Unfortunately, the Great Depression forced many tenants to close and as a result, the M&M Building failed to live up to its full potential. It went into bankruptcy and was sold in 1934. However, it continued to house oil suppliers, wholesalers, shops, and a number of offices. After World War II, oil millionaire H.H. Coffield bought and updated the building. New tenants moved in including offices of electronics, motorcycle, and airline businesses. Despite these efforts, suburban sprawl drew business activity out of downtown and once again, tenants were forced to move out of the building.
In 1967, South Texas Junior College moved into four floors of the building, thus marking the start of the building's transition to a center for higher education. Finally, the University of Houston bought the building in 1974 and has remained here ever since. It took until 1988 for the university to occupy the entire structure.