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A bit of Texas’ oil history strikes a modern-day $70 million gusher in the form of a hotel and apartment tower.

The 472,000-sf Humble Oil headquarters at 1212 Main St. will include a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott, a 171-room Residence Inn by Marriott, 82 luxury apartments and 6,000 sf of retail space. The building is being redeveloped by Historic Restoration Inc. of New Orleans and Housing Horizons. Housing Horizons is a subsidiary of Kimberly Clark Corp. Humble Oil is the predecessor of Exxon/Mobil.

Construction has just begun on the project, tentatively slated for completion in fourth quarter 2001. The original section was built at a cost of $1.2 million in 1921 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1932, the structure was the first one in Houston to be equipped with a central air conditioning system. The building underwent other modifications in 1936 and 1940. The edifice’s tallest portion, a 17-story tower, is being reserved for 82 apartments, ranging in size from 560 sf to 2,000 sf.

Marriott International has teamed with Historic Restoration Inc. in adaptive reuse projects of historic buildings in Fort Worth, Omaha and New Orleans — all into Courtyard by Marriott projects.

“The renovation of the Humble Building marks another high point in the redevelopment taking place in downtown Houston,” says Gerard Tollett, president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The addition of these hotel rooms will better enable us to attract the most lucrative conventions to Houston.” The property is situated close to the George R. Brown Convention Center.

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