In the early 1900s, it was Houston’s grandest and first air-conditioned office building, constructed by a partnership of nine men of modest means who met while doing deals in an oil patch. Nearly 100 years later, it will serve as center stage for Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown when he today keynotes the official grand re-opening of the historic Humble Oil Building, 916 Dallas Street, at 5:30 p.m.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is the principal private sector investor in the building’s $70 million renovation, now home to downtown Houston’s first Marriott hotels - a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott and 171-suite Residence Inn by Marriott - and the 82-unit luxury Humble Tower Apartments.
Tours of the two Marriott hotels and Humble Towers will follow the ceremony.
“Kimberly-Clark’s investment in the renovation of the historic Humble Oil Building into two hotels and residential complex is another example of how bright our city’s future is and demonstrates a healthy respect for our past,” observed Mayor Lee P. Brown. “The addition of 362 new hotel rooms with this development will better enable us to attract the most lucrative conventions to downtown Houston. And, the housing component will help us to accomplish our goal of building a vibrant residential community.”
Also scheduled to make remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony are Dave Bernard, vice president, taxes, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Brian King, regional vice president, extended stay lodging, Marriott International, Inc.; Paula Blackwell, general manager, Residence Inn by Marriott; and John Parker, general manager, Courtyard by Marriott.
The mixed-use Humble project was developed in partnership by Kimberly-Clark and Leddy Ventures, Ltd. Housing Horizons, a subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark, is the owner of the property, and Marriott International, Inc. manages the two hotels. Financing tools for the $70 million redevelopment included $4.6 million for the acquisition of a preservation facade easement by the Market Square Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) and the City of Houston. The easement assures that the historic facade of the Humble Building will be maintained intact.
The hotel component of the Humble redevelopment, which opened June, 2003, is unique in that it offers two Marriott-branded hotels under one roof. Courtyard, Marriott’s moderately priced lodging brand, is housed in the original Humble Building completed in 1921; and Residence Inn, Marriott’s extended-stay hotel brand, is located in a wing added to the Humble complex in 1940.
Also included in the cornerstone development are approximately 6,000 square feet of prime retail space to serve hotel guests, residents, office workers and visitors. Occupying part of the street-level commercial area is Humble Café, a casual dining restaurant operated by Courtyard, and a 252-space-parking garage.
Humble Tower Apartments, the residential component of the Humble complex, is housed in the seventeen-story tower designed by architects John F. Staub and Kenneth Franzheim that was added to the original building in 1936. The 82 luxury apartment homes are a mix of studios, one and two-bedroom units that range from 519 to over 2,000 square feet. Over 30 percent of the units are leased.
The Humble Oil Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In order to preserve its architectural integrity, the building was renovated as a “certified historic rehabilitation” in accordance with preservation guidelines established by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
Character features such as existing rose marble wainscot, plaster embellishment, crown moldings, polished brass elevator doors, original steel accordion windows, elevator level indicators and mail slots were refurbished and incorporated in the design of the residential and hotel spaces.
The 472,000 square foot Humble Oil Building was constructed in several phases to serve as headquarters for Humble Oil and Refining Company, predecessor of ExxonMobil Corporation. Designed by the New York architectural firm Clinton & Russell, the original building, a nine-story neo-classical commercial structure, was completed in 1921, at a cost of $1.8 million.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading worldwide hospitality company with over 2,600 lodging properties in the United States and 68 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., has approximately 128,000 employees, and was ranked as the lodging industry`s most admired company and one of the best places to work for by FORTUNE®. For more information or reservations, please visit the web site at www.marriott.com.