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American Liberty Hospitality Secures $30 million Construction Financing
for a 262-room Embassy Suites Hotel at George R. Brown Convention
Center in Downtown Houston
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HOUSTON, TX (November 24, 2008) . . . After two years of planning, Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality has closed on construction financing for a 262-room, full-service Embassy Suites Hotel at 1515 Dallas Avenue at LaBranch adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas Hotel and overlooking Discovery Green Park.  

The 19-story property represents the first privately developed, full-service hotel built from the ground up in Houston’s Central Business District in the past 25 years.  It is also the first project to be financed since the City of Houston passed an ordinance to spur new hotel construction within walking distance of the convention center.  Projects which qualify under the ordinance can receive 50-100% of the city’s portion of the hotel’s occupancy tax on an annual basis over seven years. 

“Mayor White and his staff are to be commended for taking swift action to pass this tax modification program,” says Nick Massad, president of American Liberty Hospitality. 

In a presentation to the Board of Directors of the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston earlier this year, John Keeling, senior vice president of PKF Consulting, underlined the need for additional hotels to attract more convention business to the city as well as maintaining activity in Discovery Green Park and the Houston Pavilions.

“In the current banking environment, projects are being shelved every day,” adds Keeling.  “The Embassy Suites project is definitely bucking the trend.”

Massad says the city’s efforts to promote hotel growth near the convention center are essential to elevating Houston’s status as a top-teir convention city. “Meeting planners are looking for nationally-branded, full-service hotels within walking distance of a convention center,” he explains. 

American Liberty Hospitality, which develops, owns and operates an extensive portfolio of hotels throughout Texas and Louisiana, plans to break ground in March 2009 with an expected opening in the Fall of 2010.  Amegy Bank and two other Texas-based lenders provided over $30 million in construction financing for the project.

“This project will bring more quality hotel rooms downtown that will in turn attract more convention business, and that’s good news for all downtown hotels,” says Massad,  “Planners of large meetings need quality, full-service hotel rooms within walking distance of the convention center.  It’s what they have with the Hilton Americas and it’s what they’ll have with the new Embassy Suites.”

In addition to the construction of the Embassy Suites in downtown Houston, American Liberty recently opened the 190-room Hilton Garden Inn Houston Energy Corridor at the southeast quadrant of I-10 and Dairy Ashford.  Its portfolio of hotels includes the highly successful Hilton Garden Inn Houston Galleria, which opened in 2005; Louisiana’s Cypress Bend Golf Resort & Conference Center; and other quality hotels throughout central and southeast Texas.
 

Part of the Hilton family of brands, Embassy Suites Hotels is the nation’s largest brand of upscale, all-suite hotels with more total suites than any of its competitors. Created in 1983, Embassy Suites Hotels pioneered the all-suite concept and today is a market share leader with 182 locations in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

“The Embassy Suites brand is ideal for conventioneers, individual business travelers and weekend leisure guests, particularly for families attending games at Minute Maid Park or events at Toyota Center,” says Massad.

Embassy Suites Hotels offer spacious, two-room suites with a separate living area, private bedroom and mini-kitchen.  The Houston property will include 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, a rooftop swimming pool, spa and fitness center, a restaurant, a street-level café and wine bar, and two levels of underground parking.  Its guestrooms will be equipped with high-speed Internet access, two flat-panel televisions and two, dual-line phones among other amenities. Guests at the property also can earn and redeem Hilton HHonors points and miles.

For three consecutive years, J.D. Power and Associated rated Embassy Suites Hotels “Highest Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotel Chains.”

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Contact:

Bernard Kaplan
(713) 784-1077

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Also See: Nick and Vicki Massad Gift $1.5 million to Conrad N. Hilton College at University of Houston; Gift to Greatly Enhance College’s Library and Hospitality Industry Archives / October 2007
Houston Hotelier Nick Massad Jr., Presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College Alumni Association and the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston / January 2007
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