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March 24, 2010
Dynamo stadium lurches fitfully ahead
The slow-moving Houston Dynamo stadium project could be approved in a matter of weeks:
The city council is expected to vote March 31 and county commissioners April 13. Construction could begin Oct. 1 and the stadium could be ready for 2012. The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority's board is expected to vote Thursday on whether to play a central role in managing the deal and overseeing the project.
In other news, the Houston Dynamo stadium project won't be resolved until the fall:
At a Houston City Council committee meeting Tuesday morning, the city's Chief Development Officer Andy Icken outlined a handful of things that need to happen by September for the deal to get done.
"It's an interlocal agreement between the city, the county and the Sports Authority," Icken told the Houston Business Journal. "It's not a done deal."
Huh? What appears to have happened here is that the council committee meeting yesterday kicked around a bunch of ideas, most of them already plenty pre-kicked — like a tax increment financing district through which the county would kick back $10 million in tax money to the project — but didn't actually decide anything. And those votes coming up are just to keep the process moving, not give final approval.
One curious component of the deal: According to county community services director David Turkel, the county would also pay $7.5 million to become a "joint owner" of the stadium site. Whether this means the county would get some revenues from the stadium isn't clear; given that one of Icken's "handful of things" is for the Dynamo to actually agree on a lease to the place, it's likely not clear to them yet, either.