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Le Meridien (Melrose Building) At 1121 Walker St.


dbigtex56

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I guess I'm not familiar enough with the convention industry to fully understand, but it seems like landing even a dozen major conventions a year is not enough to sustain so many additional hotel rooms for the other 40 or so Glad to see that it's happening, regardless.

Atlanta has far fewer business travelers, their downtown has far less office space, far less major corporations and yet they have twice as many hotel rooms. Over 10, 000.

They do have major attractions right in or proximate to downtown though. Like the Olympic park, Georgia aquarium, stadia, museum, etc

Dallas has 7500 and looking to boost that number to 10000. And here we are with a bigger downtown wondering if adding to our puny 5000 is too much.

Houston downtown hotel occupancy rate is slightly higher than Dallas at 72 & 70% respectively, but according to Houston business journal 162 conventions skipped houston between 2008 and 2012 because we were unable to supply enough rooms. Last year alone ATL hosted 21 conventions that attracted over 5000 attendees.

Also some hotels get occupancy tax reimbursements

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Meanwhile, the biggest remaining blight source in central downtown is taken away. Prime beneficiaries of this will be the Texaco apartments, HSPVA, Houston Center, and the aLoft Hotel if it indeed moves forward as Urbannizer's link suggests.

 

Can't overstate this. With the work that has gone on in recent years, this building was something of the "last man standing" in central downtown among the big blighted/neglected stuff.

 

Now the relatively tiny strips of buildings that are 1114 Texas (next to the Magnolia) and Battelstein's are about all that are left.

Edited by Nate99
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Le Meridien and aLoft are part of the same Starwood chain of hotels.  I'm curious if they would put two hotels owned by them so close?  Maybe?

 

Originally Le Meridien was part of Air France - its hotel concept.  Guess its been purchased and expaneded internationally?  I couldn't care less if the only locations for the chain in the US are Baltimore and Oakland!  We need hotels, need older buildings that are empty or only 20% occupied to be redeveloped!  This helps the area between Main Street and the Convention "District"

Edited by arche_757
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 melrose.jpg

this proposed le meridien location shall require a ton of reconstruction / redevelopment.  i cannot wait to reference the new renders / concepts.

 

 

I love this building. With some modern / cool lighting... this could be super mod and geometric. I hope they don't mess it up too much. NO GLASS COVER

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I love this building. With some modern / cool lighting... this could be super mod and geometric. I hope they don't mess it up too much. NO GLASS COVER

I was thinking paint the concrete white, then change the windows to a singular glass form (I'd prefer a black tint) with a lighting feature along the edge. Enough to spruce the place up without completely jettisoning the original aesthetic.

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This was Houston's first modern skyscraper and I'm thrilled to see it get a reno.  

 

What would be fantastic would be if they removed the 1970s brown spandrels underneath the windows and restore the original turquoise panels.   In the photo above, on the sixth level right, you can see a turquoise panel where the brown one fell off.

 

And please god, keep the horizontal "fins".

 

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Except Urban even with the new hotels Houston is still a mid tier Hotel space Downtown and is not even on the same footing as it tier cities. .Dallas, ATL, etc

 

 

False

 

 

Take it up with the GBR..they even have a chart list..showing where Houston ranks amongst the top convention centers in America. .

 

 

 

Houston’s Top Three Priorities

The GRBCC serves a wide variety of users through- out its annual events calendar including conven- tions, trade and consumer shows, and a variety of local public events. Professional organizations rep- resenting convention planners and meeting plan- ners select locations based on the total package available within a community; cities compete on a “destination-basis” rather than a “facility-basis.”

Industry surveys have consistently identified the same top five factors in selecting a convention des- tination:

Convention Facilities • Hotel Package • Attractions and Activities • Transportation • Safety & Security

In developing the 2025 Plan, analysis of the GRBCC’s current package as well as that of its com- petitor cities identified three key areas in need of improvement for Houston to be competitive in to- day’s market. In priority order, these include:

Hotel Package • Attractions and Activities • Convention Facilities

Industry advisors and market analysis by consul- tants agree that Houston’s convention district lacks the number of hotel rooms and hotel mix needed to compete with other cities. Exhibitors and industry experts in hospitality, meeting planning and tour- ism have repeatedly expressed concern about the lack of attractions (restaurants, bars/clubs, shop- ping, entertainment) within convenient walking distance to the GRBCC.

Hotels:The #1 Priority

Downtown Houston and the GRBCC lack what are considered positive draws for its competitor cities including attached and proximate hotel room sup- ply.

The City of Houston and the GRBCC need 2,000 new hotel rooms in the convention district to re- main competitive with the lodging capacity of oth- er convention destination cities.

 

“You’re under-hoteled...” “The need for more hotel rooms is great...” “Focus on hotels and amenities now!”

Quotes from Industry Advisory Group Vision Session December 2010

so the question here is.. how many hotel rooms are currently U/C?

