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Posts Tagged ‘Houston First’

Houston gets a Bitcoin ATM

Just what you were waiting for, I’m sure. Houston unveiled its first bitcoin ATM on Wednesday, hoping to attract international travelers and more conventions to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Bitcoin is like digital cash. And this ATM, on the downtown center’s second floor next to a Starbucks, allows users to convert cash to […]

Transforming the GRB Convention Center

I don’t think I’d realized that there was a renovation of the George R. Brown Convention Center in the works, but after reading this story, I’m excited about it. By late next year, people strolling the George R. Brown Convention Center plaza can take in restaurants, sidewalk cafes, landscaped walk-ways and a water fountain. At […]

The Super Bowl is making us get stuff done

Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. The 2017 Super Bowl not only will drive thousands of football fans to Houston, it will put a hard deadline on projects from office and hotel construction to a light-rail extension, a local developer said Wednesday. Ric Campo, CEO of Houston-based Camden Properties and chairman of the […]

Finally doing that front door facelift

Better late than never. Renovations started this week on the historic Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing on the north end of downtown. The more than 100-year-old structure, now behind a fence as construction begins, is getting a $5.3 million facelift from Houston First Corp. and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. They hope the new design will […]

Big Brew

I like the sound of this. For three days in October, the [George R. Brown] convention center will host Big Brew, a major new festival that aims to tap into the region’s burgeoning craft-beer scene by putting 1,000 beers out for public sampling, along with seminars on what you’re drinking and where it comes from. […]

Here come the hotels

Lots of downtown hotel construction going on, or about to go on. The area around the George R. Brown Convention Center is about to see a burst of hotel construction as developers plan several new projects, two of which will offer more moderately priced rooms. The new projects are planned for sites just outside the […]

Fixing our front door

This sounds very cool. The century-old Sunset Coffee Building, looming in disrepair over Allen’s Landing at the north end of downtown, will become Houston’s “front door” with an $8 million public-private renovation set to begin in April. The three-story brick structure is boarded up, marked with graffiti, and has shrubs growing out of some second-floor […]

Here comes the Convention District

We’ll see what this turns into. The newest vision for the eastern edge of downtown includes hotels and residential buildings in place of what are now parking lots. Officials also picture a bustling pedestrian scene where shops and restaurants line the streets leading to the city’s 1.2-million-square-foot George R. Brown Convention Center, which, too, would […]

The Midtown arts deal

I have three things to say about this. A nonprofit group plans to build a community arts complex in Midtown with the help of up to $6 million in reimbursements from the city. The Houston City Council this week approved a tax reimbursement deal and the $2.5 million sale of 3400 Main, currently a parking […]

Council approves deal to spin off Convention Center

Meet Houston First, which merges the city’s Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department and the Houston Convention Center Hotel Corporation, which runs the Hilton Americas. The corporation will not have to come to the council to get expenses approved. The unionized work force of the city department will become private-sector employees of the corporation. The corporation […]

More on the city’s convention center spinoff proposal

This press release from the Mayor’s office about the proposed spinoff of the city’s convention business hit my inbox this afternoon: Mayor Annise Parker today recommended consolidation of the city’s Convention & Entertainment Facilities Department (CEFD) into the Houston Convention Center Hotel Corporation (HCCHC). The proposal, if approved by City Council, would provide the city […]

Spinning off the convention business

The city is looking to get out of the convention and entertainment business and maybe make a few bucks in the process. The city’s Convention and Entertainment Facilities department currently runs the George R. Brown Convention Center and other city-owned venues downtown. A plan on its way to City Council next week would make the […]