Come 2016, Houston will have two hotels to serve its convention center. The Marriott Marquis will join the Hilton-Americas as hotels to accommodate guests of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the deal for which was announced last December. That is when the Houston City Council approved Rida Development Corp.'s proposal for the 1,000-room hotel.
In April, the necessary agreements were finalized and Houston-based Morris Architects unveiled renderings of the $335-million hotel. The approval reportedly consisted of nearly $138 million in economic development incentives and tax rebate agreements. Houston will be the sixth city in the U.S. with a Marriott Marquis.
Today, the Houston Business Journal reports that Rida has selected a joint venture contractor for the project. Dallas-based Balfour Beatty Construction and Florida-based Welbro Building Corp. will construct the hotel. Balfour Beatty Construction is a subsidiary of London-based Balfour Beatty Plc. A groundbreaking for which is expected in the first quarter of next year.
In a statement, Ira Mitzner, president of Rida, said, "Balfour Beatty was chosen from among many other local and competent general contractors. Aside from their vast portfolio of hospitality projects and their professional team of construction experts, the difference that set Balfour Beatty apart was their engrained collaborative spirit and how well they mesh with our trusted partner contractor, Welbro."
Andrew McNaughton, CEO of Balfour Beatty, added: “Balfour Beatty’s U.S. construction business is performing very well and we have seen an increase in their order book to £3.5billion.
Houston city officials have often lamented the fact that there is such a small supply of rooms near the convention center, resulting in the loss of possible convention business to other top-tier U.S. cities. In a recent survey by Cvent, an event-management technology company, Houston ranked No. 19 on a list of the best cities in the U.S. for meetings and conventions. Orlando won the top spot, followed by Chicago and Las Vegas. Fellow Texas city Dallas ranked No. 8.