February 26, 2024
HOUSTON – Harris County has started a multimillion-dollar renovation of a 20-story downtown office tower it bought to house a handful of departments.
The county paid $26 million last October to buy Lamar Plaza at 1010 Lamar and an adjacent parking garage at 1111 Main.
Some engineering department employees will move into the new tower, said Carl Apple, spokesman for the Office of the County Engineer. Additionally, the County Attorney’s Office plans to move into the tower from 1019 Congress and 301 Main.
County officials previously told commissioners the cost of renovations could be $20 million. Work will include repairing and securing the parking garage, analyzing and shoring up the facade of both structures and installing updated computer networks, Apple said.
Both facilities likely are in need of modernization. The 490-space parking garage has an exterior built in 1951 with an interior rebuilt in 1998, according to the county. The 301,713-sf office tower was built in 1981.
The office tower was about 20 percent occupied at the time of sale, with a mix of law firms, an engineering firm and a nonprofit, according to the seller’s agent, Goodwin Advisors.
Records show the building had been owned by an entity tied to construction loan servicer Trimont. The lender took over the property in a December 2022 foreclosure auction, according to county records.