In The Press: Heights-born real estate firm plants deeper roots
Posted by Boulevard Realty on Saturday, May 11th, 2019 at 8:01pm.
This story originally appeared in The Leader Newspaper:
To some, the Heights of today is a far cry from the Heights that Bill Baldwin found when he started his real estate career here over 20 years ago.
“Sadly, there was no way you could get many real estate firms to see past the burglar bars to even show the amazingly intact bungalows here. Some firms wouldn’t take a listing on this side of I-10, much less think of opening an office here,” recalls Baldwin, recently dubbed “The King of the Heights” by the Houston Chronicle.
“I always have taken enormous pride in calling the Heights ‘home.’ Collectively, as a neighborhood, we have had to work hard to tell the evolving story of the Heights, not only as a location with a great past but one with an even brighter future,” Baldwin reflects.
In many ways the growth and recognition of the Heights as a neighborhood for all parallels that of Boulevard Realty.
Now, after 20 years here, Baldwin and Boulevard Realty are starting to write part of the next chapter. On May 1, the Broker/Owner, his 60 agents, and 18 staff members will relocate to a new office as the main tenant of 927 Studewood, home of innovative restaurant and health concepts like Mastrantos and Pure Prosthodontics Dentistry. There Boulevard Realty will continue playing out the unique brand of real estate that Baldwin feels is intrinsically tied to its surrounding area.
“It’s not a cookie-cutter office, because our neighborhood is not a cookie-cutter place,” proclaims Baldwin. “This new space really embodies our broader culture around Houston living, homes, food, society, and historic neighborhoods. Much of that history will be written in the future!”
Baldwin describes the culture of Boulevard Realty as a close-knit group of tireless proponents of all things real estate who are keen neighborhood advocates that value community in every sense.
To him, the new space is built around those ideals. “We will have all of the trappings of a modern, boutique real estate office, including the Classroom, where I will continue to develop who I believe are the most knowledgeable agents in the city and offering to share those resources with the rest of the city.” Baldwin adds, “But what I am equally excited about is the new YourSpace, an innovative co-working and community space on the ground floor which is open to all. Here neighbors and guests can commune, relax, work, share, drink, and play in a unique setting designed to bring out the best in all of us.”
Baldwin continues, “The traditional and non traditional spaces provide what amounts to about 4000 square feet of space to share with the community, for everything from local makers markets to events for political and social causes dear to us all.”
The company’s first events are slated to be a Mother’s Day Market on May 9 and then one of the only public book-signings for longtime Houston news anchor Dave Ward’s new release Good Evening, Friends on May 16.
The impressive upstairs office space will balance modern amenities for its agents and clientele with the unassuming look of an old warehouse. That means vintage furniture is paired with the likes of new modern desks by Knoll. The space includes a nearly 2000 square foot outdoor terrace as well, inviting all to work and play outdoors as a part of the shared community space.
“The Heights is known for historic architecture and its evolution from working-class neighborhood to artist haven to now a quirky style of urban luxury,” Baldwin muses. “From our use of old Houston brick to multiple murals commissioned by local artists, I’ve tried to tie all of that in.”
When asked why he would mount such a sizable brick-and-mortar space in an increasingly virtual industry, he explains succinctly, “I think people want to meet, connect, and interact intimately and offline still. We crave experiences and togetherness—it’s only human. And it’s definitely the Heights way.”