Here's the Article in the Houston Chronicle:
No one showed up at last week's auction to sell the historic Hogan-Allnoch building, which is now likely to become a parking lot.
It was at least third time that's happened, said Robert Gaskins, general manager for Harris County's Right of Way Division.
This time around, the county, which has owned the four-story, 50,000-square-foot building at 1319 Texas since the early 1990s, was asking $2.4 million for the property, based on an independent appraisal.
There had been two previous auctions where the minimum bids were set at $3.25 million and then $1.98 million.
The building would cost $150,000 to demolish and as much as $5 million to restore, according to estimates.
The former dry goods store that dates back to 1923 has foundation damage and other structural problems, Gaskins said.
Before the auctions, Harris County Commissioners Court wanted to tear it down and use the land as a parking lot, but preservationists persuaded it to give someone a chance to buy it.
Here's Tom Feagins email to the author:
It is all about money and taxes and this time the city is correct.
The highest and best use for the property would be to tear it down and put in a pay parking lot. The theory that parking lots are ugly by preservationists is not in the best interest of downtown. to me parking lots are not ugly. Parking lots help pay for property taxes while an empty abandoned building generates no cash flow that can be used to pay for property taxes.The public prefers a parking lot to a parking garage for security and other reasons.
The process of recycling real estate by converting unoccupied downtown buildings into pay parking lots has been a blessing for Houston for many years. Cities that don't allow this "recycling process" to occur become blighted in my view. Everyone should watch "Parking Wars" on TV and they would see the effects on Philadelphia where every building is a "historical monument" or so it seems.
Couldn't have said it better myself. We have a article in the March issue of PT on how surface lots can be beautiful. Check it out.