Martye Kendrick Represents Developers in Construction of W Hotel in Downtown Houston

Attorney Martye Kendrick represented developer Texas Hospitality Partners to build a new W Hotel at the Partnership Tower, on 701 Avenida de las Americas, which houses Houston First, the Greater Houston Partnership and other organizations.

The deal was announced in both the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Business Journal.

The following is the text of the article from the Business Journal:

W Hotel deal gets Houston First’s approval, heads to City Council

By Olivia Pulsinelli  – Assistant managing editor, Houston Business Journal

Houston First Corp.’s board has approved a plan that aims to bring a long-awaited W Hotel to downtown Houston.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the board voted 10-3 in favor of the deal with Texas Hospitality Partners at its Jan. 16 meeting. Next, the deal goes to Houston City Council for approval.

As previously reported, the deal still includes more than a decade of state and local tax rebates worth an estimated $42.6 million, per the Chronicle.

Houston First had to negotiate the main deal, but City Council has to authorize any potential incentives, Holly Clapham, chief marketing officer for Houston First, told the Houston Business Journal in August 2018. Houston First is a public-private partnership that manages more than 10 city-owned buildings and properties, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, some arts buildings and parking structures.

The deal calls for developer Texas Hospitality Partners to build the W Hotel atop Partnership Tower, at 701 Avenida de las Americas, which houses Houston First, the Greater Houston Partnership and other organizations. The project is expected to create more than 745 construction jobs, and the hotel would employ at least 275 people, according to a 2018 press release. The $130 million project is slated to have 308 rooms, per the Chronicle.

The proposal to build a W Hotel atop Partnership Tower, which was designed to support the structure, has been in the works since at least early 2018. But Houston First has been seeking a hotel developer for the tower since 2014. Originally, Houston First expected to secure a more modest brand and thus did not initially plan to offer local rebates or abatements, per the Chronicle.

This would be the city’s first location of the contemporary W Hotels & Resorts brand, owned by Maryland-based Marriott International Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR). Houston is the largest U.S. city without a W Hotel, a luxury chain launched in New York in 1998. The brand generally targets a younger demographic than Marriott’s other upscale properties. The company’s website lists 64 locations worldwide, including 30 in North America. Austin and Dallas both have a W Hotel, and the three largest U.S. cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — each have at least two locations.