Housing and Community Development Department

Press Release

Demolition of King’s Best Market Signalize Great Things Happening in OST/South Union

December 3, 2014 -- The first step toward development of a new mixed-use living experience in Houston’s Old Spanish Trail (OST)/ South Union area began Wednesday, Dec. 3, when community leaders and residents gathered to celebrate the coming development of Village at Palm Center. Project developer ITEX Group and the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) commemorated the event by unveiling plans for the $41 million mixed-use living facility.

The Village at Palm Center will have 154 apartment units, 68 townhomes, and 14,500 square feet of retail space, in addition to two playgrounds, a fitness center and ample green space which will offer a new approach to affordable housing and community engagement. Of the 222 rental units, 200 will target low- to moderate-income residents. The remaining units will rent at market rates.

The city will fund $15 million of the project costs using Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG DR) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Village at Palm Center is one of five multifamily developments selected through a competitive process to receive funding from the second round of federal Disaster Recovery dollars. These funds are aimed at revitalizing some of Houston’s inner city neighborhoods still plagued with damage from Hurricane Ike.

The mixed-use development is designed to preserve affordable housing choices in an area of rapidly rising values. The goals are to keep current residents from being pushed out and to create opportunities for entry-level professionals and others of low to moderate incomes.

During Wednesday’s kick-off event, HCD Director Neal Rackleff, whose department manages the CDBG DR Program, shared his excitement with community residents. “The dreams of this neighborhood will no longer be deferred. We have heard your needs and valuable input and will continue working to ensure that this community is a vibrant, attractive and safe place to be,” said Rackleff.

City Council Member Dwight Boykins and ITEX Group Executive Vice President Clark Colvin also addressed the gathering, both pledging to remain interactive with residents and offer economic opportunities along with quality facilities. ITEX Group President Chris Akbari echoed their vows for quality. “We want to offer the best-in-class housing units,” he said.

OST/South Union is a designated Community Revitalization Area which is home to several redevelopment projects including the METRO Southeast Line, and the Houston Texans YMCA. The Village at Palm Center will provide a 4,000 square foot community center and an on-site daycare facility adding to the options available to families.

The ITEX Group is a developer of single-family, multifamily and commercial real estate projects. The firm has developed affordable housing communities throughout Texas, successfully using tax credits, HUD Capital Funds, CDBG grants and HOME funds. The ITEX mission is to provide quality living space to its residents with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

The City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) provides the leadership and financing to make affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization happen in Houston. Currently, the Department administers over $100 million annually in various federal, state and local programs. From investing in neighborhood parks, multifamily communities and economic development, to providing first-time homebuyer assistance and funds to serve the homeless, elderly and disabled, HCD works to improve the quality of life for Houston’s neighborhoods and families.