During the past five years, Houston has focused a large part of its developmental efforts to accommodate the growing number of people searching for homes in its downtown area. Although Houston is the fourth-largest city in America, the city has a relatively small downtown residential population. This is changing, however—and fast. Houston is now experiencing a boom in downtown residential growth, which is expected to triple during the next three years.
The greater downtown area, which is considered “inside the loop” of Interstate 610, is divided into distinct districts, areas, and neighborhoods. Whether you are a young professional or a relocating family, these 10 neighborhoods feature their own unique character, charms, amenities, and price tags to suit the needs of anyone who chooses to live in downtown Houston.
A well-known residential area since 1911, Montrose is a demographically diverse, eclectic neighborhood in the heart of downtown Houston. Ideal for both families and young professionals, Montrose is home to historic mansions, tree-covered bungalows, cottages, and condos. Featuring idyllic tree-lined sidewalks, this four-square-mile area boasts numerous coffee shops, art galleries, and 24-hour restaurants. Montrose is known as the cultural hub of Houston, and the neighborhood is home to a number of annual street fairs and parades.
Relocated families will also enjoy nearby parks and excellent private and public schools. In fact, the American Planning Association named Montrose as one of the top ten neighborhoods in America.
Also known as EaDo or the East End, East Downtown was once home to Houston's thriving Asian community, and the area still is a popular destination for ethnic cuisine and shopping. Within walking distance to downtown Houston attractions like George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green Park, and the Astros’ Minute Maid Park, East Downtown is one of the fastest-growing areas in downtown Houston, for both new business tenants and residents.
In the past five years, East Downtown has experienced a rejuvenation in restaurants, nightlife, and shopping; not to mention, the new Metrorail provides residents easy access to other areas of Houston. East Downtown has long been considered one of the best neighborhoods in Houston for young professionals, and it is near the largest employment centers of Houston, including the Texas Medical Center, the Houston Ship Channel, and other downtown businesses.
The Washington Corridor is home to both upwardly mobile young professionals and families who prefer convenient access to downtown Houston. In the past, the area was host to mostly older bungalows, but modern townhomes are continually being built to accommodate the migration of young professionals to downtown Houston. The Western Corridor is also adjacent to Memorial Park, one of the largest urban parks in America. Many contemporary homes are found on the eastern edge of the park, providing both a serene atmosphere and easy access to downtown Houston attractions.
Featuring pedestrian-friendly streets, jogging trails, parks, and stately homes, Houston's downtown Museum District is excellent for relocating families who enjoy a night of entertainment. Although the Museum District doesn't offer the same type of nightlife as EaDo, the area is home to plenty of places to go in downtown Houston, including 19 museums.
Residents have easy access to nightly lectures, exhibits, and cultural offerings. Although it's a quiet, residential area, the Museum District is still in the heart of Houston, only blocks away from acclaimed restaurants, galleries, and public transportation. The district features both contemporary townhomes and pricey historical estates.
Quirky, original, vibrant, and conveniently located, the Heights (otherwise known as “Houston Heights”) is considered one of the best places to live in downtown Houston, especially for young professionals and young families. Situated in northeast downtown, the area is rich in character and features historic architecture, eclectic restaurants, boutique shops, and numerous mom-and-pop stores. The Heights shopping area along Main Street features antique shops, thrift stores, and cafes that give the area an urban bohemian vibe.
The Heights area is well-known for some of the most beautiful houses in downtown Houston, including historic Victorian homes, many of which have been renovated but architecturally preserved. Apartments and more contemporary rentals are sprinkled throughout the area, although the demand for these is high. If you are relocating your family to the area for work reasons, it may be a good idea to sublet something short-term and place your belongings in a Houston storage unit while you search for your ideal living situation. When searching for the perfect home in a highly sought-after area such as the Heights, being proactive and vigilant is a must.
Homes and apartments in neighborhoods such as The Heights and Montrose are in high demand, meaning prices are continually trending upward. If you desire to live inside the Loop but would prefer something more affordable than these higher-end neighborhoods, then living in Eastwood is an excellent decision. Situated in southeast downtown, Eastwood is minutes from Houston's skyscrapers, nightlife, major sports venues, and fine arts districts. The neighborhood features mostly Craftsman and Prairie styled houses, and Eastwood is perfect for families who prefer a tight-knit neighborhood, like The Heights, but without the price tag.
One Park Place
While not exactly a neighborhood, per se, One Park Place is a marquee residential tower that reflects downtown Houston's commitment to providing more residential options. The 37-story apartment complex is the first residential high-rise built in downtown Houston in more than 40 years. Located in the middle of downtown, One Park Place features over-the-top amenities, including a gourmet grocer, a concierge service, and a terrace pool. If you are a young single professional who’s planning to stay at a downtown apartment complex like One Park Place, moving assistance is probably necessary to manage downtown Houston's heavy traffic.
The Memorial Corridor is a prime example of downtown Houston's efforts to make areas more residential. Located in the western part of downtown—a thriving area of recent development—Memorial Corridor quickly is becoming one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. The arrival of CityCentre, a mixed-use development, to the Memorial Corridor has been a major force in the area's rejuvenation. Along with its new restaurants, entertainment options, and retailers, CityCentre has produced a variety of new residential options.
The most exclusive place to live in downtown Houston is, by far, the River Oaks neighborhood. Spanning more than 1,100 acres on the western side of downtown, River Oaks boasts exquisite mansions with price tags between $1 million to $20 million and beyond. In fact, River Oaks is the most expensive neighborhood in Texas and in the top 10 most expensive in America. The River Oaks neighborhood also features a number of high-end art galleries, boutiques, and fine dining restaurants.
One of the hippest and most beautiful areas of downtown, the Historical District blends historic preservation with modern living. Home to some of downtown's trendiest lofts and apartments, the Historical District quickly is becoming a hotbed for young urbanites. Along with its 19th-century architecture and throng of sidewalk pubs and cafés, the Historical District is also home to the University of Houston Downtown, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Houston for students.
Downtown Houston is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in America. Although Houston is known for its grandeur and skyscrapers, the city is undergoing rapid changes to accommodate the growing influx of residents. Whether you are a young professional or a family searching for the ideal neighborhood, Houston's variety of downtown neighborhoods can cater to both your immediate needs and future expectations.