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HOUSTON-Is there a new Shamrock Hotel in Houston’s future? That’s what Tom Brady of Northeast Holdings Inc. had immediately envisioned when he suddenly stumbled on an opportunity and snatched up a 90,000-sf block-and-a-half plot one block north of Enron Field for $5 million.

Even if the legendary name is unavailable, Brady figures his newly acquired tract is the perfect spot for an upscale, high-rise hotel. The seller is GHX Holdings, an oil field manufacturing company, which has been using some of the buildings on the site bordered by Commerce, Franklin, Chenevert and US 59.

“It was ‘a whirlwind deal,’” Brady tells GlobeSt.com. “It had been on the market for a while. Then the deal fell through and I jumped on it. I spent six weeks jumping through hoops to close the deal.” Now Brady is seeking a development partner and a hotel operator to help him bring the vision to reality.

Brady’s concept calls for a hotel to cover one city block, linked by a pedestrian bridge to a parking and services facility across the street. “It’s right off the freeway, and the pedestrian bridge would form a sort of gateway to Enron Field and the whole Downtown area with the Cottsworth development, the new county courthouse, the George R. Brown convention center and its new addition, and all the rest of Houston’s Downtown boom,” Brady says. With the Olympics and the Super Bowl on the horizon, it’s looks like the right time and place for a new hotel to Brady.

There is plenty of activity in the area aside from the new basketball arena that has just been approved by Houston voters. Crescent Real Estate is building an office tower south of the baseball stadium and Trammell Crow is primed to erect a residential and office tower just over Enron’s left field wall.

With hotel prices in the Downtown area averaging $150 per night, the hotel business is on a roll. Best Western, Courtyard by Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express and Residence Inn are all building Downtown.

The original Shamrock Hotel is part of Houston legend. Oilman Glenn McCarthy built it in the oil industry’s heyday, bringing in the world’s top entertainers to its showroom regularly. Though it was torn down a few years ago, it kindles fond memories for Houstonians.

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