St. Agnes Academy has already begun constructing an athletic complex on the site of the former Gillman Auto dealership at the corner of Bellaire and Fondren in Sharpstown. The 18.7-acre property, which it bought last fall, will have 3 athletic fields, 2 softball diamonds, 8 tennis courts, plus weight rooms, conference rooms, and meeting rooms. But administrators of the all-girls private school aren’t too happy with a development planned across the street in PlazAmericas, the former Sharpstown Mall. Last Friday, the school filed suit to prevent a nightclub from opening in the mall’s former Finger Furniture store.
The lawsuit was filed against the bar’s owners, the city of Houston, and TABC. In January, the city granted the school a 1,000-ft. alcohol-free zone around its main campus at 9000 Bellaire. But the city hasn’t granted the same status to the new athletic campus, where the school plans to teach required P.E. courses. The city department that makes recommendations for alcohol-free zones considers the new site a vacant lot, according to the lawsuit. The nightclub, called El Corral, hasn’t received an alcohol permit yet, but an administrative law judge has recommended that the TABC grant it one. The PlazAmericas property line sits 291 ft. away from the athletic campus, according to the school’s measurements. That would place it within the 300-ft. school zone where alcohol sales are automatically prohibited, even though the nightclub itself is further away. According to a city official quoted in the lawsuit, the measurement to the property line of the owner — not of the lease space — is what governs.
- St. Agnes vs. City of Houston [Scribd]
- Too close for Southern Comfort [Prime Property]
- Previously on Swamplot: The Academy of St. Agnes in the Fields
Photo: Candace Garcia