The city has been working on the land purchase for several weeks. It's six blocks of land in the east end of downtown, near Minute Maid Park. Everyone knows it's the intended site for a future soccer stadium. But officially speaking, the land was purchased for economic development. Houston Mayor Bill White.
"I personally think that if we were to attract either investment for some mixed-use development there or if it would be a destination venue such as a soccer stadium that it would result in an appreciation of the surrounding land values and that would be a good thing."
The city will spend $15.9 million to purchase the five blocks. Not everyone around the table was happy about the deal. Councilmembers Mike Sullivan and Anne Clutterbuck voted against it. Clutterbuck says in the ordinance there was no defined purpose for buying the land.
"And that was my main concern. We're all talking around the issue and understand that it's our hope that the Dynamo will end up moving in and putting a stadium on that property, on that parcel. I believe it's bad public policy for a mayor and a council to vote on a land acquisition when there is not a specified use for that land."
The city is in ongoing negotiations with the Dynamo soccer team to build a stadium on the site. The Dynamo has not agreed to the city's terms.
Laurie Johnson. Houston Public Radio News.