The Buildup To Tear Things Down for the New I-45 Has Begun

THE BUILDUP TO TEAR THINGS DOWN FOR THE NEW I-45 HAS BEGUN “I’ve noticed a trend in lower Fifth Ward to start building or planning to build in the path of the upcoming I-45 reroute,” writes a Swamplot reader. “Is there a chance that developers can make more money on their buyout if they have developed plans?” Developed or not, there’s certainly been some action along the right of way that TxDOT plans to crater for the new highway segment — like that recent buying and selling in East Downtown across from the GRB. No one’s signed up to build anything new on those parcels yet — but with roadwork not slated to start until 2020, that’s plenty of time to get something ready ahead of the demolitions the highwaymen have planned to make way for the reroute. [Previously on Swamplot] Diagram of I-45 reroute: TxDOT

7 Comment

  • I’ve been wondering this about the building at Polk & Chartres, possibly the new Yen Huong Bakery building? Seemed like they began work after TXDOT announced plans, and it took them a good couple yrs to build it out (total speculation, but maybe due to using spare manhours from an affiliated contractor). Would be one way to get paid for those spare hours, although what contractor in this town has a shortage of work.

  • This has to be a joke they can’t tear down and redo I-45 in a different direction route

  • TxDOT has to pay market value, so if you bought today that transaction would be a very relevant data point for when the State takes it in 2019 or 2020 (with an adjustment up or down for market conditions). I don’t see how that is a way to make money. Even if you redevelop it, at most you are getting back your costs. Someone who bought property here 10 years ago will make money, though.

  • I can confirm this exact type of BS is happening off of Jensen at Grayson Street (just south of I-10). Urban Living is building tiny footprint townhomes directly in the path of condemnation. They’ve just gotten the first floor timber upright. They’ll flip those homes to some unsuspecting kids or first time homeowners for a tidy profit and then BAM in two years TXDOT will bulldoze. Totally unethical practice.

  • @HOUTEX – What is stranger about that lot is that it was up for sale about 6 months ago and just started getting built on. The developers know exactly what they are doing but based on Urban LIving’s past projects, this is most likely some investor that has no idea this will be wiped out. Still, how liable will these parties be for moving expenses, etc.

  • Also, how did the variance requests for these properties get approved?

  • @ Mr. Clean because if the City doesn’t approve the variances based on the fact that the property could be taken by the State, they are essentially diminishing the market value of the property without just compensation and they don’t have a funded project to pay for that. So the City will continue to approve anything up until the time the State takes it.

    Also, when the property is a residence, TxDOT is responsible for relocation costs, but there are lots of caveats and conditions on that.