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Marriott Marquis - new GRB Convention Center Hotel + Retail

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It looks like the second convention center hotel is moving forward.

Houston First (which runs the GRB) says 11 companies have expressed interest in developing the hotel. Among them are the usual suspects -- Hines, Trammell Crow, Omni Hotels, etc...

"We are ready to roll up our sleeves and begin the review of these development teams," said Ric Campo, who chairs the board. "Undertaking a project of this magnitude requires a team with a proven track record of success, financial strength and a vision of Houston's future.

The development team chosen by Houston First will also be asked to propose commercial and residential space as part of the hotel project.

Linky

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Thanks ed!

One thing that jumped out at me is the expansion of the GRB to the south.....Does that mean they're going to shut down that street on the south side?

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I'm happy Hines is in the race. I hope they win it.

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"The development team chosen by Houston First will also be asked to propose commercial and residential space as part of the hotel project. That's part of a new master plan for the Convention District that was unveiled earlier this year."

This will be huge for the street scene in that part of downtown. Street level restaraunts, bars, and other retail mixed with resident and hotel space will be awesome.

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In that rendering, long shadows are being cast from north to south. That seems about as credible as what the rendering is depicting.

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Looking at the rendering made a couple of things pop out:

The hilton hotel is going to either be part of the grb, our will be demolished and replaced with the the expansion.

The garage on the northern end is going to have to allow room for the light rail since out os going to cut through a corner of that block.

There are going tip be massively tired people at the end of the day as people walk to the hotel on the back end of the grb unless there is a very efficient shuttle circling that massive structure.

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In that rendering, long shadows are being cast from north to south. That seems about as credible as what the rendering is depicting.

Maybe if they can drum up the billions in investment pictured, they can tilt the earth too. If they're taking requests, I'd like our weather to be like San Diego.

Edited by Nate99

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Looking at the rendering made a couple of things pop out:

The hilton hotel is going to either be part of the grb, our will be demolished and replaced with the the expansion.

The garage on the northern end is going to have to allow room for the light rail since out os going to cut through a corner of that block.

There are going tip be massively tired people at the end of the day as people walk to the hotel on the back end of the grb unless there is a very efficient shuttle circling that massive structure.

I presume you meant the HIlton Hotel garage, not the HIlton Hotel itself? Yes, the Master Plan calls for removing that garage and replacing it with additional convention center space. The hotel itself survives, as is clearly depicted in the rendering.

Yes, the Master Plan discusses the need for the north-end garage addition to accommodate the MetroRail line on the ground floor.

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Thanks ed!

One thing that jumped out at me is the expansion of the GRB to the south.....Does that mean they're going to shut down that street on the south side?

No. The convention center addition will go over Polk Street.

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It's prolly just the sun reflecting off the chase tower. that's why the angle is wierd.

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I presume you meant the HIlton Hotel garage, not the HIlton Hotel itself? Yes, the Master Plan calls for removing that garage and replacing it with additional convention center space. The hotel itself survives, as is clearly depicted in the rendering.

Yes, the Master Plan discusses the need for the north-end garage addition to accommodate the MetroRail line on the ground floor.

So it'd be Houston's version of "Mockingbird Station"?? That solves the major retail component right there. Factor in increased retail need from nearby Dynamo games, and you've got a good recipe for retail in the area.

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I read the entire master plan a week or so ago. Polk is a key thoroughfare and one of the few links that GRB doesn't already block. They discuss that they can't close it, and how it complicates GRB expansion by needing to go over it. (Maybe they could build an underpass.. haha.) Anyway, that part of the rendering is quite far distant future. They clearly emphasize the need for all the new hotel space to exist before they would consider another expansion.

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So it'd be Houston's version of "Mockingbird Station"?? That solves the major retail component right there. Factor in increased retail need from nearby Dynamo games, and you've got a good recipe for retail in the area.

Mockingbird Station is Memorial CityCenter with a commuter rail station.

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While I like the idea of expanded convention business, I wish that Discovery Green wasn't going to be completely fenced in by large buildings, with little in the way of amenities for park-goers.

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In that rendering, long shadows are being cast from north to south. That seems about as credible as what the rendering is depicting.

Well, if that's the worst problem it has, then I'd call it a success.

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Well, if that's the worst problem it has, then I'd call it a success.

It's not, though. The intent and purpose of the rendering is to demonstrate the long-term expansion plans of government entities, however the rendering depicts structures that are variously barely-credible rumors or that are completely fictitious, which detracts from the rendering's credibility. Worse still, it places facades on the basic shapes of the buildings, which have yet to be designed. Many people are quite gullible and construe renderings as a sort of social contract over and over again, even though they should know better.

