Abandoned Battelsteins’s Building Bought by Its Main St. Marriott Neighbor

The new owner of 812 Main St. (shown above) is the same entity that owns the JW Marriott next-door at 806 Main St. Well, sort of. Technically, the properties belong to 2 separate entities, but they both tie back to the same real estate overlord: Pearl Hospitality, a Houston-based hotel operator with a few extra properties in Lubbock. Pearl closed on the 812 Main St. building last month for $3.6 million.

Designed by Houston architects Joseph Finger and George Rustay the recently-transacted tower was completed in 1950 for the Battelsteins’s department store — which occupied each of its 10 floors. It’s now been vacant for roughly 30 years. Battlestein’s signage has been replaced by the smudges visible above the mural-ized storefront face in the photo at top. But 2 naked flagpoles remain on either side of where the lettering once was.

After visiting the property in December, 2015, PDG Architects estimated it’d cost nearly $17 million to renovate it into something suitable for office tenants to inhabit. Just bringing it up to code could cost $8 million, according to public records.

The JW Marriott next-door at Rusk St. — formally known as the Samuel F. Carter building — underwent its Pearl-Hospitality redo starting in 2010 with a bit of financial help from the city and HUD, as well as architectural know-how from Gensler:


Originally 16 stories when it was built in 1910, the building gained an extra 6 floors in a 1925 renovation. The 328-room hotel is now linked into the downtown tunnel system via a 7,200-sq.-ft. underground meeting space dubbed The Picasso.

Photos: Swamplox inbox (812 Main St.); JW Marriott (806 Main St.)

Department Store Skyscraper

8 Comment

  • It might make a good parking structure …..

  • I wonder if they are turning this into another hotel, residential or an office building

  • One of my favorite buildings downtown! Any clue what they’re actually doing with it? This is one of the last vacant buildings downtown and a beauty. It would be a shoo-in for local and federal redevelopment tax credits if they are willing to landmark and keep it. Fingers crossed.

  • pray for ground floor retail and lots of glass!

  • BattELstein’s

  • Expansion of the hotel (maybe conference rooms) or adding parking? Great news if the former.

  • So the building has been vacant for almost half its existence? We lack affordable housing, but we have this huge building in downtown that has been vacant for 30 years. Hmmmm
    I wonder how many people have slept in that vacant building.

  • GlenW: The reason is the cost to bring it to code. I actually looked at buying this place and fixing it up, but was scared to death that the city would bankrupt me. I’d have to think others felt the same way so no one wanted to touch it. I realize the need for building standards but there has to be some middle ground that doesn’t cause old building to stay empty because no one wants to put in the work needed to appease the city.