ATLANTA-Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group plans to open its next US location here in 2011 as part of a 53-story mixed-use project in the Midtown district. While some observers question the wisdom of launching a project in such a lousy economy, industry experts believe the timing will be far more favorable when the hotel opens.

“These are the types of projects that jump real estate cycles,” Patrick Ford, president of Portsmouth, NH-based Lodging Econometrics, tells about Mandarin’s Atlanta hotel. “This one is years in the making. It’s going to open in an entirely different environment.”

Atlanta-based Tivoli Properties Inc. announced long-rumored plans Thursday to build a $285-million luxury hotel and condo tower on just under an acre at 1138 Peachtree St., along the so-called Midtown Mile in the city’s arts district. Project plans call for 198 guest rooms that will cost $350 per night, plus 71 residential condominium units priced from $2 million to $15 million.

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