There’s this building that Harris County owns that is supposed to revert to the city if the county isn’t using it. Which it isn’t, so the city would like to know what the county’s intentions are, as they have plans of their own.
City Attorney David Feldman announced the city’s intentions in a letter Thursday to County Attorney Vince Ryan. Feldman cites a 66-year-old deed that gives the city the right to take the property.
The county acquired the land at 3540 West Dallas in a real estate swap with the city in 1955. The deal has a clause specifying that if the county ever abandons the property, it will revert to city ownership.
The county housed its juvenile detention center at the site but has not used the site since it opened a new Juvenile Justice Center in 2006.
Feldman sent the letter the same day that Mayor Annise Parker estimated the city may have to lay off more than 2,300 employees to close a $130 million budget gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“We work in a cooperative manner with the county,” Parker said. “We’re not trying to back them into a corner. We just need a resolution. If they have a plan and a timeline, all they have to do is tell us and we’ll back off. But if they don’t have a plan — and we’re not aware of any — or a timeline for developing a use for that facility, this is a tough budget; they should understand that. They’re in tough budget times, too.”
The mayor’s office declined to identify the buyer and purchase price.
Here’s a Google map of the location; it’s a little west of where Regent Square will someday be. The county is still figuring out what if anything it’s doing with the site, so the city will have to wait a little longer.