Houston City Council OKs land deal to allow for relocation of Freed-Montrose Library

The Montrose Collective
In 2022, the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library will be able to move into the Montrose Collective, a new mixed-use development coming to the 800 block of Westheimer Road. (Rendering courtesy Michael Hsu Architecture)

In 2022, the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library will be able to move into the Montrose Collective, a new mixed-use development coming to the 800 block of Westheimer Road. (Rendering courtesy Michael Hsu Architecture)

The Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library will find a new home on Westheimer Road.

Houston City Council formally granted developer Radom Capital a section of city-owned property at 802 Westheimer Road, adjacent to the developer’s forthcoming project, Montrose Collective, on Dec. 11.

In exchange for the property, which houses a Houston Police Department storefront, Radom Capital will set aside a 12,000 square-foot unit for a public library within the Montrose Collective development, designed by architect Michael Hsu. The storefront will close once the land is handed over to the developer.

The Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library, based out of a church building from 1940s at 4100 Montrose Blvd., has been in need of repairs that outpace the city’s budget for it, city officials have said. The library opened in 1988.

The proposed new library space would include a second-floor patio and children's play area as well as meeting rooms and reading areas, according to comments by Steve Radom, founder of Radom Capital, at a September community meeting about the move. According to city documents, independent appraisals found that the value of the new space exceeds the land value being given to the developer, and the city will retain an ownership stake in the project.


In addition to Montrose Collective's two mixed-use buildings, Radom plans to construct a five-story, 580-space parking garage, which includes one basement level, Radom said. About 100 spaces will be open to the public, although that number is not finalized, and 25 will be free for library patrons. The remaining spaces would be reserved for other visitors.

The parking structure would be constructed behind the Montrose Collective's Westheimer Road building and funded by Radom Capital, however a portion of the Montrose tax-increment reinvestment zone revenue could be contributed.

Construction would begin in 2020, with the second phase of the project, which includes building the new Montrose library, expected to be completed in May 2022, city documents state. The library will remain open in its current location until then, according to the city.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.