HOUSTON (AP) - Initial funding has been approved for a $105 million redevelopment of the Houston Astrodome that would include raising the two bottom floors to accommodate about 1,400 parking spaces.
Harris County commissioners voted Tuesday to spend $10.5 million on the project's initial design.
Plans call for the bottom floors of the county-owned Astrodome to be raised for parking so that it can be used for festivals, conferences and commercial uses across more than 550,000 square feet of air-conditioned space.
Parking revenue, hotel occupancy taxes and county general funds are expected to cover the cost of the redevelopment.
The Astrodome opened in 1965 but has been vacant for 17 years, falling into disrepair and declared unfit for occupancy in 2009. Voters in 2013 rejected a $217 million bond for renovations.