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Balfour Beatty US, WELBRO Joint Venture Complete Iconic Marriott Marquis Hotel in Houston’s Convention District
February 01, 2017
RIDA Development Corporation’s project increases downtown hotel capacity by twenty percent
Balfour Beatty US, with joint venture partner, WELBRO Building Corporation, Inc., recently celebrated the grand opening of the $360 million
Marriott Marquis Houston
hotel located in the heart of the city’s convention district. With 1,000 new guest rooms and in excess of 100,000 square feet of meeting space, the Marriott Marquis Houston increases the city’s downtown hotel capacity by 20 percent. In addition to boosting the city’s convention business, the project is expected to transform the east end of downtown into a more pedestrian friendly zone.
“The City of Houston desperately needed another headquarters hotel to anchor the north side of the George R. Brown convention center,” said Luke Charlton, chief operating officer, RIDA Development Corporation. “Though it’s the fourth largest city in the country, Houston has lagged its neighboring cities of Dallas, Austin and San Antonio in both convention hotel rooms and conventions. In order to compete, the city needed an unconventional solution that would set it apart and attract visitors who previously haven't considered Houston. We believe this project accomplishes that and gives the city a new jewel to elevate its transient business and leisure hotel offerings as well.”
A skybridge connects the hotel to the George R. Brown Convention Center, which underwent renovations simultaneous to construction of the Marriott Marquis Houston. Completed in 30 months, the Marriott Marquis Houston is a project of RIDA Development Corp. with design services provided by Morris Architects and Looney & Associates.
A sleek and striking feature in the Houston skyline, the Marriott Marquis Houston boasts many distinguishing amenities from a two-story sports bar to lavish penthouse suites and the city’s largest ballroom. The crown jewel of this 30-story hotel is its sixth-floor terrace, which features the world’s largest rooftop lazy river. The Texas-shaped water feature spans 550 feet, infusing this sophisticated business destination with one-of-a-kind leisure offerings. The terrace also includes a 77-foot long infinity pool and lush landscaping overlooking the Discovery Green below.
“Progressive, resolute and enterprising, it is this same mover and shaker philosophy of the city’s early years that continues to define Houston as a global center,” said Jim Looney, principal, Looney & Associates. “The hotel interior design’s shapes and textures reflect the geometry of modern Houston overlaid with the historical patterns of the past.”
To navigate the complexities of building the more than one-million-square-foot hotel within a tight, urban footprint, Balfour Beatty and WELBRO fostered an integrated, one-team approach that maximized the client’s schedule, cost and quality outcomes, while ensuring public safety.
“With combined strengths of local market knowledge, financial strength, and our previous projects with RIDA, the combined Balfour Beatty and WELBRO team was uniquely suited to deliver this exceptional project,” said Brian Phillips, senior project manager at Balfour Beatty. “Its success is a testament to the entire team’s commitment to each other, the construction process and partnering at its best.”
By the numbers, key achievements included erecting nine 184,000-pound steel trusses inside the hotel’s largest ballroom and pouring over 53,000 cubic yards of concrete. Close coordination with city officials was also required from the project’s beginning to end, but especially so during the Houston Marathon, which started two blocks away from the hotel and finished directly in front of it.
The Balfour Beatty/WELBRO team managed the supervision of over 80 trade partners that collectively logged over 2 million hours and achieved 28 percent minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) participation—a key project goal for the City of Houston. The Marriott Marquis Houston project created more than 1,800 construction jobs and will provide 700 permanent jobs within the Houston hospitality industry.
With its stunning lobby, specialty restaurants and well-appointed suites, the Marriott Marquis Houston has become an iconic property that will enhance the city’s convention district for years to come.
“Marriott International is extremely proud to be part of such an iconic hotel. The Marriott Marquis Houston exemplifies our brand and boasts features that our customers have come to expect. We are also excited about our presence in Houston and acting as a catalyst for the future growth of downtown,” said Jay Marsella, director of sales and marketing, Marriott Marquis Houston.