City council today approved the sale of Houston’s code enforcement building at 3300 Main St. to the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, for $5 million. The 57,899 sq.-ft. structure and parking garage on a full Midtown block, which also houses the city’s Green Building Resource Center, received several sealed private-sector bids before the February 17th due date. Last week, Mayor Parker declared that the Midtown TIRZ had submitted the high bid, but 2 council members disputed that, claiming the group hadn’t submitted a bid for the property at all. (One of them, Anne Clutterbuck, was the lone dissenter in today’s vote.) Chronicle reporter Chris Moran hasn’t been able to get a straight answer yet, but interprets a staff report to mean that the TIRZ did not submit a formal bid — the city simply determined a purchase from the government entity would be “the most advantageous.” What’s all the fuss? “The city built the sale of 3300 Main into its FY 11 budget, and it is now depending on that sale to help it bridge a $21 million projected budget shortfall for the fiscal year that ends June 30. There is still no information on what the Authority might do with the property, which remains off the tax rolls as long as it is owned by a public entity.” [Houston Politics]
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