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New Service Corporation International HQ Wins $13.8M Infrastructure Incentive

Houston Office

Houston’s Downtown Redevelopment Authority approved $13.8M in reimbursements for flood mitigation and infrastructure work at the site of Service Corporation International’s planned $150M headquarters.

The vacant land at 1945 Allen Parkway. Service Corporation International's current headquarters can be seen in the background.

The Houston-based funeral services company expects to begin construction next year on the building at the site of the former KHOU-TV studios at 1945 Allen Parkway, the Houston Chronicle reported. SCI’s existing tower at 1929 Allen Parkway, where about 900 employees work, has flooded several times.

The flood mitigation work for the new HQ is expected to benefit the area overall, without the city incurring upfront costs or taking on fresh debt, the Chronicle reported. The Downtown Redevelopment Authority's approval of a tax increment reinvestment zone for the area means SCI will pay additional taxes on the increased value of the property.

Developing on the KHOU site will require significant improvements to the storm sewer and floodwater detention systems, an SCI representative told the board at a meeting Tuesday. KHOU moved to its new station at 5718 Westheimer Road after Hurricane Harvey irreparably flooded its Allen Parkway location. The building was demolished shortly after, and KHOU sold the property to a company associated with SCI in 2018, according to the Houston Business Journal. 

SCI is one of Houston’s largest publicly traded companies, with nearly 25,000 employees. It owns and operates more than 1,900 funeral homes and cemeteries in 44 states, Canada, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Its brands include Dignity Memorial, Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services, National Cremation and Rose Hills. 

"After being founded in The Heights, Downtown Houston has been our home for 50 years," SCI said in a written statement following the board vote, as reported by the HBJ. "We look forward to enhancing our community and the potential partnership to produce this critically needed infrastructure."

Houston-based Hines is the developer for the project. 

The infrastructure and flood mitigation work is projected to cost more than $15.7M and will include a new stormwater system, detention vaults, ditches to capture stormwater runoff, and sidewalk and roadway infrastructure improvements, HBJ reported. 

If SCI doesn't improve the value of the property as expected in the reinvestment zone agreement, it won't receive the specified reimbursements, said Allen Douglas, the redevelopment board’s chief operating officer, executive director and general counsel, according to the Chronicle.