The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has roped itself a nice piece of land. It's entered an agreement to buy half of the Astroworld property.
"We've been trying to buy this land for years," says HLSR chief operating office Leroy Shafer.
The HLSR got its shot at buying it two weeks ago. It will pay roughly $43 million for 48 acres. That's half of the old Astroworld grounds. The property will have access to the 610 Loop, Kirby Drive, West Bellfort Avenue and Fannin Street. It includes the area with the pedestrian overpass.
HLSR plans to use it for parking, storage and maybe exhibitor space. It's unimproved now, but that might change. The organization can always turn around and sell it if they need to.
"We don't know where we will be in fifteen or twenty years," says Shafer. "But we need more property. It will allow us to control what gets built over there. That is the front door to Reliant Park. We're going to be here for a long time."
The deal isn't finalized yet, but Shafer says that could happen by the end of the year. He says this had nothing to do with the city designating the area a TIRZ. This was in the works long before that.
"At this point, we have a purchase agreement in place," said Shafer. "We're moving toward execution and closing."
HLSR will purchase the land from MHB Asset LP, a company based in Fort Worth.
"Strategically, I think it's an extremely big deal," said Leroy Shafer, chief operating officer for HLSR. "It allows us, number one, it's a long-term investment for us. It's a good buy. We got charitable considerations from the seller on this, so it was a good purchase."
The acquisition will allow the HLSR to address operating opportunities related to spectator parking and the possible relocation of support personnel, support vehicles, and logistical operations.
"It now represents a quarter of our investment portfolio," said Shafer, who in April 2013 will have worked with HLSR for four decades.
The purchase price of the land, after charitable considerations by the seller, totals $42,863,040, an average price of $20.50 per square foot.