What's the Deal with 6737 Southwest Freeway?

dealership3.jpg
Photos by Aaron Reiss
The three cars in the showroom have been there for years.
"Thank you for calling the Tennessee Titans. If you know your party's extension, please dial now."

Maybe you're like me. Maybe you've seen it and wondered what the hell it was doing just sitting there.

At 6737 Southwest Freeway you'll find an abandoned car dealership. For years, as I drove on 59 South toward my mother's office, I passed the dealership. Three cars in a showroom. Another car in the lot, where a security guard sat.

At night, the lights turn on, illuminating the emptiness.

It wasn't until I started working at the Houston Press a few weeks ago that I ever had an outlet to investigate the property. Who owned it? What are their plans for it? Hell, why not at least lease it rather than just let it sit there?

Finding information about the lot, which consists of a few buildings and a lot of empty parking spaces, consisted of me raising my eyebrows out of intrigue and me raising my eyebrows out of confusion.

It started easily enough. I found the appraisal number for the lot by searching for the address -- the address I found via Google Maps; Google is God -- and learned the owner of the property and how much it is worth.

According to hcad.org, the property has been owned by KSA Industries, Inc. since at least 2006. That's as far back as the records go on the website. In that time, the 227,924-square-foot lot has increased in appraised value from $2.63 million to $3.69 million. KSA industries has a Houston address and 713 phone number, so I called.

"Thank you for calling the Tennessee Titans. If you know your party's extension, please dial now," a polite computerized voice said.

Confused, I did some more searching. KSA Industries, Inc. was owned by the late Bud Adams, the man who moved the Houston Oilers to Tennessee.

So that solved that problem, but still I didn't know what the property was doing in its current state. Why are there three cars in the showroom, including an Army jeep? Why is the electric bill getting paid?

I drove out to the dealership. It was the first time I ever saw it from a perspective other than that of my car as it whizzed down the freeway. As I peered into the glass of the showroom, I saw ceiling tiles missing. Of the tiles that were there, their white outsides were peeling, giving way to a urine-yellow colored inside. Pieces of brown, antiquated furniture was stacked on top of each other.



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37 comments
Kitty Bourn
Kitty Bourn

That was a waste of three minutes. Was this article meant to be a joke?

Markus Carter
Markus Carter

Interesting read. I've been wondering what's going on with the old Magic Island bldg off the Southwest Freeway. It's been about 2 years since the Chron reported it may reopen. Looks like a big metal garage door was placed sometime since then.

Diana Morin
Diana Morin

I've always wondered about that creepy lot

jurena175
jurena175

Is there anyone in Houston from Houston anymore? And before we need to solve the other mystery, Old KSA, is Kenneth Stanley Adams, there was a "boots" before a " bud"

ForFucksSake
ForFucksSake

"...the late Bud Adams, the man who moved the Houston Oilers to Tennessee."


Does anyone still work at the Houston Press who is actually from Houston?

TonyTX
TonyTX

Houston Press is turning more into a joke everyday, not funny haha, funny as in incompetent journalism and nothing more than a slew of vapid editorialists.

Brian Burch
Brian Burch

Basically a Story About Nothing....Way to get to the bottom of it, I guess...

freelantz78
freelantz78

To locals like myself there is no great mystery surrounding this property.  Southwest Lincoln Mercury operated there from 1963 or so until 1998, when they moved down the street to a new location.  For a short time after moving Southwest operated a satellite used car lot there, and the body shop for the dealership remained there until 2012, when Group1 Automotive bought Southwest Lincoln from Bud Adams.  Until Hurricane Ike, the iconic neon bull sign that used to tower above this property was still there, and still functioning.  Bud kept this property not just for the body shop, but also because he probably believed that it would be worth more in the future.  Now that he is gone it will probably be sold and redeveloped at some time.  Bud's family still operate two other dealerships in Houston along the Katy Freeway and numerous other businesses of his.  The cars in the showroom - there used to be more of them - are from Bud's personal collection.  An old rumor has it that his son died in one of them.  Whether that is true or not is really the only thing mysterious about the old dealership.

