As downtown Houston booms with ground-up development, Fort Worth-based hotel company Pearl Hospitality is taking a more preservationist look at one historic building.
The Samuel F. Carter Building, a 102-year-old structure at 806 Main Street touted as the city's first skyscraper, is slated to open as the new J.W. Marriott Houston Downtown Hotel in Spring 2014.
"This is an historic day for the great city of Houston. One of the city's most important structures is being brought back to life to add, once again, to the city's culture and the vibrancy of downtown," Bill Franks, vice president of real estate for Pearl Hospitality, said at a Friday press conference.
"When we have a building with the rich history of this one, we want to save it," said Mayor Annise Parker, commending Pearl Hospitality's decision to protect the building rather than demolish it.
Renderings indicate that its once-slip-covered facade will be restored to former grandeur, and plans for renovation include a luxury hotel with 323 guest rooms, a restaurant and full-service bar, a spa and health club, an executive lounge, swimming pool and 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
Parker also noted the site's convenient location: Right on the METRORail Red Line, close to amenities attractive to both leisure and business travelers.
The hotel's $80.8 million development is a public/private partnership, pulling $7.3 million in financing from the City of Houston.