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Future Of The Astrodome

What do you think should happen to the astrodome?  

168 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think should happen to the astrodome?

    • luxurey hotel
      14
    • demolation
      51
    • mini city
      35
    • historical landmark
      67


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Ummmm.....maybe you might want to read the past few pages of the thread :P

 

:blush: Of course someone would have already suggested that - that's what I get for jumping in on the end of a thread without doing the required reading

 

Some fascinating gems just from a history stand point since I wasn't in Houston when the thread started - one comment said something about an urban development at Fannin South?

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Read an article talking about demolishing both the Dome and Reliant in about 7-8 years. One of the commentators suggested rebuilding the complex as a "new Astrodome" for the Texans and the Rodeo, with as many bells and whistles as the original had.

 

While it seems silly to demolish Reliant after only 20 years, that seems to be the trend these things are going nowadays. The above is a demolition plan that I would support. If Yankee Stadium can be torn down for a similar replacement, so can the Dome.

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Read an article talking about demolishing both the Dome and Reliant in about 7-8 years. One of the commentators suggested rebuilding the complex as a "new Astrodome" for the Texans and the Rodeo, with as many bells and whistles as the original had.

 

While it seems silly to demolish Reliant after only 20 years, that seems to be the trend these things are going nowadays. The above is a demolition plan that I would support. If Yankee Stadium can be torn down for a similar replacement, so can the Dome.

 

Do you have a link to the article?  I'd love to see it.

 

It's not surprising at all that the owners would start pushing to replace Reliant after 20 years.  That's pretty much standard operating procedure nowadays (ask the folks in St Louis, if you don't believe me).  

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If they ever replace NRG Stadium, I hope the place it downtown and make it more like an indoor version of the Seattle Seahawks stadium. I love the way that stadium frames Seattle's skyline between the stands - kind of like what's going on at UH's new stadium but better.

BTW, the Astrodome is not like Yankee Stadium. Sure, they played baseball in both of them and people loved them a long time ago, but that's where it ends. The Astrodome was much more than a stadium.

• It revolutionized all professional sports.

• It revolutionized modern architecture.

• It was a globally recognized icon (in it's day) and could be again in the future.

• It is the closest thing Houston has to a culturally significant historical landmark.

• It is a vast indoor space that can be repurposed into anything

I hate the Yankees as much as the next guy, but i can't quite fathom how a cultural landmark is somewhat beneath a giant monolith to a long-dead concrete age.

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I'm tired of paying for stadiums so a team can become more rich, while I struggle to find the game being televised on a channel I have access to.

 

I know this isn't an issue today with football, as it is televised on broadcast channels, but with the baseball and basketball stadium, it should be written into any future deals that if there is going to be funding provided by county residents that the games be televised on local broadcast channels. Otherwise, they can pay for the stadium themselves.

 

As for the dome, if it gets far enough down the road and there's a question of spending 200 million in tax money to renovate the dome or 200 million in tax money to build a park over the 45/59/288 freeway canyon near downtown, I'd see the dome razed in a second and the park be built over the freeway canyon.

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I'm tired of paying for stadiums so a team can become more rich, while I struggle to find the game being televised on a channel I have access to.

 

I know this isn't an issue today with football, as it is televised on broadcast channels, but with the baseball and basketball stadium, it should be written into any future deals that if there is going to be funding provided by county residents that the games be televised on local broadcast channels. Otherwise, they can pay for the stadium themselves.

 

As for the dome, if it gets far enough down the road and there's a question of spending 200 million in tax money to renovate the dome or 200 million in tax money to build a park over the 45/59/288 freeway canyon near downtown, I'd see the dome razed in a second and the park be built over the freeway canyon.

