New Convention Center Hotel Seems a Done Deal

NEW CONVENTION CENTER HOTEL SEEMS A DONE DEAL Today, reports Prime Property’s Nancy Sarnoff, the city and developer Rida announced that an agreement has been reached and construction will begin soon on the 1000-room Downtown Marriott Marquis — the one with that Texas-shaped lazy river on the roof. A batch of renderings that Morris Architects released last year suggest that the hotel will replace what’s now a surface parking lot at Walker St. and Avenida de las Americas near Minute Maid Park, Discovery Green, and the George R. Brown Convention Center. Additionally, the Houston Business Journal’s Olivia Pusinelli Pulsinelli reports that much of the initial funding oomph for the development will come from Houston First, which will pay to acquire the property and to add a parking garage before transferring the holding to Rida. [Prime Property; Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Morris Architects

13 Comment

  • Interesting. It seems like the parking garage is the high priority item in this deal. Whatever you do, get that garage built first. I would be interested in the percentage of convention goers at the GRB actually need parking. It would seem to me that if you were from out of town and staying downtown you would not need any parking. But, what the hell do I know.

  • I think part of the new rail line cuts through a corner of the garage block, so they want to deal with that portion of it before the rail gets running through there. I could be wrong though.

  • Now all they have to do is find a few hundred major events to hold downtown to fill the hotel up for the 320 days of the year there isn’t a major convention or marathon downtown.

  • I am dumbstruck at the sheer genius (or is it audacity?) of a Texas-shaped lazy river. The turns around El Paso and Brownsville might be a little hazardous, but that’s a great analogy of the current state of affairs along the Rio. I’d also expect to encounter armed poachers along the Sabine, and flag-waving tea partiers along the Red, but I’m still pretty sure that by downing 3 beers from a floating cooler, I could not only survive, but conquer that bitch. The hardest part would be commemorating the accomplishment with (another) barbed wire arm tattoo and slapping one more bumper sticker on my pickup about guns, secession or liberals (pick one).

  • Olivia “Pusinelli”? Sounds like fun.

  • @Schwaghag: Pulsinelli, in fact. Thanks for catching that.

  • The Pics look nice.

  • A lazy river in the shape of Texas? On the roof? Mind. Blown.

  • Old School, Our convention center is pretty busy most of the year. I know that is shocking to here. But I live down here, about 6 blocks from the convention center. And out of town conventions are here all the time. Usually either all week,or Thursday through Sunday. There are a few that come back every single year. The International Quilters Convention for one is pretty comical and they have been coming here for over 8 years+
    Heck Starbucks had their international or national convention here not too long ago and downtown was a zoo for about 5 days.

    We need more hotel rooms in downtown as well as venues in downtown and better Public transportation to accommodate all of these visitors to compete with other cities for the really massive conventions.

  • Offshore Technology Conference also moved to the GRB from the Dome some time ago – when I had my office in Chase on the Travis wall, it was always pretty cool watching them bring in and later take out the helicopters – some of which could barely be squeezed through the loading doors even stripped down.

  • This is pretty exciting. I won’t be satisfied until I see framework going up into the air, but it’s great to see things moving.

  • @Daniel: I work three blocks from the convention center. It is busy, but there are very few conventions each year that pack all the hotels downtown. Quilters are one of only a handful that come back every years. Starbucks, Rabbis, NAACP and other big ones are one shot deals that go to different cities every year. The thinking is that Houston needs more hotels to get more of the big one shot conventions more often. But, 1000 beds is a ton of capacity to just be banking on speculation that it will bring conventions. If the City does not attract significant additional convention business, this will be a big debacle.

  • The Texas size lazy river pool built on the rooftop of the hotel will be your best seller. I have done some research and I cannot find another hotel in Houston that has any lazy river type pool. I love them and the closest one is at a casino in Lake Charles. I am an adult and love them; can you imagine a child?