Downtown Neighborhood Guide

Researching Downtown neighborhood in Houston Texas? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about Downtown neighborhood!

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Kristina Morales
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Overview

ABOUT Downtown

Houston’s lively Downtown neighborhood is famous for its top-rated dining options, its amazing shops and its exciting entertainment districts. It’s also a bustling business center that’s perfect for working professionals who don’t want to travel far in their daily commute.

The neighborhood is home to many high-earning business professionals who enjoy living close to the city’s best attractions, including the Theater District and many shopping areas.

There are a number of different styles and sizes of homes available for rent and purchase. Single-family homes are more rare and tend to be much more expensive than the luxury condo and apartment options. The apartment complexes often come with a number of desirable amenities, including fitness centers, pools and rooftop decks.

In addition to its exciting entertainment options, the neighborhood is also close to beautiful parks and top-rated schools. Downtown Houston’s convenient location makes it the perfect place for families who want to experience life in the heart of the city.

The culture of Downtown Houston is lively, vibrant and affluent. Residents love to take advantage of everything the neighborhood has to offer, including the many bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Most residents are high-earning professionals, and the average household income is about $103,000. The average age is about 42 and less than 4% of the population is unemployed. About 62% of the population are male and 38% are female.

Most residents also work within the neighborhood, paying higher prices for accommodation in exchange for its convenient and central location. The average home value is about $255,000, which is higher than the Houston average of about $173,000.

TOP Downtown HIGHLIGHTS

Fantastic dining options
Top-rated local schools
Excellent shopping
Live music venues
Beautiful parks
Close to Houston’s museums
Easy commutes
Theatre and entertainment district

Natural Disasters

Downtown Houston is located in a region that is highly vulnerable to intense rainfall events, flooding, severe tropical storms, and hurricanes.

In the past, tropical storms and hurricanes dumped as much as 30 inches of rain in parts of the bustling neighborhood. Interstate highways around the area were submerged under water, and waist-high waters flooded streets, swept away cars, and felled trees.

The parts of the neighborhood that are most susceptible to waters that can reach as high as a dozen feet or more are those located near Buffalo Bayou.

The neighborhood had also experienced widespread power outages following intense rainfall events.

Commute

Downtown Houston is surrounded by the city’s main interstates and freeways, so residents can easily hop in their car and be where they need to be in no time.

The Gulf Freeway surrounds Downtown Houston to the south and west, Interstate 69 is to the east and East Freeway is to the north. These three main roads will take residents to Houston’s many neighborhoods as well as to nearby cities and the countryside.

Although many people work in Downtown Houston, it’s not uncommon to have to travel for work. Luckily, the neighborhood is about 30 minutes from the West Houston Airport and 25 minutes from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Crime Rate

Downtown is among the neighborhoods in Houston with crime rates that are significantly higher than both the state and national averages.

Overall, the crime rate in the area is about 3,317 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 39% higher than the national average. Downtown is safer than about 23% of communities in Texas.

Violent crime rate in the neighborhood is about 676 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 78% higher than the national average.

Property crime happens more frequently in the area at a rate of about 2,641 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 20% higher than the national average.

One’s chances of being a victim of crime in Downtown is about 1 in 31.

neighborhood Limits

Education

SCHOOLS IN Downtown

Although Down Houston is home to the University of Houston-Downtown, there aren’t many K-12 school options within the neighborhood. However, there are a number of excellent schools within a few minutes drive of the neighborhood.

Parents can choose between many private and public options that offer both secular and faith-based education. Downtown Houston and its surrounding areas belong to the top-rated Houston Independent School District.

The highly esteemed school district has a number of schools that offer both traditional curricula and more specialized programs. For example, residents can easily find local public schools that focus primarily on the performing arts or foreign languages.

Each school is staffed by exceptional teaching professionals who work hard to create safe, enriching and challenging learning environments. Students are encouraged to work through rigorous academic programs while participating in a number of team sports and extracurricular activities to achieve their full potential and to discover new interests.

