HOUSTON-Moody National Cos. has acquired a high-profile 1.5-acre tract in Texas Medical Center to build a 200-room Hilton Garden Inn. The $35-million hotel will replace a familiar boxcar deli.

The parcel is located at 7900 Kirby Dr. and Main Street, less than one mile from two other Moody projects–the 176-unit 7575 Kirby Condominiums and 297-room Residence Inn–Medical Center/Reliant Park at 7710 Main St., which is being renovated. Brett Moody, chairman and CEO of the local company, says construction most likely will get underway at the end of Q1 2008. Completion is slated for February 2009.

Local restaurateur A.J. Droubi is the seller. Moody says Droubi’s Import & Deli, which operates out of the historic railcars, will close down, with the cars being removed, preserved and put on display elsewhere. “Part of the deal involved the seller keeping those boxcars,” Moody tells GlobeSt.com. “Those boxcars are part of Houston’s history.”

Moody says the Hilton Garden Inn project is attractive for several reasons, not the least of which is the closing of two hotels in the past year to make way for more hospital services in the submarket. “There’s a tremendous demand for more hospitality in the Medical Center,” Moody adds. “We want to meet that demand.” He says the plan includes more hotels in the submarket besides the Hilton Garden Inn.

Moody National will manage the hotel. Mitchell Carlton Stone Inc. in Houston is the architect while SCA Consulting Engineers in nearby Sugar Land is the engineer. Moody National Development Co. in Houston is the general contractor. The buyer had acquisitions associate Alex Simms negotiating the deal.

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