Spur 5 Hop: The University of Houston Grows East

The University of Houston has been given the go-ahead by the system’s Board of Regents to negotiate the purchase of the University Business Park, the 69-acre former Schlumberger Technologies corporate headquarters complex that faces I-45 South, just east of UH’s central campus.

The university currently leases 150,000 square feet in the business park, for offices “and other uses.” The new campus extension would be used for academic and research programs, administrative offices, storage, “industry partnerships,” and other functions. And it comes with 30 acres of vacant land.

UH has already completed the purchase of an adjacent 5-acre site, for about $2.5 million:


This property, at 4902 Gulf Freeway (shown above), lies just east of lonely Spur 5 and its neighboring rail yard, and contains just under 100,000 square feet of warehouse space and just under 20,000 sq. ft. of office space.

A presentation prepared for a board of regents meeting last month says representatives of the university believe the purchase of the much larger University Business Park can be concluded in January or February. University Business Park, with an official address of 5000 Gulf Freeway, is owned by Houston UBP Partners, an entity apparently controlled by real-estate investor Avi Ron.

Images: HAIF user danax (photo of 5000 Gulf Freeway building); CB Richard Ellis (4902 Gulf Freeway property); and Cushman & Wakefield, via UH (all others)

14 Comment

  • Too bad they don’t purchase and raze more of the third ward… I’m tired of hearing about students getting mugged on campus.

  • JL, I doubt the families living in the Third Ward would particularly care for that. I can’t remember how many times I’ve almost been run over on my bike by SUV drivers in West University. Maybe we should raze that neighborhood, too.

  • I have heard President Khator explain this this acquisition as the first step towards developing some type of “green energy” research and development facility that will bring in substantial research dollars.

  • Let’s remember that criminals hold neighborhoods hostage and to make the entire third ward” responsible for the actions of a few who may or may not live there is most unattractive.

    Ian, I like your thinking.

  • It was always considered a “rough” neighborhood, even when I arrived on UH campus in 1975. The only problems we ever had were when we girls went to Frenchy’s without any males with us. He’d shoo us off, with a dishtowel, like we were unwelcome pigeons landing on his picnic tables. “You white girls are just gonna cause trouble,” he’d warn. “You just take your chicken and go back to your dorms.”
    We learned we could bring the geekiest guy with us, and he’d let us stay.
    Oooh. Loved Frenchy’s on a hot sticky night.
    Go, Coogs!

  • Hopefully the acquisition includes a plan to preserve the MacKie & Kamrath designed headquarters building. It is certainly an architecturally-worthy landmark.

  • marmer- Once again you are way off. I lived near Scott St. for 3 years and it is terrible. If Houston would have been chosen for the Olympics, that area would have been gone!

    It is not 100% but it is mostly gangs and thugs. Do not stop for gas there at night or you will be on the news.

  • kwayzee:

    What? I have not yet commented in this thread so how can I be “way off?”

    But I do agree with Marc above about the Mackie & Kamrath Schlumberger building.

  • sorry marmer, total brain fart.

  • Yeah marmer, but you were gonna! LOL

  • I’m also hoping UH plans to keep and appropriately maintain the McKie & Kamrath building. Anyone know any details?

  • Ian, ride your bike down Elgin at 10pm alone and tell me you feel safer than riding through West University…

  • They would have to build some sort of pedestrian bridge structure over the spur and railroad; possibly some sort of overpass/bridge extending Wheeler to the site. This could have a very interesting design, and could tie into the University’s current expansion plans, particularly the UC rennovations, etc.


  • Good news for UH to expand and express its presence in a city that hardly notices it. But lets gets this straight, any situation can turn bad in a heartbeat no matter what the area. And where exactly do “these people” belong? Variety is what makes a city a city and it cant be hidden behind all the goodness the city can offer.