Galleria-area development to gain a second Hyatt

Original article posted on August 1, 2014 by HoustonChronicle.com.

An Atlanta development firm that controls more than 7 acres next to the Galleria is adding a second hotel to the site, which by the end of next year will have close to 500 new hotel rooms – all under the Hyatt brand.

“Demand for hotels in the Galleria is at its current peak, and it’s continuing to rise,” said developer David Songy, CEO of Songy HighRoads, which owns the Galleria Place development along Sage Road between Westheimer and West Alabama with The Carlyle Group.

The new hotel, a Hyatt Place, will join a 325-room Hyatt Regency that has already broken ground in Galleria Place.

Both projects are expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Atlanta-based Songy. The hotel projects are part of a tremendous construction boom underway in the Uptown area. New development there – much of it lining Post Oak Boulevard – includes office towers, luxury residential buildings and high-end retail.

“We have researched the amount of construction underway just in the Galleria submarket, and the total amount currently under construction exceeds $1.5 billion,” Songy said.

The Songy/Carlyle partnership purchased the former Galleria Plaza in March of 2013. The 7.6-acre property included two office buildings, a multi-tenant retail building and two standalone retail properties. Most of the retail space was demolished, but two tenants remain. The site is directly across Sage from the Galleria mall.

In addition to the new hotels, the partnership is renovating the office buildings at 5251 and 5333 Westheimer. They should be completed by the first quarter of next year. The largest office tenants are TeleCheck and energy research firm IHS.

Songy pegs the entire project cost of Galleria Place, including the property acquisition and new development, at around $225 million.

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