An extremely hot topic in Houston now is is the Northline Light Rail Project underway. If you are looking for Houston’s next hot spot, this might be it. If you were too late to buy a Houston Heights or Idylwood home at a reasonable price look into Lindale Park. Quoting from the Houston Chronicle:
Metro’s rail line extension is already bringing changes along the Fulton Corridor
By NANCY SARNOFF
May 29, 2010, 1:12AM
Just minutes from downtown, a treacherous obstacle course of orange construction cones and road barriers telegraphs the change headed to the heart of the largely Hispanic neighborhoods of the Near Northside.There, along a stretch of Fulton, Metro has started work on the North Line light rail extension — just one sign of the shifting dynamics in an area long driven by established Hispanic businesses.
Other changes include a new apartment complex on a portion of the 20 acres of cleared land on Irvington Boulevard that once housed a FedEx freight facility. It will include 144 energy-efficient units, a swimming pool and clubhouse. Later, single-family homes, condominiums and a park will be added.
The shopping centers a few blocks away — including one on a site that long ago housed a pickle plant — are starting to fill up with tenants.And the decades-old Doneraki Mexican restaurant, which had been closed since Hurricane Ike, recently reopened.
“The Fulton Corridor is on the verge of incredible expansion,” said Doug Freedman of United Equities, a Houston-based commercial real estate firm that manages and leases four shopping centers in the area.
Today, much of the retail along the route where light-rail cars will travel includes tire shops, mom and pop Mexican restaurants, hair salons and check-cashing stores.But national chains like Walgreens, Auto Zone, Family Dollar, Rent A Center and Payless all have relocated existing outlets within the Fulton Corridor.
When that happens, Freedman said, it’s a sign of the stores’ success and projected growth in the area.Working families in the Near Northside strongly support basic retail businesses.
“You’re not going to find a lot of cupcake places or tanning salons,” Freedman said. “When people go to spend their money, it’s on the necessities.”
Slower for businesses
For Cesar Rodriguez, the coming rail line is a mixed blessing. The founder of Doneraki, which opened in 1973, also owns real estate in the area. He’s seen land prices double from what they were 10 years ago, but he’s concerned about area businesses that are affected by the construction.
“I’m excited for my properties because every- thing is going to go higher,” said Rodriguez, who’s asking $20 per square foot for a 53,000-square-foot parcel he owns near the corner of Irvington and Fulton.
But sales at the restaurant have fallen dramatically since road barriers went up in front of it. Rodriguez still owns the Doneraki property, but he recently sold the restaurant operation as a franchise.The new owners, Gerardo Padilla and Jose Perez, are feeling pinched. “The big problem we have right now is people don’t want to drive on this street,” Perez said.
The rail line planned for this area will be an extension of the existing line that runs 7.5 miles between downtown and the South Loop.The North Line will span 5.3 miles from the University of Houston-Downtown to the old Northline Mall, which is now called Northline Commons after being renovated into an open-air shopping center.
The Metro line should be completed in the fall of 2013, according to Peter Finn, Metro’s north corridor project director………..
………Lindale Park to benefit
There are several neighborhoods that make up the Near Northside, but one in particular could get the biggest boost from the rail extension.“There’s a gentrification process already in place,” real estate agent Robert Searcy said about Lindale Park, a deed-restricted neighborhood whose boundaries are Loop 610 on the north, Moody on the south, Robertson on the east and Fulton on the west. “This is adding fuel to the fire.”
Up until 2008, housing prices in Lindale Park had risen or remained steady almost every year since 1997. The neighborhood, with homes priced under $250,000, appeals to buyers who can’t afford the Heights.
The light-rail factor
The addition of the light rail, however, could be a game-changer. “Lindale will now boast a significant amenity that is not available in areas west,” Searcy said.
Kacey White, a real estate agent, bought a house in Lindale Park about three years ago because it was the only way she could afford to stay inside the Loop.She paid $157,000 for the two-bedroom, one-bath house that has about 1,200 square feet. She still goes to the Heights to do her dry-cleaning and banking, but thinks the rail line will change that.
“My fiance and I are just thrilled,” White said. “We’ll be able to jump on it and go downtown. It’ll be fantastic.”
See entire Chronicle article on the Houston Lindale Park,Near Northside transformation here.
Photos taken last week by Houston Heights Realtor, Rich Martin
December 2013 Update: See post about the opening of the Northline Rail.
Want to Learn More About Lindale Park?
- Lindale Park Homes For Sale and MLS Search. This page also has maps, history, house styles, home prices and more.
- Lindale Park – The Hidden Jewel. A quick introduction to the neighborhood
- Lindale Park Home Sales & Prices. Table of home prices-early 2015
Tags: Lindale Park