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How Much Does Rice University Own?


IronTiger

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I read recently on Swamplot that Rice actually owns the land in Rice Village. Is this true? I know that Rice owns other buildings around Houston (including Midtown's Sears), but does Rice's contiguous land go much west of Greenbriar?

 

Rice University does not own the Midtown Sears.  Sears owns the Midtown Sears.

Edited by Houston19514
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HCAD lists Sears as the owner as far back as 1984. Interestingly, the land is valued at $5.175M but the building only at $42k. I expected the land value to be high, but wonder how they got a value of only $42k on a 200k sqft building that's currently in use (ie. not derelict).

Edited by august948
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HCAD lists Sears as the owner as far back as 1984. Interestingly, the land is valued at $5.175M but the building only at $42k. I expected the land value to be high, but wonder how they got a value of only $42k on a 200k sqft building that's currently in use (ie. not derelict).

 

Just because a building is in use does not mean either (1) that it is not derelict (to use your words) or (2) that it has monetary value apart from the value of the land.  This is why we see buildings, including occupied houses, sold for lot value.

Edited by Houston19514
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I don't see much evidence of extensive land ownership in the Village, but Rice does own the parking lot across the street from the bus station: http://www.hcad.org/records/details.asp?crypt=%94%9A%B0%94%BFg%84%8D%81%7Bnd%8El%87tXtYW%9E%99%A2%D3%89%95%C2e%7CU%8A%7F%86%C0%AB%A8%AD%86%5E&bld=1&tab=3

 

And, Rice does own some property on University. Searches in HCAD for Rice Univ, William Marsh, and other combinations return the best results.

 

Oh for a free subscription to one of the title company databases...

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In regards to Rice and Sears, I read that's one of the reasons why the building isn't maintained all that well, and why Sears still sticks around. I also may have first read about it on HAIF.

 

The reason it's plausible that Rice owns Rice Village is Stanford and Texas A&M do similar things--A&M owns the land out to the airport (and operates it), owns a lot of acreage to the north, and even leased out a chunk of land to Midway Cos. to develop as mixed-use.

 

Stanford not only has a campus, but a full research park, an upscale mall (operated by Stanford until several years ago), medical center, and scads of residential (some converted) buildings.

 

Therefore, Rice owning more than just their relatively small campus is not out of the question, especially considering that Houston was far more rural when it was founded.

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Yeah, Rice owns quite a bit and maybe some under shell companies like mentioned above - also there isn't a standard name so there's Rice, William Marsh, WM, and whatever other iterations when doing name searches in HCAD (and also the infamous "zero" addresses when doing address searches).

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Just because a building is in use does not mean either (1) that it is not derelict (to use your words) or (2) that it has monetary value apart from the value of the land.  This is why we see buildings, including occupied houses, sold for lot value.

 

I think Ross answered that question.  The HCAD value for the building is just a plug number. It's what's left over after they assign a value to the land.

 

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In regards to Rice and Sears, I read that's one of the reasons why the building isn't maintained all that well, and why Sears still sticks around. I also may have first read about it on HAIF.

 

The reason it's plausible that Rice owns Rice Village is Stanford and Texas A&M do similar things--A&M owns the land out to the airport (and operates it), owns a lot of acreage to the north, and even leased out a chunk of land to Midway Cos. to develop as mixed-use.

 

Stanford not only has a campus, but a full research park, an upscale mall (operated by Stanford until several years ago), medical center, and scads of residential (some converted) buildings.

 

Therefore, Rice owning more than just their relatively small campus is not out of the question, especially considering that Houston was far more rural when it was founded.

 

In a similar, local, vein, HBU either owns or intends to buy the land between it's campus and 59 (now a shopping center) for eventual expansion of the campus and possibly a football stadium.

 

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They may own the land through holding/shell companies.

 

 

That is always possible.  But a quick look at HCAD's records of ownership of University Blvd property near Rice University shows that Rice U owns 6 parcels (in its own name, not through holding/shell companies).   There are very few others that are candidates as possible holding/shell companies.  It's pretty clear that Rice U does not own a lot of the houses on University Blvd.  The vast majority are owned by named individuals.  Others are owned by identifiable (non-Rice U entities).

 

Once you get into the Village there are a few properties that are owned by entities that might be Rice holding/shell companies, but in most instances, there is plenty of reason to think it is not the case.

 

This is looking more and more like an urban legend.

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If it were common knowledge that Rice owned the Rice Village properties, why would they bother to hide it with shell companies? Claims call for evidence. Those who believe that Rice owns them should post their evidence, not rumors they heard.

 

So they can negotiate a better price when they buy.  If an owner knows Rice is buying, they will be more intransigent on price.

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In a similar, local, vein, HBU either owns or intends to buy the land between it's campus and 59 (now a shopping center) for eventual expansion of the campus and possibly a football stadium.

 

 

HBU does own all that land between Memorial Hermann and Fondren along 59, as well as quite a few homes along Fondren under Beechnut Street Inc. The football stadium is at Beechnut and Fondren adjacent to the CVS on the "back" side of campus.

 

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HBU does own all that land between Memorial Hermann and Fondren along 59, as well as quite a few homes along Fondren under Beechnut Street Inc. The football stadium is at Beechnut and Fondren adjacent to the CVS on the "back" side of campus.

 

 

Have they started building a stadium already?  I know that area was the athletic fields as of about 2 years ago.  I thought they might put the stadium on 59 to increase visibility.

 

Edited by august948
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Wow.  That's the first time I've seen it laid out like that.  I know they were planning to boost enrollment, and football was part of that, but it looks like they plan on demolishing all of the original buildings and building new.

 

 

 

 

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Wow. That's the first time I've seen it laid out like that. I know they were planning to boost enrollment, and football was part of that, but it looks like they plan on demolishing all of the original buildings and building new.

Not necessarily. In that plan, I see several retained buildings. It even looks like they'll be keeping that Burger King.

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Not necessarily. In that plan, I see several retained buildings. It even looks like they'll be keeping that Burger King.

The school related buildings retained on the plan are all of recent construction. Looks like they plan to replace all of the original buildings. Don't know about the burger king. I'd bet it gets remodeled at least.

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  • 3 months later...

I suspect that Weingarten is better positioned than Rice to buy property in the Village. I need to get out my Access database with the HCAD data and do some analysis on property ownership in that area.

See the link regarding Rice's ownership of part of the village:

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Rice-to-take-control-of-Village-Arcade-5236558.php

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  • 2 months later...
  • Highrise Tower changed the title to How Much Does Rice University Own?

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