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Harris County
Harris County Attorney's Office
News Release
Thursday, March 28, 2013

County Attorney Ryan negotiates settlement
to make dangerous condominium complex safer

Property owners agree to major changes to fight crime

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announced today his office has negotiated a unique settlement with the 51 property owners of a gang-infested Sharpstown-area condominium complex known as Le Promenade.

The owners were sued for failing to prevent habitual criminal activity and causing a nuisance. They have now agreed to a number of crime prevention measures and to the appointment of a receiver to take control of the property owners association and to make changes to improve security at the property as well as provide financial oversight.

The parties agreed to a judgment by the Court following eight hours of negotiation on Tuesday when trial in the case was scheduled to begin in front of District Court Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan.

As part of the settlement, the owners agreed to a five-year court-ordered plan that requires them to:

  • have two uniformed officers and two security guard patrol the complex and report problems to management

  • maintain security cameras and lighting throughout the property

  • screen renters for felonies and set occupancy limits for all rental units

  • charge market rent for all units rented out

  • follow all requirements of the condominium by-laws

  • maintain the 8-foot entrance gate and restrict entrance to residents and guests only

  • post “No Trespassing Signs” and remove all gang grafitti

  • board up vacant units; remove abandoned vehicles

  • change the name of the condominium complex.

The complex, located at 7400 Bissonnet, next to Sharpstown High School, has a reputation as the home of a criminal street gang known as La Primera. The gang members so associate with their home that they tattoo themselves with the address “7400” on their hands, arms, chests and even the back of their heads. It is also known as a place where members of La Primera fight with members of rival gangs, such as the Southwest Cholos.

The Houston Police Department reported 29 violent crimes such as aggravated assaults, aggravated robberies, aggravated sexual assault and drug offenses occurred at the complex in the past two and a half years. Averaged over time, about one violent crime per month occurred on the property.

The receiver, who will be in place for a year, will take control of the Le Promenade Council of Co-Owners, the property owners association, and be responsible for collecting maintenance fees and using them to make repairs and improve security, as set out in the court order.

County Attorney Vince Ryan said, “The receiver will be able to use the maintenance fees to protect the property owners who live in the complex as well as the public.” He said that his Office would continue using the civil courts to find creative solutions to fight crime and help neighborhoods.

“On behalf of the Sharpstown Management District, we are pleased that this very serious public safety issue is on its way to positive resolution for the Sharpstown community,” said David Hawes, executive director of the Sharpstown Management District.

The Order appointing the receiver can be viewed at: Promenade Receiver Order.pdf

The Agreed Judgment can be viewed at: Promenade Injunction Order.pdf

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