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HOUSTON -- Development never stops in Houston. Consider this your go-to guide for staying in the know on the nation's fourth largest city.

For a comprehensive list of all recent Houston openings, please click here.

 

   MAJOR PROJECTS

 
METRORail Expansion - Completed May 2015

Three rail lines recently completed or under construction bring Houston to 22.7 miles of rail, allowing locals and visitors to access a variety of neighborhoods via the train, including Downtown, Midtown, the Museum District, East End, East Downtown (EaDo), Third Ward and the Texas Medical Center. Key attractions along the new lines include the GeorgeR. Brown Convention Center, Houston Theater District, BBVA Compass Stadium -- home of the MLS Houston Dynamo, University of Houston and Texas Southern University. The north side extension of the Red Line was completed in December, adding another 5.3 miles to the 7.5-miles that already existed. The remaining two lines were completed in May. More...

Gorillas of the African Forest at the Houston Zoo - Completed May 2015

The $28 million natural habitat--Phase 2 of the African Forest project that opened at the Zoo in 2010--features a waterfall, a flowing stream, natural and artificial logs and a boardwalk for visitors to get a closer look at the gorillas. The project also includes a gorilla night house--a large climate-controlled area where the gorillas will sleep and stay during inclement weather. Zoo officials have brought in seven gorillas, a number expected to expand to 10-15 when the family grows.  More...


Major Revival in Downtown's Historic District - Ongoing
A slew of new restaurant and bar openings surrounding Market Square and the Historic District has made Downtown Houston the place to be once more. New spots such as The Honeymoon, Henke & Pillot, The Nightengale Room and Moving Sidewalk now mingle with tried and true favorites like La Carafe and Warren's Inn. In addition, two new residential projects and significant developments along Buffalo Bayou keep the buzz going. More...

Revitalization of Mid-Main Corridor - Late 2015
The four-block section of Main Street in Midtown from Alabama north to Francis Street is being reinvigorated with multiple projects. A mix of old school nightlife spots such as the Continental Club mix with newer haunts such as the Alley Kat. Tried-and true restaurants including the Breakfast Klub and Sparrow Bar + Cookshop play with locally focused boutiques. Now, mixed-use is coming to the corridor with new retail and residential while the $25 million Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston is set to open in fall 2015. More...

Princess and Norwegian Cruise into Port of Houston

The Port of Houston Authority partnered with two separate cruise lines, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines, to offer new service from the Bayport Cruise Terminal. Princess Cruises began making passenger cruise calls in November 2013, while Norwegian Cruise Lines launched service in October 2014.  More...

Developments Underway in Convention District - Completion Expected in 2016

Construction began in April 2014 on a 1,000-room Marriott Marquis, with completion estimated in fall 2016. The hotel will be connected to the north side of George R. Brown Convention Center, opposite the 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston that is connected to the south side of the center. Meanwhile, the front facade of the GRB itself is being renovated to include ground-level restaurants and a new concourse. Other changes include an art-inspired pedestrian plaza along Avenida de La Americas and a new convention center parking garage. More...


Hobby International Airport Expansion - Completion Expected in Late 2015

Southwest Airlines is spending $150 million to upgrade William P. Hobby Airport into Houston's second international gateway. On the horizon, passengers can expect an additional parking garage, roadway modifications, new concourse and an expanded terminal, all of which willhelp accommodate international flights to and from Houston. The expanded terminal will make room for a new ticket counter, six additional security checkpoints, five new gates and a Federal Inspections Services facility for Customs and Borders Protection. More...

Midtown Park - Late 2016
Officials broke ground in May 2015 on a six-acre site in Midtown that will become a multifaceted urban park. The $18 million project will include recreation facilities, retail space, a 300-unit apartment complex and more. More...

Lone Star Flight Museum - Relocating/Expanding in 2016

The Lone Star Flight Museum will relocate from Galveston to Houston's Ellington Airport. Groundbreaking on the new museum is slated for early next year and slated for completion in early 2016. The $25 million Houston facility in is expected to be 125,000 square feet, composed of hangar space for aircraft display and storage, an auditorium, exhibit hall, library, gift shop and cafeteria. More...

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Expansion - Completion Expected in 2019
In early 2015, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston revealed expansion plans that will change the face of the cultural institution in the years to come. The $450 million project includes two new buildings that will complement the institution's two existing structures as well as a complete reimagining of the north side of the campus with pedestrian-friendly additions and underground parking. The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building will feature two floors of gallery exhibition space, a theater, cafe, meeting space and a restaurant. The project will also include a new 80,000-square-foot Glassell School design. Construction on the project will start later this year and is expected to be finished by 2019. More... 

