UH Downtown To Plant STEM Building on New Acreage, Wait and See How the Freeways Grow

UH Downtown STEM Building Purchase

Outlined in red is the next addition to University of Houston Downtown’s campus, per last Thursday’s meeting by the UH system’s board of regents. The image above comes from a marketing flier included in the board’s agenda notes (as presented by board member and real estate reality TV star Tilman Fertitta). The 17-acre parcel on the north side of I-10 runs along the Daly St. student parking lot by the Burnett Transit Center light-rail station, and includes several areas west of N. Main St. already in use by UHD as faculty and student parking.

The land, bounded on the southwest by White Oak Bayou,  will likely house a new science and engineering building — though it may have to cozy up with some additions to the downtown freeway system still in the planning phase. UHD VP David Bradley tells Nancy Sarnoff that the parts of the tract that may end up inside the expanded right-of-way will hang around as green space until TxDOT’s map lines are firmed up.


Sarnoff also reports that the land has been co-owned for the last decade or so by Metro and a private real estate group, and was previously held by former-Rocket-turned-real-estate-all-star Hakeem Olajuwon. The land lies across N. Main St. from rail-yard-brownfield-turning-mixed-used-development Hardy Yards (and is itself a former rail yard as well).

The purchase was approved at the same meeting that okayed the acquisition of half the interior of the ring road originally built for Katy’s cancelled suburban mall project The Grand; that purchase is intended to replace the system’s Cinco Ranch outpost with something a little more roomy.

Image: University of Houston


Rail Yard Revival

11 Comment

  • Smart move. North Main is becoming a happening place.

  • It’s nice that UofH has this money to spend after mis managing their football stadium re-build so badly.

  • UofH Downtown is not U of H.

  • It most certainly is. From UH itself: “Together with UH, the universities that make up the UH System are UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown and UH-Victoria.” (http://www.uh.edu/about/uh-system/)

  • They are all part of the same system but they are separate universities. Much like how UT Austin and UT San Antonio are not the same schools. UHD mascot and students are Gators while UH mascot and students are Cougars. They have different presidents, faculty, academic programs, curriculum, etc…

  • Having attended UH, UHD and UHCL, they are all seperate entities under the UH System (not UH main itself) and have seperate budgets and agendas. UHD building a new building has no effect on UH stadium. Even if it did, STEM building > football stadium.

  • All of these UH entities are separate, but they share the same Chancellor and Board of Regents. Speaking of which, there were other real estate items discussed at that May 19 BOR meeting, including VIII.E. – “Approval is requested to delegate authority to the Chancellor to take all actions precedent for the purchase of property located in Houston’s historic Third Ward for the University of Houston System – University of Houston System”. Stay tuned.

  • So tell me again why UH people are upset about UT acquiring land here when they run competing campuses less than 6 miles apart?

  • UH and UHD are not necessarily competing institutions. In general, they serve different students.

    The Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board is the one who is mostly upset about UT purchasing that land because UT did not follow protocol by seeking the coordinating board’s approval first. UH just helped bring that fact to the spotlight. :)

  • They’re going to need to change the name of my alma mater to UH-Near Northside soon. That, or UH-Flirting with the Floodplain.

    Shady, the schools tend to attract different markets. UH-D has a lot of non-traditional students who are obtaining their degree many years after high school graduation. UH-D is also not primarily a teaching university (i.e. not a major focus on research).

  • Yes, my left hand is different than my right hand, but they’re both still attached to the same body and controlled by the same brain. There is no way that UH, at the level high enough to be making these kinds of decisions (land purchases, stadiums, etc.) pretends that they’re aren’t the same.