Urban Land Institute Unveils Vision for NRG Astrodome

The future of Houston’s NRG Astrodome remains unclear, but strides are being made towards the repositioning of the Astrodome as a multi-use park. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released a report that argues for the conversion of the stadium into a multi-use park that would enhance the quality of life for residents and serve as a tourist attraction.

The Houston Astrodome

The future of Houston’s NRG Astrodome remains unclear, but strides are being made toward the repositioning the stadium as a multi-use park.  The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released a report that argues for the conversion to enhance the quality of life for residents and serve as a tourist attraction.

Dubbed The Astrodome. Harris County Texas: A Vision for a Repurposed Icon, the report’s recommendations are as follows:

  • To recognize the historic importance of the Astrodome and to create a vision that rehabilitates the dome and NRG Park.
  • To redevelop the Astrodome as a multi-use facility.
  • To increase parking by 1,500 additional spaces.
  • To create a new, multi-purpose ground floor.
  • To create a new outdoor public space or a live oak allée from the light-rail station to the east entrance of the stadium.
  • To develop outdoor covered pavilions along the allée.

ULI’s report also cautioned about the complexity of such a conversion and advised Harris County to adopt “a framework of guiding principles” that would ensure a successful conversion. The principles emphasize that the Astrodome should be rehabilitated as a space accessible by bike, car and train; that the dome’s historic and architectural importance should be actively respected; and that, upon completion, the dome should be a space for arts, education, technology, innovation and history.

As Commercial Property Executive reported in August 2014, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett made a similar proposal—to reposition the dome as the world’s largest indoor park and recreation center. “Rather than try to convert the Dome into something it was never intended to be, I think it is time to look back to the original vision of Judge Hofheinz,” Emmett said last year. “That vision was to provide a place for traditional outdoor activities in a climate-controlled space. A space like none other in the world.”

Image courtesy of Randall Pugh via Flickr.