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Harris County Moves Forward On Proposal To Repurpose Astrodome

The next step is a review by the Texas Historical Commission.

The Harris County Commissioners Court has tasked the County Engineer's Office (OCE) with preparing a study about the feasibility and impact of building a parking lot under the Astrodome, although there is the alternative of turning that space into storage areas.
The Harris County Commissioners Court has tasked the County Engineer’s Office (OCE) with preparing a study about the feasibility and impact of building a parking lot under the Astrodome, although there is the alternative of turning that space into storage areas.

A new project to repurpose the Houston Astrodome is gaining some traction.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and the County commissioners are moving forward with a proposal to raise the Astrodome’s floor to ground level and convert it into a 9-acre open space with air conditioning that could be used by local events such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC.

The county would build a parking garage with room for 1,400 vehicles under that platform.

Edgar Colon, board chairman for the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, says the repurposing would efficiently use one of Houston’s best known landmarks.

“It’s going to allow us to utilize an underperforming asset of the county. This is an asset of the county and, on top of that, it’s an icon, there is a brand out there, everybody recognizes the Astrodome,” said Colon after the Commissioners Court meeting.

However, not everybody is sold on the plan yet.

Commissioner Gene Locke represents Precinct 1, where the Astrodome is located, noted “it’s important that we study all options, but I think we have to have a clear blueprint before we commit a lot of public money to a process.”

County officials estimate it will cost just around 105 million dollars to repurpose the Dome.

The next step in the process is for the Texas Historical Commission to review the plan.

The Commission is already studying whether to designate the Astrodome a state antiquity landmark and, therefore, it has to approve any changes to the structure.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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