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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. For images associated with any of these projects, reach out to the PR team directly.


Major Projects · Hotels · Restaurants  · Arts & Music · Shops · Nightlife · Sports

MAJOR PROJECTS

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...

Avenida Houston Development - Completed December 2016
Construction wrapped in late 2016 on the 1,000-room Marriott Marquis and improvements to the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB). The Marriott boasts 100,000 square feet of meeting space, plus a one -of-a-kind Texas-shaped lazy river and infinity pool.  The hotel is connected to the north side of the GRB, opposite the 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston. Meanwhile, the front facade of the GRB itself was renovated to feature ground-level restaurants and a new concourse. Eateries include Grotto Downtown, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, McAllister’s Deli and the soon-to-open Bud’s Pitmaster Barbecue and fusion concept Kulture. Other changes include an art-inspired pedestrian plaza along Avenida de La Americas and a new convention center parking garage. The entire area has been rebranded Avenida Houston. Tied to the pedestrian plaza, The Wharf brings an intimate, tree-lined patio space where convention attendees and other visitors can overlook the 12-acre Discovery Green park. More...

Midtown Park - Opening Spring 2017
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 September 2017
The Lone Star Flight Museum will relocate from Galveston to Houston's Ellington Airport. Construction on the new museum began in early 2016 and the facility is slated to open in September 2017. The $38 million, 130,000-square-foot Houston museum will include the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, a renowned flying collection of historic aircraft, a $1 million high-tech Aviation Learning Center and dynamic hands-on exhibits. Other components include 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... 

Post Oak Boulevard Redevelopment - Completion in Late 2018
A major thoroughfare in the Uptown area will be completely transformed by the end of 2018, creating a pedestrian-oriented corridor designed to keep pace with a rapidly changing district. The Uptown Houston District is leading the effort to redevelop the entire length of Post Oak Boulevard from Richmond Avenue to I-610 West. What will emerge is a heavily-landscaped, grand boulevard lined with shops, restaurants and residential buildings. Sidewalks are being widened, extensive lighting installed and nearly 1,000 trees will soon create a green canopy over the street.  More...

Holocaust Museum Houston Expansion - Completion Expected in Early 2019
In October 2017, construction will begin on a $33.8 million project that will more than double the size of Holocaust Museum Houston. The new Lester and Sue Smith Campus of the museum will span 57,000 square feet and make HMH the fourth-largest Holocaust museum in the nation. The expanded museum will include a new 200-seat theater that can accommodate professional performances, an expansion of the “Bearing Witness” permanent exhibit that includes testimony and artifacts from Houston-area survivors, new exhibit space for the German World War II railcar and Danish rescue boat and a new library and classroom space among other improvements. More...

Airline Farmers Market Redevelopment - Groundbreaking in Late 2017
The decades-old farmers market on Airline Drive in the North Heights is a mainstay for that neighborhood. But a plan to redevelop the 18-acre space would likely bring new food options, retailers and others to the site, making it a more attractive destination for locals and tourists. MLB Capital Partners is leading the effort and involving local chefs in the project. Plans are continuing to develop. More...


PARKS AND GREEN SPACES

Grand Texas Theme Park - Completion Expected Summer 2018
Talk of a new theme park is making waves in Houston. With an estimated opening of summer 2018, the 632-acre amusement park will be Houston areas largest attraction, including the Big Rivers Waterpark, The Grove Factory Outlets, Speedsportz Racing Park, Grand Texas Sportsplex, Grand Texas RV Resort, and more. The park will be located in New Caney just 30 minutes from the heart of downtown. More...

Sunset Coffee Building - Completion Expected Fall 2017
The historic former Sunset Coffee Building at Allen's Landing is being returned to use and will 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...

North Houston Bike Park – Opening Fall 2017
Everything really is bigger in Texas. The North Houston Bike Park will be one of the largest parks of its kind in the country when completed in the fall of 2017.The 20-acre BMX park is rising adjacent to the North Houston Skatepark, the largest skatepark in North America. Located just minutes from Bush Intercontinental Airport, the bike park will feature a BMX-sanctioned race track, street course, freestyle ramps and bowls, and a community events center. The complex is expected to cost roughly $14 million and backers believe it will draw cyclists from across the country and perhaps even abroad for recreation as well as training for the X-Games and other major sporting events.

Emancipation Park  - Completed Spring 2017
Houston's oldest 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

Aloft Houston - Downtown - Now Open
Aloft opened its second Houston property in Downtown Houston at Fannin and Walker streets. The hotel, which opened in fall 2016, is a redevelopment of the historic, 10-story Stowers Building. The 168-room, smoke-free hotel is pet friendly and boasts a pool and fitness center.

