Midtown Redevelopment Authority Quietly Puts Main St. Block Up for a Quick Sale

Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, Houston

Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, HoustonNotice anything different about the vacant former city code-enforcement building at 3300 Main St. lately? Well, go around to the Travis St. side (at left) and you’ll see it: A sign indicating the property is for sale went up there quietly last month. So quietly, in fact, that there doesn’t appear to be any information about the sale on the website of the building’s owner, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, which purchased the full-block property from the city in a curious deal 3 years ago for $5 million, and — as a public entity — isn’t required to pay any property taxes on it. “Everything real estate wise that Midtown does is very hush hush,” notes a reader who brought the sale to Swamplot’s attention.


Former City of Houston Code Enforcement Building, 3300 Main St., Midtown, HoustonThe 1.16-acre block surrounded by Main, Francis, Travis, and Stuart is one block north of the future site of the MATCH arts complex and just south of the HCC parking garage. A flyer produced by the selling broker, ARA Land Services, describes the 2-story building and adjacent parking lot as a prime redevelopment site, and notes that offers must be all cash. Bids are due March 12th.

And yes, at least one offer has already been submitted, which a reader notes has been described as “solid.”

Photos: Allyn West

Hey, Pssssst!

13 Comment

  • No complaints if they tear that thing down, but what might replace it?

  • Where’s the outcry for saving this bldg? This historical example of architecture? :crickets: That’s right b/c we all hated this place back in it’s days.

  • I’d hardly consider this an building historic. It has no historic importance whatsoever –do you know something I don’t? Preservationists are not rallying to save it because it’s not historic nor worth preserving, but feel free to preserve it if you’d like, buy it—or if it’s sold and you’re happy with the bulldozer about to level it, tie yourself to the building and make the news (Swamplot may even cover it)–

  • I think a “redevelopment authority” of any kind should have eminent domain powers.

  • I just got the sales memorandum for this deal the other day. I’m super curious what it might sell for. Wish I were big ballin’ enough to buy it…

  • An entire block…what do you all envision this becoming? Another midrise complex with ground floor retail? Or is Midtown ready for a highrise?

  • Midtown is remarkably sucky considering how much government and quasi-government effort has gone into trying to improve it.

  • Anonymous, really? What makes you say that? I was thinking just the opposite. It hasn’t gone Montrose level bananas but there has been a TON of new improvements.

  • Thanks for all the red tag memories.

  • That hardly even pays for the solar array installed by the city once upon a time.

  • Anon22, didn’t Kelo v. New London establish that private property could be taken by the government for the benefit of another private entity, if the goal was to remove “blight”?
    I only remember this because for some reason, people were particularly vexed with David Souter’s joining that opinion; they had apparently not been paying close attention to his voting record. I recall there was an angry zeal to seize and redevelop the quaint New Hampshire home, where he lived all his life with Mother.
    At around that time, whether coincidentally or emboldened by that ruling, a little town on the interstate south of Dallas made an effort to take a nature preserve, permanently protected by conservation easement and owned by someone I knew, in order to build a Target store. The justification was the tax revenue a Target would generate, and that the next little town on the interstate had one, and they wanted one …
    The Texas legislature, showing rare sense, passed some statute preventing Kelo v. New London-type uses of eminent domain in Texas.
    I expect when political winds change, it will easily be undone.
    Property rights: a very useful agreement among like-minded people, in peacetime, in times of stability.
    I can’t help but look at it two ways: a government that possesses thermonuclear weapons, has the necessary might to maintain order and uphold one’s “sacred” property rights, if it serves its interest to do so. By the very same token, one should perhaps not presume upon them too much.

  • Bets on who gets it? Finger? Ric Campo? Alexan?

  • @Jaybird – I’ll take Hines.