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Sometimes the only place that can host a new hotel is another hotel. Starting in February, Wright Investment Properties of Cordova, TN and Prime Hospitality Corp. of Fairfield, NJ plan to build a 208-room hotel at 1155 14th St. NW in Thomas Circle. It will be erected on the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Downtown, another property developed by Wright.

“It’s in the path of a lot of growth,” says Larry Wright Jr., vice president of development for Wright Investment. “Office space is as tight as ever, and that translates into high occupancy and ADRs (average daily rates) for hotels.”

The company will delay breaking ground until October 2001, in time for a February 2003 opening. That will let it coincide with the opening of the new Washington Convention Center that year and give Wright time to stabilize operations at the Holiday Inn, which it recently renovated.

It will be the first AmeriSuites hotel to go up here. The limited-service hotel chain, which serves business travelers and families, charged an average daily room rate of $82 in 1999. Currently, it has about 130 properties around the country and franchise agreements to open approximately 60 more.

“Washington D.C. is a very important national market with lots of business travelers,” says Phil Harvey, director of franchise services and contracting for Prime Hospitality, the chain’s franchiser.

Prime Hospitality is also drafting plans to build an 80-unit hotel in Largo, MD and a 128-unit hotel in Sterling, VA. Dates for these projects have not been set. Prime Hospitality owns, operates or franchises 205 properties in 32 states.

The new AmeriSuites is not the only hotel going up on Thomas Circle. Hilton is building a 175-room Homewood Suites at 1475 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

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