JW Marriott Houston Downtown - Now Open
The 102-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building at 806 Main has been transformed into a 328-room JW Marriott. Pearl Hospitality is responsible for the $82 million luxury hotel at the corner of Rusk Street in the center of Downtown. The hotel includes a full-service bar, spa, health club, executive lounge and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The Carter building is hailed as one of the city's architectural gems; when it was first constructed, it was the tallest building in Houston.

Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites - Now Open
Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality built a a pair of hotels under one roof at Crawford and Capitol streets Downtown, just steps from the convention center. A 168-room Hampton Inn and a 132-room Homewood Suites comprise the $50 million project that opened in late 2015. Also part of the development: 6,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Houston I-10 West Park Row
In September 2016, the 135-room property opened in West Houston's Energy Corridor. The hotel offers free wifi, a 24-hour business center, meeting space, an outdoor pool and fitness center. In addition to traditional guestrooms, the site also offers suites with additional space and a sleeper sofa.

Marriott Marquis - Now Open
In December 2016, RIDA Development Corp. opened the 1,000 Marriott Marquis adjacent to the GRB Convention Center. The massive hotel, along with the existing Hilton Americas Houston, bookends Discovery Green and dramatically increases Houston's ability to host major conventions. The hotel  features 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 help round out the amenities at the Marquis. More...

Coming Soon

Hotel Alessandra - Opening 2017
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...

Hotel ZaZa - Memorial City - Opening Summer 2017
Z Resorts, the management company responsible for Hotel ZaZa, has partnered with MetroNational Corp. to bring the sophisticated boutique hotel brand to Memorial City at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Bunker Hill Road. Hotel ZaZa Memorial City will provide 158 creative and exciting guest rooms including seven specialty concept suites, over 22,000-square-feet of event and meeting spaces, social events fit for 6 – 600 people, and romantic personal getaways. Amenities will include an outdoor poolside experience with neighboring pool bar, ZaSpa, and a fine dining restaurant and nightlife-oriented lounge.

Le Meridien - Downtown - Opening Fall 2017
A vacant, historic downtown office building will be renovated to become an upscale hotel with a rooftop pool, outdoor sundeck, restaurant and bar. The Melrose building, originally constructed in 1952, is being redeveloped as a Le Méridien, a Starwood Hotels and Resort luxury hotel brand. The Le Méridien will feature 225 guest rooms and 8,000 square feet of meeting space in its 21-story design. The building was Houston's first modern-style skyscraper, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Post Oak - 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...

AC Hotel By Marriott - Opening Early 2018
Downtown’s century-old Houston Bar Center will soon be transformed into an AC Hotel by Marriott. The $44 million, European-style project will be located at 723 Main and bring 185 new rooms to the area.

Hotel RL Houston Downtown - Opening Late 2018
A Washington-based hospitality group will soon bring its 10th Hotel RL concept to Houston. Located at 1005 St. Emanuel St., the 150-room Hotel RL Houston Downtown will make room for retail space, a signature restaurant and bar and meeting space.

Intercontinental Houston Medical Center - Opening Late 2018
In late 2018, U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group will open its 21-story, 353-key Intercontinental Houston Medical Center property in the Texas Medical Center. The hotel will include 11,800 square feet of meeting space, a 7,800 square-foot ballroom and more.

Equinox Hotel  - Opening TBD
Houston's swanky River Oaks neighborhood will soon welcome a new luxury hotel - a 214-room Equinox hotel with ground floor restaurant space as well about 70 residential apartments. Equinox is an operator of high-end gyms, but will soon launch its own line of luxury fitness-focused hotels starting with properties in Manhattan and Los Angeles in early 2019.  Once complete, the new hotel will be located near the corner of Westheimer and Loop 610.


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RESTAURANTS & NIGHTLIFE

One Fifth – Opened January 2017
James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Shepherd introduced a bold idea to dining in Houston, transforming an established restaurant space in the city’s Montrose neighborhood into five distinct concepts over the course of five years. Each concept will include different décor, menu, wine list and even staff uniforms; it kicked off with One Fifth Steak which opened in January 2017. One Fifth Romance Languages (the food of Spain, France and Italy) will follow, and then One Fifth Fish. The two remaining concepts will be named at a later date. More...

Potente – Opened February 2017
The highly anticipated restaurant from Houston Astros’ Owner Jim Crane unfolds across the street from Downtown’s Minute Maid Park. The restaurant promises upscale Italian fare offered in a luxurious and eye-catching setting. More...

Tongue-Cut Sparrow – Opened March 2017
Find Bobby Heugel and Chef Peter Jahnke’s under-the-radar speakeasy above Downtown’s Pastry War. Inspired by the owner’s Asia travels, the name pays homage to a Japanese fable about greed, jealousy and friendship. More...