 

http://www.downtownhouston.org/site_media/uploads/attachments/2012-01-24/111212-GRBCC-2025_Master_Plan.pdf

 

 

As you can see, the GRB and downtown Houston organizations have in fact said (in 2011) that we need an additional 2,000 hotel rooms downtown to "remain competitive with the lodging capacity of other convention destination cities."   Since that time we have added and are adding more than 2,500 rooms and that does not even include this new Le Meridien development or the GHP Building hotel.   

 

By the way, downtown and uptown Dallas combined (which extends quite a long way from their convention center) have about 7,700 hotel rooms.  With the hotels under development in downtown Houston, we will exceed that number.  Thus the statement that "even with the new hotels Houston . . . is not even on the same footing as it tier cities. .Dallas, ATL, etc" is demonstrably false.

Edited by Houston19514
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But doesn't our downtown have much more office space than those other convention cities? We need additional rooms for the corporations too when conventions are in town.. Not to mention for the people visiting the thousands of new residents in downtown.

 

1) yes, certainly as compared to Dallas. 

 

2)  But then you also need to consider that Dallas Uptown and Downtown combined have fewer hotels rooms than downtown Houston is projected to have.  Those uptown hotel rooms (approx. 1,000 of their 7700 total) are more than a mile from their convention center (the cutoff point often used for convention planning).  So for convention purposes we will exceed Dallas' hotel count by more than 1,000.

 

(Note, I am not suggesting we don't have sufficient market for the hotels being developed.  Merely pointing out that the all-too-common self-loathing statement that we are and will still be behind all other similar cities in convention hotel room counts, is just plain false.)

 

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Fair enough. We were just going off the GRB CC 2025 master plan info, which as you pointed out.. Is 4 years old now. An updated comparison of where we stand vs other cities, including all the new hotels and things to be completed in the area by the Super Bowl would be interesting.

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Glad to see this happening.  The Melrose building has been vacant for many years.  Obviously they will have to completely gut it, but apparently the structure itself is still fine.  I believe this was one of Houston's first "modern" skyscrapers, if not the first one, so it does have some architectural significance.

 

The original façade had a bit more color (maybe turquoise -- you can see bits of it where the black panels have fallen off), so it will be interesting to see if they restore the original appearance.

 

This building, along with the Texaco building, was in one of the worst smelling areas of downtown.  But since the Texaco building has been under construction, and since the city put a portable toilet right in front of the Melrose building, the smell has mostly gone away, so this could work.

 

The old Texaco garage next door to it isn't going anywhere anytime soon, because the garage was extensively renovated last year.

 

The only problem with this building is that the back side, not normally pictured, has almost no windows.  There's a 20-something story brick wall with not a single window in it on the northwest side!

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The only problem with this building is that the back side, not normally pictured, has almost no windows.  There's a 20-something story brick wall with not a single window in it on the northwest side!

Leaves open the rest of the block for another tower. The parking garage side is practically bare except for the air draft set of windows. Possibility for signage?

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This building, along with the Texaco building, was in one of the worst smelling areas of downtown.  But since the Texaco building has been under construction, and since the city put a portable toilet right in front of the Melrose building, the smell has mostly gone away, so this could work.

 

The only problem with this building is that the back side, not normally pictured, has almost no windows.  There's a 20-something story brick wall with not a single window in it on the northwest side!

 

No joke.  THe urine smell in front of this building nearly took me out once.

 

In regards to the lack of windows, they may punch windows in like the Texaco renovation.

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1) yes, certainly as compared to Dallas. 

 

2)  But then you also need to consider that Dallas Uptown and Downtown combined have fewer hotels rooms than downtown Houston is projected to have.  Those uptown hotel rooms (approx. 1,000 of their 7700 total) are more than a mile from their convention center (the cutoff point often used for convention planning).  So for convention purposes we will exceed Dallas' hotel count by more than 1,000.

 

(Note, I am not suggesting we don't have sufficient market for the hotels being developed.  Merely pointing out that the all-too-common self-loathing statement that we are and will still be behind all other similar cities in convention hotel room counts, is just plain false.)

 

 

It amazes me that Dallas's count is that high. Offhand I can think of the new Omni, the Hyatt Regency which of course is huge, the Sheraton which is also huge albeit kind of a barn and in the middle of nowhere, and the Adolphus. I know there are huge hotels as you go up the Stemmons Freeway/Market Center like the Renaissance and especially the Hilton Anatole, but it would be a stretch to call these downtown or even Uptown.

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Fair enough. We were just going off the GRB CC 2025 master plan info, which as you pointed out.. Is 4 years old now. An updated comparison of where we stand vs other cities, including all the new hotels and things to be completed in the area by the Super Bowl would be interesting.

 

Going with the 10-minute walk (approx. 1/2 mile) standard used in the master plan, it looks like Houston will have about 4,600 rooms (using an estimate of 150 for the Aloft and 250 for the Le Meridien and 350 for the GHP Building Hotel).

