Acquisition of Real Property

  • When the need for a new school or other district site is determined, the Real Estate Department performs preliminary research needed to determine the suitability of potential properties. This research can include title information, acquisition cost estimates, community impact, or other information that may be required on a specific site for the Board of Education to make an informed decision. When searching for a school site, a thorough search of the target area is conducted to determine the availability of property that is currently for sale.If none exists in the target area, the district looks for other appropriate sites. Once a suitable site has been located, the board must then authorize acquisition procedures.

    Once the board authorizes the acquisition of a specific property or properties, the Real Estate Department begins the acquisition process. A notification letter is sent to each property owner. Title research, appraisals, surveys, and environmental studies are obtained on each property. All offers that are submitted to property owners are based on the information that is provided in the appraisals, copies of which are provided to each property owner. Once an agreement is reached, the district purchases the property for the agreed purchase price.

    In certain cases when agreement cannot be reached, the district has the right to utilize eminent-domain procedures in accordance with legal requirements.

    What is the Texas Landowners Bill of Rights?
    Click here to read the Texas Landowners Bill of Rights

    Sales of Real Property
    HISD currently owns approximately 400 properties, including school sites, ancillary facility sites, and a limited number of vacant sites. From time to time, upon determination and approval by the Board of Education, sites are declared as surplus and made available for sale.

    Surplus properties available for sale are sold in accordance with the following procedures:
    • The district obtains appraisals and surveys for the properties.
    • The district utilizes real estate agents for marketing properties in selected cases. In such cases, the district shall establish a fee and execute a listing and sales agreement with a real estate firm or agent.
    • A minimum bid is determined and generally included in the bid documents along with information regarding the terms of the sale, including sale for cash or, in some cases, trade of properties.
    • The district advertises for sealed bids in accordance with state law and provides bid documents to proposed bidders.
    • Bids are opened publicly on the bid date.
    • The district reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to withdraw all properties from sale or lease at any time such action is deemed to be in the best interest of the district.
    • Upon acceptance of the recommended bid by the Board of Education, the sale is finalized in accordance with legal requirements.

    Leased Property
    From time to time HISD needs to lease facilities for educational purposes. Additionally, the district occasionally leases district-owned properties.

    Procedures for lease of third-party facilities by the district:
    • Upon notification of the need for leased space, the Real Estate Department conducts a search for suitable lease space in the required vicinity.
    • Upon selection of a site, negotiations are initiated for lease of space based on fair-market rental rates.
    • Upon approval of the Board of Education, a lease agreement is developed and executed by appropriate district officials.

    Procedures for lease of district-owned properties:
    • In certain cases where properties are not currently required for district use, HISD will consider leasing the properties to other governmental entities.
    • In some cases properties may be made available for lease to third-party organizations for school or school-related purposes.
    • Leases of district properties are generally subject to prior Board of Education approval. Upon such approval, Real Estate Department staff members negotiate a lease agreement on terms acceptable to the district.

    Land Planning and Other Real Estate Activities
    The Real Estate Department assists in various other real estate-related activities including such matters as street abandonments, obtaining and granting utility easements, interaction with other public and governmental entities, platting of school and other district sites, and working with district construction and bond-program staff members on facility issues.