Doug Manchester plans 1,035-key convention hotel in Texas capital

AUSTIN, TEXAS Developer Doug Manchester is planning to build a US$350 million hotel just east of the Austin Convention Center, the second hotel of at least 1,000 guestrooms currently being developed in the vicinity of the event space.

The hotel, which would include 1,035 guestrooms and 115,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, would be built on parking lot at the northeast corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez streets, Austin American-Statesman reports. A decision on the hotel’s flag has not been made public, but Manchester Financial Group officials say it could be a Hilton Worldwide brand.

“We have looked carefully at many hotel sites in the Austin market and concluded this site is by far the very best with its immediate location adjacent to the Convention Center,” says Manchester, who sold the 1,625-key Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, earlier this year. “With our many years of developing world class hotels, we concluded our patrons would find it unpleasant during the summer heat and winter’s freeze to walk several blocks to access important exhibits and meetings at the convention center.”

The project will be designed by architecture firm Gensler.

Meanwhile, White Lodging Services Corp. last week announced that construction of a long-planned 1,003-key Marriott Marquis-branded convention hotel would move forward. Shelved after the recession hit, the project is expected to start construction in about nine months, and the city of Austin is considering waiving up to US$4.3 million in development-related fees.

It is unclear whether Austin will grant similar financial considerations to Manchester’s development, but a spokesperson for the San Diego-based developer says he “would expect the same courtesies to be extended to them as to any other convention center hotel located downtown.”