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Why not a university?

Tory Gattis has an interesting suggestion for that 136 acre tract of land east of downtown.

This parcel of land could be the last opportunity for Houston to add a major college campus to the city.  We should consider something similar to what NYC just did with Roosevelt Island, where after a long evaluation process they awarded it to Cornell for a technology campus.  That is likely to eventually be a huge economic development boon for New York.  Of course the City of Houston doesn’t own the land, but it could be a facilitator (along with the GHP) to open discussions with the landowner and various universities to explore interest.

There are a lot of potential options.

He lays out a number of possibilities, which I encourage you to examine. I have no idea how feasible any of this is, but it’s worth thinking about. Tory’s right that there may not be another opportunity for a university campus to be built inside the city limits. Such a development would also be a good fit for a streetcar extension when and if one gets built. I still lean towards something mixed use, but I could be persuaded otherwise. What do you think?

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4 Comments

  1. C says:

    This city needs another theme park and since six flags just had 75 acres when they had Astroworld, this might be ideal for somebody because of close to double Astroworld’s size.

  2. Gary says:

    I love the idea of a new university (or consortium of existing schools). Space is running out for such a big concept.

  3. Tory says:

    I think a theme park would function perfectly fine in the outer suburbs. In fact, most theme parks are located that way. A big part of what killed Astroworld was that the land was too valuable. If it had been way outside the Beltway, we might still have it today.

    On the other hand, universities thrive close in the center of town where the students want to be.

  4. I am a proponent of the mixed-use mid-rise development as proposed by Mr. Brown. However, the college/university option is just as intriguing. Whether an expansion of an existing schools such as UH, UHD (should be renamed Houston State Unviversity), Rice, or TSU, or a technology and cultural driven initiative such as the Bloomberg sponsored development on Roosevelt Island, this is a great concept and can lead to further development and investment.

    Technology companies jumped at the chance to take part in the technology project as means to secure future talent pools. NYU lost its bid but has moved forward with its own technology initiative in Brooklyn. Were the City to decide to pursue establishment of a new College/University, expansion of an existing school or system, it would serve to better the overall value of Houston’s citizenry.

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