Final report released for Conroe hotel and convention center project in Grand Central Park

Garfield Public/Private LP presented early designs for a hotel and convention center at Grand Central Park.

Garfield Public/Private LP presented early designs for a hotel and convention center at Grand Central Park.

At a Jan. 23 joint Conroe City Council workshop and Conroe Industrial Development Corp. meeting, Garfield Public/Private LP presented the final report on the Conroe hotel and convention center project that has been in the works since the CIDC entered into a predevelopment agreement with Garfield in July 2017.

According to Garfield Chief Development Operator Stephen Galbreath, who is also the head of design and construction, the hotel and convention center development is projected to cost $85.2 million including construction, equipment and soft costs. It will be located in Grand Central Park.

"One of the things hotels like this like to have are revenue-generating areas—you want to be able to rent it out for parties," Galbreath said at the joint meeting. "It's important when we were developing this as a team to have the right-size meeting spaces."

The hotel, which has yet to officially contract with Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt—although it has offers—is planned to have 252 guest rooms and 31,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space. A 370-car parking garage, lounge, bar, three-meal restaurant and pool are also in the plans, along with a 150-car surface lot.

The city of Conroe would own the property and lease it to a hotel operator. It would be funded through bonds to be paid back through city and CIDC sales tax generated from the project and through hotel occupancy tax money. After a 30-year agreement with the hotel operator, the city can sell the whole development.

"At the end of the day, the pro forma shows a return to the city after everything is paid for ... I don't want to get too committed to a number, but it's a significant amount until 2050," said Steve Williams, Conroe city administrator and chief financial officer. "The asset coming to the city is looking like a $100 million asset."

The hotel and convention center plan is scheduled be brought to City Council on March 14 with a developer agreement and design-build agreement for further discussion or approval.
By Jules Rogers
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.