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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Construction

Demolition of former Sigma Chi house in progress


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Demolition of the former Sigma Chi fraternity house began Friday. | Greg Fails/The Cougar

After more than a year of vacancy and decay, the clearing of the 9,000-square-foot estate that housed the Epsilon Xi chapter of Sigma Chi is underway.

After Sigma Chi International Fraternity closed its UH chapter in May 2015, the Sigma Chi Housing Corporation sold the 5018 Calhoun Road property to a private developer. The chapter was first suspended after hazing allegations reached President and Chancellor Renu Khator in March 2015.

The fraternity’s charter will remain suspended until fall 2019, when the University hopes all of its former undergraduate members have graduated.

“The house’s demolition will have no ramification on the chapter’s return,” said Andrew Pate, an alumnus and former member of the Epsilon Xi chapter of Sigma Chi. “The housing corporation made out very well on the house’s sale.”

In October 2015, nine people, including seven UH students, were arrested for trespassing on the property at 5018 Calhoun Road.

The demolition — which began Friday — will finish next week, said Clovis Restrepo, a representative for EZ Demolitions, the company hired to pull down the structure. He said the crew will leave the foundation intact to serve as a parking lot until construction begins on a new project.

According to Harris County Appraisal District records, the private developer that purchased the 5018 Calhoun Road house is “UH VP LP.” The corporation’s registered agent is listed as Acho Azuike, the director at Houston EB5, a real estate investment and development firm.

According to its website, EB5 “works to develop high quality residential high-rise, mid-rise, mixed use and suburban projects.”

The Cougar has reached out to Houston EB5 for comment, but has not received a response yet.

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