The Second Convention Center Hotel, a Marriott Marquis, Is Going Up Starting Now

Proposed Marriott Marquis Hotel, Downtown Houston

A groundbreaking ceremony today is marking the construction start of the new $335 million Marriott Marquis hotel on Walker St. and Crawford next to the George R. Brown Convention Center downtown, which will face the existing Hilton Americas hotel across Discovery Green. The newly updated rendering shown below confirms that the hotel will be the first institution anywhere to sport an island shaped like Texas in one of its lower rooftop pools:


Proposed Marriott Marquis Hotel, Downtown Houston

Proposed Marriott Marquis Hotel, Downtown Houston

The 29-story glass tower on the east end of building perched next to the “lazy river” will hold 1,000 guest rooms; downstairs there’ll be 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, linked to the convention center by a new skybridge across Avenida de las Americas. There will be room for several restaurants on the building’s ground floor; the sign on the building that reads “Draft Pick” in the rendering above is a stand-in for a yet-to-be-named 11,000-sq.-ft. sports bar facing Discovery Green.

Proposed Marriott Marquis Hotel, Downtown Houston

The hotel is a project of Rida Development (which teamed up with Morris Architects for the job) and Houston First, the quasi-governmental agency which also operates the convention center and owns the Hilton Americas. The Marriott Marquis is expected to open in 2016. Houston First is also planning to start construction later this year on a 1,900-car parking garage for guests just north of the convention center and catty-corner from the hotel.

Renderings: Morris Architects

On Discovery Green

18 Comment

  • Looks like a bad @ss hotel. The Texas swimming pool is a stroke of genius. People will remember and talk about that and out-of-towners want and expect that kind of stereotypical in-your-face Texan bravado.

  • Hard to believe no one else has done the Texas-shaped pool. Surely there exists an overly-moneyed oilman who has something like that in his back yard somewhere in this great state.
    Downtown is going to look so different in a few years. If I close my eyes and concentrate reallllly hard, I can almost imagine all surface lots disappearing.

  • Pretty neat. This part of downtown is finally taking off and this will be a great addition. I’m not sure what connotation the Texas-shaped “lazy river” will ultimately translate with visitors (I can see the jokes now) but I agree with Dana-X it is something people expect and will talk about.

  • This is much needed and at least the design is superior to the hideous Hilton. The Texas Island interesting, I guess it’s for the guests too loaded to realize that Houston is in Texas.

  • Clayton Williams has had a massive Texas shaped pool for decades, he even has the Aggie logo embossed on the bottom—I really don’t think people are going to say–let me stay at the Marriott because it has an island shaped like Tayxis–I actually think the lazy river around it will be more of a pull that the Texas shaped island, unless you’re above it you may not even realize it’s shaped like Texas.–still nice touch, it certainly won’t hurt sell the hotel.

  • The removed the top from the earlier design. Too bad…I kind of liked that top. Made it more interesting.

  • Due to our cities sign ordinance. ….Are they going to be able to put the Marriott Marquis sign on the top of this hotel as depicted in some pictures I’ve seen?

  • It’s going to be a nice hotel and a much needed player in the large citywide convention market for the city. How ever with the jokers in upper managment at the GHCVB and the sales team in place at the GRB. The hotel will never fill after the super bowl. The V.P. of Sales (which is just a DOS) at the GRB can not sell her way out of a paper bag with two holes.

    But yes, the pool is nice.

  • just when you thought we were going to have a design of a new building going up downtown we have a little bit of charactert the crown on top of the previous rendering I guess they decided to save a few bucks and remove the crown on the top of the updated version so here we go basically another glorified box added to our skyline the norm in Houston with no creativity no unique design

  • Claytie W. had/has a boot shaped swimming pool. Modeled after the boots the CTs wear at A&M. Maybe he has a Texas-shaped pool as well, but I’ve never heard about it. (bottom of the page)

  • Lol, you’re right!– it was a boot!

  • You all are right, the crown gave the building character, still, it looks better than the Miami Vice 80’s inspired Hilton that was dated 20 years before it was built.

  • VEGAS BABY. Houston needs a little Vegas, I”m for it.

  • On a visit to my sister in the Chicago area we went to an indoor water park–the lazy river feature was the best–totally made it fun for adults while the kids did the slides and stuff.

  • I know a guy in East Texas who has a Texas shaped pool – he mentioned a few others like it that he knew of at the time. However, that is not nearly on the same level as a lazy river, so yes, this is a true first.

  • As for the Hilton, I am certainly no architectural (or art) expert. But, when you view it from the south side of downtown (like from the elevated lanes in I-45 heading into downtown), you begin to get it. The pattern on the building compliments the patchwork of building colors and architectural styles of the other downtown buildings quite nicely.

  • Here’s a list of swimming pools shaped like states. Looks like this won’t be the first hotel in Texas to do this:

  • had a pool shaped like colorado back in the day