BRAES HEIGHTS and AYRSHIRE are popular neighborhoods just south of West U and north of Brays Bayou composed primarily of single-story ranch style houses built in the 50s. The last few years has brought many two-story brick or stucco traditional new homes to these areas, a trend expected to continue as prices rise in West U.
About 180 original houses have been replaced out of some 2,200 that make up Braeswood Place. The region encompasses Braes Heights, Ayrshire and several small subdivisions.
A grass-roots effort to improve the community started more than 15 years ago with the Stella Link Redevelopment Association. The group rallied to get some seedy apartments torn down near the neighborhood schools. Land was acquired to develop a park, senior service center, public library and YMCA.
Many houses have received $150,000 or more in renovations, and second stories have been added on five or six. But the fate of other houses has not been so good as close-in lot values continue to escalate.