DALLAS-- The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC) today announced that The Woodlands Development Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary, will expand and redevelop The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center.

Renowned for its idyllic, forested surroundings in the heart of the acclaimed Woodlands community just north of Houston as well as for its award-winning service, The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center is ideally suited for corporate events and affluent leisure travelers. Today, the luxury resort features 440 guest rooms and approximately 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the 13,500 square-foot Grand Ballroom and 33 dedicated meeting rooms, most with natural light and exceptional views of the lake or forest. Guests also enjoy spa and fitness facilities, the Forest Oasis Waterscape™ and access to 21 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, two championship golf courses and 194 miles of nature trails for hiking and biking throughout The Woodlands.

Over the past few years, the resort has been named among the best by Meetings & ConventionsConventionSouthSmart MeetingsMeetings Focus, MeetingsNews and Corporate Meetings & Incentive Magazine. The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center has also been recognized by Travel & LeisureGolf Digest and numerous local and regional publications.

Highly successful by today’s standards, the redevelopment of The Woodlands Resort will enable it to meet burgeoning demand for world-class hospitality driven by the strength of the Houston economy - The Brookings Institute recently ranked Houston as North America's fastest-growing economy. Major catalysts in the north Houston area adjacent to The Woodlands include the nearby ExxonMobil campus opening with approximately 10,000 jobs in 2014 and the extension of the Grand Parkway in 2015.

The Howard Hughes Corporation will immediately begin a major redevelopment of the luxury resort slated for completion in summer 2014. The redevelopment will encompass -

  • The renovation of 222 existing guest rooms and suites in the Fairway Pines I and II
  • The replacement of 206 lodge rooms with Fairway Pines III - a new wing with 184 guest rooms and suites
  • A new, expanded arrival area with porte‐cochere and lobby featuring native Texas stone, and massive, three-story windows
  • A new 3,036 square-foot “Living Room” connecting the three guest rooms wings, ideal for informal gatherings
  • A new Lazy River winding 1,000 feet through the surrounding forest highlighting the Forest Oasis Waterscape™
  • A fully revitalized 60,000 square feet of meeting and event facilities, including the ballroom, boardrooms, breakout space, lobby and pre-function areas
  • An updated 13,000 square-foot spa and facility
  • A new 120‐seat steak house restaurant and lounge adjacent to the 18th hole with a private wine vault and outdoor patio

When complete, the expanded resort will feature a sophisticated, yet warm Texas feel. The stone, steel and wood structure - created by interior design firm, Jim Looney & Associates, and Gensler of Houston, the Architect-of-Record - will bring a strong connection to nature and reflect an active, contemporary lifestyle.

“The renovation and expansion of this already thriving resort will solidify its position as the premier destination resort across the state,” said Paul Layne, Executive Vice President of The Howard Hughes Corporation. “This redevelopment continues our mission to create timeless places and memorable experiences.”

The Woodlands Development Corporation has secured $95 million of construction financing from U.S. Bank to complete the redevelopment. The loan was arranged by Randy Fleisher of Quadrant Realty Finance. The financing amongst other terms repays the existing secured debt of $36 million and has a three-year term.

“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with The Howard Hughes Corporation by partnering with them on this project,” said Kent Howard, Texas Market Manager for U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate. “The redevelopment of The Woodlands Resort is one of the most notable projects in Houston this year and will have a lasting impact on the local economy. This deal underscores U.S. Bank’s commitment to the Texas commercial real estate market.”

About The Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 18 states from New York to Hawai‘i. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC and is headquartered in Dallas, TX. For additional information about HHC, visit www.howardhughes.com.

About The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center

Where natural beauty meets high-tech convenience, the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) approved Woodlands Resort & Conference Center combines the highest quality conference facilities with resort amenities. The property is centrally located, a three-hour flight from either coast and 18 miles from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

A founding member of IACC, the 440-room property features 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 13,500-square-foot Grand Ballroom and 33 dedicated meeting rooms. Nearly all meeting space offers natural light and views of the lake or forest. Other meeting highlights include two full-service business centers, a concierge floor with private boardroom, an extensive menu of themed food and beverage presentations and a team of experienced meeting professionals. Meeting attendees enjoy activities ranging from team building events to on-property resort amenities such as golf, spa and fitness facilities, 194 miles of nature and bike trails, five pools and indoor and outdoor tennis courts. Visit www.woodlandsresort.com or call 866-554-8118 for group planning needs.

About U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate

U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate specializes in providing creative credit and non-credit financial solutions for real estate developers, REITs, and commercial property owners across the United States. U.S. Bank offers such services as construction/development lending, property acquisition lending, refinancing, lines of credit, and syndications. With an employee base of 400 professionals in 24 offices, U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate builds long-term relationships designed to help American businesses grow.

About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $354 billion in assets as of December 31, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The Company operates 3,084 banking offices in 25 states and 5,065 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements accompanied by words such as “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “enables,” “realize,” “plan,” “intend,” “transform” and other words of similar expression, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections as of the date of this release and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth as risk factors in The Howard Hughes Corporation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly and Annual Reports. The Howard Hughes Corporation cautions you not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. The Howard Hughes Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or circumstances that arise after the date of this release.

The Howard Hughes Corporation
Caryn Kboudi, 214-741-7744

Source: The Howard Hughes Corporation