Houston Matters

Emmett Says Astrodome Park Costs Are Still A Mystery

Local voters may not have a say in what happens next.


Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Houston Matters
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Houston Matters

 

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says it could be several months before the county has an idea how much a giant park inside the Astrodome would cost. And he says voters may not have much of a say when it comes to what happens next.

Emmett was a guest on Friday’s Houston Matters with Craig Cohen and says he’s gotten a lot of feedback, both good and bad, on his plan to turn the Dome into a big indoor green space.

Emmett says tearing down the Dome wouldn’t be cheap, so why not spend that money on an indoor, climate controlled park?

“If we were to tear down the Dome, the estimate has been $30 million. To fill in the hole, another $15 million. So, think about it. If the option is tearing down the Dome for $30-50 million to convert it into a park and I think you can go a long way,” Emmett said.

He says he has no idea how much an indoor park would cost, but should have some rough estimates within a couple of months. He says the numbers could be low enough to avoid a public vote on the plan.

“If for example, the County portion of converting it into a park doesn’t rise to a level that would require a bond, then we wouldn’t have to go to the voters,” said Emmett. “It depends on where are appraisals are at any given time. I’d say probably anything over $50-60 million, but that’s a guess.”

Emmett says for now, the Dome’s pending historical landmark designation prevents the County from doing any work there, including taking out and selling the remaining seats.

 

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