Westbury homeowners frustrated with abandoned complex are looking forward to big changes

Miya Shay Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Westbury neighbors could soon be rid of eyesore complex nearby
The Spring Village Apartments in Houston's Westbury neighborhood could begin demolition by early summer after Hurricane Harvey drove residents out.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Significant changes may finally come to a longtime Westbury neighborhood eyesore. Homeowners told ABC13 the sooner, the better.

A quick walk-through of the former Spring Village Apartments on Chimney Rock at Ludington would not be pleasant these days. There are several burned-out units, missing doors and windows, and the air is a mix of mold and decay.

Two fires were set on the property over the last six weeks, including one this past weekend.

But to hear Becky Edmondson tell it, it's a pain before the progress.

"The city purchased this property for detention to alleviate flooding," Edmondson explained. "But it takes time to relocate everybody."

Edmondson, the Westbury Super Neighborhood president, said the complex, like the entire neighborhood, flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The City of Houston purchased the apartment a few years ago to turn the property into a much-needed flood detention.

"It's going to be so beneficial to the neighborhood and the thousands of people in the bayou," she said. "You just have to be patient."

Patience is something Eva Thibaudeau has in abundance.

"If you leave a property abandoned as it is, something is going to happen," Thibaudeau said, pointing out that tenants moved out after the property was purchased. Then, squatters, cats, and other questionable elements moved in.

"It's not a bad area. It's just the apartment, the complex, that's what make it bad, because you don't know who may go there in the evening times when it's late at night," Sophia Newman, another longtime homeowner, said. "Could be drug dealers or whatever is over there."

Despite the issues, the homeowners were all cautiously optimistic. After all, they lived through Harvey and chose to rebuild in the same neighborhood. So, a few years of a nuisance apartment seems like a small price to pay for generational change in infrastructure.

"In the world of disaster recovery and flood control, this is a blip in time," Thibaudeau said. "I've lived here for 20-some years. This will pass, and when it passes, we'll be left with something really amazing. There will be green space, wildlife, and retention, and it's just a pain to get through."

Though no exact timeline has been set, the property is currently going through the demolition permitting process. If all goes well, bulldozers could roll by early summer.

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