Schools

ELEMENTARY
Wharton Dual Language Academy: This public school option is 10 minutes west of the neighborhood and has programs for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The language academy was established in 1929, and its mission is to offer an interdisciplinary curriculum using Spanish and English as languages of equal value. Students take classes in math, science, history and more in a bilingual setting. Bruce Elementary School: Bruce Elementary aims to help children develop as a whole. In addition to offering a traditional educational program, the school uses project-based learning, academic competitions and after-school enrichment programs to create engaged lifelong learners. The school is about five minutes northeast of Downtown Houston and students attend the school from pre-kindergarten until fifth grade.
MIDDLE
Yolanda Black Navarro Middle School: Yolanda Black Navarro is a little over 10 minutes east of Downtown Houston in Greater Eastwood. The school offers programs from sixth until eighth grade, and fosters an encouraging learning environment where students can gain confidence in their abilities. After-school activities include an extensive athletics program as well as karate club and band. McReynolds Middle School: McReynolds is the closest public middle school option for residents of Downtown Houston. The school is for students from sixth through eighth grade. In addition to its challenging curriculum, the school also offers extracurricular programs. Students can join a sports team, join the STEM club, dance club, photography club and more.
HIGH
Kinder High School for the Performing Arts: This top-rated high school focuses on all aspects of the performing arts. Students can choose to specialize in instrumental music, vocal music, dance, technical theater, visual arts and creative writing. The school is the only public high school located within Downtown Houston. Carnegie Vanguard High School- Carnegie Vanguard is the second closest public high school. It’s just a few minutes west of Downtown Houston in Fourth Ward. The school focuses on developing students academically, intellectually and socially so that they are well-prepared for life after high school.
PRIVATE
Incarnate Word Academy: This private school is an all-girl Catholic high school in Downtown Houston that was first established in 1873. The school uses a challenging college-preparatory education while focusing on values and spirituality. Students are also encouraged to volunteer in their community and take part in the school’s enrichment programs and spiritual retreats. Our Lady of Guadalupe School: Our Lady of Guadalupe is another faith-based private option located just five minutes east of Downtown Houston. The school teaches students from pre-kindergarten until eighth grade. The school uses textbooks that have Archdiocesan approval for their curricula. In addition to academics, the school has soccer and volleyball teams that students can choose to join.

Real Estate

Downtown Housing 2020

Real Estate in Downtown Houston is competitive. As of May 2020, the average value of houses and condos in the area is about $255,000 — or $143 per square foot — well above the Houston average of about $173,000. Home values have risen considerably in the last 10 years, and the neighborhood’s central location combined with its booming industry ensure prices will continue to rise.

Single family homes are in limited supply, but they are available in Downtown Houston and in nearby neighborhoods. They are typically $1.2 to over $1.8 million and have about two to four bedrooms and three to four bathrooms.

Condos are another popular option and there are many one to three-bedroom properties to choose from. Rental property is also on the more expensive side within the borders of Downtown Houston. As of Spring 2020, apartments cost about $1,200 a month for one-bedroom properties and over $3,000 for two to three-bedrooms.

Downtown Homes for Sale

There are a huge variety of housing options in Downtown Houston, both for people looking to rent and those who want to become homeowners. Residents can find high value single-family homes, luxury apartments and condos that fit many different budgets.

Single-family homes are much more expensive in Downtown Houston than in the rest of the city. There are two to three-bedroom homes available that cost about one million dollars and up. Apartments and condos are much more common in the neighborhood, and typically have one to three bedrooms.

As of May 2020, condos can cost anywhere from $190,000 to over $1.2 million, depending on the size and location. There are also a number of apartment complexes that offer luxury apartments with excellent amenities. Some of the most popular apartment complexes in central Downtown Houston include Market Square Tower Apartments, Aris Market Square Apartments and The Rice Apartments.

