What it is like to live where Beyonce grew up
*photo by Billy Smith II
Long before Beyoncé was topping the pop charts, she was growing up with big dreams in Houston’s Third Ward. Bey achieved those dreams, but the Greater Third Ward continues to be near and dear to her.
So, what is this historic neighborhood all about, and why was it chosen as the location for the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement (CCPPI) affordable housing program?
Historic with an eye on the future
Affectionately called The Tré, the Third Ward was one of Houston’s six original neighborhoods. Over time, it evolved into a hub of African American business, music, arts, culture, and activism. Today, you will find a historical marker with information about the late Lightnin’ Hopkins, the world-famous blues musician and Third Ward resident, but rap and hip hop are now more prominent in the nightclubs. Various musicians, including the late George Floyd -aka Big Floyd -, the late DJ Screw, Reconcile, and even Dré have joined Beyoncé in paying homage to the historic neighborhood in their lyrics.
The Third Ward and surrounding area food scene includes a diverse mix of restaurants catering to all different tastes. You’ll find Crumbville, TX and its vegan baked goods, This Is It soul food, and two of Beyoncé’s favorites, The Breakfast Klub and the original Frenchy’s chicken.
If into arts and culture, check out the colorful murals by Israel McCloud, the galleries at Project Row Houses, or the nearby Asia Society Texas Center on Southmore Blvd. In 2020, the Third Ward became a cultural district, encompassing more than a dozen sites, including Emancipation Park, Texas State University, and the Houston Negro Hospital.
Can I afford to live there?
The Third Ward offers a diverse mix of real estate for its diverse demographics. Beyoncé’s childhood home still stands in Riverside Terrace. The new owners will reportedly allow photos with cardboard cutouts of the Queen of Pop, but only if you ask nicely. Interspersed among the historic homes are townhomes and the affordable single-family homes that are part of the MRA/CCPPI affordable housing program. MRA and CCPPI are committed to ensuring long-time residents wanting to stay where their families have lived for decades do not get squeezed out as the Third Ward continues evolving.
Find more information and how to qualify for the MRA/CCPPI affordable housing program here.
Who knows? You might just run into Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and the kids when out and about in your new neighborhood.