Houston's George R. Brown Gets New 1,000-room Hotel; Miami Beach CC Takes a Step Closer to Expansion

December 12, 2012

Both Houston and Miami Beach, Fla., received good news this week that the convention center footprints in their respective cities will have major upgrades in the next few years.

The Houston City Council recently approved a proposal by RIDA Development Corporation and Houston First Corporation for a 1,000-room convention center hotel connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

The hotel will be a Marriott Marquis and will bookend the other side of the center from the existing Hilton Americas-Houston hotel.

The new hotel is the result of a year-long project by Houston First Corporation and will give the city more of a competitive edge to attract larger trade shows and conventions, according to Houston First officials.

Additionally, the new hotel will add more than 1,800 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs to Houston’s hospitality industry.

Construction is slated to begin in 2014 and has a projected completion date of Spring 2016.

“We are so pleased with the city council’s decision to move forward with the building of this convention center hotel. We are very excited about the opportunity to boost Houston’s exposure and ability to host world-class conferences and events,” said Ira Mitzner, president of RIDA Development.

He added, “RIDA is focused on building a smart, efficient convention-centric hotel and enhancing the surrounding district with activity centers that will appeal to visitors and Houstonians alike. RIDA is looking forward to providing local Houstonians and businesses with jobs that will be created as a result of this project.”

The Global Spectrum-managed Miami Beach Convention Center also is one step closer to a long-awaited expansion and upgrade with Miami Beach Commissioners recently approving two short-listed developers - Portman-CMC, a collaboration between Atlanta-based Portman Holdings and Miami developer Ugo Colombo, and South Beach ACE, led by Tishman Hotel and Realty and Miami Beach developer Robert Wennett.

The project will include upgrades and expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center, an 800-room anchor hotel and a redevelopment of the surrounding area.

The RFQ required the following items related to the MBCC:

·         enhancements to the convention center, including at a minimum, renovation, outdoor function space, and additional meeting space

·         development of a headquarter hotel

·         a multipurpose/ballroom space of 60,000 net square feet

One of the primary objectives of the RFQ was to “facilitate the ability of the MBCC to attract high impact conventions, meetings, and tradeshows in an increasingly competitive environment,” according to city officials.

By September of 2013, a final developer will be chosen for the project that, according to press reports, will range between $500 million and $1 billion.

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