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Marriott Marquis - new GRB Convention Center Hotel + Retail

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an. 21, 2008, 11:44PM

Houston sees room for another big hotel

Plan could put downtown on the conventions map

By NANCY SARNOFF

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The city is considering plans to bring a second convention center hotel to downtown, in an effort to take Houston one step closer to becoming a top convention destination.

Officials involved said Houston gets scratched off the lists of a lot of convention planners because it has a limited number of downtown hotel rooms.

And the link..

 

Webcams:

 

http://oxblue.com/open/HoustonFirst/GeorgeRBrownConventionCenter

 

http://www.welbro.com/project/marriott-marquis-hotel/

 

Renderings:

 

14084_10151821567607741_1928451683_n.jpg

 

534911_10151821567752741_602585233_n.jpg

 

1024x1024.jpg

 

Houston-Marriott-Ground-View-Sports-Bar_

 

Model:

 

MarriottMarquis-Model.jpg

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Want chain will they be looking at? Will another W be possible? Can Houston support two W's? Atlanta has four W's, so I think Houston could possible support two.

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Is this related in any way to the Embassy Suites project? Or is it another one?

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Want chain will they be looking at? Will another W be possible? Can Houston support two W's? Atlanta has four W's, so I think Houston could possible support two.

W doesn't do convention hotels. That's not to say that another W couldn't be done downtown at some point in the future, but that's not the topic of this article.

This is also unrelated to an actual proposal for an Embassy Suites or La Quinta. These are presently just concepts. They haven't firmed up yet at all.

Edited by TheNiche

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Article is correct Hilton Americas has been a real boost for the area. We have had several large events there and they always satisfied the crowd. I hope the new one will be equally as elegant. I wait in baited breath. Way to go!

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hopefully, this will encourage the private sector.

is it common for cities to get large hotels off the ground? at what point is it feasible for the private sector to build a 1,000 room hotel? is houston at or near that hypothetical point? historically, how have big convention hotels gotten off the ground in other convention cities?

anyone?

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I would be extremely impressed if Discovery Green had every lot surrounding it full within the next 7 years...or even decade. This is exciting.

Maybe a Marriott? The only one downtown I can think of is the Courtyard by Marriott, which isn't a very large presence in downtown.

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White said other sites in the area would be considered, including city-owned property.

- How much land does the city own downtown?

But for a new hotel, the ideal scenario would be for a private developer to build it.

- If this is fact, why hasn't it happened already? You'd think the market would noticed it already.

By them saying Houston gets passed over immediately by some convention planners, they make it sound like it's almost a slam dunk to get a 1,000 room hotel.

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But for a new hotel, the ideal scenario would be for a private developer to build it.

- If this is fact, why hasn't it happened already? You'd think the market would noticed it already.

By them saying Houston gets passed over immediately by some convention planners, they make it sound like it's almost a slam dunk to get a 1,000 room hotel.

The answers are in the article.

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The answers are in the article.

I can think of a few quotes you may be talking about, but am not really seeing it.

The Embassy is only slightly fulfilling this need as they say, "Hotel consultant John Keeling said five new 200-room hotels wouldn't have the same impact as one 1,000-room property."

or is this what you meant?..."The mayor said there are "significant pools" of private capital available that did not exist when the Hilton Americas was financed."

Either it's not as explicitly stated as you suggest or I'm just stupid. I'm fine w/ being stupid, I just would like an answer if someone would be so kind to give one.

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Either it's not as explicitly stated as you suggest or I'm just stupid. I'm fine w/ being stupid, I just would like an answer if someone would be so kind to give one.

look at the last paragraph.

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look at the last paragraph.

So I'm a little on the stupid side. I just need a little direction :) Thanks

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Weren't we fairly recently told that a convention hotel at the Astrodome wouldn't work, because it would hurt the Hilton Americas. But now a convention hotel downtown would be good?

Could this just be the City of Houston and Harris County a fussin' and a fuedin'?

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Weren't we fairly recently told that a convention hotel at the Astrodome wouldn't work, because it would hurt the Hilton Americas. But now a convention hotel downtown would be good?

Could this just be the City of Houston and Harris County a fussin' and a fuedin'?

Is it because they are two distant locations, while this new one would compliment the GRB across the street? I'm thinking that because they said conventions like to have most if not all their people in one hotel.

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Want chain will they be looking at? Will another W be possible? Can Houston support two W's? Atlanta has four W's, so I think Houston could possible support two.