 

Maybe you could bring down the emotional level a bit? When did this get to the point where we are talking about sports teams? Unless the sports team is going to be made up of park rangers working at the dome :P

 

1. It isn't a conincendence that the timing of the announcement of the I-45 reroute also came just slightly after the recent change of US59 to I-69. Both of these events are directly connected. The transition of US59 to I-69 means that the highway will now not only have access to more state funding but also federal funding. Reroutes and highway expansions are not ever put up for a vote for a very good reason. We would have zero tollways if this was the case. Not to mention the recent victory for the proposition to reroute more funding to highway projects means that the public was willing to do whatever it takes to fix highways. The amount reallocated was somewhere in the tune of $3 billion! To say they have enough funding for this sort of work is a bit of an understatement. The only power the public has in these matters anyway is input into the design of the freeway and concerns about connections...thats it. With all that being said this means that any money which will be dedicated to this reroute is coming from an entirely different revenue stream and bank account.

 

This leads into

 

2. The logic of this statement assumes that all funding for every single project in every single department at every single scale is directly tied to one revenue stream or even one primary account. I'm certainly not an expert, but I think its reasonable to assume that this isn't how things work. I mean look at the projects which Houston has not only proposed but is moving forward with. We are talking about 100's of millions of dollars! You have all these different bayou beautification projects, improvements to downtown, expansion of lightrail, master plan of Memorial Park, Hermann Park renovations (notice the pattern when it comes to parks!), etc... Btw the only reason why past efforts to renovate the dome where put to a vote was because the dome wasn't owned by the city, but by Harris County which in order to use public tax money would need approval from those very citizens who live in said county. This project is also going to be a private/public partnership meaning it will get a substantial amount of money from other sources besides taxes. I think the best course of action is that the Dome should be handed over to the City of Houston as Harris County hasn't really been a good owner of the stadium because they don't have the proper funds to maintain it.

 

In conclusion, city projects don't work on a docket type system where we can't work on one until it comes up. Cities can work on multiple projects at once and they won't tie funding for one project with the other (who would even do this? That person would be insane, or really sucks at creating a budget!). Both projects can even be worked on at the same time while using different revenue sources. I also simply take issue with the motivation for your argument because you are simply substituting the hard choice with an easier choice for your mind replacing one which is governed by logic to one which is governed by emotion. Surely you can do better than that dude!

Edited by Luminare

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Sorry, I didn't make it clear, but I was responding to ADCS post of 22 April and rebuilding reliant. It wasn't so much a direct response, but more "why do I have to keep paying for these boondogles?" for me, when the soccer stadium was built using private funding (outside of the money used for infrastructure enhancement), that's when I turned a corner on spending tax dollars for sports teams. anyway, maybe not really relevant to this thread 100%, but I tried to bring it back around to 'dome discussion...

 

Regarding funding for the I45 redo, it was stated in the I45 proposal that the park over 45/59/288 would be funded separately, not by state/fed taxes, which means it will probably come down to city money. Considering we have to vote for every other big budget item, why would this park be any different?

 

So that's why I said what I did, and if I'm given a choice of saving the dome at 200 million from local taxes, or building a park over the freeway canyon for 200 million from local taxes, I'll vote down the dome and up the park.

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Soooooo what's up with Ed Emmett and his Germany trip making all three local news broadcasts?

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I think this is more dealing with how to finance the project rather than a completely new deal. I'm not completely sure.

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Based on the views in the Arabella drone video, this is looking a lot better after power washing and repainting. Can anyone confirm?

 

Yes, it looks a lot better after the power washing and painting.

 

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So are we expecting an answer soon? Super Bowl is getting closer...

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So are we expecting an answer soon? Super Bowl is getting closer...

 

I don't think the Super Bowl is very relevant to the future of the Astrodome.  I don't think anyone expects anything to be done in time for the Super Bowl.

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County to Conside Under-the-Dome Options

 

A dozen Astrodome enthusiasts from business and government have been meeting over the past year to hash out a plan for converting the aging landmark into an indoor park.

 

As those discussions continue, Harris County Commissioners Court will vote Tuesday on one piece of the Astrodome revival that needs to happen whether or not the park plan is achieved, according to County Judge Ed Emmett.

Commissioners will consider seeking an internal cost assessment for building two floors of underground parking, or a large underground storage facility, beneath the ground floor of the Astrodome.

In July, Emmett proposed establishing a philanthropic conservancy - akin to the ones that developed Discovery Green and Hermann Park, two of Houston's most popular destinations - to fund an indoor park and, eventually, six floors of retail space above the ground level.

