Downtown Houston’s Foremost Abandoned Building Now Listed for Sale

The Holiday-Inn-turned-Days-Inn-turned-Heaven-on-Earth-Hotel at 801 St. Joseph Pkwy. has now been posted to CoStar by commercial broker CBRE following a 2-week period of higher-than-usual on-site cleanup activity. Crews removed debris from its garage and pool late last week; and just yesterday, 2 workers scaled nearly all 31 stories of its western face to take down the semicircular light box of the Days Inn sign that once hung near the top of it (see photo above).

The seller, SFK Development, bought the property in 2012 — becoming the building’s third owner in its post-Maharishi era. (The building — which for a time was home to a Vedic school run by the former Beatles spiritual advisor — was shut down by the city in 1998.) Since then, it has been fertile ground for numerous urban explorers, as well as the imagination of several would-be redevelopers.

The sale listing includes images of possible makeovers:


This one views the building’s north side:

Corner retail spaces bookend a central lobby in a site plan:

Photos: Swamplox inbox. Renderings and site plan: CoStar

Heaven On Earth Up for Grabs

18 Comment

  • How about a rendering of a huge pile of rubble? From what I’ve read in this venue, the building is not salvageable.

  • that building has been an eye sore since I moved here in the 90’s. I cannot fathom how or why the city put up with it for over two decades. Houston is a thriving and growing city, not Detroit.

  • The city should look into converting this into a residential tower for middle class workers that either work downtown, or would like to, but can’t afford the high cost of most of the new residential projects that have gone up in the last three years.

  • That would be an awesome implosion.

  • Well, I’ll be…. didn’t see that coming

  • I was a Bellman at this property when it was a Holiday Inn in the late 70s that building has stories it would be cool to see it to be repurposed

  • Just in time for the fracking boom and the big $15k per unit downtown living initiative. Good thing they are on this before anyone else starts building residential housing downtown. Oh, wait . . .

    I will never understand commercial real estate.

  • I don’t know who would be so gullible to buy this turkey from SFK Development (the current owner). Even after that quick cleanup, the place still looks like a fresh hot mess. Well, not so fresh.
    I’d pay $5 towards an implosion. Somebody should start a GoFundMe campaign for it.

  • @Bob Russell Please, no. The taxpayers are already in debt for another 100 million to turn the Astrodome into a historically significant parking lot.

  • Raise your hand if you’re old enough to remember when this was a functioning Holiday Inn. (Raising hand.) Would love to see it repurposed…ya kinda get used to things after awhile.

  • Very tired of this building; I just feel like it’s in the wrong spot.

  • Repurpose site to house new greyhound/megabus terminal with hotel/hostel and retail. Great job for METRO to tackle. The transit agency could buy and redevelop site, with METRO owning it giving MPD jurisdiction. This would end the vice associated with current location.

  • My Dad was the Innkeeper when the Holiday Inn opened, and we lived in the building for a couple of years. It was quite a place, with the Orbit Lounge, one of A. J. Foyt’s Indy cars in the lobby, and so on. But its day has passed.

  • @Sinplysid: That is brilliant! How can we make this happen? I’m in.

  • METRO doesn’t have enough funds to enact its own plans, let alone relocated and take over a private bus operators’ facilities over which the agency has zero authority. Where do folks come up with this craziness?

  • ‘Reposition’ the folks living under 59 over by BBVA and midtown Sears into rehabbed units. Two birds, one stone.

  • Patrick, you need to write your story – the screenplay will rival Urban Cowboy!

  • Last night prior to the rain storm there was some strong winds that blew glass and metal debris over the block south of it. The portion of St. Joseph Pkwy. in front of the bldg was covered in broken safety glass with crumpled mullions littering the sidewalk in front of the Lonestar bar’s parking lot.