As someone said prior to my post, Marriott seems like a good possibility. A full-fledged Marriott downtown would be nice. Perhaps a Marriott Marquis. Other names that might be possibilities include either Westin or Sheraton (Starwood NEEDS a presence downtown), maybe a Grand Hyatt... I can't really think of many others who would typically build or operate large convention hotels.

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My guess is that it would either be a Marriott or a Starwood (likely Westin or Sheraton). Downtown desperately needs a Starwood property - they are BY FAR where business folks prefer to stay. Their points program is head and shoulders above the rest.

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Well, with the development that is going on, I just hope things are proceeding in a proper way. If certain projects get completed before TOO soon before others, than I would imagine that it might actually be a bit of a hindrance to other activity.

I'm not an economist or a city planner, but I watch the city rather closely as it is vital to my business. Things can go south rather quickly.

HP will be online in Oct. That should greatly help sell out the Marriott Courtyard and help Macy's, Tipping point, The Hyatt, Metro Rail, and two garages. While most of the visitors that will go here will be out of town visitors and business people that work downtown, a good portion of locals will swamp the place towards the end of the week (I hope).

This will add, say 50-75 (just throwing out a number) additional people to stay a day at the hotel and take up a few additional parking spaces. This will limit room availability, not by very much mind you, but enough until Omni, La Quinta(!), and Embassy Suites go online.

Now with those 3 hotels, we'll have what, 600 rooms together? Now take into consideration that Mainspace will be completed in 2010, there is no doubt that this will have a good portion of its space taken up, along with whatever space it vacated will also fill up a bit, and this will again, take up about 50-100 hotel rooms per day at the very least. According to the schedule construction schedule that is out there, the only hotel that will online by that time will be the Omni and La Quinta and they should absorb THAT need.

Now take into consideration that this doesn't include the other towers that will be going up will increase demand for hotel rooms along with (hopefully) the popularity of HP.

I have noticed over the past few years an increasing number of people that are coming in from out of town that are "leisure" travelers and they have been typically coming to town for just a the Museums and concerts. The ones that generally come for the Games have been growing a bit, but a substantial increase, believe it or not, have been people coming to see the Dynamo with people as far as New Mexico, OK, and Arkansas.

When I look at the room availability downtown with the input I receive from visitors and how many business travelers I deal with almost every day, PLUS what I hear from the Convention Bureau, this hotel would be a great boon for downtown.

As far as there being too many hotels out in the galleria area that some would say could supplement the need for downtowns shortage, a number of out of town visitors almost consider it another town! I don't have the occupancy numbers for the Galleria's 18 hotels, I've been told by others that it is almost constantly sold out.

To end my lack of caffeine and sleep deprived rambles, in short:

Yes Virginia, we need that hotel.

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So I'm a little on the stupid side. I just need a little direction :) Thanks

nah i'll bet your cornrows are a little tight ;)

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The Marriott has two hotels downtown. The Courtyard and The Residence Inn, both of which seem to do very well during the week.

Currently the only buildings right on the park are: The Convention Center, The Hilton, 5 Houston (my building) and Park Place (new Fingers res. building).

As of right now there are three lots around the new park that have no buildings on them. Two of these lots will be starting construction within the next year or so. One will be an office building the other is the new Embassy Hotel. So that leaves one lot (one huge lot actually).

Edited by Daniepwils

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My guess is that it would either be a Marriott or a Starwood (likely Westin or Sheraton). Downtown desperately needs a Starwood property - they are BY FAR where business folks prefer to stay. Their points program is head and shoulders above the rest.

I think a Westin would be really nice.

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From a business side this is a great move. I read the article then read the chron.com comments. The posters on the papers board are crazy. The message boards after every article, from the Dynamo to a new park to a crime in FT. Bend County, there are dozens of the most pessimistic individuals that make up stats and treat them as facts I have seen on any message board. The people have not a single thing positive to say about Houston no matter what the situation is. I saw red had a post correcting one of the individuals who responded to this article.

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I've noticed that, too. Considering the absurdity of a number of the comments following many articles, I'm pretty sure these are the type of people who watch the local news to see what Wayne Dolcefino digs up next.

Everything is a conspiracy. Everything is the end of the world. Etc.

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Wayne needs a new job imo. The last few "investigative" reports he has done have turned up to be flops!

I miss Marvin!!!!

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Wayne needs a new job imo. The last few "investigative" reports he has done have turned up to be flops!

not sure if jerry eversole would agree.

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I am hoping for a Westin Hotel. 1100 rooms with 80 condos on top. If they think they can market condos in the new Westin being built straddling I-10 in the middle of a busy hospital complex, then I'd certainly think a downtown property with park views could sell too.

The only thing I didn't like about the article was the line about it possibly looking like a mirror image of the Hilton. I'd prefer something different...