 

   PARKS AND GREEN SPACES

 

Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park - Opened October 2014
The former 15-acre Garden Center site was reborn as the Centennial Gardens in celebration of the Park's 100th anniversary. Hoerr Schaudt, the Chicago landscape architecture firm, collaborated with White Oak Studio in Houston on the gardens' design, which will feature a rose garden, an interactive family garden and a sculpture promenade featuring public art donated by countries around the world. More...

$58 Million Buffalo Bayou Park Renovation - Completion in Fall 2015
The transformation of the 160-acre, 2.3-mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street is nearly complete. The $58 million project isa public-private partnership led by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the City of Houston's Parks and Recreation Department, theHarris County Flood Control District and with catalyst funding from the Kinder Foundation. Construction began in summer 2012 to restore the area to a more natural and self-sustaining state, reintroduce native landscapes and add amenities to enhance safety and convenience for visitors. Improvements will include:

  • A restoration of natural landscapes, including trees and native grasses
  • Upgraded or new trails for walkers and hikers to enjoy nature including places for canoes and kayaks to launch
  • Multiple pedestrian bridges
  • An extension of the distinctive blue lunar cycle lighting
  • New destination features such as The Water Works adjacent to the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, Lost Lake near Dunlavy and Allen Parkway, a $ 2 million dog park near Studemont and Allen Parkway and modifications to a portion of Eleanor Tinsley Park
  • Additional benches, picnic spots and drinking fountains  More...

Also underway by Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Houston First Corp. is the restoration of the Sunset Coffee Building on Allen's Landing, the site where Houston was founded, into a canoe/kayak and bicycle rental center as well as an event rental space and coffee shop.


Emancipation Park  - Completion Expected in Late 2015
Houston's longest standing public green space is undergoing a $33 million makeover. Third Ward's Emancipation Park was purchased by former slaves in 1870as a dedicated place for them to celebrate Juneteenth. Plans call for a new LEED-certified recreation facility, basketball gym, public artwork, small pavilions, a baseball field and more. The renovations are expectedto act as a development catalyst for this part of Third Ward. More...


Memorial Park Master Plan - Ongoing through 2025

A new master plan could bring more than $200 million in renovations to Houston's largest park. The 1,500-acre Memorial Park near the Galleria district will soon see an update to its 3-mile jogging trail. But more long term plans call for a land bridge over Memorial Drive, an indoor swimming pool, additional bike and pedestrian trails and a rugby pitch, just to name a few elements. Once it's approved, the master plan could take up to 10 years to completely realize. More...

Houston Botanic Garden - Ongoing
In early 2015, the Houston City Council approved a contract with the nonprofit group "Houston Botanic Garden" to take over an aging golf course in Southeast Houston. The group has until the end of 2017 to raise $20 million that will allow them to take control of the property and begin developing a major botanic garden on the site. Altogether, the first phase of the project is expected to cost $40 million and take several years to construct. The group continues to fundraise and is in the process of hiring a firm to develop a master plan for the site. More...

 

   HOTELS


JW Marriott - Opened September 2014
Downtown's 102-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building was recently transformed into a 323-room JW Marriott. Pearl Hospitality is spending $80.8 million to develop the new luxury hotel at the corner of Rusk and Main streets.The hotel includes a full-service restaurant dubbed Main Kitchen, 806 Lounge, as well as a spa, health club, executive lounge and 16,000 square feet of meeting space. Chef Erin Smith oversees the hotel's culinary operations, including the 120-seat Main Kitchen. More...

Coming Soon

Holiday Inn - Completion Expected in Fall 2015
A development group will turn the former Savoy Hotel that straddles Downtown and Midtown into a Holiday Inn. The 17-story property on Main Street has been closed since the late 1980s, but the new owners say they have plans to turn the property into the city's flagship Holiday Inn within a year. More...

 

SpringHill Suites - Completion Expected in Mid-2015
Just a few blocks west of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the historic Humble Oil Building complex at Main Street and Dallas is getting a new 166-room SpringHill Suites hotel. The complex is already home to a 191-room Courtyard and 171-room Residence Inn. The property's owner, RLJ Lodging, intends to convert an existing 82-unit apartment tower into the new hotel. More...


