The Houston Heights was a vision of Oscar Martin Carter in the late 1800â€™s. The Heights truly is Houstonâ€™s first â€śplannedâ€ť community. Carterâ€™s design was to have a residential development where successful entrepreneurs and middleclass residents alike could enjoy life away from the crowded city life of Houston. His vision included a streetcar system connecting the Heights to the business center of Houston. The wide tree lined esplanade and beautiful Victorian homes along Heights Boulevard, and the commercial development of 19th Street was always part of this master plan.
By the 1970, the Heights had suffered the same fate as many inner city neighborhoods across the nation. The neighborhood was viewed as a low income area with big city problems. In 1973, the Houston Heights Association was established to restore the vision and intent of the Heights. Young professionals began to migrate back to the neighborhood for easy access to downtown, the social scene and cultural centers. Gentrification began to take hold, not with new development so much as restoration of the architectural design that was originally in the Heights.
Today, the Houston Heights is once again the highly desirable community only four miles from the center of one of the largest cities in the US. With schools, cultural activity, shopping and restaurants thriving, the Heights is once again a â€ślifestyleâ€ť choice. In 2013, CNN Money named the Houston Heights one of the top ten master planned communities in the nation.
Garden Oaks, established in 1937, is sometimes called Houstonâ€™s best kept secret, but that is quickly changing. The word is definitely out this gem! A close in neighborhood with a small town feel, this community has beautiful trees, winding roads and is curb free. Known for its oversized lots and unique architecture, the neighborhood has charming bungalows, quaint cottages, traditional ranch and most recently, larger new construction. With 7 pocket parks within its boundaries, Garden Oaks was designed to enhance the wooded serenity of the area. An eclectic mix of residents with a strong sense of pride in the neighborhood make this the perfect place to call home!
Oak Forest, established in 1947, is a large close-in community of over 5500 homes that provided housing for returning veterans after World War II. The original homes were ranch style on typically 7200 to 8400 square foot lots. Although builders are stiff competition for entry level pricing, young professionals wanting a great location continue to see Oak Forest as a prime destination.
A renaissance of sorts though is quickly taking place in the neighborhood due to popularity of area schools and proximity to all the amenities of living near downtown Houston. Families are buying or building larger new construction homes to be within the boundaries of these popular educational choices. Empty nesters also see both Garden Oaks and Oak Forest as prime move in locations close to museums, theatre and sports venues. You will sometimes see the overall area lovingly referred to as GOOF. With that acronym, you just gotta love it!