Since it should be so obvious that the rendering is bogus, I felt that pointing out the most laughable error was the best way to attack it from a rhetorical standpoint.

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Not a fan of this plan. Since this is a gov't entity they should be working to solve the 59 elevated problem and leave the low hanging fruit of parking lot development to the private sector's whims.

I'm thinking something massive along the lines of expanding the GRB literally over and under the freeway with diagonal hotel towers atop. I do like the north parking garage location though. ^_^

Edited by infinite_jim

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Great plan. Great rendering. How depressing it would be if city leaders didn't aim high. Imagine what you'd end up with if you didn't at least try for the best in the early stages.

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what would you like to see around the edges of the park in the way of amenities for park goers?

More casual and family-friendly eateries are the main items that come to mind, not places buried in the Hilton, Embassy Suites, etc. We like to meet there for kid play dates, and get tired of the very few choices (Lake House, Phoenecia) that keep weekend hours and are a quick walk. I'd like to see more human-scale projects around the park, not just large buildings (and yes. I understand how the economics of it work).

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More casual and family-friendly eateries are the main items that come to mind, not places buried in the Hilton, Embassy Suites, etc. We like to meet there for kid play dates, and get tired of the very few choices (Lake House, Phoenecia) that keep weekend hours and are a quick walk. I'd like to see more human-scale projects around the park, not just large buildings (and yes. I understand how the economics of it work).

One of the criteria that is emphasized quite heavily in the RFQ materials is street-front retail to be included in the hotel development. So you may get your wish.

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Great plan. Great rendering. How depressing it would be if city leaders didn't aim high. Imagine what you'd end up with if you didn't at least try for the best in the early stages.

One can aim high without affixing a strip of blinking multi-colored LED lights along the barrel of one's rifle. But then, I never really understood that expression. Why should anyone aim high? We should be aiming at what we intend to shoot with proper adjustments for windage and elevation. Aiming high is just a waste of ammunition. It's stupid.

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One can aim high without affixing a strip of blinking multi-colored LED lights along the barrel of one's rifle. But then, I never really understood that expression. Why should anyone aim high? We should be aiming at what we intend to shoot with proper adjustments for windage and elevation. Aiming high is just a waste of ammunition. It's stupid.

It's more stupid to waste your big chance by letting people with no sense of vision call the shots.

I don't think I ever heard anyone defend mediocrity or blandness so well. If nothing else, people need to aim high in order to counter those who aim low, don't try or don't care. You remember, they always sat in the back of the classroom. A lot of them are now flipping burgers. Somehow, aiming for that 'A' seemed a waste of ammunition. Some people are incapable of going the extra mile or thinking out side the box. Hopefully, giving in to the mundane when there is a chance of improving your situation will be a philosophy present and future city leaders will avoid.

Continue aiming low Niche. But don't try to drag the rest of Houston down with you - for you, that would be aiming high.

Edited by Mister X
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I don't think I ever heard anyone defend mediocrity or blandness so well.

Thank you! That's quite a compliment. Only, you call it blandness and I call it professionalism. That's what I expect from my elected or appointed officials. There is a difference, btw, between not trying hard enough and simply doing it wrong. If I had "aimed high" in my math class by adding one to every solution, then I'd probably not have graduated high school and would've been stuck flipping burgers. Enthusiasm is no substitute for accuracy.

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My question is this, why are 11 development companies clawing at the chance to win this bid? If this hotel was such a great idea, wouldn't they have already bought the property andd began plans themselves. It seems it's only because the govt can help make it profitable.

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It's more stupid to waste your big chance by letting people with no sense of vision call the shots.

I don't think I ever heard anyone defend mediocrity or blandness so well. If nothing else, people need to aim high in order to counter those who aim low, don't try or don't care. You remember, they always sat in the back of the classroom. A lot of them are now flipping burgers. Somehow, aiming for that 'A' seemed a waste of ammunition. Some people are incapable of going the extra mile or thinking out side the box. Hopefully, giving in to the mundane when there is a chance of improving your situation will be a philosophy present and future city leaders will avoid.

Continue aiming low Niche. But don't try to drag the rest of Houston down with you - for you, that would be aiming high.

I always sat in the back of the room and hated and made fun of those people that sat on the front row sucking up. Slept thru 1/2 my classes and stirred up crap in the 1/2 I was awake in.

Never flipped a burger in my life (for pay - my grill don't count) and never thought outside the box either - that expression makes me puke since the people spouting it usually have nothing useful to add to the conversation so they start talking about the 30,000 -foot view and deliverables since reality confuses them too much.

Now while I'm not in the 1%, I am making good money - guess I'm comfortably upper middle class - probably better off than most of the front row residents.

Nice stereotyping.