Hyatt Regency & Hyatt Place - Completion Expected in Late 2015
A 325-room Hyatt Regency and 157-room Hyatt Place are rising next to the Galleria in the Uptown area. Gensler architects designed the project, which is being developed by Songy Highroads and The Carlyle Group. More...

Marriott Marquis - Opening Fall 2016

RIDA Development Corp. broke ground in April 2014 on the 1,000-room Marriott Marquis that will rise adjacent to the GRB Convention Center. The massive hotel, along with the existing Hilton Americas Houston, will bookend Discovery Green and dramatically increase Houston's ability to host major conventions. The hotel will feature a rooftop lazy river and more than 104,000 square feet of meeting space, including Houston's largest ballroom. A two-story sports bar, two restaurants, a coffee shop and wine bar will help round out the amenities at the Marquis. More...

 
Hotel Alessandra - Opening Fall 2016

One much-anticipated new hotel project will help anchor the mixed-use GreenStreet development Downtown. Hotel Alessandra will be a tall, narrow tower at Fannin and Polk streets with 225 rooms. Valencia Group is spending $67 million on the 25-story project that will include 10,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space as well as an indoor/outdoor event deck and a restaurant and bar. More...

   RESTAURANTS


Mala Sichuan Bistro - Montrose - Opened June 2015

The much loved staple of Chinatown, Mala Sichuan Bistro, has opened a second location in Montrose. Owner Cory Xiong strived to develop a higher caliber, authentic Chinese restaurant in Houston, and with rave reviews the newly opened Montrose location offers many of the bistro's signature dishes alongside new Sichuan-style bites. More...


La Grange - Opened June 2015
La Grange features coastal Mexican flavors with an expansive outdoor patio. The restaurant and bar is located in a former horse hospital from the 1930s that later became EJ's, a popular bar from 1974-2014. Sara and Rob Cromie of Cottonwood enlisted the help of head chef Daniel Ajtai to create a menu that exudes a fresh coastal take on Tex-Mex. More...

Fluff Bake Bar- Opened May 2015

Houston Pastry Chef Rebecca Masson debuted her Fluff Bake Bar concept in2011. But the goal has always been to open a permanent, bricks-and-mortar spot that would serve Masson's desserts alongside a well curated wine and beer menu. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, plans were put in motion and Fluff Bake Bar opened in Houston's trendy Midtown neighborhood in 2015. Fluffernutters are definitely on the menu. More...


Peli Peli - Galleria - Opened May 2015

Peli Peli (also known as Piri Piri or Peri Peri), which means Bird's-Eye Chili, is a spice that was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th Century on the plains of Southern Africa. Now the South African fusion cuisine at Houston's Peli Peli features delicacies from that region along with American steak, chicken and seafood favorites. More...

Jackson Street BBQ - Opened May 2015

The pits are fired up and ready to barbeque at Jackson Street BBQ in downtown Houston near Minute Maid Park. The joint venture is the brainchild of Houston BBQ legends Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gatlin. Their combined expertise will surely satiate the hunger of any barbecue lover in a laid-back environment with counter service and good vibes. More...

Peska Seafood Culture - Opened April 2015
This fish-market/restaurant, blends fine dining and shopping in the Uptown area. Step inside to find display cases of fresh produce and seafood flown in fresh from around the world. More...

Weights + Measures - Opened January 2015

Bar owner Ian Rosenberg and business partner Mike Sammons developed a Midtown project bringing a restaurant, bakery and bar together under one roof. Weights + Measures features Slow Dough Bread Co.'s first retail shop as well as 150-seat restaurant. More...

Prohibition - Opened November 2014
A burlesque and cabaret concept that's built a following in the Galleria area recently moved to a historic space Downtown in November. Prohibition took over an 8,500-square-foot building on the edge of the Downtown Historic District, one block from El Big Bad restaurant. The space has been renovated to include second-floor mezzanines and 40-foot ceilings. The bar and restaurant space are open six days a week and a separate Supper Club is open for shows and special events. More...


Bistro Menil - Opened October 2014
Chef Greg Martin heads the kitchen at Bistro Menil, the airy eatery opened in October on the picturesque campus of the Menil Collection. The bistro offers an ever-changing, farm-to-table menu. More...

Coming Soon

Hunky Dory - Opening Summer 2015
Chris Cusack of Down House is teaming up with Chef Richard Knight, formerly with Feast, to create a new outside-the-box concept dubbed Hunky Dory in the Heights. The "modern tavern" will feature some of the more unusual British-style dishes that Knight was known for at Feast. The spot also promises to be visually stunning thanks to celebrated Austin-based designer Michael Hsu. More...

