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What's New in Houston

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 · Hotels · Restaurants  · The Arts · Shops · Nightlife · Sports

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...

Hobby International Airport Expansion - Completed October 2015
Southwest Airlines spent $150 million to upgrade William P. Hobby Airport into Houston's second international gateway. The airport added an additional parking garage, roadway modifications, new concourse and an expanded terminal, all of which will help accommodate international flights to and from Houston. The expanded terminal makes 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...

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 - Ongoing
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 early 2016. 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...

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

$58 Million Buffalo Bayou Park Renovation - Completed 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 is a 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...

Sunset Coffee Building - Completion Expected in Summer 2016
C
onstruction began in 2014 on the former Sunset Coffee Building at Allen's Landing that will return the historic structure to use and hopefully bring new life to Buffalo Bayou Downtown. Sitting at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak bayous where the Allen Brothers first came ashore and established the town of Houston in 1836, the $8 million project will offer an outdoor plaza, refreshment facilities, canoe and kayak rentals and a rooftop event space among other amenities. The building will also house the offices of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. More...

Emancipation Park  - Completion Expected in mid-2016
Houston's longest-standing public green space is undergoing a $33 million makeover. Third Ward's Emancipation Park was purchased by former slaves in 1870 as 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 expected to 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...


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HOTELS

Holiday Inn - Opened in December 2015
A development group has turned the former Savoy Hotel that straddles Downtown and Midtown into a Holiday Inn. The 17-story property on Main Street had been closed since the late 1980s, but the new owners More...

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

Hyatt Regency Hotel Houston Galleria - Opened October 2015
The 325-room Hyatt Regency Hotel Houston Galleria opened in October 2015.  The hotel located at Sage and West Alabama roads offers 20 suites, 11,000 square feet of meeting space, a 40-seat restaurant and a fitness center that overlooks the pool. Guestroom design and concepts are inspired by elements of the oil and gas industry with built-in furnishings that offer a more spacious and modern aesthetic.  A Hyatt Place hotel is currently under construction adjacent to the Hyatt Regency and is expected to open in early 2016. More...

Hyatt Place Houston Galleria - Opened February 2016
The Hyatt Place Houston Galleria opened on West Alabama in February 2016, adjacent to the recently opened Hyatt Regency Hotel Houston Galleria. Both hotels were developed by Atlanta-based Songy Highroads LLC.The Hyatt Place features 157 rooms on nine guest floors, a pool, fitness center, meeting space, dining options, a market and a lobby coffee shop and bar. Dallas-based Ambridge Hospitality manages the hotel. The new hotels are part of the 7.6-acre Galleria Plaza mixed-use development that includes office and retail space, fronting Westheimer Road and directly across Sage from the Galleria mall.

Hampton Inn / Homewood Suites - Opened April 2016
Two hotels meet on one block near the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Hampton Inn will have 173 rooms, while the Homewood Suites will have 127. American Liberty Hospitality will look to have the 14-story hotels finished in the first quarter of 2016. More...

Coming Soon

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...

The Post Oak Project - Opening Late 2017
Construction started in fall 2015 on business mogul Tillman Fertitta’s new Uptown project dubbed The Post Oak. The 680,000-square-foot mixed-use tower will include a luxury 250-room hotel along with office space and 22 apartment units. Though the flag for the hotel component of the project has not yet been chosen, it’s expected to be one of the most luxurious property’s in town once complete in late 2017. More...


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RESTAURANTS


Bernadine's - Opened December 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...

Hunky Dory - Opened October 2015
Chris Cusack of Down House teamed 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" features some of the more unusual British-style dishes that Knight was known for at Feast. The spot is also visually stunning thanks to celebrated Austin-based designer Michael Hsu. More...

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

State of Grace - Opened October 2015
Atlanta celebrity chef Ford Fry’s highly-anticipated State of Grace made its debut in a bright and airy River Oaks space this fall. In his first Houston venture, Fry, a James Beard-nominated chef, teamed up with executive chef Bobby Matos to create a southern menu inspired by Houston and the Gulf Coast. More...

Helen Greek Food and Wine - Opened July 2015
Helen Greek Food and Wine is Houston’s first modern Greek restaurant. The city has featured Greek diners, Gyros, and traditional restaurants, but it’s not often that you find a modern Greek taverna outside of NYC or Greece itself. Helen Greek Food and Wine also boasts the second largest all-Greek wine menu in the country. The revolutionary menu features authentic dishes like a wood-grilled octopus, rabbit stifado, and grilled Texas quail. More...

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...

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 barbecue 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 a 150-seat restaurant. More...

Coming Soon

Biggio's - Opening November 2016
named after Houston baseball legend Craig Biggio, Biggio's will be a part of the new Marriott Marquis hotel and convention district downtown. The upscale sports bar plans on offering high-quality steaks, burgers, and wings as well as local craft beers, wines, and cocktails. More...

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THE ARTS


Main Street Theater Renovation - Completed Fall 2015
In 2013, Main Street Theater embarked on a $3 million capital campaign to renovate and add its space in Rice Village. The now revamped theater includes 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 - Completed Fall 2015 
The Alley Theatre completed a $46.5 million renovation in fall 2015. 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 included 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. More...

The MATCH Building $25 Million Community Arts Complex - Opened Fall 2015
The Midtown Art & Theatre Center Houston (MATCH) is a $25 million arts complex at the intersection of Main and Holman streets. The nearly 60,000-square-foot facility brings together several performing and visual arts groups under one roof, creating a new hub for the arts in a vibrant part of Midtown. More...

A.D. Players New Building - Completion Expected in Early 2016
Construction has begun 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 theater 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...

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...


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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...

Galleria - Redevelopment and Expansion - Ongoing through 2016
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 - Opened October 2015
The mixed-use River Oaks District is no complete on 14 acres just inside Loop 610 on Westheimer. The luxury complex includes 252,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and a cinema along with 92,000 square feet of office space and 279 residential units. A concentration of shops such as Chopard, Dior, Etro, Canali, Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford make River Oaks District a shoppers haven. 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...


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NIGHTLIFE

Axelrad Beer Garden - Opened December 2015
Houston has no shortage of craft beer, with 16 breweries across the city and more popping up almost monthly. And it’s the mission of the new Axelrad Beer Garden to shine a spotlight on Houston’s brew scene, from the oldest brewery in Texas, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., to newer brew spots like Karbach and Buffalo Bayou breweries. More...

Eight Row Flint - Opened December 2015
Fuel up at the former Citgo gas station now known as Eight Row Flint, a Heights hangout for patrons seeking a casual yet modern icehouse. 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...

 


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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 basketball 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...

 


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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

 

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