HOUSTON - For more than six years, the city has been working to demolish the abandoned Oakbrook apartments in northwest Houston.
City leaders say they have been a magnet for crime and on Saturday, the complex came down.
Council member Brenda Stardig said the complex had over 900 calls for service in the last ten years, so she hopes tearing it down today means significantly cutting down on crime in this area.
Demolition began Saturday and project managers say it will take six to eight weeks to completely clear the space.
After that, the plan is for the city to come in and build a whole new green space. They’ll be developing more than six acres of park area along White Oak Bayou.
“It’s a crime magnet, and because of that, the perception is that people don’t care about this community, and we do, we do care,” said Stardig.
“Every time we tear down these abandoned buildings, we come back and put something new, especially in this case, six acres of green space, we’re building a tremendous asset for the city, and for this area in particular,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Another apartment complex down in south Houston has caught the attention of the community for the same reasons.
In May, 15-year-old Karen Perez was found dead inside the complex on Avenue N and 16th street, and now her family and friends are lobbying to convert those apartments as well.
Mayor Turner said these complexes are just two of dozens that need the city’s attention, and they hope to be upgrading many of these abandoned buildings in the years to come.