Expect transformations in downtown in advance of Super Bowl 51


Before Super Bowl 51 comes to Houston, there are a few things that the city needs -- starting with a place to put more than a million visitors who will descend on the bayou city in 2017.

Committee Chairman Ric Campo said, "We need more hotels. That's one of the big things."

Coming in 2014, is a $350 million Marriott Marquis hotel. It was the crown jewel of the presentation that won Houston the bid for the Super Bowl, and will be attached to the George R Brown Convention Center. Rida Development Company has put $335 million into the project, and city hotel occupancy taxes will chip in between $60 and 70 million.

"It includes a thousand rooms and 1,800 parking spaces across the street and will serve the area," Campo said.

A second garage is planned at a brand new $50 million Texas Heritage Cultural Center called the Now Center.

Parking is another must-have and Houston is woefully short. Midtown is earmarked for garages and you will also see a lot of change on the Main Street corridor. A building at Rusk and Main will soon become a JW Marriott with 300 rooms, and down the street a hotel will replace the old Humble apartments across from the old Macy's building. Notice the word "old" appears before a lot of downtown locations.

"It just needs some people to come back into the downtown area," said Houstonian Rick Guinta.

The Super Bowl committee agrees, so expect new retail, along with office buildings, and restaurants where there are now vacancy signs.

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