HBJ: Deadlines pass on Astrodome redevelopment

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Tom Kirkendall calls attention to an update from the Houston Business Journal on the grand plans to redevelop the Astrodome:

The developer endorsed by Harris County to transform the Astrodome into a 1,000-room destination hotel complex has missed two deadlines to show suitable proof of a financial partner for the $450 million project.

An August 2006 letter of intent signed by the county and Astrodome Redevelopment Corp. outlined various milestones to be met in the process.

When proof of funding did not meet the specified December 2006 deadline, the county granted an extension to March 1.

Scott Hanson, president with Astrodome Redevelopment, found a New York bank interested in backing the mammoth development. County officials were not satisfied with the commitment as presented.

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., as overseer of the Astrodome for the county, wants confirmation that the bank will finance the deal as it goes forward, contingent on certain conditions being met throughout the process.

[snip]

Hanson is confident he will be able to provide the county with a more firm commitment from his backer. He says the New York bank has asked for updates on a feasibility study and construction costs.

That work is in progress, he says, and the financing milestone will be met in a few more weeks.

Says Hanson: “It’s happening. It’s just a timing issue. Sometimes the wheels don’t turn as fast as we’d like them to.”

Like Kirkendall, we’ve been dubious about this particular project from the start, and fearful that it will turn into an expensive boondoggle. The best news may be that not much has been happening at all.

PREVIOUSLY: What to do with the Astrodome?, Why the Astrodome Hotel is a terrible idea, The demolition of the Dome?, The Astrodome hotel boondoggle, Astrodome convention center proposal creeps forward.


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