Oak Forest Voted Least Recognizable Neighborhood, But Where's All the New Stuff?

Categories: Random Ephemera

oakforest.jpeg
Photo by Abby Koenig
Everything's changed and yet nothing has changed.
Swamplot, Houston's snarky real estate blog, recently announced the winners of its 2013 "Swampies," otherwise known as the The Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. Now in its sixth year, The Swamplot Awards offer Houstonians a chance to first nominate and then vote on eight distinct real estate related categories including "Favorite Houston Design Cliché," "Best Demolition," "Best Houston Transplant," and "The Ground-Floor Retail Award," among others.

One of the other categories of note was "Least Recognizable Neighborhood," which was awarded to Oak Forest. I give this award special attention because I happen to live in Oak Forest and, yeah, that's the only reason.

According to the nomination: "It's the West U of the twenty-teens around here. Once filled with 1960s ranchers sitting in the middle of large yards with lots of mature trees, now it's the spot to go build McMansions that fill the lot. Already, many streets are unrecognizable from a couple years ago. At the current pace of demo work, there will be very few original homes left in 5 years..."

If you are not familiar with the area, Oak Forest, often combined with the neighboring Garden Oaks, is the third large group of subdivision in Harris County, more or less right outside of the 610 loop, along North Shepherd to the east and 290 to the west.

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8 comments
Refuge Real Estate
Refuge Real Estate

The redevelopment of the Oak Forest area is definitely very interesting to us!

kcvc4610
kcvc4610

Abby...there is also a Randalls and a small HEB; 43rd between Oak Forest and Ella is filled with new stores since all the rebuilds began.  Kroger is on 43rd not Ella.  There are 3 Starbucks: 34th at 290, 43rd at 290 and the one you refer to on 43rd at Ella, plus there is one on 610 East near Shepherd.  There ARE a lot of old strip centers and apartments that need to be torn down and it would be GREAT to have a bunch of new stores/shops/restaurants.  However, many of the old restaurants are barely making it and not everyone who lives in OF can afford a $300,000 home.  We have a ton of lower-middle income people.   Also, some sections of Oak Forest are just now starting to have teardowns, so your statement about every 3rd home has been renovated or torn down is not true.  Just don't want you to give the world the wrong impression of Oak Forest.  I've lived here 30 years and if you ask me, it's pretty much the same as it has always been, a nice friendly neighborhood close to all the major freeways.

BaylorGal
BaylorGal

Douchbaggery - best made-up word ever!

MadMac
MadMac

East, send those vulter developers east. I got a house in Lindale I'd love to unload.

Anse
Anse

I moved to Shepherd Park Plaza, right across Ella from Oak Forest, a couple of years ago, after living in the Heights for nine years. I like SPP, but there's a distinct difference in culture from the Heights, and it comes down to this: the Heights is for front porches, SPP and Oak Forest is for back patios. When I lived in the Heights, I felt more in tune with what was going on around us. I talked to neighbors almost every day. I walked to places (I lived right around the corner from the old Fiesta at 14th and Studewood and was crushed to find out it had been demolished), which isn't hard to do there; you've got Studewood and Yale, N. Main and 20th Street and White Oak and Heights Blvd and 11th Street all criss-crossing the neighborhood so that nobody is more than a few blocks from the nearest commercial area. In SPP, when I go home, I close the front door--I don't even open it, since I go through my garage--and I don't go back out front unless I'm checking the mail or mowing the yard. I know all my neighbors and we get along great, but it's not a design that emphasizes front-of-the-house living. I've decided it isn't worse, but it is different. And since some of my neighbors in the Heights were assholes, I see the upside to minding my own business.


It would be nice if the area just north of Candlelight Estates (near Pinemont) could get a little livelier, and if the center where the dollar store is located could get along a bit further. But even when all that finally fills in, it's never going to feel the same as the old neighborhood.

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

If someone could replace that family dollar at 43rd and Rosslyn with a bar or coffee shop, I would go there as much as possible to support new business.

longhorn1122
longhorn1122

@ShitThrowingMonkey 

That whole business park is an absolute disaster. I too would venture over there if something barely decent popped up.


I can't stand going to the Kroger on 43rd because of the crowds, and the people in the crowds.  I now go to the Randall's on 34th, while certainly in a sketchier area, it looks brand new inside and has no crowds.  I'm so bored.

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