The Harris County Commissioners Court will vote on a $105 million renovation project Tuesday that could breathe a second life into a Houston landmark.
The project could raise the floor of the Astrodome to create an underground parking garage with approximately 1,400 spaces, allowing the current parking facilities to be converted to event space.
Developers reportedly believe the project could turn the dome into a viable event or commercial space.
At this time, it costs $170,000 a year to maintain the disused dome.
As RARE previously reported, the commissioners court approved plans last summer to hire a construction manager for the upcoming renovation.
Prior efforts to revitalize the Astrodome have failed, including a $217 million bond proposal.
However, efforts by supporters have made it harder to demolish the dome.
In January 2017, the Texas State Historical Commission granted landmark status to the Astrodome, requiring state approval to demolish or alter the building. The dome is listed as a state antiquities landmark.
Nicknamed the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Although final approval is now up to the state, local officials say the designation makes it easier to save the dome; as a historic site, tax credits can be offered to private investors willing to save it.
“This just makes it easier to preserve in the long run,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett in an interview with KPRC after the landmark status decision.
If approved Feb. 13, the project could begin as early as this year.