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Lured by a surge in downtown redevelopment projects, residential brokerage firms have returned to Houston’s Central Business District after a long absence.

In recent years, developers have been transforming a number of downtown’s old office buildings and warehouses into residential units. Downtown Houston and its fringe neighborhoods now have a total of 4,000 condominium and apartment units.

Heritage Texas Properties, a large Houston residential realty brokerage, is leasing 1,700 sf on the ground floor of the Bankers Mortgage Building at 708 Main for its first downtown office. “We were there in 1998, marketing the Keystone Lofts when the downtown housing boom began. Heritage Texas professionals now represent seven downtown area properties and we have listed, reserved or sold more than 200 units,” says Lynn Zarr, chairman of Heritage Texas. In addition, Heritage Texas is engaged in consulting arrangements with six developers who are studying the feasibility of constructing proposed downtown loft and high-rise condominium projects.

Another residential firm, Martha Turner Properties, has opened an office in the Commerce Towers, a condominium redevelopment project under construction in an old building at 914 Main. Moseley Commercial Real Estate negotiated the downtown lease.

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