The burgeoning energy industry in Spring is driving demand for hotels with at least 10 hospitality projects under construction or planned in the region.
Three hotels have broken ground or are set to begin construction soon within the master-planned community Springwoods Village, which houses the 385-acre ExxonMobil campus and Southwestern Energy’s headquarters. Meanwhile, a Hyatt Place hotel is planned inside The Vintage across from Noble Energy’s headquarters.
“There are a number of smaller meeting spaces available through smaller venue-type hotels like Days Inn [and]Courtyard by Marriott, but there are a lot of these companies that want to hold a larger size conference and that requires a full-scale hotel,” said Paula Lenz, executive director of the North Houston Association.
Much of the hotel industry growth has been driven by the need for more conventions and conferences in Northwest Houston, said Keith Simon, executive vice president of Springwoods Village developer Coventry Development Corporation. The local energy campuses make the area attractive to conferences and conventions.
“People are saying this area could become a second Energy Corridor,” Simon said.
With 12,000 jobs already created in Springwoods Village and more than 25,000 expected when the community is completed, the community has created a new submarket for the hospitality industry, Simon said.
Including the three hotels already underway, the master-planned community plans to house five total hotels upon completion, Simon said. However once the market dictated the need for more hotels, he said it was important for Coventry not to allow for the development of too many hotels within Springwoods Village as it could oversaturate the market, especially with competition cropping up outside the community.
“It’s always the plan to have hotels in a community, but the number and range somewhat depends on the volume of jobs we can create when land [is sold]to the corporate offices,” Simon said.
It was also important to offer a range of different price points and hotel types to accommodate the needs of Springwoods Village, he said. Simon said Springwoods Village will have three select-service and two full-service hotels when the community is completed.
An extended-stay Residence Inn is projected to open in September, while a Courtyard by Marriott is expected to be completed next summer. The developer of the two projects, Woodbine Development Corporation, also plans to complete a full-service hotel by fall 2017, which will include more than 20,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. The full-service project will be located in CityPlace, the 60-acre, mixed-use town square of Springwoods Village.
“People are saying this area could become a second Energy Corridor.”
– Keith Simon, executive director of Coventry Development Corporation
Even with three projects in the works, Woodbine hopes to develop more hotel projects in Springwoods Village. Coventry, however, has not selected a developer for the remaining two hotels planned within the community.
“This area has been on our radar for three or four years,” Woodbine Vice President King Scovell said. “What attracted us is a combination of the metrics of Exxon[Mobil] and Southwestern Energy and [the]CHI St Luke’s [hospital planned in Springwoods Village]. If Springwoods Village continues to grow, we hope there are even more opportunities.”
Development in Springwoods Village is driving hotel construction activity outside the community as well. Two hotels near I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road—a Hampton Inn and a Hilton Garden Inn—should be open by October 2016, according to EE Reed Construction.
“We fully expect a lot of different kinds of hotels to pop up around Springwoods Village to capture some of the hotel travel that some of these employers create,” Simon said.
Showcasing hotels that appealed to young business professionals has also been important in the development of The Vintage, said Mark Kilkenny, executive vice president of Mischer Investments, which has developed the community with Kickerillo Companies.
“We’ve been reasonably selective in the brands that come to The Vintage,” Kilkenny said. “Hyatt Place [is]a business-type hotel [that]leans toward younger professional clients.”
The Vintage is situated just across Hwy. 249 from the corporate headquarters of Noble Energy, which is creating demand for more hospitality options.
“I think in the last several years with growth of the office market in the area—in part with Noble Energy and other buildings and especially Lone Star [College-University Park]—there’s obviously a need for more business hotels,” Kilkenny said.
The only existing hotel in The Vintage is an Element by Westin facility. Element will be joined by a five-story Hyatt Place hotel in about 18 months, said Anthony Patel, president and CEO of Hyatt Place developer Pride Management.
“That area is good for hotels with the expansion of the oil and gas industry,” Patel said.
Business, community benefit
Local businesses could also see a boost as a result of the influx of hotels, Lenz said. The hospitality industry diversifies the economic options and provides support for restaurants and catering companies, she said.
“It generate[s]more revenue by attracting different companies to the community,” Lenz said. “The other part is that it gives companies the opportunity to see this area and what it has to offer. For the restaurants and companies [in the area]that do catering it has definite impacts on the economy.”
More professionals in the area from the growing hotel industry could also mean more foot traffic for the cultural venues within the Cypress Creek Cultural District, such as the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts and the Centrum, CCCD President Glenn Wilkerson said.
“More people will have access to the cultural offerings that we offer,” Wilkerson said. “At the same time they bring their own offerings in terms of experiences, ethnic, cultural experiences that they bring to the community. The more, the merrier.”