Skip to comments.(Olsteen) Lakewood (Church) deal gets skeptical reception (from city council on $7.5M stadium)
Posted on 03/25/2010 12:21:46 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
City Council on Wednesday gave a cool response to Mayor Annise Parker's plan to sell the former site of the Compaq Center to Lakewood Church for $7.5 million, the first hint of discord between the newly elected mayor and the 14-member council.
The numerous questions ranging from whether the 606,050-square-foot building was worth far more to why the proposal was not vetted more thoroughly threw into doubt a sale that Parker needs to close a lingering budget gap before the end of the year.
Parker said that if further vetting does not bring council around to the idea, she will have to make up the difference in additional cuts. In a memo earlier this month, she said this year's shortfall is $11.9 million and put next year's at a projected $100 million.
The mayor defended the proposed sale, noting that without it, the city would not receive any income from the property until 2034 because of how the lease deal was originally structured in 2001. She also said that a surrounding property owner and a noncompete clause with the Toyota Center would make any sale a challenge...
That is a prime location, said Councilwoman Jolanda Jones. We are acting like we are in the weak position. I actually think we are in a strong position.
...The sale would end a 30-year lease signed in 2001 by Joel Osteen, the leader and pastor of Lakewood, which has the largest congregation in the United States. The megachurch made a lump-sum $11.8 million prepayment for the lease of the building, which sits on 7 acres in the Greenway Plaza area along the Southwest Freeway...
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
(Joel Osteen's) Lakewood to buy former Compaq Center (Summit Arena in Houston) for $7.5M (Houston Chronicle ^ | March 22, 2010, 12:29PM)
Mayor Parker says that it could put us in jeopardy of violating a “non-compete” clause in the Toyota Center but we are about to spend tens of millions on a NEW soccer stadium. How about we keep our Summit stadium and use it for soccer instead of constructing another El Mercado Del Sol in East Houston?
>> How about we keep our Summit stadium
Won’t you have to wait until Lakewood’s lease expires?
Even if the purchase falls through, won’t Lakewood still have the lease for another twenty years or so?
First of all, the Summit is not large enough for a full soccer field.
How about the Astrodome then?
The Dome would work, but rehabbing the Dome may cost more than building a new stadium.
And the Texans would oppose any sporting activity at the Dome.
Ahhhh Ms Mayor this is what happens when the lump payment is spent. The City should have been forced to amortized the lump sum instead of getting their greedy hands on it.
Sums up why our city is bankrupt from funding a billion dollars in new stadium construction and we still have not learned our lesson.
The idiot masses in cities around the country have voted to build stadiums for billionaires.
In Houston it took the corrupt Ken Lay to help Mayor Bob Lanier get his needed 51% of the vote for our stadiums.
Enron wasn’t a “missed” story at the Comical. It was deliberately overlooked, he was a member of the downtown business alliance. Those turkeys ran our town for billions of taxpayer dollars in redevelopment.
LBJ bought off the Chronicle back in the 1960s as well. He held a letter of blackmail from the Chron that they would not be critical of his policies in exchange for permitting a bank merger to go through. It came out in the 1990s when his White House tapes were finally made public.
I don’t want to hear any more bashing of the late Ken Lay or Jeffrey Skilling until someone or someones go to jail for the late debacle in Washington. And until that punk Geithner has to face up to his actions as well.
I am no Osteen fan, but his church is smart to try and take advantage of the city's financial situation. Probably a dumb long term decision for the city. The proposed sale price will help for this years budget, but is no help when there is a $100 million projected shortfall next year.
They should sell it to Lakewood with the provision that if Lakewood sells it for a profit in say 15 years or less, the city will have a % share in the profits.
Maybe we could start a rumor the new stadium will really be an ICE compound.
I'd have to think about it.
Considering the current lack-of-morals climate, I am surprised someone hasn’t raised an issue about the City being involved with a church and tried to figure a way to get out of the lease. At some point in time the truth about the bad financial situation in Houston will have to out. Interesting to see how long the Chronicle can dance around having to dump some responsibility for mismanagement of funds on White and whether it will happen before the fall elections. Houston being the first major city to elect a gay mayor may be the least of its problems.
>> I am surprised someone hasnt raised an issue about the City being involved with a church and tried to figure a way to get out of the lease.
It would be VERY expensive for Houston. I think the odds of “forcing” Lakewood out are slim to none. They would have to BUY Lakewood out, and Lakewood would have to agree. Of course, with the way Government seems to be spitting on law and contracts lately, it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried to pull something more heavy-handed.
>> dump some responsibility for mismanagement of funds on White and whether it will happen before the fall elections
White is going to lose big with or without this albatross around his sorry liberal neck.
>> Houston being the first major city to elect a gay mayor may be the least of its problems.
Yeah, I sure wasn’t thrilled to see the sodomite elected, but she so far hasn’t been unreasonable, at least from my limited view from 200 miles away.
Firstly, the Astrodome should be condemned.
Secondly, you would have to cut the capacity by two thirds somehow.