By John Egan

With the transformation of a historic Houston building into a hotel, meeting attendees will be gaining another lodging option near the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The 10-story building, once occupied by G.A. Stowers Furniture Co., is being turned into the 173-room Aloft Houston Downtown. Developers say the project will respect the historic nature of the building, which dates back to 1913. The building, at 820 Fannin St., sits in the shadow of the BG Group Place office tower.

"We look forward to the opening of Aloft Houston Downtown, which will be the brand's second hotel in Houston and one of three new hotels opening in this market in the next two years," Allison Reid, senior vice president of North America development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, told "Aloft is attracting a growing number of adaptive re-use projects as it continues its aggressive expansion in markets across North America and beyond."

The hotel will offer 2,000 square feet of meeting space and a 12,000-square-foot terrace with a rooftop pool. The Aloft Houston is scheduled to open in June 2016.

"At a time when too many of our historic structures are being lost to the bulldozer, I am pleased to see this property being reborn," Houston Mayor Annise Parker told "This project will reinvigorate an abandoned and problematic corner of downtown and provide yet another hotel option for visitors wanting to enjoy downtown's abundant nightlife, theater and recreational opportunities."

Aside from being about six blocks from the convention center, the property is near Minute Maid Park, the Theater District and offices for companies like Shell, Chevron, KPMG and JPMorgan Chase.

Michael Scheurich, president and CEO of Arch-Con Corp., the Houston-based general contractor for the Stowers makeover, called the project "spectacular." Spire Realty renovated the building for office condos in 2005, according to Swamplot.

"It is a special building because it housed all operations of the furniture company. Therefore, nearly every floor has a different floor-to-ceiling height," Scheurich told "The first two floors were showrooms and very ornate."

According to the Houston Archaeological & Historical Commission, the Stowers Building is an example of early high-rise construction in Houston. Houston architecture firm Green & Finger designed the building. The Stowers Building has been submitted for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Gordon's Jewelers was the last major tenant of the building, the commission says.

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