Updated at 5:20 p.m.
Harris County Commissioners formally accepted a report that proposes turning the empty Houston Astrodome into an indoor park, with more parking spaces at NRG Park. It would include amenities for the 3 tenants: The Houston Texans, The Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Offshore Technology Conference.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says it’s different from the 2013 bond initiative that was defeated by voters.
“The referendum was for a multi-purpose facility, that some people mistakenly compared to a convention center. This really will be a park,” Emmett says.
The report estimates more than half the cost of the roughly $240 million dollar plan would be carried by retail and commercial development.
Emmett explains how he thinks it would work. “Once you commit to saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to build a park.’ And then around that park, is going to be the availability for other groups to add on. It’s those other groups that are going to be coming up, I think, with the bulk of the money,” Emmett says.
Edgar Colon chairs the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation — the Dome’s caretaker.
“We have to come up with a recommendation, so that hopefully we can start implementing very quickly,” Colon says.
Colon says he hopes to present a working proposal to Commissioners within a couple of months.
The Urban Land Institute’s recommendations for the Astrodome
<a href=”http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1383908/the-astrodome-urban-land-institute-plan.pdf”>The Astrodome – Urban Land Institute Plan (PDF)</a>
<a href=”http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1383908/the-astrodome-urban-land-institute-plan.txt”>The Astrodome – Urban Land Institute Plan (Text)</a>