May 17–The owner of downtown's Great Southwest Building, formerly the Petroleum Building, is planning to redevelop the 21-story tower into a luxury hotel, according to a report.

Rockville, Md.-based Choice Hotels bought the Houston building at 1314 Texas Ave. last year from Todd Interests, which had been planning apartments there.

A retail tenant in the 147,867-square-foot building, Irma's Southwest Grill, was not familiar with details of the hotel plan.

The longtime downtown restaurant is planning to move its Mexican restaurant concept to the Catalyst, an apartment tower under construction on an adjacent block. The new location is expected to open by December, Nick Galvan, whose family owns Irma's, said Tuesday.

He said there are also plans to rebrand the existing Irma's Southwest Grill in the Great Southwest Building as a hamburger spot.

Choice Hotels was unable to provide information on the project Tuesday afternoon.