In 2012, SAG assisted Houston First Corporation identify and negotiate a development agreement with RIDA Development, a private developer and owner. Our services included managing the developer solicitation process, negotiating term sheets with the top two developer teams, financial analyses of each proposal and assisting the legal team in the contract process.
City will become a convention giant, officials at Marriott groundbreaking say.
The 1,000-room Marriott Marquis in east downtown will address a shortage of hotel rooms, attract big conferences to the city and spur economic development in the area, business leaders said at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.
They were gathered in a parking lot that will make way for the 30-story hotel, Houston’s second giant hotel near the George R. Brown Convention Center. Construction is slated to begin April 21 and the hotel is set to open September 2016.
“This hotel along with everything else going on down here is going to be a game-changing opportunity for the convention district,” said Ric Campo, chairman of Houston First Corp., the quasi-public agency that manages the convention center. “It’s an incredible opportunity for an iconic shift in Houston.”
Leaders say the hotel and other projects in the area, often the first and only impression of Houston for visitors, will boost the city’s convention business, transform the east end of downtown and drive the economy.
The Marriott Marquis will join the Hilton-Americas Houston near the convention center. City officials and business leaders hope the two hotels, with a total of 2,200 rooms, will attract the top-notch conferences that are believed now to shun Houston because of its shortage of rooms nearby. Campo said he expects convention business to double once the second hotel is in place.
“It will make Houston better than it is today,” said Arne Sorenson, president of Marriott International.
The Marriott Marquis will include 60,000 square feet of amenity deck space overlooking Discovery Green. The hotel will have 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
The hotel itself will have retail components on the ground floor. Renovations to the convention center also include new retail.
Financing for the $335 million project will come in part from Houston First. The agency is providing funds to buy the hotel site, build an adjacent parking garage and make other improvements around the convention center, including adding retail space.
In 2012, the Houston City Council approved nearly $138 million in economic development incentives and tax rebate agreements to jump-start a second convention center hotel. Houston-based RIDA Development will own the hotel.
RIDA president Ira Mitzner said with all the investments in the east end of downtown, Houston could become within five years one of the top cities for attracting conferences and conventions.
There are 15 hotels in downtown Houston now, and eight more are planned.
Meanwhile, Houston First is building a 2,000-car parking garage near the convention center and has a plan to rebuild Avenida de las Americas and build retail in front of the convention center to make the area more walkable. That project has yet to be formally approved.
April 13, 2014