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Underground storage facility? This guy is nuts. They really don't know what to do with the Dome and Ed Emmett is to prideful to admit it.Shame on him.

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Underground storage facility? This guy is nuts. They really don't know what to do with the Dome and Ed Emmett is to prideful to admit it.Shame on him.

 

I don't see why this is so crazy.  It seems that they are going to want to raise the floor up, regardless, so might as well make it useful.  If you want to bulldoze the whole thing and create yet more acres and acres of parking you are probably on the wrong forum

 

Currently the HLSR stores all sorts of portable buildings and whatever else on the former Astroworld site.  As aesthetically pleasing as that is from 610, I'd certainly prefer them to store that crap somewhere hidden away (if that is indeed the intent).  An underground parking garage would be nice but there is obviously no shortage of parking around NRG

 

If Emmett's plan is to introduce modestly incremental uses for the dome, at low (?) cost, then I'm all for it.  Start with parking/storage/whatever, which gives a more useful floor space for other events.  I don't see any demand for 6 floors of retail at that spot but I don't think it would take much to at least improve the appearance of the dome.  I'll take a powerwashed dome over another parking lot any day

 

Edit:

 

I just had to add this pic - yep, this is Kirby and 610, not some shot of the Gatorfest (no offense, I had fun there) or any other festival aftermath, this is seriously what it looks like all of the time.  UT is paying $200 million for 300 acres of land less prime than this.  I don't know what's more irritating, the fact that HLSR has so much money that they can use this land to just throw their extra crap, or that they have made absolutely no attempt (through, I dunno, trees, vines, shrubbery, anything) to hide this mess:

 

WbL2bxq.png

 

Edited by OkieEric
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Six levels of retail?  There's absolutely no way that makes sense in this location.  Where do they see the demand for that much retail inside the Astrodome?  These guys are smoking their own dope, as the expression goes.

 

I disagree. Creating a mall, with a several acre indoor recreational park, including underground parking, inside a historical landmark, built in a densifying, high tourist area next to a mass transit line seems like a fantastic idea to me. 

 

Perhaps this will be the impetus to de-parking lot the NRG complex and create parking garages and hotels. No one wants to stay in a hotel surrounded by a sea of parking lots, but provide a CityWalk type of shopping experience and suddenly you have a tourist magnet on your hands.

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Six levels of retail?  There's absolutely no way that makes sense in this location.  Where do they see the demand for that much retail inside the Astrodome?  These guys are smoking their own dope, as the expression goes.

 

The better question is "what are you smoking?", to be taking anything in the Chronicle at face value.  As far as I can tell, there is no plan for "six levels of retail."

 

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I suggest a laser show on the weekends at the dome, like the one that is shown on stone mountain in georgia.  I also suggest a New Year's countdown using a rocket to bring in the new year with the largest party in the metro inside. The rocket can be on top of the dome and paid admission to enter can help it bring in revenue.  

Should i forward this ideal on?

Edited by uscats35
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Build something like the french quarters on the astroworld properties and make astrodome the proposed park and BOOM!     ...............a instant hit!!

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I think for now, the plan to turn this into an underground parking garage is a great idea. 

 

It it keeps the Dome upright, functional, buys time for a bigger plan and (hopefully) will turn a profit. All while not taxing local residents - although I wish the tax plan they have would expire once it's not needed anymore.

 

Pretty much all the pie in the sky ideas are still feasible with this garage plan.

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COMMISSIONERS COURT PRESERVES ASTRODOME;
AUTHORIZES MAJOR REVITALIZATION PROJECT
Court Members Unanimously Approve $105 Million Plan
To Raise Floor, Add Parking and Save Iconic Structure

Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously today to preserve and revitalize one of the most famous buildings in the United States, agreeing on a $105 million plan to raise the Astrodome floor, provide two levels of underground parking and convert the building's 550,000 square feet into useable public space.

Court members unanimously authorized the Office of the County Engineer to spend $10.5 million on the plan's initial engineering and architectural phase.

The vote was a landmark step in preserving the Astrodome, the first ever indoor baseball stadium and home to some of the nation's most memorable sports and entertainment events. The next step will be to present the plan to the Texas Historical Commission, which must approve any substantive alterations to the 51-year-old county-owned structure.