Bernadine's - Opening Summer 2015
Bernadine's, a new restaurant from Executive Chef Graham Laborde, will be a postcard from the Gulf Coast. Inspired by the cuisine found all along the I-10 corridor, the menu will consist of everything from grilled oysters to roast duck and BBQ crab to house-made boudin. It will be located next door to Hunky Dory. More...

Foreign Correspondents - Opening Winter 2015
Houstonfishmonger PJ Stoops will lead the kitchen at this new Thai restaurant focused on local ingredients prepared in traditional northern Thai style. The restaurant will seat approximately 200 in its bar, dining room and shaded patio. More...


   THE ARTS


The Menil Collection Drawing Institute and Master Plan - Ongoing
The Menil Collection has appointed Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) to enhance and expand the landscape design of the institution’s 30-acre campus. The appointment signaled of implementation of the Menil’s master plan for its urban “neighborhood of art,” as the enclave of museum buildings, green spaces, and bungalows has been called. The Menil’s project, undertaken on the basis of a master site plan by David Chipperfield Architects, calls for the creation of additional green space and walkways, new visitor amenities such as the now-open Bistro Menil and new buildings. The first new art building on campus will be the Menil Drawing Institute, a freestanding center for the exhibition, collection, conservation and study of modern and contemporary drawings, to be designed by the Los Angeles-based firm Johnston Marklee. More...

Main Street Theater Renovation - Completion Expected in Late 2015
In 2013, Main Street Theater embarked on a $3 million capital campaign to renovate and add its space in Rice Village. The renovation began last year and plans call for adding a second level of classroom/rehearsal space as well as new restrooms, a major redo of the lobby, concession areas and more. More...

Alley Theatre Renovation - Completion Expected in September 2015
The Alley Theatre broke ground in late June on its largest-ever renovation. The theater's $73 million capital campaign continues to raise money to fund the renovation and support ongoing artistic initiatives and the endowment. Since 1968, no major renovation has been made to the Hubbard Stage -- the largest of the Alley's two stages -- or to the public and backstage areas of the building, the building's air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. Renovation plans include stage improvements, audience amenities such as new seats, expanded restaurants and a new lobby space with a skyline view, and building upgrades with a new air conditioning system and plumbing. The new theater is set to debut in time for the 2015 theater season. More...

The MATCH Building $25 Million Community Arts Complex - Opening Fall 2015
Ground broke in May 2014 on the new Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH), which will serve as home base for several of Houston’s small and mid-sized visual and performing arts organizations. The $25 million complex will include four theaters, two rehearsal/ classroom spaces, gallery space and office space. The San Antonio-based architecture firm Lake/Flato partnered with local firm Studio Red on the design. A capital campaign for the project is still underway but the majority of the funding has already been raised.  More...

A.D. Players New Building - Completion Expected in Early 2016
Construction is slated to start later this summer on a new facility for one of the city's largest theater companies. The A.D. Players are planning a new 900-seat complex just west of the Galleria. The project will include a 450-seat mainstage theater, a 300-seat children's theater and a 150-seat black box. More...

 
Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts New Campus - Completion Expected in Late 2017
Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, the first in the nation to marry academics with a concentrated training in the arts, is building a new 168,000-square-foot building Downtown. The massive new structure will relocate the school that inspired the musical Fame from its current Montrose campus into the center of Downtown adjacent to the Theater District. The five-level building will include an 800-seat main theatre with a balcony, dance and music studios, and art galleries. Plans also call for a modern outdoor dining area on the first level and outdoor roof terrace located near the library. More...

   SHOPS


Stag Provisions for Men - Opened June 2015
Stag Provisions For Men is a modern day general store for every man. The clothing store also sells antiques, accessories, gifts, and other fashion for the modern gentleman. More...

Kuhl Linscomb Expansion - Completed December 2014
Best known for its impeccable stock of items for the home, Kuhl-Linscomb also draws a loyal clientele with its masterful mix of sought-after items. With a dramatic expansion in fall 2014, the store now offers more than 80,000 square feet of display area, positioning it as the largest privately owned design and lifestyle store in Houston. More...

Lucchese - Opened December 2014
The 130-year-old El Paso-based company famed for handcrafted Western boots, opened its fourth store in the nation in Houston's Highland Village in December 2014. The American luxury bootmaker's well-appointed store features the Lucchese Collection of handmade western boots as well as its fashion footwear collection and Equestrian-inspired handbags, clutches, totes, wallets and more. More...

