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SUGAR LAND, TX-A $54-million, public-private effort breaks ground in late December on the final piece of the 32-acre Sugar Land Town Square in Ft. Bend County. The 300-room Sugar Land Marriott Town Square and adjacent Sugar Land Conference Center will deliver in summer 2003.

Atlanta-based Stormont Hospitality Group LLC is developing the hotel and conference center along with Crestline Hotels & Resorts Inc. of Bethesda, MD, Regent Partners of Atlanta and the City of Sugar Land. Southwest Bank of Texas provided the construction financing for developer Sugarland Properties. Sugar Land Town Square, located at the intersection of US Highway 59 and Texas 6, will have 200,000 sf of retail and 750,000 sf of class A office in addition to the hotel and conference center.

Sugarland Properties president, Les Newton tells GlobeSt.com that the City of Sugar Land has been working on developing a conference center for the past decade and his company has been planning for a hotel for the past three years. “The hotel and conference center have long been viewed as the linchpin and economic driver for the entire Town Square,” he says.

Newton says developing a class A hotel not only gives the Sugar Land Town Square the necessary clout to attract new corporate citizens, but is the crowning project for the area’s last great piece of real estate. Newton says he saved the best piece of real estate for last and wanted to build more than a typical suburban office building on the spot. Newton says he mirrored Sugar Land’s Town Square development after the town center in Reston, VA, which blends an urban mixed-use design into a suburban setting.

“We envision this hotel and town square will have a major economic impact on the City of Sugar Land and will be appealing to meeting planners, for both corporate and association business, that will be new to the Sugar Land area,” says Richard Stormont, chairman and CEO of Stormont Hospitality.

The 300-room hotel is a nine-story design complemented by the adjoining conference center with 26,500 sf of meeting space including a 15,500-sf ballroom, eight meeting rooms, business center, boardroom, 184-seat restaurant and lounge, gourmet coffee shop and health facility with outdoor swimming pool. Atlanta architectural firm Cooper Carry Inc. and interior designer W.D.G. of Dallas have designed the project.

The financials include a mezzanine loan from Regent Partners. Stormont Hospitality and Crestline Capital Corp. will provide project equity and operate the hotel through subsidiary Crestline Hotels & Resorts. JP Morgan Chase is kicking in another $12 million to Sugarland Properties for infrastructure funding, such as streets and landscaping. The city will finance and own the Sugar Land Conference Center.

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