LA investor plans $40M resi conversion of Houston Galleria hotel

Hotel-to-resi accounts for nearly 6 in 10 conversions in Houston

FEB 9, 2024, 6:09 PM By Brandon Sams

A Los Angeles-based developer is giving new life to a shuttered Hilton Hotel in Houston. 

Bryan Kang’s Dos Lagos Asset filed documents detailing plans for adaptive reuse of the former 292-room Hilton Houston Galleria at 6780 Southwest Freeway. A multifamily complex is planned, but the number of units wasn’t included in the filing.

Conversion of the 200,000-square-foot, 13-story building has an estimated cost of $40 million.  Dallas-based design firm Huitt Zollars is attached to the project. Construction is expected to start in April, with an estimated completion date in September 2025.

Kang was commissioner of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation from 2012 to 2014 but has since turned to the world of real estate. 

In 2019, he purchased an office building in Orange County for $13.4 million, according to Traded LA. Before joining politics and real estate, Kang was the CEO of the wholesale merchandiser Rhapsody Clothing, which sold to stores across North America, as well as South Korean retailer Home Plus. Rhapsody Clothing closed in 2019, according to California business records. Attempts to reach Kang were unsuccessful. 

Originally constructed in 1978 and remodeled in 2016, the Hilton Houston Galleria has been vacant since its lender foreclosed on the property in 2022. The hotel had closed because of the pandemic. It remains real estate-owned, according to the Harris County Appraisal District. Its 2023 assessed value was $7.2 million. 

Hotel-to-resi conversions are a burgeoning business in Houston’s commercial real estate scene. As the Bayou City’s hospitality market has seen deflation post-pandemic, as depressed occupancy rates and loan delinquencies shake the market. Trepp ranked Houston’s hotel market as the nation’s worst last year. 

While office-to-resi conversions make the headlines, hotel-to-resi reuse developments comprise 58 percent of Houston’s conversion market, according to RentCafe. 

The Houston Housing Authority, in collaboration with Columbia Residential, is converting a dilapidated Holiday Inn at 2100 Memorial Drive, long an eyesore near Buffalo Bayou, into an affordable 197-unit senior living complex. 

Hotel-to-resi developer Shir Capital acquired the defunct Wyndham Hotel at 14703 Park Row in 2022. It is planning to open Teak Living, a rental community, by the end of this quarter. 

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