Galleria - Redevelopment and Expansion - Completion Expected in Mid- to Late 2015
Work has begun on a $250 million redevelopment initiative that will bring more high-end retail to Houston's famed Galleria. Galleria III is being demolished to make room for a new, more pedestrian-friendly space that will front Westheimer and provide room for about 35 new luxury stores including The Webster and Celine as well as a brand new Saks. The redevelopment is slated for completion in mid to late 2015. More...

River Oaks District - Completion Expected Spring 2015

The mixed-use River Oaks District is rising on 14 acres just inside Loop 610 on Westheimer. The luxury complex will include 252,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and a cinema along with 92,000 square feet of office space and 279 residential units. Retailers that have already signed on to open stores include Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, fitness center Equinox, Chopard, Etro, Bonobos and many more. The complex will open in stages starting this spring. More...

New Downtown Retail Corridor - Ongoing
The Downtown Redevelopment Authority is vetting proposals to redevelop the former Sakowitz department store building at Main and Dallas streets. The project could include as much as 90,000 square feet of retail space. More broadly, the authority is looking at options to bring a total of up to 400,000 square feet of retail to the Dallas Street corridor. More...

   NIGHTLIFE


Lawless Spirits & Kitchen
The corner of Travis St. and Texas Ave. was the site of the Capitol of the Republic of Texas from 1837-1839. Lawless Spirits & Kitchen now sits in the original space under the historic Rice Hotel and features one of Houston's best patio views. More...

Henke & Pillott - Opened February 2015
Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space over 150 years ago, downtown's Henke & Pillot's patrons should add to their grocery list craft cocktails and delicious dishes. More...

The Nightingale Room - Opened November 2014
A new entertainment-focused lounge concept opened on Main Street in the Historic District last November. The Nightingale Room brings a mix of jazz and blues musicians curated by partner Mike Criss to  the shotgun-style space beneath Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge. The new concept offers wine and beer along with specialty punch and cocktails all in an antiqued setting complete with alarge chandelier, plenty of mirrors and exposed brick walls. The Nightingale Room pays homage to Houston musical legend Sippie Wallace, known as the Texas Nightingale in the 1920s. More...

Public Services Wine & Whiskey - Opened October 2014
The historic Cotton Exchange Building in Downtown Houston has become Public Services Wine & Whiskey, a new concept from wine guru Justin Vann and partners Justin Yu and Karen Man of Oxheart. The bar stocks a variety of off-the-beaten-path wines and whiskeys and the chefs are preparing a menu of "nontraditional" snacks for what promises to be a new Historic District hotspot. More...


   SPORTS


NCAA - Final Four - April 2016
Houston will host the NCAA Final Four championship April 2-4 at NRG Stadium. The multi-day event will include a number of fan experiences as well as the final NCAA baskeball games of the season. More than 75,000 fans are expected to attend each game, with many more coming for the other experiences. More...

Super Bowl LI - February 2017
Houston will host Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium. The Super Bowl is the most watched annual sporting event in the United States, drawing hundreds of millions of viewers and unprecedented media attention to the host city. The game will have an economic impact of well over $300 million for Houston. More...

 

   TRANSPORTATION & TOURS 


B-Cycle Expands Across Central Houston - Ongoing
The city's B-Cycle program kicked into high gear in 2014, expanding from a pilot phase of just three bike racks around Downtown to nearly 30 stations stretching from Montrose to the Museum District. Plans call for continued expansion in 2015 and 2016. The bike-share program allows member users to check-out cruiser-style bikes free of charge for up to an hour and just $2 for each additional ½ hour. More...

 
Houston Culinary Tours
A tour program that began in 2009 with monthly chef-led tours expanded this year to include walking tours of popular restaurant areas. Houston Culinary Tours continues to produce the highly popular Where the Chefs Eat tours that showcase the off-the-beaten-path spots inspiring local chefs. Tours around particular cuisines such as Korean and Indian as well as neighborhoods like Longpoint and Chinatown draw lots of attention. Now the program has expanded to include walking tours of Montrose and Downtown. The program will also soon include the Heights and offer culinary challenges and other foodie centric events that illustrate Houston's growing identity as a culinary capital. More...

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A.J. Mistretta
Senior Public Relations Manager
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
713-437-5206
amistretta@visithouston.com

Leah Fillion
Public Relations Manager
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
713-437-5275
lfillion@visithouston.com