River Oaks apartment complex offers clothing-optional sundeck


by Courtney Zubowski / 11 News


Posted on March 23, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 24 at 6:56 AM

HOUSTON -- The competition to lease apartments is tough, and there are all kinds of incentives to get tenants.  You’ve probably heard the offers for a free television or free rent, but a River Oaks apartment complex is taking a different approach. Instead of giving you something, it’s offering to let you take something off.

The apartment complex is known as La Maison, and it's located in the 2700 block of Revere.  Its French name isn’t the only European thing about it.

La Maison has a rooftop sundeck, and it's the talk of the complex.

“I haven’t been up there yet, but I heard about it,” said La Maison resident Joanna Peter.

It’s a place where less is more.

“When I tell people, they’re like, ‘Wait, what? You have what at your apartment complex? Where are we -- the South of France?’” said Peter.

You see, on the La Maison sundeck, four stories high in the middle of Houston, clothing is optional.

It’s the first of its kind in Houston.

There were no takers Tuesday. For some, it was still a bit too chilly.

“I’m sure it will be a good place to hang out and get to know your neighbors,” said resident Jared Peterson. “All of your neighbors.”

According to the city attorney, there’s nothing in the deed restrictions that says you can’t have a clothing-optional sundeck at an apartment complex -- especially since many at the complex are on deck with the concept.

“It’s a value-added thing,” said resident John Harrington.

According to the experts, La Maison really isn’t doing anything differently than what previous local apartment developers have done. They’re offering an amenity trying to stay competitive in what is a soft apartment market.

“It’s just like restaurants, or bars, or clothing stores,” said Houston Apartment Association Vice President of Public Affairs Andy Teas. “You always want to find something to offer that your competitors don’t have."

But could the concept catch on at other area apartments?

“We see people coming up with all new ideas. We see valet trash pick-up, all kinds of on-site amenities for kids, “said Teas. “If people like it, we might see other people try it.”