A reader points us to the latest rumor swirling around HAIF: The long-vacant, 31-story shuttered hotel on St. Joseph Pkwy. between Travis and Milam downtown finally sold . . . 3 weeks ago! To . . . somebody!
The hotel was built in 1971 as a Holiday Inn and later converted to a Days Inn. In 1992 an organization affiliated with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (yes, the one the Beatles consulted) purchased the by-then-rather-shabby structure for $2 million and renamed it the “Heaven on Earth Plaza Hotel.” The irony was not lost on city officials, who shut the building down in 1998; it’s remained (at least officially) vacant since.
If news of a sale sounds familiar, it should be. As Houston Press reporter Craig Malisow wrote last year in a feature on the Holiday Inn and two other vacant properties downtown, the hotel sold in 2004:
The Maharishi people sold it for $8.5 million to a group of investors that included a Colorado Springs outfit called LandCo. Michael Raider, a Houston native who works for LandCo, told the Houston Business Journal in 2005 that the property would be slated for apartments or condos.
Another LandCo guy, Don Nicholas, told the Houston Chronicle in 2004: “An ugly duckling downtown will become a swan.”
Unfortunately, the swan kicked the bucket when the investors defaulted on the $8.5 mill, and the hotel went back to the yogis.
Better luck this time?
- Holiday/Heaven on Earth Inn IT SOLD! NO KIDDING! [HAIF]
- holiday inn – downtown [arch-ive.org]
- This Blows! [Houston Press]
- Tenants forced out of hotel [Houston Chronicle]