Yesterday was moving day for 2 unusual Downtown buildings: The 1905 Cohn and 1904 Foley (above) houses cattycorner from the George R. Brown Convention Center. Leftover single-family homes from an area once known as Quality Hill and now strangers in the land of skyscrapers and stadiums, they’d be notable Downtown residents even if they weren’t designated historic structures. The city is moving them across the street and a block closer to Minute Maid Park, where they’re intended to become add-ons to a mysterious Regional Tourism Center proposed for the 600 block of Avenida de las Americas. According to plans flashed at the last public meeting for the Downtown/EaDo Livable Centers Study, this new building dedicated to Upper Texas Gulf Coast vacationers would face the westbound light-rail line along Capitol St. and sit at the bottom of an unidentified residential tower:
Also gittin’: the 1919 Southern Pacific 982 locomotive that’s been hanging around the same block for the past 6 years — to a new home at 611 Chenevert, where it’ll eventually get to watch its more mobile successors chug along the new East End Line.
Sitework for a “major redevelopment” of Avenida de las Americas scheduled to begin next year put the 2 homes at risk, a spokesperson contracted by local-government corporation Houston First tells Swamplot. And the land has already been sold out from under them — to noted Downtown blockbuyer (and former city council member) Louis Macey. According to the master plan for the convention center, Macey’s property is identified as a “potential site” for a 1,000-room hotel. Or some sort of residential project, with retail space on the ground floor.