FEATURED HOMES FOR SALE

Single Family Homes
Single family homes in the neighborhood are available, but they are much more rare to find than other types of properties. Single family homes are high-value homes with about two to four bedrooms. They often cost over one million dollars, and are more expensive than in other parts of Houston.
New Construction
New constructions are typically condos and apartments. There are properties built as recently as 2019 available, and the neighborhood is continuing to develop as recently as 2020. Newer properties are more expensive, and as of May 2020 you can expect to pay anywhere from $300,000 for a one bedroom to over $1.2 million for a three bedroom property.
Apartments
Apartments are the most readily available housing option in Downtown Houston. You can choose from many luxury apartment complexes in high rise buildings located all over the neighborhood. Most apartments come with a variety of amenities, including rooftop decks and pools, private courtyards with grill areas, dog parks and grooming areas, social lounges and more.
High Rises
The vast majority of apartment complexes within the Downtown Houston neighborhood are high rise buildings. Popular choices include One Park Place Houston High Rise to the east, Market Square Tower Apartment to the north and Skyhouse Main to the south.
Condominiums
Condos are another popular choice in Downtown Houston. Most residents choose to purchase their own condos, but they’re also available to rent. As of May 2020, residents can expect to pay about $190,000 to $250,000 for a one-bedroom condo and well over $1.2 million for three to four-bedroom properties.

Things to do

One of the best things about living in Downtown Houston is that you are close to the city’s best attractions. Foodies love living in close proximity to hundreds of exceptional restaurants and bistros. From fine French dining to old fashioned Texan barbecue, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are also plenty of bars to visit with friends and families. Spend an evening checking out a few local favorites while sampling their extensive menus. For those in search of art and culture, Downtown Houston has its very own Theatre District. Catch a play, listen to live music or watch a live ballet performance. Residents don’t have to go far to enjoy a fun day out with the family. The Downtown Houston Aquarium has an impressive amount of aquatic displays. Spend the day there and then head to the Sam Houston Park or the smaller Market Square Park to enjoy some fresh air with a picnic.
Listen to live music
Downtown Houston is home to some of the city’s best music venues. You can see live shows of every genre, including classical, jazz, country and heavy metal. The Revention Music Center and the Jones Hall for Performing Arts are especially popular performance art centers where you can catch shows from musicians from all over the country.
Catch a play
The Theatre District is one of Houston’s most famous areas. There are countless playhouses and performance art spaces dotted around the city, but The Hobby Center for Performing Arts is second to none. The center’s two theatres feature french-style seating in a beautiful three-story building.
Watch a ballet performance
Houston Ballet School is located in Downtown Houston, so watching a live ballet performance is a must! There are plenty of shows to catch throughout the year, including special holiday performances. You can buy tickets for a show at the school’s own theater or head to the Wortham Theater Center.
Picnic at the park
On a beautiful day, there’s nothing better than heading outside with friends and family. Downtown Houston has plenty of parks to enjoy, so pack a picnic and go explore! Market Square Park is a small historic park that’s perfect for a quick lunch while The Sam Houston Park is a larger option featuring structures from the 1800s.
Head to the aquarium
For a full day of fun and learning, a trip to the Downtown Aquarium Houston can’t be missed. Buy an all day adventure pass and learn about aquatic animals from all over the world. Some of the exciting exhibits include Texas Bayou, Shipwreck, Rainforest and Sunken Temple.
Sample the restaurants
If you love to eat and sample new cuisine then Downtown Houston is the place for you. The restaurant scene is alive and well in the neighborhood, and there’s a great balance between old favorites and fresh new spots. Check out the iconic Niko Niko’s in Marketplace Park, discover the best tacos and barbecue or lounge in an Italian Bistro.
Taste local beer and wine
If you’d rather have a drink than a full meal then Downtown Houston has got you covered. Choose the perfect wine bar or hop from pub to pub sampling the drinks and small bites. There are plenty of places to taste local, national and international wine, beer and spirits. There are also a number of craft breweries in the area.
Enjoy some retail therapy
Downtown Houston is known for having some of the best shops, and you can always find whatever you’re looking for. From high street shops to high fashion boutiques, you can easily spend an entire day perusing. Buy a designer dress, get some new decorations for the house or find the perfect gift. Shopping in Downtown Houston is fun and easy.

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