Downtown Warehouse Rehab: Houston’s Next Permit Office

This 1923 former rice warehouse at the far eastern end of Washington Ave., used more recently as an annex for the Downtown post office on the other side of I-45, will become the city’s new permit office, reports Monica Perin in the Houston Business Journal. The building will replace the current 2-story office at 3300 Main St. in Midtown — which Public Works officials consider flood-prone — and consolidate permit offices from 3 other sites.

A LEED-certified renovation of the 4-story concrete-and-brick building, which sits on a 2 1/2-acre site Downtown — and which sat on the market for several years — is expected to be complete by the fall of 2010.

The property purchase is expected to close in July, along with council approval of a contract with Trammell Crow Co. as the developer, and Studio Red Architects as the design firm. . . .

“A building of this age and being a warehouse is relatively easy to recycle,” [Studio Red’s Bill Neuhaus] notes. “It lends itself to an open plan and lots of daylight. We can do an economical job here, and it will be an extremely pleasant working environment.”

Permitting offices eventually will share space with the city’s new Green Resource Center, which is opening this week at 3300 Main St.

“The re-use of existing buildings is one of the greenest and most sustainable things we can do,” Neuhaus says.

He says the building’s prime location is part of the civic campus, next to the police department, the post office and rail station.

Photo of 1002 Washington Ave.: LoopNet