Third Ward latest area in Houston to get facelift

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Third Ward is undergoing a facelift, of sorts and entrepreneurs and developers are taking advantage of the transformation.

"The inner city is changing for sure," said Deepak Doshi, who opened a vegetarian coffee shop in Third Ward nearly three years ago. "It's changed from a liquor store to a convenience store to a meat market," he said, describing the 88-year-old building.

Doshi kept the original shell and brought the structure back to life.

"A big part of what we are, who we are and what the neighborhood is -- is important," said Doshi.

Third Ward, situated near the Medical Center and downtown Houston, was historically populated by African Americans. Now, younger people are moving in, townhomes are spouting, all blended with affordable housing communities boasting rehabbed homes built 50 or 60 years ago.

"What comes with new development is new tax revenue for the city, but you do have gentrification and you're very much aware of that," said District D City Councilman Dwight Boykins.

Part of the longterm plan for Third Ward includes better streets, new parks, a community center and private security.

"Like all things, it must change," said public artist Reginald Adams. "I think it's to the benefit of any community that becomes diverse."

For artists like Anat Ronen, who is in the midst of creating a 200-plus foot mural on Blackshear Elementary, the transition in Third Ward is a blank canvas... an opportunity to shine.

"And, to have a colossal work of art where you wouldn't expect it is such a treasure for this city," said Adams.
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