I was very disappointed with this property. How it was managed, how the staff behaved, and how I was treated left a lot to be desired. I always paid my rent on time, and never made any unreasonable requests or complaints, yet I was treated as though if I had any problems that I was a problem--neither the leasing agents, nor the community manager wanted to hear from me in any way other than to say "hello" casually.
When I decided to move here I was happy about my decision--the staff was very nice, courteous and seemingly professional. I ended up getting my apartment for "below market rent," with one month free, and they even gave me a gift basket when I moved in--they had it waiting in my freshly cleaned kitchen. Everything went OK for 2 months, and then things started to go south. There was a great deal of turnover in the leasing office--it seemed like every time I went in, there was another person working there: often, they didn't know or realize I was a resident and would treat me rudely (as though by walking into the leasing office, I was taking up time they could have spent on the phone, rather than working).
There was a problem with one resident on my floor--that disrupted the entire floor. She was a heavy smoker, and would often smoke in the hallway. When I, and other residents, reported the problem to the leasing office--the community manager--she acted as though it was a total surprise and in some way shocking: she gave us the impression that she would get right on it. But, that was just lip service. The smoking--the smell of smoke--persisted for about a month, until I assume the resident was finally warned to stop, and complied.
That same resident would also have very noisy parties--usually on the weekends, which wasn't the worst, but she did have many guests coming and going at all hours of the night. They looked like a pretty rough crowd, as did she. I have no idea what she did for money--I never saw her working / going to work / awake early enough to go to work.
Eventually, after numerous complaints, The Gables evicted this woman.
The do-nothing community manager finally got around to evicting her at the beginning of 2008. But, while she was waiting around to do that, she took an increasing number of days off. And, she extended that privilege/practice to the entire leasing office. There would be days when the office would just close at 1pm. A typed up, printed notice would be taped to the door saying "the office will be closed early today. if you have any concerns please call...." No prior warning, and no explanation--it was just closed. It was as though the staff decided arbitrarily that the weekend started on thursday afternoon.
This lack of notice was the M.O. much of the time in other areas that affected tenants. If repairs were being made, if notices were given out, they were post-dated--to, at least on paper, reflect that they were handed out (effectively notifying residents) days earlier than they actually physically appeared in our mailboxes or slipped under our front doors.
About mid-way through my tenancy, the management in the leasing office abruptly changed. The former community manager was fired, and replaced by another young woman. Many of the former leasing agents were also gone. Apparently cuts were made and now there were only 2 leasing agents in addition to a single community manager--who split her time between The Gables West Village and The Gables 3636 McKinney. She worked part of the week at one property, and part of the week at the other--needless to say, she couldn't handle (couldn't juggle / coordinate) maintenance requests very well. She was, due to the corporate structure, the go-between for residents and the corporate office.
The new staff behaved very unprofessionally: they were rude, lazy, and generally apathetic to any problems (comments, concerns, complaints) that I, or anyone else, relayed to them. In order to retrieve packages, I had to stand in front of whoever was working at the front desk and wait to be acknowledged--whoever was "working" there was usually on the phone, and their conversations (which were usually with friends, family, significant others) took precedent over getting up and getting the key to open the room where UPS and Fed Ex delivered packages were stored during the day. It was supposed to be a secure room--however, one of my packages was went missing, and could never be found.
In the fall of my tenancy, the elevator in the east building broke. It was out of commission for about 2.5 months. The elevator in our side of the property (the western building) would periodically lock up, and not respond to calls. You could push the button, it would light up, and then it would go dark. The elevator just wouldn't come. This usually happened on the weekends--which was very very annoying, especially if you were planning on having people over (as you'd have to walk down the stairwell and physically let your guests in as they arrived...or prop the door open, and then leave a way for just anyone to get in).
Parking was very strange. The underground garage is not very big. It is gated, but the doors that lead into the stairwells are not locked. They never were. They lead from an ungated portion of the garage into the gated parking area--and to the parking lot above (also ungated) via a stairwell. There are no locks on these doors. Anyone can get into the secure parking area any time. The only cameras in the garage are focused on the gates. For a few days out of the week, the parking garage would be virtually empty. Then, out of the blue, it would be jammed full of cars. It has very tiny spaces, and often drivers would block or partially block spaces--cutting down the garage capacity dramatically. Nothing was ever done about people who parked behind the gates without a permit. No towing. No enforcement of the parking policy. Nothing.
I was so happy to move out--but, of course, I couldn't get out of there without some issues on move-out day. I had reserved the elevator 2 weeks in advance (as required by the leasing office personnel). To my surprise, they had just given the key to the elevator to someone else just before I showed up at the office to get it. Whoever had it neglected to return it. So, the community manager--the new one, who was equally as inept as the first one--spend half an hour hunting it down. I had to demand that she get the key before she actually took any action to do so. She acted as though I was being very rude to her for no reason--I, in an admittedly harsh tone, demanded that she do her job. She said it was not her job to coordinate my move--and was generally passive aggressive throughout the ordeal. She wanted my movers to present photo ID's before she would let them up to my apartment (she said it was for safety purposes). If you know anything about moving companies in Texas, you know that their workers are generally from south of the border. I didn't even bother asking them to present IDs to the community manager...because I doubt all of them had one.
I hope if you are considering this property that you look a little harder. Get a good deal on the lease, or you will feel like you are being anally probed for the privilege of living in a glorified tenement--complete with granite counter tops and pre-finished "hardwood" floors.
If I had to do it all over again, I would not have lived here. I will never live at another property managed by The Gables. It's just not worth the energy, hassle, or the price of rent for what you get--which isn't anything special.