Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and the Sharpstown Management District have obtained a two-year extension for a receiver to continue to manage a troubled Sharpstown condominium complex, formerly known as Le Promenade Townhomes.
The receiver, Gerald Womack, is the first in the State of Texas to be put in place over a homeowner’s association to enforce an injunction requiring additional security, cameras, gates, lighting and other measures, as well as to collect maintenance fees and maintain the complex.
“Mr. Womack has done an excellent job turning around this apartment complex,” said County Attorney Ryan. “Crime has been reduced, gang members have been moved out, the complex is cleaner and the residents and the entire community are now safer.”
Womack was appointed by District Court Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan after Ryan filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit against the 51 owners of the gang-infested complex at 7400 Bissonnet. The complex was so well known as a gang hangout that the members of the La Primera criminal street gang tattooed themselves with “7400,” the address of the complex.
Gerald Womack was appointed as a receiver on March 26, 2013. His term was to expire on March 26, 2014 but on last week the judge signed an order extending the receivership.
Since the appointment of the receiver, the number of crimes occurring at the complex has dropped drastically. At the time the petition in this case was filed, Houston Police Department statistics indicated at least one violent crime a month occurred at the complex. From March 2013, when Mr. Womack was appointed through February 16, 2014, there have been only four violent crimes. In addition, since his appointment as receiver, Mr. Womack has:
1. Held a Community Clean-Up Day on December 14, 2013, to clear the community of litter and debris, de-clutter patios, remove unsightly nuisances and paint the exterior.
2. Established a functioning three-person board for the homeowner’s association.
3. Created a no-tolerance policy for gang members on the property and kept all gang graffiti off the property.
4. Maintained a closed entrance and exit gate open to residents and their guests only.
5. Hired two off-duty law enforcement officers and two private security guards to patrol the property.
6. Established a balanced budget for the homeowner’s association. The homeowner’s association now has a balance, rather than a deficit.
7. Held a Christmas party for the residents and kids where 500 gifts and toys were given out.
8. Stopped owners and tenants from operating businesses from the condos.
9. Received maintenance fees from all owners; who does not pay is foreclosed on.
10. Changed the name of the condominium complex to The Gardens at Bissonnet.