Fifth Ward mural

Preservation of Houston’s historic St. Elizabeth’s Hospital leads to new mixed-income multifamily housing development in Houston’s 5th Ward. Built-in 1947 in a racially segregated Houston, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was the first medical facility dedicated to serving African Americans in Harris County. The hospital closed in 1988, reopened in 1998 as a residential treatment facility, and closed permanently in 2014. Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (Fifth Ward CRC) bought the building in 2016. The 30+year-old nonprofit is dedicated to real estate development with a focus on affordable housing, homeownership promotion and preservation, and other initiatives to include arts and culture in 5th Ward. The groundbreaking ceremony for the multifamily development that will be called St. Elizabeth Place, happens Friday, September 24, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at 4514 Lyons Avenue, Houston, TX 77020.

“We purchased the historic hospital to save it from further deterioration, to preserve the rich history, and to rehabilitate the building so it can once again serve the community,” says Kathy Flanagan Payton, president & CEO of Fifth Ward CRC. “Honoring the cultural significance of St. Elizabeth Hospital through preservation is fundamental to safeguarding the authentic identity and African American heritage of 5th Ward,” explains Payton.

The nonprofit’s purchase of the building and predevelopment was made possible with the support of Community Housing Capital, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), National Equity Fund (NEF), and NeighborWorks American NeighborhoodWorksAmerica (NWA). Now, with resources from the City of Houston, and Cloudbreak Communities as co-developer, the first phase of this project begins this fall with a budget of $34M. Other key funders and lenders include Foss and Company Tax Specialist and Self-Help Credit Union.

The former hospital, now called St. Elizabeth Place, will be renovated into 85 mixed-income apartment homes. The second phase will include a new building with 94 additional apartments for a total of 179 units. The budget for phase two has not been finalized.

“Repurposing St. Elizabeth Place as mixed-income apartment homes is part of our commitment to ensure 5th Ward remains a wonderful place to live, work, and play,” says Mayra Bontemps, Chief Real Estate Officer at Fifth Ward CRC. “Affordable mixed-income housing meets the needs of both current and future residents.”

For more information on St. Elizabeth Place, please contact Mayra Bontemps at 713-674-0175, for media inquiries, contact Damali Hill at 281-947-2447.