Former Chronicle Building Tunnel Back Open During Demo Limbo

Proposed Prairie Tunnel Map, per Theater Square lawsuit filings

The management at 717 Louisiana St. has sent out word to tenants that the tunnel segment beneath the vacated downtown Houston Chronicle building is now open again, even though the newspaper’s former headquarters at 801 Texas Ave. are still standing on top of it. Documents filed with the Harris County district clerk’s office show that Hines agreed to hold off on the demo for a while, after Linbeck’s Theater Square group filed a lawsuit to stop them.


That filing was on the Wednesday after the Tax Day flood (though the city still gave its OK on the knockdown in mid-May). A hearing on the case appears to have been rescheduled a few times — most recently for late June. Theater Square wants to connect the tunnel segment to an adjacent property across Prairie St. by Market Square, using some structures in the Chronicle building’s basement; the group claims in the suit that Hines has been trying to stop it from doing so, allegedly in violation of a contract Hines inherited when it bought 801 Texas last year from news conglomerate and previous owner Hearst Corporation.

Diagram of existing and proposed tunnels beneath 801 Texas Ave.: Theater Square LP via Harris County District Clerk 

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