Luxury homes on city’s east side receive mixed reactions

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 4:13 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls woman is pouring her passion for real estate into the east side community.

She’s building small luxury homes in the neighborhood she grew up in. Neighbors have different opinions about the project.

Residents who said they remember what the east side of Wichita Falls used to look like want their neighborhood returned to it’s former glory. The question on everyone’s mind is if this a step in the right direction.

“And I’ve seen when all these properties were full of houses and all the streets had houses on them,” resident Donnie Alexander said. “And of course, in a period of time and years people pass on, you know, and houses are left abandoned and properties are taken down and moved out so, in the time, people can come in like they doing now and building houses.”

Someone doing just that is another longtime resident named Glenda Cloud. She is building homes to add a modern look but also wants residents to see luxury and beauty in their neighborhood.

“It just brings the neighborhood life, and it just adds value to the neighborhood itself. So, when they do go and sell their home, this is a comp. This home is comparable, that they can use to say, you know, my house was built in this year and now we have a brand new house on the block,” developer Glenda Cloud said.

While a new home can add value to a neighborhood, one pastor is expressing concern about the project. Cloud’s home was appraised at $360,000 in an area where the average home price ranges from $15,000 to $130,000.

“To just come in and impose someone buying up land, bulldozing houses and building up a palace in the ghetto, that does not produce beautiful homes. You produce a place that’s an island, that’s gated but it’s really not a community. We want to build a community, not just a house,” said Reverend Angus Thompson.

“I think we need a long-range policy that would make sure that we save the stock of houses that we have available and renovate them so they can be available for school teachers and for police officers and for firemen to move into the neighborhoods,” Thompson said.

Larry Nelson, City of Wichita Falls District two councilman, said there are plans for new businesses to come to the east side. He believes many people left this side of town because new homes were not being built.

“As long as we continue to work on building up to the community and there’s positive, we’re moving in the right direction,” said Alexander.

Residents also spoke about property taxes rising long term. Some said they would rather deal with the taxes than not see their beloved neighborhood get back to the way it once was.