Houston Convention Center plans expansion
A recently released master plan for the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, includes an expanded convention district surrounding the center. The addition of at least 2,000 area hotel rooms is at the top of the list. Currently, there are fewer than 3,000 guest rooms within a 10-minute walk of the convention center, which trails behind competitor cities. “This year marks the 25th anniversary of the George R. Brown, and we’re committed to making our convention district everything it can be in the years ahead,” says Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation, which oversees management of the city-owned convention center. “Our plans call for soliciting the best ideas from the development community to help us achieve our goal of adding rooms to our convention district and increase the vibrancy of our convention business.”
The plan calls for a hotel near each of the building’s four corners, including the Hilton Americas-Houston, which opened in 2003. An extension to the convention center on the south end, in the space where a parking garage currently sits, is also planned, with a new garage to be built on the building’s north side. In addition to the hotel rooms and expansion of the center, the master plan also calls for more retail and residential development in the area. Initial steps of the plan are already underway with the construction of a regional tourism center near the convention center.