Comment of the Day: Where That Days Inn Tower Falls on the Houston Abandoned Hotel Spectrum

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE THAT DAYS INN TOWER FALLS ON THE HOUSTON ABANDONED HOTEL SPECTRUM Former Holiday Inn, Days Inn, and Heaven on Earth Plaza Hotel, 801 St. Joseph Pkwy. at Travis St., Downtown Houston“As much as I would prefer to see a building like this having some kind of economic use or value in its function, as long as it is not inviting of crime or danger, I don’t have issue with a building just sitting there — that is the owner’s prerogative. (Remember the Sheraton-Lincoln hotel? It sat vacant for years, graffiti-less and fully windowed; no one would have given it a second thought driving by.) In the past few months, the graffiti has exploded, and more and more windows are being broken out. I don’t know what happens when you smash a window 300 feet in the air, but I’m pretty sure those pieces come raining down near and around the building and onto the street. The owners need to do their part to keep the building secured to prevent the criminal activity, and prosecute the trespassers and vandals. Otherwise they are no better than the owners of the Southwest Inn.” [tmr, commenting on Downtown’s Preeminent Dilapidated Hotel Tower Now Outfitted To Greet I-45ers with New Nametags, Fewer Window Panes] Photo: Bob Russell

6 Comment

  • There may be no greater economic waste in our society than the abandoned building. With minimal expense, just about any structure can be preserved from the elements and vandalism/vagrants. Old buildings have “good bones” and convert well to reuse as loft space. More recent construction is usually up to code and can be efficiently renovated (I am looking out my window downtown at an example of that). But because real estate is open to all comers for investment, properties end up in the hands of far flung investors or local speculators who scoop up properties at tax sales. They have no interest in developing the property. It is just a parking place for their money until either the market is too hot to ignore any longer or it is time to cash out. So, they have no reason to spend a penny to preserve the building for future use. The buildings fall into disrepair. The neighboring properties become undesirable or at the very least harder to develop due to being next to “the building that is falling apart”. Redevelopment gets pushed further into the future as the cost to renovate becomes prohibitive and demand for new construction may not yet be there for the block with “the building that is falling apart”. The best result is demolition and new construction. We all feel good to see the new building go up, but how much faster could the economic regeneration have taken place had the owner just put a few bucks into keeping the building from falling apart?

  • The tower sits centered atop a podium, so I would think that falling window panes would not ordinarily leave the premises. In any case, yes it would seem prudent that an owner of real property should desire to discourage trespass. That would be true whether it is occupied or vacant.

    @ Old School: Cite sources please.

  • Hey, NIMBY’s love whining and complaining about an abandoned building. I bet they whine when their neighbors don’t cut their grass for a week. There’s rampant NIMBYism in Houston. NIMBYs all over this backwards town. All the NIMBYs should unite and call themselves NIMBYtron.

  • Abandoned buildings, I like it! Wait, what is that I hear? Oh no, it’s, it’s the NIMBYs and their leader NIMBYtron! Quick everyone hide at your nearest HOA approved shed!

  • I tried to buy a hotel off 45 that wasn’t quite this big. The agent said there was no way in hell the city would allow it to be fixed up and re-opened. It would have to be demo’d.
    Old School: You’re 100% right that it would be great if you could get a property like this back up and running (how someone can sit on that much value, and pay property tax the whole time, is beyond me). But what would make that easier is if they city wasn’t so hard to deal with in those matters (I sound like a broken record I know)

  • It’s mostly just kids having some fun but I also see a lot of fashion photographers and models, people from Skyhouse and club-goers from Spire.