Brasserie du Parc – Opened January 2017
The husband-wife team behind Uptown Park’s Etoile Cuisine et Bar expanded their reach in 2017 with a second French concept in Downtown Houston. Located on the ground floor of One Park Place, Brasserie du Parc and its accompanying Creperie du Parc, overlook Discovery Green park and offer classic French fare in an elegant, relaxed setting. More...

Xochi - Opened January 2017
Set in Downtown’s Marriott Marquis Houston, Xochi (pronounced so-chee) means to bloom or catch fire and represents another creative endeavor from award-winning Chef Hugo Ortega and the H Town Restaurant Group. There, fans will find a dining experience that celebrates the culinary and indigenous richness of Oaxaca, Mexico and its varied geographic regions. More...

Riel – Opened December 2016
Chef Ryan Lachaine has unveiled his regional fine dining restaurant in Montrose. The former Underbelly and Reef sous chef are offering a creative selection of local flavors and regionally sourced products that mix Texas Gulf Coast touches with French-Canadian influence. More...

Café Azur – Opened November 2016
Inspired by France’s Côte d’Azur, chef/owner Sidney Detainee bought a piece of Europe to Montrose. The French-trained talent teamed up with his wife to open the sunny, coastal concept in the former home of Brasserie Max & Julie. More...

 

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ARTS & MUSIC

Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University - Opened February 2017
Designed by acclaimed Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan to bring together the Rice community and the Houston public and enable innovative artistic work to flourish, the $30 million,
50,000-square-foot Moody will serve as an experimental platform for creating and presenting works in
all disciplines, a flexible teaching space and a forum for creative partnerships with visiting national and international artists. Open and accessible to the public, the Moody is dedicated to trans-disciplinary collaboration in the arts, sciences and humanities, and will establish a new arts district on the campus,
close by the distinguished Shepherd School of Music and the permanent James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace. The Moody will provide facilities including art gallery space, a 150-seat black box theater, a gallery for experimental performance and a café. Its defining feature is the light-flooded, interdisciplinary maker lab at its core: an atrium with immediate access to surrounding resources that include a wood shop, metal shop, paint booth, rapid prototyping areas, studio classrooms, technology lending library and audiovisual editing booths. More...


White Oak Music Hall - Opened May 2016
White Oak Music Hall is one of the premiere live music venues in Houston. Just minutes from downtown, The 8,000 square foot live music entertainment complex features multiple indoor and outdoor stages along with the Raven Tower ice house. The Lawn stage regularly hosts big name concerts each weekend like The Lumineers, The Flaming Lips, Shovels & Rope, and Okkervil River.

Buffalo Bayou Cistern - Opened May 2016
Built in 1926, an underground cistern was used for decades to hold a large portion of Houston’s public drinking water. After it sprang an irreparable leak, the 85,000 square-foot public reservoir was drained and sat unused and practically forgotten about. The hypnotic beauty of the chamber is reminiscent of Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern but with thin rays of light from open hatches above that illuminate the wide expanse.

Coming Soon

Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts New Campus - Completion Expected in Late 2018
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

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...

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

Hops Meet Barley - Opened August 2016
Houston has a great ice house and bar patio selection. Hops Meet Barley adds to the burgeoning scene with over 150 beers and 40 wall taps. Steve Long, of Reserve 101, brings the bar to the Upper Kirby neighborhood as a hang out for sports fans, dog lovers, and other locals. More...

The New Potato - Opened August 2016
Paul Redmond opened his EaDo-set Irish bar in summer 2016, quickly gaining a loyal following from nearby residents. Enjoy Downtown skyline views from the expansive, dog-friendly patios or snag a seat in the breezy back garden, where picnic tables and a large, grassy lawn make it prime for kicking back. More...

Ritual - Opened June 2016
An American-style brewpub has descended upon the historic Heights neighborhood and brings with it an enticing rustic menu focused on an in-house charcuterie program and craft beer selection. Ritual is situated at a popular intersection of White Oak Blvd. and Studemont St., where live music at Fitzgerald’s, restaurants and bars draw crowds of pedestrians eager to kick back with friends. More...

Harold's Tap Room - Opened May 2016
The Heights' multi-part deli, kitchen and restaurant combo recently unveiled its bar component. The 1,300-square-foot beer and wine taproom is located downstairs, adjacent to Alli's Pizzaria. There, guests will find indoor and outdoor seating, perfect for sipping wine, craft beer and cocktails. More...

 


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TRANSPORTATION & TOURS

B-Cycle Expands Across Central Houston - Expansion through 2018
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 2016 and beyond. The system currently includes 31 stations and 225 bikes but will add another 71 stations and 568 bikes with money from a federal grant. B-Cycle will move into areas like the city’s major university campuses, the Med Center and other areas inside the 610 Loop that have not yet benefited from bike share. 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...
 


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Leah Shah
Public Relations Manager 
Visit Houston
713-853-8313
lshah@visithouston.com

 

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