HOUSTON - The demolition of the Crestmont Village apartment complex in Southeast Houston is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2017 starting at 8 a.m.
However, what happens to the seven acre lot afterward isn’t set in stone.
The low-income housing site was plagued by violence and blight for years.
Nearly two years ago, Kenneth Harris, called Crestmont home.
“That’s all it is, is bad memories,” said Harris. “We had a bunch of killing, we had a bunch of shooting, every day.”
Waist high weeds, arson and garbage haven’t subdued the memories or fear of raising his three-year-old granddaughter, Brooke, inside the complex.
“She couldn’t play down there,” said Harris. “Because bullets might be flying.”
A year and a half ago, a judge ordered the closure of Crestmont East, where Harris lived.
It was the last portion of the development being legally inhabited after Hurricane Ike destroyed parts of Crestmont West.
“It was just a nightmare. People got sick, they had to go to the hospital because they didn’t have no power for their breathing machines,” said Harris.
Harris says his relief of being relocated was quickly met with the reality of being discriminated.
“You call another apartment and they say where are you now? When you say Crestmont they would say 'no we don’t have any available right now.'”
Now, Harris is settled into an apartment a stone throw from his former home. Staying close by has kept his interest in the future of Crestmont.
Mayor Sylvester Turner says there’s still no definite plan for what will happen after Saturday’s demolition.
“It’s better to not have that structure there at all as we decide what’s a better use down the road,” said Mayor Turner.
There have been artist renderings and proposed plans for Crestmont, but Mayor Turner says he’s looking for a deal that makes Crestmont better than it was rather than remodeling or rehabbing what’s still standing.
Harris says even without a future plan, erasing Crestmont’s memories from Southeast Houston is a step in the right direction.
“They’re doing good, tearing it down,” said Harris. "It’s nothing but an eyesore."
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