Downtown Houston prepares for makeover

Retail Task Force: Downtown needs more shopping to allow for economic growth

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - A test blast for the demolition of the old Macy's building in downtown Houston scared some who felt an explosion Wednesday morning. 

Some people called 911 not sure of what had happened.  Houston police responded.  However, everything was OK; workers were preparing for the building's demolition scheduled for Sunday morning. 

The demolition will make way for more construction downtown. There is a lot of construction underway.

"It is very exciting," said Bob Eury, the executive director of the Downtown Management District. "I wake up every morning and this is hard to even contemplate the various projects that are out there."

Eury said that includes the new Marriott Marquis near the George R. Brown Convention Center. Eury said there are currently about 5,100 hotel rooms in downtown and the number will increase to 7,500 when the Super Bowl arrives in Houston in 2017.

Mayor Annise Parker's Retail Task Force said downtown Houston needs more shopping to allow for economic growth. 

According to Eury, that will come, in time. He envisions a shopping district along Dallas Street.

Eury said, "We all know that shopping is having the right mix of stores that are adjacent to each other."

Eury said there has been about $6 billion in private and public investment in the last 25 years.  He estimates $3 billion in investment is planned during just the next several years.

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