New Convention District to Be Revealed in Houston

 According to the Houston Chronicle, the Houston First Corp., which manages a number of city-owned properties including the 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston and the George R. Brown Convention Center, is expected to unveil a plan for a convention district this month. Under consideration are new hotels, more amenities in the area and an expansion of the convention center. The newspaper reports that private investors will be courted to pay for most of the $6 billion of new development, although some of the costs will be funded by Houston First, which gets most of its operating budget from hotel taxes and convention center revenue. The organization already has set in motion plans to build another 1,000-room property to serve the convention center, having hired a consulting firm, Strategic Advisory Group, to start the process of finding a developer of a mixed-use project that could include the hotel plus commercial, retail and residential space.