Ali Tomjohnavich
Ali Tomjohnavich

Ok people, I'm surprised this isn't more of public knowledge, he has an EXTENSIVE car collection inside the warehouse. The security guard is there to make sure no one comes and messes with them. What a shitty job on your "research"

Rob Carnagey
Rob Carnagey

Dont forget, those aren't the only classic cars on that lot.

Erik M. Granados
Erik M. Granados

Very true! I'm disappointed by this story though, there's definitely more to it, the owners are hiding something. This is fishy for sure.

Jim Rassinier
Jim Rassinier

Don't do his research for him. This was just awful.

Venessa Singh
Venessa Singh

Let's name all the things this could be a cover up for. Sex trafficking, cocaine dealing, underground gambling ( my money is on that one), bait warehouse...

nevlec1
nevlec1

Dude - I was so excited when I saw this article as I have wonder for years what the deal was. Instead I got a 2 page article of nothing. Well, thanks for nothing and next time if you don't get the story, don't write the story.

Michael McKenzie
Michael McKenzie

It use to be Southwest Lincoln Mercury. I bought my first car there in the 70's. It was a Mercury Capri sold to me by Perry Comeux!

Dwayne Cooper
Dwayne Cooper

I heard it was something to do with it being registered as a car dealership (don't remember the make) and that a franchise of said make was only allowed every so many square miles. Keeping this building with a few cars inside allowed it to still qualify as a franchise and allows the owner of another franchise to effectively keep the competition further away from his other dealership. It sort of made sense to me in a way so I didn't really question it.

Josh Smith
Josh Smith

since i was a kid I've always wondered about this place, thanks for curing my curiosity.

Jeff Hunter
Jeff Hunter

Let's just start a petition for Bud's estate to put a giant roller coaster on the lot, bigger than the Texas Cyclone. That would at least give the security guard something to do!

Mike Valdez
Mike Valdez

FYI. Adams was BIG on material assets, including GOLD, sliver and other resources. (Rate documents, artifacts) Rumors were abound in the early 80's of Adams having stashes of loot around Houston and not in safe deposits/banks etc. Also in his will it states that some real estate NOT to be liquified in the case of his death. Could it be, that this is one of those places?

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Lol. This is not how you conclude an article.

Marc Howelton
Marc Howelton

Seems like the mystery is solved...what else is there? It's a Bud Adams owned dealership, he owns a few in the area. Prolly one of many assets that could probably stand to be unloaded but either the offers haven't been right, or the man is (well was) so rich that it's not really a priority so there it sits. Lots of properties around like this, but this one is more intriguing because of its visibility and the cars.

Imhotep Taylor
Imhotep Taylor

Good I've always wondered this passing around it everyday.

Paul Lindstrom
Paul Lindstrom

The story should of prefaced with, "I can't find out".

Amber Emam
Amber Emam

Blu Whipple? Sounds like a clown name...

Brent Nobles
Brent Nobles

Another curious piece of Houston history. Thanks for investigating this. Would love to see more "Surreal Estate" articles.

therightwriter
therightwriter

Now that you're a professional reporter, you should really proofread your stories before posting them. I hope all of these typos aren't included in the print edition, too.

Phuc Do
Phuc Do

that is a terrible job

babychef42087
babychef42087

Its strange that the lot has to guarded at all times. Maybe there is some secret that the company is trying to hide. ( I'm not being sarcastic). KEEP DIGGING, I want to know what the hell is going on over there!

h_e_x
h_e_x

There has to be a loving home for those classic cars stored in there. Maybe if you call about buying the cars they would be more willing to talk about them and the property.

nguyenhm16
nguyenhm16

That used to be Southwest Lincoln-Mercury before they moved down the freeway. I too am baffled as to why that property just sits there. I haven't been by in a while but they used to have a 60's Continental (the ones with the suicide doors) in pretty good shape in the old showroom. I think it used to be there when it was still a dealership too.

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