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My question is this, why are 11 development companies clawing at the chance to win this bid? If this hotel was such a great idea, wouldn't they have already bought the property andd began plans themselves. It seems it's only because the govt can help make it profitable.

Subsidization.

I'm guessing the city's side of the proposal includes incentives that are distinctly better than one could get if they developed one of the many blocks in the area independently.

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My question is this, why are 11 development companies clawing at the chance to win this bid? If this hotel was such a great idea, wouldn't they have already bought the property andd began plans themselves. It seems it's only because the govt can help make it profitable.

I'm going to throw out a wild guess. The city already owns the land and has control?

Edited by JJxvi

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Thank you! That's quite a compliment. Only, you call it blandness and I call it professionalism. That's what I expect from my elected or appointed officials. There is a difference, btw, between not trying hard enough and simply doing it wrong. If I had "aimed high" in my math class by adding one to every solution, then I'd probably not have graduated high school and would've been stuck flipping burgers. Enthusiasm is no substitute for accuracy.

I love professionalism. But what is the point of even having a convention center if it can't attract conventions. As someone who loves Houston, you won't hear me complaining (too much) about our corporate look. I'm not suggesting that we turn Houston into Las Vegas, but in the case of attracting business conventions, and out-of-towners, I don't think a little bling, some first-rate amenities or a convenient place to shop would hurt a convention center 'district'. Discovery Green is a great asset already in place to really make this area special. I hope city leaders run with it and utilize it to make this area of downtown as appealing as possible.

I'm not talking about affixing a strip of blinking multi-colored LED lights along the barrel of one's rifle. I'm talking about affixing a strip of blinking lights (or hopefully something much more tasteful) to give a convention center district the best chance it can get to compete with other cities who don't seem to have any problem justifying going the extra mile when it comes to giving visitors something to remember when visiting their city.

Edited by Mister X

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My point exactly. Demand is not there. But will a new glitzy building give a sense of need and encourage developers to start building on that side of town, whether it is residential or office?

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I always sat in the back of the room and hated and made fun of those people that sat on the front row sucking up. Slept thru 1/2 my classes and stirred up crap in the 1/2 I was awake in.

Never flipped a burger in my life (for pay - my grill don't count) and never thought outside the box either - that expression makes me puke since the people spouting it usually have nothing useful to add to the conversation so they start talking about the 30,000 -foot view and deliverables since reality confuses them too much.

Now while I'm not in the 1%, I am making good money - guess I'm comfortably upper middle class - probably better off than most of the front row residents.

Nice stereotyping.

I'm sorry if my comment offended you. I love burgers and I had many friends who sat in the back of the class who went on to better things. But, they didn't get to those better things by settling for less. I'm sure your post gives hope to many others who go to classes to goof off. Yes, they will always be able to tell everyone what a successful astronaut or cowboy they became on the anonymous internet.

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There may be sufficient demand to support such a project at half the cost. Such is life in the convention attraction business, I doubt you could ever get straight numbers out of such a group, much less make them work.

Looks pretty though.

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It's more stupid to waste your big chance by letting people with no sense of vision call the shots.

I don't think I ever heard anyone defend mediocrity or blandness so well. If nothing else, people need to aim high in order to counter those who aim low, don't try or don't care. You remember, they always sat in the back of the classroom. A lot of them are now flipping burgers. Somehow, aiming for that 'A' seemed a waste of ammunition. Some people are incapable of going the extra mile or thinking out side the box. Hopefully, giving in to the mundane when there is a chance of improving your situation will be a philosophy present and future city leaders will avoid.

Continue aiming low Niche. But don't try to drag the rest of Houston down with you - for you, that would be aiming high.

I'm sorry if my comment offended you. I love burgers and I had many friends who sat in the back of the class who went on to better things. But, they didn't get to those better things by settling for less. I'm sure your post gives hope to many others who go to classes to goof off. Yes, they will always be able to tell everyone what a successful astronaut or cowboy they became on the anonymous internet.

So which is it? Are the people in the back of the room losers who are destined to flip burgers or your many friends who went on in in life to bigger and better things?

As you post this from the anonymity of the breakroom at Burger King.

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My question is this, why are 11 development companies clawing at the chance to win this bid? If this hotel was such a great idea, wouldn't they have already bought the property andd began plans themselves. It seems it's only because the govt can help make it profitable.

I would think they already knew they could make money on this. But due to it's location and value to the city - they could afford to wait until the city threw out sweeteners to make it even more profitable.

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Thank you! That's quite a compliment. Only, you call it blandness and I call it professionalism. That's what I expect from my elected or appointed officials. There is a difference, btw, between not trying hard enough and simply doing it wrong. If I had "aimed high" in my math class by adding one to every solution, then I'd probably not have graduated high school and would've been stuck flipping burgers. Enthusiasm is no substitute for accuracy.

