It’s official: Baxter’s renovation on hold until next year

HARLINGEN — The city’s tallest building will have to wait for its facelift.

Yesterday, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ board of directors denied MRE Capital’s request for federal tax credits to turn the Baxter Building into a largely low-income apartment development.

But City Manager Dan Serna said MRE Capital will reapply for tax credits next year, counting on the agency to revise criteria to boost the developer’s chances.

Downtown property owners opposed the proposed $4.5 million project to turn the nine-story building into a 24-unit apartment development that would include 19 low-income units.

“This is not the best project for the downtown,” said Bill DeBrooke, the chairman of the Downtown Improvement District who owns several buildings. “For the downtown, it would be nice if another group with another plan would appear with a good option.”

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