by Betha Merit
Apartment Complexes Reflect and Promote Local Lifestyle
“Come to the quiet side of the lake, where the locals live and work,” is the slogan for two decidedly unique apartment complexes in Bay Area Houston. These words are attributed to Shelley Hunt-Nichols, who locally owns and manages the properties with her husband Aaron Nichols. “We have re-designed each complex to support a relaxed lifestyle that can only be found in the Seabrook and El Lago area,” says Shelley.
“We believe in community involvement,” says Aaron, who has spent his whole career in public service positions from the military, to state employee, to federal officer with U.S. customs. He spent seven years working with troubled teens in Galveston and continues to do service alongside Shelley on coastal road clean-up crews (84 bags of trash cleaned up on Toddville Road last year), Toys for Tots, food banks, and coaching/sponsoring local youth sports leagues.
These unique apartment complex owners are fully hands on, provide a wealth of community events for their renters, and make it fun. At Pelican Reef and Villas By The Bay, the staff is a close knit group that works as a team, and knows one another’s family members by name. A handyman is on call 24/7 to address renter’s needs. And the owners carefully select the staff for commitment, people and professional skills, and the energy they can provide to the overall ambience. It shows.
A variety of options are available for apartment style and size, from efficiencies starting at 540 square feet to two-bedrooms at 1042 square feet. Prices range from $499 to $920, and encompass basic amenities to upscale units with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, crown molding, and new appliances. A variety of tenants can be found as well. You will find everything from retirees and empty nesters to college-aged and singles to young families and families in transition. The term village comes to mind.
With Bay Area Houston being one of the top boating areas in the U.S., both Pelican Reef and Villas By The Bay offer a boat parking, boat storage, and boat washing station. Avid boaters, Shelley and Aaron are well known in the community, and frequently run into their apartment residents at local restaurants or events. Their kids attend local Seabrook schools as well. “We also support local businesses,” says Aaron. If it can be sourced or purchased locally, they support the community.
Shelley, who is a 7th generation Texan expounded on the amenities offered to residents. Each complex holds monthly activities such as cooking classes, beading classes, career counseling, and crawfish boils. Other perks for tenants include a business center, laundry room, car/dog/boat washing stations, DVD library and book exchange, bike check-out, paid utilities, palapas and grills, pool, pet walking areas, parking, recycling, and more.
“When we saw the opportunity to renovate and make a difference in our own community, we jumped at the chance,” says Shelley. They offer gardening areas for residents to practice using their green thumb on flowers or vegetables, etc. Every month someone is awarded Patio of the Month status. Many residents work in the area at local restaurants, Johnson Space Center, coast guard, and other businesses. A local Seabrook law enforcement agent lives on site at the Villas and Pelican Reef is serviced by both Seabrook and El Lago police departments.
From Pelican Reef it’s a simple walk to Arlan’s Market and other local businesses and eateries. It’s a bit farther from Villas By The Bay, but with today’s health consciousness, it’s a great way to get in some exercise. Residents can head down to Coffee Oasis for their morning coffee or snack.
Pelican Reef is located at 3802 Nasa Parkway, El Lago, and has 89 units. Villas By The Bay is located at 2800 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook, and has 220 units. www.banyanequitymgmt.com , phone: 281-326-1039.
Why Locals Live at Pelican Reef and Villas By The Bay
- Utilities paid
- Lush pool
- Location Location Location
- Business center
- Laundry room
- Car/dog/boat wash stations
- Palapas and grills
- Boat parking/storage
- Bike check-out
- DVD library and book exchange
- Child friendly
- Monthly activities
- Gardening areas
- Water views
- Fenced patios
- Pet walking areas
- Village atmosphere