Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Pearl Hospitality, the developer of the new JW Marriott Houston Downtown Hotel, announced today the building is undergoing renovations and will be open for business in Spring of 2014. The conversion of the historic Samuel F. Carter Building at 806 Main St. will support downtown growth, preserve a historic asset and provide much-needed hotel rooms while furthering Houston as a tourist and convention destination.
The new luxury hotel will feature 323 guest rooms, a restaurant and full-service bar, a spa, health club, an executive lounge, swimming pool and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The project will create 177 new jobs -- 150 of them permanent.
"This is another example of Houston's thriving economy, and it is my goal to continue attracting job-creating projects and companies to our city," Mayor Parker said. "This is a perfect model of a public/private partnership that is a win-win for the community. It puts a vacant building into productive use, restores a historic structure, and most importantly creates jobs for Houstonians."
The $80.8 million renovation project includes several funding sources: $31 million in owner equity; $42.5 million in senior bank financing and $7.35 million financing by the City of Houston.
"Our city is thriving," Houston City Councilmember James Rodriguez said. "Over the past few years, we have worked tirelessly to grow our tax base through positive economic development and the JW Marriott Houston Downtown hotel is a direct result of that effort."
The city received HUD approval to use $5.5 million in EDI grant funds and $1.8 million in Section 108 funds for the redevelopment of the property as a special economic development activity. Specifically, HUD indicated that the project meets the applicable Community Development Block Grant national objective of primarily benefiting low- and moderate-income people through job creation. The city funding will be repaid with interest and represents about nine percent of the total cost.
"This is an exciting new development for Houston because it supports downtown growth and creates local jobs," said Dawn Ullrich, president of Houston First Corp. "For Houston First, there's an extra benefit -- it adds much-needed hotel rooms downtown, making Houston more competitive for convention business."
"The location is great for convention guests, business travelers and tourists," said Bob Eury, executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District. "It is across the street from the newly opened BG Group Place and is just blocks away from iconic workplaces such as Chase Tower, the Esperson Building and Pennzoil Place. It also is conveniently connected to major activity centers via the existing and under-construction METRO Rail lines. And the JW Marriott brand is a great addition to downtown."
"We wish to thank Mayor Parker, Andy Icken, the City of Houston Chief Development Officer, and Councilmember James Rodriquez for their leadership in helping to bring this project to fruition," said Pritesh Patel, Pearl Hospitality President. "The hotel will be a reflection of Houston's rich culture and history and we look forward to revealing details of our plans in coming months."
Pearl Hospitality owns and operates hotels in Fort Worth and Lubbock, Texas and has received numerous awards from Hilton Hotels & Resorts for management including being named the top ranked Embassy Suites in the country.