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The only thing I didn't like about the article was the line about it possibly looking like a mirror image of the Hilton. I'd prefer something different...

They were talking about the location. If built, the style will definitely differentiate itself from the existing building; I'd think that they'd have difficulty flagging it if it weren't architecturally differentiated.

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Did anyone read the article a few weeks back in the chron where they were interviewing the head honcho of the convention bureau in Houston? He was saying Houston does well at attracting the smaller sized conventions, because there are enough hotel rooms in downtown for those, and Houston is also fine when it comes to the larger sized conventions, because those conventions bus the attendees in anyways, so it doesn't matter if they are at hotels all over Houston, they are going to be bussed in regardless. Houston has trouble getting those medium sized conventions, which I guess there are more of those than the small and larged sized ones. Houston has trouble getting those medium sized ones because there aren't enough hotel rooms downtown, and unlike the larger ones, they don't bus people in from hotels. So with a new convention center hotel, we can get all sized conventions, or at least they won't be able to use "not enough hotel rooms" as an excuse.

We also need to find out what Hines plans to build at the Shamrock site, rumors seem to be either office building or another hotel.

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The overflows can always stay at the Holiday Inn/Days Inn/Heaven on Earth Inn, right? ;)

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This is great news... hopefully whenever they decide to build it, they will hire a quality architect. Right now, in contrast to the western side of downtown which is pretty much an exhibit hall of great late 20th century architecture, most of what has been built on the eastern side is rather prosaic.

The Hilton Americas looks nice enough from the freeway, but is a bland wall to the pedestrian in the park. Finger's condo tower is a fair imitation of a New York high rise and Minute Maid Park mimics well the ballparks of old, but neither really goes beyond Disney/Epcot level. No one's pulse was ever quickened by the George R. Brown. The Toyota Center is tasteful but underwhelming. The 3&4 Houston Center/Park Shops/Four Seasons complex is one of the ugliest excrescences of 70's-80's anti-urbanism to be found anywhere, and the taller skyscrapers are a mixed bag.

Maybe the city will recognize the need for a landmark here and hire somebody like Cesar Pelli. Then again, I could be dreaming.

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Well, according to today's Chronicle article, they have to sell the Hilton to free up some funds.

What startled me is, while I knew the city had a hand in the Hilton, I thought they simply gave them some tax breaks. Does this mean COH shared in some of the profits?

But if they complete the sale are able to get another major hotel constructed, then it would be a grand thing. I can understand the logic about the mid-level conventions. They are too small to be bussed in, and too big to always being able to find a block of hotels in a given area.

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I was reading that.....maybe they'll bring in ben reyes and betty maldonado to assist?

As consultants, of course.

Interesting that one of the City's biggest scandals eventually produced a hotel that may produce a $70 million profit when sold. Only took 10 years and a couple of prison terms. Nice return, if you ask me.

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a hotel that may produce a $70 million profit when sold

But, but, but... it costs taxpayer money! No tourist will ever come to Houston! Let Las Vegas and Orlando be convention destinations, their climate is better! No public money to private entities! This only benefits a select few! What's so great about downtown! Taxes, Taxes, Taxes, Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!1111

[/backward illiterate rednecks in West Houston]

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I am hoping for a Westin Hotel. 1100 rooms with 80 condos on top. If they think they can market condos in the new Westin being built straddling I-10 in the middle of a busy hospital complex, then I'd certainly think a downtown property with park views could sell too.

The only thing I didn't like about the article was the line about it possibly looking like a mirror image of the Hilton. I'd prefer something different...

I don't think they meant to suggest that the design would be a mirror image... just that the location would mirror the location of the Hilton Americas vis a vis the GRB and Discover Green. I've hoped for a major convention hotel at that location. And I totally agree with your hope for a big hotel with condos on top.

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Interesting that one of the City's biggest scandals eventually produced a hotel that may produce a $70 million profit when sold. Only took 10 years and a couple of prison terms. Nice return, if you ask me.

looks like the feds are still at work too. the # of prison terms may be increasing.

Edited by musicman

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The city is considering selling Hilton America's in part to help finance another convention hotel, in todays Chronicle:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5599859.html

Mayor Bill White said he thought the city could get more than $350 million for the hotel, which would enable it to pay off its debt and create more financial flexibility to undertake another project.

They discuss placing the new hotel opposite of Hilton... which I assume means next to Discovery Tower north of DG. Pretty interesting.

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Interesting indeed.

I wonder if the idea with the second hotel would be to sell that one off as well over time, especially if it does at least as well as the Americas has done and is projected to do.

