|By Nancy Sarnoff, Houston
ChronicleMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 27, 2009--The developer of a $55 million Embassy Suites near the downtown convention center and Discovery Green park officially broke ground on the project Tuesday.
Construction of the 262-suite hotel, located at 1515 Dallas Avenue at La Branch, is expected to be completed in Spring 2011.
The project was supposed to get off the ground last year, but developer Nick Massad lost his loan to build it. Massad, of Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality, secured new funding at the end of last year.
The developer also got a boost from the city when council authorized a $9.6 million tax subsidy to the project as part of an effort to spur hotel development close to the George R. Brown Convention Center.
City Council passed a resolution last October which allows a hotel developer to keep hotel occupancy taxes for seven years if it builds within four blocks of the convention center. The Embassy Suites is the first hotel to fit that program, and city officials said they hoped it would make it easier to bring more midsized conventions to the city.
The Embassy Suites will include approximately 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a rooftop swimming pool, spa and fitness center, a restaurant, a street-level cafe and wine bar and two levels of underground parking.
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