University of Texas System ready to sell 300-acre Houston property

The University of Texas System is preparing to seek potential buyers or developer-buyers of approximately 300 acres of undeveloped land in south central Houston.

The UT System today issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the land, which is located less than three miles from the Texas Medical Center. The vacant property surrounds the intersection of Buffalo Speedway and Willowbend Boulevard, south of Loop 610.

The RFQ asks for potential buyers to purchase all or a significant portion of the property. Alternatively, developers would need to provide a development concept, extend infrastructure, and then buy tracts constituting all or significant portions of the property. 

The UT System Board of Regents authorized the purchase of the land in November 2015. Chancellor William H. McRaven convened a task force of Houston education, civic and business leaders to study and propose best uses of the land to increase research and collaboration opportunities in Houston, but before accepting the task force’s final recommendations, McRaven announced that the UT System would cease efforts to utilize the land.

Following that announcement, Board Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker appointed a Regents’ task force to make recommendations on how best to divest the land. The RFQ was prepared at the direction of the task force, chaired by Regents’ Vice Chairman and Houstonian Jeffery Hildebrand.

The Board of Regents has not authorized any building or programs on the property and ultimately expects to sell all of the land. Its goal is to maximize the financial value of the land to benefit the UT System and its institutions. 

The UT System encourages all interested parties to consider responding through the RFQ process by 5 p.m. on May 21, 2018. After reviewing these submissions, the UT System will issue a Request for Proposals to a select group of these respondents that meet qualifications. The UT System hopes to then enter into agreements with one or more respondents for the sale or the development and sale of the property. 

The UT System maintains a significant physical presence and investment in Houston through the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and UTHealth Houston, in addition to hosting numerous academic and collaborative programs in the city. MD Anderson and UTHealth combined are among Houston’s largest employers and are the Texas Medical Center’s top producer of research expenditures.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and a projected enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, funded in part by $3.6 billion in sponsored programs from federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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