Museum Dreams Die

Museum dreams go up in smoke, give way to Midtown apartment craze: No firefighting theme park

Museum dreams go up in smoke, give way to Houston apartment craze

Alexan Midtown apartment complex rendering November 2013
Construction on the Alexan Midtown apartments will begin in January of next year. AlexanApts.com
Old Fire Station Midtown No. 7 exteror day
The proceeds of the museum's property sale will be used to buy, renovate and expand the existing Museum at Station 7. WhisperToMe/Wikipedia
Alexan Midtown apartment complex rendering November 2013
Old Fire Station Midtown No. 7 exteror day

After nine years of unsuccessful fundraising, Houston Fire Museum officials admit that a new state-of-the-art museum planned for Midtown will not be happening after all, with the property to be now used as the site of a new apartment development instead.

The property, a 1.44-acre tract at Main and Hadley, was anonymously donated to the museum 17 years ago. The hope was for it to be the site of a brand new museum, slated to cost $9 million when plans were originally proposed in 2004. Unfortunately for the museum, all attempts at fundraising ultimately failed, and according to the Chronicle, the group was not even able to collect the "seed money" needed to attract philanthropic contributions.

The group even tried to find ways to use the land as a firefighting-themed public park or as an office building with the museum on the ground floor, but both attempts were unsuccessful.

The multi-family real estate firm Trammel Crow Residential approached the museum about purchasing the property. The museum accepted and closed the deal this week for an undisclosed amount.

The land will be the site of a new seven-story apartment development called the Alexan Midtown. Construction for the 215-unit complex will begin in early January and the first available units are expected to open in early 2015. The average 850-square-foot unit will lease for about $1,700 a month.

A museum board member says the group intends to use the money from the sale to buy, renovate and expand the existing Fire Museum.