Working the System: New Bids To Buy HISD’s Law Enforcement HS Are Millions More

The bids that were submitted to HISD yesterday to buy the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice High School in Magnolia Grove rang up almost $5 million more than those the first time around in July: Neighboring St. Thomas High School is still in the running to purchase the 11-acre campus on Dickson St., just north of Memorial Dr. and Buffalo Bayou; it offered $45 million, compared with the $42 million the private school said it would pay in July. But St. Thomas was again outbid, this time by an entity called Elk Mountain Ltd. — connected, it appears, to the Gordy Oil Company — which submitted a flat $47,927,114.


This round of bids comes after all the wheeling and dealing this summer, when HISD decided to punish offers from St. Thomas and could-have-been mixed-use developer AV Dickson Street for perceived ethical infractions, violating the district’s “code of silence” policy forbidding any contact with board members during the sale. The Leader reports that HISD will make the decision tomorrow whether to accept these new bids.

Photo: Charlotte Aguilar

17 Comment

  • Oh, on principle, sell it to St. Thomas. One school to another. These private schools in inner city Houston have a tough time expanding to accommodate increasing enrollment/facilities.

  • I agree, they’re offering 45 million, it’s hardly like they’re being given the property. It’s certainly no surprise that a deep pocketed developer could outbid St Thomas, that’s a given, but it would be nice to have the school expand, maybe use the cool original building. If a developer gets their hands on this who knows what might be built there, could be great, could be a nightmare, you just never know in Houston, at least with St Thomas we’d know it would be a good neighbor with a park/campus setting.

  • I say go with the school over the oil company. HISD is getting a good deal either way.

  • Jesuit would have out bid the private developer.

  • @Greg – “HISD is getting a good deal either way.”

    Yes, HISD would get a nice sum of money from either party on the sale of the school. But, the developer, or whoever buys from the developer, would pay property taxes to HISD in perpituity, whereas St. Thomas would pay zero taxes to HISD in the future.

  • Sell it to Joel Osteen, then never collect taxes on it again.

  • True about the tax issue, however if you want young professional’s to continue buying in inner city neighborhoods you have to have private schools, it’s a must, for the most part these people are not going to send their kids to HISD.

    That’s an odd statement for someone in my shoes, a professional with two kids at HISD schools that are chock full of other kids from dual career professional families. Are there parents who insist on private education? Absolutely. Are they the majority? I would say absolutely not and I think that the number of available private school places relative to the number of public school places would support my argument.

  • How does an extra $2.9 MILLION dollars sound to you? I know which one I’d take!

  • Not to mention, an extra $500,000+ a year until the end of time!

  • Sell it to the Basilains@STHS ! The school would take better care of the property in the long run.And with deep pocketed alums, they can afford to make improvements. Unlike some “developer”. And as far as taxes, HISD/The City of Houston/Harris County WILL collect it elsewhere. Besides, STHS will do what is best for that property.

  • it would be cool if they could just compromise and divide the property. there is plenty of space for sth to expand AND for shitty apartments.

  • Sell it to the highest bidder. PERIOD.
    If the private company then wants to get some really good press, they can sell part of the property to St. Thomas.
    St. Thomas shouldn’t get any kind of special treatment b/c it’s a school.

  • Inner loop westheimer montrose memorial pay lots of taxes . the streets , the trash and traffic always stunk and always will. COH has done nothing in years. Filling potholes that become holes again in 3 mo. The tax money gets spent on who knows what, where on some wasteful project we never see. Seriously does Dickson street count as a street ? Go STH.

  • It’s worse than some of y’all think.

    If this land is sold to a private developer, the end product will probably be worth $200 million. That’s $5 million a year in taxes just in hear one after completion. With likely future increases.

    St. Thomas won’t pay a penny in taxes.

  • If one factors in what it would cost to publicly school the students that would be housed in a St. Thomas expansion, I would not be surprised if the tax “loss” is a wash at best. There is also a benefit to having the additional well educated young men that would result, but I realize there are some in this forum who would assert that there is no value to that since it can’t be readily quantified in dollars and cents.

  • @ CREOLE comment #7
    I can’t disagree with your premise more.
    Private schools don’t attract young professionals. I can’t say I’ve ever heard someone say that they moved to an area b/c of a private school.
    YP’s move to the inner loop for lifestyle reasons – shorter commutes, access to restaurants, entertainment, etc.
    They MOVE OUT b/c when their kids reach schooling age, the schools aren’t up to snuff.
    If HISD can use the extra $ they get from a sale of this nature to improve the schools in the inner loop, then there’s a greater chance these young professionals remain in their homes and HISD can become more culturally & economically diverse.