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    Balfour Beatty Construction selected as joint venture partner on $324 million Houston Convention Center Hotel

    August 23, 2013


    RIDA Development Corporation selected Balfour Beatty Construction as a joint venture partner with WELBRO Building Corporation to build the new, $324 million Houston Convention Center Hotel in downtown Houston.

    The hotel will have 1,000 rooms and will be the second hotel to serve the George R. Brown Convention Center / Convention Center District.  The hotel is slated to be a Marriott Marquis, which is a brand extension of the Marriott International’s signature Marriott Hotel & Resorts Brand, and will attach to the convention center via a skybridge.  (The site is located on the block immediately north of Discovery Green, at Walker St and Avenidas de las Americas.)

    Houston-based, RIDA Development Corp. is developing the Marriott Marquis through a cooperative endeavor with Houston First Corp.  RIDA was selected by Houston First Corporation in September of 2012. RIDA and Florida-based, WELBRO Building Corp. have completed several hospitality projects together, including the Hilton Orlando Convention Center Hotel in 2009.  RIDA and WELBRO selected Balfour Beatty as their local JV partner to build the 30-story tower.  The RIDA team also includes Houston-based, Morris Architects as lead architect for the project; Looney & Associates of Dallas for interior design; Haynes Whaley as the structural engineer; Bury Partners as the civil engineer; and Blum/DBR as the MEP engineer.
     
    “Balfour Beatty was chosen from among many other local and competent general contractors,” said Ira Mitzner, President of RIDA.  “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.”
     
    “We are excited to work alongside WELBRO to fulfill the vision of RIDA and Houston First for the new Marriott Marquis Hotel,” said John Waltz, Senior Vice President of Large Projects in Balfour Beatty’s Houston Division.  “Our purpose, people, and project solutions make the perfect partnership to bring this dream to life.”

    Features of the Marriott Marquis will include 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a 40,000 square foot ballroom.  The amenity deck, on the roof of the ballroom, will feature a lazy river in the shape of Texas.  The ground floor of the hotel will include multiple shops, restaurants and bars facing Discovery Green and the surrounding area.

    Once operational, the Marriott Marquis (in tandem with the Hilton Americas) will fulfill Houston First’s greater goals to accommodate larger conventions and trade shows at the George R. Brown and allow the convention center to compete on a national level.  In addition, the project will add more than 1,800 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs to the Houston hospitality industry.

    Preconstruction of the project will be ongoing throughout the remainder of 2013 and into 2014 (with groundbreaking anticipated in the first quarter of 2014.)  Construction will encompass approximately 26 months.  Houston will host the NCAA Final Four in April 2016, and RIDA has indicated that they would like for the Marriott Marquis to be one of the host hotels.