More Talk But No Commitment
by: Pat Hernandez, February 9, 2010 10:02:00 pm
The Houston Dynamo has struck a deal with the city in which the team would pay 60-million of the 80-million dollar cost of the stadium on 12-acres of land east of downtown not far from Minute Maid Park. But the county has yet to commit on its involvement.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett:
"The city and the county are being asked to provide infrastructure to serve that stadium, which would be done for a shopping center or any number of projects. But the details are still being discussed and still being worked out as to what infrastructure, and how much and how its funded, and whether or not there's a tax increment reinvestment zone created to then divert the property tax from those improvements into other uses, and that's all up in the air."
Diane Schenke is president of the Greater East End Management District. She says she felt it was important that they let Commissioners Court know what the stadium means to the East End.
"Yes, and I think of course, the precipitating factor is that, Oliver Luck and the Dynamos are looking at an alternate location now, and we would like to move this on up the schedule of priorities so that it stays here in the East End."
Should the Dynamo consider a pitch to build a stadium on private land near the Galleria, Houston Mayor Annise Parker has said the city would consider other uses for the 12-acres, like a crime lab or a joint city-county inmate processing facility. Sylvia Medina directs economic development for the East End Chamber of Commerce. She thinks that option would go against what is already established in the area.
"All that private investment with Discovery Park, the pavilions, if you build a public facility such as a jail or a crime lab, its gonna stop all that natural progression of economic development, and our community in the east end would actually suffer as a result of it."
County Judge Emmett wished he could say more.
"All I can say is the discussions are going on between the county and the city, and in light of this number of people showing up this morning, we need to sit down with our community services department to hear where those negotiations stand."
The Dynamo brass says building a stadium at another location other than the East End is preliminary.