Not so long ago, full-service hotels outside of Houston’s Loop 610 were rare, but times change. In The Energy Corridor, there are now a handful of these high-rise, amenity-packed hotels, and more are on the way to serve a growing West Houston, predicts Wolff Companies.
Despite current low occupancy rates, Houston remains one of the top national markets for hotel construction according to a May report by hotel research company STR. That group found that almost 5,000 rooms are now under construction in Houston, representing a 3.5% increase over the previous year – placing Houston at number six nationally and ranking the City above major tourist destinations such as Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Commenting on the STR report, Randy McCaslin, Managing Director of hotels in Houston for CBRE, told the Houston Business Journal that supply will outpace demand in 2017, but the market should be mostly rebalanced by 2020. Earlier in the year, the Journal reported that 5,200 rooms were under construction in Houston, including 500 in the Katy Freeway/Westchase area – one of the highest growth areas for hotel construction in the city.
“Previously, conventional wisdom dictated that full-service, high-rise hotels could only be developed inside the loop,” said Carolyn Wolff Dorros, Executive Vice President of Wolff Companies. “Then, the boundary moved to Beltway 8 and next to Highway 6. With the westward growth of Houston, rising land values in the area, and an increase in premium development in The Energy Corridor – including $1 billion in healthcare facilities construction and improvements – we expect to see many more upscale projects to meet demand.”
Case in point: a new 208-room, 16-level Embassy Suites is set to open later this year in the heart of The Energy Corridor, located near major corporations and healthcare facilities. Under development by Mac Haik Realty and MH Hospitality, the luxury hotel will be located at the southwest intersection of Park 10 Boulevard and Interstate 10, immediately across from Wolff Companies’ Park 10 Regional Business Center and in close proximity to the company’s master-planned Ten Oaks, home to the Texas Medical Center – West Campus. When opened, the Embassy Suites Houston I-10 West/Park 10 will closely mirror the 14-story Embassy Suites Houston – Energy Corridor that opened in 2009, which is located about seven miles east on Interstate 10.
The new Embassy Suites joins a growing number of full-service hotels in or near The Corridor, including Omni Houston Hotel at Westside , Houston Marriott – Energy Corridor, Wyndham Houston – West Energy Corridor and Embassy Suites by Hilton – Energy Corridor.
Wolff Companies’ Central Park offers the largest remaining parcel of land available for development in The Energy Corridor. A master-planned environment located on the north side of Interstate 10 between North Eldridge Parkway and State Highway 6, Central Park is accessible directly from Interstate 10, Park Row and the Interstate 10 Managed Toll Lanes. Central Park includes the future home of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s diagnostic and treatment center, now under construction. Two parcels are available – 15.3 and 10.4 acres. Projected uses include hotel, healthcare, high-end office, multi-family and retail.
Wolff Companies’ Ten Oaks, situated at the west end of The Energy Corridor, has more than 1,900 feet of frontage on Interstate 10 (Katy Freeway). One 6.6-acre parcel remains available in the development, which has uninterrupted visibility from Interstate 10 across the lakes connecting the west campuses of Houston Methodist and Texas Children’s Hospitals. Park 10, another Wolff Companies development, is located immediately east of Ten Oaks.
Carolyn W. Dorros
Executive Vice President