The City of Houston sold the old Compaq Center to Lakewood Church on Wednesday for $7.5 million. The deal came nine years after Lakewood signed a 30-year lease on the building with the city.
Mayor Annise Parker said the sale was necessary to help close a gap in the city budget.
Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen said he was thrilled that the Church will now own the building.
"God came through... He is still in control," said Osteen.
The Houston City Council voted to sell the former home of the Houston Rockets to Lakewood Church.
The original 30-year lease agreement with the church was passed by the council in 2001.
Under the sale agreement, Lakewood Church will pay $7.5 million for the seven acres of land and the arena building located on the Southwest Freeway.
As part of its lease with the city, Lakewood had an option in 2031 to extend the lease by an additional 30 years, paying over $750,000 per year.
The facility was built in 1975 as a basketball arena for the Rockets.
Councilman Al Hoang said he cast a decisive vote in the deal, and although the had to be done, he said he’s not happy about it.
"Am I satisfied with this deal? No. Do I think we've been put in a bind? Yes," said Hoang in a press release. "If we don't sell now, we could have another Astrodome dilemma in our hands in 60 years when the lease is up -- not being able to find a buyer of a decaying facility which by then will be almost a century old."