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Houston AstroDome

The discussion has surfaced again regarding our beloved Dome and what to do with it. Current choices are: tear it down, strip it to its frame and make it green space park or kick the can down the road again.

My vote is to have it serve as part of Houston's entrepreneurial legacy and make it functional and profitable. Houston is already "Business Start-Up Capital of the World," so let's convert the dome into a core facility for just that: "the place to go when you're starting a business in Houston."

Currently all the business resource groups are scattered about throughout Houston and Harris County. You have to go one place to get registered and another for certification and another for counseling, still another for a loan, etc. Get the picture? Not very efficient, is it?

In The Dome, let's combine WiFi hot spots, areas for co-working, trendy cafes, start-up consultants, a big bank, a local bank or two, executive suite, brew pub, coffee shop, credit union, angel investors, lenders, a business incubator and technology accelerator and make another portion into extended-stay residences so out-of-towners have accommodations while starting, expanding, relocating or acquiring a business in Houston and still another part into a residency business incubator - first in the world - just as the Astrodome was in its time.

The astute "powers-that-be" realize it's our small businesses that drive our economy. Let's make it easier to get a business started in Houston than any other place in the world, eh?

"Business start-up" is an industry for Houston that brings in outside money. Let's make it efficient, convenient and effective. What's your opinion? Send me an email cdkring@servicesca.org, even if it's just an "Amen, Brother."

And, perchance, should you be a business consultant, attorney, CPA, realtor, marketing company, bookkeeper, banker, insurance underwriter, seed fund/venture capital fund administrator or any other support entity serving in-bound/start-up/emerging business clients and choose to have a presence in this vibrant entrepreneurial hub, send me that information, too, and I'll go show it to the "Dome Destiny Decision Makers." 

I sent this to the County Judge and the Harris County Commissioners. Here's the (very rapid) reply from Judge Emmett:

"Dear Mr. Kring, 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the future if the Astrodome.  To date, there have been many good suggestions floated but no one has been able to generate a viable revenue stream,  if no financially viable option is found, the Commissioners Court will have to decide the best course of action using Harris County tax dollars. 

As this process moves forward, please continue to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,
Ed Emmett
County Judge"

So, our next step in this project is gaining capital (AKA "raising money") so that the endeavor will be self-sufficient and independent of public funding, grants, gifts, donations or contributions. The concept is a round shopping mall named "Dome Cooperative" with companies that provide products, services and support to Houston's Start-Up Community: "Houston's greatest energy resource is it's entrepreneurial energy."

Here's how you/your company/organization can participate:

Save The Astrodome, click here.
Residency Incubator, click here.
Dome Cooperative Space, click here.
Anchor Tenant, click here.
For Investors, click here.

The Dome Cooperative mission does not have the approval or permission of the city, county, state, sports authority, Texans, Rodeo, etc.

Our proposal submitted to HCSCC at 11:38 AM on June 10, 2013, click here.

We're reaching out to all those in Houston who may have ideas, plans or the passion for preservation of "The Dome" for collaboration. If you are such a person (or know of someone) please send an email here or forward this link: http://www.servicesca.org/Houston_Astro_Dome.htm

Replies: "I love the idea of making the dome into a business hub. It is very forward thinking and away from the usual ideas around entertainment.  I support this and as you dig more into the details, I hope many others will also.  Debra H."

"I am absolutely awed by what you are doing to convert and preserve the Astrodome! WOW! What a concept! Hopefully you are getting many, many people behind this idea so it can go viral. Louise D."

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Reprinted Editorial ~ Houston Chronicle ~ Sunday ~ July 20, 2014
A silly plan   Dome proposal by the Rodeo and Texans reveals a boomtown short-term mentality.

    There is something uniquely Houston about tearing down a historic structure to build a memorial commemorating the history of that very structure. But that is exactly what the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Texans have suggested in their recent proposal for the future of the Astrodome.

  Harris County Judge Ed Emmett minced no words when he called it a “silly plan.”

  Those two primary tenants of NRG park pitched their $66 million idea to county commissioners two weeks ago, which involves razing the Dome and replacing it with green space, including historic markers and possible event stages. It seems like a less ambitious version of the steel-skeleton idea proposed by University of Houston architecture graduate student Ryan Slattery.  

  We’ve previously supported the idea of turning the Dome site into something resembling a “Discovery Green - South,” but only as a last resort. This proposal falls short of that standard, lacking the ambition and easy access, not to mention funding necessary to create a park that can match Discovery Green. This plan also feels far too willing to ignore the potential that continues to exist in the Eighth Wonder of the World.

  Emmett has opposed any demolition, and says that this proposal is a “nonstory.” After all, the Dome belongs to the citizens of Harris County, not a professional sports team.

  But it is hard to ignore a plan sponsored by the two largest users of the NRG complex, especially given that they’ve remained generally quiet through all the past ideas, but for their own previously proposed demolition and parking   lot plan.

  That deafening silence was long taken as evidence that the Texans and Rodeo were playing the long game, waiting for voters to grow exhausted with the whole process until they finally throw up their hands and say: Demolish the thing, already!

  Hard-working Houstonians pour years of their lives and sweat of their brows into building our city, only to see their contributions fall before the self-proclaimed progress of short-term interests. Perhaps it is an appropriate symbol of our boomtown mentality, where we drill for black gold that will be burned into nothing, used only once and then forgotten.

  Our city should have something more than a 15-minute attention span. We cannot establish a solid future if we consistently uproot our past. Houston must be a place that is willing to invest in itself — a vision that men like Roy Hofheinz once had. Reprinted Editorial ~ Houston Chronicle ~ Sunday ~ July 20, 2014

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We're Houston Proud!

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Future of the Astrodome
What lies ahead?

This page is being continually revised. Check back for updates.
Editorial by C. Dean Kring, who is solely responsible for content.
Provided as a public service by Services Cooperative Association

Past Clients. Endorsements. C. Dean Kring ~ Director of Research
THE DOME COOPERATIVE IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS, HARRIS COUNTY, THE CITY OF HOUSTON, HARRIS COUNTY-HOUSTON SPORTS AUTHORITY, HARRIS COUNTY SPORTS AND CONVENTION CORPORATION, THE HOUSTON TEXANS, OR THE HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO.  NONE OF THESE ENTITIES HAS AUTHORIZED THE DOME COOPERATIVE TO CONDUCT ANY FEASIBILITY STUDY.   THE DOME COOPERATIVE IS AN INDEPENDENT PRIVATE ENTITY HAVING ITS PRINCIPAL MISSION AS RE-PURPOSING THE DOME AS A BUSINESS HUB.  ALL COMMUNICATIONS OF THE DOME COOPERATIVE ARE TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF RE-PURPOSING THE DOME, INCLUDING SUPPORT FOR POTENTIAL MEMBER COMPANIES.  ANY DEPOSIT OR INVESTMENT SUBMITTED TO THE DOME COOPERATIVE WILL BE RECEIVED IN SUPPORT OF THAT DETERMINATION.

 

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