Living In Downtown Houston – What’s It Like?

Houston is one of the most populated cities in the United States, being rivaled only by New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

It’s the largest city in the southern United States and in Texas. The Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area of Houston is about 8,700 square miles, which is slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts.

Downtown Houston is a large center of commerce, with over 150,000 employees working in the area, and 3,500 different businesses.

Although, Downtown Houston is a popular place to work, it’s only home to about 3,500 people, making it very different from Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Most of the residential housing that is available in Downtown Houston are loft and condo buildings.

There are currently over 25 different residential buildings in the area for Downtown Houstonians to choose from. Residential skyscrapers, mixed with new restaurants, bars, and clubs make the Downtown Houston area an exciting place to live.

People who work in Houston and want to be close to the action is one of the reasons many residents have returned downtown to live in one of the available luxury buildings.

What Are The Most Popular Residential Real Estate Options In Downtown Houston?

Bayou Lofts – 108 different lofts are in this light and fun building, as well as 14 penthouses that range from 700 to 2,000 square feet. There are farmer’s markets and festivals right outside the area at special times during the year.

Beaconsfield Lofts – There are 18 lofts with 2 and 3 bedroom layouts in this 7-story residential condo building. Living here puts you at the center of it all, since you can get to the Toyota Center, bars, lounges, retail shops, and restaurants easily from here.

Byrd’s Lofts – These lofts are close to the Downtown Business District, and minutes away from Market Square and other parks. This 3-story building was the location of the Byrd department store, and the first floor still remains as retail space.

Capitol Lofts – In the early 1900s, this building was office and retail space. In 1998, it was converted into residential lofts that still kept the structural integrity of the building. Many of the housing units here have concrete beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls, and private balconies.

Commerce Towers – One of the most unique condo buildings in the Downtown Houston area. You can choose the layout of the home you want since there are over 50-floor plans in this white glove service building.

Dakota Lofts – The Dakota Lofts were converted in 1992, making this the oldest loft building in Houston. The lobby has an art gallery and offers views of the city from a shared terrace. Dakota Loft is available for lease only, and offers floorplans that range from 800 to 1,700 square feet.

The Edge – The Edge is located right between Midtown and Downtown, making this an exciting place to own a condo. You can enjoy the best of both worlds here, since you are able to easily get to downtown for work, or visit friends in Midtown. There are 93 condos in this traditionally designed six-story building.

Four Seasons Residence – Yes, you can live in a condo units within a hotel and enjoy the perks of resort style living. This setup allows you to enjoy Four Season services like a concierge, valet, swimming pool, and fitness gyms, without needing to pay by the night. This allows you to also have the added benefit of ordering room service from your condo, and you have access to security and housekeeping services.

St. Germain Lofts – The St. Germain Lofts is a spacious eight-story residential loft building with units ranging from 600 to 2,000 square feet. This modern building allows you to have a healthy work and life balance, since it’s minutes away from the Business District, shopping, parks, and dining options.

Hermann Lofts – Hermann Lofts is a smaller loft building with 32 lofts for sale. When lofts do come available here, the usually aren’t around for very long. Hermann Lofts is located one block from Market Square, and tons of restaurants and bars, so living makes Downtown Houston feel like a little community.

Places To Go In Downtown Houston

Market Square park is a great place in Downtown Houston to visit and check out natural scenery, public art exhibitions, entertainment, and to dine. Local and national artists install both new and old pieces of work, with sculptures providing additional beauty to the aesthetic of Market Square.

Plenty of restaurants border the park, like the classic restaurants such as Warren’s and La Carafe, as well as newer additions like Bad News Bar, Batanga, Niko Niko’s and OKRA Charity Saloon.

If you need to take your favorite four-legged friend for a walk, then this is a great place to go. There’s a dog run, with a little water area that allows everyone in the family to get some exercise.

On the Milam Street side of the park, there’s a children’s play area and a beautiful walkway where you can check out the natural beauty. All around the park are seasonal flowering trees, babbling water fountains, stately oak trees, and benches to relax on while you’re taking your daily stroll.

Getting to major shopping areas, restaurants, bars, and nightlife is very simple from Downtown Houston. There’s a METRO-rail that starts Downtown and goes through Midtown all the way up to Reliant Park, that only takes about 30 minutes one way. There are also buses that run on city streets, stopping at every corner in the service area.

There’s even free transportation in the Downtown Houston area. Take the Greenlink line from 6:30am to 6:30pm, Monday through Friday and get to major office buildings in the area and to METRO stops. This is a great way to commute if you both work and live in the city, making everything super convenient.

Finally, you can watch the Astros play at the beautiful Minute Maid Park from April to October. Or, you can attend a concert or watch the Rockets at the Toyota Center. Downtown Houston has so many attractions year-round to enjoy.

The History Of Downtown Houston

The Allen brothers, two New York real estate promoters, established the city of Houston in the early 1800s.

They purchased 6,642 acres of land after the Texas Revolution and worked with Gail Borden, Jr. to plan out the city.

In 1837, Houston was granted incorporation, and became the temporary capital of Texas. Three years later, there were four main wards, each with a different function for the community.

By 1906, the area that currently makes up Downtown Houston was divided among six wards. At this time, Houston was becoming a popular destination and saw major growth.

There are two main reasons that Downtown Houston boomed around this time. On September 8, 1990, the Galveston Hurricane made landfall and ended up being the deadliest hurricane and the second costliest hurricane in United States history.

Investors in Houston wanted to locate an area in Texas that was close to the Southwest Texas ports, but far enough away where there wouldn’t be a significant hurricane or storm risk.

In 1901 when there was oil discovered just south of Beaumont, more people began flocking to Texas, and more specifically the Houston area. This was the beginning of the city that triggered many of the city’s largest buildings to be constructed, as well as many large skyscrapers which still exist today.

During the 19th century, the present day east side of Downtown Houston was known as the Third Ward and home to the elite that resided in Houston.

It was a neighborhood filled with Victorian-era homes, until the construction of Union Station caused the residential character of the area to deteriorate.

Development of 610 and I-45 caused citizens to move away from Downtown Houston and into some of the newer areas which were being developed at the time.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Downtown Houston became popular again, with the addition of major buildings and skyscrapers during the building boom.

Pioneering real estate developers purchased historic buildings and converted them into urban lofts. Some of these properties are the largest within Texas and the United States.

There has been over $4 billion invested into residential housing, transportation, and nightlife in the area, making it a great location to live, stroll through the neighborhood, or dine out.

Finally in the mid-1980s, a savings and loan crisis forced many of the tenants of properties in Downtown Houston to retrench, and many establishments went out of business. Downtown Houston was affected greatly by these financial troubles, and the area continually declined.

What’s Happening In Downtown Houston Now?

The Central Business District in Downtown Houston is making quite the impression on people from around the world. It hosts major sports teams such as the Astros and the Rockets, and has plenty of entertainment and art events.

If you are interested in nightlife, there’s no place in the Houston surrounding area quite like Downtown Houston. The culinary and nightlife scene has seen recent developments so that there’s plenty to do beyond the normal 9-to-5 business hours.