It's Not Hard to be a St. on the Katy
Maybe you remember how, last month, Sam posted something about the proposed St. Regis Hotel on the Katy Trail and the opposition to the development. Well, opposition be damned -- with all due apologies, Mrs. Stanley Marcus -- Los Angeles-based FOCH Investments/Development got just what it wanted yesterday at city council: the blanket A-OK to proceed with building its original version of the $200-million hotel, with adjacent town homes, yards away from the trail.
No surprises: David Thurman, spearheading the development, has been in and out of Dallas for several weeks, meeting with council members to get their vote. Clearly, he made a compelling case -- using, among his many selling points, a list of 16 promises intended to sell FOCH as a good neighbor even while the hotel's neighbors opposed the development. His other selling point: If FOCH was forced to build the St. Regis while adhering to the disputed development guidelines, it would have been "a short, fat building" that would have been neither "neighborhood friendly" nor "city friendly," as Thurman told Unfair Park last month. Instead, he's promised to build what you see above -- with "town homes 40 to 50 feet off the trail and the hotel 100 feet off the trail."
Incidentally, when FOCH originally bought the property, it was with the intention of building a Hard Rock Hotel. The rumor is, and has been for a year, that Hard Rock instead decided to move that project to Victory Park. Though, with the Mandarin Oriental in Victory Park on hold and a city-owned convention center hotel on the way, the Hard Rock Hotel's likely an afterthought at this late date.
As for the St. Regis, Thurman says the site is "one of the premier sites to do a small, boutique 140- to 150-room hotel, with a range of, say, 65 to 80 condos."
I know, I know. Another hotel. But, hey, at least the city won't own it. --Robert Wilonsky