Jerome Karam Houston, attorney and developer, is likely the county’s largest commercial property developer. The Sonja and Rivera apartment complex redevelopments in the Old Galveston area on Broadway, are great examples of his commitment to the area. The transformation of the Falstaff Brewery, previously in “knock-down” condition, into a major events space and storage center is another of his high-profile development projects. With his latest acquisition, his reputation as one of Houston’s most interesting developers continues to grow.
The properties, built in the 1930s, have great architectural features. His goal is to transform the properties through significant renovations. His plan is to allow the tenants to stay in the properties until the expiration of their leases. Then the properties will be transformed into Airbnb and short-term rentals.
These properties have parking spaces, which are in short supply in the area. This makes them especially suitable to become short-term rentals. Their convenient location, close to Galveston Beach and the University of Texas, makes them desirable for students’ parents who are visiting. Many of the short-term rentals throughout the area lack parking spaces. So, the dedicated parking area associated with these properties will make them even more attractive to visitors.
Karam has faith in the business model of Airbnb. His plan is to develop more long-term and short-term rental options throughout the area. He also would like to build a 300-unit Pinnacle Park apartment complex and is currently trying to seek the League City Council approval for this project.
The Sonja and Riviera property purchases and their future redevelopment underscore the belief that there will be a great demand for short-term rentals soon. As stated by Karam, the property acquisitions involve the seller (The House Company, represented by David Bowers,) and the buyer (Advance Regional Agency, represented by David Wallace.)
The redevelopment of the League City apartment complex will also involve CityStreet Residential Partners. The League City officials have had concerns in the past concerning mixed-use developments, and past permit requests have been denied. However, the hope is that the group’s impressive track record with high-profile property redevelopment will address any concerns and get the project approved.
Leaders in League City are generally not in favor of the development of multifamily units. In the past, they have adopted the stance that these tend to lower property values, attract crime, generate unwanted traffic, and overcrowd schools. They are generally not viewed as a positive community addition, due to their need for a significant investment in infrastructure, but low city government income generation potential.
However, CityStreet Residential Partners has a good reputation for not simply developing properties in order to just sell them. The company has a track record of seeking out high-quality tenants, who have high disposable incomes. Not only would this be a benefit to the local community, but it would also be a boon for the luxury apartment rental industry, attracting urban millennials, well-heeled retirees, and empty-nesters.
Through his JMK5 Holdings, company, Jerome Karam Houston has become quite well-known for his community restoration projects. His developments always have an unmistakable prestige factor, and expectations are consistently exceeded. His practice of buying services and materials locally, and hiring local tradesmen, helps to stimulate local economies. Older buildings, often seen as being beyond repair, are given new life. Stagnant areas are revitalized into new communities, thanks to his development projects.
In addition to the projects listed above, the company also has other current projects. The Galveston Bay Club as well as the 47-unit Bayou Bend Estates waterfront property are among these projects. The waterfront property lots at Hideaway Estates, 40 in all, are also among these projects. These waterfront properties are known for their spectacular views, and the surrounding land’s rich coastal wildlife. 2021 is shaping up to be a busy year for the developer, as Karam’s plans include accepting Magnolia Bend tenants starting this year.