March 8th’s general meeting included a discussion on the Sunrise luxury high-rise apartment project and an illuminating presentation on Houston’s finances from controller Chris Brown.

Sunrise Luxury Apartments

Sunrise Luxury Living is expected to begin construction on Sunrise Montrose, the eight story apartment building on Montrose by W. Clay, in the second quarter of 2017 and expects completion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

rendering of the luxury apartments planned for Montrose Houston
Sunrise Montrose rendering, source:

The property is 1.84 acres  at 1320 Montrose Blvd.  The building’s eight stories will include three levels of parking beneath five levels of apartments.

The Sunrise website provides the following specifications:

Building Size: 224 units
203,257 net rentable square feet
29 floor plans
Efficiency, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and townhome units
Stories: Eight-story podium style building with three-story parking garage on grade
Buildings: 1 building with pool area on the 4th level & a rooftop terrace
Parking: 335 spaces; 1.5 spaces per unit

At the meeting, NMCA President Ray Wilson mentioned that the company had so far taken some pains to be aware of whether or not they were causing disturbances in and around the building area.

Chris Brown on Houston’s Finances and Pension Reform

Chris Brown, who we learned is a proud father and fourth generation Houstonian, informed NMCA that Houston’s financial future was not doom and gloom.

With an AA credit rating, Houston is a stable investment for investors.  The controller mentioned that homes sales and the median home price keep going up.  Of note was Montrose’s median home price, which is 559k, while the city average is 253k.

However, while Houston isn’t financially doomed,the city is facing a great threat in its overwhelming pension obligations, which was directly responsible for the city closing 2016 with fewer assets than liabilities

City Controller Chris Brown explaining Houston’s pension crisis

Currently, Mayor Turner is working with City Council and the City Employee Pension Board to find a compromise.

The Controller informed NMCA of reform legislation that would pay down the pension debt within 30 years.

During the Q&A after the Controller’s presentation, we learned that the legislators sponsoring the pension reform include Senator Joan Huffman and Representative Dan Flynn.

We also learned that the city’s pension is governed by state law and therefore requires state approval for changes.

And in a response to a question about what funds Harris County could offer the city to help with the pension crisis, the Controller agreed that therein lied great opportunity for some of the county’s and the city’s overlapping service districts to work together in providing parallel services and thus reducing costs.

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Chris Brown kindly spoke with NMCA members after the meeting

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