City Council To Decide Whether Downtown Hotel Redo Will Receive Federal Dough

CITY COUNCIL TO DECIDE WHETHER DOWNTOWN HOTEL REDO WILL RECEIVE FEDERAL DOUGH Houston Politics’ Mike Morris is reporting that city council will vote today to decide whether it will loan Pearl Real Estate up to $7.4 million toward the $81 million renovation and redevelopment of the 22-story slipcovered 1910 Samuel F. Carter building at Rusk and 806 Main St. What does Pearl have in sight? A JW Marriott. (It’d be across the street from BG Group Place.) Last summer, explains Morris, the city applied for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development money that would be passed on to Pearl and ultimately paid back with interest — or that’s the idea, anyway. This kind of deal went off without a hitch in 1998, when the Rice Hotel paid back their $4.8 million right on time. But the city’s been kept waiting before: “In early 2005, it came to light that the Magnolia Hotel (which had gotten $9.5 million in 2002) and the Crowne Plaza (which had gotten $5 million in 2000) had never made a full payment to the city on their loans.” Though by 2012, Morris adds, those loans had been repaid. [Houston Politics; previously on Swamplot] Photo of 806 Main St.: Swamplot inbox

6 Comment

  • The slipcover has been off for a few months, and after spending a while doing interior work (like installing plumbing), just this week they started installing new windows on the upper floors, so work has been proceeding regardless of funding.

    Based on what few renderings I have seen of the planned outcome, although it may not look quite like it did when it was first built, it should still look nice when finished. Last I heard, project completion is expected for the third quarter of next year, giving downtown some much-needed new hotel rooms.

  • If the government is dumb enough to give money to a private project then the developer has the duty to relieve them of it. Besides, they’ll just waste it on something else anyway.

    On a different note, that money usually comes with a book full of strings and regulations. You have to hire x number of minorities, x number of ex-cons, x number of Homosexual Nazi Eskimos, or whatever the flavor of the month is. Then you have spend some money on something “green” on the project, save some endangered cockroach, etc. List may go on and on, and depending on the amount of $ given may not be worth the logistical and legal pain in the a*s.

  • (eye roll) /\ (remember, do not feed the trolls)

  • @commonsense: Maybe in Austin, but in Houston the tax deals, 380s and other candy to developers come with the bear minimum amount of strings attached. If anything, the City of Houston has a record of being very soft on developers living up to their commitments. The City of Houston let Landry’s off the hook for not creating the 125 jobs required (no strings on minorities, etc.) in exchange for getting a tax break on the Inn at the Ballpark.

  • Thought this was approved last summer?

  • Great remake of a 70’s disgrace. I appreciate the developer returning the building to it’s Beaux Art beginnings. Who cares that he gets money from the city, the city will get it on the backend with tax’s etc. Houston knows how to do this, it’s a pro, get real