North Houston Amazon Fulfillment Center Opens; Qui Now Taking Reservations; Ending the ‘Dry Heights’

Photo of Magic Island: Swamplot inbox


14 Comment

  • wow $550K/year for a security guard at the abandoned holiday inn? i’d do it for 500k/year.

  • The Urban Edge piece brings up some interesting trends, but fails to expand upon a very important point about Houston. One of the reasons that Houston manages to buck trends affecting other central cities is that Houston is orders of magnitude larger than many central cities. Within its incorporated city limits, Houston could contain all of Manhattan, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, and then have room enough left over for Santa Barbara. That means that Houston contains its first-ring suburbs, most of its second-ring, and even some some third-ring; and then it also does this funky “limited-purpose annexation” scheme in the northwest suburbs and has a special non-annexation deal with The Woodlands to keep those areas as an unincorporated buffer zone from which they are still somewhat able to tap commercial property tax revenues from those areas. And as demographic pressures push and pull people across different regions, Houston has to adapt to all of those trends simultaneously, but it also has a diversified-enough tax base to be able to do so — you know, presuming that its elected officials never do anything especially stupid like capping revenues and also underfunding pensions for decades.

  • Re: Holiday Inn

    I call BS that a round the clock security guard would cost $550k/year; that or I’m in the wrong business.

    I also call BS that they can completely reno the building and turn it into a functioning hotel for <$100 million, but that demo would be $45 million.

    These sound like the funny numbers used by Judge Eckels to try to coerce people into voting for his Astrodome plans.

  • $550K/year for round-the-clock security guard is about $62/hr, which is about what you’d pay for three $20/hr or four $15/hr security guards per shift. That doesn’t actually sound unreasonable for a 30-story building.

  • @superdave: Yes, $550k is a bit high, but keep in mind that this is for a 24/7 security guard. That means hiring at least four guards (not one) if they all work 40 hours a week. Someone also has to coordinate the guards and account for sick days and schedule changes. But they can’t just hire four full time employees because they don’t have a definite timeframe. So, they are likely using an agency, which is charging out security guard time at an inflated rates. If they charge $30/hr ($15/hr for the guard plus $15 for the agency), that’s $260k a year. It wouldn’t shock me if they did get a quote for $60/hr given the fact that a guard at a site like this would likely demand hazard pay compared to your average guard who gets to sit at a climate controlled desk.

  • Cannot find the assessment and taxes for this property; perhaps some RE pro out there has access to commercial data? Searching HCAD brings no joy, but I’m likely not doing it right.

  • Yes I realize that you can get a Navy Seal team to rappel from the building with laser guns for $1 million a year. My point is that it could be done much cheaper than quoted – it doesn’t have to be the world’s best security guard team – just someone to call the cops when a bum breaks in. I was getting at the fact that the absentee owners are spinning these numbers upward to resist pressure from COH to secure the site. It’s pure spin for the sake of avoiding responsibility.

  • @Puzzled The APN is 0021060000001. 2017 Appraisal is $4,334,590. Millage rate is 2.64853%. This brings the tax bill to $114,804.

  • RE Pro: Thanks! Now maybe you could explain my residential property taxes, where eight (8) different entities tax my property at different rates and with different exemptions. Anyone have a spreadsheet for this? I don’t like waiting until Thanksgiving to learn my levy for the next year.

  • I really want something good at Magic Island. Love that building.

  • Wouldn’t they just hire the guards from a 3rd party subcontractor who does all the employee management. I know these aren’t high paying jobs so I’m probably overestimating, but at $50/hr that’s $438k for a full year. I guess tack on an actual employee or two who manage the companies contracting and you could get close to $550k with just a bit of acceptable fudging.

  • The young millennial Joel is right. Now add insurance on top of insurance and it might not be far off at all. Don’t forget keeping working utilities only for security. That might be wrapped in as well.

  • Why the picture of Magic Island on this post?