State of Texas Alleges That Gang-Ridden Southwest Houston Condo Complex Is a Public Nuisance

gavel051412.jpg
Trying to close down a notorious condo complex.
Claiming essentially that it is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the State of Texas and Harris County are attempting to force a Southwest Houston condominium complex to clean up its act or shut down -- and each and every unit owner is listed as a defendant.

According to the suit filed April 24 by Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Le Promenade condos at 7400 Bissonnet "are causing a common nuisance by habitually harboring criminal activity" and "causing a public nuisance by maintaining a place that is habitually used for engaging in gang activity.

"Le Promenade is where some members of a notorious Houston gang, La Primera, live and where they recruit members from adjacent Sharpstown High School," the suit continues. "Le Promenade is where gang fights between La Primera and a rival gang, the Southwest Cholos, occur."

To bolster their argument, Ryan contended that many La Primera members are tattooed with the complex's address (7400) and also linked to this video:

Among the defendants: Huali Investments, the 205-unit complex's majority owner; Le Promenade Council of Co-Owners, Inc.; and approximately 50 individual owners. The suit contends that all are equally responsible for the alleged nuisance that Le Promenade has become.

The suit claims that there were more than 100 calls for police assistance to the complex between May of 2010 and this February. Among those: five aggravated robberies, seven aggravated assaults, one incident of cocaine delivery and one discharge of a gun in public. Le Promenade owners are alleged to have knowingly tolerated such activity to occur habitually on the property.

Therefore, the State wants each and every Le Promenade owner to fork over a bond of between $5,000 and $10,000. Should the mayhem continue, the bonds would become forfeit to the state and the complex would be ordered shut down for one year. If it wins in court, the State can also collect actual damages, civil penalties and attorney's fees.

So far, only one of the owners has responded with a general denial.

Writer Eyder Peralta and photographer Jessica Kourkonis put together an excellent photo essay on the cheerier side of life in Le Promenade a couple of years back. View it here.


Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Harris County Civil Courts

201 Caroline St., Houston, TX

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
houstone1998
houstone1998

Daayyy aintt no gang activity no more not ivenn druggg dealerss

houstone1998
houstone1998

Cuzz most off the gang members are in jaill .'.

Pet Mousse
Pet Mousse

Well based on these comments, we can safely assume they aren't in school...

Ogden Thomas
Ogden Thomas

Sadly, I can't think or see one apartment complex out of the cajillion that isn't in the same state. The HOA's should be on top of these issues or bring in the bulldozerz. 

DLRan
DLRan

As an owner of a condo how do I know who is committing crime?  It's usually the kids of the person renting. Investors buy property to make money, you dont make money if you rent to gangsters who run everyone out of the complex.  The government feels that shutting this property down will make these people no longer criminals?  The police need to find these criminals another place to live and that place is prison.  If you are in a gang, this should be classified as organized crime.  If you get 3 arrest as a member of organized crime you should be executed.  Prison is a badge of honor for gang members.  It has to stop.

D R
D R

OMG I can totally see the LULAC people screaming racism on this one. But criminals are criminals no matter white black tan pink green or poka-dotted..it's time to clean of this city.. Houston is going the ways of Chicago and Detroit... scummy

kstallings100
kstallings100

That whole part of town should be nuked. But I feel sorry for the older owners who actually live in that hellhole and can't just walk away.

MadforMidCentury
MadforMidCentury

What?!  "Nuke" HBU?  Braeburn Country Club?  The pedestrian/bike trails along Braeswood?  Rather than nuke it, how about try to improve it?  The neighborhood just to the south of Le Promenade is actually quite nice...big old oak trees, great mid-century architecture and pride of ownership.  Maybe with this blight gone, more people could appreciate the charms of this part of town!

Swangnnbangn
Swangnnbangn

Where's Clint Eastwood(Grand Torino) and Michael Cain(Harry Brown) when you need them?

bill
bill

Sad. Some old people live there who have owned their condos for years, back when it was a not bad complex, and they are out of luck.  They can't sell because the units are worth $0 on the market so they lose the money they invested in home ownership when the complex went condo in the 1980s. The majority owner's agent has advised all the owners to not respond to the action, telling them instead they do not need to answer the suit since the complex is making substantive changes to clean up and the suit will be dismissed shortly. Being old and maybe not having the benefit of an elementary school education, the individual owners take the majority owner's agent's word that he is acting in their best interest, too.

ZAW
ZAW

Those other owners are being used as human shields by Huali investments.  It's a common tactic for slum lords.  I call it the "Condo Complex Loophole."  Slum lords buy up 2/3 or 3/4 of the units in a distressed condo complex; and rent them out as apartments. They have a controlling share of the units so they get to say how much (if anything) is spent to maintain the complex.  But if the City, County, or State wants to come after them for code violations or crime, they have to sue -everyone-: including the innocent condo owners.  It's a long, expensive process that until recently, City, County, and State government usually shied away from..There could be a silver lining for the old folks who own now-worthless properties at Le Promenade.  Midway Development is rebuilding the Bissonnet Gardens Apartments next door to Le Promenade.  I've seen the plans and they are impressive.  It'd be a good place for the law-abiding tenants of Le Promenade to move to..Oh, by the way - those 'substantive changes' the majority owner keeps talking about?  They come to about $1,200 a unit.  Not nearly enough to even start to address one of the many problems that place has.

kstallings100
kstallings100

"One of the many problems" is the clientele the majority owner rents their units to.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

Would like to speak about this more via email: john.lomax@houstonpress.com  

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

What would you advise that they do? Looks like they are fucked if their choices are sell for nothing or get fined and/or evicted by the state.

bill
bill

 There is nothing they can do.  If they had financial resources they would have left years ago, but they are poor and elderly and not inclined to seek legal recourse.  As ZAW says, they are being held hostage by the majority owners.  They will be forced to find other housing solutions, possibly with relatives or possibly in yet an another slum housing situation.     

kstallings100
kstallings100

Perhaps the state, county and city should have the law changed so only the majority owner is held liable.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

Would like to speak about this more via email: john.lomax@houstonpress.com 

Geezy
Geezy

One thing for sure about that youtube video. They can't screw and chop for shit. 

roadgeek
roadgeek

But I thought Open Borders and Diversity were a good thing.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Herp derp derp herp derp

Toldya
Toldya

Sure sucks to see apart of town, I grew up in (60's) look look like a third world garbage dump.

ginger
ginger

how do we go about getting another one declared a public nuisance?  crescent park apartments on crescent park and southlake in 77077 is pretty awful

MadMac
MadMac

Hard to go wrong in a story when you begin with a SW reference. Good, stuff, Mr. Lomax.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

Thanks. Sadly, like "Wal-Mart parking lot," the words "Southwest Houston apartment complex" are seldom adjacent to glad tidings.

Kyle Blank
Kyle Blank

Walmart's and their parking lots do a lot more for the poor and disadvantage in the community, yet they are always very immaturely demonized.  Not everybody can afford to go to Whole Foods and Central Market while sipping on latte's.

kstallings100
kstallings100

More security and someone to pick  up the dirty diapers.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

I am not criticizing Wal Mart as a business, but they do need to provide more security in their parking lots. You'd be astonished at how much crime goes on in them, while Wal Mart pours all its security budget into loss prevention.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...