I think the rest of the phrase "Aim high" is "Shoot low". You can thank the Air Force for making us all forget that.

Aim high being, we want to build 4 more hotels

Shoot low being, lets build one hotel for now

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So which is it? Are the people in the back of the room losers who are destined to flip burgers or your many friends who went on in in life to bigger and better things?

As you post this from the anonymity of the breakroom at Burger King.

I think it is highly admirable of you to use your clout as an "upper middle class" citizen to defend people who choose to sit in the back of the room.

To answer your question, - a little of both. Some people grow out of being a D-student and some just defend them on the internet. :P

Edited by Mister X

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I love professionalism. But what is the point of even having a convention center if it can't attract conventions. As someone who loves Houston, you won't hear me complaining (too much) about our corporate look. I'm not suggesting that we turn Houston into Las Vegas, but in the case of attracting business conventions, and out-of-towners, I don't think a little bling, some first-rate amenities or a convenient place to shop would hurt a convention center 'district'. Discovery Green is a great asset already in place to really make this area special. I hope city leaders run with it and utilize it to make this area of downtown as appealing as possible.

I'm not talking about affixing a strip of blinking multi-colored LED lights along the barrel of one's rifle. I'm talking about affixing a strip of blinking lights (or hopefully something much more tasteful) to give a convention center district the best chance it can get to compete with other cities who don't seem to have any problem justifying going the extra mile when it comes to giving visitors something to remember when visiting their city.

I'm sorry, but were you actually intending to respond to me? I'm not saying that I would reject any specific idea for anything that might be built downtown. I'm saying that the rendering (the document and only the document, prepared by someone external ) is sloppy, fictitious, and unrealistic; it presents ideas that aren't actual ideas.

EDIT: And for the record, you need to chill. I'm uninterested in another pissing match with you. Its a waste of time and distracting from...well, reality.

Edited by TheNiche

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I like the rendering because it gives a hint as to what the area could look like one day. Plus it's fun to look at. Also like that it represents a long term vision of the area. It may not be perfectly realistic in every sense of the word, but there is nothing wrong with illustrating a vision. If anyone want to take it as a contract, that's their problem.

Personally, I hope the area looks better than that rendering one day. I hope the new convention hotel across from the park is much taller than the one in the rendering. The Houston skyline could use a little more height in that area. That is an opinion - not a contract.

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I like the rendering because it gives a hint as to what the area could look like one day.

Then I'm sure that there's a Sim City thread somewhere on HAIF. The commercial real estate environment is not a unicorn farm.

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I think it is highly admirable of you to use your clout as an "upper middle class" citizen to defend people who choose to sit in the back of the room. To answer your question, - a little of both. Some people grow out of being a D-student and some just defend them on the internet. :P

I was not using my "clout" as anything - just point out the inane-ness of your smarmy remarks about people who sit in the back of the room.

And other people grow up to be trolls on the internet. :P

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Then I'm sure that there's a Sim City thread somewhere on HAIF. The commercial real estate environment is not a unicorn farm.

HAIF must be an agonizing place for someone who doesn't enjoy looking at renderings and lets face it, very few don't have at least a few unicorns grazing around. You should remember that before you even open a thread about a new project so that you don't get upset. The commercial real estate environment is where these renderings come from - or are at least responsible for the creation of a great many of them.

This thread is about the new convention center hotel - someone posted a nice rendering. I enjoyed looking at it. I'm sure there is a thread at HAIF where there are no renderings of anything. But I doubt there are any that don't have something for you to complain about.

But anyway, HAIF is NOT the commercial real estate environment. It is a forum where people discuss projects, master plans, and visions - among other things. I see nothing wrong with posting renderings and for people to make comments (good or bad) on them or just enjoy looking at them if they want to. You don't have to like them if you don't want to. In fact, I think there is a button somewhere around here that might even make sure renderings or photos never even show up on your browser to bother you at all.

Edited by Mister X

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And other people grow up to be trolls on the internet. :P

Thanks for providing such great examples. They're perfect. I'm sure burger flippers everywhere are singing your praises.

Edited by Mister X

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So back to the hotel...

I would argue that the demand has been there for a while. It's in the number of Conventions that have been lost to the GRB/ Downtown Houston due to a lack of adequate hotel space in the vicinity. More rooms close to the Convention Center means bigger conventions can come to downtown. It also means more conventions overall, as it decreases the wait time for attendees to have to wait on hotel rooms (checking in/checking out). Downtown Houston is still at a massive lack for hotels rooms in downtown when compared to other cities.

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