City officials are discussing a possible sale of the former basketball stadium now occupied by the nation’s largest megachurch, reports the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff. When Lakewood Church took over the Compaq Center (formerly the Houston Summit) from the city in 2001, the institution prepayed the entire $12 million rent amount of the 30-year lease, and spent considerably more than that on renovations. The city won’t see any more income from the property for 22 years. According to the agreement, Lakewood has the option of extending its lease for a second 30-year period, for $22.6 million.
How much could the city get for the little church by the Southwest Freeway?
David Lewis, CEO of Lewis Realty Advisors, said the value of the city’s interest in the property is in the $8 million range.
The timing of the city’s wish to sell its properties isn’t ideal.
The economic downturn has led to a widespread credit crunch and declining property values.
More commercial real estate owners are filing for bankruptcy protection or losing properties to their lenders.
Still, the city believes now could be a good a time to try to unload real estate.
In October 2008, the city pulled a number of properties it had for sale off the market because of weak bids.
A year later, however, a property auction yielded better results.
“Unless someone can convince me that this market is going to turn around any time soon, we think that now is as good a time as we may have to make some of these sales,” [city real estate salesperson Bob] Christy said.
If you’re looking for a deal of your own, the city doesn’t have any more churches or stadiums available — but might you be interested in a library or two?. Here’s the Chronicle‘s list of city properties for sale:
- Lakewood may buy former Compaq Center [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: Joel Osteen on Real Estate: Enlarge Your House by Enlarging Your Vision
Photo of Lakewood Church, 3700 Southwest Fwy.: viajero28