"We have identified approximately $2 billion of non-core assets to sell over the next 12-18 months," stated the company in a Nov. 15 email. "The Woodlands hospitality portfolio is on the list of select master-planned community assets under consideration."
The Howard Hughes hospitality portfolio in The Woodlands includes The Woodlands Resort, The Westin at The Woodlands and Embassy Suites at Hughes Landing.
"With that said, we still expect future retail and hotel development opportunities in our [master-planned communities] where we can drive significant value creation. We will continue to pursue these opportunities but will be thoughtful about the structure," the company statement said.
According to the October news release, the company's restructuring plan aims to reduce overhead and move from a holding-company-type organizational structure to a regional management model with a more lean corporate team.
Nick Wolda, president of Visit the Woodlands—the convention and visitors bureau for The Woodlands—said he does not expect the sale of the properties to adversely affect the township's booming hospitality trade.
"The Howard Hughes properties are obviously very important to the tourism and hospitality mix we have here in The Woodlands," Wolda said. "These are premiere properties that showcase our destination appeal, and we have full faith ... that these properties would maintain that high level of attraction and customer service. These hotels are making money, they are doing well in the market share, and they are either new or completely renovated as well and just fine properties ... we really don't see anything changing on our part."