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Le Meridien (Melrose Building) At 1121 Walker St.


dbigtex56

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This building, unlike the Marriott, shouldn't involve taking off the entire facade and then putting up EIFS in its place, so maybe it will be faster? Depends on how much work needs to be done to the interior, especially since it's a conversion from office to hotel.

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I will be curious to see.

I imagine that there is a ton of work to do. Going from office to hotel will involve gutting the entire interior and adding new interior spaces and bathrooms (plumbing), electric, and HVAC. It will also involve adding any "behind the scenes" spaces for laundry, kitchen, employee spaces, etc. I wonder if building codes call for differ types of fire exits or fire suppression between an office building and a hotel? Are the distances from rooms to fire exists more strict?

Glad to see this project moving forward and I hope to learn something regarding how long and "interior only" (assuming that is true) conversion like this might take.....

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They definitely need to do some exterior work. They've removed some of the black panels covering the original turquoise panels below them, but neither seem to be in very good shape. I wonder if they will keep the exposed fire escape (like they did with the Great Southwest building) or if they will completely enclose it (like they did with the Club Quarters and the JW Marriott) or if they do something in between (like they seem to be doing with the Central Square building). Also, I'm sure the windows will end up getting replaced, too, as those are surely quite old and inefficient.

It will be interesting to see what it ends up looking like when it's done.

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How long did the JW Marriott renovation take? With the existing structure up, I'd think a turn time by the Super Bowl would not be completely out of the question.

 

They started taking off the façade in September of 2012 (apart from the test strip which was removed earlier) and finished around October 1 of 2014, so ~ 24 months.

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This is almost as big of a project as the JW Marriott (255 rooms vs 270 rooms, and 206,000 square feet vs 221,000 square feet). The only advantage is the exterior doesn't need as much work. We're 18 months from the Super Bowl, so while it's possible it will be done in time, it seems that they are cutting it tight. Remember that the JW Marriott wasn't even done when it opened; they took a couple more months to build out the top few floors.

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Le Meridien is a premium brand with Starwood. I am not sure the hotel would pay the extra dollars to make a big push to be open by the Super Bowl given their marketing edge in being affiliated with a large, known hotel chain. Getting open by the Super Bowl would be far more important for something like the Alessandra, methinks, where a lesser known brand might really want the chance to highlight its amenities.

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I have never noticed that building until now. 

 

Easy to miss, unless you walk past it. They actually placed a pot-a-potty on the sidewalk in front of it to cut down on folks using it as a urinal (or worse).

Edited by Nate99
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^^^ although i am loving the fact that LE MERIDIEN is venturing forth back into the houston cbd, i cannot help but wonder why they chose this particular edifice to renovate / expand?  starwood hotels, could have very easily just torn down this building and reconstructed from ground up....

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^^^ although i am loving the fact that LE MERIDIEN is venturing forth back into the houston cbd, i cannot help but wonder why they chose this particular edifice to renovate / expand?  starwood hotels, could have very easily just torn down this building and reconstructed from ground up....

 

Mid-century modern is kind of an in thing right now, and a lot of out-of-town people like the authenticity of using an actual period building rather than new construction. Not a lot of Houstonians, perhaps, but a lot of out-of-town people value this.

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Mid-century modern is kind of an in thing right now, and a lot of out-of-town people like the authenticity of using an actual period building rather than new construction. Not a lot of Houstonians, perhaps, but a lot of out-of-town people value this.

Even if someone didn't like the style, hopefully they can appreciate it over Embassy Suites.
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If 6 Houston Center and the big tower portion of the Texaco renovation actually got built, this little guy would have been surrounded by big towers. As it is, once/if HSPVA and the Alexan project get built, there will be fewer angles available where you will be able to see it at all.  It’s not a big deal of a building either way to me visually (as always, I’m not picky), but I am amazed that it is getting a refurb after being a blight for so long.

 

Poor ol’ Sheraton Lincoln just didn’t make the cut.

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If only they could flip it around to the opposite corner of the block. 2 Houston Center just doesn't care.

 

Having the hotel entrance across the street from the Texaco residential/GFR would have added value to both projects, I would think.

 

As it is, I'm interested to see what it's like around there once this is up and running along with the Aloft. If something were done with the parking lot on the other half of the block, you would have something quite nice where it was extremely sketchy pre-BG Place, though that was due as much to the Montagu as it was the abandoned buildings.

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Having the hotel entrance across the street from the Texaco residential/GFR would have added value to both projects, I would think.

 

As it is, I'm interested to see what it's like around there once this is up and running along with the Aloft. If something were done with the parking lot on the other half of the block, you would have something quite nice where it was extremely sketchy pre-BG Place, though that was due as much to the Montagu as it was the abandoned buildings.

 

I was thinking that would probably get built over by a parking garage for the hotel, but maybe that lot is too big for just a hotel parking garage, I haven't been there in awhile. If such a parking garage had GFR, it would really tie the room together for that little neighborhood.

 

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I was thinking that would probably get built over by a parking garage for the hotel, but maybe that lot is too big for just a hotel parking garage, I haven't been there in awhile. If such a parking garage had GFR, it would really tie the room together for that little neighborhood.

Combined with the Great Wall of Houston Center renovations, it will help with the flow.
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  • 2 weeks later...

If there was one building I thought could be restored to an enhanced version of its original appearance, as opposed to as close as possible, it would have been this one. Just not the most gorgeous building, and the thought that New York was building the Seagram building at the same time we were building this shows just how minor a city we were (although it makes our leap forward to One Shell and Pennzoil seem that much more remarkable).

At any rate, if this is restored and the Astrodome is saved, we should once and for all lose the stigma of a city that tears down its history.

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^^^ those original turquoise tiles as simply GOD AWFUL!  please, do not let them retain this most profoundly ugly and shocking design aspect.... 

 

^^^ Lacks appreciation for the finer points of MCM design.  There was a brief period when turquoise buildings were all the rage.  At one point I kept a list of the primary examples in Houston.

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^^^ jesus christ, this looks like a circa 1950's hospital in the med center.  no way, they should re-create this god awful 1950's look, in today's 2015 downtown CBD.  this would be a national embarrassment for houston....

Edited by monarch
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^^^ jesus christ, this looks like a circa 1950's hospital in the med center. no way, they should re-create this god awful 1950's look, in today's 2015 downtown CBD. this would be a national embarrassment for houston....

You've stated your opinion on the building. Many people disagree with you.

I think it's going to be awesome!

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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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