prices, Haltom and others believe there is pent up demand downtown while other parts of Houston deal with an apartment glut.

“Walkable access to all of the office space here in downtown, to the major sports venues, to the theatre district as well as the bars and restaurants,” Haltom said.

“It’s a night-and-day experience for us downtown,” said Downtown District CEO Bob Eury.

He’s overseen development downtown for decades.

“You know, you can almost see it every day, just the change to much, much more activity,” Eury said.

Downtown was home to just a few hundred people a few years ago. The area’s residential population is now in the thousands.

“We’re pushing, as we speak right now, about 6,000,” Eury said. “That number’s growing almost daily as new residential projects come online.”

Downtown resident Dawn Callahan’s commute is only a few blocks.

“I walk to work every day,” Callahan said.

She works at Houston City Hall and spends most of her free time downtown as well.

“It’s very convenient, it’s very walkable, so it feels like I have my own little neighborhood,” Callahan said.

Tax breaks are among the building blocks for many projects downtown. Retail follows rooftops, they say.

The thinking is that incentives on the front end eventually pay off in the form of sales tax and other revenues for the city.

“You have to be patient,” Eury said. “We do realize that does take that growth of the residential population to make that retail really work.”

For now, things seem to be looking up downtown.

It’s not necessarily cheap if you’re thinking about relocating downtown. According to the Downtown District, the average asking price for an apartment is $2,654. The average home value is $489,390.

To learn more about the Downtown District’s 20 year vision, tap/click here.

© 2017 KHOU-TV

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