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The Houston City Council has moved forward with a proposal by the RIDA Development Corp. and Houston First Corp. for a 1,000-room hotel connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

The hotel will be a Marriott Marquis, which is a brand extension of Marriott International’s


Construction of the 1,000-room Marriot Marquis is scheduled to begin in 2014.

signature Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand. The hotel is the result of a year-long project by Houston First Corporation. The project will increase greatly the amount of hotel rooms at the convention center, making the city a more competitive destination for organizations looking to host large conferences, tradeshows and events.

“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, RIDA Development. “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 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.

The new convention center hotel, in addition to BBVA Compass Stadium, the recently announced Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage and METRO’s light-rail expansion in the area are all vital projects contributing to the transformation of Houston’s convention center district into a tourist and business destination.

“Everybody’s eager to put a shovel in the ground,” said Ric Campo, chairman, Houston First. “This project meets the needs cited by meeting planners for more hotel rooms and more activity near the GRB. We need almost 2,000 new hotel rooms to keep pace with our competitive cities, plus additional parking and retail options to strengthen our convention business.”

Adjacent to the hotel, a new parking garage will add 1,800 spots for hotel patrons and visitors to downtown and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“Our original headquarters hotel, the Hilton Americas-Houston, has exceeded our expectations since opening in 2003, and we expect a similar return on investment from this project,” said Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO, Houston First. “With increased bookings and room nights from larger conventions, I would expect both hotels to flourish and generate a strong economic impact for Houston.”

The RIDA Development Corporation is a full-service real estate organization that has created and invested in innovative and economically successful office, residential, industrial, hospitality and retail developments for more than 40 years. RIDA is one of the largest private real estate investors in Eastern and Central Europe with substantial assets in the United States.

The Houston First Corporation operates the city’s finest arts and convention facilities to position Houston as a world-class destination. Houston First manages more than 10 city-owned properties, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hilton Americas-Houston, Wortham Theater Center, Jones Hall and Miller Outdoor Theatre.

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