In yesterday's Sunday edition, The Houston Chronicle decried HCC's acquisition of this seemingly ramshackle property (along with many other pieces of local real estate that have not been yet put into service for educational purposes). But the land is much more valuable than the old structures, and it is highly likely that the value of the former will increase in the next few years, assuming the creeping gentrification emanating from the West (Montrose, Neartown, Midtown) isn't brought to an abrupt halt by another recession. So, the acquisition of the property (and surrounding lots) may not have been a bad move. If HCC builds student housing eventually, as was planned, it would not have to pay market rate for the square-footage later, and if it sells the property, it may make a handsome profit. -- Just speculating. Perhaps the house, on which renowned local graffiti artists had their go, is even worth preserving: either because it is a historic structure more than 100 years old, or as an art object, albeit one dedicated toward that purpose much more recently.
And as a governmental entity, HCC does not have to pay property taxes. So, it can hold the real estate more cheaply than a private speculator. Incidentally, HCAD appraised this property at $100,000 in 2013 and its condition report for the house (built in 1907 and remodeled in 1996) is not terribly negative, suggesting usability (with some repairs obviously needed). Perhaps a new purpose can be found while the plans for building student dorms remain dormant.
|HCAD Detail for 1625 Alabama St Houston TX 77004 at Almeda|