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The city is considering selling Hilton America's in part to help finance another convention hotel, in todays Chronicle:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5599859.html

Mayor Bill White said he thought the city could get more than $350 million for the hotel, which would enable it to pay off its debt and create more financial flexibility to undertake another project.

They discuss placing the new hotel opposite of Hilton... which I assume means next to Discovery Tower north of DG. Pretty interesting.

That is the only place that they could put it. There is a big surface lot on the right side of Discovery Green in front of the GRB. It looked to be on the same size block that the Hilton is on.

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But, but, but... it costs taxpayer money! No tourist will ever come to Houston! Let Las Vegas and Orlando be convention destinations, their climate is better! No public money to private entities! This only benefits a select few! What's so great about downtown! Taxes, Taxes, Taxes, Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!1111

[/backward illiterate rednecks in West Houston]

One does have to question the wisdom of building Discovery Green with public dollars and having this park bounded by two-block megastructures on the north and south and a five-block monoculture on its principal side. The remaining side is likely to have Discovery Tower, One Park Place, and Embassy Suites. That accounts for the entire perimeter. The fact that downtown Houston is the biggest employment spot in the South or Southwest and yet every downtown park and plaza is vacant except at lunch hour suggests that Discovery Tower (and probably Embassy Suites) is not going to enliven the park. One Park Place's handful of residents will be the only Houstonians likely to use the park for whom it won't be "out of sight, out of mind" for a lot of the times of the day at which they might use it. The GRB and 59 will obstruct any future pedestrian traffic from the east that it might have been used by, and will provide a thousand feet of dead-zone frontage that no area resident will have a reason to cross the park to get to. This is a major blow to its function as anything other than a periodically used garnish. So that leaves us with convention hotel guests (primarily evening and possibly morning use), affluent restaurant patrons, and people in between sessions of a meeting at the convention center (sporadic use throughout the day). It's a nice park for all that money, but it's not going to mean much to distracted visitors.* Having large structures with pitifully few points of entry or nodes of dense activity deactivating the edges of the Green, where fresh pedestrian flows from streets might have fed in - something that Central Park, by comparison, utterly relies upon - means that it really will be sort of a yard for businesspeople with business there, and not someplace that a Houstonian population would have much reason to wander into. On the other hand, if the double block on the north is perforated and made very permeable at ground level, it's still conceivable we could eventually have a neighborhood public space on our hands. But if all goes as appears to be planned, we'll have gotten a speculative real estate development spark plug for all our hopes and civic efforts - and from that development, more additional showpiece property tax dollars than actual human use.

*much as I want to believe otherwise, believe that it at least contributes to their minds some of the shade and the healthy division between hard work and unpresentable repine that Houston's fabric, out where conventioneers will never get to go, demonstrates and brings to grand scruffy life.

Edited by strickn

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One does have to question the wisdom of building Discovery Green with public dollars and having this park bounded by two-block megastructures on the north and south and a five-block monoculture on its principal side. The remaining side is likely to have Discovery Tower, One Park Place, and Embassy Suites. That accounts for the entire perimeter. The fact that downtown Houston is the biggest employment spot in the South or Southwest and yet every downtown park and plaza is vacant except at lunch hour suggests that Discovery Tower (and probably Embassy Suites) is not going to enliven the park. One Park Place's handful of residents will be the only Houstonians likely to use the park for whom it won't be "out of sight, out of mind" for a lot of the times of the day at which they might use it. The GRB and 59 will obstruct any future pedestrian traffic from the east that it might have been used by, and will provide a thousand feet of dead-zone frontage that no area resident will have a reason to cross the park to get to. This is a major blow to its function as anything other than a periodically used garnish. So that leaves us with convention hotel guests (primarily evening and possibly morning use), affluent restaurant patrons, and people in between sessions of a meeting at the convention center (sporadic use throughout the day). It's a nice park for all that money, but it's not going to mean much to distracted visitors.* Having large structures with pitifully few points of entry or nodes of dense activity deactivating the edges of the Green, where fresh pedestrian flows from streets might have fed in - something that Central Park, by comparison, utterly relies upon - means that it really will be sort of a yard for businesspeople with business there, and not someplace that a Houstonian population would have much reason to wander into. On the other hand, if the double block on the north is perforated and made very permeable at ground level, it's still conceivable we could eventually have a neighborhood public space on our hands. But if all goes as appears to be planned, we'll have gotten a speculative real estate development spark plug for all our hopes and civic efforts - and from that development, more additional showpiece property tax dollars than actual human use.

