With the new ExxonMobil headquarters on track to open next year near The Woodlands, the rush to build upscale housing, hotels and retail shops north of Houston continues. The latest to join the fray: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and The Howard Hughes Corporation, which has announced plans for a new luxury Westin hotel at Waterway Square.
The Houston Business Journal first reported plans for the 302-room hotel that will overlook The Woodlands Waterway and feature 15,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as an outdoor pool, a workout studio and business center.
The hotel, which is scheduled to open in late 2015, will also include a 150-seat restaurant, lobby bar and second-level pool deck with direct access to the fountains at Waterway Square.
"There is a tremendous demand for signature hotels in The Woodlands, and we are pleased to welcome the renowned Westin brand," Paul Layne, executive vice president of master-planned communities for The Howard Hughes Corp., said in a statement. "The Westin, The Woodlands will be a great place to stay in Waterway Square, a regional destination with multiple water features, shopping, dining and entertainment options for locals and visitors alike."
The new hotel, designed by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, will be within walking distance of several corporate offices, the shops and restaurants in the Waterway Square District, The Woodlands Mall and Market Street, as well as concert venue Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
Hughes Landing, a 66-acre mixed-use development, is also nearby and set to house office buildings, restaurants (including Escalantes' Fine Tex-Mex and River Oaks favorite, Local Pour), a Whole Foods Market and up to 800 multifamily residences.
It will be the fifth Westin Hotel for the Houston area, with two in The Galleria (The Westin Oaks and Westin Galleria), one downtown (the Inn on the Ballpark was rebranded as the Westin Houston Downtown) and in Memorial (the Westin Memorial City).
Among other national names, a new Hyatt Place Hotel recently opened in the Woodlands area, a new Nordstrom is debuting at the Woodlands Mall in early September such hip national retailers like Kate Spade, Tumi, Trina Turk, Kiehl's and True Religion have recently opened in the area.