Goodbye, Uncle Ben: East Side Silos Are Coming Down

The new owner of Texas Rice’s old Fidelity St. property has already begun demolishing the grain silos on the site, which are just visible from the East Freeway. A reader sends Swamplot this photo taken late yesterday of the view from Market St., just southeast of the intersection of I-10 east and the 610 Loop. McCorvey Real Estate Holdings bought the 22-acre industrial facility last October, and is spending about $600,000 to upgrade warehouses on the site. The company plans to spend a similar amount on improvements for future tenants, then $5 million more within the next couple of years on 130,000 more sq. ft. of industrial space. There’s 141,280 sq. ft. of space there already, though that figure includes the silos that are coming down.


The site’s last tenant, a biofuels company, took out part of a rail spur that connected to the Ship Channel but went bankrupt before it could replace it or buy the property. Earlier this century, the silos held grains from Nebraska’s Hanson-Mueller Co. Before that, it held American Rice and Uncle Ben’s.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

8 Comment

  • Once upon a time, I expressed interest in buying it. Just the silos, not the land or warehouses.

    They thought I was crazy wanting to live up top. I thought they were crazy for making biofuels.

  • To this day, Ii still remember looking out from my downtown office over a lush carpet of green trees and seeing “SUCCESS RICE” emblazoned in bright red on white on the side of a large grain silo close to downtown –maybe on Center street. It really was a neat, giant piece of history and an everyday reminder of time and place. As I moved jobs, I could always find one part of the floor downtown where I could peek out the window and see SUCCESS RICE. And daydream: “Hey, im successful!” This is was in the innocent pre-Enron days. Good times.

  • I love both these comments – 1 & 2.
    @TheNiche, do you have a helicopter?
    No doubt you’d install an elevator to your silo penthouse, but, the sweeping spiral emergency stair would be awesome!
    Second only to the water-slide summer-time exit!

  • The grain silos really were so much a part of the Houston landscape. It will be strange not to see them.

  • #1

    I was thinking that would be some cardio workout!!

  • Nah, I was thinking more low-key. It doesn’t cost much to build out a very basic dwelling. And for acces, I was just going to install a big winch and attach a rappelling harness to it.

  • jpsivco, so I guess the silos highlighted above are Not So Success Rice since they’re being knocked down? :-)

  • The Uncle Ben’s Rice plant in Houston was on Clinton Drive. The facility, including the silos is now owned by Cadeco Industries, a green coffee warehousing/silo set of buildings. Photo on this webpage.