Leaders approve $105M Houston Astrodome renovation plan

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HOUSTON (AP) - Harris County commissioners have approved a $105 million Houston Astrodome revitalization plan that could turn the vacant venue into a parking garage.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to spend $10.5 million on the initial design for the 1,400-space parking garage in the county-owned Astrodome. NRG Stadium, home to the NFL's Houston Texans, is next door.

The proposal means the bottom two floors of the Astrodome would be raised. Upper areas could be available for redevelopment or event space.

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 proposal for renovation.

Supporters say the current plan would be paid for with parking revenue, hotel occupancy taxes and county general funds.