*much as I want to believe otherwise, believe that it at least contributes to their minds some of the shade and the healthy division between hard work and unpresentable repine that Houston's fabric, out where conventioneers will never get to go, demonstrates and brings to grand scruffy life.

"Pitifully few points of entry?" There are something like 8 or 9 points of entry, including 6 at street intersections. For a 12 acre park, I would hardly call that "pitifully few".

Lack of nodes of dense activity deactivating the edges of the green? Hotels, convention center, office buildings, high-rise apartment buildings? How are those not nodes of dense activity?

Showing a lack of use at other downtown green spaces is hardly proof that hotel, office building, and apartment building dwellers will not use Discovery Green. There is nothing like Discovery Green currently downtown or anywhere else in Houston.

The "double block" on the north end, the permeability of which you see as the only possible way to save the park, is not even a double block. It is only perhaps 1 1/2 blocks, and given that Houston's downtown blocks are small to begin with, it's hard to see that as a major impediment to the viability of the park.

IMO, a mix of activities around the edges of the Green is far preferable to surrounding it with apartment buildings. A mix of uses is more likely to lead to usages around the clock.

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One does have to question the wisdom of building Discovery Green with public dollars and having this park bounded by two-block megastructures on the north and south and a five-block monoculture on its principal side. The remaining side is likely to have Discovery Tower, One Park Place, and Embassy Suites. That accounts for the entire perimeter. The fact that downtown Houston is the biggest employment spot in the South or Southwest and yet every downtown park and plaza is vacant except at lunch hour suggests that Discovery Tower (and probably Embassy Suites) is not going to enliven the park. One Park Place's handful of residents will be the only Houstonians likely to use the park for whom it won't be "out of sight, out of mind" for a lot of the times of the day at which they might use it. The GRB and 59 will obstruct any future pedestrian traffic from the east that it might have been used by, and will provide a thousand feet of dead-zone frontage that no area resident will have a reason to cross the park to get to. This is a major blow to its function as anything other than a periodically used garnish. So that leaves us with convention hotel guests (primarily evening and possibly morning use), affluent restaurant patrons, and people in between sessions of a meeting at the convention center (sporadic use throughout the day). It's a nice park for all that money, but it's not going to mean much to distracted visitors.* Having large structures with pitifully few points of entry or nodes of dense activity deactivating the edges of the Green, where fresh pedestrian flows from streets might have fed in - something that Central Park, by comparison, utterly relies upon - means that it really will be sort of a yard for businesspeople with business there, and not someplace that a Houstonian population would have much reason to wander into. On the other hand, if the double block on the north is perforated and made very permeable at ground level, it's still conceivable we could eventually have a neighborhood public space on our hands. But if all goes as appears to be planned, we'll have gotten a speculative real estate development spark plug for all our hopes and civic efforts - and from that development, more additional showpiece property tax dollars than actual human use.

*much as I want to believe otherwise, believe that it at least contributes to their minds some of the shade and the healthy division between hard work and unpresentable repine that Houston's fabric, out where conventioneers will never get to go, demonstrates and brings to grand scruffy life.

Wow.

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Last time I checked, the vast majority of the MONEY raised for the park came from private and corporate donations. Never let a fact stop a long-winded rant though...

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The total cost of the park is estimated to be $81 million, of which $41 million was donated by the City of Houston through contributions of the land and a street right-of-way. The balance of the cost of the park, $40 million, will be raised by the Conservancy.

from their website.

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what would be the odds of a hotel/condo as opposed to strictly a hotel?

Probably not tremendously high. Convention hotels are all about volume, and that means that they're catering to a more general public and aren't going to be of the same kind of exclusive five-star quality that can support condos.

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Probably not tremendously high. Convention hotels are all about volume, and that means that they're catering to a more general public and aren't going to be of the same kind of exclusive five-star quality that can support condos.

While generally true, this hasn't been the case with Texas' newest convention hotels.

Austin's Hilton Convention Center Hotel that opened in 2004 has 802 rooms and 93 condos on the top 5 floors of the tower.

San Antonio's Grand Hyatt Convention Hotel will have 1,000 rooms and 147 condos on the top 9 floors. It's currently under construction.

Fort Worth also has a convention hotel under construction. The Omni will have 604 rooms and 97 condos on the top floors.

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While generally true, this hasn't been the case with Texas' newest convention hotels.

Points well taken. In spite of that, I still consider it doubtful. Going forward, all but the most expensive condos are likely to be pretty hard to justify given prevailing conditions in the capital markets.

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I don't think it will be that big of a stretch. Having condos adds to the bottom line of a hotel. The four seasons have residents inside and a variety of Hotels around town act as such to a variety of people.

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