Aimbridge Hospitality to Manage aloft Houston Galleria as Part of Redevelopment Project

  • Starwood Hotels
  • 06.10.08
Aimbridge Hospitality has been selected by joint venture partners AmREIT and Songy Partners LLC, two commercial real estate firms with offices in Houston, Texas, to manage the aloft Houston Galleria, a Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. brand.

The 153-room property is part of a redevelopment project that will include renovation of a 135,000-square-foot office building and two parking decks. The property is expected to open in July 2009.

“We’re very excited to continue our relationship with Aimbridge Hospitality,” said Jesse Clark, Songy Partners senior development director. “They have done an outstanding job with our projects in other markets, and we have tremendous confidence that they will do the same with the aloft Houston Galleria. This hotel will add a new dimension to the Galleria area by finally bringing the urban-boutique hotel experience to a market that has long been underserved. Starwood’s aloft concept of affordable, chic accommodations for the contemporary business traveler and vacationer will do very well in Houston.”

Aimbridge Hospitality currently manages the Hilton Garden Inn in Dallas, a Songy property. The 5-year-old company presently owns or operates 44 branded and independent hotels that are open or expected to open, and six additional properties are in development.

“This property will put the aloft brand on the map with international leisure travelers – especially those from Mexico and Central America who frequent the Houston Galleria,” said Aimbridge Hospitality President and CEO Dave Johnson. “Feedback from the local community has been very positive, and we believe that affluent international guests will be as delighted as we are to see this Starwood brand entering the market.  We look forward to adding yet another aloft – and another AmREIT /Songy partnership property – to our portfolio.”

Aimbridge Hospitality will open four aloft hotels this year, one in Chicago and three in Plano, Las Colinas and Frisco, Texas.

As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft offers a total sensory experience, with guest lofts featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the loft room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by bliss® spa. Each guest loft is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless Internet access and plug and play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a large flat panel HDTV-ready television for optimal sound and viewing.

In addition to the aloft hotel, the AmREIT/Songy partnership will begin renovating the adjacent office building later this year. The office building will receive renovations to the lobby, common area, elevators and hardscapes. Prosperity Bank is the largest tenant in the building. The renovations come at an ideal time, with Houston ranked as one of the top cities to invest in office, retail and industrial market sectors, according to Grubb & Ellis’ list of top U.S. cities for commercial real estate investors in 2008.

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