Ex-NFL star’s short-term rental goals tabled

Former Texans linebacker wants to start his hospitality brand in Montrose

Darryl Sharpton with Fairview Street along Dunlavy Street
Darryl Sharpton with Fairview Street along Dunlavy Street (Darryl Sharpton via Instagram, Google Maps, Getty)

Former Houston Texans linebacker Darryl Sharpton recently sold two furniture brands he started during the pandemic, Edloe Finch and Albany Park, for $150 million to California-based manufacturer Exemplis. He’s using the funds to finance his hospitality dreams in the Bayou City.

But those plans are now at the mercy of the Planning and Development Commission.

Sharpton requested to replat a residential lot in Montrose to develop two short-term rental properties on the site, and the commission voted Thursday to postpone its decision until April 13 amid opposition from neighbors.

Sharpton plans to subdivide a lot north of Fairview Street along Dunlavy Street into two residential lots. Should his plans be approved, the two lots will be developed for the NFL star’s hospitality brand, The Sharpton.

Several residents, including a representative from the Dunlavy Park Homeowners Coalition, spoke out against his Vrbo project, alleging Sharpton was misleading the commission on his application. They cited an interview in the Houston Chronicle where the pro footballer outlined plans for his hotel brand via buying and replatting up to six lots around Montrose for extended-stay and short-term rentals.

“I do intend to do short-term rentals, but I am not at all building a hotel or anything like that. It is a single-family home that I could sell down the road and put a long-term renter in there,” said Sharpton, who appeared virtually. “This is the first real estate project I’ve ever done. I’m not at all looking to disturb the peace. I’m here to make the neighborhood more beautiful and create beautiful structures.”

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Commissioner Bill Baldwin pushed back against resident concerns saying anyone in the city can turn their homes into Airbnb rentals, and there’s no mechanism to combat it. Chairwoman Marty Stein reiterated that the commission could not deny plans strictly due to their intended use outside of deed restrictions.

“Unfortunately, we don’t regulate use in Houston,” Stein said. “It meets all the requirements.”

The city of Houston does not regulate short-term rentals like other townships in the metro. Areas like Jersey Village, Katy and Pearland have created plans to regulate short-term rental projects. Meanwhile, other locations like Galveston County’s Clear Lake Shores outright banned the creation of new short-term rentals in 2022. The most popular short-term rental service, Airbnb, has since adopted permanent “anti-party technology” amid growing concerns among residents.

The Texas Legislature is going after local bans on short-term rentals with two proposals that strip local municipalities’ power to regulate them.

Commissioners agreed to postpone a final decision on the Montrose project citing a need for additional research into potential deed restrictions and resident follow-up. The next hearing for the tract will be on April 13. 

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