Under the plan approved today, the county will spend $105 million to raise the Astrodome floor 30 feet to ground level and install 1,400 underground parking spaces. Numerous studies and recommendations have shown that elevating the floor to ground level vastly improves accessibility and the ability to redevelop and use the Dome's interior, and the increased parking will generate more revenue for that redevelopment.

The county will spend a maximum of $35 million from the general fund on the development. The remaining $70 million will come from hotel occupancy tax and parking revenue. The taxpayers' share may be lowered even further through tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) and lease revenue, as well as historical tax credits - meaning their cost to save the Astrodome would be even less than the $35 million estimated demolition cost.

"The Astrodome's days of sitting idle and abandoned are over," said County Judge Ed Emmett. "Instead, Harris County's most recognized building will again be proud and useful - as host to thousands of area residents attending a variety of business and community events. Hundreds of people worked very hard to see that happen, and I'm proud that this day has finally arrived."

 

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I think this is a no brainier. Parking underneath made sense no matter the plan.

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7 hours ago, lockmat said:

I think this is a no brainier. Parking underneath made sense no matter the plan.

 

Except the crazy idea to turn it into a giant fish tank

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It's not really clear to me what the modifications entail.  Will they be ripping out the seating?  It did say they want to retain the outer concourse.

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Its at least a good first step! Better than nothing. It buys more time for further development of ideas for the future. I still think an indoor park would be awesome. I wonder if they are still proposing that. Even if they are going to propose that idea, raising the floor to ground level is a must.

 

With that being said though it seems we are carrying on the tradition of turning old buildings into parking garages -.- Some things never change.

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when do we move all astrodome related topics from the 'sports and stadia' sub-forum to the 'parking lots and parking garages' sub-forum?

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4 hours ago, Luminare said:

Its at least a good first step! Better than nothing. It buys more time for further development of ideas for the future. I still think an indoor park would be awesome. I wonder if they are still proposing that. Even if they are going to propose that idea, raising the floor to ground level is a must.

 

With that being said though it seems we are carrying on the tradition of turning old buildings into parking garages -.- Some things never change.

 

What old buildings have we turned into parking garages?  I can think of one and part of another.  Hardly a tradition.

Edited by Houston19514

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10 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

What old buildings have we turned into parking garages?  I can think of one and part of another.  Hardly a tradition.

The old Sakowitz on Main and 919 Milam? Yeah I'm stumped otherwise.

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On 9/28/2016 at 7:54 AM, Subdude said:

It's not really clear to me what the modifications entail.  Will they be ripping out the seating?  It did say they want to retain the outer concourse.

I thought they already ripped out all the seating and auctioned it off

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On 9/29/2016 at 2:59 PM, cspwal said:

I thought they already ripped out all the seating and auctioned it off

 

When they had the open house last year, quite a few of the seats in the top-level nosebleed sections were still in place. Everything else on the levels below that had been removed. 

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1 hour ago, mkultra25 said:

 

When they had the open house last year, quite a few of the seats in the top-level nosebleed sections were still in place. Everything else on the levels below that had been removed. 

 

I think they've sold another batch of seats since the open house.

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20 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

I think they've sold another batch of seats since the open house.

 

Yeah, they did. I'm not sure if they sold all of the seats that have been pulled to date, or if they held some back for yet another sale. I expect they'll have another one eventually as I can't see them leaving the remaining seats in place, and there's clearly been a lot of interest every time they've offered some.

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New bill could could hinder Astrodome plans

 

A planned bill in the Texas legislature could have serious implications on plans to redevelop the Astrodome.



 

State Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston, plans to propose a bill next week that would require Harris County voters to approve a county project to raise the floor of the Astrodome to install parking, the Houston Chronicle reports.

 

Harris County voters previously shot down a $217 million plan to renovate the Astrodome. However, it was recently given a State Antiquities Landmark designation, something that has been in the works since 2014.

 

Whitmire's argument is that because Harris County voters have already struck down plans to renovate the Dome, voter approval should be required for any new construction, the Chronicle reports.

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