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KPFT station for sale

Not cheap, I’m sure.

A mainstay of Montrose, public radio station KPFT, could be headed elsewhere in Houston, signaling to some a changing of the guard in one of Houston’s most eclectic enclaves.

In an email to members, Pacifica Foundation, the California-based public radio partnership that owns KPFT, said the station’s building at 419 Lovett Blvd. is for sale, with the proceeds expected to pay for relocation and some debt repayment. The decision was prompted in part by what officials called a “favorable real estate market in Houston.”

Officials said the Lovett Boulevard location “holds a very special and sentimental meaning,” but repairs and restoration made it cost-prohibitive to keep it. The announcement did not include specifics of where officials are planning to relocate, or when a move could occur.

[…]

Most operations in the building ceased in March 2020 and the COVID pandemic took hold. That makes the sale even more bittersweet as volunteers adjust to the possibility “we will never again gain access to the Mighty Ninety studios,” said former general manager Duane Bradley, who still volunteers with the station.

“My greatest concern is that Pacifica… will use the proceeds of this property sale to deal with financial problems external to Houston and leave us effectively ‘homeless,’” Bradley said. “ It has been a rough year-plus for all of us and as we begin to come out and about again, it hurts to feel on the cusp of losing the tangible evidence of what community radio — and community itself —was all about.”

The KPFT station is a Montrose icon, but as the story notes quite a few other Montrose icons like the Disco Kroger have gone the way of all things lately, so this is just how it is. I’m sure they can get a good price for it, so if this has to happen then let’s hope it at least puts KPFT on firmer financial ground. And maybe for the new station, look outside Montrose for a neighborhood that is in 2021 similar to what Montrose was in the 70s. It would at least be in the spirit of the old place.

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One Comment

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    The headline in the Chronicle is misleading. KPFT is not for sale (the frequency or the station itself not being part of the sale). The building housing the studio is for sale. The sign says “Land For Sale,” which implies to me that the building is being sold for a developer to tear down.

    There had been problems with leaks and mold and mildew at the building, and the station and Pacifica Foundation probably can’t afford to gut the building and completely restore it. Hopefully the station will find a new home someplace in Houston. It has been at the 419 Lovett location for a long time, but I believe it was initially in downtown for several years.

    Montrose has of course been a white privilege rich neighborhood for many years, but that Mayor Parker, a homophobe, really ended it when she moved PRIDE out of Montrose and made it a commercialized woke fest. Also, she lied on video to Omar Afra about bringing back the West Fest, with street closings. Of course Afra also made a business as a promoter and decided that making a lot of money by charging for festivals was a better idea. Then he got a #MeToo dropped on him. Et tu? The wealthy are a blight and a curse on the community. May the Great Reset cast them into the Poor House and the Green New Deal confiscate their Range Rovers. Of course, their vehicles are powered more by rage and privilege than by gasoline.