 

Dallas had 3,479 in 2011 and they have added about 130 rooms since then, putting them at approximately 3,609 rooms within a ten-minute (1/2 mile) walk of their convention center.  They have some other small projects in the works, but I don't think any of them are very certain.

 

Using the hotel map provided by the downtown Atlanta website, I count 3,956 hotel rooms within a 10-minute walk (approximately 1/2 mile) of the Georgia World Congress Center.

Edited by Houston19514
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It amazes me that Dallas's count is that high. Offhand I can think of the new Omni, the Hyatt Regency which of course is huge, the Sheraton which is also huge albeit kind of a barn and in the middle of nowhere, and the Adolphus. I know there are huge hotels as you go up the Stemmons Freeway/Market Center like the Renaissance and especially the Hilton Anatole, but it would be a stretch to call these downtown or even Uptown.

Dallas is a top 5 convention city..

Hyatt regency - 1120 rooms

Omni - 1001 rooms

And that Sheraton..? 1,840 rooms. Downtown Dallas has at least 3 hotels with over 1,000 rooms. Downtown Houston is about to get its second..

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Dallas is a top 5 convention city..

Hyatt regency - 1120 rooms

Omni - 1001 rooms

And that Sheraton..? 1,840 rooms. Downtown Dallas has at least 3 hotels with over 1,000 rooms. Downtown Houston is about to get its second..

 

The Hyatt has what?  900?  So we'll almost have 3.

 

What the heck are people arguing over?

 

http://www.cvent.com/en/company/cvent-top-50-meeting-destinations-united-states-2014.shtml

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/19/san-diego-number-five-convention-city/

 

Looks like Dallas is #7 - not 5th.

Edited by arche_757
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The Hyatt has what? 900? So we'll almost have 3.

What the heck are people arguing over?

http://www.cvent.com/en/company/cvent-top-50-meeting-destinations-united-states-2014.shtml

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/19/san-diego-number-five-convention-city/

Looks like Dallas is #7 - not 5th.

So Dallas has slipped to number 7. Interesting.. I guess that explains their plans for expansions and what not.

Their 3 1,000+ room hotels add up to about 4,000. Ours only add up to 3,000.

I don't know what's being argued here.. Just throwing some numbers out there... Lol

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Thanks, it definitely sounds promising. Now if we could just get someone to do something with the Daze Inn.

It seems like we could at least get them to get rid of all of the curtains and maybe power wash the thing.

It's the most objectionable large eyesore in downtown and with the Super Bowl in 2017 it would be nice to have it

remedied.

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Thanks, it definitely sounds promising. Now if we could just get someone to do something with the Daze Inn.

It seems like we could at least get them to get rid of all of the curtains and maybe power wash the thing.

It's the most objectionable large eyesore in downtown and with the Super Bowl in 2017 it would be nice to have it

remedied.

My remedy if nothing is done to it by 2017? Drape huge banners over the sides of the building promoting the super bowl.

Surely the city can work around their own regulations of no advertisements/signs over 40' or whatever it is.

Edited by cloud713
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My remedy if nothing is done to it by 2017? Drape huge banners over the sides of the building promoting the super bowl.

Surely the city can work around their own regulations of no advertisements/signs over 40' or whatever it is.

 

Dreaming here but if someone would be bold to get this property tear it down and build something similar to the titan that never happened but hey nothing wrong with dreaming.

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My remedy if nothing is done to it by 2017? Drape huge banners over the sides of the building promoting the super bowl.

Surely the city can work around their own regulations of no advertisements/signs over 40' or whatever it is.

 

Or they could just go the Dallas route and make it a LED wall. Times Square, here we come!

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Le Meridien needs to make just the absolutely worst rendering possible for us at first and gradually improve it overtime for HAIF.

 

"The plywood street level facade treatment will remain permanently, and we're working on a solution to replicate the bum piss smell to keep urban authenticity vibe."

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

In the parking lot on the same block. I talked to the lot attendant guy, and he was told that the owners "just want to see what was under the parking lot".  He was aware of the Le Meridien conversion, but didn't know if this was related to that or something else...

 

qVPrG21.jpg

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Good sleuthing. I wonder if the parking lot is owned by the same owner as the building? I guess a garage would be needed if this becomes a hotel, hence the need for soil samples.

 

If this goes forward, it won't make up for the big Trammell Crow tower delay, but it will be like that drink that helps you forget...

 

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Good sleuthing. I wonder if the parking lot is owned by the same owner as the building? I guess a garage would be needed if this becomes a hotel, hence the need for soil samples.

If this goes forward, it won't make up for the big Trammell Crow tower delay, but it will be like that drink that helps you forget...

I think it makes up for it. I remember back in the day, every HAIFer talking about all the abandoned buildings, Wulfe buying the old Days Inn, and wondering if ever they would be rehabbed or turned into dust. Wish I could time travel and let everyone know in a decade or so their dreams would come true. Minus the Days Inn...
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  • The title was changed to Melrose Building At 1121 Walker St.
  • The title was changed to Le Meridien (Melrose Building) At 1121 Walker St.

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