MRE Capital to pay city $250,000 for Baxter Building

HARLINGEN — It took decades to find a way to renovate the city’s tallest eyesore.

Now, it could take more than a year to complete the job.

Last week, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awarded MRE Capital $3.3 million in federal tax credits to help fund the building’s historic renovation.

Daniel Sailler, a developer with MRE Capital, estimates the $4.5 million renovation project could take 12 to 14 months to complete.

Since the late 1960s, the nine-story office building had fallen into disrepair, decades after serving as one of the city’s premier addresses at 106 S. A St.

For about 30 years, the city searched for ways to renovate the historic building that had become one of the city’s biggest eyesores, Mayor Chris Boswell said.

Since he won election to the mayor’s post in 2007, Boswell said he made the building’s renovation one of his goals.

In late 2015, the city entered into an agreement with MRE Capital to renovate the former flop house, blamed for standing in the way of the downtown area’s revitalization.

As part of a contract, MRE Capital agreed to pay the Harlingen Community Improvement Board $250,000 for the building on the condition the Department of Housing and Community Affairs granted the developers federal tax credits to help fund the renovation project.

Under its proposal, MRE Capital planned a $4.5 million project to turn the building into a 24-unit apartment development largely made up of low-income housing while restoring it to its original condition.