METRO, once a regional mobility organization, is moving full speed ahead with its new real-estate development mission:
In its second venture into “transit-oriented development,” the Metropolitan Transit Authority is planning a four-story Park & Ride garage in northwest Harris County, to which a developer will add space for shops and restaurants.
The Metro board approved the $31.8 million project Oct. 27, along with a previously announced $105 million joint development in the space above its Texas Medical Center Transit Center.
Plans for the new Cypress Park & Ride, on a 23-acre site at U.S. 290 and Skinner, call for Metro to build the $17.5 million garage and NewQuest Properties to add $14.3 million in development, including a “town square” with 92,000 square feet of retail space and 28,000 square feet of restaurant space.
I’m sure that the residents of northwest Harris County can’t wait to make the trip to a Park & Ride garage for that down-home town-square feeling!
I really shouldn’t be skeptical, though, because as Mayor White has told the press, there’s really no arguing with “the brightest, the most qualified and experienced” experts who decide such matters.
However, friend Owen Courreges is as puzzled by METRO’s latest boondoggle as I am, Mayor White’s endorsement of rule by METRO’s real-estate experts notwithstanding.