COLUMBUS—The City of Westerville, anortheastern suburb, has just secured an agreement withConcord Hospitality to build a full-serviceMarriott Renaissance hotel and conference centerat Westar Place, the site formerly known as ALTAIR Business Park.Municipal officials also say that ContinentalRealty/Continental Real Estate will act as theirdevelopment consultant and brokerage team for the site, a 62-acretract located east of I-71 along Polaris Parkway acquired by thecity in May for commercial development.

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Since then the city has worked closely with planners, developersand economic advisors to plan for office and retail development, aswell as hotel and conference space along the underdevelopedportions of the Westar area. The land sits between Cleveland Ave.and Africa Rd. south of Polaris, an area already home to severalcorporate headquarters and businesses in the health care,technology and financial services sectors.

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Officials expect these developments will attract more than 3,000jobs to Westerville and add up to one-million-square-feet class Aoffice space. The proposed Renaissance hotel and conference centerwill be the centerpiece of this effort. Concord will also operatethe hotel and expects to begin construction in 2015.

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"The Westar Place project is a great example of the kind ofstrategically planned, well-balanced mixed-use urban developmentthat considers the current needs of the community and the projecteddemands of future generations," says Mark Laport,president and chief executive officer of Concord. "Renaissance isthe right combination of a familiar brand with best-in-classtraveler amenities and distinctive design that I believe willresonate well with the community and help attract businesses tothis visionary town center."

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According to Laport, the eight-story, 224-room hotel willfeature nearly 20,000-square-feet of meeting and convention spacefor the businesses that will locate in the development. Thefull-service hotel also will offer the in-room dining options, aswell as a three-meal restaurant. Furthermore, Concord will designit to meet LEED standards.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.