of Brays Crossing
To create Brays Crossing, New Hope redeveloped the former HouTex Inn, which was built in 1963 to house NASA contractors. At that time, NASA headquarters was temporarily located nearby while the Johnson Space Center was being developed. In the 1980s the property was acquired by a local investor group. When the apartments ceased to be profitable, the owner began to rent them by the day, week, and month. The property was poorly maintained and ultimately became a certified public nuisance.
Today, Brays Crossing replaces an unsightly, unsafe property with a secure, supportive SRO efficiency apartment community that offers permanent housing for 149 adults living singly on limited incomes.
This “deep renovation” offers residents a life-stabilizing environment that incorporates public art components.
Art and Architecture
New Hope chose Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects. The experience, skill, and vision of architect Ernesto Maldonado, AIA, shines throughout Brays Crossing.
Most importantly, Brays Crossing offers a dignified, positive environment for 149 low-income Houstonians. It also serves as a foundation for a large public art display that is integral to the building design. Chicana artist, Carmen Lomas Garza, designed a whimsical, four-panel galvanized steel mural based on Mexican cultural themes—that runs the length of the entire property and is attached to the building ends. This metal mural creates a continuous artistic element facing the highway and offers both beauty and noise-buffering practicality to the property. New Hope hired Ms. Lomas Garza based on her desire “to create images that would elicit recognition and appreciation among Mexican Americans, both adults and children, while at the same time serve as a source of education for others not familiar with our culture.”
The entry of Brays Crossing is punctuated by stained glass created by Kim Clark Renteria. The stained glass with its powerful change in colors connects us to the natural world and reminds us that nothing stays the same—that life is a constant state of change and growth.
Brays Crossing is located in the Hispanic East End. The site is within a one-mile radius of a full-service grocery store, a convenience store, and several restaurants. It is located on METRO bus lines 40 and 52.
The site planning for Brays Crossing used the existing seven buildings situated around two major courtyards. Each fully-furnished living unit includes a microwave and refrigerator, and a private, tiled bath. The ground floor of one building, located in the center of the property, includes community spaces featuring:
Possible In Part By Housing Tax Credit Equity Invested By National
Equity Fund, Inc.
Hope thanks the Development Team for their role in carrying out the
vision to rehabilitate the HouTex Inn, creating Brays Crossing: