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Brookfield Acquires DoubleTree Hotel in Downtown Houston

HOUSTON –  Brookfield Property Partners has acquired the 350-room  DoubleTree Houston Hotel in downtown Houston.

The 20-story hotel is adjacent to Brookfield’s Allen Center, a 7-acre urban office park that is undergoing a $48.5 million redevelopment.

Brookfield Property will be consulting with architects for a major renovation of the DoubleTree, 400 Dallas St, said Paul Frazier, executive vice president and head of the Houston region for Brookfield.

Brookfield acquired the hotel, in a deal closed Wednesday, from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, for an undisclosed price.

With the DoubleTree’s redevelopment, Frazier said the hotel management will expand the weekend occupancy. The hotel, which is linked to the Heritage Plaza building with a skybridge, has served the business traveler primarily.

One key to enhancing the hotel’s weekend business could be Brookfield’s creation of a one-acre park-like space, similar to Discovery Green, between the One and Two Allen Center skyscrapers, Frazier said. The programming at the Allen Center park will bring people to the downtown hotel on the weekends, he said.

The hotel, developed by Century Development, was originally a Hotel Meridien before affliating with Hilton and flying the DoubleTree flag.

Another part of the Allen Center redevelopment will be the destruction of one of the skybridges between the office buildings. Forty years ago, skybridges were in vogue – as were tunnels – as developers addressed downtown development in the age of suburban expansion. In retrospect, the skybridges, like antisepteic gerbil tubes for the downtown workforce, contributed to making  downtown streetlife sterile and dead.

Brookfield, which has a large office portfolio in downtown Houston near Smith Street, is undertaking a sizable placemaking effort with its projects around the world, such as the development of the 7 million SF Manhattan West project in New York’s Hudson Yards district. Notably, Brookfield engaged Joshua Prince-Ramus of the REX architecture firm to design a $350 million redevelopment of its Five Manhattan West building.

In Houston, Brookfield engaged the Office of James Burnett, the landscape architecture firm, to create the one-acre green space at Allen Center.  Burnett also designed the highly acclaimed Klyde Warren Park over a depressed freeway in downtown Dallas.

“At Brookfield we are focused on creating active, diverse destinations in leading cities throughout the world, and our vision for Allen Center in Houston is the latest example,”  Frazier said. “Owning the hotel is a tremendous asset to Allen Center. We look forward to repositioning the hotel so it is aligned with the $48.5 million investment already underway, and will explore ways to evolve the hotel into a hospitality destination which adds to the vibrant art, greenspace and office spaces currently being created at Allen Center.”

Dec. 2, 2016 Realty News Report Copyright 2016

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