Neighborhood Spotlight: Downtown Houston

If you’ve lived in Houston long enough than you’ve had the opportunity to see the complete transformation of Downtown. At one time, Downtown was a place for business… and that’s about it.  If you happened to find yourself there on a weekend it was essentially a ghost town, but what was only a place of business is now trending to be not only the place to work, but also live, eat and drink in Houston.

Thinking of heading to Downtown? Here are the places to check out:

Live.

Downtown Houston is home to a number of fantastic mid to high rise apartments, condos and town homes – some new and some old but made new. The Star Apartments are the latest “old but made new” apartments to the neighborhood and if you have an appreciation 20170208_124423for history and charm then you will really appreciate The Star. Not only does the building boast some lovely turn of the century architecture – unique arches, large windows, tray ceilings – but also the building’s history is intertwined with what makes Houston…well Houston. Originally built in 1915, The Star became the home of the Texas Company or what is now more widely known as Texaco, Inc. Moving from Beaumont, TX  the then oil and energy hub of the US, Texaco, Inc. was one of the first oil companies to move their headquarters to Houston. This move started the trend for other oil and energy companies (more than 3,700) to follow and eventually converted Houston into what is today: the Energy Capital of the World.

Rents at The Star start in the $2,000s without taking into consideration current specials. If you’re interested in renting or want to find out more click here. Average rents neighborhood wide for a is $1,971 according to Rent Jungle and the average list price is $437,071.

We didn’t forget…it’s Valentine’s Day! Because it’s the day of L-O-V-E we are offering some discounts for you to “treat yo’self.”  Renting? – get $300 cash rebate for lease signs at any of the properties above.  Listing a property? We’ll list for as little as 4.75%.  Purchasing? Get 25% of commission applied to your closing costs. To receive any of the following, all you have to do is register here.

Happy Valentines Day

Other notable living spaces in the Downtown area are: One Park Place, The Rice, Market Square Tower and SkyHouse Houston.

Eat.

Another fun fact about Houston is that we are the most diverse city in America… translation we have food fare representative of pretty much every culture you that you can think of and downtown Houston doesn’t let you down. Thanks to Super Bowl LI, we have Xochi – the PLACE to go for all things Oaxacan food. Not exactly sure what ‘Oaxacan’ is? … initially me either. Allow me to enlighten you.  Oaxaca is a city located in the southern Mexico so if you’re thinking you’ve tried every Mexican food there is a chance you might Tlayuda_5385stand corrected. Chief Chef of Xochi Hugo Ortega is the master mind creator behind the Xochi project and according to Eater Houston offers Oaxacan specialties such as mole sauce, barbacoa, roasted pork and various “dishes that feature edible insects.” (Mmmm… protein?) Tluyada (pictured left – courtesy of Xochi) is also one such specialty cuisine you can find at Xochi. Tluyada is basically Oaxacan pizza – a large crunchy tortilla with beef, pork, cilantro, jalapenos to name just a few of the topping options.

Other downtown places to dine include:  Irma’s Original (Mexican food) and Irma’s Southwest Grill (more Mexican food), Charlie’s BBQ, Tout Suite and Honey Moon (for all things Cafe fare), and The Conservatory (‘underground beer garden and food hall’), Phoenicia Market (International grocery market and deli)

Drink.

One does not simply dine in downtown Houston, there’s also a number of places to score drinks – whether it be a coffee or a cocktail. And while you’re out having a good time you can also contribute to charity by ordering a food or beverage at downtown Houston’s OKRA Charity Saloon. OKRA stands for “Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs.” Essentially a few like minded and savvy restaurant owners got together and decided to contribute their talents and restaurant experience to do a little good in the community. Charity-Saloon_web_800x600

(Photo Courtesy of Downtown Houston)

While social enterprises are currently en trend and have been for the past few years what OKRA has developed is probably my personal favorite brand of enterprise giving.  Each month OKRA selects a number of local Houston charities to support and 100% of proceeds go to the “winning” charity. Who chooses the winner you say? The power is yours… you purchase, you get a ticket and then vote on the charity you desire to support by submitting your ticket. Simple as that. Since it’s opening in 2011, OKRA has raised $855,215.58. In addition to it’s charitable pursuits OKRA also offers a storied venue.  It’s located at the address of the first official saloon of Houston and functioned as a saloon from 1882 up until Prohibition. Scandalous! So have a drink, support your local community and appreciate the history at OKRA.

Other downtown dives to check out: Public Services Wine and Whisky, Pastry War, Reserve 101, Hearsay, Gastro Lounge, Flying Saucer

Sources:

http://visual.ly/houston-texas-energy-capital-world

https://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-houston-rent-trends/

http://www.xochihouston.com/

http://friedokra.org/