Galveston may soon play host to a variety of high-tier AirBnB rentals and luxury apartments if Jerome Karam Houston’s plans are anything to go by.
One of the largest commercial property owners in Galveston county, Jerome Karam, has recently acquired two apartment complex buildings located at 717-725 Broadway, with plans for their conversion to short-term rentals in the future.
Jerome Karam Houston has gone on record to assuage growing worries, explaining that nobody is getting kicked out as part of this scheme. Plans will be set in motion no sooner than current tenants’ leases expire, according to Karam’s official statements on the matter.
Luxury Apartments in Galveston: Why?
The two specific buildings that Karam recently acquired are the four-plex Sonja and the twelve-plex Riviera, both dating back to the 1930s. Originally owned by DRE Properties LLC, these apartments are bound for conversion to Airbnb properties once the current tenants’ leases run out.
According to Jerome Karam Houston, both buildings will undergo significant renovations and get thematically appropriate architectural redesigns that are yet to be revealed.
The reason Karam is so intrigued by this prospect is that both of these apartment properties sit close to Galveston beach but also to the local University of Texas Medical Branch.
This would invigorate Galveston’s relatively small number of Airbnb offerings and ensure that there’s a number of high-end apartments available for tourists and the like.
It’s also worth pointing out that Karam is no fraud: the experienced property owner is known for his successful redevelopment of high-end island properties, such as the Falstaff Brewery. As some may know, the building is now an event center and a storage facility, with an auxiliary hotel that’s soon going to be operational.
Are Short-Term Rentals a Good Idea?
Jerome Karam Houston saw an opportunity for such a major retrofit of the two buildings due to a variety of reasons, not least of which is their perfect positioning.
Another major bonus is the availability of parking space, which is not easy to get a hold of in Galveston. This is not particularly common with Airbnb offerings, which would further underscore how attractive these properties are: both locally and in a wider, more tourist-oriented context.
While there’s no scheme that would help turn a regular city into a tourist powerhouse overnight, Karam’s idea of opening up a series of mid to high-end rentals is definitely the first step towards increasing Galveston’s relevancy in this regard.
Whether it’s families that want to stay close to their relatives while they receive medical care over at the UTMB or if it’s people visiting the local beaches and exploring the city, there’s no reason to believe that rental properties couldn’t boost the city’s popularity with both the young and the old.
With Jerome Karam’s practical experience and a keen eye for property development, the two humble apartment buildings may soon become fully-fledged AirBnB powerhouses. Exciting times ahead for Galveston, with plenty more on the way.