Slipping a Hotel Under the Slipcover: Plans from the New Owner of 806 Main

The Houston Business Journal‘s Jennifer Dawson is reporting that a hotel developer out of Fort Worth is purchasing the 22-story office building at 806 Main St. Downtown with plans to gut it, renovate it, and reopen it as a hotel. The building is approximately 100 years old, but its top 10 floors were added in the 1920s. The stone, terra cotta, and brick structure was dressed in a marble-and-glass slipcover about 60 years later. Directly across the street from the tower is the construction site of Hines’s MainPlace development.

The city has designated 806 Main as a landmark. It’s connected to the Downtown tunnel system, but has remained mostly empty in recent years. The last of 40 recent tenants is scheduled to move out this week. Building manager Betty Brown tells Dawson that only the Christian Science Reading Room and Domino’s Pizza on the ground floor will be left — their leases run out in 9 to 12 months.

With the exception of the Embassy Suites in downtown Fort Worth featured prominently on its website, Pearl Real Estate has built or redeveloped mostly suburban-style hotels. The 10-year-old company typically operates its own properties and serves as its own general contractor.

What kind of hotel is Pearl planning underneath this slipcover?


Writes Dawson:

Pearl President Pritesh Patel wishes to remain under the radar, saying it’s premature to reveal plans for the historic building.

Photos of 806 Main St.: Candace Garcia

7 Comment

  • “What kind of hotel is Pearl planning underneath this slipcover?” An Embassy Suites?

  • Nope, already one under construction just blocks away near Discovery Green.

  • This developer will need to consider that their neighbor, 812 Main/pigeon roost, is a festering eye sore.

  • I really hope this goes through – and brings something good for Battelstein’s as well (812 Main)

  • Does downtown need another hotel? The existing ones barely fill up as is.

  • What are the chances this structure’s facade can be returned to its original appearance?

  • KJB434,

    The reason why downtown hotel occupancy varies is because of conventioneers, who are the main occupiers of downtown hotels, hence downtown’s GRBCC, one of the 10 largest in the nation. Houston needs more downtown hotel rooms to attract larger conventions, which book larger room nights.

    Houston has under 7K hotel rooms downtown, but needs many more. It’s not appealing to bus attendees in from the Galleria area in 8 a.m. traffic for a convention. In Orlando, Vegas, Chicago San Diego etc., the convention centers have tons of hotels within walking distance – that’s the challenge Houston faces.

    With the addition of Discovery Green, Houston Pavilions etc., Houston has a much more appealing walkable convention package. In fact, Mayor White put an incentive package in place for hoteliers to get incentives for building hotels near the GRB.

    So to answer your question, yes, downtown needs more hotels. More hotels = more business for the entire city.